Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Horrible news

Last night I got the shocking message that a dear friend lived her worst nightmare. Out of respect for her awful loss and her love for blogging, it doesn’t feel right for me to go on blogging and bloghopping as if nothing happened.

Therefore I rescheduled my review for tomorrow to next Wednesday and I won’t post any other posts until then. Nor will I be around blogland much. I’ll only check and answer my e-mail.

I’m wishing her all the strength and love in the world, to deal with the immense pain she’s facing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday’s Hot Couple & Sexy, Smutty Scene from A Shared Range by Andrew Grey

This week’s sexy scene is from A Shared Range by Andrew Grey, an m/m novel I’m reading at the moment. I’ve actually almost finished it and so far it’s a very good read. I had this on my ereader for almost two months and somehow I didn’t feel like reading it, until yesterday! Since I’m going to review it, I felt I had to wait for the right moment to give the book a fair chance. I don’t know if it makes sense but I always try to read my review copies when I’m (sort of) in the mood for them. :)
Now, I’m wondering why I haven’t started A Shared Range sooner, because it’s very engaging and charming.
Hope you enjoy the scene!

Inside the house, all was quiet, and as soon as the door closed, Wally was encased in those strong arms. “Will you stay with me tonight?”
Dakota kissed him again, and Wally nodded slowly against the lips. He felt rather than saw Dakota’s smile just before he was lifted off his feet. Wally wrapped his legs around Dakota’s waist, continuing their kissing as Dakota walked them to his bedroom, closing the door behind then with a click before setting him on the bed.
Wally held on as they continued kissing, his back pressing into the mattress, Dakota’s weight surrounding him. Wally wrapped his arms around Dakota’s neck as a hand slid beneath his shirt, sliding over his chest. “I knew you’d feel this good,” Dakota murmured between kisses as his hand made small circles on Wally’s stomach. Wally groaned and arched into the touch… well, as much as he could with two hundred pounds of solid man pressing against him.
Dakota’s shoes hit the floor, and Wally’s followed as Dakota tugged his shirt up, fingers circling his nipples. “Kota….” Wally whined as the roving hand slid down his stomach, teasing at the waist of his pants.
“I’m going to take my time.” Dakota’s voice wrapped around him like a blanket, and then those lips sucked lightly behind his ear and down his neck. Wally felt himself shaking as Dakota’s lips continued their travels down his chest to one of his nipples. Wally’s hands worked through Dakota’s hair, adding pressure, wanting more, desperately. “You need patience.” Dakota lifted Wally’s arms above his head, holding them against the mattress. “That’s better.” Dakota’s eyes raked down Wally’s skin.
“Kota, that’s not fair….” Wally’s words trailed off as his nipple was sucked again. Throwing his head back, he cried out softly as Dakota’s hot tongue swirled around his now-hard bud. “What are you doing to me?”
“Making you feel good.” Dakota released his hands. “Keep them there, okay?” Wally didn’t have time to respond as Dakota opened Wally’s belt, parting the fabric of Wally’s pants. A hand slid down Wally’s skin, fingers circling his shaft. Wally thrust forward and sighed as Dakota gripped him, tugging him slowly. “I love how smooth your skin is.” Dakota ran his tongue along Wally’s stomach, and Wally shivered with pleasure; then the fingers slipped away, along with Dakota’s weight.

Andrew Grey’s website | on Goodreads
Buy A Shared Range here

Backblurb A Shared Range:
After a year in medical school, Dakota Holden returned home to take care of the family business full time and help his father cope with multiple sclerosis. Devoted to his family, Dakota allows himself just one week of vacation a year, which he spends in some exotic location having all the fun he can stand. On his last vacation, a cruise, Dakota struck up a friendship with Phillip Reardon, and it fills an important role in Dakota’s life.

So when Phillip decides to take Dakota up on his invitation to visit the ranch, Dakota is happy to see him and meet his veterinarian friend, Wally Schumacher. Despite Wally’s inclination to help the wolves Dakota’s men shoot to protect the cattle, he and Dakota find they have a lot in common, including a fierce attraction. But they’ll have to decide if the Wyoming range is big enough for Dakota’s cattle, Wally’s wolves, and their love.

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Gay Friday

Not much of a post today. I probably have to run out of the door in a minute to pick up hubs who's stuck at our country's biggest train station. There's been a fire (fortunately no injuries) which caused a complete fall out of all the trains. Hubs has been locked in one of the trains first and then had to walk back to the station. Now he's hoping to catch a bus, but if that's going to take too long, I'll ride to Utrecht by car to pick him up. It's an one hour drive, usually, but now, with the chaos around Utrecht, I'm not sure...

Hope your Friday is not one of those days! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Review: River of Need by Shayla Kersten

Shayla Kersten
River of Need
Ellora’s Cave, 2010

River of Need is the fourth installment in the Tennessee Cops series. All books in this series can be read as standalones, although you wouldn’t want to miss out on the other books, especially since the heroes make reappearances in their co-heroes’ stories.

Two years after their breakup, Detective Kyle Shelton didn’t expect to see his lying, cheating, closeted ex. Especially not behind bars for prostitution. Bailing him out is one of the stupidest things Kyle has done in a while. Although letting his ex back in his bed probably ranks higher on the dumbass scale.
Dustin Eldridge’s lying about his sexual preferences has left him with nothing. Literally. He’s lost his home, his family, his job and, worse, he’s lost Kyle. On the streets, with no one to turn to, he’s resorted to selling his body to survive. Then Kyle—of all people—comes to his rescue. Dustin can’t fix the past but maybe there’s hope for a future.
Unless Kyle really believes Dustin added serial killer to his resume along with hooker.

Note: For maximum reader enjoyment, we suggest also reading Hidden Force (Tony and Ryan) and Hidden Hands (David March) where these secondary characters were heroes.

Genre & Keywords:
M/M, Contemporary, Cops, Suspense, Ex-lovers reunite

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2.5 out of 3 flames

Why I read it:
I received a review copy from the author

I’ve been a fan of Ms Kersten’s m/m romances ever since I read A Helping Hand, which is one of the books in her Tennessee Cops series, and which is still one of my favorites. I’ve said it before but I think she writes wonderful characters, that I can feel connected with. The way she shows a snippet from their lives, makes you understand them easily, because she effortlessly lets you slip inside her heroes’ heads.

In the novella River of Need - the fourth installment in the Tennessee Cops series - we meet detective Kyle Shelton who reconnects with his ex lover Dustin when Dustin is arrested for prostitution. Kyle bails him out and takes him home because Dustin has nowhere else to go. All the past lies from his closeted ex aren’t forgotten but Kyle can’t help still feeling attracted to him.
The return of the lying, closeted ex lover in itself brings enough conflict into the story, but there’s more. Another element is added when Dustin becomes a suspect for a murder, and with that we’re headed for a romantic ánd suspenseful climax.

This story full of regret and uncertainty is told alternating from Kyle’s and Dustin’s point of view. This way we’re given the opportunity to understand both heroes equally. Yet somehow I found it easier to identify with Kyle than with Dustin, but that has more to do with their personalities than with how their deep inner thoughts were conveyed. I didn’t understand some of Dustin’s ‘choices’ completely and additionally I found it somewhat difficult to believe that he liked to give up control and have rough sex, given his recent situation as a homeless and abused prostitute. Still, he and Kyle are a hot couple, even if I’d preferred more tenderness instead of the rough dominating smexing. The dirty talk that arouses Kyle at one point, probably should not have been about Dustin’s recent experience of abuse either. However, I could understand Kyle’s need for some sort of vengeance and taking delight in Dustin’s suffering after all that he had put him through.

Although I might not have always agreed with their behavior, I still felt very engaged in the protags on an emotional level thanks to the impressive way the author writes about her characters’ feelings. The heroes have to deal with doubts and regrets and the still present feelings for each other while some significant turmoil is going on in their lives. I found myself engrossed in their dilemmas and undeniable attraction.
To be honest, I had to slow myself down because if I hadn’t, I would’ve raced through this novella out of curiosity for the outcome of the mystery and the romance. It’s how the story is paced – fast and steady towards a climax in which it’s highly unpredictable if the main characters will steer clear from getting hurt. And I think it would’ve been a shame if I had rushed through this story, since it’s already too short to my liking (but that’s just greedy me). More importantly, I would’ve missed the little hints that clarify what’s attracting one man to the other and vice versa, apart from the physical magnetism.

River of Need isn’t my new favorite in this series, but it’s certainly a great addition. With a few added extensions on the heroes’ personalities and a bit more showing of their dynamics outside the suspenseful events – for example by continuing their story a little longer after the solving of the murder mystery and the subsequent happy-ending-smexing – it definitely could’ve become a serious rival in the ‘favorite competition’. Now that place is still reserved for A Helping Hand.

Shayla Kersten’s website | weblog | on Goodreads | on Twitter | on Facebook

If you’re curious about what I love so much about Ms Kersten’s work in general you can read my fan letter to her here.

Buy River of Need here
Read an excerpt of River in Need here


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Guest Review: Sacred Fate by Eresse

Sacred Fate (Chronicles of Ylandre #1)
Liquid Silver Books, 2009

In the dual-gendered realm of Ylandre, the great divide between the high-born True Bloods and the lower-ranked Half Bloods is deemed impassable by most. Rohyr Essendri dared to cross it when he took young Lassen Idana from his provincial town and made him his paramour. Lassen perforce learned how to navigate the intricate byways of life at court. What he never expected, however, was to fall in love with Rohyr, a most inadvisable and impractical thing to do when one’s lover is sovereign ruler of the land. But anything worth having is worth fighting for, both figuratively and, as Lassen discovers, literally speaking.

Contains hermaphrodism and explicit homoerotic sexual encounters.

Genre & Keywords:
M/M, SciFi/Fantasy, Hermaphrodism, Male Pregnancy, Mystery, Intrigue

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 3 out of 3 flames

Guest review by Lis:

This review is one I requested of Janna. She received an e-mail full of squee about this book (and the sequel) and I all but begged her to let me write a review, because I think more people should read and enjoy this book. I wonder if your reaction to the blurb would be much the same as mine, because books with male pregnancies in it (or m-preg as it is called in the world of fanfiction) are the bane of my existence. There are a lot of things I don't mind, but m-preg has me shuddering everytime. So therefore when I read the blurb and came across the word 'duel-gendered' my reaction was “owh hell no.” However, the blurb got stuck in my head and when I heard several others so enthusiastic about this book, I got curious. I wanted to hate it from the start, but found I couldn't (dammit). Let me share with you why this book is so good.

The story is about Lassen en Rohyr who live in the fantasy world of Ylandre where there are no more females left and the men became dual-gendered. Lassen lives in the quiet fiefdom of Tal-Ereq where one day he becomes the lynchpin on negotiations between the crown (represented by its king, Rohyr) and the council (represented by his father or aba or adda). Lassen is to become the concubine of Rohyr, something he objects to at first but agrees to when he sees how concerned his adda is about this. This is but the start of a long complicated, intriguing, romantic, funny, hot and fantastic story that spans over a decade.

What I liked about this story is that this is not just a savage claim-and-conquer romance. Rohyr seduces Lassen and doesn't just claim him. While Lassen is not exactly given a choice in the matter, he comes to love Rohyr deeply and doesn't suffer from Stockholm-syndrome as I feared in the beginning. Over the course of this story both the characters of Lassen and Rohyr grow and they make their mistakes and overcome them, though not without difficulty and all the while going at it like bunnies or the equivalent of bunnies in Ylandre. There are several (political) conflicts throughout the story that need to be overcome, but are handled with grace.

Lassen is a gentle but strong and smart character. He may not be as physically strong as Rohyr, but he has his qualities. He adapts very well to his new situation, he quite sees through people and their plans and gossips, but he hates to upset others and only does so if it's for a just cause. That mildly irritated me sometimes, because throughout the story there are instances in which he just agrees or walks away when I would have thrown a bitchfight just for the heck of it. Rohyr on the other hand, has a temper and Lassen knows very well how to handle it and he has Rohyr ear, though he doesn't influence Rohyr for his own gain.

Rohyr is also very stubborn. Damn, they don't often make them as stubborn as Rohyr. Well maybe his half brother Dylen. He put the kingdom before all, even his own happiness at times. Lassen is the first thing or someone he chooses for himself and even then there are issues. Did I mention stubborn? Although it is nice to see that he grows and learns throughout the story.

In the beginning of this review I talked about m-preg and yes, that is included in the story. What I liked about how this author handled this issue is that she shapes the world around the 'issue.' It's not just men that get pregnant (that would just be iel!) but dual-gendered or hermaphroditic people. From the start it is made clear that there are no women in this world, they have been extinct for about a 1000 years, and they have to procreate somehow. I'm just so glad it's not egg. That would just be... *shudders*

If I have to look objectively at this story, something that is very hard to do because I like it so much, there are some issues. While this story has a good length, it is full of names and (political) history and it is hard to keep track of everything. At some points I compared this to Tolkien's Silmarillion with all the name throwing and historic recounts. Though it is also important to know and what makes it harder is that there are no characters with easy names like Michael or John to remember them by.

While I like the characters (haven't you guessed that yet) they can be classified as stereotypes. There, I said it. Not in a bad way, because as seen with many stories, it fits the tale to be told. In that regard I didn't mind the stereotypes of the good “guys” or the bad “guys.”

Eresse spins a detailed and engrossing story that will keep you on the edge of your seat or reading well past bedtime with lotsa hot hot hot man (hermaphroditic) sex that has you melting in a puddle of goo.

If you haven't guessed it yet, I really recommend this story. If I could order you to read it, I would *grin* Now go and get it and read! Run!

Eresse’s website | weblog | on Goodreads
Buy Sacred Fate here


Winner of Breathe!

First, let me congratulate Sloan Parker with the release of her new m/m ebook Breathe at Loose Id today!

She was so kind to give away an ecopy of Breathe to one of the commenters on her fabulous guest post of last Thursday – a huge thank you for that! – and the lucky winner (picked by random.org) is:

Sweet Vernal Zephyr

Woohoo!! Congrats Miranda! I’ll contact you so Sloan can email you your copy! Enjoy the book!

For all of you who didn’t win, thanks for playing and leaving your kind comments!
Maybe you can console yourself with buying a book. ;) (for example this one)...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday’s Hot Couple & Sexy, Smutty Scene from Cowgirls Don’t Cry by Lorelei James

This week’s sexy scene is from Cowgirls Don’t Cry by Lorelei James, the tenth installment in her Rough Riders series, which was released last week. I love this series and every new installment is an auto buy for me. The main characters Brandt and Jessie were already introduced in the previous book Raising Kane, circling around each other, and in this next scene they’re finally getting to the serious business. Hope you enjoy the scene!

Finally, Brandt pushed to his feet. His dark eyes remained on hers as he deftly skirted the coffee table and the pile of Landon’s toys. He stopped in front of her, his big hands clenched at his sides. “Starting tonight, but especially this first time, I call the shots. All of them. I own your sexuality. We clear?”

Talk about being the big, bad wolf. Jessie nodded.

“Say the word so there’s no misunderstanding between us.”

She swallowed and said, “Yes.”

Brandt slanted his mouth over hers. But he didn’t kiss her with lust-fueled passion. He drank her in—

with his eyes, with the short, choppy breaths he pulled into his lungs. Although Jessie was pretty sure he wanted to take a possessive kiss, he didn’t, which indicated his monumental control.

His tongue darted out and slid along the plump inside curve of her bottom lip. A leisurely, sensuous glide across the sensitive flesh that caused her mouth to tremble even as her lips parted in invitation. But he didn’t dive in for a greedy, openmouthed kiss. He lightly swept his damp lips over hers. Repeatedly. Male hunger and hot breath, tempered with softness that was unlike anything she’d ever experienced. He gauged her responses and inched closer, but didn’t allow their bodies to touch. Heat shimmered between them.

Jessie actually felt dizzy from want. What would he do if she fisted her hands in his T-shirt and just took the kiss she craved? His warning, This first time, I call the shots, forced her to truly surrender to him. And that’s when Brandt kissed her.

Holy mother of God did the man lay a kiss on her. His hands framed her face with utmost gentleness as his mouth conquered hers. Dominated. Destroyed. Ignited.

After several minutes of proving his mastery, Brandt changed the angle of his head, taking the kiss from fiery to flirty. Sucking on her tongue. Nibbling on the very edges of her lips. Kissing the corners of her smile.


“What are you thinkin’ about so hard?”

“Not thinking about anything but you, Brandt.”

“Such pretty words from such a pretty mouth.” He used the tip of his finger to trace the contours of her lips. “Do you have any idea how jealous I was that night at the lake? Seein’ you on your knees in front of that little fucking prick, Mike?”

“I don’t remember much from that part of the night.”

“I do, and I wanna erase that mental image of you with another man’s cock in your throat. All I want to remember is the image of my cock in your throat. Your mouth on my dick.” Brandt unbuckled his belt and unzipped his jeans. Eased both to the floor without losing eye contact with her. What a rush, seeing Brandt’s take-charge side. In the last week she’d been thinking a lot about the kind of lover he’d be. And thank God sugarcoating his demands wasn’t his style. She barely got a peek at his cock before he commanded, “Hands on my thighs.” He grasped the base of his dick in his right hand and rubbed his cockhead across her lips. “Open.”

Jessie let her eyes drift shut in anticipation of tasting him, of pleasing him, of pleasing herself by admitting how much she wanted this, wanted him.

His gentleness during the slow glide across her lips, over her teeth and across her tongue, surprised her. As did the loving way he framed her face in his hands, sweeping his thumbs over her hollowed cheeks up to her temple. “Beautiful.”

Lorelei James’s website | on Goodreads
Buy Cowgirls Don’t Cry here

Backblurb Cowgirls Don’t Cry:
Good girls can play rough too…
Rough Riders, Book 10

Jessie McKay has accepted her marriage to Luke McKay wasn’t perfect. After two years of widowhood, she’s ready to kick up her bootheels—until Luke’s younger brother shows up to spoil her fun. But if Brandt thinks she’ll ever take orders from another McKay male, he’s got manure for brains.
Brandt McKay has avoided his sweet, sexy sister-in-law ever since the night he confessed his feelings for her weren’t the brotherly type. Unexpectedly faced with proof of Luke’s infidelity, Brandt is forced to ask for Jessie’s help in taking care of Luke’s young son. Jessie agrees on one condition—she wants Brandt’s boots exclusively under her bed for the duration.
The sexual heat that’s always simmered between them ignites. Brandt is determined to make the temporary situation permanent, proving to Jessie he’s a one-woman man. And Jessie is shaken by feelings she’s sworn never to have again for any man…especially not a McKay.
Warning: Contains branding-iron-hot sex, the one McKay on earth who wants to be tamed, and a woman who’s decided tame is for nice girls who finish last.

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Gay Friday & What I Read

Just a quick post today because I’m late as usual and running out of time because I spent way too much time on the phone with Leontine this afternoon… Seriously, I had to change devices three times because the battery went dead, lol. Once we start chatting nothing’s gonna stop us, not even a dead battery.

I did manage to read some nice m/m books this week, but not as many as I would’ve wanted to.

First there was Wicked Cool by Val Kovalin, which was a very yummy novella about junk removal specialist Stu (who is from Dutch origin :)) and secretive property manager Brian. They meet at the job and feel attracted and start seeing each other, but Brian’s secret becomes a problem. It ended a little abruptly but although it was a short story it felt as a full-fledged one. And Stu and Brian are a hot couple. I’m definitely going to read Val’s other recently released book, Trinity Trespass.

Then I read Miami's Perfect Weekend by Jamie Craig, the first book in the Calendar Boys series. Tre is a famous football star and Michael a bookish stud who wears glasses and knows nothing about football. This story takes place during just one weekend but it describes the falling in lust and love so deliciously that I totally believed in it. Really a fabulous read.

The third book I read was Heart Doctor by Drew Zachary about Drey and Brady, head nurse and new doctor, who meet at work and start a very hot and uncomplicated relationship. Lots of sexy scenes and just enough story arc to keep you reading. The right book for the right mood for me, nice and comforting without too much fuss.

The last m/m book is Pricks and Pragmatism by J.L. Merrow. This is a very touching novella about a beautiful, uninhibited wink and a gentle, bearded, shy guy who start sharing an apartment, become friends and against all odds fall in love, before falling into bed together. Well written, great emotions, from a witty point of view in first person. Recommended, especially when you fancy hairy guys. :)

Have a Happy Gay Friday!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Giveaway & Guest post: Sloan Parker Talks about Breathe

I’m very pleased to have author Sloan Parker as a guest here at my blog today! I loved her m/m/m debut novel More. Next Tuesday her new m/m ebook Breathe will be released at Loose Id and today she’s here to share some insider’s information about that book!
Sloan’s also giving away one copy of Breathe to a lucky commenter.

A huge thank you to Janna for asking me to post on her blog today. She suggested I tell you about my latest book, BREATHE, and the main characters, Jay and Lincoln. I thought I’d also share a bit about my process for how I create my characters.

Before I started writing BREATHE, I developed character sketches, basically answering a series of questions per character. These sheets are very detailed, but I don’t answer every question for every character. There are some questions I force myself to answer, and others I pick and choose from based on what I feel I need to know about that person and his/her particular backstory.

For example, here are a few questions from my character sheets:

Sample Must Answer Questions
1) What is this character’s darkest secret?
2) What are his biggest mistakes or regrets?
3) What is the worst thing that could happen to him right now?
4) What does he fear most in the world? And why?
5) What does he have to gain from the outcome of the story (i.e. the outcome of the final conflict)?

Sample Optional Questions
1) A sad movie is on. How would this character react if he were alone? How would he react if he were with others?
2) If he had a bad day, how would he relax? What would he do?
3) Does he sleep nude? In pajamas? His underwear?
4) Does he eat quickly or slowly? Why?
5) Does he drive fast or slowly? Why?

Then while I was writing the outline and the first draft, I filled out even more of the character sheet as I learned more about who I wanted these people to be and what I wanted to say about their story.

For BREATHE, I wanted to tell the story of two strangers living in a small town. They meet and discover an undeniable attraction only to learn a little too late they should never have met at all. Or so they think. One man’s wife was killed in a car accident a year before the story starts. The other man is the person who caused the accident that took her life. I wanted them to be two very likeable guys stuck in an impossible situation.

Without giving away too much from the book, here are a few facts about each man based on my character sheets:

Jay Miller
1) Personality traits: Bookish, caring, talkative, intelligent, trustworthy, broad-minded, captivating, conscientious, curious, inquisitive, lonely, sensual, sincere, depressed.
2) Drives fast or slowly: He’s a careful driver. But he shuts down during the process, not allowing himself to imagine what the last moments were like for his wife.
3) Mode of transportation: a beat up Jeep he’s had since high school.
4) Eats quickly or slowly: Quickly. Eats without really tasting the food. Mostly pizza and fast food. He never cooks anything for himself.
5) One word this character would use to describe himself: Broken.

Lincoln McCaw
1) Personality traits: Attentive, conscientious, devoted, honorable, serious, jealous, loyal, passionate, realistic, reliable, responsible, somber, relentless, systematic, trustworthy.
2) Greatest source of strength in this character's personality: his loyalty and devotion to those he loves.
3) What he does when he is angry: Yells a little. Scowls a lot. Does something to try to fix the situation or if he can’t he tries to fix something else.
4) The worst thing that could happen to him: He causes another accident.
5) One word this character would use to describe himself: Guilty.

Those are a few of the questions I answered for each of the main characters from BREATHE.

Thanks again to Janna for allowing me to share about my work and my latest book. As you can see I love talking about my characters and my writing process. Thanks for listening!

Sloan Parker


Thank you, Sloan! Personally I can’t wait to read Breathe! The premise of the story and the little peek in the writer’s mind you gave, are intriguing me immensely.


Sloan has generously offered an ebook copy of Breathe to give away to one of the commenters on this post.

Giveaway is open to everyone and runs until next Tuesday. I will announce the winner on November 16, the release date of Breathe.

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is comment on this post and leave a way for me to contact you, either in your profile or in the comment itself. It would be nice if you’d say something related to the content of this post. :)
The winner will be picked with random.org.

Good luck to you all!

Backblurb of Breathe:
Lincoln McCaw lost everything--his home, his job, his partner--after he caused a fatal accident. A year later, he's drowning the guilt and despair in whiskey, but he needs to move on. His sister and her kids are counting on him. Then he meets a man who ignites a passion Lincoln thought he’d never find. Too bad one night is all they can have together. Now he needs to figure out how to turn away from the only person who makes him feel alive...before whoever is sending him threats decides Lincoln needs to suffer more than he already has.

Jay Miller is surrounded by grief and misery until he finally gives in to all those years of sexual fantasies about being with another guy. Realizing he’s ended up in the arms of the man who caused his wife’s accident, he tries to pull away. But can he give up a friendship he needs more than anything--a friendship and a love that could save him? Or will someone else destroy it all?

Sloan Parker’s website | weblog | on Goodreads | on Twitter | on Facebook

Buy Breathe here
Read the first two chapters of Breathe here
Read another excerpt here


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review: Dudleytown by L.B. Gregg

L.B. Gregg
Aspen Mountain Press, 2010

College sophomore Alexander Strauss has one rule: no messing around with straight guys. Especially not his mouthwatering roommate, Shannon. When their ride share drives off the side of a mountain, the two young men find themselves deep in an uninhabited forest searching for their missing friend. Wandering the famously cursed grounds of Dudleytown, Alex figures something truly unholy must be at play, because only insanity could tempt him to break his cardinal rule.

Genre & Keywords:
M/M, Contemporary, Roommates, Suspense, Halloween, Movies

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames

Why I read it:
I received a review copy from the author

I can keep this short: Dudleytown is a joy to read. There’s not much I didn’t enjoy about this sexy, suspenseful Halloween story. I just loved it!

Okay, I’ll tell you a little bit more, but not too much because you definitely have to read it yourself to learn more about it.
The plot is cleverly simple but strong. Three friends are on their way home when they get in an accident in the middle of a dark forest, tumbling down the mountain. One of them has a head injury and gets lost. The other two, Alex and Shannon, go after their friend, trying to find him. Alex and Shannon are roommates and Alex has a crush on Shannon who he assumes is straight. While looking for their friend and dealing with some mysterious events, Alex and Shannon find themselves in some intimate (and scary) situations. The plot is building to a wonderful climax, on more than one level.

Alex is the narrator of his and Shannon’s adventures and his voice is another one of those great LB Gregg voices I adore; it’s funny, ironic and sharp. And full of self-mockery.
Each one of LB’s narrators has his own quirk and Alex’s is his unbelievably broad knowledge of cheesy (horror) movie titles and his 'talent' to compare almost everything he's witnessing with one of these movies. It’s bringing a light, humorous touch into the suspense arc, which makes Dudleytown a fabulous balance between comedy, thriller, drama and erotic romance. For the latter elements Shannon is playing his part wonderfully. He and Alex are a hot couple, not only when hiding in a pot hole under nerve wracking circumstances but also when sharing a sweet, sexy shower.

Before I spoil more I better let you pick it up yourself. It’ll be worth your money, especially when you’re already a fan of LB Gregg’s humor. There was only one thing I didn’t enjoy very much about this novella and that was its length. The (early but otherwise perfect) ending prevented me from being with these characters a little bit longer and left me wondering what would happen to them after the story. And that is a sign of a good book.

L.B. Gregg’s website | weblog | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook
Buy Dudleytown here


Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday’s Hot Couple & Sexy, Smutty Scene from Heart Doctor by Drew Zachary

This week’s sexy scene is from Heart Doctor by Drew Zachary, an M/M story that I’m reading at the moment. The scene is describing the first time the heroes, Drey and Brady, sleep together (around page 35). I’m about halfway the book and so far I’m really enjoying their chemistry and sense of humor. Hope you enjoy the scene!

"Here you go," Brady said, trying to pour and watch at the same time. "Supper was amazing, thank you." When he sat down again, he was sure to sit really close, wine glass in hand.

Drey took a sip of his wine. "Good enough to get a kiss as a reward?"

"Oh, hell, yes." Brady leaned in and kissed his mouth softly, taking his time about it. Good food and good kisses should never be rushed. Drey's wine glass clinked as it hit the coffee table, and then Drey's hands slid across his cheeks and through his hair, holding him in place as Drey deepened the kiss.

Oh, damn. That was nice. Brady let Drey take control of it and concentrated on keeping his own wine from spilling and kissing back, in equal measures. Drey tasted like the wine and like curry, every bit exotic and heady. Drey played with his tongue, stroking it and licking it, and then coaxing it back into Drey's mouth. That was when Drey started sucking it.

Brady groaned and leaned, hoping to get the wine glass on the table without dropping it and without breaking the kiss. He was reasonably sure he'd done it when the glass was out of his hand and hadn't made any unpleasant sounds at all. Hands free, he turned a bit toward Drey and dove into the kiss, his hands carding through Drey's hair before sliding over Drey's shoulders.

As if his touch gave Drey permission, Drey's hands suddenly slid down from his head, over his back.

"Uh-huh." Brady heard his own voice and smiled into the kiss. He hadn't meant to say anything at all, but there it was. He kissed Drey again, heard an explosion from the TV, and decided to ignore Bruce. He had a real, live, very warm man right there, practically underneath him.

Drey tugged up his shirt, fingers gliding over bare skin at his lower back. It could have tickled, but Drey's touch was firm enough that it merely spurred Brady on; he turned a bit more and tugged at Drey's hip, urging Drey to lean back on the couch. "This okay?" he asked, transferring his kisses from Drey's mouth to the warm skin under Drey's ear.

"Are you kidding? More than." Drey shifted a little and then Brady was lying on Drey, their bodies pressed close together.

Brady made another sound and rubbed. He could feel Drey's erection, hard and warm, and his own was nestled alongside. Making out on the couch was definitely a good way to spend a portion of the evening, Brady figured. Every sense he had was happy and engaged.

Drey rucked his shirt up higher, fingers exploring his skin, following every bump, every dip as low, happy sounds came out of them both. The room was getting warmer. Brady shifted his weight a little, moved one knee to better balance, and suddenly the room was hot as his cock got just the right angle. "Oh, God." He was sure he was flushed, but he didn't care. Drey felt incredible against him and kissed well enough to win awards.

Backblurb Heart Doctor:
Drey Banerjee, head nurse on the cardiac floor at City Hospital, loves his job. He loves it even more when heart doctor Brady MacDonald joins the team. Brady is cute, good at his job, and also gay. Soon the two are flirting like crazy and Drey's showing Brady the ropes, the local diner, his bedroom…

Brady's got rules, though, about not dating his co-workers. Not to mention the hospital frowns on fraternization between employees who work the same floor. Where does that leave Drey and Brady when innocent flirting begins leading to much, much more? With a cast of secondary characters egging Drey and Brady on, Heart Doctor is a heartwarming and delightful tale of falling in love.

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Gay Friday & Some Light

I’m scratching my head, thinking hard, looking heavenward, searching for words, looking for explanations – well, I think you get the point – in an attempt to describe how I feel. I have this indeterminate feeling of sadness. But I have nothing to be sad about, how sad is that, huh? All I want to do is play loud music, browse through my folders of yummy cookies and read. Maybe it’s the weather, which is rather stormy, wet and dark. Maybe it’s my tired body and slightly full head, remainders of having to deal with some fatiguing issues at work. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit behind with writing reviews and haven’t blogged much this week. Or maybe it’s just that time of the month. I dunno…

This is the (beautiful but sad) song I'm playing atm at maximum volume:

I do know that it’s time to look at the words that I painted on my bedroom wall: ‘Turn your face towards the sun and shadows will fall behind you’.
While the real sun is lacking today I’m using blogging as a substitute for some light. And I already feel it’s working. :)
*And it also helps that the next song in my playlist is Happiness by The Fray*

I haven’t even blogged about last Friday's IRL meeting with Leontine and Lis! The three of us met in Utrecht, Lis’s hometown, where we went to a cozy place for a high tea. And it was awesome, we started chatting and we never stopped until we had to catch our train home again. Leontine wrote about it on her blog, so if you’re curious what we talked about go read her wonderful blog post here.
One of the things that sneaked into our conversation was the idea of reading all three the same book on a regular basis and do a sort of joint review for which we invite anyone who wants to join in. We decided on an m/m book for our first ‘reading group’ try out: Clare London’s 72 Hours.
More about this idea later.

Speaking of ideas. I’m thinking about changing my blog’s name into something more general. A short brainstorm made me come up with ‘Loves and Joys’ combined with my name or even with ‘Reviews’ although that may be a bit too pretentious for my blog *g*. I’m not sure yet about the change, I have to think through what the consequences will be… Feel free to tell me what you think of this idea. :)

There’s one other thing I want to share with you. I look forward to next week when I have the lovely author Sloan Parker as a guest on the blog! She’ll tell something about her upcoming release Breathe, her second novel (some of you might remember how much I loved her debut, More, if not you can read my High 5, Low 5 review here).
And the good news is: Sloan is going to give away an ecopy of Breathe to one of you! The contest will run from November 11 – 16!

*I'm finishing this post while listening to Hard Enough by Brandon Flowers*

Hope you all have a Happy Friday!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Guest Review: Savage Sanctuary by Jacqueline Barbary

Jacqueline Barbary
Savage Sanctuary
Carina Press, 2010

Sexy bad boy shapeshifter Michael O'Dare grew up on the streets. When government soldiers finally captured and imprisoned him, he became a lab rat and a collared slave, never again allowed to be human. His escape allowed him to return to human form and head for freedom in the Western Territories.
Robert Hamilton-Scott had lived by the code "You're careful, or you're caught" for too long to take chances now. The one risk he takes in his carefully controlled life is offering temporary shelter to shifters on the run like Michael.
Robert knows it's definitely not safe to want the sexy renegade he's giving sanctuary to—passion is dangerous for a shapeshifter. As the soldiers close in he must choose between the careful life he's built or life on the run with the man who has captured his heart.

Genre & Keywords:
M/M, Shapeshifters, Alternate universe

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames

*Review copy received from the publisher through Netgalley*

Guest review by Lis:

Savage Sanctuary by Jacqueline Barbary has been in my possession for a while, so when I looked it up on GoodReads to see when I read it, I was surprised to notice how many negative reviews it got, because I re-member I quite enjoyed this read. So I found the copy and re-read it, slightly faster this time, and with a more critical eye and I still enjoyed the story. Michael can hide out with me any time!

Savage Sanctuary only counts 85 pages and this not a whole lot for a budding romance, a past revealed, a feral wolf on the run from experimenting bad bad bad humans, world building and a siege. All in all I don't think this author did a bad job. Yes, I would have loved more background and more world building, because earth turned topsy turvy with humans who do a Hitler on shapeshifters. I would also have loved to see more character building and background.

Our main protagonists...well what can I say about them. The first thing that pops in my mind is: 'Mmmmm, instant attractions', because Michael and Robert are so different from each other it would be like comparing the sun to the moon. Michael is a feral shifter whereas Robert is a “centered” one. Wild vs. tame and throughout the story you get to see how Robert responds to Michael’s feral side and dayammm that is hot!

What did bother me about Michael’s character is how easily he is tamed. When he's brought to Robert's farm, Robert receives warnings about how dangerous and feral Michael is. Yet, you don't really get to see Michael’s feral side. He is a different person than the one we glimpse from his past or the person Robert is warned about.

Robert, on the contrary, is much more reserved and quiet. He has his life and his routines and the only walk on the wild side he takes is when he helps escaped shifters like Michael. He has a past though and it is about to catch up with him!

I can't really say that there is character depth in this story. Like I said, 85 pages doesn't leave a lot of room for character depth and therefore Michael and Robert play out the roles they are meant to. It left me very curious to see how their life would be after everything quiets down. There is a glimpse at the end of the book, but it's only that, a glimpse. It left me wondering if Michael would regain some of that wild side or if he gets bored or if he keeps on stirring the much quieter and reserved Robert.

Though there is a real ending, I would love to see this story continued.

The story is told from Robert's point of view with the occasional “omniscient” interjection. It's this latter that bothered me a bit because it sped the story up while I would have liked more details or would have liked Robert's thoughts. On the other side it makes for a different kind of story that fit the harsh world that surrounds the characters.

All in all Savage Sanctuary makes for a short, but interesting read about two characters trying to make it in a harsh world where it is hard to trust someone. It has it faults, but it is definitely worth reading.

Jacqueline Barbary’s website | weblog | on Goodreads | on Twitter
Buy Savage Sanctuary here


Monday, November 1, 2010

We have some winners!

Thank you all for leaving your comments and entering last week's giveaways. I loved reading every single one of your comments!
Also a warm thank you to the awesome authors Shayla Kersten, Kele Moon, Stacey Espino and L.B. Gregg for donating the copies of their books for the contests!

And now the moment you've been waiting for: the announcement of the winners! Here they are:

The winner of Stacey Espino’s Fearless Desire is:


The winner of Shayla Kersten’s River of Need is:

Fiction Vixen

The winner of Kele Moon’s Beyond Eden is:

Diana (Book of Secrets)

The winner of LB Gregg’s Dudleytown is:

Devon Rhodes

Congrats to you all! I'll email you to confirm your addresses, after which the authors will send you each your copy directly.

Happy Monday!
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