Review: Spooky Ginger Love by Kendall Morgan

Keith Norwood, a handsome African-American gay bear, came to Camp You-Mee's Bears Haunted Halloween Boo-Nanza Extravaganza for some cheesy holiday thrills and a little ass. A fan of the one-night stand, he thought all he wanted was to get laid. The camp’s cute assistant manager with a fantastic butt was Keith’s first choice.

Instead, he loses his way in the haunted woods. He finds his way and himself with the help of Ronnie Gans, a big, friendly, hairy redhead, who is unlike any one-night stand Keith has ever had.








Bears? Check
Ginger? Check
IR? Check
Ass fucking? Check

This is a SRAL recipe of goodness. Seriously, friends pointed this out to me because these are all the things I love. Ghosts? Not so much but non ghost lovers don't have to worry, it's not scary.

After reading, Spooky Ginger Love...I'm not in love. This was a PWP/erotic novella mash up that was okay. Decent writing with a heavy dose of telling instead of showing. This would not be a story I'd recommend for a stroke fic because it takes too long to get to the smutty bits. By the time you get there...it's over.

Keith is a bear on a Halloween weekend bear retreat. He's looking to plow some bottoms and have a nice time. During the weekend, he meets Ronnie, a mysterious ginger.

Red alert: SRAL has gathered all sorts of bear traps and honey pots based on this blurb alone.

The blurb screams PWP, ami'right? Well, too much filler to be PWP. And the sex was a 2 out of 5. Now I have to rate it based on the novella...the repetition of how great of a player black gay bear Keith was became boring. He's 6'4", a stud and makes all the boys dicks go concrete. But show me instead of telling me over and over. Keith can get any man he wants. Why Ronnie? And why did Ronnie even like him?

There were mysterious hookups during over the weekend, a ghost mystery anyone could solve and surprisingly a HEA.

There were elements that worked (when Keith stopped high fiving himself and talking about his gazillion one night stands, he had a sliver of vulnerability, Ronnie's back story - if Ronnie was supposedly "out" why was he in the closet with Keith, etc) I wish were more developed since this story didn't work as a PWP.

I'll put my bear traps back.

For more information on Goodreads!

Review: Lost and Found by Ashley John

When 18-year-old Charlie’s unreliable mother tells him they are moving across the country to live with her mysterious Aunt Evelyn in the sunny town of Surf Bay, he isn’t surprised. After spending most of his life moving around the country with his mother and younger sister, picking up his life and starting somewhere new is second nature to him. 

19-year-old Oliver is one of those guys that everybody loves. Most people would describe him as good-looking, cheeky and confident, but when Charlie meets him working as his Great-Aunt’s gardener, there’s only word that springs to his mind….arrogant.

Charlie quickly finds a job at the local surf club, but his initial joy quickly vanishes when he learns that Oliver also works there. From the first moment Oliver lays eyes on him, he knows that he wants Charlie, and when he discovers that he’s a virgin, he sees it as a new and exciting challenge which he accepts, even if Charlie tells him he isn’t interested in guys.

Oliver wants Charlie’s virginity, but he doesn’t count on finding something else along the way… Charlie feels pressure to look after his family, so he tries to ignore Oliver’s relentless advances, but he starts to feel something new…something he’s never felt before…something exciting… 

Does Charlie have the power to resist Oliver’s charms?







I have to say that I was slightly nervous about reading this book, I'd previously read The Secret by the same author and it didn't really work for me. Despite my, less than glowing, review last time, the author asked if I would be interested as he had taken on board what I had said and hoped his writing was improving - for this attitude alone I agreed. And boy am I glad I did.

I can see such huge improvements in this story, I was hooked by the characters immediately - even though I didn't particularly like Oliver for a start. He was predatory and pushed the Charlie's boundaries in a way I found uncomfortable, but that was all part of his character. He wasn't the nicest of people to start with and I liked how his character changed and grew throughout the story. 


Charlie I really liked as a character, he could easily have come across as a bit of a drip, yet he didn't. He had his beliefs and reasons and he stuck to them - he was strong when he needed to be. The secondary characters were wide and varied, maybe at times a little clich├ęd, but nothing awful. I'm really keen to read Porter's story, which is next in the series. He strikes me as someone with an interesting background.


At times the characters acted in what I would call an irrational manner, it was a bit insta love - then I remembered back to being eighteen and put myself in their shoes. It is easy to feel so much more then, to overlook rationale and be lead by hormones. So really, what felt at times rushed, was actually just in character. Kudos.


It wasn't perfect - some spelling and grammar errors, nothing that pulled me from the story. Maybe I'm contradicting myself a bit here, but I would have been happier if it was set over a slightly longer time period - possibly that's just because I'm old! Occasionally the story felt a little convenient. These are all easy to fix and things that come with practise.  I know this author has a big fan base and I can't believe the difference between this and the last book of his I read. There is definitely talent there, it is, like anything, just in need of honing a little. I really look forward to reading more from Ashley John and I would advise others to keep their eyes out for his future works.


Find out more about Ashley John at Goodreads.

A copy of this book was given to us in exchange for an honest review.

Review: All Fired Up by Morticia Knight

Officer Shawn Everly patrols the Strip. Fireman Trent Marshall saves him when danger strikes. But it’s uncertain whether Trent can save himself from getting his heart broken by Shawn.

The party never ends on the Las Vegas strip, but neither does the danger. Officer Everly is new to the beat, having recently relocated to Vegas from Los Angeles. Foot patrol on The Strip is a demanding assignment because he’s up close and personal with the public. But what he’d really like to do is get up close and personal with Station 32’s hunky fireman, Trent Marshall.

Trent has been a fireman for over ten years and is dedicated to his job. He’s built tough and is a no-nonsense man of few words. At a local blood drive, Trent meets the handsome new officer on foot patrol, but won’t let himself get too close. He’s lost love before when his policeman lover was killed in the line of fire.

During an emergency, Trent’s over-protective instincts kick in when he believes Shawn is in harm’s way. He ends up embarrassing and angering Shawn in front of their fellow officers, which seems as though it will end any hope of Trent having a chance with the young man he can’t push from his mind.

Shawn can’t decide whether he wants to punch or kiss Trent. Kissing wins. Once they spend some time together away from the stresses of their jobs, they find that they’re not just compatible—they’re combustible.

But Trent can’t seem to accept that there are hazards that come with working in law enforcement. Right as they’re discovering how much they mean to one another, the danger escalates on The Strip. The underground vigilante group, The Citizens Against Immorality, have raised the stakes. Will Shawn and Trent be their next targets?






Shawn and Trent have already been eying each other. They feel the chemistry (so does everyone else around them) but neither will make the first move. Luckily, Trent has no self control and decided to carry Shawn away from a dangerous scene. Yeah, you can guess how well that went over with Shawn, but hey, it's a fun way to get the ball(s) rolling. Heh. 

Police and firefighter? Yes, please! Trent was way overprotective over Shawn, but it made sense with his past and I liked how they worked through it together. I especially liked that it didn't become an all the time issue. Shawn allowed Trent to take care of him, even if it was overboard at times. But he let him because it made Shawn happy. 
"It was kind of cute how Trent melted around him, turned into a fuzzy teddy bear worrying over him. A warm squishy feeling gathered low in his belly. He was guilty of some melting too."
I love when macho guys turn into goo.

Shawn was alpha to a point, but not in the same way as Trent. In a pairing like this so often both men are super-alpha so Shawn's character was a nice change. Once their relationship really got going I really liked them together. They had a nice balance. Shawn dealt with Trent's alpha tendencies perfectly. Such a hardship, I'm sure. Plus, he was the perfect bottom for Trent. 

Trent and that filthy, dirty mouth of his. Oh, the things that boy says. He got Shawn all nice and worked up, he did.

It took a while for me to get into this. It was as slow start and I wasn't really into Trent or Shawn in the beginning. Also, a whole hell of a lot of stuff happened on the Vegas strip in a short amount of time. It felt a little unnatural at times but that didn't last for too long and I really loved the last half of the book.


Great start to what is bound to be a hot and fun series. Cops and firefighters in Vegas? Yeah, definitely a winning combo.

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more info on Goodreads

Blog Tour & Giveaway: All Fired Up by Morticia Knight


We're welcoming Morticia Knight to the clubhouse today with an exclusive excerpt of the upcoming All Fired Up, plus an awesome giveaway!

Officer Shawn Everly patrols the Strip and one night, fireman Trent Marshall saves him when danger strikes. But it’s still uncertain whether Trent can save himself from getting his heart broken by Shawn.

The party never ends on the Las Vegas strip but neither does the danger. Officer Everly is new to the beat, having recently relocated to Vegas from Los Angeles. Foot patrol on the Strip is a demanding assignment because he’s up close and personal with the public. But what he’d really like to do is get up close and personal with Station 32’s hunky fireman, Trent Marshall.

Trent has been a fireman for over ten years and is dedicated to his job. He’s built tough and is a no-nonsense man of few words. At a local blood drive, Trent meets the handsome new officer on foot patrol but won’t let himself get too close. He’s lost love before when his policeman lover was killed in the line of fire.

During an emergency, Trent’s over-protective instincts kick in when he believes Shawn is in harm’s way. He ends up embarrassing and angering Shawn in front of their fellow officers, which seems as though it will end any hope of Trent having a chance with the young man he can’t push from his mind. Shawn can’t decide whether he wants to punch or kiss Trent. Kissing wins. Once they spend some time together away from the stresses of their jobs, they find that they’re not just compatible—they’re combustible.

But Trent can’t seem to accept that there are hazards that come with working in law enforcement. Right as they’re discovering how much they mean to one another, the danger escalates on the Strip. The underground vigilante group, The Citizens Against Immorality, have raised the stakes. Will Shawn and Trent be their next targets?

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, Thriller
Publisher: Totally Bound
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Purchase Link:  Totally Bound

Exclusive Excerpt:

      He led Shawn through the open living room that boasted sliding glass doors looking out on a covered patio and small patch of lawn, a Jacuzzi tub at one side. They stepped into the small dining room, the long kitchen to the right. Shawn set the blue and white container on the sand colored tile of the counter.
      He glanced around. “This is really nice. I like the deep greens, the dark woods.”
      Shawn paused then faced him, too beautiful for Trent to believe he was real.
      “Outdoor colors.” Shawn swallowed, his edginess clear.
      Trent gazed at him, took in everything that was Shawn and thanked the universe that he stood before him, in his home. The magic that had been simmering between them all day bubbled to the surface. Trent held out his hand and Shawn stepped forward to silently take it.
      With their fingers laced together, he guided Shawn down the hall past the dining area, into the master bedroom at the far end. As soon as they were inside the room, Trent turned, pulling Shawn to him. He grabbed the back of his head with one hand and his ass with the other. Plunging into his mouth, he took what he wanted. It wasn’t gentle like it had been back at the rocks, he wanted to claim Shawn, demand that he give him everything.
      Shawn opened up, clutching at his shoulder blades. They both ground against one another, and the need that washed over Trent engulfed him. In between hungry kisses, they tilted their heads at varying angles, moving in then pulling away. It was a joyous battle as their tongues swept through one another’s mouths, Shawn surrendering himself to Trent’s passion. The urgency built, their breaths accelerating. Trent ran his hands possessively over Shawn‘s body, Shawn clinging to him. He broke their kiss but didn’t let go.
      “Let’s take this to the shower.”

4. Shawn is a photography hobbyist and his new favorite subject is Trent in his hiking shorts.

About the Author:
M/M and M/M/F Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys a good saucy tale – after all, who doesn’t? Since she loves several genres, you may find your heroes in a contemporary, historical, paranormal or sci-fi setting. One of her passions is bringing people's fantasies to life on the page, because life is too short for even one boring moment. Her stories are volcanic in heat, deep in emotion, and sprinkled with doses of humor.

When not indulging in her obsession for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. The Pacific Northwest is the ideal spot to enjoy both hiking and beachcombing. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She now resides on the northern coast of Oregon, where the constant rain and fog remind her of visits to family in England and Scotland when she was a child.

She is currently working on the Sin City Uniforms Series and a BDSM spin-off to the Gin & Jazz series entitled The Hampton Road Club. A follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey’s story in Rockin’ the Alternative will be available in 2015.

Author Links:
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads


There is a giveaway that will be available at all blog stops. Enter in the rafflecopter below to with a $25 Amazon Gift Card + a signed copy of All Fired Up!
  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and thank you for stopping by! 

Tour Dates/Tour Stops:
October 13: Andrew Q. Gordon
October 15: Jade Crystal
October 20: Prism Book Alliance
October 22: Inked Rainbow Reads
October 23: Tara Lain
October 29: My Fiction Nook
October 30: Cate Ashwood

 A special thanks to Will at Pride Promotions for his assistance.

Group Review: Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires (Baal's Heart #2)

Reunited once more, the crew of Baal’s Heart must make the long and treacherous journey south to the towering spires of the Devil’s Isles. The path through the mountain range is fraught with peril; mayhem and tragedy plague the pirate ship, but what the men find beyond the spires is the most shocking of all.

In this sequel to the acclaimed Caged, the pirates are dragged into a dangerous new world by Captain Baltsaros’s all-consuming obsession. In the midst of terror and chaos, Jon learns that the captain and first mate have been keeping secrets from him. But will the truth tear them apart?








Ann: 5 Hearts


I actually have to keep this review pretty general, if I didn’t it would be, hold on, let me check to see how many pages are in this book . . . 380. So my review would be that x 2. I’d be mostly rambling because trying to navigate the mind fuckery would take at least that and more to explain. The first three chapters were the perfect way to start Book 2 in this series. The back and forth for each character filled in blanks, gave reminders and made me anxious to get going on this adventure. That being said, I’m actually not going to say a lot about the adventure. You have to go into it without any preconceived ideas of what’s coming, because the absolute crazy ass stress about the whole thing is half the fun.

This is an example of my rambling notes and thoughts – obviously taken out of any context but you’ll get the idea:

Tom has never had any power sexually and now he does? Maybe? It’s scary. Scary to him, confusing to Baltsaros and arousing to Jon. Baltsaros is the only person Tom ever sought out. Did Baltsaros ever really understand that gift he had been given? Or maybe he did, hence the guilt. Or maybe he only did once he had Jon. Or maybe I just have no fucking clue, should stop taking random notes and get back to the reading.

So, Ann, conflicted much? Conflicted yes, confused no. There was a lot going on but it was so well done it kept the angst from being the story and the marrying of the adventure with the evolution of their relationship dynamics was fascinating.

Sacrificed really explores the relationship between Tom and Jon. I loved it and it was everything that each of them needed. But, it wasn’t complete without Baltsaros and something is off with the Captain. And, I don’t mean his usual “off” self, but something is changing, he’s hiding something and for fuck’s sake I had no clue. I pretty much wanted to strangle him so many times! It’s bad enough that they can’t explain how they feel to one another because they don’t even understand it themselves, but throw in there some kind of plan the Captain has in his head and there is no way to figure out what’s coming. Now, take all that and put them in a situation that could end with them all dead in pretty horrific ways and you’ve got yourself a story to power read.

What I find incredibly brilliant about this series so far is the fluid dynamics with the three main characters. Their “roles” were pretty well established after book 1, but it was all still pretty new and really could have gone in any number of directions. Book 2 takes all that and chucks it out the porthole. The perceived roles are still there, but the evolution of the characters as they grow and change is well written and flows organically making it easy, yet sometimes painful, to follow. Because they do change, they change a lot and it’s totally believable. It makes me see the effect each one has on the other, both good and bad.

These three have their perceptions of themselves that are not wholly accurate. Perceptions of each other, also not accurate and perceptions of what they think the other believes of him. These guys are mind fucked before they even leave their bed in the morning. Jon really does change everything and he sees more than Tom and Baltsaros are capable of. Jon knows that the other two are scared; scared of being vulnerable and scared of being broken. Neither of them thinks so and in their misguided attempts to protect Jon, they end up pissing him off instead. Well, turns out a pissed off Jon is a very bad thing. He’s become much more “pirate” living his new life and while it was a big change from when he first came aboard Baal’s Heart I think it was a necessary maturity in him to survive in this new life.

Jon also is the catalyst for the evolution in the relationship between Tom and Baltsarsos. He’s changed them both and he’s really screwed up their perception of ‘normal’. The two of them have been pouring the love and protective feelings onto Jon because they can’t do it with each other. That was the piece that was missing. Jon has become the glue that keeps them together, but he is also the one person keeping them apart. Not because of anything he’s done, but because of the fucked up perceptions in Tom and Baltsaros’ brains. Baltsaros’ brain is the wild card in this one and while Tom is his outlet for his evil and Jon is his outlet for his tender side, the lines are getting blurry and are starting to cross. What’s funny is that when they do have a pretty reasonable feeling like jealousy or protectiveness they think that feeling is somehow wrong and they try to bury it.

So yeah, conflicted. But seriously, in the best and most fascinating of ways.

Before I just end with, “Why the actual fuck aren’t you reading this yet?” I have to take a sentence or two to talk about Tom. Tom, the completely brilliant and insightful sexy beast with the scarred body and the ocean eyes, Goddammit he’s awesome. He can distill a situation into a sentence that makes so much sense on every level. He doesn’t over think, he just knows. He knows how to deal with Jon and Baltsaros better than anyone he knows how to survive. I love that as the story continues he’s really owning his strengths and letting them play out. He was completely intriguing in book 1, but now he’s my hero.

#TeamTom

SheReadsALot: 5 Hearts



I don't know how to convey my joy that is in my marrow for "Sacrificed:  Heart Beyond the Spires", book # 2 of the Baal's Heart series. Forget that I thoroughly love pirates. Forget that a hero with a damaged heart, mind and/or soul will always call to me.

The words. 

These words from this story are filled with so much heart, passion and love of well fleshed out characters, I can't not rave about them. When an excellent, well plotted story is delivered like this one, I always get a loss of words. I could discuss the book all day. I would rant and rave about the characters for days. Fan girl gush: There was dirty talk with a few of my favorite words in a scene!

“Does it occur to you that maybe you've burned me out? That I no longer care whether what you spout is truth or lie?”
The second book in the trilogy is hands down one of my top five reads of the year. And surprise, surprise, so is its predecessor, Caged. (See the review of book #1, in case your interested - it is not suggested for you to read out of order) This is a book that will not be for everyone, it's dark. Darker than book #1 and if you're put off by kink [breath play, blood play, wax play, mind fuckery] or have triggers: attempted rape and violence, then I wouldn't suggest this.

Bey Deckard has written quite the follow up to one of the best triads I've ever read. Jon, the empath virgin who was alone for most his life, Tom, the damaged first hand that is quick with a fist and Baltsaros, the evil captain that can't help being possessive of his boys. This is how I picture a triangle to be, there are intimacies between the three and sometimes a branch of two men, jealousies and a bond that can't be denied.
“Yes, fine. Savvy,” she muttered.
“Aw lovey, yer a fine-lookin’ woman, it’s not that,” Tom said apologetically. “All jokin’ aside, if it ain’t the captain, or it ain’t Jon…” He shrugged again. “There just ain’t anyone else.”
Sacrificed could be considered a character study of each main character. I got all that I asked for in my first review and then some:

-more kink (see above)
-keep that adventure coming (this was pirating and fantasy-gasm adventure)
-more info on Baltsaros (we got more info into that dark and devious mind)
-more of Tom (I am floating from the gift, wonder and character that is Tom. Thank you Bey!)

My list has been answered, my kinky pirates have upped the game tenfold. This book was intense. Consider book #1 to be the foundation of an awesome tale, book #2 is crafting the titanium house. The men have grown: Baltsaros is learning to be a human, Tom is learning to open himself for more than Baltsaros and Jon is learning how to be a man (he makes some mistakes but who doesn't?) The boys aren't 100% set in their ways as yet, there are fluid parts about them but you can not deny they make each other stronger.

“Tom reached out and let his knuckles graze Jon’s arm, a hidden touch just to ground him for the span of a heartbeat. Maybe Jon would turn a blind eye. Maybe they’d continue to live in denial that they both loved a fucking monster.

Jon smiled at the brief caress, and Tom felt his chest get tight.”
If Caged was more about Jon and Baltsaros, this book is definitely more about Jon and Tom (I so wanted to learn more about this side of the triangle - not disappointed) We travel to beyond the Spires, to a bloodthirsty land with a mystery behind it. The groundwork laid in Caged comes together. The suspense is subtle but intense, the action even more so. I don't want to spoil all the good parts, so I'll quit before I spill.


Highly recommended - this is why I read for stories like this. I have high hopes for book #3:

- Tom!
- learning about Baltsaros
- kink
- Tom!

I can't believe this author started publishing this year, this book is more fine tuned and effortless. I hope there are more stories to come from him and it doesn't end. *hint hint*

Book #1 made me propose to the author. This book is like a honeymoon and vow renewal all in one.


#TeamTom4eva

 
For more information check out Goodreads or Booklikes! Today is release day!!

Author of the Month Interview & Giveaway with Kim Dare


The lovely Kim Dare is our October Author of the Month.
Henceforth, she shall be known as Daisy Bonny Hooves:
the author who put  into 
kink.

Essssited Unicorns are essssited!



Flashdance essssited.

And now for the question and answer portion:


1.  You always seem to choose the most perfect words to show the reader what is happening. There isn't a lot of excess wordage. Do you work at that, agonizing over which words to write, or does it come easily to you? 

It’s probably somewhere between the two. I tend to write first drafts reasonably quickly without second guessing myself over individual words. (On a good day, I draft over 2000 words per hour.) My natural style is quite sparse, so I usually under-write and have to go back and add in a lot of details when I edit—that’s when it becomes about trying to find the right word for a particular situation and a specific character. 

When it comes to excess wordage, I try not to tell the reader things that I think they can work out for themselves. Sometimes I misjudge it and things get complicated, but when that style works, I think it has the potential to work very well.

2.  We loved your Loves Landscapes contribution, any chance you'll be writing more about Xander and Malone? Oh please oh please oh please?

I didn’t originally intend to write anything else about Xander and Malone, but I do have one or two ideas that it could be fun to look into. Maybe I’ll try to fit in a short story or two between my bigger projects  

3.  What projects are you currently working on?

My big project at the moment is a novel called Axel’s Pup. It’s a Male/Male, Human/Werewolf, BDSM erotic romance. It’s far longer than any other project I’ve worked on (it’s currently about twice the length of Duck!), so there’s a bit of a learning curve involved for me. While I love all my characters, I have to admit this one feels special to me. I don’t know if it will prove to be popular, but I do think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. It will probably be released early in 2015.

In the meantime, I have two short stories due to be released in November. Hard at Work is a Male/Male, BDSM, office romance. It’s a cute little story that was really fun to write and it will be released through Resplendence Publishing on November 12th

There’s also a free short story called Tony’s Move that catches up with Tony and Donovan from Worth a Shot that will be posted up on November 2nd*. It was great to catch up with them and see how things had progressed for them.

4.  For someone as young as you, you're quite prolific. What inspires your work?

I’m not sure about inspiring my work, but the reason I’m prolific is probably an odd one.

I’ve had M.E. (sometimes referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) for over 17 years. For big chunks of time, it’s been toward the more sever end of the spectrum. 

When things are bad you’re caught in a difficult place. You can’t do anything because you’re exhausted, but you can’t sleep because you’re in too much pain. You can’t read to take you’re your mind off it, because you can’t tolerate the light on, and even if you could your vision is too blurry and you’re too exhausted to move your eyes from one end of the line to the other. Even music and audio books become impossible because you can’t tolerate any kind of sound. 

So, all you can really do is lie by yourself in a dark, silent room for days, weeks or even months at a time. 

You can’t think about yourself and how ill you’re feeling, because that’s just depressing. You have to find something else to think about. 

My solution was to make up stories—lots and lots of stories.

5.  What experiences have shaped you as a writer?

I don’t think about it so much as experience, but I think that being aware that there are some people who might need a little extra help finding their happy ending has shaped a lot of what I write.

If the world was a fair and just place, when someone like Ori was being taken advantage of at the nest, someone like Reynard would notice and step in to look after him. 

If things worked the way they should, when someone like Donovan is struggling to put himself back together after surviving an abusive relationship, he wouldn’t be written off as a “pathetic little woobie”, but he’d meet someone like Tony who is willing to take the time to understand and help him.

It’s not always easy to fix big problems in the real world, but in the books you can make sure that each character gets what they need to find their happy ending. I like that.

And I like to be able to write stories where the characters who find their happy endings are people like me. Kinky people, and people who aren’t straight, should be able to live happily ever after too. That’s important.

6.  Do you enjoy, in some sadistic way, writing shorts that leave your readers craving more?

The short answer is no, lol. The long answer is, well, longer.

There’s a few different reasons why I’ve done so many short stories. Some are purely practical. A lot of calls for submissions for particular projects have specific word counts attached to them. And, if certain publishers are only interested in receiving stories of a certain length from you, that’s pretty strong incentive to focus on stories that length. 

Sometimes, a particular idea or scenario simply doesn’t lend itself to a long story. Short stories require less conflict and that can make them fun to write. 

The other reason, and the one I find most difficult to deal with, is that sometimes I just haven’t been physically capable of writing longer works. The longer the story, the more information you have to be able to hold in your head at the same time, the more important it is to be able to work in sustained blocks of time. 

The maths is quite simple. Longer books take stamina, and when you don’t have that stamina, you can’t write long books—no matter how much you might want to. 

Rapid fire questions:

Waffles or pancakes?

I think American pancakes are a bit like what I’d call pikelets. I like those with butter and jam on them 

Coffee or tea?

Tea, always. But hot tea—never understood the logic of the iced version. 

Chains or rope?

Chains. Love the sound they make and they’re far less fiddly than rope. 

Tennis or soccer (football)?

Not a huge fan of either, but I do love the rainbow laces campaign that’s taking place in UK football at the moment. 

Beads or plugs?

Plugs.

Sour candy or sweet candy?

Both 

Floggers or crops?

I prefer the sensation of a flogger, but like the marks left by crops—especially ones with shaped toppers. 

Glitter or tinsel?

Glitter.

Warming lube or flavored lube?

Applied to me or to someone else? Warming for the former, flavoured for the latter.

Unicorns or… some other mythical creature?


Werewolves. Love werewolves. Also partial to avian shifters, lol.

*gasp*

Alright. Werewolves need love too and they have that whole KNOTTING thing going for them so… we unis won't take it personally.




Daisy is a very clever horse with deep, mysterious eyes. She is bonny and bright as the breeze, and she likes to tap dance on rooftops. 





Huge Unicorn thanks to Ms. Dare for agreeing to participate in our glittery, rainbow, fluff filled shenanigans.


And we have a giveaway! One lucky responder (please include your email in the response) will be entered to win both Worth Waiting For AND Worth a Shot in ebook form. If you've already read both, Ms. Dare has graciously offered up her backlist!

Awesome author is awesome.

*This short will initially be released on Amber Kell's blog then on ARe.

Group Review: Handsome Men Suck (Handsome Heroes #3) by James Cox

A lot of potent drinks, a horned man with a tail,and high heels...

All caught on camera with a drunken Kendrew at the center. This fiasco leads to a career demotion and jokes behind his back. All that changes when he’s sent in the middle of a space war that could become a fatal adventure.

King Leith of the Golden Wolf Clan isn’t impressed with the new peace negotiator, Kendrew. Even less so when the talks break down and missiles start flying. Kendrew finds himself in harm’s way, horny, and still regretting that one drunken night. Add in a crash landing and some nasty creatures bent on eating them...call it a party from hell! The question is, will they survive?

Be Warned: m/m sex, sex toys, rimming, spanking, bondage, public exhibition.



"Be Warned" - Oh James, you are so cute. "Warning" us is like offering us the bestest candy with all the glittery sprinkles and we love the hell out of you for it. This series just keeps getting better. It’s just so damn fun. Fun and sexy. Fun and sexy and full of patented Cox magic sentences. Breann and I have a few faves in our reviews, but just because they are awesome and for your viewing pleasure, please enjoy the following:

Kendrew: "Keep my eyes open, cock in my pants, and don't flirt. I got it."

Kendrew Again: "Focus." I nodded. "Sure. No problem, right after you fuck me."

Trifecta of Kendrew: "It was a bit creepy since it was dark, on an alien planet, and all I had to defend my life was my hard dick."

Kendrew is pretty much always hard. Tis why we are so enamored of him and all his charms and I could go on like this all day. But, we have actual thoughts on the story too, so while Breann and I brawl over Kendrew we'll leave you with our reviews . . . .

Breann - 4 Hearts

"'We show them your potential.' 'You want me to flash them my dick?'" <-------- Our hero, my friends. The loveable, dick obsessed, oh so clueless Kendrew. How I LUF me some Kendrew. So, Kendrew takes nothing seriously, much to his brother’s dismay. His brother sees the potential, but Kendrew has only one thing on his mind. Dicks. Dude’s seriously obsessed. But lucky for him he crash lands somewhere with the ever-so-sexy, Leith. Leith is the king of the Wolf clan and Kendrew is supposed to be negotiating and keeping the peace between the wolves and the felines. Not getting into the guy’s pants.

For the love of cock, thank the gods he does anyway.

Leith is one sexy, hunk of a man.

"When I have you in a submissive position, you will address me as your king."

*THUD*

Besides all that, I really liked Kendrew and Leith together. They were cute and fun and had some priceless banter. I definitely found myself giggling on more than one occasion.

"If there was monsters in there, I shall fight them off with my hard cock."

*giggle*snort*

If you’re looking for serious sci-fi, turn the other direction folks. This is pure fun and entertainment on a sexy platter.

Ann - 4.5 Hearts

Handsome Men Suck starts where we left off in Handsome, Hard and Delicious. The Golden Wolf Clan and the Felintasions are in a space standoff. Vishtar refuses to leave without Lavender and there is no way Layden is letting him go. Layden’s uber alpha hot brother, King Leith is incredibly protective of his brother, yet he’s really a pretty reasonable ruler. Kendrew and his alpha bro, Captain Millidon are sent into moderate and diffuse the tensions between the two sides. Leith is staunch in his belief that Lavender is going nowhere, but he is open to a peaceful resolution. We already know Vishtar is a whackadoodle so this is going to be a challenge.

Kendrew and Millidon are polar opposites, so, just as Millidon is all about honor and duty, Kendrew is all about his dick and his heart. Of course he’s not going to admit he’s really a big softy with a terribly bruised heart, he does have his pride. While we don’t really learn the source of all his heartbreak, it’s obvious he’s been hurt repeatedly. He’s a tough cookie with a flawed, yet totally appealing coping mechanism. He basically will do any dude willing to do him. He’s full of snark and charmingly distracted by sex constantly.

“I let my cock take lead and it lead me down the wrong path. There was no coming back from this. Coming, I grinned then frowned. Why couldn’t I get my mind off my dick? We were trying to prevent a war here!"

But every once in a while he’ll come back with something like this that lets you know how much he’s been hurt and why he’s done some of the things he’s done:

“I want it brutal. I want to forget every man that broke my heart. I want to drown in delight.”

Sounds pretty reasonable actually.

When negotiations take a turn for the worse and he and Leith have to take an escape pod away from Leith’s ship, the two are forced together. Alone. And Kendrew is “a walking, talking pile of horny”. Such a great setup. Kendrew’s pretty ok with this turn of events and Leith’s stoic shell starts to crack. Their time was full of sexual tension and anxious adventure while they waited for rescue. Kendrew never loses his charm and he’s definitely one of my favorite Cox characters. He and Leith make a perfectly balanced pairing. The story had just enough adventure to give it extra dimension without taking away from the developing relationship between Kendrew and Leith. I love the smexy fun in this series and can’t wait for more!

Check it out over on Goodreads!

***A copy of this story was provided by the author for an honest review***

Review: Dance (West End #1) by Teodora Kostova

Jared Hartley is happy. He has a starring role in a popular West End musical, great friends, adoring fans and his own flat in Central London. A relationship is not something he has ever really wanted. Making big plans for the future is not in his nature – Jared is content with his single status and enjoying all the benefits of that lifestyle. He doesn’t even realise something is missing in his life.
Until he meets Fenix.

Fenix Bergman has a dream – to perform on Broadway. When he gets offered the lead role in Poison – a new musical based in London, he accepts, immediately recognising the huge potential of the show.

Fenix thinks he has his life completely figured out – he will move to London, help Poison become the new West End hit and bide his time until Broadway comes knocking on his door. He has never wished for anything else but proving to himself and the world that he is a performer worthy of the biggest theatre stage.
Until he meets Jared.

Jared and Fenix’s lives collide and they fill each other’s missing pieces. Neither of them expects to feel so much, so fast for the other.

Neither of them expects to need someone so badly when love hasn’t even been in their plans.

But when Fenix’s star becomes too bright for London, will the dream he’s chased all his life ruin the dream he’s holding in his hands?

Will he survive getting everything he’s ever wanted?

Will Jared?


Hot cover, right? Paired with a promising (albeit long) blurb. The cover is my favorite thing about this book. I can stare at it all day.

This is MF author Teodora Kostova's debut MM Romance story based on an insta-love moment between theater performers, Fenix and Jared. They have a lot of sex in short period. They go through volatile ups and downs and whirlwind love throughout the novel from the moment they are together and they are together for all but 15% of the book, so that is saying a lot. set in the West End in London, the two are given a story fitting to how they were written.

I will be totally honest, this type of writing style does not work for me.

This is all telling, no showing with characters that relate to pop culture fairly well and leaves no legwork for the brain. It 's a very popular style of writing. I'm not knocking it, sometimes you just want a book to escape from reality where nothing needs to make sense as long as you get a beginning, a middle and HEA, who cares about the details? Who cares if the characters read like a early 2000's soap opera? Who cares if there are adult men acting like teenagers? This works better if you don't want substance in your fiction (and substance equates to depth and dimension - not the oodles of sex or MANtrums (Fenix needs a nap with all his hissy fitting)

And you know what the kiss of death in a story is for me? When the main characters are considered perfect.  You open the door to prove how imperfect the characters really are, no matter much it's stuffed down a reader's throat (and there is tons of repetition so it's said A LOT) Jared was "beautiful" and "perfect". Fenix was "beautiful" and "striking" and "perfect". Everyone wanted in their pants, paparazzi were all over them, all their childish antics were excused because their love is a love I guess this mere mortal can't understand.

This is Fenix:
Striking ice blue eyes, everyone wants him and he is as deep as a Ken doll. Ladies and gents, are you interested?
This is Jared:
His hair is darker and his eyes are navy blue but the scowl is spot on because he's super jealous and possessive of Fenix. You can't stare at Fenix too long or he'll mess you up. And then have massive amounts of hawt sex to make up for his lack of characteristics. And lack of depth, he's just as hollow as Fenix.
Aren't they dreamy?


The main characters start off basically the same person. They know what each other are thinking from the moment they meet. Both had tragedies seven years ago, they are only children, they perform for the theater.  They can tell what the other characters' are feeling and thinking too with mere glances. Hell in the beginning, their best friends had the same reactions and emotional range, they were basically the same person too. No real distinction with those two until later in the story but it was faint.

I have a simple way of seeing if a story has substance because there's too much sex to cover the main characters not having enough charisma to carry on this too long novel (the last 22% was unnecessary) take out the sex...do the main characters have a leg to stand on? No? Then you have a weak story. These two fell into instalove insta-dick. They had nothing going for them but sex/lust in the beginning. And another popular writing technique along with the major telling is having the characters narrate the story through unnatural dialogue. It didn't happen all the time but it was a major chunk. It's a pet peeve of mine. But this is Kostova's "West End", so it works over there. *shrugs*

I noticed my status updates developed a pattern, a formula if you will, so I'll share.

There were 3 sex scenes in the first 10%, 5 in the first 20% and their erections kept going for 48 hours; no rest periods necessary. Then, we have the co-dependent fluff, possessive, I love you - let's make rash life decisions for the next 30%. Then at 50% the imminent break up where they had miscommunication tantrums.

The sweet spot was the next 15% where the protagonists were separated, I got to see a hint of character but it got slammed by more telling, everybody is hating on them because Fenix chose to be promiscuous in his off period and Jared turned into an emotionless Ken doll, suffering for two years. They stopped being in each other's pocket and basically the same character and finally there were two separate main characters.

Then 65% happened, which was the reunion! The two are super attracted to one another because they are perfect, striking, ice blue eyes and Scandinavian cheekbones (the author liked to point this out a bit) so what do Jared and Fenix fall back on? That's right, sex.

The sex was hot but repetitive with a variation of "fuck me hard", pre-lubricated condoms, anal stretching and lube use, like a gay sex equation. I started to yawn in the latter sex parts (me? can you believe it?) and was happy for the fade to black bits.

Hmm...am I forgetting something? Oh yes, the last 22% or what I like to call it, everything but the kitchen sink was added to make a wow factor. That last fifth was so unnecessary, there is a sex tape, death, fist fight, screaming, MANtrums on octane and then a police investigation that gets partially solved by a childish bitchout on the phone. The story was over earlier than 78% but for reunion and drama sake's it should have ended there.  It's thrown in for entertainment value but I'm in that outlier reader population that didn't find it amusing. I don't need repeat scene rehashing to be beaten over the head while reading, I get the point.

To me, the story was weak, the cover was the best part. I did not like either main character but it's not their faults, it's how they were written.This is a popular book, the author has a het following that I'm sure will breach over to this series. For a first time MM novel, it's not the worst I've read, the style is not to my taste, sadly. Maybe if I read this ten years ago, I'd have rated this higher. Thankfully, it did not read like disguised MF romance...mostly (there were a few shaky parts but I won't bring them up), props to that.

So in closing:


I doubt I'll be reading book #2 that is being released in the upcoming weeks but you never know maybe I'll need a book where I can turn off my brain. My rating varies, I might come back and stick with the lower end, but it's in the 2-2.5 Hearts range.





Find more info on Goodreads and BookLikes!

Group Review: Something Like Lightning (Storms #1) by Jay Bell

Never stop running. No matter how often life trips you up, or how many times your enemies knock you down, just get up and keep on moving until you find where you belong.

Kelly Phillips has been out of the closet since he was a young teenager, and thanks to the gay youth group he frequents, he has never been short on friends or lovers. But when you have almost everything, it’s hard not to focus on what’s just out of reach: A best friend, who would be Mr. Right if he wasn’t already Mr. Straight. Or that handsome guy at school, who would be easier to wrangle if not for his angel wings. And then there’s the one who might be a perfect fit, maybe even a soulmate… if only he wasn’t convinced he didn’t need anyone at all. Kelly has always been good at running. Now he must learn to chase, which will not only test his endurance, but the durability of his heart as well.

Something Like Lighting is a new beginning in the Something Like… saga, shifting the focus to a fresh set of characters while also revisiting a familiar face or two.



Breann



I could talk about this book for daaaaaaaayyyyyys and I have so many things highlighted that I want to share with the world, but that would mean I'd spoiler all over the place. SLL is one of those where I feel like everything I say will be a spoiler because so much happens to Kelly and the book goes in unexpected directions. I'd hate to take away from a readers experience, so I'm going to try and be as spoiler-free as I can.

Going in I was worried. Worried because Kelly was such a stinking twathead in Spring. For serious, how can I read a whole book about this guy who was rude, bitchy and fought about everything. How? But I did, and I fell so in love with his fight! 
"Too black. Too gay. Too fucking fast to lose this race! Kelly was going to own this."
Yeah, I kind of love him. He has this confidence that I adore, but this fight inside of him just wouldn't let him quit. Anything. So much that he's willing to suffer through a relationship that just wasn't working. Don't get me wrong, there were some seriously adorable moments and they were too cute in the beginning. But neither one was in the wrong, they were just incompatible and I loved how it was portrayed. It takes some great writing for me to be ok with my hero having a hurt heart. But there was no enemy here, just two guys who simply could not make it work. Kelly fought for it anyway because that's just what he did. 

He needed someone to match him. And he found him. *dreamy sigh* Oh my, he so found him.

So here's the boyfriend that makes Kelly's heart go pitter-patter:
"While your at it, send your boss over here. Better yet, have him bring us our food, because if he can't bother hiring competent staff, then he needs to get off his lazy ass and do the work himself."
Yup. That's the new guy yelling at a server. And Kelly effing swooned. I loved it. When this scene happened... hook, line, sinker. I was a goner. All this didn't happen until pretty late in the book. Now that's a love story! No 400 pages for them, nope. The chemistry was there and it was turned on high. Even though they were crazy compatible, I was on pins and needles until the very, very end. Why? Why was I made to suffer so? But the epilogue (and the page after) made me grin like an idiot. All's forgiven and now I'm jonesing hard for the next book.

I'm not going into many plot points because, again, there are so many. So many struggles Kelly has to face. Heartbreaking struggles that only prove how strong he really is. So much was taken away from him and he dealt with it in the best way he knew how. Now, he definitely made me want to smack him a few (maybe more than a few) times, but, in the end, he proves that being a fighter isn't always a bad thing.

Besides my love for Kelly, we were able to revisit some epic scenes from Spring, which was awesome. I was able to reread some of my favorite scenes and I was pleased as punch. Not to mention, Allison! She's so great and an all-time favorite character of mine.

I loved it, obvs. Was there any doubt? I didn't think so. It's no secret that I adore this series. This is the series I rec to everyone and the one I compare all others to. Something Like wins every time.


Justin






My Dearest Jay,

I hate you,
and then I love you.
It's like I want to throw
you off a cliff,
then rush to the bottom
to catch you.


Sincerely,
Justin



I am so conflicted here. I love Jay Bell’s writing, I love his characters, and I usually love the euphoria I get when I finish one of his books. Not this time. I’m still a little wrung out and that ending makes me want to thump Jay in the forehead. Lol

Breann nailed it when she said only Jay Bell could make you love a guy like Kelly. No truer words have ever been spoken. I’ll admit that enough time had passed since reading Something Like Spring that I was more than one-third of the way through this one before it all came back to me. It was like a sucker punch to the gut and I raged. I started questioning everything. I was trying to remember details from Spring and almost stopped to re-read it before continuing with Lightning. I'm glad I didn't because when I was able to connect the dots and remember details it broke my heart. I really hurt for Kelly. BAD! I had a completely different reaction in Spring. I don’t know how to proceed without saying too much but seeing things from Kelly’s point of view was definitely an eye opener. And not a pleasant one. It was much easier when I disliked (OK, hated) Kelly in Spring.

I struggled with most of the main characters in Lightning. I loved them one minute and hated them the next. HATED THEM! With a white hot passion. This is true for almost every single one of them except Allison. I just plain loved Allison. Again it’s hard to elaborate without spoiling something so you’ll just have to experience the range of emotions for yourself. Some of the characters I was able to forgive, at least somewhat. Others, not so much.

The plot here is very intertwined with Something Like Spring. I was expecting this new series to be completely different with brief cameo appearances from characters from some of the other 4 books. I guess on some distant level I knew this was Kelly's story but I didn't expect it to tie so closely with Spring. This one however stays true to the other book in the Something Like series in that there’s a definite connection to at least one other book. In this case it was Spring. Some of the scenes are ones you’ve seen before only now you’re seeing them through someone else's eyes.

I knew how I wanted this to end and it was close. In my opinion some things were resolved a little more than necessary and one MAJOR thing was not resolved enough. Damn you again Jay. You're an evil bastard. :)

If you like the other Something Like books, you’ll eat this one up like it's your favorite desert. If you’re like me and you’re a Jay Bell fan, you will NOT be disappointed. The writing here is spectacular as is the case with all of Jay's recent writing.

Something Like Lightning is not one I’ll soon forget and as much as it pains me to say, I’m looking forward *grumble, grumble* to Something Like Thunder. Asswipe! I love you, JAY!


Lori



My experience with this book is slightly different to the other two Unicorns. I have only read Something Like Summer (and am still building up the courage/mending my broken heart to read the next books) therefore I had absolutely no idea of anything that would occur in this book. Let me say this works really well as a standalone, but I can imagine having the background knowledge of the other characters also gives a fantastic - but different - reading experience.

Anyone who has toyed with these books knows that they are in for some angst. That their heart is going to be a bit bruised around the edges before the conclusion of the story and this was certainly no exception to that. One of Jay Bell's greatest strengths is his characterisation. Each character is unique and realistic. I really enjoy fully rounded characters, they make reading so much more real and easy to believe. I feel for fully rounded characters more because I believe in them.  I really find nothing tropey about any of his characters, they re all flawed, yet I find myself rooting for all of them. Very rarely is there an all out 'bad guy/gal' in his stories.

The story - well, the story is like a roller coaster ride. If I'd read Spring, then maybe some of the downhill turns would not have squeezed my insides so much...but it did make the reading experience all the more wonderful. As with the other Something Like books, this story follows the characters over many years, from teens to their twenties (or beyond). With this particular book Kelly is the MC and I loved him. Really, really loved him. As I didn't know anything about his story my heart ached for him at times, yet I admired his spirit. I also admire the author's ability not to just brush over events and make everything suddenly all right - or make it mellow dramatic nonsense.

With his relationships, again it was so real - yes, I know I keep using that word, but truly it is apt. The intense feelings a person can have, the ups and downs, the difficult choices and guilt. It's all there in Kelly's life and relationships. Superbly written.

The only thing I will say is, I really feel that I need to read the next book now in order to fully understand everything in this book. It's the way his books work - they are all cogs in a bigger book machine and yet we are only seeing one cog at a time, revealing one bit of the story. We may see glimpses of the other cogs as they turn, showing us their story, but I can imagine the full picture will only be available once the entire series is done. So hurry up, get writing Jay, I REALLY need to read Something Like Thunder!

I'd also like to comment on the amazing cover art work - it fits the story so perfectly and is really beautiful. I like the fact that these covers are far from typical MM covers. It's a far from typical MM book - it's just a story, whose characters happen to be gay. Yeah, kinda like life really.

A copy of this book was given to us in exchange for an honest review.

Jay Bell on Goodreads.