CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME: Split by Mel Bossa

Quiet and imaginative, Derek O'Reilly spends a lot of time watching a movie in his head. His fiancĂ© Nathan, aka "Mr. Alpha", wonders why Derek hasn't taken any interest in their wedding planning. Aunt Fran—his spiritual guru—would like to know when her guilt-tripping nephew became some kind of kept boy. One evening, she drops Derek's childhood journal on his lap, forcing him to remember the name he's been trying to forget since he was eleven years old. Nicolai Lund.

Nick was Derek's neighbor—and first love.

Weeks before Derek's engagement party, a chance meeting with Nick catapults Derek into the past. Nick could flood Derek’s stale existence like a blond tidal wave, but Nick isn't that sixteen-year-old rebel anymore. He's a man hardened by invisible scars.

As Derek reads through his diary, Nick and Derek’s powerful relationship sways between past and present, sweeping over their emotional landscape, revealing what they were, still are, and might yet be to each other.



I've got to get this off my chest.


I LOVE THE LUNDS!!!!!!!!!

I love Boone and that his insistence on being called Maverick. Because Top Gun
I love Lene. Because of her "baby" with Derek.
I love Johan and how paternal and loving he is.
I love Nico and his wildness and hot temper, but especially because of that dance and the eyeliner.
I even love stern Helga, though I do wonder why she's so hard on Nico and if his wildness drove her to ride him like Seabiscuit or if the wildness sprung from the sternness.
I also loved their Nordicness. Everything had beets and Aquavit! That's full of win right there!

You think they ever dressed up like this for Halloween? I bet they had the weird candy on the block.





Split is wildly romantic, but I had to stick with it to get there, though. I'll be honest, I struggled through the first 40ish%. So much pre-teen angst. I felt like I was drowning in it. YA and I are not friends. I also struggle with books where the MCs aren't interacting all that much AND *whispers* I don't really like Derek. *ducks* All of Split is told through Derek with time shifts between him at 11 and at 28. I think he's a complex character that's well fleshed out and I know he got dealt a shitastic parental unit hand. But, oy vey! He needs to use his words, speak up like his dear aunt Frannie and pretty much everyone who cares about him tells him to do. He's so snarky and witty and clever but it's all trapped inside his head. At one point, I found myself saying aloud, 'SAY SOMETHING! ANYTHING!' like a crazy train. 




Bravo, Ms. Bossa. You turned me into a one of those people. 

Nico helps him come out of his shell and in many ways their relationship is clearly symbiotic from early on. I loved that Nico never made fun of Derek and his stuttering, never didn't have time to be kind to him and was always patient as well as caring for both Derek and his siblings even though they're all at least 5 years younger than him. Derek seems to have a calming effect on Nico early on. Nico is Derek's everything. The sun, the moon, the stars and everything in between. Derek needs Nico like most people need water. He found his soul mate before he even hit puberty. I admit it. I'm a sucker for this destiny trope. Gets me every time.


I could barely hold my love inside my chest anymore. It expanded with every breath Nick took, until I could feel it on the very tip of my scalp and toes. There was darkness all around me. The only light I could see was the one in Nick's eyes. "I see," I whispered. 
And the light in his eyes swallowed the darkness. 
Like a blue vacuum. 
His face makes me want to cry.

Jump ahead to Derek at 28, who is in an unsatisfying relationship with a gregarious salesman named Nathan. Nathan is portrayed as "the villain", but I hold Derek just as culpable for the demise of their relationship due to his silence. He's a ghost in their relationship and it was painful to read. A chance meeting with Boone brings the Lunds back into his life and from that moment on, I was completely invested in this story and these characters. That dinner scene with the Lunds was a sucker punch straight to the feelz. The Lunds begin pushing Derek towards Nico as does aunt Frannie. It seems everyone knows Derek has been gaga over Nico since forever. I wonder if Nico had similar feelz for Derek, but held back because of the age difference.


"…happiness does eventually come, it just needs a lot of foreplay, that's all."

Needless to say, I ended up thoroughly enjoying Split. I loved how authentic all the chef parts were depicted. I loved how funny and poignant it was. I loved that both of them have come to a crossroads in their lives simultaneously and neither made impulsive decisions. The writing of Ms. Bossa is incredible. I was blown away to learn this was her first novel. I would've enjoyed some naughtiness, but… can't win em all.

Recommend for destiny trope saps like me. And fans of the color purple.




"'Because I like mixing the red and blue.'"
Lene set her fingers on her lips, but a small gasp escaped them.
"Red and Blue," she whispered.
Yes.
Red and Blue.



Find out more on Goodreads.

CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME - Baby vs. Cupcake: The Sequel



Hear that loud rumble, pumping in your gut?
It's that time again, CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME!

Take in the glitter, bright lights and eye candy.
Baby and Cupcake back for a second round with different contenders: Jill Knowles' "Concubine" vs. Mel Bossa's "Split".

Want to know who won? Both.
Both of us did. And for different reasons. Cupcake went with the smut. Baby went with the feels. We brought our A+ game to the DOME.

One more time for glitter crotch!

1. How awesome was your CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME experience?

Baby: It was fucking awesome. I had bejeweled butt plugs and raspberry semen! What else could a girl ask for? In all seriousness, I adore CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME! The challenging unicorns chose some really boss ass books. Each one has showcased different writing styles, some popular mainstays that need to be read by others, some hidden gems that need a little more shine. And I enjoy it every time, whether I participate or I'm reading other participants' reactions. It's so fun!

Cupcake:  I THE DOME! THE DOME treats me right. Not to get all sappy but it makes me feel special that the other unicorns know me well enough to choose really fantastic reads for me. Things I wouldn't have chosen for myself. Blame Split for making me take a ride on the sap train to Sapsville.

2. Did your challenger choose well or miss the mark?

Baby: Oodles of pounding...demon/human sexing...sweet kinky "mine-ing"...lavender, raspberry flavored cum... *squints* Are you kidding me? Cupcake had a slam dunk, touchdown, home run and grand slam rolled into one with her choice. There was no way I wasn't going to like this. 
Imagine a bulls-eye. Guess who just bought property on that red dot? 
Cupcake. 



Cupcake:  At first I thought Baby was leading me astray what with all the pre-teen angst, but it turned out spectacular. Red and Blue gave me good feelz. I'll definitely look for other things from this author.


3. Favorite scene from the book?

Baby: ALL OF IT! DOWN TO THE QUOTATION MARKS! 
Oh alright...it's a toss up between Taren's bottoming scene, Kael's 'sacrifice' for Taren and Taren explaining to Kael the importance of whores, concubines and giving pleasure. 

Cupcake:  Geez! There were so many! If I had to pick one it would be the dancing scene between Nico and Derek when Derek was just a kid, but I really felt that dinner scene with the Lunds.

Thanks for checking out Cupcake & Baby's CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME: Part Deux. You can check out our reviews for Split-HERE and Concubine-HERE for more details and squeeage.

You know what the best part of THE DOME is?



The scenery! PINK! PINK! PINK! 

CANDYLAND THNDERDOME: Concubine by Jill Knowles

Scholar, captain...war prize. Prince Kael of Korai is stunned when his father gives him to an enemy warlord in a desperate attempt to salvage Korai’s reputation. With his country’s honor at stake, Kael resolves to submit to Warlord Taren’s every debauched whim.

But life in Zandria isn’t anything like what Kael imagined. Instead of pain and cruelty, Warlord Taren seduces Kael until the bewildered prince craves his Master’s every intimate caress. As he sinks into the decadent, sensual life of a concubine, Kael makes a powerful enemy, one who wants him removed from Zandria by any means necessary.

Betrayed by his body, trapped by his honor, Kael must learn to trust his Master or get them both killed.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and elements (including/not limited to bondage, gagging, tethering), dubious consent, exhibitionism, male/male sexual practices.


I'm that girl over there, playing in the lavender white jizz and glitter. Pay me no mind.


Why haven't I read this already? This seems to be my mantra for 2015. All thanks goes to the glorious Cupcake for booting my ass to this lavender oil scented goodness.
"This is pleasure, my catamite prince. I can taste my cum in your mouth while yours drizzle from my ass. I'm going to spill inside you soon, and then we'll sleep, and I'll fuck you again tomorrow."
THIS WAS SMUTASTIC! THIS WAS FUCKTACULAR! THIS WAS DEMON PERMA-DICK!

If I close my eyes, I can see rivers of lavender-white, demon cum running at full force.
And I want to swim in it.
If Taren wasn't taken, I swear I'd kick Kael to the side and ride that demon into the sunset.


All these years this book has sat on my Kindle, collecting dust, while I could have been surfing on Taren's purple scaled surfboardt. *dances like Beyonce*

This book has all the things:

* royal turned into slave/concubine
* big guy bottoming! *applauds*
* demons! (one of my FAVORITE paranormal beings)
* kinky toys *coughs*
* a believable GFY
* SMUT for all seasons (and it didn't read repetitive)
* fantasy warriors (yay- that's my shit)
* cross-dressing
* enemies to lovers (also a fave of mine)
* great banter between the main characters (I loved the snark and even the bit of depth)
* possessiveness a.k.a. the almighty "mine" (I never get tired of a well placed "mine")
"You have a gift for designing beautiful accessories, Taren, though why you feel the need to decorate my asshole with gemstones escapes me.""It's my favorite part of you--after your mind.""Charmer."
There is suspense, I guess, but it wasn't in the forefront. Know what is? That would be Taren's ever ready dick!


Prince Kael gets tricked into being his enemy's concubine. Taren, a 3/4 demon warlord eases Kael into his new role of personal whore. Kael struggles to accept his new royal and the betrayal all while falling for his Master and trying not to lose his sense of self.
Kael's struggle with his sexuality while being introduced to his anus?


This story was mostly sex but the story of Kael and Taren? That was pretty hot and sweet too. I liked the secondary characters. I loved that Kael still remained true to his character. Okay, maybe I was slightly iffy on the last scene but why should I care? Kael loves it. What more matters?
"I am ewe to your ram. How can I call myself a man anymore?""The penis is a dead giveaway."
This is definitely on my favorites shelf - not just for the fantastic smut. But for the warriors came to love each other.

If you haven't read Concubine and my laundry list looks enticing, jump aboard and read about Taren and Kael. It's a read that I'll remember for days.

Thanks to Cupcake! She knows Baby very well.

For more information on Goodreads or Booklikes!

Review: Please Remember Me by Jacob Flores

Successful lawyer Santi Herrera couldn’t be happier with the direction his life is taking. Not only is he on track to becoming a partner in his law firm, but he’s planning his wedding to Hank Burton, a south Texas contractor who has made a name for himself despite his humble beginnings. The introverted, lone wolf Santi and the friendly, outgoing Hank complement each other perfectly. From the moment they laid eyes on each other, they were hooked, and as far as Santi and Hank are concerned, a happily ever after is their destiny.
 
But fate deals them a devastating new hand.
 
A construction accident leaves Hank with severe head trauma and brings him precariously close to death. When he finally awakens, Hank doesn’t remember Santi or the love they shared for the past three years. Santi faces the greatest challenge of his life. Can he respark a flame his lover can’t recall? And can he stop the diverging paths that fickle fate charts between them?


I was a Jacob Flores virgin before I started this book...and I have to admit, I came to it with mixed feelings. One friend HIGHLY recommended this book to me, then another friend found it didn't suit at all. As I've said a million times one of the best things about reading is that it is an individual thing, what works for one won't for another - but I would be lying if I didn't say that other readers opinions do influence my book choice, if not my actual feeling for a book. It is both the best and worst thing about reviews. Within about one chapter though, I knew I was firmly on the 'loved this' side of this book. Yay.

Why? Why did I love it so much? Quite simply Santi and Hank. I absolutely fell in love with them. We see the story through Santi's eyes, both in the present and flashback. He is dealing with losing the man he loved really. Although Hank is there and alive he is suffering memory loss and can't remember Santi at all. My heart broke for Santi, on the day that should have been their wedding he is taking Hank home - to home that Hank has no recollection of. From being the whole world to each other they are both learning each other again.

So, memory loss...it doesn't matter how many times I read this storyline, I cannot imagine how horrible this is, it would be like me waking up tomorrow and being told that this is not my life and family any longer, the children are older or x,y & z has happened. How impossible would that be to believe? While it is Hank with the memory loss, it is equally as hard for Santi. Every single action has to be thought about, all those things he takes for granted - the peck on the cheek, the sharing a bed, breakfast, dinner, tea routine, likes, dislikes...every single thing has to be thought about twice. Is he putting too much pressure on Hank by showing his worry, should he be trying to trigger memories...the list of uncertainties is endless.

I think Jacob Flores did a great job of handling this. It felt real, yet I could feel the care and despair of both characters. All the characters actually. They were all well rounded and fit the story perfectly. there was no angst plonked in for the sake of it, it just really clicked for me. Hank and Santi were a fantastic couple, they made me smile and I could feel their love with every word. I really appreciated how special Santi and Hank were and the message I found that love will conquer all, however hard the path maybe. A story I would highly recommend.

As an aside, I follow the author (amongst many others) on facebook and so I see pictures and updates and all the time I was reading this I could only imagine him and his partner in the roles of Santi and Hank. Maybe that's why the relationship felt so genuine. I'm not saying at all that the characters were based on them, I'm actually sure they weren't, but they were the images I had in my head as I read.


To find out more check out Goodreads.

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

Review: Encounter by Perie Wolford

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. 










Perie Wolford has a way of making me read things that aren’t in my usual rotation and loving them. I’m not a huge fan of YA, but Perie writes it and I love it. UFO stories don’t usually pique my interest, but Perie writes one and I power read it in one sitting.

Ricky and Josh are part of a group, led by Ricky, that want to debunk the myth of crop circles by proving how easy it is to make them, no alien help necessary. They’ve decided to create a vlog about their latest conquest and the story is told, for the most part, through the lens of Josh’s camera.
Encounter has some sweet moments, but I wouldn’t classify it as a romance. It’s a sci-fi story with gay main characters. If you know that going in and aren’t looking for hearts and flowers you’ll be able to appreciate the story without looking for what isn’t meant to be there.

I really liked the snarky friendship between Ricky and Josh, they were complete opposites, but a perfect match as friends, vlog partners, and with a hope of something more. Josh is model handsome but prefers to stay behind the camera. Neither of them are out and aren’t ready to be, so the attraction is all in their inner dialogs for the most part.

Ricky invites Emily to join them in their next project. She’s an intern from Washington DC doing research into crop circles so she seems like a perfect fit for their group which also includes Ann and Mike, an established couple that Ricky and Josh are long-time friends with. The addition of Emily causes some serious tension and territorial battles between Ricky and Josh. Each assumes the other is straight so the change in the dynamic that the oh-so-beautiful Emily adds to the mix compounds the stress they are all feeling with their biggest project yet. It was interesting to read how they create the circles and the vision that Ricky has before they start.

As with every good sci-fi mystery, all is not as it seems and when Ricky and Josh make a discovery that neither suspected, the action accelerates fast. Once I hit this mark while reading I knew there would be no putting this one down until I finished it. I can’t even really say anything about it without giving the story away, but I will say it was a fun ride and the ending was a pure WTAF? moment. I wasn’t happy, but it was perfect and if it had ended any other way it would have cheapened everything the author had created up to that point.

I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon spent creating crop circles, being chased by pissed off farmers and government agents, and reading about new love being discovered. Thanks Perie, that was fun.

For more information about Encounter, check it out over on Goodreads.



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

Scrap (The Bristol Collection #3) by Josephine Myles Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Want to know what one of our favorite authors has to say about redeeming a bad boy?

Want to have a chance to win a copy of Scrap?

Yes, yes you want BOTH of those things!



Josephine Myles has stopped by to school us on the ways of redeeming the bad boy we all love and a chance to win a copy of Scrap! WOOOOP!


Redeeming a Bad Boy by Josephine Myles

Bad Boys are a staple of romantic fiction. The traditional romantic hero was often a dastardly so-and-so—the kind of overbearing, amoral, hypermasculine rakes who had to be tamed by the plucky heroine. These days your bad boy hero could be anything from a member of a motorcycle gang to an international art thief. I’ll tell you one thing, though: there aren’t all that many who starred as the villain in a previous book.

However, after writing Stuff I became utterly intrigued by the character of Grant: the closeted family man who was cheating on his wife with Mas. He’d originally been conceived as an utter bastard and most definitely the villain of the book, but when I finally wrote the scene he appears in, I realised he was monumentally screwed up and in a considerable amount of pain. Denial will do that to a man. And he really was in love with Mas, so he wasn’t all bad.

I told myself I shouldn’t make him the hero of the next book. I told myself readers would hate him, and I couldn’t imagine what kind of man it would take to redeem him. Then I realised I’d already written him as a minor character: Dare.

They had virtually nothing in common apart from their toppish and arrogant attitude. Grant was superficial and obsessed with his career, whereas Dare was a down to earth punk. I love opposites-attract stories, so how could I possibly resist?

I knew that Grant had a huge amount of character growth to go through before he could redeem himself, so I factored a decent timescale into the novel. The opening scene is the night of the Cabbages and Kinks launch party featured in Stuff, but then there’s a break of almost a year before the narrative picks up again. During this time Grant has confessed to his wife and they have separated. He’s now taking his first steps towards living as an out gay man.

I know there are probably readers out there who are unable to forgive any characters who cheat, but I hope I’ve made Grant’s situation sympathetic enough. I’ve met several older gay men who started out in denial, getting married and sometimes starting a family before their suppressed desires began to surface in ways they couldn’t ignore. We live in a world that doesn’t always make it easy for men to admit they’re gay, although things are certainly more open today than they used to be.

So I’ve taken a risk with this book, but sometimes that’s what my muse needs. Playing it safe with cute and likeable characters would be easy, but I do need challenges to get me motivated to write. Redeeming Grant was perhaps my toughest challenge to date, but I’m proud of the results. I hope you all enjoy watching him grow into a better person—especially when it involves him grovelling to get back into Mas’s good graces!

Author bio: English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo publishes regularly with Samhain, and her latest novel is the contemporary gay erotic romance, Scrap. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a new baby.

Website and blog: http://josephinemyles.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/josephine.myles.author

Twitter: @JosephineMyles


Jo will be giving away a choice of two titles from her backlist to one commentator on each blog tour stop. Just leave a comment and please include your email address so you can be contacted should you be chosen.

List of Blog Tour Stops for Scrap by Josephine Myles


12th March ~ Boy Meets Boy Reviews

14th March ~ Love Bytes Reviews

16th March ~ Boys in our Books

18th March ~ Rainbow Gold Reviews

20th March ~ Prism Book Alliance

GRAND PRIZE

In addition to the above Jo will be giving away a Camper Van USB Drive with all her books on it to one lucky winner chosen at random from all tour stops. Just enter the Rafflecopter draw below for your chance to win this great prize. Good Luck!



Review: Scrap (The Bristol Collection #3) by Josephine Myles

When things come to a head, there’s nowhere to go but down…

On the surface, Derek “Call Me Dare” Nelson’s life is simple, doing up custom campervans while living in a slightly illegal caravan in his riverfront yard. When a handsome, smooth-talking developer offers to buy the land out from under his feet, Dare realizes it’s the same man he had to escort home from a party months ago for causing a drunken scene.

Grant Matravers lives a double life, attempting to adjust to weekends as a single, divorced gay man while staying closeted at work. The strain of keeping up the part-time pretense, missing his kids, and now a problematic attraction to the shave-headed, tattooed Dare, has worn his emotional barriers dangerously thin.

Dare blasts through those barriers in a way Grant isn’t prepared for, challenging everything he thought he knew about himself as a gay man. But as their chemistry heats up and the intimacy between them grows, Grant edges toward a decision that could blow up in his face. Exposing a hornet’s nest of complications that could destroy any chance for happily ever after.

Instead of fighting over who got to read and review Scrap, Lorix and I decide to tag team because that's what unicorns do :D

ANN:

I love this series so hard and this installment just confirms why. I love the setting, I love the characters and I love the story of them falling in love.

I think the thing I appreciated most about Dare and Grant was how incredibly imperfect they were and how those flaws made them perfect for each other. These were guys I could totally get with. They didn’t make declarations of love and smother each other with fluff. They’re guys who don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves and it takes them some time to get past the lust and the stubborn to realize each of them could have more. And more importantly, they deserved it.

Grant is not particularly likeable at first. He’s arrogant, kind of rude and an absolutely hot mess of emotions. I loved seeing inside his head as he grew though. It wasn’t pretty, but damn he managed to do a pretty good job pulling it all together in the end. On the surface, Dare is one intimidating and cold dude. He paints an imposing figure, but he’s a good and loyal man once you see past the tattoos and snark.

Speaking of snark, IT WAS SO GOOD. The conversations between these two were gold. They started out being adversarial and slowly moved to affectionate but never lost their edge. It was just so them. They may not have been gushing with feels all the time, but when either of them did open up and say something from the heart, it just mattered so much more. That’s pretty much my weakness right there.

The secondary characters were just as flawed and I really liked how the author handled both families. No one was perfect but no one was a villain either. Grant’s ex-wife wasn’t conveniently evil and the kids weren’t overly obnoxious or overly adorable. Dare’s brother was a train wreck, but still an optimistic work in progress. There was no cop out stereotypic characters that were used to move the plot along. They all added to the story by being believable and added to the depth of the main characters.

This was more than just a love story between Dare and Grant too. Besides my love for the love, the story of Grant becoming comfortable in his own skin made me so happy. It had to be so difficult, but by the end he earned every bit of happy he found.

LORIX:

All I really want to say here is WHAT ANN SAID, because honestly she nailed it. That review is so perfect. I love this series from Josephine Myles. After reading book 2 I was convinced I was not going to like Grant - let's face it, the little we see him in Stuff only shows his complete arsehole side. Big time. So, it's a sign of good author to not just make you like a previously despised character, but to fall in love with him.

I adored the dynamics between Grant and Dare (Dare is the BEST character). I have to admit I loved the relationship between him and his brother. That moment when you start to see beneath the tattoos and shaven head and see the real Dare. Those moments - they made me weak at the knees. The softness behind the stereotypical thuggish looking guy, the caring and yearning for peace and healing for his brother...in many ways I almost preferred these chapters to the ones with Grant. Not quite, but almost.

The dynamics between these two are fantastic. Like Ann said snark. SNark, snark, snark. Perfect. Their was a power struggle going on between these really, a power struggle that Grant, with his education and money and high powered job was destined to lose. It was the best thing that could happen to happen.

If you enjoy Josephine Myles words, or you love that British flavour to your reading I would highly, highly recommend this.

To read more about Scrap check it out over at Goodreads.

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

Review: Tarot's Touch (Investigating Love 3) by LM Somerton

DI Alex Courtney and his lover, DC Conor Trethuan are under enormous pressure as their team investigates an arson case and a murder.
It soon becomes apparent that the two cases are linked and the race is on to find a vicious killer. A tarot card is placed with the first victim and the detectives are left to interpret the clues it provides. When Conor receives a note from the killer making reference to another card, the whole team is shaken. Their worst fears are realized when a second body is discovered, along with another tarot card.

Conor suspects he has been followed then a hit and run leaves him injured. Alex wants nothing more than to wrap his lover up in cotton wool and protect him from the world. But is Conor the killer’s target or just a pawn in a much more sinister game? As the clues come together, it seems that the motive for murder might be revenge.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of genital bondage.

Book three in the Investigating Love series was an enjoyable read. I had real problems with the first book of this series, it didn't work for me at all, I certainly enjoyed book two more and this one was good too. LM Somerton has a nice writing style, easy to read and the plots are pretty well thought out..yet, while I've enjoyed the books in this series for he most part, I haven't loved them. So I spent a while trying to figure out exactly what it was that was holding me back from becoming fully immersed in them. The conclusion I came to is I just don't like Alex (one of the MC's) very much and don't totally believe the relationship between Conor and Alex.

I'll come back to that in a minute though, because what I'd like to mention first is the crime plot in this book. In each book I've enjoyed the plot and I really wish the author spent more time on this than the MC's sex life! I enjoyed the possibilities of the crime, the twists and turns it took, but it didn't feel quite fulfilled to me. LM Somerton has some really well thought out plots but it felt as if everything was resolved a little too easily...I think I wanted to read this as a crime book with a side helping of relationship...a bit of which was the Dom/sub relationship, but the author focuses quite strongly on the D/s aspect.

Which of course isn't wrong, it's the author's story to tell how the author feels it needs to be told, it is probably just a case of it's me not you. I didn't get quite what I was hoping for but, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, reading is a very personal thing and what doesn't work for me may be exactly what the next read is looking for.

Okay, so Alex and Conor. Yep, while I appreciate them as characters and I actually like Conor, I just can't take to Alex. It's the little things. As well as being Conor's partner and Dom he is also his boss. After Conor is involved in a hit and run Alex insists he stays at home - fair enough, I liked the caring aspect, but then when Conor does return to work doing a desk job/research after a while Alex insists he returns home. The bit that got my goat? No sooner had they walked in the door than Alex was bending over the kitchen table shagging him. Now excuse me, but if you were worried about him surely sitting at a desk is a lot less stressful than being fucked senseless?

It is all these little things that really irritate me. It's not that I don't like sex in my books, I do and I like BDSM books just fine too, but I always feel Alex is more of a bully than a Dom. He'll say one thing, then do another. Sometimes the sheer amount of sex gets on my wick, I start to feel it is there just for the sake of being there. Personally, when I'm ill or in pain, the last thing on my mind is shagging, far less bondage and toys...Maybe that's it, I just don't understand the characters. For whatever reason I can't connect fully to Alex and this does have an impact on my enjoyment of the story. It is very possibly just a me thing though. :)


For more information check out Goodreads.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

Theme of the Month: YA! Happy Hour Chat feat. "My Summer of Wes" by Missy Welsh

Beginning this month, we're gonna start mixing it up a little at the blog! Instead of Author of the Month features, we'll be doing theme months. YES! *fist pumps* B/c we all know how matchy-matchy we unicorns like things. ;) What better way than to matchy-match our reading materials?

This month's theme is YA. Yes, that's a chorus of cheers and groans in the clubhouse. You see, not everyone's a fan of YA. Howeeeeeever, they gave this story a fighting chance, and guess what? It came out on top!

The YA book BMBR chose to read this month is My Summer of Wes by Missy Welsh. Keep an eye out for more YA stories throughout this month!


Warning: As with all of our chats, this post will contain spoilers, zaniness, and wackadoodle squeeing.

Sunny: SRAL...you haven't read Sam and Mitch?! omg...Ann..she needs to read that scene in the truck
Sunny: you know the one...
Cuppers: You gotta read that fairy tale!!! That fairy tale is the shiznizzle!
Ann: YES! And the scene in the park. And the scene in the bar!
SRAL: buttsex?
Cuppers: OMG the bar scene… *sighs*
Lorix: The scene in the bar...
Ann: A plethora of buttsex
Lorix: Should we start the chat??
Sunny: okay, let me grab the blurb...
Ann: Blurb it!
Sunny: I didn't know. How could I? All through high school, I was beaten up and teased for being gay. But I wasn't gay. Or didn't think I was. Now Wes, the guy across the street who's taken me under his wing and been the best friend I've ever had, won't stop invading my dreams, hell, my every waking thought. Am I gay? Because I'm thinking I'd like to kiss him. Actually, I'm thinking there's a lot more I'd like to do with his mouth and the rest of that tall, confident, muscular body. Ah, man... I'm so gay! But what if he doesn't feel the same way about me? And, Jesus, what about my parents? And those bastards from school are still around. And I'm supposed to go to college this fall... Shit, I need to sit down. I can't breathe and I'm about to shake apart. Then Wes puts his hand on the back of my neck, gives me one of those encouraging squeezes and his bright smile, and everything's okay again. Yeah, I'm hooked. Oh, boy...
Cuppers: So much buttsex. Oodles of buttsex. And feelz.
Ann: *awkward
SRAL: I like that together
Ann: hahahahahahahahaha
SRAL: LMAO buttsex
B: Lol!
Ann: I love you Cuppity
Lorix: Confession - I read this book in September and half read a gazillion since...but I do remember I liked it!
B: So..... this is the cutest book EVER.
SRAL: I read this book...a year or 3 ago but I loved it. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO​OOOOOM!
Ann: I loved, loved, loved how much Mal finally felt loved and wanted
B: Aw! Me too.
Sunny: I read it 2 years ago, but re-read it today...and loved it all over again  =)


Wanna hear more about why the unicorns loved this book so much? Check it out after the jump!

Review: Evil's Embrace (Investigating Love, #2) by LM Somerton

Never underestimate the power of obsession. After the trauma of the Rasputin case, Detective Inspector Alex Courtney and his boyfriend, Detective Constable Conor Trethuan, are in desperate need of a holiday. The peace and tranquillity of Cornwall can't eradicate Conor's nightmares, though, and the unbearable prospect of losing Alex drives him to confess feelings that he isn't sure are reciprocated. Alex responds in the best way he knows how-by issuing orders and claiming Conor's body as well as his heart. Prematurely recalled to work, they are thrown into a dangerous trafficking case focused on a leather bar with a hardcore reputation, Spikes. Conor is sent in undercover, not knowing that he is only a decoy. When Alex learns that the motivation behind his team's involvement in the case might not be as straightforward as it seems, he realises that his actions might jeopardise not just their relationship, but Conor's life, too. A shadowy figure from Conor's past is about to step into the light.
I have to admit to preferring this instalment of the Investigating Love series more enjoyable than the first. In fact, all the issues I had with the first I would say were null and void in this, second, book.

I truly felt there was much more to Alex and Conor's relationship than in the first story and so I became much more invested in it. I loved seeing them on holiday at the start - some open-ended story lines here I feel, I wonder if they are persuade in the third instalment? Seeing where Connor had come from and the life he'd known previously before joining the police force and become Alex's partner was great. i loved seeing these moments between Alex and Connor, the insight to the two of them away from the pressures of the job.

Then, of course, the job came calling and again I was riveted. I hated the situation Connor was put in, it made me feel quite sad at times. It was so against his personality type...I didn't hate Alex quite so much this time round for letting his boyfriend get into this situation (by letting I mean because he is Connor's boss therefore literally let him walk into the environment)though, maybe because I liked Alex more on the whole, he didn't feel like the bully this time round that he did before. It did heighten the angst and the 'oh no' feeling of reading. I felt Alex truly loved Connor in this story (not just lip service for a kinky fuck) and that made a huge difference to me reading it.

In both instalments I liked the mystery that the police are trying to solve. LM Somerton writes this well, she knows when to cut a scene to heighten anticipation, how much to feed you so you'll read on wanting more. She is able to play my emotions just right, leave me on that cusp of anger and sadness and wanting so much for it all to work out for the MC's. There were some twists I didn't see coming, which was good.

I'm quite looking forward to reading the third instalment in this series. Now I've grown to like Alex as well as Connor I'm much more invested in the series. The British vibe from the story completely appealed to me too. No surprise there huh!! It's a good read that I'd recommend.

Find out more at goodreads.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Wildest Dreams by Sharon Marie Bidwell

CID Detective Inspectors Frederick Dick and Riley Silcox have more to worry about than how their names create merriment with other officers and suspects alike. There’s the complication that Riley is gay and very happy to be that way, while Frederick’s desire for his fellow officer causes him nothing but misery. Riley suspects Fred might be gay, but if that’s the case, he’s sure the man isn’t happy about it, and Riley doesn’t intrude where he isn’t wanted. Riley has no reason not to pursue other relationships, especially the attractive Scotsman, Calhoun. If only he knew how much Fred does want him it could be a very different story.

When they track down the supplier of REM -- a new upmarket and very secretive drug that not only does strange things to those who take it but could have amazing recuperative properties -- they become the victims. Is Frederick only hallucinating running wild in the woods, or like Riley will he choose to run naked, baring not only his body but also his soul, revealing why he promised to remain celibate, and why having Riley around means that isn’t working out for him, at all.


This book was enjoyable, it didn't blow my world apart but I enjoyed the time I spent reading it. I enjoyed Riley's lust for his partner, the whole unrequitedness of it was well written. I liked his frank thoughts about what he was feeling and then how he tried to disguise it from Fred. Fred's denial of his feelings was frustrating - though understandable. Especially as he worked with Riley. It was the backbone of the story really, the feelings these guys had for each other. The glue that kept the other parts together.

The police investigation was good. I liked the mystery - I have to admit, I was pretty convinced it was going to turn into a paranormal/shifter story at one point. When they were on their investigation and pretty much being held captive I did find I had to suspend disbelief for a bit. I found it hard to believe the police officers would act the way they did - on several occasions....however, I still had fun with what I was reading. And I really liked the scene when Fred woke up to Riley missing and the ensuing shenanigans. It was fun, hot and sexy.

What I didn't like was the fact that, at the end of this scene and the two guys walking away from the house having made tentative steps into admitting their attraction to each other, there was then a biggish time jump to move the crime story further along which jumped the relationship further along. I wanted to see it develop but....I got the beginning and then was thrown right in there.

That said, some of these scenes were hotness itself. Some of them, not so much. While not a BDSM book there is certainly some parts that feature it and they were okay, I was kind of ambivalent towards them. I think my analysis of this and so MY opinion of this book is that this author can write really well, she has some witty dialogue and good observations. I liked her character building, I liked most of the story arc...but sometimes it just didn't flow quite right for me. Almost as if the author wasn't sure of what aspect she wanted to focus on. It's possibly a me thing - I'm quite liking feelz in books these days and I would have liked more here. I certainly didn't hate this book and would encourage people to read it - it's just not the kind I feel the need to ring all my friends about and demand them to read instantly. But that is where reading is a personal choice and I think if it appeals to you then go for it because it wasn't a bad book.

For more information check out goodreads.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Enticing Hart by Mae Hancock

Hart Emile is tired of cruising for guys, living a soulless existence. He needs a change; so when an acquaintance gives him the number of the gay friendly Red Fox Ranch that’s hiring for staff, he heads south.



 Oak Redman is eighteen years old and desperate to explore his awakening sexuality. The moment Hart lays eyes on the handsome young rancher he’s smitten. Not only is Oak hot, spirited and very persistent, he is also the ranch boss’s son and strictly off limits. Hart tries to fight his feelings and to respect his boss and the family who quickly become dear to him, but after Oak's Grandma suggests he gets with Oak he can't deny himself the most exciting and enticing man he has ever met.

Hart’s not the only man to have noticed how sweet and charming Oak Redman is. A family friend, Steve, is also anxious to have the affections of the young rancher. Can Hart work out Steve’s dark secrets before it’s too late and keep his job, his lover and his life?


I’m a sucker for cowboys. Always. I loved the premise of this story and snatched it up gladly. Overall I enjoyed the story but I think I liked the premise more than the execution. The setting and the introduction started out well. I liked Hart and how he found his way to the ranch.

My problem in the beginning was Oak and the way his interactions with Hart began. Oak is young and he acts like it. Being the rancher’s son with a lot of responsibility I expected more maturity from him and it was sorely lacking. There was door slamming and outbursts that just killed his character for me. He and Hart obviously have the hots for each other, but Bay (rancher/dad) has put his foot down with respect to anyone diddling his kids. Sounds reasonable really and given Oak’s level of maturity, a smart move. The way Oak came on to Hart was a little desperately creepy. Then the two of them are taking time off to go camping alone together and Hart hasn’t even worked there a week. It was just odd. More than once I thought I had slipped and fell into a YA novel.

I’m glad I stuck with it though because it did get better. Oak grew up a little once he and Hart started having actual conversations and I started getting into the story and invested in the characters. I liked Hart and Oak together, but I had some trouble reconciling why Hart was so into Oak beyond the physical attraction. He mentioned his kindness and gentle ways repeatedly but as a reader I didn’t see those things as clearly as Hart did. Oak laughed at his father’s attempts at making a pass and he ignored and forgot his very troubled friend more than once. If I had seen him do some more good and selfless things I would have totally bought into their relationship.

The secondary characters were strong, especially Bay, Oaks dad. There is a story there for him and I would love to read it. He’s got OCD that affects the ranch operations and there is a hand that has been crushing on him for years. I hope Bay opens his eyes in the future.

I would be remiss in my reviewing duties if I didn’t mention the inconsistencies in the story. I’ll be the first to admit I am NOT strong with noticing that kind of thing and if I noticed, you will. I can usually shine on minor issues and typos if I’m really into the story, but because I was struggling a little the inconsistencies really stood out and took away from the bits I was enjoying. For instance, when Hart first sees Oak he says, “Had she noticed his jaw dropping in awe of the rancher’s son?” and not two sentences later he says, “Oh no. Could Oak be the boss’s son?” Ummmm, yes. Oak and Steve are having a debate about all the different guys that Oak has supposedly been with and Oak says, “I fumbled about with the one last year, another in college, and the thing we did together . . .” Oak is 18 and just graduated from high school. I’ll let you do the math. At one point Oak and Hart are stealing some moments together and “Oak strolled toward him bare-chested” and two pages later “Oak pulled his T-shirt off and threw it to the floor.” These are just a few examples and some solid editing could have made these moments a non-issue and let me fall into the story more than I was able to.

So, while this story was definitely rough around the edges, the bones were strong and it read like a first novel experience. I know you know what I mean. Have you gone back in an established author’s backlist and read their first published work and gone, “Wow, this author has come a long way”? That’s the reaction I had to this one. It’s a solid start and some quality editing and character tweaks would have made a world of difference in my enjoyment of this one. All that being said, I’m definitely interested in reading the next installment of the series, I really want to see where this story goes.

For more info on Enticing Hart check it out on Goodreads.



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

Review: The Hit Man Cometh by Edward Kendrick

Mick is a hit man sent after Gavin. Can Gavin, an ex-conman and a shifter, convince Mick they should join forces before Mick kills him?

Mick Whalen is a hit man hired to kill Gavin Wilde. However, when he tracks Gavin to a remote mountain cabin, he discovers that killing the coyote shifter is not in the cards. 

Especially when Gavin offers sex as an incentive to spare his life—an offer Mick does not refuse.

At Gavin's insistence, they find out who hired Mick before someone else is sent to finish the job. The most probable person is a vampire with an axe to grind because of something Gavin did to him in the past. With the help of Gavin's bear-shifter friend Torben, and Torben's vampire friend Brynja, they set out to stop the vampire—perhaps permanently.

Mick and Gavin decide to join forces since, as Gavin points out, he can teleport Mick away after a hit. The contracts come, and their rough bouts of sex heat up in the process.

However, they’re almost killed on a job—a job no one knew about except Mick's friend and handler Johnny. When Johnny is murdered, they team up with the two other hit men who once worked for Johnny, to find and eliminate his killer as well. 

With death and destruction now both men's way of life, will it draw them closer together—or destroy what has become more than just a friendship?



This book and I did NOT see eye to eye.




We started off rocky. We broke up in the middle. There was quite a bit of colorful language. We just couldn't make it work. Unless a book is obviously not meant to be taken seriously then I go into each experience with certain expectations. I struggled through the first 30?% trying to ascertain whether or not this was to be taken seriously at all, if it was supposed to be PWP without the porn or if I was being punk'd. Finally, I came to the conclusion that I, in fact, was supposed to take it seriously, though I still wonder about the punk'd thing. Unfortunately, my suspend reality capabilities did not extend quite this far.




I'm probably about to creep some of you out, but I swear I'm really not a contract killer. I swear. But I do like them and how twisted, cold, sociopathic and merciless they can be. Mick, however, is the worst hit man. Ever. He's hired to kill Gavin, is in his bedroom with a high-powered rifle pointed at him and somehow they wend up fucking. How? Wut? Why? That does not make any sense on either one of their parts. What's more, Mick turns out to be moody and angst-y? A moody and angst-y contract killer?



The icing on top of this crazy cake is Gavin, in addition to being a coyote shifter, can teleport. Which he and Mick affectionately refer to as "Air Coyote". More like: 




Why not teleport once you see the rifle pointed at you? I'd be gone like Sean. Gavin, I guess, was too busy being turned on by the threat of mortal injury? Maybe? I really have no clue. I'm too left-brained for this book and these characters. Said brain was stomping up and down having a hissy fit all over the place. 

Hissy fit #1:  Mick and Gavin deduce that a vampire named Clemente, who abducted Gavin's daughter some time ago to sell into slavery, is the one who hired Mick. Gavin was able to track down Clemente all those years ago and rescue his daughter thus creating a rift between them. Isn't there always a rift between vamps and shifters? Anyway… Clemente has opened a gay BDSM club apparently to lure in Gavin and then exact his revenge for the loss of revenue, not to mention face amongst the other vamps, so many years ago. Then why hire a contract killer WHO'S HUMAN? AND how does Clemente even know Gavin is gay or kinky for that matter? It's not like they have regular lunch dates.

Hissy fit #2: The BDSM is offensive. Extremely offensive. One might even go so far as to call it abusive.

"Strip. Now," Mick ordered.
"And if I don't?" Gavin retorted, pushing buttons. He could feel the tension rolling off Mick, even if his lover wasn't aware of it himself.
Mick grabbed Gavin's biceps painfully. "Are you defying me?"
Gavin lowered his gaze, shaking his head. "No," he whispered.
"Then do as you're told." Mick brought one hand down so hard on Gavin's denim covered ass that Gavin felt as if he was already naked from the pain that ensued.

Mick removed his fingers, instantly replacing them with the thick head of his swollen cock. He thrust in hard and fast. Gavin couldn't help it. He shouted as pain tore through him then bit down on the pillow to keep from doing so again.
"Shh, shh," Mick whispered unexpectedly. "It's what you need. What I need to give you."

When Mick slapped his ass, hard, Gavin let out a yelp then bit back on another one when it happened again and Mick ordered him to remain silent. It was hard to keep quiet. Mick was being almost vicious with his hits. The only thing that gave Gavin the willpower to obey was telling himself that Mick needed to work out the last of his residual anger. Anger at Gavin for not trusting him.

Needless to say there was some colorful language, one fingered salutes and a smorgasbord of eye rolling going on on my part. To add insult to injury, the kinky sex was also boring and quick. It's like the same scene over and over. I wonder if they were just copy/paste scenes with a tweak here and there.

Hissy fit #3:  The misogyny. 


"…No wonder women aren't my thing. You can't trust them any further than you can throw them."
That statement alone wouldn't be enough to offend me, but this was the tone throughout. Women are untrustworthy, flighty, malicious and diabolical. Then the whole downplaying the importance of prior relationships card got pulled. I hate that card. Gavin was married and had a daughter. He eschews calling himself bisexual and calls his wife a beard that he never loved. And I'm supposed to like this person? I get the whole marriage of convenience thing and being closeted. What I don't get is having a daughter with someone and never feeling anything for that person and he's NOT the contract killer here. He's portrayed as being sensitive, a pacifist and free spirited. So, just an asshole. Gotcha. I'm not even going to go into him needing said beard to fit into his pack that isn't accepting of homosexuality; the same pack that he's in now. 




The rest of my problems with this book stem from bad writing, rife with redundancies like:


"Is that an existential question? Like why do we exist? What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose?"

Thanks for clearing up what existential means. I wouldn't have known otherwise.

The writing is tedious with endless financial talk and encryption of emails. The plot is plodding. There was one point where Mick and Gavin accept a contract where the hirer wants to collect double indemnity from the life insurance which Mick believes translates into he has to kill the person at their place of work. That's kind of amusing in a 'how-the-fuck-did-you-get-to-be-a-contract-killer?' kind of way. Anyone out there who has set your sights on learning how to become a contract killer, you could learn more from Grosse Pointe Blanke. Just a tip from me to you.

If you're able to suspend disbelief to infinity and beyond, you may enjoy this.




A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.