Review: Speak No Evil by Alexa Snow


Jamie Kincade's world is turned upside down when Sebastian, a young man who doesn't speak and who shares the ability to see ghosts that Jamie's had since childhood, enters his life. Jamie finds Sebastian fascinating on multiple levels, and is determined to help him learn to speak again. He can barely keep his thoughts--or hands--off Sebastian, who wants him and makes no attempt to hide it.

The age difference between them--Sebastian is almost 15 years Jamie's junior--is a problem for Jamie, but Jamie's reluctance isn't the only thing keeping them from focusing on the potential they might have as a couple; the collection of ghosts Jamie has been living with in relative harmony for more than a decade has no intention of leaving Sebastian alone now that he's here. Their desperate attempts to get Sebastian's attention are a distraction Jamie would be grateful for if they didn't upset Sebastian so much. Jamie is torn between wanting to send Sebastian away for his own good and wanting to drag him off to bed, and with Sebastian tempting him both deliberately and subconsciously, it can't be long before Jamie's self-control snaps...



I have so many mixed feelings for this story. I loved the beginning; Alexa Snow drew me in with her words, everything flowing and no jarring moments.  The setting and the characters were shown so clearly.  Beautiful.

My only problem? As the story continued, I wasn't connecting with the characters.  I didn't get a good sense of who they were, or how they felt. Jamie's insistence on throwing up roadblocks between him and Sebastian was annoying, especially as he and Sebastian got to know each other better.  Not that I really felt any chemistry between them. I wasn't feeling the tension, need, or want that I expected.

And then, the story itself stumbled for me, with moments of too much telling, and scenes where nothing really happened.  At times, the present tense was too distracting, making the writing feel more mechanical. It wasn't consistent, though. I would be struggling with a part, but then a well written scene would catch my interest and I'd get caught up in the story again.

Things I liked were usually countered by something I didn't care for.  I started to connect with Sebastian but Jamie continued to leave me feeling indifferent.  The elements of hurt/comfort were touching, but sometimes the story was almost too sweet. I liked the paranormal aspect of the story,  but it felt a little random at times.  The introduction of the shadow ghost seemed to come out of the blue...why the wait, and why was time running out?  I had so many questions about that and to have much of it happen off page was disappointing.  I also had questions about Sebastian's on/off muteness, which threw me off.

Overall, I liked the story, but for me, it didn't live up to the potential of the blurb or that wonderful beginning.


Find more information on Goodreads.


Note: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour: Mnevermind 3: Life is Awesome by Jordan Castillo Price


Today, Jordan Castillo Price drops by to talk about the Mnevermind series as part of her ongoing blog tour. I love the concept of these books and, having loved Psycops, am eagerly waiting to read these (they are very near the tippy top of my TBR!) Anyway...here's Jordan...


Daniel Schroeder wants nothing more than to repair his father’s broken memories, but it’s been a long time since he’s thought of himself as a memorysmith. Even though convincing Big Dan of their current reality is the most painful task Daniel faces every morning, somehow life manages to prevent him from finding a cure. He needs to keep their family business running. And he needs to moonlight at a competitor’s shop to keep all his employees paid. Or maybe he’s just trying to keep himself from exacerbating the situation.

A year ago, Daniel would have presumed he was clever enough to memorysmith his way out of their predicament, but nowadays he’s not so cavalier. Playing with people’s memories shouldn’t be taken lightly, and things can always get worse. Even with the help of some of the best minds in the business, Daniel still isn’t sure how to navigate his way out of the persistent false memory that’s crippled his life. Is new programming the answer? Better gear? More money? Or is time the only thing that can heal Big Dan’s memories…if they can even be fixed at all.

What Daniel needs most is some breathing room, and Elijah Crowe is eager to provide it. Since he’s smitten with Daniel, Elijah is determined to prove himself—and he’s more than qualified to clear Daniel’s schedule by taking over some duties at Adventuretech. With the support of his new boyfriend, possibilities begin to open up for Daniel, hints of things he hasn’t even realized he’d stopped hoping for: the contentment of a harmonious family, the fulfillment of his creative expression, and a chance for a relationship with a man he loves.

This book completes the Mnevermind Trilogy.
More information on Goodreads.



Changing Gears
Jordan Castillo Price
Last summer at GenCon, I heard an author talk about the month he wrote two novels, one during his mornings and one during his evenings. This made sense to me in theory, since it seems to me my brain is very different at different times of the day. First thing in the morning is when I get all my good writing done. After those first few golden hours, I switch gears, pop over to the gym, then do administrative work and errands. As the day progresses, I take on more visual tasks. I look for stock photos or good fonts. I put in my continuing ed on Photoshop—I have been using the program since 1999 and I continue to train about three hours per week, or more if I’m really digging a course. I work on cover art, if I have cover art to do. And once my working brain is pretty well used up, I might watch a little TV or read before bed.

In my fantasy world, the writing of a morning novel and an evening novel was totally doable. How cool would it be to have an extra novel or two in my roster at the end of the year? Maybe I could even take some kind of vacation if I got that far ahead! I could shuffle around the other crap I normally do at night, no problem. But when I really started thinking about shifting gears and working simultaneously on two written projects, my beloved brain said, “Are you high?”

I imagine it’s like method acting. When I write a novel, a piece of me becomes the protagonist. Not always in an obvious way. If I’m writing a PsyCop novel, my inner narrative gets bitchier, and I take more notice of all the food I drop on myself. When I was working on Channeling Morpheus, particularly the Michael-narrated books, I got more intense. And when I wrote Magic Mansion, the words bubbled out because I felt like a pro who was totally up to the challenge.

So how did writing Mnevermind feel? It was a rough ride. Books 1 and 3 are from Daniel Schroeder’s point of view. I put him ruthlessly and repeatedly through the grinder, made him stressed and depressed. And of all my characters, he’s the one who is most transparently like me. We’re the same age, we’re both overeducated and full of hubris, we’re both workaholic entrepreneurs. Heck, we even live a few miles away from each other. Maybe with all these similarities, the shift into Daniel-mind is kind of subtle. But subtle or not, it ran so deep that I couldn’t even consider starting an evening story. How could I possibly manage? The idea of attempting to push a button and have my brain allow me to “be” someone different for a few hours, then switch back to Daniel in the morning, was actually upsetting.

Being Elijah Crowe for book 2 was a lot more fun. Elijah is on the autism spectrum, so during the year I was in his head there was a little Jerry Seinfeld style monologue running, observing all the things that the majority of folks take for granted and determining that people have a lot of weird expressions, and society expects us to do a lot of illogical crap. Also, it felt really good to flap my hands when my energy was tangled up inside.

I wonder if this beingness resonates with readers? If I’ve done my job right, it does. That feeling of “can’t stop reading” and “must know what happens” will only transpire when we’re deeply identifying with the characters, when their problems feel like our problems, and when their triumphs feel like our triumphs.

It felt really satisfying to let Daniel and Elijah finally earn and enjoy their triumphs with this last book, which completes the Mnevermind Trilogy. Hopefully you’ll feel the urge to celebrate with them too!

There is additional info, links, cover art, author bio and blurbs at http://jordancastilloprice.com/mnevermind-press

Sales link: Amazon 

Author Bio:
Author and artist Jordan Castillo Price writes paranormal thrillers colored by her time in the midwest, from inner city Chicago, to small town Wisconsin, to liberal Madison. Her influences include Ouija boards, Return of the Living Dead, "light as a feather, stiff as a board," and boys in eyeliner.

Jordan is best known as the author of the PsyCop series, an unfolding tale of paranormal mystery and suspense starring Victor Bayne, a gay medium who's plagued by ghostly visitations. Also check out her new series, Mnevermind, where memories are made...one client at a time.

JCP can be found at: 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jordancastilloprice
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jordan-Castillo-Price/257078438055
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/268722.Jordan_Castillo_Price
Website: http://jordancastilloprice.com

Author Interview and Excerpt: An Infatuation by Joe Cosentino


Today, we welcome author Joe Cosentino into the clubhouse to talk about his latest novella, An Infatuation. Joe has been kind enough to answer some questions and provide an excerpt of his novel for us.

*Pours cocktails and settles down to chat*
*****

With his ten-year high school reunion approaching, Harold wonders whether Mario will be as muscular, sexy, and tantalizing as he remembers. As a teenager, it was love at first sight for Harold while tutoring football star Mario, until homophobia and bullying drove Mario deep into the closet. Now they’re both married men. Mario, a model, is miserable with his producer wife, while Harold, a teacher, is perfectly content with his businessman husband, Stuart. When the two meet again, will the old flame reignite, setting Harold’s comfortable life ablaze? How can Harold be happy with Stuart when he is still infatuated with his Adonis, his first love, Mario? Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past and the future.


Excerpt:
One Friday afternoon I accidentally ran into my hero in the boy's locker room. I’d had enough of the big guys banging me into gym lockers, pushing me into cold showers, and hanging me from the gym ropes. So I was on my way to give Mr. Adoni a note from Dr. Dlorah excusing me from gym class for the remainder of the school year (due to my highly contagious disease being studied by my doctor in Guatemala, where he could not be reached for the next year).
The locker room smelled of an odd combination of soap, cologne, sweat, and desire. Mario was getting ready for football practice, standing at his gym locker without a combination lock on it. Nobody would dare to break into it (Except for me that one time I smelled his jock strap. Okay maybe it was a few times, but not more than ten.). Mario slid his T-shirt (red today) over his thick, black hair and threw it on the nearby bench. No longer harnessed by cotton, his arm, back, chest, and neck muscles swelled to full size. I was half hidden behind the adjoining row of lockers, wearing my usual green and blue flannel shirt and brown corduroy pants. Mario, who wasn’t looking in my direction, said something really beautiful to me that I will never forget. “Hi.”
“Did you just? Oh. Hi. Hello. Good afternoon. Nice to see you. I mean, change with you.” I looked down at the floor (but cheated a bit) as Mario kicked off his boots, slipped off his jeans then threw them in the lucky locker. His red underpants (briefs) revealed ample manhood. This is better than the newspaper’s underwear ads!
“Good gym class today with Mr. Adonis, I mean, Mr. Adoni.” Did I just say that? “Harold High.”
“Hi.”
“High.” How can I get my pulse down to 260?
“Hi.” Mario reached into his locker for his sweat clothes.
Shouldn’t people be doing that for you? “Oh, my last name is High. Like a kite.” How can I stop my arms from waving like an airport flagger on speed?
“Mario Ginetti. Like nothin’ else imaginable.” Mario smiled, revealing a row of perfectly white teeth, and held the sweat clothes in his hands as if he was mortal.
“I know. I watch your body play.” Why can’t I stop talking? “I mean, I watch you play … football … on the field … in your football outfit.” I feel like Michelangelo with his David!
As Mario put on his sweats, I continued to sweat.
“I'm voting for your body … I mean I'm voting for you for president of your … our … the student body.” I need my jaw wired shut. “I’m your lab partner in Chemistry class. Ms. Hungry’s class … I mean Ms. Hunsley’s class.”
His olive-colored face glistened as Mario’s face registered recognition—of me! “I thought I knew you from somewheres. Hey, thanks for doing the lab reports.”
“It’s my honor … I mean my pleasure. It’s fine. If you need help putting up posters for your campaign, I can … ”
Having just tied the laces of his sneakers, Mario stood absolutely still. He looked at me as if he was staring into my heart and somehow knew what I was feeling. “I gotta take a wicked piss.”
Can I watch?
“Thanks for helping me out, Buddy.” He slammed the locker door and left.
He called me, Buddy! My heart was as soft and silly as putty that Mario held in the palm of his hand like his soap on a rope.

AN INFATUATION
by JOE COSENTINO
a Bittersweet Dreams novella from Dreamspinner Press
e-book $4.99
purchase links:


***** 
Interview
What inspired you to start writing, especially your novella AN INFATUATION? 
When I told my mother I wanted to be an actor, she said, “Take this knife and stick it through my heart.” I did it anyway, and acted on stage and screen with stars like Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, Jason Robards, and Nathan Lane. It occurred to me that acting is storytelling in the same way that writing is storytelling, so I decided to give playwriting a try. When I told my mother I wanted to write fiction, she said, “Don’t you have anything better to do?” I wonder if Shakespeare’s mother said that? I knew my first novella would be a bit autobiographical, but have a universal theme.

What inspired you to write AN INFATUATION?
Hasn’t everyone been infatuated with someone? Think about your first infatuation. There’s nothing more powerful. I was thinking back to my high school days, and how difficult it was back then for a gay teen before GLSEN, PFLAG, and Will and Grace. Lab partners, gym locker rooms, and club meetings where super important. At my high school reunion, I realized things weren’t what they seemed back then. A story was born.

How long did it take you to write this novella, and what did you do the day that you finished it? 
It began as a one-act play, which I expanded and morphed into a novella. So it took many months to write. The story is personal and important to me, so I wanted to get everything just right. Once I was confident that I had achieved just that, a la God, I announced to my spouse, “It is finished!” I have not had a better night’s sleep before or after that night—until I saw the gorgeous book cover!

Who is your favourite character from your novella? And why? 
While the situation is fictitious, Harold is based on me, so it’s a no-brainer! Actually, I really admire Harold’s resilience, honesty, intelligence, wit, and ability to keep going in trying situations. His heart may be broken, but his spirit always stays intact. Harold’s devotion to his spouse, Stuart, is admirable, as is his honesty about his teenage infatuation with Mario. I love that the story spans twenty years so we see Harold (and Mario) develop and mature.

Which one of your characters was the hardest one to write? And why? 
 It is always hard for me to write homophobic characters. How nonsensical is it for someone to spend his/her time, money, and energy trying to hurt, belittle, or take away the rights of someone else? In most cases, the homophobic person is gay him/herself, and due to internalized homophobia, is battling with him/herself via the gay target. That is the case with the two homophobic characters in my novel.

Which one of your characters did you enjoy writing the most? And why?
Stuart was great fun to write, because he is based on my spouse who is totally organized and a real list maker, but also sweet, creative, and caring. He creates an itinerary for our trips in ten minute time blocks!

Is Mario based on anyone? 
Mario is a combination of many supposedly straight, perfect guys who gay guys so easily become infatuated with every day. I love that Harold and Mario come full circle at their high school reunion. 

What tips would you give other writers, when creating comedy in their own writing?  
Harold is hysterical! When a reader finishes a book, he/she should be satisfied that the various parts equaled the whole, rather than the author pulling an ending out of the hat. I recommend not writing jokes to try to be funny. Let the humor come out of the situations and the characters naturally. People are funny, but only in real life, believable situations. And don’t forget the yang side of comedy is tragedy, and find the emotional core of your characters and story. As the old expression goes, “Make ‘em laugh then make ‘em cry.”

Is AN INFATUATION your first novel? 
It is my first novella. My first novel, PAPER DOLL (Jana Lane mystery 1), is published by Whiskey Creek Press. It is a mystery romance novel about an ex-child movie star. Since I was a professional actor, I was able to use my knowledge of show business to create a captivating, humorous, romantic, mystery with lots of plot twists and turns, leading to a surprising ending. Though the leading characters are straight, there are many terrific gay supporting characters, including an M/M romance.

What would you say to writers in the M/M genre?
 I love reading and writing stories with engaging characters who I want to spend time with. I recommend letting your characters talk to one another and seeing what happens. An outline is simply an outline. Don’t be afraid to deviate from it. Also, a romance story needs much more than romance. Don’t forget the humor, and the twists and turns in the story. Finally, until gays have equal civil rights, a little politicking never hurt.
  
What are you working on now?
I am currently writing a sequel novel to PAPER DOLL, entitled PORCELAIN DOLL. I am also working on an M/M comedy mystery series set in the world of academia. Since I am a college professor, I know that world quite well. Happily, nobody has been murdered at my college—yet. I am finishing the first three novels, DRAMA QUEEN, DRAMA MUSCLE, and DRAMA CRUISE. DRAMA QUEEN will be released by Lethe Press this summer.

Who is your favourite author to read?
Armistead Maupin has an amazing flair for writing eccentric, loveable characters with engaging and realistic dialogue.

What books have you read?
 I’ve read all nine TALES OF THE CITY books by Armistead Maupin, every Agatha Christie novel and short story, and all of Greg Herren’s MM mystery novels. I also love the three Rainbow Boys gay young adult novels by Alex Sanchez.

How was the writer inside of you hatched?
As a kid I played make believe constantly. “Let’s put on a show!” was my motto. I played all the characters—male and female. Hm, that explains a lot. Thankfully my parents and teachers indulged me rather than committed me. I always enjoyed improvisation as an actor, and I see writing as an extension of that. It also keeps the mind sharp, which is much appreciated as I get older.

What genres do you work with as a writer?
Humorous, engaging, complex characters in interesting locations captivate me. Every one of my characters has a secret! I have used my knowledge of show business and the gay world to tell shocking, riveting, and entertaining stories.

As a reader, what elements of a story do you look for?
When I read a great piece of fiction, I feel as if I am the leading character, going through the story and experiencing all of the emotions right along with him/her. A terrific novel or novella lays out the plot and culminates with only one possible ending, unveiling various secrets along the way. I don’t appreciate novels, where authors lay out a story then arbitrarily pick an ending. The end must justify the means. And it needs to be fun, sexy, and tantalizing along the way.

Would you like to say anything to our readers?
I know this story will touch your heart, because it’s everyone’s story. We’ve all had an infatuation, and this novel is a testament to that. Please email me via my web site and tell me about your experience with the book. I also love answering questions about the novella, so let them fly. My web site is: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
            
Is there a message in AN INFATUATION?
I love the anti-bullying message in the novella. I also think a theme is that it’s okay to fantasize about someone.

Who designed the cover for AN INFATUATION?
 Isn’t it terrific? Christie Caughie is the artist. I love how well she was able to capture the two leading characters. Let’s make the movie!

Where do you see yourself in five 5-10 years?
 Winning an Academy Award for Best Screenwriter and Best Featured Actor (Mr. Ringwood) for AN INFATUATION. (You have to dream big) <<<< I totally agree! Lorix

What would you do, as a happily married man, if you went to your high school reunion and found your first unrequited love from high school was interested in getting together?
I would probably do just what Harold did in AN INFATUATION. What would you do?

*****

Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll, the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press-releasing this summer), and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are Porcelain Doll (the second Jana Lane mystery) and Drama Muscle (the second Nicky and Noah mystery).

My Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino
My Facebook page/s: https://www.facebook.com/joe.cos.7
My Amazon author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KRPXJP6

Review: A Restored Man (The Men of Halfway House #3) by Jaime Reese

Cole Renzo thinks his greatest challenge is to behave for the remainder of his term at Halfway House. Until he meets his new boss, Ty Calloway, a man who ticks off every box on Cole’s list of interests.

A sought-after restorer and customizer of exotic and collectible cars, Ty had enough confidence to command what he wanted in life, until one fateful night changed everything. Almost two years later, he’s slowly rebuilding his life with great control. He’s defied the odds and works tirelessly to be the man he once was—but he still feels broken.

Cole’s candor and unfiltered personality awaken Ty’s barely-remembered desire to greet each new day with a smile, while Ty’s unwavering acceptance of Cole’s quirks and brash humor makes Cole feel as if he fits in for the first time in far too long. When a nemesis threatens Ty’s personal restoration and the things he holds dear, Cole is determined to protect their relationship, even if that means sacrificing everything he’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ty will have to let his guard down, surrender control, and admit he needs Cole first, even if that puts himself at risk of breaking beyond repair.

If you are getting ready to read A Restored Man, and believe you me, you should, and you’ve read the first two books in the series, you’ll remember Julian. You know how he’s one of those characters? The kind that just have that certain something that makes them truly memorable and unique. The kind that sticks with you long after their story has been told. Jaime Reese has given us readers another one of those characters. His name is Cole and he is amazing.

We met Cole at the end of book 2 and while he came across there as a charming hot mess it was obvious he had a story to tell and his story does not disappoint. Cole’s got some issues, serious issues. He’s all over the map and speaks WAY before he thinks. That really doesn’t do him any favors and he’s constantly irritating the ever loving crap out of people. Thing is, he’s not mean, he would never purposely hurt someone else, he just, as Julian puts it so well, “had no social filter between his brain and his mouth”.

This is a novel length story and I’m really glad it is. Jaime Reese makes consistently fully fleshed out both main and secondary characters. I appreciate it so much because I can always get completely caught up in every book in this series. I always remember every character and all their personality quirks.

The beginning third of this one is both nerve wracking and heartbreaking. While there is definite attraction between Cole and Ty, there was no insta-love. Thank goodness! I love when I can get to know each character so well separately BEFORE they fall in love. It makes the relationship and reactions make so much more sense and it was especially true for these guys. They both have some serious baggage they are carrying around but they don’t turn it into an angst fest. They actually do what is supposed to happen in relationships and they draw strength from one another. It wasn’t always smooth and there were a few misunderstandings along the way. But, because I already knew the characters as individuals, I could empathize with both of them because I understood where they were coming from and their motives were always clear. It’s a refreshing change to read.

As the guys begin to settle into a relationship their charm really shines through. They have so many adorable “moments”. I love when a couple has “moments”, stuff that is totally unique to the two of them. They totally get each other, Cole can finally just be himself, be accepted and most of all appreciated for who he is. Ty can finally look forward to a future and let go of the guilt and pain that has been riding him for years. As they get closer the relationships they have with the rest of the players in their loves gets better too. It’s a really sweet journey to read about all the way around.

Of course Cole and Ty aren’t going to get off that easy and then just ride off into the sunset. There is an outside force that could ruin both their lives. It was stressful and frustrating, but instead of driving a wedge between them, it brought them closer together. If it had come along earlier in the book, it probably wouldn’t have worked out well at all, but by this time they had strength from each other as well as the support of all the secondary characters.

My only niggle in the story was that I do wish that Cole had felt some sort of real remorse for his past chosen profession. It probably didn’t help that my auto insurance just went up for no reason so I was railing against having to pay more for no damn good reasons that were my own. Not a big deal to the story, but it did bug me a little given all his growth with everything else.

I do hope we get to see more of these two in the next installment. Which, if it’s about Aiden and Jessie they have to make some appearances right? I love that Matt and Julian are consistent and getting to read about them some more makes me feel like I’m visiting old friends and I’m looking for that same feeling with Cole and Ty.


For more info on A Restored Man, check it out on Goodreads.

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

Review: A Matter of Time Vol. 1 by Mary Calmes

Vol. 1 (Books One and Two)

Jory Keyes leads a normal life as an architect’s assistant until he is witness to a brutal murder. Though initially saved by police Detective Sam Kage, Jory refuses protective custody—he has a life he loves that he won’t give up no matter who is after him. But Jory’s life is in real jeopardy, especially after he agrees to testify about what he saw.

While dealing with attempts on his life, well-meaning friends who want to see him happy, an overly protective boss, and a slowly unfolding mystery that is much more sinister than he could ever imagine, the young gay man finds himself getting involved with Sam, the conflicted and closeted detective. And though Jory may survive the danger, he may not survive a broken heart.





Confession: I am a Jory Keyes and Sam Kage virgin.


Relax...I am Jory virgin, no longer.

I have already considered myself part of the Calmes guild, so to say. I love her words, don't care what anyone else has to say about it. She's my crack and I will huff it whenever I want. Her words give me just what I want: hot alpha vs. a matyr-ish lovable, less dominant man. It's like coming back for your favorite treat each time.

Now I understand the Jory references to all that come after.

Now I get the Sam Kage comparisons.

I've read the prototypes. Bathed in the Calmesian springs of yummy manhandling, twirled in the peacoat wearing, I see the light and everything is coming out Jory.


How in the world did he get so far in life? It must be pure luck because he's just too fearless to be good for his health. He doesn't follow any logical rules, doesn't think when it comes to the important life threatening stuff and yet still comes out with his life. 

But there's something saint like and magical about him that drew me to him.

He's a magnet, damn it. I'm not going to feel his neck and touch his face like everyone else in the book did (that's hella creepy and if anyone did that to me, they're looking to get crotch punched) Seriously, what's up with that? Random people just touched him like he was the second coming. 

But I'm drawn to the foolhardy twink. He should not be alive with all the silly yet dangerous situations he gets himself in. Jory...he's just so Jory. 

He witnesses a murder and instead of being traumatized or fearful of retaliation, he goes to a club and sucks a dick. Why not? 

And you get alpha detective Sam Kage, who is straight and kind of a jerk to Jory in the beginning, falling under Jory's spell. Throwing Jory against surfaces, grabbing and just being so handsy...that I liked. I was in a mood for an alpha main character who was possessive and borderline obsessive and I got that with Sam. But his struggle with his attraction to Jory, an out and proud gay man...that was real. And that is what sold me on this story. 

Behold, the mighty powers of Jory.

I'm not rehashing the plot because this is MM romance staple, right here. If you haven't read it, you totally should.

I usually dislike following the same couple in a series but I will be following these two, for however many times they break up and get back together again. Both are martyrs, who think it's better to be apart to save the other at different points in their relationship. Both are foolish for one another. I have a feeling this is going to be one long and arduous fucking ride to their HEA. Book #7 is going be released later this year and now I get why Mary Calmes loves Jory because there's something about him.

Fuck it. 

I'm cosigning with this series. Long like Jory and Sam. May these two crazy kids finally get it together.


For more information on Goodreads or Booklikes!

We'd like to thank Mary Calmes, aka Orchid Dapple Horse, for being our AOTM! She has made us unicorns' day! I know she has for me!


Review: Jumping In (ALPHAS #6) by Cardeno C.

When love’s on the line, the brave jump in with both feet…

Small town cop Clint Rivera can’t catch a break. His ex of two weeks is suddenly getting married, his dogs tore up his furniture, he’s getting evicted, and he’s out of beer. When he decides to solve his alcohol shortage by going to his ex’s engagement party, Clint winds up too drunk to drive himself home.

Enter gorgeous deputy mayor Hawk Black, the man who constantly shows up unexpectedly and sends Clint’s body and mind into a tailspin with nothing but his whiskey voice and blue eyes. After months of patience, Hawk can finally seduce the man he’s been craving.

Clint’s day might not have started out well, but Hawk’s going to make sure it ends with a bang, preferably in bed. He’ll show Clint some rewards are worth the risk. With love on the line, Clint will need to decide if he can open his heart, tear down his shields, and jump in with both feet.



Clint is down on his luck and just having one crap of a day. I found it to be quite amusing, thankyouverymuch.

He decides to end his horrible day by getting wasted at his ex's wedding. He tried to leave alone, but Hawk Black decides to see him home. Good thing, because they were effing hot together.

There's a lot of insta going on. Insta-lust, insta-love, insta-sex... but I didn't care much because there were so damn sexy.  

 So. Damn. Sexy.

I guess there wasn't insta-love on Hawk's part, since he'd had his eye on Clint for way too long. So long, that he decided to go all in. He confessed it all. All his emotions, all his feelings and all his wants. I loved it! I loved his honesty. He laid it all out on the line. Except I'm pretty certain he wasn't afraid of getting hurt, he wasn't letting Clint go.

Jumping In is classic Cardeno C. It has the perfect combination of sweet, sexy and humor. I do wish it was longer. I'd have loved more of Clint and Hawk. In a bed would be preferable. 



 A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more info on Goodreads!

 

Group Review: One Perfect Wish by L.M. Brown

Playing the part of another man’s husband to fulfil a wish is easy, but what happens at midnight when the magical day is over?

Scott Baxter is a workaholic with no time for love, until a djinn pulls him out of his life and deposits him into the bed of Cameron Kirk. Cut off from his life, Scott isn’t happy about the idea of being forced to help the djinn grant an unspecified wish, but he soon finds he has no real choice in the matter. The djinn, who has turned his life upside down, has powers that prevent Scott from leaving and ensure he does nothing to ruin Cameron’s day with his ‘husband’.

Reluctant at first, Scott finds that as the day progresses he starts to enjoy playing the role of Cameron’s husband. He connects with his unexpected lover in a way he never has with other men.

Scott searches for clues to help him track down Cameron after the day is over and he returns to his own life. He doesn’t want the day to end, but the wish is out of his control and when the magic is finished his time with Cameron may be over too.
 


When a request came in for a  cute little winter story four of us were jumping up and down with grabby hands. So here, for your perusal, is what Ann, Audrey, SheReadsALot and I (Lorix) thought about this cute little number.

Ann:
Ok, this was an adorable fantasy tale that I just loved. The first half has Scott spending one day with Cameron to fulfill a wish made to a djinn. The wish has Cameron spending one day with his true love. Scott is naturally skeptical but resigns himself to just getting it over with so he can go back to his normal workaholic life once the djinn proves to him that he’s not going anywhere until midnight. He might as well make the most of his day. And who knows? Maybe Scott will learn something about himself along the way.

Turns out spending the day with Cameron is NO hardship for Scott and the two spend the day connecting in ALL the ways. I liked when these two connected muchly. You wouldn’t think there would be time to convey a bond between the two, but the author pulled it off and what may have read as instalove and unbelievable wasn’t at all and I gobbled up the romance like SRAL on a cannoli.

Twists and turns ahead both hurt my heart and gave me hope. The author pretty much covered all the bases explaining how the wishes worked without overwhelming the sweetness with too many details. There was a lot to cover though and a few of the conversations felt a little rushed and forced in order to fit it all in. I was anxious to get on to more “connecting” between Cameron and Scott, and since this was a short read I was OK glossing over and rushing those bits.

The unique premise made for a fun and sweet read with just enough drama to keep it interesting. It’s a perfect cuddle-on-the-couch or before-bed read that’s guaranteed to make you happy.






Audrey:
Awwwww! Wasn't that adorable??? The concept for this story was super cute, and the way it unfolded took me by surprise. There was a lot (A LOT!) of smexin' in the first half, but the chemistry between them and affection Cameron felt for Scott was palpable. I totally believed Scott felt something for Cameron by the end of their day together, too. And, yes, that "something" he felt for Cameron was enough for Scott to go looking for him in real time. You really have to suspend your reality when reading this little tidbit, but once I did, I definitely came away with a warm and fuzzy feeling from the whole story. Like I said, some of it took me by surprise--in fact, I found myself tearing up a little because one part hit me right in the feels. However, all in all, this was mainly a fluffy story with low angst that I'd recommend if you're looking for a little sexy escapism.






SheReadsALot:
The main reason why I wanted to read this story? Djinn!! I love genies. And modern day fairy tales. And "One Perfect Wish" delivered that. Scott Baxter goes to bed as a stressed, lonely businessman in a hotel and wakes up as a married man in an English countryside. He never met his husband, Cameron. Imagine waking up in bed naked with a man you've never met pressing his morning wood in your arse? Actually that doesn't sound so--I digress. So Scott is given a perfect day with a man he has never met but feels some pull to. With the help of the djinn, he falls for the man but not without a few hiccups along the way. I didn't expect the story to go the route it did around 70%. The 'waking up in a different life' trope isn't a new concept. So the twist was different. Things are mostly tied up in the end. Spoilerish: Though I have to minus a heart for having versions of who knows how many running around. Overall, cute, sexy fun. I liked the bit of orgasm denial, no matter how faint.


Lorix: 
In the gloomy grey of winter, a little magic in my love stories is just what I need. When a djinn shows Scott his perfect husband (Cameron)- only to take it away a day later - Scott knows he will do anything to find the man he never knew he loved. A series of twist and turns and a little more magic ensue, but is it enough to give Scott and Cameron an HEA?

As short stories go, this contained everything I need for a happy, contented half an hour. In fact it is one of those stories that fit perfectly in between angst filled books and epic dramas. It's the sorbet of the book world - gently cleansing the palate between the main course and pudding. A truly enjoyable read that fills the gap nicely. 








For more information go to Goodreads or Booklikes!

Encounter by Perie Wolford Release Shenanigans!



It's time to face the unknown

In an attempt to prove it to the world that crop circles are man-made and aliens don’t really exist, Ricky and his team of young enthusiasts (including one particular enthusiast, Josh, who is hopelessly in love with Ricky) start falsifying the phenomenon by creating their own crop circles. Their endeavors prove successful, pretty much so, but only until the day when Ricky sees his unique circle design replicated throughout the country by the force unknown.


Pre Release Day Congrats to Perie Wolford!

His latest novella drops today and from reading the blurb I am totally sold. I've been a big fan of Perie's words since I first met Sam, Mitch and Jake in Turning 16 and I'm anxious to read some sci-fi from him. Here's some more info and how you can get your hands on a copy. You can thank me later :D.

Order ENCOUNTER from Amazon here

Check out the trailers -



Review: Here Without You (One Voice #2) by Mia Kerick

With all of his scratched and dented heart, Nate DeMarco wants to be two places at once, but he’s been forced to make an unbearable choice. Having barely survived high school, Nate and his boyfriends, Casey Minton and Zander Zane, are ready to move forward. Casey and Zander have left home to attend Boston City College. Nate remains in New Hampshire to protect his volatile younger sister from their increasingly violent, alcoholic uncle. Nate suffers with anger, resentment, and loneliness as what he wants battles against what he feels he must do.

Separated, the young men fight to stay in contact. But they are faced with separate issues. Casey copes with residual fear from having been bullied in high school. Zander obsesses over the establishment of One Voice, the gay-straight alliance at Boston City College. And Nate fights for his sister’s survival. Meanwhile, the intensity of the boys’ relationship increases, both sexually and emotionally.

Nate’s effort to live two lives leads to tragedy, which threatens to blast their relationship apart before they can adjust to the changes in their lives. They must find their way back to a united path before it's too late.



Here Without You starts with Zane and Casey off to college, while Nate is still home taking care of his little sister. More than taking care of her, he's protecting her from their abusive uncle by taking all the abuse on himself.

In the first book, Us Three, Casey struggled with the intense bullying he was subjected to. Zane and Nate were there for him, to love him and support him. In Here Without You, it's Nate that needs the support of their throuple while he deals with his sister and his uncle. And by 'deals with' I mean getting the crap beat outta him. Regularly. Oh, Nate. *cries*

He's pretty much lost without his other two. But Zane and Casey are lost without him, too.

This was written in the same style as the first book. Each guy has their own POV and all three are told in a different way. It really worked for me. Not only did it give a distinctly different voice to each of them, but it made it easy to follow who I was hearing from. With three different POV's, all from guys, I would imagine that things would get a bit confusing at some point, but instead, the writing flowed naturally despite all the alternating narrators.

The whole time I kept wishing that they would do more for Nate. Why are Zane and Casey letting this happen? Why is Nate letting this happen? Why? Do something, someone! But, they're still kids. Fresh out of highschool, they're doing the best they can. Starting collge, starting an LGBTQ group and keeping their relationship together is a lot to handle without much family support. Amongst everything they were going through, they were still the loving, devoted, sweet throuple we all fell in love with in Us Three.

I loved Us Three. It was one of the best books I read last year. I wish, so hard, that I could say I loved Here Without You. I liked it, but I didn't love it. Here's why: the flowery dialogue. There was too much 'love' thrown around. In their dialogue, in their inner-dialogue, in the sex scenes... it was lovelovelove, all the time. Way too mushy for my tastes. I love me some gushy-fluff, but this felt unrealistic to me at times. If my hubby tried to talk to me that way, I'd laugh at him. Probably in his face. It wouldn't be helped. If all the lovey talk would have been cut by about 50%, I think I would have loved this. I know it's only one gripe, but it significantly lessened my enjoyment.

I still love Casey, Nate and Zane. I will absolutely read more about them. In this stage of their relationship, they were too much for me, but I adore them nonetheless.


 A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more info on Goodreads!

Review: Mine by Mary Calmes

Trevan Bean has a job that’s going from illegal to frightening, a boyfriend who may not be in his right mind, and a guardian angel who might actually be evil incarnate. Add to that the reappearance of his boyfriend’s estranged family, death threats, kidnapping, and the struggle of saving money to realize a dream, and Trevan has a lot on his plate. But Trevan is up to the challenge: he promised Landry a happily ever after, and Landry’s going to have it if it kills him!

It just might.

Landry Carter was a broken doll when they met two years ago but has grown into a partner who can stand at Trevan’s side… most of the time. Now that Trevan’s life just got scary—and Landry just got himself kidnapped—Trevan has to hope Landry’s love stays strong through this newest challenge, because the happily ever after won’t happen if Trevan has to go it alone.


Author of the Month and… official MC cherry popping.



How do I rate this thing? Is there like a Calmesian scale? 

If I were to rate this on the level of cray cray, there aren't enough hearts. Valentine's Day is mere child's play comparatively. 




If I were to rate the soap operaesqueness, it would be somewhere in the 4 heart range. Days of Our Lives didn't have this level of batshityness and that show was chock-a-block with nutjobs. Every one of these characters ain't right. Every one! If I were to rate my enjoyment… uh, I'm kind of scared of Calmes Nation coming after me with pitchforks and maces, but, yeah, I enjoyed it. For a soap opera. So, actual rating… uh, what is ∞ x 4 x 2? Meh, math was never my strong suit, so I'll go with 3 hearts and call it a day.





"You will never get away from me, you should resign yourself to that now."

"Lan-"

"I'll kill you and then myself, that's a promise."

Mine is like that highway accident that everyone slows down to look at while you're cursing them for holding you up but when you get to it you look too. I looked. I knew the MCs were whackadoodles going in but I had NO idea the level of whackadoodledome. 
I'm not saying they should be committed but it wouldn't be the worst call anyone ever made. Landry holds a switchblade while jacking off over his sleeping lover in a fugue state about to carve his initials on him so everyone would "know" that he's his? Uh… Because he was dancing with a girl at a party earlier. Did he think that dance was going to un-gay him? And his nutjob boyfriend was all, 'hey, babe. You awake?' 



RUN FORREST RUN!!!!!!!

Nope. They bang and all is well. Then again, Trev's bestie is a contract killer who randomly breaks into his apartment to watch him sleep because it "soothes" him, so I'm guessing he's desensitized to the cuckoo. I actually began to wonder if this was some elaborate AU somewhere in the middle because Trev seems to have some sort of spellbinding power over all the people. All the people of zooville, but still he's their golden child. How does he always know what to say to everyone that either engenders everlasting devotion, inexplicable trust, life altering insightfulness or fuck me eyes. I secretly still believe he's a wizard or is the PC term warlock? I tell ya, for a dude who's supposedly not that attractive everyone is gagging to get in his pants. It's the golden, right?





I'm getting off track here. So, I knew the MCs were freak shows, but the entire supporting cast too? There's infidelity, awkward family dynamics, an illegitimate son, an apparently requisite kidnapping and the contract killer. Now, I hate sound all creepy and whatnot, but a contract killer who's a platinum member at Hertz sounds like a sucky ass contract killer to me. What kind of contract killer uses the same name every time? Bad call, contract killer. Bad call. If I'm being honest, the whole Vegas experience was a win for me. The fracas on the roof when Daria told Will to go fall on another dick? Priceless. Then Trev had to go being all irresistible again and started dancing with the ladies just asking for trouble like a rebel!
Between the panting and gasping and crying, I understood that I needed to fill him up, he wanted it to leak out of him for hours.
Did he now? 

Yeah, he did. Because freak show x codependent/∞ = Landry. Angry sex, desperate sex, mildly kinky sex, borderline exhibitionist sex, you name it. Yet, surprisingly there was very little sex on the page. In my humble opinion, it could've used more sex *mumbles side mouth* and less plot. I know. I know. Then it wouldn't have been a true "Calmes" esssssperrience. 



The writing… what's with all the short declarative sentences that are essentially redundant not to mention repetitive? Also, what's with the dialogue? Who said what is too bourgeois for The Calmes? 

BUT, before the butthurt morphs into stabby, I did laugh. I made a butt load of weird faces. I face palmed a few times. I wish I had known about that drinking game, though. I would've saved it for a weekend and had a big time. Like a box of wine big time. 

I don't need to recommend this to anyone. Everyone's read it already!

Find out more on Goodreads.