Wednesday, April 25, 2012

False Start by Janey Chapel

Long Live The Cute!!

I am absolutely loving all of these cute and sexy stories I've been reading! This little tale by Janey Chapel is no different.

At the beginning of his senior year in a small town college, Tucker Locke met Whit Jamison. Tucker was the small time track star and Whit was the slightly gawky freshman with the deep voice. What commences is a secret relationship between Whit and Tucker. They get hot and heavy on back roads, in abandoned barns and in dark corners of their little town. While Whit is out and proud Jamison is just...not. In a scene that had my chest aching with sadness, Whit and Tucker's relationship comes to an end at the end of the school year and they part on bad terms. Tucker runs far and fast from his tiny hometown.

Ten years later, Tucker, who's still deep in the closet, gets an invitation to his ten year reunion and decides that it's time to go home and see about changing his life.

Oh, Tucker and Whit, you two men are a very sexy and endearing couple. Whit is, well, witty. He's confident in himself and had me chuckling with his self-deprecation and his general take on things. I totally related to his high school memories of how he crushed on Tucker and memorized Tucker's class schedule. I can remember being so wrapped in crushing on someone from afar. It was so cute the way he day dreamed about his life turning out like a John Hughes movie. 80's and the Brat Pack FTW!!

Tucker was emo but understandably so. Also, his emo-ness made him more real and I just wanted to hug him and tell him that he should believe in himself. He could be the man that he wanted to be. He took huge steps and I was invested enough in the story that I was cheering him on.

Janey Chapel pulls off something in this story that can be very hard to do. False Start is told in dual first person narration and, man, it works so well. Tucker and Whit's voices were very different from each other and I was very satisfied that I got both sides of the story.

I have to say that I didn't want this story to end. I enjoyed it so very much and it was just plain ol' CUTE!! I hope we get more of these men. I will definitely be reading more of this author.

The Bootiful People (aka Booty and Books)

When I was ten I had a brilliant idea. Having already realized that I was a black girl with a severe booty deficiency, I decided to build myself a butt. I put on the tightest (they weren't very tight) jeans I had and stuffed rolled up tee shirts down the back of them. Insta-booty! Yes, it was a little lumpy and a llittle uneven but it was better than nothing. Here's the problem with insta-booty; when you walk it shifts. I mean, within five minutes one ass cheek was sticking out of my waistband and the other ass cheek was down by the back of my knee.

It was a travesty. A sad state of affairs. Alas, I came to terms with my deficiency.

And then a few years ago I started noticing a trend. There was a new type of character popping up in romance novels. The bootiful people. In interracial het romance we get the heroine, a woman of color usually, with the juicy booty. In M/M we get the dude with the bubble butt that hypnotizes all men when they watch it bounce. There's also the dude with the muscle butt that, if you put a pencil in his crack and he flexed his ass cheeks, could snap a pencil in half.

How is an everyday person supposed to live up to these super booties? A booty is hard to build. Take it from someone who's tried.

I can see where the preoccupation with the male posterior comes from in M/M. A big part of anal sex is the tightness of the booty BUT (pardon the pun) the butt doesn't have to be bouncy in order for the umnnn...anal channel to be tight. The tightness of the ass has nothing to do with the junk in the trunk!

Somebody whose trunk is damn near empty can still manage to squeeze a man until he begs for mercy.

I read these books and wonder how anyone who's not ass-tastic is supposed to attract someone. Is the rear end really that important? Apparently, being able to drop it like it's hot is now a requirement for fictional characters.

Where are the characters whose butts are so non-existent that it's like they have invisi-booties? Where are the characters whose pants have trouble staying up because there's nothing there to keep them from falling? Give me a character whose butt is so flat that it's basically just an extension of their back.

Us flat-butted people need love too! So, while I love the bootiful people I would like to say don't forget that the world is made up of lots of people and some of us? Well, we just ain't all that bootiful.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Out in the Field by Kate McMurray

This was THE BOOK! The one that I've been wanting, wishing, dreaming (and at times begging) for since the moment I discovered M/M romance. A baseball story, two professional players, one Dominican, in NYC, written by a true fan.

But it was BETTER than what I wanted, because I could not have come up with two characters as dear and engrossing and dignified and in love as Iggy and Matt, nope, I could not have wished for a better book than this. I LOVED IT!...I shall say it again I LOVED IT!

Matt Blanco is at the end of his career, he knows it, he's had a career that can only end with an induction to the Hall of Fame, he's played for the Brooklyn Eagles for 13 years and it's been everything he wished as ayoung boy. He's a beacon in the game, but 38 is ripe old age in baseball, and his knee is not helping matters. He's not unhappy, he's had a fantastic life in the sport, except for his secret. He's gay and in the closet, he never considered risking his career over revealing his sexuality, and never really had any regrets, but still it's a weight on his shoulders. But in the end there never was anyone that came close to making him want to bust that closet door open, so all there is for him, is to keep playing as long as he can.

Ignacio (Iggy) Rodriguez is LIVING THE DREAM at 25 he's finally gotten his chance to play in the major leagues. For a kid from a Dominican family, born in the US and raised on baseball, well there really is not much more he can ask for. He gets to play in the team of his dreams the Brooklyn Eagles and even more better with his Idol (and star of all his teenage fantasies) Matt Blanco...One of the best to ever play the game. Iggy couldn't wait to start this new chapter in his life.

As soon as Matt sees Iggy it's nothing but a whole lot of TROUBLE the kid is BEAUTIFUL, and he just has a thing that keeps calling to Matt like he needs to get a whole lot closer. One thing leads to the other and Matt and Iggy quickly figure out that they want each other, and they let the attraction take its course. They are discreet, neither of them wants to be outed and face the consequences. They begin a relationship though, they are SO HOT for each other, it's just fucking at first, but then it isn't, and as Matt's career starts coming to and end, Matt finally has something taht matter more than baseball and Iggy is right there with him, so they commit to make what they have last. 

It's not easy, Matt has been in the closet so long he's scared for himself and the backlash that could taint his illustrous career, more than that he's scared for his lover. He doesn't want Iggy's career to end before it's really begun, he's to fucking good to be cheated of that.

But they carry on, we see their lives, their love, evolve over four years. We see how Matt deals with moving into a new chapter in his life after having to retire from a game that has been his entire life. We see Iggy and how he flourished in his career but also struggles with what he has to compromise to continue to play the game he loves. We see them become lovers, partners, esentially a marriage. They struggle at times, but their love is strong and steady. Eventually with SO MUCH dignity they let the world see who they are. Two men in love, with baseball and each other and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

This book was just perfect for me. Kate McMurray is OBVIOUSLY a true baseball fan, she wrote about the game with such reverence and respect that even if you are not a fan you can still appreciate the sacrifice that this players make to play the game they love, the hardships of moving on from being a god in the field to being just a regular guy, the conflict of giving up who you are to play. 

She wrote Iggy SO WELL...A Dominican man, but also an American, no fuss, his character was just really well done. I loved Matt totally and completely and, them together...OH MY MY MY...They were hot for each other from day one to four years later, I loved them from the first page, wanted them happy, wanted them together, wanted the fucking world at their feet, and ON their feet cheering for them...Like Tina said I could read about Iggy and Matt FOREVER!

The secondary characters rocked too, the play scenes were fab...EVERYTHING was just right for me baby!!!

LOVED IT. Recommend it totally. I hope there are more sports stories coming from Ms. McMurray, she's made a die hard fan of this reader.


Out in the Field can be purchased at the Loose Id Website

Monday, April 23, 2012

Country Mouse by Amy Lane & Aleksandr Voinov

FUN FUN FUN!!!! That's the main thing for me with this story. I had fun reading it, fun hunting for where each author's uniqueness came shining through...JUST FUN!!

I must admit that I was a bit nervous with this one. Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov are two of my most favorite authors in this genre, I've pretty much read everything they've written, and have not been disappointed yet, their styles are SO DIFFERNT though! I am happy to report that for me this pairing worked BEAUTIFULLY.

It's a testament to the caliber of writing prowess these two people have that as different as they write, they were able to come together and pull of something so nice and easy to read without either of their voices getting flushed out in the process and without even a hint of imbalance. Like Owen and Malcomn they came together seamlessly...Ok enough with me being a hopeless fangirl! About the boys...

Owen is a California boy who is on holiday in Europe with his friend (and also ex-girlfriend) while in London she is otherwise occupied and Owen ends up sightseeing by himself. Things get interesting when he stops for a drink at a kind of dodgy looking pub. Owen is a pretty relaxed kind of guy, so when this really yuppy looking (and super hot) overly intense dude practically orders him to not drink his beer and have a shot of vodka instead he goes along with it. Hell he is on vacay after all...So one thing leads to another and Owen ends up heading with Mr. Dommy Top to his place for a hook-up (again he's on vacation and some sex would rock)...

Malcolm has a whole Dom routine going that Owen begins to think is nothing but an act. There's a gentle, nice guy in there and Owen knows he's the guy to bring it out. As the weekend progresses, Malcolm makes Owen play a bit more on the edge than he's used to, Malcolm lets go of his hang ups and facade and opens himself up to the fact that this Yank has just thrown down all his walls and has made Malcolm just want MORE, of everything he hasn't thought he wanted before.

These two authors blended this characters so FUCKING RIGHT. The playfulness of Amy's characters, the intensity (with a gentle/honarable core) of Alek's. The erotica was FUN and HOT and even HOTTER. The emotions that developed between where soooooo believable. Good timing can be a miraculous thing, and these boys were ready for each other at that moment, they knew it too.

London was a fabulous character as well, the city was vivid and vibrant just like the real thing. I loved the little details like the streets of London and how just walking a few yards can show you all kinds of different faces of that city.


The ending was FANTASTIC. It was the perfect holiday story, comical chance meeting, intense time together with all kinds of great moments and a sigh worthy ending that went perfectly JUST in the nick of time. I read this story twice over the weekend, and liked it even better the second time around.

Recommend 100% and can only pray this pairing will happen again some time VERY SOON!.



Country Mouse can be purchased at the Riptide Publishing Website






Note: This week's Most Wanted will be up tomorrow! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bartender, PI by Ethan Stone



It's Funny Haha!


This book was exactly what I wanted. Lately I seem to gravitate toward the stories with litte-to-no sex in them. Why? Because there's more STORY in those books. Bartender, PI pretty much has no sex in it. It's fluffy, silly, entertaining fun that had me snickering like third grader who just heard someone fart in class. Good times.


Linc Carpenter gets caught boffing the wrong guy and it leads to him being banned from playing professional hockey. Linc collects his severance check and heads down to his mentor and oldest friend's bar. Soon Linc's a bartender and making people bad drinks, like Long Island Iced Teas with tomato juice in them (Oops!). Then something great happens! Linc finds out that his mentor, Tyson, is a PI and Tyson agrees to train Linc to be a PI too.


Linc's doing the boring work until, While Tyson's out of town, he gets a case where a rich woman wants proof that her famous husband is cheating. This is where the fun begins.Linc is a totally sweet guy who's a little dim but has a big heart and a bigger personality. He likes soap operas, is full of life and being in his head for the duration of the book just made me want to hug the stuffing out of him. Linc uses words that are almost but not quite right and he mixes metaphors as badly as he mixes drinks. The humor in this book is not witty or dry; it's pretty close to slapstick but I giggled throughout the whole thing and was left smiling when the book ended.


When Linc Tries to catch his client's husband, Quentin, cheating he comes up with schemes that you just know are going to go wrong. And, oh, they go hilariously wrong. One of the reasons is that Linc is foiled each time by Quentin's bodyguard, a muscle bound, red haired stud by the name of Brady.


Oh, man, did I like Brady! A big, ginger hottie with a face full of freckles. Brady decides that he likes Linc and he wants the man for more than just sex. I liked that. I liked that alot and I thought it was sweeter than sweet.


And then there's the climax of the story. It was a little messed up but I have to say that I laughed my ass off. In another story I would have been like "Oh, that's not even right" but in the confines of this quirky little tale that crazy scene somehow worked.


All in all, I liked this story a whole lot and if it were to become a series, well, I'd be a happy camper. If you're looking for silly and are thinking of giving this story a try then I'd say go for it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Monday's Most Wanted April 16th-23rd:

HAPPINESS is three of my FAVEST authors EVAH coming out with new books this next week. YES! HAPPY!!!! Like talking to myself happy! The ABSOLUTELY AMAZING Ethan Day has a new book out on MLR Press and I feel like it should be a holiday or something, because I haven't

been this excited about a book in a while. Also
Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov have written a story together and it comes out this week from Riptide Publishing. Excuse while I FRIGGIN SQUEEEEE!!!!
R. Cooper who wrote one of my favorite stories of last yeah A Wealth of Unsaid Words has a new novel coming out from Dreamspinner Press.

So this week I only have three books, but they are all getting read immediately and I am SOOOOOO looking forward to them. Here they are the MOSTESEST Wanted!



A Token of Time by Ethan Day
Release Date: April 20
Publisher: MLR Press
Category: Contemporary/Mystery
Priority Rating: All I can say is that New Ethan D
ay Book Day should be a National Holiday!











Country Mouse by Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov
Release Date: April 23
Publisher: Riptide
Category: Contemporary/Novella
Priority Rating: Like I even need to say anything...
















Play It Again, Charlie by R. Cooper
Release Date: April 20
Publisher Dreamspinner Press
Category: Contemporary


















That's all for our list this week folks. Hope that you all enjoy these as much as we will!

HAPPY READING!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Having A Chat With Author Alix Bekins





If there's one thing that's hard for a book to do it's make me laugh...on purpose. So, when an author approached Laura and I about reading Alix Bekins' book, Written In The Stars, both of us went and bought it but I didn't know what to expect. It was specifically mentioned though that I was going to love this book. By the end of the first chapter I knew that Alix Bekins had just made her way onto my "Authors With Talent" list.


I adored this book so much that not only are you all getting a review but, make sure to read on after the review, you're also getting a little Q&A with Alix Bekins!


Review Time!!

Bailey McMillan is one cranky scientific genius. His career and reputation were ruined by his former employer and, man, is he bitter about that. Now, he's almost 40, pudgy, balding and working at his long-time and best friend John's science magazine as an editor , columnist and fact checker. This is not where Bailey thought he would be at this point in his life.


There's one thing that Bailey loves about working at Spark though. He gets to write a scathing column where he rips apart his colleagues' shoddy theories and work, proving that he is indeed more intelligent than everyone else. Sweet, sweet joy. There's only one downside. In order to write his column every month Bailey has to anonymously write a dreaded astrology column. Oh, woe is him, especially since the astrology column becomes popular.


Bailey says astrology is a bunch of hogwash!

John says there's something to it.

A bet is born where Bailey must date a man from each astrological sign to see if astrology really is accurate. Winner gets a free steak dinner. Let the games begin.


Bailey McMillan is one of the funniest and most curmudgeonly characters I have come across in M/M romance. I absolutely loved him for his acerbic, absentminded, fussy, finnicky and arrogant nature. The man's screename was Genius. I could picture him all but cackling with evil joy while he disproved the work of other scientists. Bailey's friendship with John is one where they bicker like an old married couple. Bailey's relationship with his Czech scientist friend, another genius, is a competitive one where they try to one-up each other constantly. People love Bailey because he's so cranky not despite it and I found myself loving Bailey for the same reason.


I liked that while Bailey was completely confident in his intelligence he was insecure about his thinning hair, stocky body and average looks. What did I like even more? That Bailey's insecurity was not the focal point of the story. It's mentioned but never does Bailey come across as someone who doesn't like himself or who dwells on his imperfections. I appreciated that.


It's also made clear that while Bailey isn't some airbrushed underwear model there are plenty of people who find him sexy. Bailey has sex with at least three of his twelve dates and even has a weekend fling. This story very quietly promoted that fact that no one is perfect and everyone is sexy in their own way.


That brings us to the dates. HILARIOUS!!! This book was like some sort of awesome romantic comedy movie. Bailey goes on these dates with people who are complete characters without being caricatures. The man who looks like a model but who is way too full of himself, the pilot who's a captivating personality and totally sexy because of it, the suit who's young and uptight but a good guy, the germaphobe, the British mystery man with a mind who even though he looks like a slacker bad boy he's got a mind like a steel trap. There were more than a few of those guys that I'd like to see get their own stories.


Now, this book may not be for everyone just because, yes, Bailey does have sex with some of his dates. He and John, however, are not together, not dating and not even really thinking that there's a relationship on the horizon. The sex is pretty much fade-to-black off page stuff until Bailey and John get together. I found this refreshing because it let the dates and Bailey and John's friendship take center stage.


Bailey and John's friendship; AMAZINGLY AWESOMELY FUNNY. Bailey and John have one of the best friendships I've read about in a long while. I really believed that they enjoyed each other as people. They bickered, they sought out each other's company, their banter was hilarious and witty and they knew each other's idiosyncracies. It was their actions that made me believe that they cared about each other. Bailey and John's friendship was an excellent example of an author SHOWING and not TELLING.


When Bailey and John get together I thought to myself "YES!!! These two people were made for each other!"


This book was pure entertainment and I was so happy when these guys got their HEA. This will be a definite re-read for me because the story made me happy. It's a different kind of romance really but I liked that it wasn't formulaic. This is one that I'd recommend to anyone who is looking to laugh and smile. Two thumbs up, Alix Bekins, two thumbs up!


And Now The Q&A!!!


Lad: Okay, so this story has one of the cutest and most original premises that I've come across in the M/M romantic comedy subgenre. What gave you the idea for Written In The Stars?

Alix: Wow, I’m so flattered, thank you! The idea came from a book a friend gave me about five years ago, “Gay Love Signs” by Michael Jay. Its tagline is “the first astrological guide for men in love with men” and it’s very 1970s. I wanted to write something using it as a reference for a long time, and finally the blind date idea came to me, with a really grumpy scientist as the guy forced to go on these dates to try and “disprove” astrology.

Lad: This book unfolds almost like a movie with the 12 different dates, John's jealousy and how Bailey is oblivious. Did you intend for the story to have a movie-like feel?

Alix: I didn’t really, no, and actually I had a lot of concern that the twelve dates would get repetitive and drag. Probably some people feel that they do, but I really enjoyed creating each of the twelve guys, deciding what they’d do on their date with Bailey, and how they would interact.

Lad: Now, let's talk about Bailey. Bailey is the star (pun intended) of this show. Was his character inspired by anyone or is he a result of pure imagination?

Alix: *laughs* Bailey was inspired by an amalgam of know-it-all scientists from my favorite sci-fi TV shows. The kind of guy who is so unbelievably smart… about everything except people. His brain was a difficult place to inhabit; he’s so much smarter than I am about such totally different things than I’ve ever been interested in, and it was a challenge to do him justice.

Lad: The humor! If there is one word I would use to describe this book it would be funny. Was it hard to make the book funny without going overboard and making it slapstick?

Alix: Thank you so much! I’m always a little embarrassed to admit this, but sometimes my own writing makes me laugh out loud. It’s like I didn’t see the joke coming until I typed it, read, it and took a moment to process it. While it’s not easy to write humor, I’ve never tried to pull myself back from being too silly. Rather, it’s more of an effort the other way, to give voice to witty and clever characters when I personally am going through something difficult in my life.

Lad: You've given us 12 different characters in the form of Bailey's dates and there's at least three or four of them that I want to see more of! Will any of the date characters be given their own stories?

Alix: I would love to know which ones you were so interested in! As a matter of fact, the idea of a spin-off has been percolating in my head. I loved this world that I built, and the tone/writing style. I personally want to know what Oliver and Evans are getting up to after they so rudely ditched Bailey at the museum. Sadly, I have to wait for them to tell me their stories; while I don’t wait for divine inspiration to strike, I do feel firmly that I have to have a story to tell rather than simply a desire to write.

Lad: Last but not least, what are your future writing plans? Any stories in the works?

Alix: I am currently exploring my kinky side again, in the form of a steampunk genre story. Since I’ve always stuck with contemporary, I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out or if I’ll even try to publish it. And I’m working on a winter-holiday story as well.


Thank, Alix, for such an awesome book and for the Q&A. I can't wait to see what you come up with next.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Scrap Metal by Harper Fox

Reading this book was like Harper Fox took every single one of my favorite themes in a story combined them perfectly and put them in one of the most lovely settings that I've read, with a tone and voice that read like an ode.

Redemption, second chances, coming home finding home, forgiveness...Faith...Graceful Love...Gorgeous writing...I loved this book.

Nichol Seacliff had home to the Isle of Arran from Edinburgh after his mother and brother died in a tragic accident. Nichol without hesitation assumed his family obligations, he came home to help his grandfather run the farm. He never wanted that life for himself, he had been on the academic track, a linguist. Besides he always knew that his grandfather always wanted his brother Al to be the heir to the farm. Nichol had always been second best for Harry Seacliff, and when he went away to uni the course was set, but tragedy changed things and without a complain he set to work.

One year on Nichol was feeling frayed and like this life, this farm that he had given up his life for without even a word of thank you from his grandfather was eating him up, he was drowning in his discontent. The entrapment was killing him.

One cold stormy night after looking into a noise in the barn, he found Cameron. The man looked half starved and scared to death. He was obviously running from something, and he was not from Arran, but Nichol needed some help and another soul to talk to before he lost himself to the loneliness of his life, and Cameron was just sooooo beautiful. He threw out his better judgement, told a white lie to Harry and from that moment Cameron became a part of the farm, and of the men in it to a point where it seemed like he had always been there.

Nichol and Cameron fall in love, even if it is obvious that whatever Cameron is hiding from and that at any moment it could come back to haunt him. Still they build something together. Nichol and Cameron as lovers, Cameron and Harry as friends, Harry and Nichol find a way be kind to each other for the first time, Cameron finally has a place to belong. Cameron comes in to these two men's lives like some kind of angel, he helps them with the farm (which the are on the verge of losing), he gives Nichol the kind of love he has always needed, he gives Harry a person to care for that needs him.

Scotland is a breathtaking setting for any book when done well, but I think I've read few books set there with a tone to match it so perfectly. There is something to be said of a story done with such precision that it felt like I every page gave it more color, I went from a black and white world, to blinding sunlight just like what Cameron did for Nichol's. I was right there with him. It was lyrical how these characters lived and loved. The look at the hardships of farm life in Scotland, the quiet desperation in their lives, the strong love for the land and traditions, the faithfulness of the the friendships, it was all done so well.

Stories about quiet rural lives with family dramas with multi-dimensional flawed characters are favorite theme of mine, they have such a powerful effect. It's all encompassing, the setting creates the moods, and they shape the characters...All is interconnected.

This is a powerful story, by far the best I've read from this author, and one of the best so far this year without question.

Totally Recommend.

Scrap Metal can be purchased at Amazon.com or Samhain Website.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Coming Home by MJ O'Shea

MJ O'Shea is the Queen of Sweetness in the Gay Boys In Love World...

These boys were ADORABLE, sweet, cute and just GAH! super frustrating at times, but I rolled with it, I loved them so...

Tallis Carrington was the Big Man On Campus in Rock Bay, Washington during his High School days, his dad was the Major of his town and he pretty much ruled the school. He was also a bully and with his posse of cronies he would terrorize the kids that couldn't stand up for themselves, kids like Lex Barry. Lex years still bore the emotional scars (even if they were mostly faded) of what Tallis put him through.

So, imagine Lex's surprise when 10 years later a down on his luck and almost desperate looking Tallis Carrington comes begging for a job as a barrista in Lex's coffee shop. Lex against his better judgement hires the man and to his amazement discovers that the Tallis that came back to Rock Bay after leaving for Seattle in shame from family scandal, was not only a very different man...He was a gay man (a beautiful one at that) that kept looking at Lex with an interest that went far and beyond professional.

Lex and Tallis begin to fall for each other and little by little heal each other from the the past. The past that they had in common, and also the hardships that beat out the arrogance from Tallis when at the age of 17 he had to make it on his own.

These men were so sweet with each other and so loving it was hard for me to begrudge them much. I some times was puzzled by Tallis and his family history he seemed almost too broken to be fixed so easily, but he was so earnest and so in love with Lex and the home, the life he could make with him that I kinda just let go. Even when Tallis his insecurities and childish need to relive a bit of the "good old days", made me want to choke him, I still wanted more for them.

This is a sweet love story, with nice characters you want a happy ending for, the group of friends held up too, they were interesting and made the story richer.

The kind of Romance I love to read.

Coming Home is for sale at Dreamspinner Press

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Top Ten Books With Kids

Books with kids and families? Laura and I (Lad) love them! So, here's a list of the books we love that have kids, and there's one wild card that both Laura and I had to have on the list. Enjoy!


Bewitched by Bella's Brother by Amy Lane (LA's pick)
Love this story, it is soooo sweet and well just has all the elements that make Amy Lane's books a sure thing for me. A lot of love, hotness, angsty and fantastic happy ending. Sebastian and Asa were AMAZING and Asa's little boy Jason just stole my heart. Love this book and it hold up on the re-reads too!

This book is one of my favorite in two categories. For a family book and for a book with older MC's. Richard and Logan were FABULOUS, and Richard's little grandson Nick just sooo sassy. The assistant Trina was a trip. Love this one. Also fantastic on the re-read.


This book I read early on in my M/M romance discovery days and it has a special place in my heart. Peter, Eric, Eric's son Jase, Eric's crazy mom, his best friend the old crone Rose, David the boy that Peter and Eric foster, his boyfriend Sam they are all fantastic. One of the best free reads out there. This book has it all, lovely romance, hot sex, TONS of laughs and BEAUTIFUL moments with these men and their kids. LOVE IT, and IT'S FREE.

Link to download The Good Doctor http://www.mygaystories.com/Stories.htm

                         Breaking Cover (Life Lessons #2) by Kaje Harper (LA's pick)
If I have to do a favorite's list for M/M chances are Mac and Tony are going to show up. These men slay me, kill me and then do it again. Love them and love them with their kids. Tony taking charge of his Godson Ben and Mac with his little girl Annie are a thing of beauty. I CANNOT wait  for book  three. Love these men. 


I fell in love with The Kid and his poetry when I read this book and he's still one of my favorite characters. 

 LA: Awwwwwwwwwww That is pretty much how I can sum up this short story. Lovely sweetness that ended way too soon. Sweet men and sweet baby. What could be better?

Laddie: I love all of Sara Bell's stories, so it's no surprise that I love this one. These guys and their little baby girl are just too too sweet. I re-read this one whenever I want to smile.


My love for this story knows no bounds. This is the first M/M romance where the main characters were taking care of kids and I totally fell in love with it. I fall in love with it every time I read it. AKM Miles writes unabashedly sweet books and this is her best.
 
 Okay, this is a SUPER DARK book but one of the relationships at the core of the story is the bond between Phoenix Love and his five year old brother Echo. Echo is one sweet and smart boy who Phoenix is dedicated to. The love between these brothers actually brought a tear to my eye.
 
This book is the ultimate men-and-their-kids book I've ever read. This is not a book that's plot driven. it's totally about the family and I loved every second that I spent reading it. Little Robbie is just the most delightful little boy and reading about the family in this book warms my heart every time.
 
Sean Michael writes some very uncomplicated and adorable kids stories. I liked this one about two men who split up and then reconnect later in life. It's another book that holds a place on my re-read list.


R.J. Scott is a hit-an-miss for me but I LOVED this short little gem. A manny, a dog, a cute kid and a frazzled daddy. Just too cute for words!



The Gladiator's Master by Fae Sutherland and Marguerite Labbe

This book was HOT...
This bears repeating THIS.BOOK.WAS.HOOOTTTT!

Like I mentioned this book was hella sexy...But that is not the only thing I enjoyed, I really loved the story. Argon/Gaidres is a slave, three years before he was captured when his village was raided by Romans and now he is a Gladiator for the ludus of the House of Lariiana. Gaidres LIVES to avenge what was done to him and those he loved. The only thing that keeps him breathing is the desire to kill the people who enslave him.

After his Master Craxus dies, his nephew Caelius his only heir, comes to take over the estate. Caelius is completely different from Craxus, he is...kind. Kind? Really can Romans even be kind? It seems that this man might really be interested in seeing that the people under him are well cared for. He especially takes an interest to Gaidres, he wants to hear Gaidres opinions, put him n charge of the other men in the ludus. Gaidres is not sure what to ,make of all this. Soon enough, Gaidres realizes that his new master's interests extend to more than Gaidres' thoughts...Caelius brings him into his bed too.

Gaidres sees this new development as an opportunity to continue on his plans for revenge, but little by little he realizes that the closer he gets to Caelius the less he wants to harm the man. He finds great pleasure in Caelius' body, he can't get enough of the man. It drives him crazy to feel so much desire for an enemy, for a man he SHOULD hate. But he can't. Caelius slowly weakens the hardness in Gaidres, and once Faustus, Caelius' little son comes into their world, it becomes even harder for Gaidres to continue on the path he was in.

This book was not perfect, there were liberties taken with the vernacular and the Deus ex Dachina as always for me felt a little shallow...But in the end I still really enjoyed it. The erotica was QUALITY, very well done. The chemistry between these two men was NUCLEAR. I loved Caelius and his patience with Gaidres. Gaidres was SO FUCKING STUBBORN, but I really loved him too. Other than the vernacular being a bit iffy, the setting itself felt accurate though. All in all very enjoyable romance, the last bit was kind of a jumble, but no so all over the place it killed it for me. I knew there was something coming, so it didn't throw me for a loop or anything.

Good solid romance, hot Gladiator with hot Roman Master heating up the sheets, the walls, the floor, the pool, yeah the EVERYWHERE, AND a there's cute little baby to boot!

RECOMMEND

The Gladiator's Master is for sale on Amazon.com and other Carina Press

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Hole in God's Pocket by K.Z. Snow

Well what can you say about a book with a fallen Amish Boy and Ex-Catholic Monk?...It was beautifully written, it was softly paced, it was smart and it pretty much summed up to a T a lot of the things that those of us who read gay romance thing about Christianity's views on homosexuality.

On a night having a drink at his local bar Greg Aubuchon catches a glimpse of gorgeous guy who has had a bit too much to drink and looks like he can use a place to stay for the night. As soon as he chats him up he learns Faron Weaver, is on his way to Chicago after a bad breakup (he only learns later that the girlfriend was actually a boy named Lance).

So, Faron stays on Greg's couch, and the next day, one thing leads to the other and quickly it looks like Faron will be Greg's new roommate. Lenny, his current roommate is moving out soon, Faron needs a place to stay and the whole Chicago thing was just drunken ramblings.

Faron has been trying to reconcile who he is, with his family background and his faith from the time he realized that he was gay...He never tried to fool himself about that or limit himself either. He just took the time of freedom granted to Amish youth as his way of finding what he needed sexually. He wanted sex and he got as much of it as he could. No limitations, he found what he was after, but his inner conflict never really waned, he missed his family, he was riddled with guilt and remorse that his family could never accept who he really was, who would hate him if they ever knoew...He kept himself in limbo...Giving his body to who he was...But not his heart that he kept for his family.

Greg, he went the opposite route, coming from a fundamentalist Catholic family he decided to never to give in to his physical urges he tried to become a monk, and when it was clear to him that he could not do that he came back out into the world to try and live as a gay man. The thing was that he had no clue how to do that.

There they were the promiscous 22 year old boy with too many hard things in his past, and the 25 year old virgin. These two men...They figured out that they could get something really amazing with each other, but it was soooo hard for them to be able to say it. The guilt and the insecurities were too many, so many doubts, so many hang ups...They got it in the end though.

This story to me felt like I was watching from afar like and just getting to look in, like there was a glass between me and Faron and Greg. It's not that I didn't get them or care for them, it's that they were doing all the work and I was just nodding along, if that makes any sense.

This book was full of beautifully worded thoughts on God, Religion, the Bible, men and how they love, accepting yourself and who you are...At times it was a bit preachy yes, but then again certain things can only be said from a soapbox. I totally agreed with most of it, it was bit of a diatribe, to be fair if you are going to give one, doing it this nicely is as fantastic way to go.

So this is a love story sure, but it's also a reflection on what it is like to be a gay man who comes from a world of deep faith an how hard it is to walk that line and come out untarnished or at least whole enough to make a life that's whole.

Very nice read, KZ Snow writes well that we know. This was very understated and simple, but with depth. I would have loved about twice as much, but I did enjoy what I got.

A Hole in God's Pocket is for sale at Dreamspinner Press

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Redemption by Olivia Duncan Craig

Super sweet love story for like 80% of the book and then a big old WTF?!?!?!? Fest for the last 20%...Sighs...I'll explain.

Jason's family has fallen apart. His brother and his parents have been killed, and he is not even sure why. He does know they are being preyed upon by a dangerous man. In order to make sure the three people he has left in the world don't meet the same fate he has put himself for sell as a bondmate. He is asking a steep prize for his contract, but the agency finds a buyer, a man named Devin Blair. Devin is wealthy and handsome and is looking for someone competent that can assist him in his work life, but also for a companion who he can have a satisfying physical relationship without the complications. His marriage ended badly and he does not want to go down that road again. As soon as Devin sees Jason he is very attracted to the man, he's gorgeous and his references are impeccable so he takes the plunge.

Devin and Jason get along well, they have fantastic chemistry in bed and Jason turns out to be more than competent professionally speaking. Thing is, Devin can't help feeling more for Jason than he should. Jason is also falling for Devin's kindness, the man goes out of his way to make sure that Jason is well cared for and that no one ever makes him feel like property. Devin knows that Jason is hiding something, a man like that has to have extreme reasons to end up in a bondmate contract, but Jason keeps that part of himself locked up tight.

These two guys are SOOOOO SWEET together, I really loved the dance they did around each other. Jason especially was so dear, he just tried to make the best of his situation and despite the fears he had and how much he missed his family he embraced what he could have with Devin. Devin is SO INTO Jason, but the guy is stubborn, he just cannot fall into what he is feeling, even if it is obvious that he is in deep. He does try do right by Jason though, even when trying to convince himself that things can't progress to something more than a friendship.

They are HELLA hot together and well just really great to read...Right up to 80% of the book when the whole thing kind of feel apart for me. I have issues with deus ex machina plot devices, they normally feel overwhelming, shallow, and the resolution more often than not leaves me dissatisfied, and with even more questions. That was exactly what happened here. I mean, was prepared for things to come to a head given Jason's back history, it's a no-brainer that shit is going to go down. However, how it all happened just felt weird, it completely yanked me out of the easy flow of the book to that point, but what bothered me most was that I lost the focus on Jason and Devin's relationship which had been the meat of the book up to that point.

I wish things would have been less dramatic so that Devin and Jason could have arrived to their happy ending more sedately and in a way that felt logical. I went from "This is the sweetest book ever" to "What???? Whaaaaaaaaat? WHAT? WHAT THE FUCK?!!!!!!" Normally that is not a good shift for me, especially when I'm at 80% and ready for my resolution/happy ending lap.

Sooooooo do I recommend? Ummm I think so, these boys really were the sweetest thing. Also if you go in knowing there will be some weirdness at the end it might be a better read. I don't like those kinds of surprise,s and the way things went did affect my overall enjoyment.

I hope this author has more stuff in the works, because she can write sweet and easy romance with lots of really great moments and the smexin was awesome...I just did not love that ending.

Redemption is for sale at Amazon.com

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Viking In My Bed by Jan Irving

Jan Irving Has Forsaken Me

This, my friends, is a sad day because on this day I have finished a Jan Irving book and at the end I said "I didn't...I didn't like this book" and then I fell to my knees and wailed the wail of a thousand yowling cats. Yeah, it wasn't pretty.

Where I wonder if these people know what molestation is.
The book started off in classic Jan Irving style with a WTF moment. Bailey, a college student, awakens to find himself blanketed by a large blond viking of a man. And that man, oh, he's not just any man. He's the man who's awakening Bailey by licking and sucking on his armpit. Yummy, yummy sweat in his tummy!!

Yes, yes, I gagged a little too. We were already wading through some unsexy territory, however, I soldiered forward to find that Bailey thinks his friends have pranked him for his birthday by gifting him with a large naked man who liked to role play.

STOP: Since when does someone wake up while being sexually molested when they're supposed to be in a locked house alone and think to themselves "Oh, this must be a party trick!"? Stranger F'ing DANGER!! Rape maybe?! Did Bailey not watch after-school specials on the television?

Where I wonder if someone can really be that stupid.
In any case Bailey is all "Dude, game over, whoever you are."

And the viking says...wait...let me quote directly from the text.

"I am Freyr Grimmson," he said in a language I didn't understand.

Really Bailey? If you don't speak the language or even know what language it is then how do you know what he said? How do you even know his name was a name at all? Freyr Grimmson could mean dog shit for all you know...but again I'm soldiering on.

It so happens that Bailey's best friend Candy then drops by and in the midst of the situation where there is a strange naked man who neither of them knows, Candy decides that no self-respecting viking should go around with unconditioned hair. So, she remedies that but cutting and conditioning Frey's hair and "Mayhap do you want a purple streak, Frey?"

So, there they are giving Frey a cut and style, making him coffee, deciding he must be a viking because he has split ends or some crap like that. Meanwhile I'm calling them idiots and trying to figure out a way to reach into my Kindle and smack the stupid out of them.

Dear Candy and Bailey,

You two don't deserve to breathe fictitious air. I'm just sayin'.

Sincerely,
Laddie

Where I wonder if vikings everywhere will be insulted.
Frey...what can I say about Frey? Frey is a Guardian who, ummm, guards against the eeeeevil eeevil things that live in other dimensions. Every once in a while he gets called forth by a guide so that he can fight. Between the times when he fights Frey sleeps in a kind of limbo land. I won't tell you how but Bailey is Frey's guide and, in addition to laying down his life for Bailey, Frey plans to make Bailey be his woman. Yes,that is actually what Frey says. Yup.

Frey says some other stuff too but I swear the man was two steps away from speaking only in one and two syllable words. One and two syllable words that he apparently bellowed. He was always bellowing. It was like "Frey Smash! GRRR!! Frey make Bailey his WOMAN! GRRRR!!! Frey name is FREY not CONAN!! GRRRR!! Bring Frey Coffee!! GRRR!"

Apparently, Frey was from Norway and if I was from Norway and read this book I would be a bit miffed. Just a bit.

Where I wonder if a plot that makes sense is a thing of the past.
Jan Irving's plots are usually just kind of a filler between the raunchy sex scenes. This time though I think she actually tried to have a real plot. It didn't work. No, it didn't work at all. Here's the reason why; this book was short. It was too short for all of the sex plus a plot that she tried to make intricate or...something. Guardians, guides, possessed and bitter history professors, mystical drawings, creatures from other dimensions, a hawk with a really f'ed up form of bird flu. It was too much and I just gave up caring about it.

Where I tell you again how disappointed I am.
I was REALLY looking forward to this book. I love Irving's crazy imagination and I usually have a lot of fun reading her books. Not so this time. This time I just wanted it to be over and done with.

While I'm not giving up on Irving, I can't recommend this book. I'm going to pretend like my disappointment never happened and wait to see what she comes up with next. Please, please, please let it be cowboys.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Monday's Most Wanted April 3rd-9th:

It's MONDAY!!!! We've got some goodness of the awesomesauce variety, and our Lad has a brand new Talia Carmichael story that's a'callin her name...WOOT!

This week we have not one, but TWO books from Dreamspinner press that I am dying to read. KZ Snow has a book out that looks FANTASTIC, and there is also full length novel by MJ O'Shea who has kinda been delivering in a big way for me with her last couple of books, so it SHALL BE READ. The covers by Anne Cain are AHHHmazing. The woman is a bloody genius people!

We also have a new book by a new author for us from Loose Id that is very intriguing and Ava March's next Brook Street novel is out this week from Carina.

Let's get this show on the road people, I'm in the middle of the new BDB novel and these smutty vampires wait for no man!!

Here is the Most Wanted for the week of April 3rd to April 9th:


Learning from Isaac by Dev Bentham
Release Date: April 3rd
Publisher: Loose Id
Category: Contemporary
Priority Rating: Read ASAP












A Hole in God's Pocket by KZ Snow
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 4th
Category: Contemporary
Priority Rating: Read ASAP












Fortune Hunter (Brook Street #2) by Ava March
Release Date: April 4th
Publisher: Carina Press
Caterory: Historical
Priority Rating: Read ASAP










Coming Home by MJ O'Shea
Release Date: April 9th
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Category: Contemporary
Priority Rating: CAN'T HARDLY WAIT!!!













After the Fall by Talia Carmichael
Release Date: April 9th
Publisher: Total E Bound
Category: Short, Contemporary
Priority Rating: Laddie is reading this the moment it hits her kindle.









There it is peeps, lots of good stuff to read. Laddie has a new Jan Irving in her hot little hands, so expect a Crackattack!! Very Soon...We owe you a Top Ten list and we're thinking books with children. We love them babies!

Have a great week everybody!