Have a fun and safe weekend!
Have a fun and safe weekend!
Title: Watching and Wanting
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press
Genres: Contemporary, Gay, Light BDSM
Watching Jude’s cam show stirs desires Shawn’s always denied…
Shawn is adrift. Recently graduated, he’s stuck in a dead-end job that barely pays the bills. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends have moved on, and he’s still in Plymouth–going nowhere.
Jude is a student living in the same shared house. Out and proud, he’s everything Shawn’s been running from since he hit puberty. When Shawn discovers Jude works as a cam boy, he can’t resist the urge to watch one of his shows. It makes Shawn want things that scare him, yet his fascination forces him to confront his attraction to Jude.
Keen to explore his bicurious side, Shawn suggests they do a show together. Jude agrees, and things get complicated–and kinky–fast. But Jude isn’t looking to get involved with someone so deep in the closet. If Shawn’s going to get what he wants, he needs to find the courage to stop hiding from himself and be honest about who he is.
Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.
Two roommates–one straight, the other gay–plus stumbling on a live online sex show equals naked hotness.
The blurb describes the plot very well. Shawn accidentally walks in on Jude, his gay housemate, jacking off to a camera, and things get interesting. There’s not much plot, per se, beyond the two men getting together in the name of bicurious experimentation, becoming better friends, and then falling out and falling apart when Shawn continues to hide in the closet but Jude refuses to do the same.
The absence of a complicated plot leaves room for long, drawn out, extended erotic, sensuous, and sexy scenes between two hot guys. In fact, I’d dub this erotic romance, not just romance. This story has BDSM elements. Shawn has a kink for being submissive, with Jude having an answering dominant kink. There’s some edging, mild bondage, commands and stuff, but this is not hardcore. Most of the chapters take place in a bedroom full of sensual play and sexual chemistry, showcase erotic acts in front of the camera, and then reveal intimacy behind the scenes. We get to see few of the other gay couples living in the same shared household but not much beyond their names. They’re side characters; this is Jude and Shawn’s story.
I especially liked how Shawn, despite being attracted to Jude, isn’t shown as a straight man who becomes gay-for-you when he falls in love. No, he’s a bisexual, and that’s just fine. Falling in love with someone, in spite of their gender, doesn’t mean the attraction for the other gender magically disappears and a bisexual is “cured.” I appreciated how the author handled this aspect of the main character’s personality, not forcing him to change or choose.
Yes, Shawn does start out behaving like a total bigoted jerk when he’s trying to hide his confusion but he gets better. Shawn’s learning his own sexuality, discovering his kinks, and accepting who he is are at the heart of the story. Jude is more of a sounding board, a wholesome character who doesn’t need to develop much because he’s already at peace with himself. His personal progress comes in the form of falling in love when he’s previously been used to one-night stands.
The writing works, the pace moves fluently, and the author knows how to create titillating scenes full of hotness, internal wonderment, and realistic interactions and dialogue. I liked the author’s writing style, characterization, and plot advancement. Sure, the story’s a bit on the thin side, but if you go in with the expectation of revving your engine, then you’re in for a treat.
Like the blurb declares, this is part of a series but works as a standalone. I haven’t read the other books in the series, and wasn’t lost. Recommended for everyone who likes to see straight guys getting hot and heavy with gay guys, and who appreciates their romances erotic and uncomplicated.
Reviewed by: Susan
Title: Jake’s Regret
Author: Shawn Lane
Publisher: JMS Books
Characters: Damian Grant, Jake Fields
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Former wide receiver Jake Fields broke up with his lover and teammate, quarterback Damian Grant, by leaving a note. Eleven years later, Damian attends Jake’s father’s funeral.
Damian is hoping for a renewed relationship with Jake, but when a woman from Jake’s hometown sees them together, a still closeted Jake panics, leaving a note for Damian once more.
When Jake’s small town turns against him, life goes from bad to worse. Jake realizes it’s time to stop running from who he is and try to win Damian’s forgiveness. But if Damian has had enough, this may be Jake’s ultimate regret.
Jake’s Regret by Shawn Lane is a short story of finding the strength to be true to oneself, rekindling a lost love and learning to believe in hope again. As usual, Ms. Lane does a good job at writing page turning romances with well-written characters.
This is the second time I’ve read this book. I read the first edition years ago and I remember liking it. I always felt sympathy towards Jake. Though, there were times in the story I felt the need to shake some sense into him. His submissiveness toward his hateful family is both heartbreaking and infuriating. Watching him go listen to such hateful rhetoric and really not taking up for himself really got my blood boiling. At one point, I wanted to punch Jake’s family myself, so when Jake FINALLY stands up for himself and his love for Damian I wanted to stand up and cheer.
Damian is a patient man. Jake’s life is filled with sadness and angst while Damian has experienced his own heartaches but has been strong enough to be himself and live his life. Damian’s determination to be himself becomes Jake’s inspiration to be himself…and you gotta love an inspirational man.
Though this is a good book I had a few niggles with it. Between me wanting to strangle Jake and his family and the sheer over-the-top angst he goes through, it made me want to throw in the towel on Jake and beg Damian to go on with his life. BUT Jake comes through and in the end I was glad they found a happy ending together.
Reviewed By: Gabbi
Click HERE to purchase Jake’s Regret
TITLE: The Great North
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Sub-Genre: Sci Fi, Fantasy, Myths, Legends, Gods, Post-Apocalyptic
Dwyn is a young man in the small, isolated town of Manicouga, son of the Minstor, who is betrothed to marry Kessa in a few weeks’ time.
Mael is shepherding the remains of his own village from the north, chased out by a terrible storm that destroyed Land’s End.
Both are trying to find their way in a post-apocalyptic world. When the two meet, their love and attraction may change the course of history.
The Great North was inspired by St. Dwynwen’s Day, also known as Welsh Valentines Day:
One of the things I love about J Scott Coatsworth’s writing is his world building. The Great North didn’t disappoint. Set in the future after an apocalypse, I enjoyed the attention to detail such as subtle language changes and how individuals had warped religion for their own purposes. Sadly the latter shows that despite what has happened in the past, the human race repeats its mistakes, something SF stories have long reminded us of. The societies of those in the Circle Lake community and the group from up north showed very well the different ways in which beliefs, and what is necessary for survival, can be used for good or to further an agenda. I loved the way Mael’s explanation to Dwyn about balancing the need to procreate with following one’s heart—so be with the one you want and the one you need.
I became invested in the characters very quickly. Both Dwyn and Mael are likeable characters, and I liked how the author developed the supporting cast. It would have been very easy to have some of them follow a stereotypical path, but instead the author took another direction with a lovely curve ball I wasn’t expecting. I love MM fiction with strong women characters.
I found the link to an earlier folktale intriguing, and enjoyed the way the author used it. My only complaint with this story is that I would have loved it to continue. A bargain is made, but the price of it isn’t really explored in depth. Hopefully the author is planning a sequel as I’d enjoy catching up with these characters again and learning more about their world.
I’d recommend The Great North to readers who enjoy post dystopian stories with hope for the future, and likeable characters who work together to move forward, both as individuals and part of a community.
Reviewed By: Anne
TITLE: Buried Secrets
AUTHOR: Ginna Wilkerson
GENRE: Lesbian Paranormal Young Adult Romance
LENGTH: 52,902 words
When Emelia Behrends is caught in bed with her girlfriend Taylor by her strict Southern Baptist mother, she thinks nothing worse could ever happen. But when she’s sent to a small town in Kentucky to live with her aunt, stranger things do indeed happen. An incident in the gym locker room starts tongues wagging, and soon the popular crowd are spreading rumors.
Thankfully, Emelia meets would-be witch Hillary and the two band together as misfits and friends. Then Mariah enters the picture, and Emelia is instantly attracted. Mariah is entranced with Emelia’s beautiful smile and silky red hair, but she harbors deep secrets that might make all the difference between romance and tragedy.
The mystery begins to unravel when the topic of the Salem witch trials is introduced at school. Who is Mariah, and where did she really come from? And will Mariah’s buried secrets mean another love lost for Emelia?
TITLE: Dude Mama
AUTHOR: Michael P. Thomas
GENRE: Gay Interracial Fantasy Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 13,750 words
When button-down biracial lawmaker Cassidy Uematsu meets hardscrabble fry cook Buford “Jax” Jackson, it’s lust at first sight. They’re only too happy to jump into the sack, and when Jax loses his condom mid-getting-to-know-you, Cassidy urges him forward, damn the consequences. What’s the worst that can happen?
After a couple weeks of morning sickness and a few months gaining weight, Cassidy learns an unfathomable secret about the men in his family that he’s pretty sure he was happier not knowing. Jax is a fan of Cassidy’s rapidly rounding belly, and of the sexy “Dude Mama” roleplay it inspires.
But the night he feels a kick inside Cassidy’s growing belly, Jax hightails it, certain at least one of them has lost his damn mind. A pregnant dude? That’s impossible. As the ninth month since the condom mishap approaches, Cassidy sure hopes he’s right.
TITLE: Lust for Gold
AUTHOR: Dale Chase
GENRE: Gay Historical Western Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 20,350 words
In 1849, the promise of gold brings many a man to California, but most find more hardship than riches.
Jesse Quinn, a golden-haired twenty-year-old is among them. He settles into the gold camp of Whiskey Slide to work with two other men in an effort that barely yields enough to keep them alive. With merchants charging exorbitant prices for provisions, it’s said men dig for food, not gold.
After hardship and disappointment, Jesse moves to another camp, Dutch Flat, where he takes up with the stern and silent Abel Munday. As the two work Abel’s claim with success, things take a positive turn for Jesse. Can Jesse bring some light into the darkness that’s plagued Abel much of his life? Together, they just might be able to find something richer than gold.
TITLE: One in Vermilion
AUTHOR: Kris T. Bethke
GENRE: Gay Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 25,978 words
Wyatt Janson needed a change of scenery in the worst way, so he packed up his dog and moved to a small tourist town. When he spots a man in a vermilion beanie, he’s intrigued. Why would someone would wear such a hat in the middle of summer? Their paths keep crossing, and Wyatt soon learns that Truitt Rackley owns a dog grooming and training service. It’s the perfect opportunity for Wyatt to meet Tru.
What begins as friendship quickly blossoms into more. But Tru’s happy demeanor hides a sad past. The hat he wears is only one part of it. Tru needs Wyatt’s support as he deals with the fallout, and Wyatt is glad to be able to provide it. Now that he’s found Tru, he knows he’ll do whatever he must to keep him. Can two broken men find the happily ever after they’ve been searching for?
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Title: Beneath Aquatica’s Waves, Book 1: Backstroking with a Tiger Shark
Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Characters: Tortelion Muenster, Kane Cornshun
Sub-Genre: Shapeshifter, Paranormal, Series
World of Aquatica: When a human takes a dunk in a shark tank, he discovers a world he never knew existed.
Tortelion, Tort to his friends, is a tiger shark shifter. He spends his workdays awing human audiences with a few aquatic parlor tricks. To him, it’s a pretty good gig. Plus, the people who come to World of Aquatica learn about his kind…well, tiger sharks of the non-shifter variety, anyway. A day that starts the same as any other suddenly takes a turn for the better when a mishap sends two humans tumbling into his tank. Blood in the water tells Tort that one of them is his mate. Joining those taken to the doc’s office as a witness, Tort learns his mate is Kane Cornshun, a busy human graphic designer only visiting the area to see his sister and her kids for a few days. Tort has very little time to woo his unsuspecting mate. Can he convince Kane to give up his life and join him at Aquatica?
I’m always in the mood to read something different. I’ve read and reviewed many shapeshifter romances, so when I came across the blurb for Backstroking With A Tiger Shark by Charlie Richards, I KNEW I had to read it immediately.
The story itself fascinated me. Who would ever dream of mating with a tiger shark…or have a tiger shark want to mate for life with anyone? I admit that I quickly became so engrossed with this story that I read it without stopping from start to finish. Not only is it a fresh take on a well-loved genre, I totally fell for the unique and interesting heroes and secondary characters of this story.
The backstory behind Tort and the other shapeshifters is a unique one. He and other ocean shapeshifters take refuge and work at World of Aquatica. By day they entertain the clueless masses and by night they are able to live free as aquatic shapeshifters. For over a hundred years, Tort has lived a pretty interesting life but when he saves his mate from drowning, Tort knows his live will never be the same.
Kane is just in town to celebrate his nephew’s birthday and to spend some quality time with his sister. Being pushed into a tiger shark tank and surviving wasn’t in the cards of his to do list. But when he meets the handsome and very attentive Tort after the accident, there is something special and unique about Tort that Kane cannot figure out.
I loved this book. I loved that it’s a quick and satisfying read without taking itself too seriously. Sometimes we just need to read for sheer entertainment and this book is just what the doctor ordered. Backstroking with a Tiger Shark is truly an addictive read from beginning to end. Fun and sexy, Tort and Kane’s story is a deliciously captivating read and a fantastic start to the Beneath Aquatica series. I can’t wait to read the next installment to see what Ms. Richard’s has in store for us and her characters next!
Reviewed By: Gabbi
Click HERE to purchase Backstroking with a Tiger Shark by Charlie Richards