Category Archives: Josephine Myles

The Bristol Collection, Book 1: Junk by Josephine Myles


Title: The Bristol Collection, Book 1: Junk
Author: Josephine Myles
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages: 333
Characters: Lewis Miller, Jasper Richardson
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5+


Blurb:

Letting go is the first step to healing…or bringing it all crashing down.

The Bristol Collection, Book 1

When an avalanche of books cuts off access to his living room, university librarian Jasper Richardson can no longer ignore the truth. His ever-growing piles of books, magazines and newspapers can no longer be classified as a “collection”. It’s a hoard, and he needs professional help.

Professional clutter clearer and counselor Lewis Miller thinks he’s seen it all, but even he has to admit he’s shocked. Not so much by the state of Jasper’s house, but by the level of attraction he still feels for the sexy bookworm he remembers from school.

What a shame that Lewis’s ethical code forbids relationships with clients. As Jasper makes slow but steady progress, though, the magnetic pull between them is so strong even Lewis is having trouble convincing himself it’s a temporary emotional attachment arising from the therapeutic process.

Jasper longs to prove to Lewis that this is the real deal. But first he’ll have to lay bare the root of his hoarding problem…and reveal the dark secret hidden behind his walls of books.

Product Warnings
Contains a level-headed counselor with a secret addiction, a bespectacled geek with a sweet tooth, a killer “to-be-read” pile, embarrassing parents, a van called Alice, and deliciously British slang.

Review:

I’m ashamed to say that this is only the second book I’ve read by Josephine Myles, but after reading Junk by her, I’m going to quickly rectify it. I was absolutely gripped within the contents of this story. Between the well-written characters and the thought-provoking storyline, I quickly read this book from start to finish without interruptions.

The blurb does an excellent job at describing the book, so I won’t rehash a lot of it. Instead, I thought I’d discuss why I loved this book and why it’s one of my favorites that I’ve read this year.

Jasper has gone through the motions of life. Although, he loves his job as a librarian, he needs to keep and horde neglected books and magazines have taken control over his life. He lives in shame and fear that people will discover his secret and dreams of being free of his need to horde books and live a normal life. When he finally gets the courage to call a professional clutter clearer, Jasper is surprised when a guy he went to school with, Lewis, is the person who has come to help him. Embarrassed, but determined to rid his life of clutter, the two men work together to clear out the both physical and mental chaos in Jasper’s life.

What I really loved about this book was how much I really adored both heroes. Both Jasper and Lewis are sympathetic and likeable men who live and breathe off of the written page. I also appreciated how the author didn’t sweep both Jasper and Lewis’ problems under the rug. As the story progressed, there are issues both men must deal with if they want to achieve personal growth, so there can be something special between them. The story itself flows smoothly as does Jasper and Lewis’ romance and it was very easy for me to become captivated by the story they had to tell.

Once in a while I’ll come across a romance that lives in my mind long after I finished reading the book. Junk by Josephine Myles is one of those books. The characters were easy to love and root for and the storyline was extremely satisfying. If you are looking for a well-written, romantic read then Junk is definitely the book for you!

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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“Whatever you say, Colonel Spankington!” Honorifics in D/s relationships – a guest post by Josephine Myles (NSFW)

Just what is the correct form of address to use with someone who’s tied you up in knots?

Honorifics in the BDSM community are a controversial topic, with many differing ideas regarding how submissives should address dominants. This is largely because until recent years, the community was a secret and closed one, with strict protocols on honorifics. Master or Mistress was a title somebody had to earn through a long apprenticeship, but submissives were always required to address dominants by some form of respectful title, such as Sir or Ma’am.

However, with the explosion of interest in kink over the last decade—especially as an online phenomenon—many of these traditions are seen as somewhat old school and restrictive. These days, many submissives refuse to use honorifics for anyone other than the dominant they’re in a close relationship with, or those who have earned their respect. Similarly, dominants might also require submissives to earn the right to call them by a certain title.

All of this presents a challenge when writing modern-day BDSM. How traditional are the players? Do they use titles 24/7 or just in the bedroom? Do you have to capitalise honorifics? (short answer: let your publisher decide!) And just how silly are some of those titles, anyway?

Screwing the System is a novel that grew out of a short story written for the Goodreads MM Romance Group’s Love is Always Write event. This was inspired a reader’s prompt which specifically used the term “Daddy” to refer to the dominant partner in the relationship. I’d read other books using this honorific and had no problem with it myself. While I can understand why people might find it disturbingly incestuous, to me it symbolises a more nurturing role for the dominant. Perhaps it helps that I haven’t called my own father “Daddy” since I was tiny!

When turning the short story into a novel, however, I decided to lose the Daddy honorific. I didn’t want to put readers off a story they might otherwise enjoy because of one tiny little word (which wasn’t used all that often anyway). That left me in a real quandary, though. Cosmo is a rebellious sub and refuses to use terms like Sir, Master or Lord, so I knew these were out. What did that leave me with, then?

There are a whole wealth of less common honorifics out there, used less as official titles and more as terms of endearment. Anything that conveys some kind of position of authority works well: Chief, Mister, Commander, Captain, Emperor, Duke, Majesty, Supreme Commander of My Orgasmic Universe… okay, that last one might be a bit much. I do like Emperor Spanky-hands, though ;)

In the end I realised that I already had a perfectly suitable honorific for Alasdair already in the story, and despite Cosmo using it in a rather tongue-in-cheek fashion, it worked for both of them. I won’t tell you what I chose—you’ll have to read the story to find out!

Could you ever call someone Sir, Master, Ma’am or Mistress while keeping a straight face? And can you come up with any more suitable (or silly) alternative honorifics?

Comment to win! Jo is offering a choice of a book from her backlist to one lucky commenter on this post, and all commenters throughout the blog tour will also be entered into a draw for the grand prize of a handmade suede flogger, to be announced on 25th February.

Also, watch out for the Valentine’s follow-up short story, Screw the Fags. To be available as a free download from Smashwords and All Romance eBooks on Thursday 14th February!

Screwing the System

Screwing the System coverHe’s nobody’s bitch. Until he gets a ride on the bitch seat.

Forced to apply for a job he doesn’t want, Cosmo Rawlins has only one aim in mind: fail the interview and get back to making music. Except his attempt to shock the older, sharp-suited Alasdair Grant doesn’t have the desired effect.

Instead of getting thrown out of the office by flaunting an interest in BDSM, Cosmo finds himself on his knees, apologizing to the sexy, good-looking Top.

Alasdair has more important things on his mind than training a novice sub, especially a rebellious bad boy like Cosmo. But there’s something beneath the younger man’s defiant attitude that’s too intriguing to ignore.

As Alasdair takes Cosmo in hand—and for a wild ride on his Harley—he becomes obsessed with bending the young rocker to his will, both in and out of bed. Until he goes one demand too far, and Cosmo is gone in a cloud of dust. Forcing Alasdair to admit that earning Cosmo’s loyalty—and love—will involve the toughest challenge he’s ever faced.

Warning: This title contains an overbearing Top with a less-than-glamorous job, a rebellious brat who refuses to call him sir, and a total lack of high-end BDSM clubs or playrooms. Expect floggings over the kitchen table instead.

Screwing the System on Amazon.com

About the author:

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.

For more information about Jo’s published stories, regular blog posts and saucy free reads, visit JosephineMyles.com

Photo credit: niallkennedy via photopin cc

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Screwing the System by Josephine Myles


Title: Screwing the System
Author: Josephine Myles
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages: 270
Characters: Cosmo Rawlins, Alasdair Grant
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, May/December Romance, BDSM,
Kisses: 5

Blurb:

He’s nobody’s bitch. Until he gets a ride on the bitch seat.

Forced to apply for a job he doesn’t want, Cosmo Rawlins has only one aim in mind: fail the interview and get back to making music. Except his attempt to shock the older, sharp-suited Alasdair Grant doesn’t have the desired effect.

Instead of getting thrown out of the office by flaunting an interest in BDSM, Cosmo finds himself on his knees, apologizing to the sexy, good-looking Top.

Alasdair has more important things on his mind than training a novice sub, especially a rebellious bad boy like Cosmo. But there’s something beneath the younger man’s defiant attitude that’s too intriguing to ignore.

As Alasdair takes Cosmo in hand—and for a wild ride on his Harley—he becomes obsessed with bending the young rocker to his will, both in and out of bed. Until he goes one demand too far, and Cosmo is gone in a cloud of dust. Forcing Alasdair to admit that earning Cosmo’s loyalty—and love—will involve the toughest challenge he’s ever faced.

Product Warnings:

This title contains an overbearing Top with a less-than-glamorous job, a rebellious brat who refuses to call him sir, and a total lack of high-end BDSM clubs or playrooms. Expect floggings over the kitchen table instead.

Review:

Screwing the System is a sexy, romantic read that immediately captured my attention kept me enthralled with it until I finished the last page. I loved everything about this book. Between the interesting, well-written characters and the intriguing story they told, Screwing the System has a permanent place on my keeper shelf.

The blurb really does an outstanding job at describing what the story is about. What it doesn’t tell you is how much fun one of the heroes, Cosmo is. He’s mouthy, bratty, creative, and smarter than what he realizes he is and an all-around loveable hero. I loved how he was confident about his abilities and learned to embrace his sexual needs from Alasdair. I absolutely adored watching him learn to trust and love the strong, dominant and very sexy, Alasdair.

Alasdair is another hero that really lived and breathed off of the written page. He’s a self-made millionaire who needed to be shaken up a little bit….okay a lot! After the death of his lover years ago, Alasdair has been working too hard and not living life to the fullest. He too, guards his heart and is afraid of getting hurt again, but once he meets the feisty, Cosmo, and a relationship starts developing between them, Alasdair once again starts to live a full life. The personal growth both characters go through was truly a wonderful thing to read and I enjoyed watching them evolve into the men they became together.

Another thing I loved about this book was the May/December romance. There is about a sixteen year age difference between the two men, and I thought Ms. Myles really captured the differences between them wonderfully. Not only is there a generation gap, but a class gap that I thought really brought the book to life. Also, there is a strong British tone to the book, which I appreciated. Between the slang, the culture and the setting itself kept this reader very intrigued every time, Cosmo, in particular, opened his mouth.

There is a strong BDSM element to the story, but it’s not over the top. I really liked the way Alasdair introduced it into their relationship. One of the things I also really appreciated was how the scenes were more than just the two men acting out a scene, there was a strong emotional element to it, and I loved it.

This is the first book I’ve read by Josephine Myles and it definitely won’t be my last. I loved every minute of this book, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more books written by her. Screwing the System is an emotionally driven, sexy and well-written romance that will live with me long after I’ve finished the book. If you are looking for a sexy May/December, BDSM themed romance, this book is definitely one to consider! Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Blue Collar or White? A guest post by JL Merrow and Josephine Myles

Hot Pressure Blog Tour banner

A crisp, white cotton shirt, and a finely woven silk tie in a classic Windsor knot—or a tank top, stretched over sweat-sheened muscles? Both have their appeal. One is a symbol of fiscal, perhaps even political clout; the other showcases raw physical power. And power, in whatever form, attracts. Evolution has made us that way, whether we like it or not.

Bluntly, the more powerful your mate, the better it was likely to be, historically, for your children. Physically strong genes would give them a better chance of surviving into adulthood before the advent of modern medicine, and wealth meant they’d be better fed.

But in this day and age, it’s whatever floats your boat.

JL Merrow (Jamie): Personally, I’d have to admit I have a certain fascination with a bit of rough. There’s just something about a man who’s *ahem* good with his hands! Someone you know can take care of himself in a potentially dangerous situation and in the event of a nuclear winter, wouldn’t starve to death the minute Waitrose ran out of food stocks.

Then again, a man in a sharp suit gives off definite vibes of being astute and in charge. He’d be smart enough to avoid the danger in the first place, and would probably be the guy supervising the post-apocalyptic food rationing.

What do you think, Jo?

Josephine Myles: Oh, it’s a bit of rough for me every time. I’m not terribly interested in learning how to do all that DIY type stuff, so I always admire men who are good with their hands. And who have the brawn to do the heavy lifting, too.

Although I must admit, I do love fine tailoring so the sight of a man in a beautifully fitted suit, perhaps with a sumptuous coloured lining, is very appealing.

In Pressure Head you contrast your rough and ready plumber, Tom, with a man who’s usually found in cashmere. What made you want to pair up a blue and a white collar worker?

Jamie: Perhaps it’s my Cambridge education (the state school I went to wasn’t exactly renowned for sending pupils to top universities), but I’ve always loved playing with the idea of social class. Unless you’re actual aristocracy, there’s a certain amount of social mobility between classes. Phil wears cashmere because he can – and because he couldn’t afford to when he was growing up. Tom, on the other hand, was better off in childhood but has for more than one reason become a tradesman rather than something more traditionally middle-class–his sister and brother are a barrister and an oncologist.

But more generally, I just like to play with a pairing who are from different sides of the divide. Particularly when I get to show the varying reactions of their friends!

Jo: Agreed. The British class system gives us a huge amount to work with, but I wonder how easy it is for readers in the rest of the world to pick up on all those little class giveaways a born and bred Brit would notice? While we might get a good idea of someone’s class from their speech patterns, shopping habits and which TV channels they watch, the meaning of these sorts of cultural references doesn’t necessarily pass intact across the Atlantic. While we might instantly know the difference between shopping for food at Waitrose or M&S, versus Asda or Lidl, it isn’t going to be so obvious to those from other countries.

That’s why I find the type of job a character has to be so telling. While I love to play with characters who have moved between classes like Tom and Phil, for The Hot Floor I ended up giving my three MCs jobs that very much fit their class. Middle class Rai is an academic, whereas his salt of the earth boyfriend is a humble plumber. Josh is somewhere in the middle as his job as a glassblower makes him an artisan, which these days tends to be the preserve of the arty middle classes, but it also means he comes home hot, sweaty and smeared in ash. Rawr.

What do you reckon, Jamie: should men smell of fresh sweat or fancy aftershave?

Jamie: Good point re subtleties being lost in translation, Jo. Although I like to think we’re giving our non-Brit fans a bit of an education in these important matters (whether they want it or not!). ;)

And I think perfume’s great—on girls! I’m not a fan of men smelling of anything other than, well, man. Sexist of me? Maybe, but I know what I like!

So readers, who gets you hot under the collar? Rufty-tufty manual workers—or slick, smooth men in suits?

Comment to win! Jo and Jamie are both offering a choice of a book from their backlist to one lucky commenter on this post, and all commenters will also be entered into a draw for the grand prize (details here), to be announced on 8th October.

About the books:

Pressure Head

Some secrets are better left hidden.

When Tom, a plumber with a talent for finding hidden things, is called in to help the police locate the body of a missing woman, he unexpectedly encounters a familiar face. Phil, Tom’s old school crush, now a private investigator working the same case.

Tom’s attraction to the big, blond investigator hasn’t changed—in fact, he’s even more desirable all grown up. But is Phil’s interest genuine, or does he only want to use Tom’s talent? Meanwhile, the evidence around the woman’s murder piles up…while the murderer’s trigger finger is getting increasingly twitchy.

Pressure Head on Amazon.com

The Hot Floor coverThe Hot Floor

Two plus one equals scorching hot fun.

Every time Josh overhears his sexy downstairs neighbors, Rai and Evan, having loud and obviously kinky sex, Josh is overwhelmed with lust…and a longing for a fraction of the love he’s never managed to find. On the night a naked Josh falls—quite literally—into the middle one of Rai and Evan’s marathon sex sessions, the force of their mutual attraction takes control. But just as Josh dares to hope, he senses a change. Leaving him to wonder if the winds of love are about to blow his way at last…or if history is about to repeat itself.

The Hot Floor on Amazon.com

About the authors:

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour.

Find JL Merrow online at: www.jlmerrow.com/

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.

For more information about Jo’s published stories, regular blog posts and saucy free reads, visit JosephineMyles.com

Worker images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Welcome to Josephine Myles Blog Tour! She’s giving away fun!

May and December – writing an m/m romance with an age gap.

I’ve just had my first May and December romance published—or should I call it a May and September romance? You see, the age gap between Ben and Ollie is only thirteen years, which I don’t see as all that big. Twenty year old Ollie isn’t bothered at having a thirty-three year old boyfriend either. No, the only one who seems to have a problem with it is Ben.

While Ben might only be thirty-three (pretty young in my book, seeing as how I’ve passed that age myself), he feels much older. His parents died when he was eighteen, so he raised his much younger sister himself. Taking on that parental responsibility along with managing his diabetes, building up a steady career in computer programming and holding down a mortgage, meant Ben didn’t find much time to enjoy being young. His brief period of hedonism when Zoe left home was cut short by kidney failure, and since then he’s led a half-life as a virtual recluse.

Ben is disgusted with himself for being attracted to someone so very young, yet he can’t get his cute parcel delivery boy out of his mind. One early scene I really enjoyed writing was when Ben can’t cope without his daily Ollie fix over the weekend, so stakes out the local park where Ollie has told him he skates:

What the hell was I doing here? It was no use trying to pretend to myself that I’d just stopped by while in the neighbourhood, because I’d taken a ten-minute detour through Reading traffic to swing by here on my way back from Zoe’s place. No, I had in fact hit a new low: predatory older man stalking nubile twink at the bloody playground. I was a fucking chickenhawk.

Compared to Ben, Ollie does sometimes seem very young indeed. I enjoyed emphasizing this with his skateboard and purple hair, and patterns of speech and phrases to suit his generation. Along with his boundless energy and enthusiasm, Ollie’s youth means he hasn’t yet had time to get established in the world. Not only is he holding down two poorly paid jobs, but he’s vulnerably housed. It would be very easy for the outside world looking on to label him as a gold-digger, out to find a sugar daddy.

Using the difference in their ages to generate conflict was a real gift to me as a writer. Not only was I able to use Zoe’s profound unease at her older brother having a boyfriend younger than her, but Ben’s self-doubts came into play. He finds it very hard to understand why a young thing like Ollie would be attracted to him for himself rather than his material wealth. I’ve always been fascinated by the way material success makes people doubt the motives of others—perhaps because I’ve never had much money myself so I’ve always known my friends love me for who I am, not what I have. I feel deeply sorry for people like Ben, who have allowed their possessions to make them suspicious of others—especially when those others are younger and poorer than themselves.

Of course, being someone who’s always had an attraction to silver foxes, I can perfectly understand what Ollie sees in Ben. Not only does he fancy the pants off Ben, but he admires his maturity and the way he took responsibility for his sister. For Ollie, Ben’s flash car and swanky pad are incidental, and he’d still be just as interested in him without them. Ollie is no vacuous twink, out to get what he can—he just needs a man he can look up to and some stability in his life. He’s keen to point out he’s not after a daddy figure, though:

“Don’t you go stressing about age gaps again. We’re fine.”

“So long as you don’t start calling me Daddy,” I grumbled.

Ollie snorted. “Believe me, one dad and one stepfather is plenty for me. I’m not after another.”

I really enjoyed playing with the age gap between my two heroes in Handle with Care, and letting Ollie gently lead Ben to realise that it really isn’t an issue. Thirteen years might seem like a big gap when the younger partner is twenty, but give them another ten years and it’s not going to raise any eyebrows. Well, perhaps that depends on whether Ollie’s still dying his hair outlandish colours…

So what about you? Do you enjoy reading May and December romances, or do you prefer your romantic heroes to be closer in age? And which is more attractive to you: the smooth skin and boundless energy of youth, or the laughter lines and wisdom of age?

Handle with Care by Josephine Myles – the blog tour

To celebrate the release of my second novel, Handle with Care, I’m on a two week blog tour. A grand prize will be awarded to a randomly chosen commenter during the tour: an exclusive Handle with Care mug (which I’m happy to post worldwide), and a $25 voucher to spend at All Romance eBooks (or alternative ebook retailer of your choice). I’ll make the prize draw on Wednesday 9th May at 9am (GMT), and will announce the winner on my blog. Visit the tour itinerary for a list of all the stops, and comment on each to increase your chances of winning!

http://josephinemyles.com/published-stories/handle-with-care/the-blog-tour/

Blurb:

The best things in life aren’t free…they’re freely given.

Ben Lethbridge doesn’t have many vices left. After raising his little sister to adulthood, he wasted no time making up for the youth he lost to responsible parenting. Two years of partying it up—and ignoring his diabetes—has left him tethered to a home dialysis regimen.

He can do his job from his flat, fortunately, but most of his favourite things are forbidden. Except for DVD porn…and fantasizing over Ollie, the gorgeous, purple-haired skateboarder who delivers it.

Their banter is the highlight of Ben’s lonely day, but his illness-ravaged body is the cruel reality that prevents him from believing they’ll do anything more than flirt. Not to mention the age gap. Still, Ben figures there’s no harm in sprucing himself up a bit.

Then one day, a package accidentally splits open, revealing Ben’s dirty little secret…and an unexpected connection that leaves him wondering if he’s been reading Ollie wrong all this time. There’s only one way to find out: risk showing Ollie every last scar. And hope “far from perfect” is good enough for a chance at love.

Warning: Contains superhero porn comics and a cute, accident-prone delivery guy with colour-changing hair. Readers may experience coffee cravings, an unexpected liking for bad mullets, and the urge to wrap Ollie up and take him home.

Kindle US: http://www.amazon.com/Handle-with-Care-ebook/dp/B0073WI0ZU/
Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Handle-with-Care-ebook/dp/B0073WI0ZU/
Samhain: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/handle-with-care-p-6754.html

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’s website: http://josephinemyles.com/
Email: josephine_myles@yahoo.co.uk
Blog: http://josephinemyles.com/blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/josephine.myles
Twitter: @JosephineMyles

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Handle With Care by Josephine Myles

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Title: Handle with Care
Author: Josephine Myles
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages: 191
Characters: Benjamin Lethbridge, Brian “Ollie” Jones
POV: 1st Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5






Blurb:

The best things in life aren’t free…they’re freely given.

Ben Lethbridge doesn’t have many vices left. After raising his little sister to adulthood, he wasted no time making up for the youth he lost to responsible parenting. Two years of partying it up—and ignoring his diabetes—has left him tethered to a home dialysis regimen.

He can do his job from his flat, fortunately, but most of his favourite things are forbidden. Except for DVD porn…and fantasizing over Ollie, the gorgeous, purple-haired skateboarder who delivers it.

Their banter is the highlight of Ben’s lonely day, but his illness-ravaged body is the cruel reality that prevents him from believing they’ll do anything more than flirt. Not to mention the age gap. Still, Ben figures there’s no harm in sprucing himself up a bit.

Then one day, a package accidentally splits open, revealing Ben’s dirty little secret…and an unexpected connection that leaves him wondering if he’s been reading Ollie wrong all this time. There’s only one way to find out: risk showing Ollie every last scar. And hope “far from perfect” is good enough for a chance at love.

Review:

That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, but that which can kill us makes us reclusive, as crippled by our own fears and doubts and insecurities and guilt as by the physical limitations of a body that, after years of hedonism and neglect, is taking out its revenge on Benjamin Lethbridge.

It doesn’t seem fair, really, that after standing in as a surrogate father to his little sister, Zoe, Ben would finally start living for himself, living the sort of life his peers had always taken for granted; a life that, at the age of eighteen, Ben had set aside in order to assume the responsibility of keeping what was left of his family together, then to have it all come tumbling down around him in a haze of drugs and random sex and pretending to be someone he wasn’t that left his diabetes ravaged body in a state of steep decline. Now it’s the caretaker who’s in need of being taken care of. But no one has ever said that life is fair.

Renal failure is the price Ben paid; daily dialysis is the concession he’s making for the chance to live long enough for a kidney and pancreatic transplant. It’s a heavy debt to carry, knowing that in order for you to live, someone else has to die. But no one has ever said that life is fair.

Ben’s porn stash is the foundation for the little bit of promise he’s been able to mine from his situation. Or, rather, it’s the guy that delivers his porn who’s added that little bit of color to an otherwise dull and dreary picture. With his purple hair, piercings, tats, and knee melting smile, Ollie is the Manga-kitty-skaterboy who came swooping in, in his big yellow truck, sent by the parcel delivery gods to keep Ben in long supply of major fantasy material.

Ben’s the older man to Ollie’s twenty-year-old self, but it’s only Ben who’s hung up on the numbers. It’s lucky for Ben that Ollie’s into older men. It’s also lucky for Ben that he’s an X-Men fan and Ollie’s a comic book aficionado. It’s also lucky for Ben that Ollie’s the kind of guy that sees beyond the bloated stomach and the catheter tube and the awkwardness that has kept Ben from living out loud for so long. Whoever said life isn’t fair?

Handle with Care is the comical and clever and utterly charming story of two men who’re falling in love for the first time—not just being one half of a couple but being in a partnership—though the journey is all about the making of and making up for mistakes, until they finally get it right. Unfortunately all they have to go by is how not to do a relationship, and it’s hard to build something when what you have to work with is the raw materials of past sexual encounters and a relationship that clipped your wings before you learned that what you really wanted to do was to fly.

Ben learns to let go and to hang on, all at the same time, because it’s the sweet and lovable Ollie who shows him that it’s okay to be cautious, but it’s even better to take a chance on the something that promises to be kind of wonderful if Ben can only allow himself to fall and trust that Ollie is the one he wants to fall into.

Handle with Care is a “so nice, I read it twice” book, and it was every bit as sweet the second time around.
Reviewed By: Lisa

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Tailor Made by Josephine Myles

Title:Tailor Made
Author: Josephine Myles
Publisher: Amber Allure
Pages: Novella
Characters: Felix McAvoy, Andrew Wheeler
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary/Erotica
Kisses: 5





Blurb:

When Mr. Wrong measures up just right!
College tart Felix McAvoy is used to causing a stir with his conceptual art pranks, but for his final show he’s planning something even more outrageous. In a last ditch attempt to seduce his jaded tutor, Felix plans to wear the canvas in a subversive display. If he’s going to do this right, however, he’ll need a tailor-made canvas suit. Fortunately, he knows just the tailor to turn to for the favour—and Felix isn’t shy about offering favours of a very different kind in return.
First year fashion student Andrew Wheeler knows Felix by reputation only—and plans to keep things that way. Andrew’s determined to save himself for the man of his dreams, and Felix couldn’t be more different from his ideal Mr. Right. There’s only one use Andrew will contemplate for Felix’s body—a model for his end-of-year project. Trouble is, it’s going to involve a lot of close contact with a nearly naked Felix, and Andrew’s never had temptation quite so close at hand…

Review:

Tailor Made is the story of two men who are both uncompromising in the way they’ve chosen to live their respective lives. They each stand firmly on opposing principals—Felix, the unapologetic manslut, and Andrew, the virgin who prefers to save himself for the one he deems as the perfect catch—until, that is, they meet and ultimately learn that oftentimes the heart is a force with which the libido can’t compromise.

Josephine Myles has artfully stitched together a story (wink, wink) that immediately drew me in with its humor and warmth. Felix and Andrew’s differences, the way in which they related to each other and drew upon their conflicting ideals while succumbing to the irresistible pull of those differences, grew into a common and mutual urge to be what the other wanted and needed, and played perfectly against the other. They also learned, eventually, that wanting and needing don’t necessarily always go hand in hand, that wanting something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good or right for you.

This was fun and flirty story that, at times, made me want to give Felix a good thwap on the head for not grabbing on to what was right in front of him, the connection that went beyond the physical, but it was his transformation that gave the biggest payoff in the end, as the artist goes through a bit of a renaissance himself, finally realizing the beauty of love can be captured with a look from the artist who observes things from a new and intimate perspective.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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Look Who’s Stopping By To Warm Us Up, Just In Time For The Holidays

Winter Warmers, just what are they, exactly? According to our good and trusted friend Wikipedia: “Winter warmer is a traditional malty-sweet English Strong Ale that is brewed in the winter months. It is usually quite dark, but not as dark as a stout, with a big malt presence. Sometimes, winter warmers have a few spices, especially in the United States, although spices are not necessarily a required ingredient in a Winter Warmer. The primary characteristic is strength; the average alcohol content by volume ranges from 6.0% to 8.0% ABV and some Winter Warmers reach 10% ABV or more.”

But how many of us really choose a mug of Ale to warm us up after a day spent out in the snow and cold? Here are some other warming options from the authors of Winter Warmers. A seasonal anthology from Lou Harper, Clare London, JL Merrow, Chrissy Munder, and Josephine Myles. Five stories of winter romance from Britain and the USA that are guaranteed to raise your temperature and soften your heart in time for the Holidays.

Josephine Myles: Sweet, dark, and with a bit of a kick, a Brandy Alexander is the perfect warm-me-up beverage for a chilly night.

Brandy Alexander
1 1/3 msr brandy
1 1/3 msr darke creme de cacao
1 1/3 msr double cream

Shake with ice and strain into a champagne saucer. Garnish with grated dark chocolate. Incredibly quick and easy to make, but it tastes absolutely delicious!

Chrissy Munder: The characters in Butterscotch Kisses, my story in the Winter Warmers anthology, mix together hot cocoa and butterscotch schnapps for a quick and wonderfully tasty beverage. Try it the next time you come in after sledding with the kids and make some hot cocoa. But to truly experience a Butterscotch Kiss, you need a few other ingredients:

Butterscotch Kiss
2 oz Everclear® alcohol
2 oz butterscotch schnapps
4 oz club soda

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a collins glass half-filled with ice cubes, and serve.

Lou Harper: Cold and windy outside makes me reach for something warm and soothing inside. Try my favorite:

Hot Apple Cider
2 quarts of apple cider
10 whole cloves
1 orange, thinly sliced
1/3 cup of brown sugar packed
6 whole allspice
pinch of grated nutmeg
1 cup dark rum (can also use spiced rum)
4 cinnamon sticks

Combine ingredient in a large nonreactive pot. Bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. To really bring the flavors together, allow to simmer for at least half an hour before serving. Garnish with a slice of orange or a cinnamon stick.

It’s okay to keep the pot warm for hours – a crockpot is perfect for this purpose.

Clare London: I’m pitching in with Mulled Wine as it plays such an important role in “Lucky Dip” in Andy and Greg’s reconciliation!

As famous British chef Jamie Oliver says, “This is dead easy to make and tastes like Christmas in a glass. It’s a lovely celebration of those traditional festive spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you’ve got your own favourite spices, then feel free to add those to the pot too. Let everything cook away and warm up gently so the flavours have time to mingle with the wine. I like to leave my mulled wine ticking over on a really low heat and just ladle some into glasses as and when guests pop in.” Jamie, I agree!

2 clementines
peel of 1 lemon
peel of 1 lime
250g caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg
1 whole vanilla pod, halved
2 star anise
2 bottles of Chianti, or other Italian red wine

Peel large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime.
Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in the halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.

Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. This creates a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to make a syrup base first because the mixture needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.

When the syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add the star anise and both bottles of wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.

JL Merrow: My favorite Winter Warmer has, without question, to be Glühwein. This is very similar to English mulled wine, but often has an extra kick, due to a dash of brandy or port. I have fond memories of a long winter’s weekend in Vienna, when the temperature fell to -15 degrees Celsius, snow was thick on the ground – and Glühwein was available everywhere. There’s nothing quite like it for giving you a wonderful, Christmassy glow…

Glühwein:
1 bottle of red wine. A good general rule is to use something full-bodied, but inexpensive – and if it’s really rough, just use more honey!
2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces 1 – 2 inches each
12-16 whole cloves
1 orange
2 tablespoons clear honey
1 heaped teaspoon allspice
1 glass of water

Method
1. Put water in large pan and place over medium heat.
2. Add cinnamon, honey and allspice.
3. While honey is dissolving cut the orange into slices. Push cloves into each slice and add to the pan.
4. Pour in all the wine. Yes, all of it. You’ll get to drink it later…
5. Turn up the heat. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL – do you want to waste all that lovely alcohol? ;) Let the spices infuse for 30 minutes (if you’re impatient) or an hour (if you’re a purist). I know, it’s a long time to wait. It’ll be worth it, trust me!
6. Taste it. If it’s not sweet enough, add some more honey or sugar. Now is the time to slosh in a dash of brandy or port, if you think it needs a little extra kick.
7. Spoon out into a heatproof glass or mug, leaving the oranges and cinnamon behind.
8. Enjoy!
9. Repeat as necessary. And yes, it’s necessary.

And, in honor of our publisher, Pink Squirrel Press, here’s an extra warmer for us all to try:

Pink Squirrel
1 1/2 msr white creme de cacao (dark will do, which makes a Dirty Squirrel)
1 1/2 msr amaretto
1 msr double cream
1/4 msr grenadine

Rim a champagne saucer with lemon and sugar. Shake with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry and flaked almonds sprinkled on top. Mmm… tasty and sophisticated looking!

What’s your favorite Winter Warmer? Alcoholic or otherwise? Raise your glass and pick up your copy of Winter Warmers: http://pinksquirrelpress.wordpress.com/winter-warmers/

Mulled wine. Butterscotch kisses. Hideous sweaters. Candy at the beach, or a trip to a sex shop in Amsterdam. And the man of your dreams, wrapped around you…

Winter warmers come in many shapes and sizes, from the tongue-in-cheek to the hot-as-hell. Enjoy a quintet of heart-warming tales of men loving men from Clare London, Chrissy Munder, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, and Lou Harper that are guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.

One thing’s for sure—it’s going to be a red-hot Christmas!

Lucky Dip by Clare London
Andy Jackson always knew that class 2C’s help in preparing for the annual Christmas Fair would be a mixed blessing. Then he’s paired up on the Lucky Dip with Greg, the man who dumped him but now can’t keep away, the pupils are either lecturing him on his lovelife or losing bladder control, and no one’s fixed the broken handle on the storage room. It may all be one whoopee cushion too far for him.

Butterscotch Kisses by Chrissy Munder
Matthew Morrison is determined to conquer his fear of heights and achieve a winning outcome. At least, that’s what the best-selling, self-help book he’s listening to promises. Being stuck on a three-story tower in the middle of a snowstorm wasn’t part of the plan. With no St. Bernard in sight, it’s Cute Ticket Guy Adam to the rescue, and an outcome Matthew never anticipated.

Wintertide by Lou Harper
May meets December when Jem and Oscar chance on each other at the Santa Monica Pier, only weeks before Christmas. The two men are separated by age, social status, and their taste in candy, yet if they are both naughty and nice, they might just find holiday cheer together.

When in Amsterdam… by Josephine Myles
Brandon is on his first visit to new boyfriend Jos’s home country, just in time for their Sinterklaas celebrations. But an unexpected detour into a sex shop leads Brandon to new discoveries about himself, and a whole new dynamic to their relationship. The weather may be cold and damp, but Brandon and Jos soon heat things up!

A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips, and Thou by JL Merrow
What’s the best gift a young man could get for Christmas? Mohawked saxophonist Liam wouldn’t have picked the hideous collection of knitwear he’s presented with by his mum and his aunties. He’d rather have the gorgeous older man he sees every day while busking at King’s Cross. But with a little Christmas magic in the air, maybe those garish garments are just the thing for attracting a silver fox…

Winter Warmers – Now available at your favorite eRetailer including:
Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Smashwords / All Romance Ebooks

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Filed under Chrissy Munder, Clare London, J.L. Merrow, Josephine Myles, Lou Harper, Pink Squirrel Press

Boats in the Night by Josephine Myles


Title: Boats in the Night
Author: Josephine Myles
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 164 (.pdf)
Characters: Smutty, Giles
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5






Blurb:

Like two ships passing in the night—if one was a narrowboat and the other a luxury yacht.

Disgraced private school teacher Giles Rathbourne has been sent home on extended sick-leave and is stuck in a rut of obsessive housework and drinking. His ex may have been a snobbish bastard, but without him, Giles is adrift, rattling around his huge, lonely house. When a dreadlocked narrowboater’s engine breaks down at the end of his canal-side garden, Giles is furious at this invasion of his privacy—for a while.

Smutty might not have ever held down a proper job, but the fire-dancing, free-spirited traveller can recognise an opportunity for mutual benefit when he sees it. Giles’ extensive gardens are in as desperate need of attention as the upper-class hunk is himself, whereas Smutty knows a thing or two about plants and needs a place to moor up.

A simple business arrangement between two men who have nothing else in common? It would be—if they could keep their hands off each other!

Review:

All the charm and wit of Josephine Myles’ Barging In is back in Boats in the Night, an opposites attract story that touches on the world of narrowboating but at its essence is the story of two men who seemingly have very little in common, with the exception they’ve both been burnt in the past, making trust a bit difficult to come by.

Smutty and Giles couldn’t be more different—the dreadlocked boater with little to his name and the posh teacher with the comfortable financial portfolio—but a chance encounter when Giles is at his lowest, after a bitter break up, proves to be exactly what he needs to discover that love defies both explanation and expectation, and that sometimes finding the person you want to be with means having to let go of some preconceived notions about what you thought you’d always wanted and needed.

This is the story of two men who come to discover their pasts are more closely linked than they could ever have imagined, and find a connection to each other, one based on little more than the simple fact they’ve both found someone who doesn’t necessarily reflect who he is on the surface, but offers everything he didn’t even know he wanted until faced with the possibility of losing it.

Smutty and Giles are incredibly engaging characters who drew me into their world as I cheered them on, watched them connect, and proved that love truly is the great equalizer.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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Winter Warmers an Anthology from Pink Squirrel Press


Title: Winter Warmers
Author: Clare London, Chrissy Munder, Lou Harper, Josephine Myles, JL Merrow
Publisher: Pink Squirrel Press
Pages: 126
Sub-Genre: Anthology/ Contemporary Romance/Holiday Romance
Kisses: 4.5






Blurb:

Baby, it’s cold outside! Beat the chill with Winter Warmers – a seasonal anthology

Mulled wine. Butterscotch kisses. Hideous sweaters. Candy at the beach, or a trip to a sex shop in Amsterdam. And the man of your dreams, wrapped around you…
Winter warmers come in many shapes and sizes, from the tongue-in-cheek to the hot-as-hell. Enjoy a quintet of heart-warming tales of men loving men from Clare London, Chrissy Munder, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, and Lou Harper that are guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.
One thing’s for sure—it’s going to be a red-hot Christmas!

Review:

If there’s a time of year to allow oneself to believe in the promise of love and romance, it’s the holiday season, and these five contributing authors deliver that magic beautifully in Winter Warmers, a collection of short stories that range from poignant to comical to sexy to just a little bit kinky, but will surely make you believe there’s something special about this time of year.

Clare London delivers a “the one that got away” story in Lucky Dip, in which Greg must seek forgiveness from Andy, the man he so abruptly dumped. When a fortuitous accident throws the two men together, Greg learns that the true gift during this holiday season is the gift of a second chance.

Butterscotch Kisses by Chrissy Munder is the story of a man, Matthew, who tries valiantly to overcome his fear of heights but finds that his true conquest might just be Adam, the cute ticket guy at the toboggan run who wears the squirrely hats and comes to Matthew’s rescue.

Lou Harper’s Wintertide is the supremely touching story of a May/December romance between Oscar and Jem, a man who finds healing and redemption in the arms of a near perfect stranger, and discovers that letting go and moving on does not mean forgetting.

Josephine Myles delivers an oh-so-sexy story that leaves no doubt as to whether it’s possible to be both naughty and nice at Christmastime and still get everything you want. On holiday in Amsterdam to meet his boyfriend’s family, Brandon quickly learns that where Jos is concerned, taking charge and dominating his boy is better than anything Sinterklaas could leave in his stocking. After all, When in Amsterdam…

Rounding out the collection is JL Merrow’s A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips, and Thou, a wonderfully clever story told by Liam, a mohawked punk with more charm and wit than anyone has a right to have. He’s had his eye on the older man he sees every day at King’s Cross station, but can’t seem to catch the man’s eye. That is, until his well meaning mum and aunts decide to brew up a strategy guaranteed to add a little bit of color to his plumage. When he finally catches Neil’s eye, Liam learns the anticipation of unwrapping a gift is half the fun of the holidays.

If you’re in the mood for a yummy yuletide collection, Winter Warmers just might be the perfect holiday treat.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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Filed under authors, Chrissy Munder, Clare London, J.L. Merrow, Josephine Myles, Lou Harper, Pink Squirrel Press