Review: All In with the Duke (Gambling on Love #1) by Ava March


Max Arrington, the Duke of Pelham, vows to never again let a handsome face blind him to a man's true intentions. But ten months of celibacy and lonely nights drive him to a decadent brothel, where a beautiful young man arouses his illicit passions as never before. 


Tristan Walsh has grown tired of being used for men's pleasure. But his latest client is different: commanding yet generous, Max makes him feel cared for as well as wanted. Yet Tristan knows he'll never have the choice to leave the brothel and submit only to Max. 


So when Max invites him to be his guest at his country estate, Tristan eagerly agrees to his terms—days to do as he pleases while Max tends to the dukedom, and nights spent together in wicked play. But when the "business arrangement" begins to deepen into something more, Tristan must face the fact that he has no true place in Max's life—or in Max's guarded heart…


I love Regency romances. What's not to love?
Curricles?
Buggering?
Swives?
Being foxed?
Dandies?

Seriously. I would rock the hell outta that. Every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

True, the sexual repression puts a damper on things, but he's a Duke! Money talks.

Maxwell Robert Michael Arrington, Viscount Shelburne, the Earl of Hertford, and the ninth Duke of Pelham is, by all outward indications, one stodgy fellow. It's always the quiet ones. He's taciturn and isolated in his dukedom. Works all the time. You know what they say about all work and no play. Makes for a grumpy grumperton.

Max's friend, Rawlings, encourages him to work off some steam at Mrs. Rubicon's, a brothel, where he meets Tristan. Lovely Tristan. *sigh* Tristan takes Max's breath away with his lithe beauty and delicate visage. However, underneath that dandy of an exterior lies a spine of steel. He's unflappable and uncowed by Max's intimidating presence.

I loved the synergy of their relationship. Tristan brings out the best in Max, encourages him to live his life rather than toil away behind a desk endlessly punishing himself for a stupid, adolescent outburst. Max tries to resist the lure of Tristan's affable and intoxicating personality, and he does a good job of maintaining his stoicism much longer than most would've lasted against Tristan's considerable charms. Max gives Tristan the confidence to rise above his appointed station in life.

This is my first encounter with Ms. March and I went straight into Sharp Love (book 2 of this series); that's how much I loved this story. These two characters… I fell in love with them. They're both so well developed and their story is so compelling, I sunk right into it and didn't want to leave. I fell in love with this world she's created. I actually was hoping there would be a book about Morgan, Max's driver and man Friday. Guess what? Sharp Love is Morgan's book. YEEEEEEEE!

I loved how Max met Tristan on his terms. I loved how verbal they were, the lack of dramatics, that Max never condescended to Tristan, and how he evolved and blossomed with Tristan, but I particularly loved that Tristan held his ground. He didn't capitulate the minute Max showed up on his doorstep.

Don't EVEN get me started on these two in the bedroom… HOLY MOTHER! 

He wanted Max's bare skin beneath his hands. Wanted to have all that power and strength crouched above him, driving into him, driving him to the edge and shoving him over it.

I have a friend who says we don't really talk about what sex scenes turn us on, we just that the sex was 'hot', so in the interest of full disclosure. The kink level is mild with some bondage, edging and spanking, but oh, the way Tristan begs… will melt your tires. I like kinky. This is not news, but one thing that really gets me is when the dominant puts his submissive in bondage and bottoms. It was my favorite scene in Fettered and here. Scorching. Something about a submissive begging to come while fucking his dominant is… yeah. 

I would highly recommend All In with the Duke. It's beautifully written with superb character development. The story did lull for me a bit in the middle, but it didn't last long and in the grand scheme of things it didn't detract from my loving this book to pieces.


Unicorn Favorites: Love's Landscapes Stories : Week Five

The M/M Romance Group on Goodreads hosts a Don't Read in the Closet event each year where they invite members to submit a photo with a story prompt.  Interested authors then volunteer to write the requested stories, which are published for free for everyone to read.  It's a fun/exciting/stressful process, and a great opportunity to read stories from favorite authors.  And chances are, you'll also discover some new authors, who hopefully have a backlist of goodies to check out :)

This year's event was named Love's Landscapes and they started releasing the completed stories on June first. Here at BMBR, we've been following along on comment threads, anticipating the stories from our favorite prompts, and now greedily reading the stories as they become available.

You can read about some of our favorite stories from earlier weeks of the event here. And some of our favorites from the fifth week of the event, June 29-July 5, are below:

Breann: Soaring Past Death by Morticia Knight

Reunited lovers. Aliens. Whips. Collars.(!)

A precious and pretty subby boy.

Can you feel my excitement growing? Can you? S'cause it is.

Awesome sci-fi with so much to offer in under 100 pages. World-building I could see and feel, along with character and relationship development that I could feel and believe.

44 and 13 had immediate tension because of their past. They had me waiting and wanting for them to get through their hangups just so I could see what 44's Dom was made of.

But first, 44 had a mission. I loved how brave 44 was for his family. He had to endure a lot to get there and it hurt him (oh, but it hurt so good), but the mission was his. He totally owned it and was a complete badass with the creepy alien-Lord-dude.

Once it was complete, 44 and 13 were free. Well, 13 was free. 44? Heh. Sexy, sweet boy doesn't wanna be free. Not from 13, at least. They were hot and kinky and I want more. More whips, more floggers and more collars.


Optimist ♰King's Wench♰: Pink Lace and Stolen Hearts by J.C. Wallace
"I don't consider myself a cross-dresser. I like to wear this kind of underwear. I like how it feels. I've worn some other stuff, like stockings and a corset, but I don't want to dress like a woman. I also don't want to be a woman, so I'm not transgender. I think they're pretty, and I like them."
Wooooooooooo baby, come to Mama!
Let's do this!
We'll work our way up the lingerie food chain incrementally.

Greg is a dreamer. Looking for his Prince Charming and so desperate to find him that he's settled for a douche canoe who judges him for his panty fetish. His loss, button.
The only thing that came to mind seeing his hard, lean body was beautiful.
His roommate, Law… *sigh* God love him, he's a little clueless regarding his feels. Everyone and their sister knows he's in love with Greg. I'm fairly certain even people in other solar systems got the memo. His first clue should've been that he drops everything to get to his anxiety riddled roommate every single time there is a sprinkling of rain. Hello, McFly! That's a skosh more than "just friends" wouldn't you say? 

But NOOOOOOOOOOOO what throws the light switch was seeing his roomie in some pink panties.  

Can't say I can fault the man there. *fist bump*

Pink Lace and Stolen Hearts has quite a bit of angst packed into a mere 10 chapters. Mr. Wallace did an excellent job of making Law's apprehension about being attracted to a man for the first time in his life believable. The dialogue was honest and genuine. The secondary characters added to the story in positive ways which moved the story forward.

I liked that the MCs had an existing relationship that evolved rather than going the instalove route. There were some fluffy feels that I'm overlooking in the interest of panty solidarity.

Yes, YES, YAAAAASSSSSSS!!!!

My thanks to Mr. Wallace for hitting me right in the panties. Tip o'the hat, sir.

Lorix: Pink Lace and Stolen Hearts by J.C. Wallace

 Like Wench, my favourite this week from the LL event is Pink Lace and Stolen Hearts. Now seeing as we claim to like different ends of the reading spectrum (Wench's kinky to my sweeeeeet feels), and this is the SECOND book this week we've agreed on, don't be surprised if the world stops turning or pigs start flying or you find a Leprachaun at the end of the rainbow, offering you gold.

Anyhoo - agree we did, so here am I telling my side of the tale. What was good about this sexy little knicker story? Well first of all, let's pause right there and think about that. Sexy knick-knacks on men. Yes please. OH DEAR GOD YES PLEASE. I mean lace and satin encasing all that manliness. Ho hum be still my throbbing...nope, never mind.

Moving swiftly on, and I'm going to shout again, FRIENDS TO LOVERS. Yep, this is my all time favourite story line of always and forever. There is something that just gets me about it - because love should be about friendship first. Friendship is the important part that lasts even on the days when lust doesn't. A good bit of how's your father is always very nice but friendship is the bit that makes my heart beat faster. The trust and love between two friends...OH EM GEE. Then add that lust into the mix and yes, yes, yes....please. And thank you muchly.

Was this book perfect...nope. I really enjoyed the first three-quarters, the UST was so hot but the last quarter I enjoyed less...it kind of moved from real to a bit OTT for me. First time sex is not that good for anyone. Little niggles but not enough to ruin the story. Yep, this little hottie was my pick of the week.Wench and I agree. Now go get your shopping done before the price of bacon goes up.

 
SheReadsALot: The Bigger They Are by Kim Alan
"Normal is overrated"
Tags: BDSM, spanking, discipline, Daddy kink, age difference, size difference, first time, multiple partners, multiple orgasms, rimming, cum play

See those tags up there? This story has earned every single one of them. HARD. I'm rating this all of the damn stars. *twirls around*

DADDY KINK!!! *wiggles*

I wanted this story since reading Mission: X last year and boy did this one up the game. KimAlan (yes, I call her by one name), got smuttier and I appreciate sooooooooooooooooo much!

Charlie and Wren, bodyguard and spoiled rich kid...also a Daddy and his boy. And that anaconda of a trouser snake. C'mon you've seen that prompt pic. It lingers on the brain.

Wren, naughty twink that he is, keeps pushing the limits until his Daddy has to come claim and reign him in. Kinky, delicious, boner worthy and smutty deliciousness. Wren is just enough of a brat to make the story interesting and Charlie is possessive enough to make it work

And as usual, there are awesome secondary characters I'd love to know more about (Ace & Joe with a third search...Devin? I'm not making hints or anything but I'd love some writez on those guys)

And the sex in this story? Look at the tags! Very hot!!!!!

Sunny: Wand-Losing & Other Things You Shouldn’t Be Doing by Gabbo de la Parra

This week, two stories tied for my favorite.  The Bigger They Are, by Kim Alan was deliciously kinky and I LOVED it! Because that story was already included in this post by SheReadsALot, also known as SheHasGreatTaste, I was free to add my other favorite :D

This was so much fun! I laughed and grinned at so many parts of the story, bit my lip at the steamy bits, and appreciated the more serious moments.   Max and Rezzu were an entertaining couple.

Other things I enjoyed ever so much:
Content warning of robotic foreplay
The world the story is set in
The sly, tongue in cheek humor
The dialogue
Rezzu's sister, Keda
The wands...how they are created and how they work

What I wish had been done differently:
I wish we had witnessed the initial meeting.  The Colviri didn't even know the planet was inhabited, what was their reaction to finding the mechanical humanoids?

I didn't understand Rezzu not sharing his mission sooner.  It didn't make sense to me and I wish he hadn't delayed telling Max.  I also didn't understand his reaction to the magic.

The telling of Colviri history and how Rezzu's fathers got together was a little rushed and confusing.

Some of the writing got a little unwieldy/confusing in the last quarter of the story.

Mostly, though, I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

One word to describe this story?
Exuberant  :)

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Forbidden Mate by Toni Griffin


Hello and welcome to Toni Griffin's Forbidden Mate Blog Tour!  My name is Jenni Lea and I'll be your host today.  Here you can read an excerpt of the New! and Expanded! edition of Forbidden Mate, book four in the Holland Brothers series.  Stick around to see us delve into Toni's mind and find out just what it is that inspires her so.  Plus there's a giveaway!  Come see!  Come see!

Finding his mate should have been Patrick Holland's greatest day, instead it turned into a nightmare with one phone call. His mate didn't want him. His heart broke, but at sixteen he was too young to do anything. The next ten years—ten long years— of Patrick's life are spent at odds with his mate. Split by forces he can't comprehend and a long line of misunderstandings, Patrick doubts he'll ever get the man he's both loved and hated.

Jake Richmond never expected to come home from Uni to find the youngest Holland brother was his mate. Knowing the news might uplift his still grieving father, Jake shares the news only to have his young mate threatened. Jake does the only thing he can think of, protect Patrick. The next ten years are nothing but torture for Jake as he watches his mate grow into a remarkable young man.

They say time heals all wounds, but how much time?

Cover Artist: Meredith Russell
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Available at: Amazon, All Romance, Smashwords, and iBooks

Piqued your interest?  Check out the excerpt:

Jake got in his car and drove to the pack running grounds. He had excess energy to burn, and his wolf was demanding to be let out. His was the only car in the car park as he pulled up and got out. Jake stripped where he was, as there was no one else around, and walked into the bush. He shifted, then ran. Several hours later, his thoughts were still stuck on the fact that Patrick Holland was his mate, his very young and inexperienced mate.
     The idea of being Patrick's only lover brought forth a howl of possessiveness. He loved the fact that no other man would ever get the opportunity to touch his mate. Now that he knew exactly who Patrick was to him, it was going to kill Jake not to be near him. Jake had to talk to his father and let him know he'd found his mate, even if he couldn't claim Patrick yet.
     Exhausted after his run, Jake took his time making his way back to his dad's house.
     His mum had died several years before, which had just left Jake and his dad. Jake had never been especially close to his dad, his mum being the one that had held the family together. His parents had been a mated pair. Jake knew his father had loved his mother deeply, they had been very happy together.
     Jake unlocked the door and made his way through the house to his old room. He didn't see the point of having his own place when he was only here for a couple of weeks. He was thankful now that he was staying with his father, even if they didn't get along great, because if he had his own space, the temptation to have Patrick with him would be great.
     He stripped his clothes once again and headed for the bathroom. Jake stopped to look in the mirror. He knew it was silly, but if Patrick liked him with stubble, then he would keep it. He would have to buy a shaver to keep it to the length he wanted as he didn't want to be sporting a full beard. That look wouldn't suit him at all, he didn't think.
     Turning the water on to heat up, Jake palmed his still hard cock and watched as a bead of precum appeared at the tip. Jake stepped into the water and hissed as the hard spray hit his aching shaft. Now he could finally do something about it.
     He grabbed the conditioner from the shelf and squirted a generous amount in his hand, then wrapped his fist around his dick and squeezed hard. Jake moaned as lightning bolts of arousal shot through his body. His thoughts were firmly back on Patrick wrapped around his body as their mouths met in a spine-melting kiss.
     Jake increased his speed, knowing he wouldn't last long. He had been on edge for hours. Remembering the feeling of Patrick's hard shaft rubbing against his own sent Jake careening over the edge. His mate's name escaped his lips at the exact moment of ecstasy as his prick erupted with streams of cum. Jake placed his palm against the wall as he attempted to keep his legs from buckling beneath him as the last shudders of his orgasm left his body.
     Once Jake was sure he could stand without his legs giving way, he quickly washed his body and stepped out of the shower. He dried himself, then made his way back to his room. Jake collapsed facedown on his bed and succumbed to the exhaustion that swept through his body.

     Jake startled awake several hours later as the front door slammed shut. His dad was home, and it didn't sound like he was in a good mood. Every time Jake came home from school, his father had more and more mood swings. Jake wondered how his father would take the news that he had a male mate.
     He hoped the news would bring his father some joy; after all, the man knew exactly what it was like to be mated. It might be a bit of a shock who Jake's mate was, however, Alex had come out several years ago and his dad had told him to each his own. This gave Jake hope his father would be fine with his own sexuality. He had never really thought about coming out himself as Jake enjoyed a well-rounded sex life.
     Patrick had agreed not to mention their mating to anyone, but Jake wanted to ask his father to keep an eye on his mate until he could finish uni and get back here permanently.
     Jake dressed in silence and made his way down the hall, looking for his dad.
     He found him in the living room sitting in his favourite chair watching the news. "Hey, Dad, bad day at the office?"
     "Yeah, you could say that. Pizza for dinner okay?" Arthur Richmond was a large man, with thick black hair and wide shoulders. He had sharp cheekbones, and his five o'clock shadow was as dark as the hair on his head. He was also one of the more powerful wolves in their pack.
     "That's fine, you want me to order?" Jake took the nod as assent and went to get the phone. He placed their order for pizza and then joined his father. He wanted to give his dad time to relax, so Jake decided to wait until after they'd eaten to bring up his new discovery.
     Jake watched the television with his dad until the doorbell rang. He paid for their dinner, grabbed a couple of plates and went back to the living room. They ate in silence until the entire pizza was gone.
     Once Jake was sure his dad had relaxed enough, he gathered his courage and turned to face his father. "Dad, can we talk?"
     His father muted the television before he adjusted his position in his seat to face Jake. They were catty-corner to each other with Jake sitting on the couch. "How's school going?" About the only thing his father was proud of Jake for was becoming a lawyer.
     "Fine, Dad, school's good. It's a lot of information to take in, but I'm doing well." Jake looked his father in the eye. "That's not what I want to talk to you about, though." He really hoped this went well. Jake wanted to be able to ask his father to keep an eye on Patrick when he had to go back to classes.
     His dad looked a little shocked, but his expression still showed love and acceptance of whatever Jake wanted to talk about. "Okay, then, what is it?"
     Jake sucked in a deep breath, then let it out. It was like ripping off a Band-Aid. "I found my mate." Okay, so maybe not quite like ripping off a Band-Aid.
     His dad's expression showed nothing but joy. "That's great! Where is she? Why didn't you bring her home with you?" He was looking around as if he expected someone else to walk out from around a corner.
     Jake winced at his dad's assumption about the sex of his mate. "It's a little more complicated than that, Dad."
     "What's complicated? You claim her and bring her home to meet me."
     "Dad, my mate is Patrick Holland, and he's only sixteen. That's why it's complicated." Jake watched as the love and joy on his father's face changed instantly to anger and hatred. Jake was startled at his father's expression.
     "Dad?" he queried when his father had failed to say anything for a minute or two.
     "Your mate is who?" his dad screamed at him. Jake sat there shocked, not only at the sudden burst of sound in the quiet room, but also the vehemence he heard in his dad's voice, a sound he'd never thought to hear from the man who had raised him.
     "Patrick Holland, the Alpha's youngest son." Jake hoped that the mention of their Alpha might calm his father down, but he was mistaken.
     Arthur Richmond seemed to get even angrier. "I forbid you to claim him!" his father roared as he leapt to his feet.
     Shock coursed through Jake's body as he jerked back quickly. God, he hoped he had misunderstood what his father had said. "Dad, Patrick's only sixteen. I've already told him I won't claim him, at least until after I finish school."
     All Jake's hopes died when his father's next words registered. "I don't care how old the kid is," his father answered, practically biting off each word through clenched teeth. "You. Are. Not. Going. To. Claim. Him! I. Forbid. It.”


Now that we have your attention, let's get to know Toni a little more.  

Welcome to our blog, Toni. *waves*  Forgive me for gushing but I'm a HUGE FAN of yours.  Your stories are so creative and I find them fascinating.  What inspired you to write them?

Thanks for having me here today. Inspiration comes from so many different things for me. All I had to do to be inspired to write Unexpected Mate was to leave work. Literally, pulling out of the driveway and bam, an idea starts to form. A Bear in the Woods (currently my only book set outside Australia) was inspired by a cabin in the Smokey Mountains I shared with some amazing people, some of which happen to be very talented authors. I will remember that cabin, the drinking, the eating (my first ever s'more), the long conversations around a huge wooden table, completely covered with laptop computers, and the hot tub for a very long time for come. The opening chapter of that same book is inspired by the nightmare travel day I lived through just to make it to that cabin.

Other little things inspire me. A theme for instance, Once a Cowboy, Archie's Accidental Kidnapping and Finding Connor were all written to a theme. Although Finding Connor, being Sci-Fi took me a little longer to become inspired, as that so isn't my normal genre.

Other times I'm inspired by something I've seen or something someone has mentioned to me… I haven’t had a chance to fit them all into a story yet, but I will find a way. One such instance of this was when I was driving home from celebrating my birthday at my brother's house last year. I pulled up at a roundabout behind a paddy wagon (Cop car with cage on the back) and there jumping up and down in the back, yelling his fool head off is a guy… A completely naked guy, his tackle swinging in the breeze for all to see… Needless to say I sat there and chuckled. But that got me to thinking… Why was he naked in the first place? And a story was born… Now I just need the time to write it.

There's not a great deal that make me crazy, I'm a pretty laid back Aussie girl, apart from not finding enough time in the day to write everything that I would like to. Unfortunately with a full time EDJ and a child my writing time is severely limited. Unless of course I have a major deadline and then I just take time off work.

Well, there you have it folks.  Thank you for stopping by, Toni.  Feel free to return any time.  No really.  Any.  Time.   No, I'm not a stalker, I promise!

Author Bio: Toni Griffin lives in Darwin, the smallest of Australia’s capital cities. Born and raised in the state, she’s a Territorian through and through. Growing up Toni hated English with a passion (as her editors can probably attest to) and found her strength lies with numbers.

Now, though, she loves escaping to the worlds she creates and hopes to continue to do so for many years to come. She’s a single mother of one and works full time. When she’s not writing you can just about guarantee that she will be reading one of the many MM authors she loves.

Feel free to drop her a line at info@tonigriffin.net anytime.

Author Links: info@tonigriffin.net


There is a giveaway that will be available throughout all blog tour stops. The prizes are 1 E-copy of Forbidden Mate and 2 $10 Amazon Gift Cards. Enter with the Rafflecopter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck, and thank you for stopping by!


Also, check out the other tour stops:



A special thanks to Will at Pride Promotions for providing the Rafflecopter used during this tour.

Review: My Brother's Keeper by Adrienne Wilder - The Trilogy

The My Brother's Keeper Trilogy

The town of Gilford has a Big and Terrible secret hidden in the ground.
Infecting those it touches.
Exploiting their darkness.
Consuming their souls.
It’s hungry. It’s vile. It’s evil.
And it wants out.

Book One: The First Three Rules:
Marshal Jon Foster lost his purpose and his sanity the day he saw the image of his dead brother. The distraction saved Jon’s life but cost the lives of innocent people including his best friend and partner. It was a price for survival Jon couldn’t live with and was sure he’d never understand.
Driven by grief and guilt he tried to escape his past by fleeing to a small town in the middle of nowhere. Only instead of peace, the memories festered.
Then the offer of a stick of gum from a stranger changes Jon’s life and puts him on a road out of the nightmare he’s trapped in.
Ellis Harper has lived the past twenty years isolated from the outside world and sole caretaker for his mentally disabled brother, Rudy. While Ellis loves his brother, he longs for a life he’ll never be able to have.
Shut away, his days consist of chores, endless cartoons, and games of Go Fish. A world that seemed to have no end until an innocent misunderstanding turns Ellis and his brother into a target for a town bully.
It’s a fight Ellis can never win on his own but thanks to a chance meeting with a stranger, he doesn’t have to.
What begins as a new journey in love for both men quickly unfolds into something neither of them could have ever imagined.

Book Two: Rule Four and Five:
A new chance at life comes in many forms: For Jon it’s a family made with Ellis and his brother Rudy. For Ellis, it’s Jon, who has brought the outside world into the protective life he’s built for his mentally disabled brother.
Together they have discovered true happiness and what it means to be loved.
Then one perfect disaster after the other pushes Jon’s resolve to its limit and Ellis over the edge. If they have any chance of saving what they’ve built both men must face their deepest fears.
It’s a test Jon thought he’d already passed and one Ellis never imagined he’d have to face. The journey will forever change who they are and redefine who they were meant to be.
It has to happen.
And all things happen for a reason.

Book Three: The Final Rule :
Ellis and Jon need answers.
What is there to understand?
Why does it have to happen?
And what reason could ever justify losing those you love?
If only there was a simple answer. But the more questions they ask, the farther they must travel into the darkness and the things they see are not human, or even possible.
They are, in fact, Big and Terrible.
The plague is rising in Gilford. To stop it from spreading Ellis will have to embrace his destiny and Jon will have to let him go. Both men must be willing to lose everything in order to save the innocent.
It is, after all, rule number six


(3.75 hearts rounded up to 4)

There was a lot to love about this trilogy - and I will say it is a series where you need to read all of the books and read them in order. Adrienne Wilder's characters are hurt and damaged. Jon, witness to his brother's terrible death as a child has never been able to let it go. As an adult and a US Marshal he has seen more tragedy and evil than any person could hope to deal with. On the precipice of choosing to end his pain it is the chatter of a mentally impaired man, Rudy, that brings him back from the brink. Still not coping with the demons in his head, his life slowly becomes embroiled with that of Rudy's and his brother and carer's, Ellis.

Ellis has been caring for Rudy his whole life. Although Rudy was an adult when they lost their parents Ellis was but a teenager and it was only through the help of, now retired officer, George that Rudy and Ellis were able to stay together as a family. Their life consists of routine. Routine is what keeps Rudy calm and is a life he can relate to. He has rules he has to follow to help keep himself safe and life easy. But one day the temptation to touch the silky hair of the girl in front of him at the supermarket becomes too much and an evil enters their lives.

Ellis is innocent, his life has been spent looking after and protecting his brother. Jon metaphorically crashes into their family and causes unintended mayhem. The two fall in love but it is not without it's difficulties and Rudy's needs must always be taken into consideration.

The My Brother's Keeper Trilogy is a about love and hate. It's about good and bad. It's about trust. The storyline of this book was enthralling, at the end of book two and in the third book it really starts to evolve into the story that's been hinted at all the way through. There is something more in Gilford than meets the eye and Jon and Ellis are tasked with stopping it.

I enjoyed the author's voice, she has a great way with words and it is very easy to envisage this small town and it's problems. Her characters were individuals, and old George, the retired officer, was a particular favourite of mine. Though at times I did wonder how he had so much influence with the police force seeing as he was retired.

The one niggle I had with the book was the sex. It felt gratuitous to me at times and sometimes just inappropriate. When the characters are angry or upset they have sex. Sometimes this is cool - but a lot of the time it took me out of the story I wanted to know about what was happening with the main storyline not about Ellis and Jon bonking. Maybe it's because I found it hard to relate to - with one particular trauma in book two sex would be the last thing on my mind. That said, it could - and is very likely - just a niggle I had. In fact I can imagine the look of horror on the other unicorns' faces when I say my only complaint was too much nooky.

If you like a story with dark undercurrents then this is likely to be a good choice for you.

Guest Review: Deliver Us (Deliver Us, #1) by Lynn Kelling

Darrek thinks he is just a straight, hard-working but lonely guy. When he decides to try a session at the private BDSM club, Diadem, Darrek is unprepared for the life-changing encounter with beautiful, powerful and very male Dominant, Gabriel. Once they cross the line, nothing is off limits and nothing is enough as they crave ever more – more trust, more pleasure, more pain, and more devotion. Carefully buried secrets and abusive pasts are revealed in the chaos.

Novel (145,000 words)
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, BDSM
 
Reviewed by Vivian

Like anal beads through the hourglass, these are the gays in our life.

This was one epically HAWT story. Like Sexapoolza for S&M. One's gotta like some decent pain with a firm, but caring hand to enjoy this. The opening scene starts with some serious CBT, cock and ball torture. Cringe worthy. There's no warm up as one of the main characters, Darrek jumps straight into the deep end.

And this is where I had some of my first misgivings and perhaps alienated other readers. It's Darrek's first time visiting the club and frankly, it was a little loose with the safety rules. To be fair, Gabriel seems to respond immediately to Darrek's needs and safeword.

Now, I hope you like it spicy because the story just keeps on with the hits. Sadism continues with some intense figging which leads to a whole host of activities it explores: fisting, watersports, more fisting, needle play, barebacking, chastity, orgasm denial, prostate milking, medical play, sounding, anal beads, vacuum beds/mummification, mmmm...

So yeah, there's sex. Like a never-ending Chinese noodle box of sex. And, it is HOT. Trust me, if you're looking for sexy times, WINNER. Alright, I'm on board with the sexfest, but there is a weird disconnect in the tone of the book between embracing intense BDSM and the appropriate rules/actions and faux reality TV. There's a drama llama, telenovela quality to the crazy ride of Darrek and Gabriel and their counterpoints, Kyle and Ben. I also had issues with moments where the characters' speech and actions were not ringing male.


And I’ve let Ben—my Master—I’ve let him do things to me. I was trying to save some stuff, some parts of myself, for you, even though, logically, I knew I’d never have you.

“Just ignore me,” Kyle grins, wiping at his eyes. “Must be my time of the month and hearing your awesome love story.”
Then there's the head hopping conga--Everybody join in. The tennis match POV makes multiple appearances. At some point, even good sex is... enough already. I like sex, but this is nonstop let's throw in everything including cleaning the cum out of your ass in the kitchen sink--seriously. Editing, this would have benefitted from aggressive editing. Some flashbacks are unnecessary and just there's just too much. This book is over 400 pages and could have easily cut 25% and felt tighter. It's an inelegant sprawl.

Now come some of my personal peeves. I have major issues with persons using toys/equipment that they've never used that are dangerous and potentially lethal. I have major issues with characters playing psychiatrist, especially since they know they're messing with Gabe when they're doing it. I am also not thrilled with the implication that persons who want to practice these sorts of activities have some mental disorder. Individual reader aggravation will vary.

So, when it came to rating this story I had a difficult time. How do I judge it? Pure entertainment value, it is 5 stars for the plentiful and creative sex if I think of this as fantasy erotica. If I judged this as a contemporary erotic romance it would be closer to 2 stars. I think reader expectations really determine whether or not one will enjoy this and since it straddles two sub-genres that makes it complicated.

That said, the content of the scenes are ridiculously hot and play into fantasies well and as long as one views it as a HBO show and not reality, it works.

Review: Noticed Me Yet? by Anyta Sunday

Jacob’s in a pickle. He needs a new flatmate, and soon. And what better way to advertise than on the noticeboards around campus?

Trouble is, someone is taking down his ads.

Jacob writes to the offending thief, little expecting to be answered—and soon he finds himself in a deeper pickle: who is this Mr. X that he keeps writing to?

And how can Jacob be falling for him?




Well, that may have been the cutest “meet-cute” in the history of all “meet-cutes”.

Jacob is a college student looking for a new flatmate, but someone takes down all his notices. Needless to say Jacob is not happy and leaves a note on the bulletin board for the thief. Well, as one note leads to another, Jacob strikes up a kind of relationship with the mysterious Mr. X. The back and forth on the bulletin board goes from antagonistic, to curious, to anxiously awaiting the next note. There are three potential applicants for the spare space and all Jacob knows is that one of them is really Mr. X. But which one???? Also, will Jacob choose wisely????

Most of the story is told uniquely through the notes on the bulletin board. The clever banter back and forth is really well done and I could see the connection between the two of them growing through them, even though one’s identity is a mystery. Jacob interviews each applicant and then spends a little extra time with them to figure out which would be the best fit. Problem was, each of them was a potential good fit and Jacob was falling for the Mr. X in the letters pretty hard, how was he to reconcile that with the real life applicants?

At the same time Jacob is working on a project with his ex, his long-time friend, and first love. This part of the story was so well done and cleverly handled. Whenever I read about someone coming off a breakup, I feel badly for the next guy. There is always that niggling little voice that makes me worry the ex will show up, the MC will be torn and new guy will get hurt. That always breaks my heart a little. In Noticed Me Yet? the ex is there, but the closure is perfect and it shut that niggling little voice right down. The presence of the ex did lead to a little minor drama, but thankfully the angst was short lived and Mr. X and Jacob worked it through, so communication between them continued.

I have to say, I couldn’t have been happier at the moment of the big reveal. Mr. X was exactly who I wanted it to be and while Mr. X was a little worried he would disappoint Jacob in real life, he had no reason to worry as Jacob couldn’t have been happier either!

The resolution of the room worked well and while it was slightly convenient it wasn’t implausibly so. The epilogue worked it’s magic and the final notes made me swoon.

This is the perfect little morsel of a love story to read in between heavier or angstier reads, highly recommended way to spend a little time.

This is one of Jenni Lea's favorites and her love of it made me jump on this one to review. Read her thoughts here on Noticed Me Yet?

Happy Hour Chat: Shane and Trey by Anyta Sunday

Hi there, and welcome to the July Happy Hour Chat here at Boy Meets Boy Reviews! Today, we're in a sitting-around-the-dorm-room-gossiping mood as we chat about Shane and Trey by Anyta Sunday.

This book holds the distinction of having multiple versions, and we unicorns unknowingly read two different editions. You'll spot it in the chat (and it definitely was cause for laughs), but please know that we all enjoyed this book, regardless of the edition. :)

Anyta Sunday will be July's Author of the Month, so keep an eye out for more reviews of her stories and an interview with her later this month!




Audrey: OKAY, WE'RE ALL HERE!
Sunny: woohoo!
Justin: Is Natrasha new to our group?
Lorix: I miss Jo too.
Audrey: Jo's in Vegas.
Audrey: VEGAS.
Jenni Lea: Natrasha FTW!
Natrasha: what up corns
Lorix: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas?
Natrasha: Natrasha is a staple of every group
Audrey
Here's a quick copy/paste of the blurb for Anyta Sunday's Shane and Trey!
Shane is a little bit screwed. He has just started college and is stuck rooming with that bastard Trey. His sister's boyfriend. His sister's damn fine boyfriend. Uh-oh. This so wasn't going to happen. But try as he might, there's just a little too much to ignore between the two of them...
Lorix: Oh and GKG.
Lorix: Right.
Ann: YAY LORI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jenni Lea: It better NOT stay in Vegas! We unicorns have NEEDS!
Lorix: T-ruuuue JL!
SRAL: Hello everyone.
Natrasha: (((has anyone else not finished this book?)))
Sunny: Can I just get one thing out of the way?
Ann: bring it
Audrey: What's up?

 So, what does Sunny have to get out of the way? What does the Unicorn Mafia think about Shane and Trey? And where do we actually realize we read two different editions? Check out the chat after the jump to find out!


Review: Jay Walking (Peckers #1) by Jacques N. Hoff

Welcome to the avian shifter world of Undercover Peckers. Where love is instant the moment you find your mate. Where there’s only one true pecker for every man. Where the sex is so hot it will singe your tail feathers. Where bird-watching is both a recreation and a preoccupation—that usually leads to feathers flying.

Simon Spoonwell—intrepid bird store owner and history geek—knows avian shifters exist. With so much myth and lore, there must be a touch of reality. But he doesn't expect his proof to come in the form of hottie cop and blue jay shifter Jay Azure. It’s an innocuous ticket for jaywalking that brings them together, but an inescapable attraction, a love of awful puns, and a shared need to protect the vulnerable will make them true mates.


When we saw this book was coming out and it was set in the world of Undercover Peckers and there were super cute cartoony buns on the cover, we figured it was pretty much written just for us. :D I said, "Yo, 'corns, I'm reading this book that looks like it's made from snarky adorability, anyone want in?" Well, doy, of course they did! Breann and JL literally flocked to this one too and below are our thoughts and ramblings about the Undercover Peckers - ENJOY! We did!

*disclaimer - I lamely tried to come up with bird names for all of us, and I was going to go with swallows, because when you're in love you swallow - amiright? Then I couldn't find a swallow that started with J for Jenni Lea, so she ended up a java titmouse because it made me laugh. Sorry JL. #notsorry

ANGOLA SWALLOW ANN - 4 HEARTS

I had so much fun reading this sweet and unique shifter book!

*hugs book really hard*

When I saw in the blurb for Jay Walking, a welcome to the world of Undercover Peckers I thought, “Why, yes, I would like to visit this world thankyouverymuch!”

And look at the cover! LOOK AT IT! Cartoon buns don’t get much better than that and I really like to think of myself as a true bun afficianado.

Anyhooters - Jay Azure is an arrogant cop with no real friends and a serious case of burnout. Simon Spoonwell is an unassuming bird enthusiast and owner of Bird in the Hand. Both men use their own methods to keep from getting too close to other people so they’re a couple of lonely souls until the fateful day when Jay gives Simon a ticket for jaywalking.

Jay is a bluejay shifter who has grown up alone, being bounced around through the foster care system after being tossed from the nest/left on a doorstep as a baby. And really, this one of my favorite aspects of the story, he didn’t understand any long line of flock tradition, etc. that we usually read about in shifter books. He was totally on his own and has been winging it (heh, winging it) his whole life. He uses his cocky attitude and overwork to keep his distance from others and that seems to be working for him until he meets Simon. Jay doesn’t really have a concept of “mate”, why would he, he just knows that something in Simon speaks to everything primal inside him and Jay has to get to close to Simon. There were so many fun little moments as Jay and Simon did their snarky bantering mating dance. And really, Jay’s mating dance was adorable.

Reading Jay’s evolution from a cocky loner to a lovesick dove was so sweet. He really had no clue what he was doing and that made him all the more charming.

A plea/request/shameless begging of the authors – More Calvin in the next book! I loved, loved, loved Simon’s assistant. He’s got some great lines and is a great balance with Simon.

“I may be a nineteen-year-old ginger virgin, but even I’m relatively sure that food, flattery and fucking are reliable standbys.”

Yup, I love him.

BANK SWALLOW BREANN - 4 HEARTS

Let me start with some reasons:

1. There are naked buns on the cover.
2. The series is titled Peckers.
3. There's smut and snark aplenty.

So, obviously, Jay Walking was fantastic.

Jay meets Simon when he spots him jay walking and proceeds to issue him a $250 ticket for his offense. Upon meeting him he realizes that this man is his mate. Instead of being smooth he continues to give him a ticket and becomes an arrogant mess. It was hilarious and totally drove Simon away.

Because of their unfortunate introduction, it takes some convincing for Simon to agree to even see Jay again, let alone be with him. But Jay's persistence was endearing and charming, especially given what a grumpy character he was in the beginning. It was cute to see Mr. Tough-Guy so set upon impressing his mate.

Oh, the snark. These boys were funny. They had some great banter given the mishaps in the beginning of their relationship, and the humorous dialogue continued throughout. Even the awful bird puns were funny.

Jay Walking is adorable, shifter fluff. Definitely recommended!

JAVA TITMOUSE JENNI LEA - 4 HEARTS

What a great story! It was flufftastic and full of SMARK! Jay Azure (yeah, I get it) is a blue jay shifter all alone in the world. But does he let that get to him? Oh no! He has his snarky countenance and rough exterior to protect him from the baddies (i.e. everyone) of the world. That is, until he meets Simon Spoonwell, a nerdy little shopkeeper and bird watching aficionado. What follows is an adventure full of mishaps, shenanigans and shameless bird puns. And the watusi, because really, what bird lovin' book is complete without it?

Review: Handsome, Hard, and Delicious by James Cox (Handsome Heroes #2)

Travel the universe, meet new people, and find some nice ass...what was wrong with that plan?

Layden had to take it one-step further and fall in love with a man his complete opposite. Lavender was of the Feline clan while Layden of The Golden Wolf Clan. The sex was fantastic. It was everything else that was the challenge. Although, every big fight ended in a world-class romp.

Even with all the yelling, Layden fell in love with the lanky, finicky Lavender. Until the day their past came to find them and Lavender is kidnapped by his own people. Now Layden must find his problematic mate and save him before Lavender is lost forever.

Prepare for some epic failures in escape plans, frottage in a space suit and a handsome twink that plays dirty.

Get your own Handsome, Hard, and Delicious Here


Hey Kids! Welcome to Sunday Funday!

Remember way back when . . .  when BMBR first started, you were there, we were there, it was awesome! Our very first Author of the Month was the very Handsome, very Hard, and very Delicious James Cox. What a very brave man he is. After thanking him (and probably apologizing) to him profusely for coming to play in the clubhouse, we learned that he is just as awesome as his sentences.

Our very first Happy Hour Chat was for Handsome Hero Wanted, hop on into the way-back machine to check it out. Now, we Unicorns don't agree on everything, or much for that matter, but we ALL agreed we wanted more. More handsome, more heroes and mostly a story for Lavender and Layden, the sexy canine and sassy feline from Handsome Hero Wanted. The hero gods listened and this happened.

A SEQUEL TO HANDSOME HERO WANTED
may I present . . . drumroll please . . .

HANDSOME, HARD, AND DELICIOUS
Lavender and Layden's story!!!!

*group hug and inappropriate groping to sequel*

Before we get to the reviewing though, I have to share something that really blew us away. We are not an easily shocked bunch, but when we saw the dedication page for Handsome, Hard, and Delicious? I'm not gonna lie, we were floored. And so very, very flattered. Thank you James, you have touched us right in our cynical little hearts and we LOVE you!!


Yes - THAT just happened!



Sunny - 4 Hearts

I had so much fun reading this story!

Snarky humor + steamy sex + charming sweetness = classic James Cox story :)

Some unanswered questions/plot holes, but I didn't even care, there were too many great lines that kept me laughing.

“Happy?” Lavender practically hissed the word. “Or do you want me to get on my knees and suck you off?” Actually, I did, but I had a feeling Lavender was being sarcastic.

Enjoy this for the silly, sexy, sweetness it is :D

Breann - 4 Hearts

"I'm going to save you for three reasons; your handsome, always hard, and fucking delicious."

Ahhh, yes. The words. They make me giggle.

So, I'm kind of in love with Layden(!) and Lavender. In HHW, I really enjoyed Lavender's snarky character but, for me, it was Layden who really stole the show in HH&D. Lavender was an annoying little brat in the beginning (...and throughout most of the story). He needs a good spanking, he does! Luckily, he has Layden there to deliver.

Amongst their arguing and banter (of which there was plenty) Layden just loved Lavender and it showed from the very beginning with the crappy house he bought for his mate. Yeah, crappy house is crappy, but it was sweet and thoughtful and I was a goner for Layden right then and there.

Their adventure was well written and fun. I love that they stopped to have sex when they were being hunted down by the enemy. I guess there's no better way to go, huh?

The romance was much more developed than the first in the series and was more relationship focused rather than smut focused (of course, there's definitely some fantastic smut!).

I can't wait to see where the series goes from here!

Ann - 4.5 Hearts

“Big balls on a cock!”

And the sentences just keep on coming! While I absolutely LOVED Handsome Hero Wanted for all its sexy fun times and brilliant sentences, I may have loved this even more. Why? One word – LAYDEN! No one writes a hero full of sexy snark like James Cox. I thought Kallan from The Triple Towers series was my new book boyfriend, but then I got to read all about Layden. Don’t tell Kallan, because I do love him, but Layden – oh hell! Layden is big, wolfy, possessive, sweet and so snarky, he’s basically walking swoonage. Plus, he’s head over heels in love with Lavender.

Lavender is the feline brat that drives him crazy with frustration and lust. Their battles and banter were great to read. The adventure in this one is really ramped up and while Lavender likes to drive Layden crazy just for kicks, he also has some reasons for not wanting the crappy house that Layden bought for them and for making Layden nuts. As it turns out Lavender is pretty protective himself which turned him from a brat to a hero with the revelations that came to light. The continuation of the world building just keeps getting better and knowing that this series is continuing makes me one happy unicorn.

Probably my favorite thing though, was the romance. Not ridiculous hearts and flowers schmaltz, but flawed heroes who really love each other; faults and all. That aspect really made this a fully fleshed out story for me and made me appreciate these characters all the more.

Besides the romance I loved:
1. Space Suite Frottage, seriously!
2. This sentence:
“I tried to get my head working, the bigger one, and despite rumors, that was not the one between my legs.”

Audrey - 3 Hearts

I enjoyed this little action-adventure story that let me revisit the characters from Handsome Hero Wanted. Layden (POV narrator) was so incredibly in love with Lavender that it made me all warm and fuzzy inside. I kind of would have liked to see them fall in love, but I took what I got and enjoyed it nonetheless. The book could've used another pass through by a close-reading editor who would have caught things like excited vs. exited or titled vs. tilted. That said, this one is fun, and the adventure is imaginative and exciting. Silly, sweet, with sexy smut, too, Handsome, Hard and Delicious will put a smile on your face. :)

Lorix - 4 Hearts

Handsome, Hard and Delicious is good James Cox fun in a nutshell. It's PWaLP - Porn with a little plot, and the smexin' is hot. Before I go any further can I just say, that cover....it's smokin'! Oh and the dedication. MWAH!

If you like your MC's to have sex at every available opportunity - even when they're on an escape mission, then this is the book for you. Throw in some rope play and a foursome and you're good to go. Wink, wink.

JC's sexy, sarcastic sense of humour comes through in Layden and of course, everyone's favourite, Lavender. A fun and sexy little read.

Justin - 4 Hearts

Thank you, James, for writing Layden and Lavender's story! I know we begged for it, but I'm still humbled by it and the awesome dedication!

Handsome, Hard and Delicious is an action-adventure romance between Layden, our wolf bad boy and Lavender, the feisty twink with the feline bloodline. It's a kickass fun book to read yet it was so damn HOT I kept taking breaks to let my eReader cool down. Ok, maybe it was me that needed to cool down. o_O I'm talking frottage, ropes, spanking and a foursome with a dual dick dude....can you say SCORCHING!? And the snark, OMG I loved the snark between Layden and Lavender. Picture Lethal Weapon with Danny Glover and Mel Gibson fucking between every shootout and that's HH&D.

This wasn't perfect (how in the hell did Lavender escape Vishtar once they were on Felintasion?) but it was so much fun, I loved every crazy minute of it anyway!

****************************

So, there you have it. Thank you again to James for always being such a good sport, a gentleman and a Unicornian Hero!




* a copy of this book was provided by the author for an honest review *


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