Title: Cowboys Don’t Come Out
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Rand McIntyre, Kai Kealoha
Sub-Genre: Western, Contemporary, Series
The First Cowboys Don’t Story
Rand McIntyre settles for good enough. He loves his small California ranch, raising horses, and teaching riding to the kids he adores—but having kids of his own and someone to love means coming out, and that would jeopardize everything he’s built. Then, despite his terror of flying, he goes on a holiday to Hana, Hawaii, with his parents and meets the dark and mysterious Kai Kealoha, a genuine Hawaiian cowboy. Rand takes to Kai’s kid brother and sister as much as he drools over Kai, but the guy sports more prickles than a horned toad and more secrets than the exotic land he comes from.
Kai’s earned his privacy and lives to protect his “kids.” He ought to stay away from the big, handsome cowboy for everyone’s sake—but since the guy’s just a haole on a short vacation, how much damage can he do? When all of Kai’s worst fears and Rand’s darkest nightmares come true at once, there’s not much chance for two cowboys who can’t—or won’t—come out.
Reviewed By: Gabbi
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TITLE: Wounded Pride
Author: BL Morticia and Remmy Duchene
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Renford Kline and Brian Daystar
POV: 3rd person
Renford Kline is straight… right? He got over his experimentation in college and moved on. Then how does he explain his blush-inducing fantasies about Brian Daystar? Fantasies he’s having when he should be focused on his career move from attorney to professor. When Brian comes to New York, Renford knows he’s in trouble. Everything about Brian attracts him—from his tight body to his beautiful, dark hair—but Renford is straight… right?
Brian Daystar needs a break. He’s been working nonstop to turn his Montana ranch into a safe haven for at-risk youth—so much so that he can’t even bring himself to care when he finds out his partner, country star Corey, is cheating on him. Their relationship has been over for a long time, but it might take his feel-ings for Renford to make Brian accept it.
Both men have decisions to make. Renford must come to terms with who he truly is, and Brian is going to have to decide if he will shun his happiness or embrace it.
Wounded Pride is the second story in the Wounded series. This story centers on Brian and Renford, characters that showed up in the first book. These characters will pull you into their story from the beginning. Both are strong men facing changes in their lives. Brian is working hard to make a haven for LGBT youths while holding onto his boyfriend who is starting to make it big in the music industry. Renford on the other hand is an attorney in the process of becoming a professor.
There is a strong attraction between the two from the moment they first meet, however, Renford thinks Brian is too young for him. Then there is the fact that Brian already has a boyfriend, even if he is an ass. For Brian, he thinks Renford is straight and while things between him and his boyfriend are not going well, Brian feels guilty for the feelings he is having for Renford. When Brian goes to visit Corey, Zane asks Renford to let the younger man stay with him. It is during this time that the two men get to really know each other.
I really enjoyed Wounded Pride. The characters are likeable and I liked that the readers had the chance to see the characters, especially Brian, grow while figuring out their feelings for each other. Of course, every good book needs a little angst, and Wounded Pride is no different. However, while there is enough angst to keep this story from being too sweet, it is not so much that the readers will feel bogged down. I loved the way Renford goes about fixing things between him and Brian when the men have separated.
Wounded Pride is a collaboration between Remmy Duchene and BL Morticia. Fans of both these authors will be glad to know that the writing is so well down that you cannot tell were one writer’s voice starts and the other’s ends. This smoothness is not always found when a book is written by more than one author, the fact that these two have it means I will be buying more of their stories in the future.
Reviewed By: Lydia
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Title: Sword and Silk, Book 3: Blossom of the Samurai
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Aoki, Toho
Sub-Genre: Historical, Series
The samurai’s only true master is his heart….
For seven years while training for his life as a samurai, Toho Morimasa has been away from Aoki, the beautiful actor who helped him to heal from the trauma of his parents’ brutal murders. Now, nightmares that Aoki is in trouble plague Toho’s sleep, and he makes the journey back from Edo to Kai, no longer wanting to be away from Aoki’s side. Once there, Toho meets the very real source of his nightmares and vows to honor and protect Aoki. When his beloved Aoki is brutally assaulted, will Aoki survive long enough to understand that the love Toho has for him is the love he too has been craving his whole life but doesn’t feel he deserves?
Blossom of the Samurai is the third and final installment in the Sword and Silk trilogy. To say that I am saddened by this is an understatement because I love the characters Ms. Guillone has created and truly hate to say goodbye to them. There is something very special about Ms. Guillone’s characters. Each and every one easily touches the heart of her readers and quickly becomes a unique and loveable hero that lives and breathes off of the written page.
I’ve been looking forward to reading this book because I fell in love with Aoki and Toho’s characters. I had hoped they would somehow find a way to their own happiness with one another and I’m pleased to say, this book did not disappoint.
I truly love heroes that are genuinely nice men and that’s what these men are. Though they’ve both been through so much in life, and it would be so easy for both of them to be bitter and aloof, both Aoki and Toho’s inner beauty and strength persevere through a very tough past and are truly amazing men. I loved the way Toho’s love for Aoki gave Aoki the determination to be strong again. I also loved the way Aoki’s love for Toho allowed the younger man to find who he is truly destined to be.
As a reader, I appreciated the slow buildup and the way their relationship developed throughout the story. Watching Toho become a man in Aoki’s eyes was a beautiful thing to behold. They must go through a lot to get their happy ending, but oh what a lovely ride it was to see.
Although this book could probably be read as a stand-alone in the series, I do NOT recommend it. The characters in the first two books play an important role in this story AND to truly understand the dynamics between all of them, including the bond between Aoki and Toho, I would read this series in book order. Believe me, if you enjoy a well-written, historical romance, then the Sword and Silk series is not to be missed.
A word to the wise, though there are many uplifting and beautiful moments in this story, there are some heart-retching ones too. I needed a tissue and wept from Aoki’s assault, but the beauty of friendship and of Toho’s love lightened my heart and made Blossom of the Samurai one of my favorite reads in this series.
The Sword and Silk books are:
Blossom of the Samurai
Reviewed By: Gabbi
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TITLE: Blackstone Manor Box Set
AUTHOR: Kassandra Lea
GENRE: Gay Paranormal Fantasy Erotic Romance Box Set
LENGTH: 49,258 words
Masonry gargoyle Io is head over heels in love with the alpha Cinder, but it might take some convincing to get Cinder on board. What better way of catching Cinder’s eye than gifting him Blackstone Manor? Cinder has a soft spot for the rundown mansion. And once he notices Io, sparks fly.
Not everyone is happy about the idea of the two becoming a couple, however. Beta Ran’imy also has her sights set on Cinder, and she loathes Io. If she can just get him out of the picture …
From the first kiss to building Christmas snowmen together, Cinder’s about to learn that loving Io isn’t always easy.
Contains the stories:
Blackstone Manor: Masonry Gargoyle Io is determined to give his alpha and crush, Cinder, the greatest birthday gift he can imagine. Blackstone Manor. The old manor, slated for demolition, has captivated Cinder for years. Io will do whatever he has to, including crossing the line and potentially getting banished from the family.
Heart’s Triumph: The gargoyles Io and Cinder are still in the early stages of their relationship. Will their love be strong enough to withstand the Council and revenge?
Promised: Io wants to throw a Halloween party in the newly renovated Blackstone. Cinder isn’t exactly on board, harboring a secret from his lover. But how can he deny the love of his life a little fun around the spookiest time of the year? And after all, what could possibly go wrong?
A Gargoyle Christmas: It’s the most wonderful time of the year and all Io really wants is snow. And to find just the right gift for his husband, Cinder. Meanwhile, Cinder needs to appoint a new beta, find a gift for Io, and figure out what’s wrong with Daisy.
TITLE: Galen’s Destiny
AUTHOR: Edward Kendrick
GENRE: Gay Paranormal Mystery Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 50,991 words
What would you do if you turned eighteen, with your whole life ahead of you, only to find out you were a dhampir, destined to spend your nights hunting vampires? Would you accept your fate, or walk away? Galen faces that decision, and makes the right choice.
By the time he’s twenty-five, he’s an expert at what he does. Then fate intervenes when a powerful elf emerges who wants to rule the world. Will Galen, with the help of his father Rénald, a loup garou named Marc, and two elves, Ian and Ewan, be able to foil the rogue elf’s plan? And, in the process, can Galen find true love … without dying before that happens?
TITLE: Heaven’s Light
AUTHOR: Thomas Grant Bruso
GENRE: Gay Romance
LENGTH: 32,031 words
Sequel to Winter’s Light
Christian Rivers receives the phone call he has been dreading for six months. His father has died.
Flying home to Arizona with his husband Phillip, Christian arrives in Glendale to a family in chaos. Christian’s mother Lori struggles to go on without her husband. She collects lots of things to occupy her mind and pass the time. Her sleeping habits have changed, too, and she’s no longer able to stay in the same house without the man she loved.
To make matters worse, Christian finds his sister Paula in a life-and-death situation. In an attempt to escape the news of her father’s death, Paula turned to drugs, and Christian is the only one able to help her through this tumultuous time.
Fraught with his own demons, is Christian strong enough to solider on and battle the challenges awaiting him when he arrives home to say a final goodbye to the man he called Dad?
AUTHOR: Kass Barrow
GENRE: Gay Romance
LENGTH: 69,063 words
When Kylor Knightley, a multi-millionaire nightclub owner, is out talent-spotting at an open mic event in London’s Limehouse district, the last thing the stiff-lipped Brit expects is to fall head-over-heels for a devastatingly handsome singer ten years his junior.
Born in New York, twenty-two-year-old Eden McFadden now calls London home and has ambitions of making it big in the capital’s music scene. In the meantime, the feisty free spirit is secretly rocking it as a stripper at a gay club in Soho. But when fate brings him and Kylor together in Limehouse, it starts a chain of events that tears both of their worlds apart.
It’s going to take some serious attitude adjustment for the smart-mouthed stripper and the arrogant British gent to find common ground, but the attraction is too strong to ignore. Sometimes you have to trust in fate and see where it takes you.
TITLE: Romancing the Bouncer
AUTHOR: J.D. Walker
GENRE: Gay Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 12,532 words
Bennett “Ben” Pachowski is a bouncer at Throwbacks. He likes his job, though he gets tired of being thought of as more brawn than brain. He loves books, prefers to be romanced before sleeping with a man, and has a crazy feline companion named Bessie.
Ben’s favorite band, Rebel’s Ultimatum, plays at the club on weekends, giving him an eyeful of sexy bass player, Monty Mabuse. Ben is content to flirt — nothing more. He knows the kind of person Monty is, and commitment is not something the bass player is interested in.
When Monty resorts to something devious to get what he wants, it backfires, and Ben walks away. Before he goes on tour with his band, Monty finally gets Ben to talk to him, but if Monty really wants to have something serious with Ben, he’ll have to change his ways.
A little romance could go a long way.