High and Mighty by SS Skye


Title: High and Mighty
Author: S.S. Skye
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 20,000 words
Characters: Lynley
POV: Third Limited
Sub-Genre: Fairytale/Fantasy, Intrigue, Lesbian
Kisses: 4 Kisses

Blurb:
Lynley has been stuck in a tower for over a month, and each day is worse than the one before. She doesn’t know why she’s there, or who’s responsible for it, but the very moment her feet touch the ground there is going to be hell to pay.

Review:

First of all, this story is a little different in that it ends up being from the points of view of four different characters, two of whom are the main characters. Secondly, I think Lynley’s romantic interest was done a disservice by being left out of the blurb, but I can see why she was. Thirdly, for those who like on-page sex, there isn’t any, which left room for more story. And lastly, although “High and Mighty” is based on a fairytale, the dreamlike quality of fairytales is not a part of this story.

I like Lynley. It’s made clear from the start that she hasn’t just sat on her arse waiting to be rescued—she’s searched the entire tower to find everything that might be even remotely useful for an escape. Unfortunately, whoever put her there knew her enough to severely limit her options—as an example, the bedsheets are of such poor quality that even braided into a rope, they’d probably snap as she was climbing down.

When the move was made from Lynley to the castle I was a little confused, at first, but it eventually became evident why the move had been made. I won’t tell you much about the story—if you want to know, read the book!—but I will say that it has a gritty feel, and that I loved the way it ended by showing the understated strength of the relationship between Lynley and her romantic interest. Overall, this story is more of an intrigue with a romance sub-plot, and I think I liked it all the more for it. Perfect for anyone who likes a good intrigue, whether they read FF or not.

Reviewed By: Alison

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Small Claims by Ethan Stone


Title: Small Claims
Author: Ethan Stone
Publisher: Totally Bound
Pages: 81
Characters: Shawn Rosen, Jody Jacobsen
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 3


Blurb:

Judge Shawn Rosen is about to take on the toughest case of his life.

Small claims judge Shawn Rosen is comfortable in his career, but his personal life is another story. His twenty year relationship ended two years ago, but while he accepts the end, he hasn’t even started to move on. He lives a generic life.

Everything changes when Jody Jacobsen walks into his courtroom and Shawn is attracted to him. Following the case, they have a chance meeting which leads to a wild night. Waking up to cold sheets should have been a sign, but instead Shawn keeps coming back for more and eventually falls fast and hard—so hard he might be missing the clues that the commitment isn’t mutual.

There’s trouble when the case that brought them together could also tear them apart. Will Jody give in to his tendency to run, or will he finally be the man that Shawn deserves?

Review:

I’ve been torn on what I’m going to rate this book. In the end, I decided on 3 kisses because as much as I loved the main hero, Shawn, I had trouble liking the other one, Jody, much at all.

The thing is…Mr. Stone knows how to write a story. I was immediately swept up into Shawn’s life. It’s easy to be intrigued by him. He’s a likeable, lonely, successful, middle-aged man who misses his life as a happy family man with his former partner. Even though he loved the family dynamic, he is no longer in love with his ex, but still loneliness and sadness creeps in causing him to go through his daily life…without really living.

When Shawn is Jody’s judge in small claims court, Shawn is surprised by the attraction he feels for the younger man (ten years). Jody awakens something deep inside of him, but Shawn is a professional and as soon Jody’s case is over, Shawn figures he’ll never see him again.

When they accidentally run into each other at a club, they are immediately swept into their attraction and intense desire for one another. Soon, they are having sex and to much of Shawn’s dismay, Jody leaves the next morning without a note or a goodbye. When they meet again, Jody gives a reasonable explanation and Shawn forgives him.

This seems to be a pattern for Jody. When the chips are down, Jody runs. Now, Jody doesn’t shy away from the truth. He is upfront about his tendency to run just when things get serious, so Shawn knows Jody is a little scared and flighty when it comes to matters of the heart.

In the end, I was okay with Jody being a little wishy-washy, but having said that, I was never truly convinced he will, in the end, stick it out with Shawn. He proves time and time again he can’t be reliable and hurts Shawn throughout the story. I didn’t like this. I thought Shawn could do better, but yet, I wanted Jody to get his crap together because I could see great potential with them being a great couple. Jody DOES come through in the end, but will he follow through and truly be the man Shawn thinks and hopes he could be?

Also, let me tell you, the sexual chemistry between these two men was HAWT. Whew! If they could live on sex alone, these guys would definitely get their happily ever after with no problem.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters in this book. They were interesting and obviously cared for Shawn. Shawn also goes a blind date that ends up being both embarrassing and funny…poor Shawn…he just needs a big hug!

I really hope Mr. Stone continues writing more about these two men. I’d love to see Jody really step it up, grow up and be the right man for Shawn, because Shawn really deserves it.

Small Claims is a smokin’ hot read with two characters whose sexual chemistry practically smoked up my computer screen. Mr. Stone definitely knows how to write an enjoyable, thought-provoking read and I’m looking forward to reading more books by him in the future.

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Family of Lies: Sebastian by Sam Argent


Title: Family of Lies: Sebastian
Author: Sam Argent
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 324 pages
Characters: Sebastian Orwell and Crown Prince Turren
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: High Fantasy
Kisses: 4.5





Blurb:

Sebastian Orwell did the only thing a smart wizard could do when he stumbled upon the wounded Crown Prince: he healed him and dumped him in a tavern where he could continue not being Sebastian’s problem. Unfortunately, the prince isn’t content with being alive, and he hunts Sebastian down to thank him personally. Not only is Sebastian stuck with the prince’s unwanted affections, he’s also confronted by growing evidence linking the assassination attempt to someone from his father’s past.

Lord Orwell is a lot of things: thief, liar, drunk, and all around horrible father, but Sebastian knows he’s no murderer. In order to prove it, Sebastian has to keep the prince alive long enough to discover the truth—a task made considerably harder because the idiot prince prefers wooing Sebastian over securing his own survival. On top of everything, Sebastian needs to save the day without revealing his magical powers and the real reason he hides his appearance.

Sebastian had no intention of playing the hero, but whoever is stirring up shit in his country will pay for destroying his quiet life.

Review:

At first I thought “Family of Lies: Sebastian” was a light coming-of-age style book but as I kept reading, the wit and intricate threads caught me in the story’s web and the wonderfully underplayed wit kept me smiling and chuckling.

One of my earlier favourite scenes has to be when Prince Turren is riding through the magic forest after being warned to stay close by the commander, although there are many others I enjoyed just as much.

Sebastian’s family is complex and his siblings intriguing (I would love to read the story of Sebastian’s older sister Diana), and I liked Sebastian right from the start, even though he is a stubborn grump. Turren took me a fair bit longer to get used to as he seemed the typical spoiled brat-prince who went after whatever he wanted, damn the consequences.

The fact that Sebastian stumbled into the intrigue rather than it being centred around him really kept my attention, and the dance between Sebastian and Turren was slow and sweet, adding to the plot without overtaking it.

I would recommend this story for anyone who loves a good intrigue, witty dialogue, surprises, and complex characters. The romance is equal to the plot, rather than one being more overt than the other, so if you don’t like a bit of romance with your stories, this one might not be for you.

Having read this story, I immediately went searching for others by the author and was disappointed to find he didn’t have any. So instead, I guess I’ll have to wait impatiently for the next in the Family of Lies series, which Sam Argent’s webpage tells me is currently in progress.

Reviewed By: Alison

Check out this and other titles from Dreamspinner Press HERE

In the Absence of Light by Adrienne Wilder


Title: In the Absence of Light
Author: Adrienne Wilder
Publisher: Adrienne Wilder
Pages: 333
Sub- Genre: Contemporary gay romance
Kisses: 5



Blurb:

For years Grant Kessler has smuggled goods from one end of the world to the next. When business turns in a direction Grant isn’t willing to follow he decides to retire and by all appearances he settles down in a nowhere town called Durstrand. But his real plan is to wait a few years and let the FBI lose interest, then move on to the distant coastal life he’s always dreamed of. Severely autistic, Morgan cannot look people in the eye, tell left from right, and has uncontrolled tics. Yet he’s beaten every obstacle life has thrown his way. And when Grant Kessler moves into town Morgan isn’t a bit shy in letting the man know how much he wants him. While the attraction is mutual, Grant pushes Morgan away. Like the rest of the world he can’t see past Morgan’s odd behaviors Then Morgan shows Grant how light lets you see but it also leaves you blind. And once Grant opens his eyes, he loses his heart to the beautiful enigma of a man who changes the course of his life.

Review:

I have been waiting for this book to come out for a while, and I have got to say it was so worth it!!

The blurb tells you about the characters, and touches on Morgan’s issues but what it doesn’t say is what an amazing man he is.

Grant has a plan. He plans to lay low and fix the house he bought and then disappear in a few years to live happily ever after on a beach, but once he meets Morgan that plan slowly starts to change.

If he can get over seeing and treating Morgan like he is less than himself, and see the amazing man that Morgan is, his life will change forever.

As Morgan meets the challenges of trying to show Grant he is more than his tics and odd behaviors. There were times, I laughed so hard I would have to put the book down until I could control myself, but soon I would start reading again and it would start all over.

I love it when a book has main characters that are less than perfect. Honestly, it just makes them perfect in my eyes and I thought the people of Durstrand are just as quirky as Morgan, and Grant doesn’t stand a chance.

When Grant’s past keeps following him around, and Morgan’s past shows up, the angst level is off the charts! There were times I was in doubt if these beloved characters would get their happily ever after.

I can’t recommend this book enough! You just have to experience this amazing writer on your own.

You should take my word for what an amazing book, In the Absence of Light, really is, once you read it, you will want to buy Adrienne Wilder’s other works.

In my opinion, no library is complete without Mr. Wilder’s books, My Brother’s Keeper books 1 thru 3, Complementary Colors AND He Speaks Dead.

Believe me, they will be books you will want to read over and over…I know I do!

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed by: Cheryl

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Foundation of Trust by AM Arthur


Title: Cost of Repairs, Book 5: Foundation of Trust
Author: AM Arthur
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages: 202
Characters: David Weller, Owen Hart
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5



Blurb:

David Weller thought he had it all—a loving partner who gave him a ring, a steady job he didn’t hate, and so much hope for the future. But in the wake of a devastating diagnosis, everything he thought was solid and real lay in pieces at his feet.

Four years later, he’s still sifting through the rubble of his life. His catering partnership occupies his days, while his nights are filled with dangerous sexual hookups and very bad decisions. Then the last person he ever expected to see again walks back into his life.

Owen Hart’s single biggest regret is the way he was forced to leave David behind—no explanations, no chance to make it right. Until now. Finally free of eight years of lies, Owen’s back for the only man he’s ever loved.

An incendiary encounter in a club proves that time hasn’t weakened their physical connection, but David’s wounds run deeper than Owen’s deception. And if David can’t first forgive, Owen doesn’t have a second chance in hell.

Product Warnings
This book contains an Australian transplant with a head full of secrets, a party planner with enough baggage to sink a battleship, and a surly teenager who just wants them both to get over themselves.

Review:

When it comes to writing a story with grit, forgiveness, drama and a whole lot of romance, AM Arthur is definitely a master of it. The Cost of Repairs series has everything this reader craves when it comes to my greedy little reading heart. In my opinion, Foundation of Trust, just proves that this series just keeps getting better and better.

One of the thing I really loved about this book is the way each character really continues to grow and evolve throughout the story. When it begins, it is obvious that David is just going through life. For the past several years, David has been dealing with the devastation of his lover and soul mate, Owen, suddenly leaving his life practically without a trace. Even though he’s going through the motions of life, he’s not really healed. He’s done some reckless things to deal with the pain of losing Owen and the pain of having a debilitating disease. He’s hurt and lost in many ways, and when Owen suddenly reappears in his life, all of the suffering and pain he’s been through comes to surface.

Even though Owen wants him back, David doesn’t trust him. He knows he still loves Owen, but with the lack of trust and with the pain he’s suffered, David isn’t sure if he can even forgive Owen and truly welcome him back into his life.

Owen is determined to do the right thing. He’s never forgotten David and the beautiful life they once had together. He knows he must be patient and eat a lot of crow if he wants David back into his life, but in all honesty, it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for him either. Owen knows he must come clean about his dark past and fears that once he does, he will lose David forever.

I loved these two men and Owen’s son, Michael, really resonated with me as a reader. I could feel their pain. Their hope and in the end, their determination to be together. Neither man is perfect and has many, many flaws. There were times I thought David was definitely self-destructive and I was glad to see him really want to work through the skeletons in his closet not only to be a better person, but a man on his way to healing and forgiving so he and Owen could have the happy life they deserve.

Another thing that I loved about this book is how their issues are NOT swept under the rug. They deal with their problems head on. There is a lot of anger, sadness and frustrations they work through. I enjoyed watching these two men really come to terms with everything and end up being stronger, more fulfilled men in the end.

I love this series and hope there will be more. Each of these characters live and breathe off of the written page and I would be proud to call any of them a personal friend of mine.

As I mentioned earlier, Foundation of Trust is the 5th book in the Cost of Repairs series. I highly recommend this series if you are looking for well-written characters that will live with you long after you finish the books.

The Cost of Repairs series in book order are:

Cost of Repairs
Color of Grace
Weight of Silence
Acts of Faith
Foundation of Trust

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Check out what’s new at Torquere Press and save 35% with their Promo code!!

This week, we have selected titles by J.J. Massa & Berengaria Brown on sale for 20% off. Check it out: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=specials&page=1

We also have a coupon code to welcome in Spring for 35% off your purchases. Use code “spring2015” until 11:59 pm GMT 3/31/15.

Going to the Chapel: Don’t Ask
by J.J. Massa
59 pages / 14900 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-887-5
$2.99

Buy Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=96&products_id=4375

Blurb:

Captain Zachary Smith had long suspected he was gay. Still, he could ignore that in the face of his career. He was a military man–a lifer. Everything was fine until a certain inscrutable FBI agent trampled all over Zack’s personal Don’t Ask policy.

Previously published by Torquere as part of the Going to the Chapel anthology.

Lesbian Lovers
by Berengaria Brown
67 pages / 18300 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-889-9
$2.99

Buy Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=96&products_id=4370

Blurb:

Three lesbian couples. Three very different situations. Three fulfilling journeys to happiness.

“Fist Me”: Maeve nearly fell off her barstool when Taryn, the sexiest woman she’d ever known, asked her to fist her. But is it the right thing to do? Taryn’s not lesbian, and has just broken up from Mr. Perfect. Is she taking advantage of her? Or is this the ideal opportunity for them to begin a relationship?

“Lady Caroline’s Reward”: Lady Caroline Eversley needs a chaperone so hires Miss Dinah Watkin, a distant relative. Dinah and Caroline fall in love and Dinah teaches Caroline all about sex, but the problem of Caroline’s suitable chaperonage refuses to go away. Can they find a solution and have their own happy ending?

“Stubborn Attraction”: Laid off for ramming her knee into a co-worker’s balls after he tries to feel her up, lesbian Jaelle heads to her father’s cabin in the mountains. There, she takes the form of a mountain goat and climbs, free and uninhibited.

So, what happens when she finds a very attractive interloper on her favorite rock ledge?

Previously published as individual stories by Torquere Press.


Available for Pre-Order NOW

To view all of our current pre-orders: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=200

Never Too Early: Finding Their Way
by Chris Owen & Tory Temple

Continuing from the first book in the series (Never Too Early: The Beginning), Chance and Tucker and Jake and Tor find themselves involved in a friendship that goes much deeper than any of them initially suspected.

Jake has been released from the hospital following his fall from the roof, and Chance and Tucker agree to stay in Arkansas for several days to help Tor with Jake’s care. Chance, however, spends much of his time trying to resist the growing attraction he has for Jake. The confusion between the love he has for Tucker and the new feelings for Jake play tricks with Chance’s mind. Is any of this a good idea, or are all of them headed for disaster?

For his part, Jake has to reconcile not only his growing feelings and physical attraction to Chance, but also the promises he and Tor made to each other. They rebuilt their own relationship in the wake of mistakes neither one of them wishes to repeat. How much communication and longing can one — or two — relationships take?

Releasing 4/15/15 – Available Pre-Order: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=200&products_id=4376

A Cheap Racket
by Syd McGinley

Tim is a cute, wholesome, tennis playing “nephew” for well-off retirees, but he wants to retire as soon as he has a nest egg. His plans are shaken up when he learns a corrupt nursing home is abusing some of his clients’ impoverished friends. Along with his friend, Cal, and his favorite “uncle,” Tim hatches a plan to destroy The Pines. His papa bear suitor, Ari, is patiently waiting for Tim to quit and enthusiastically joins in with Tim’s plans — both smutty and altruistic!

Previously published in Hard for the Money Anthology from Torquere Press.

Releasing 4/1/15 – Available Pre-Order: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=200&products_id=4371

Early to Rise
by V.L. Locey

There are few things worse than being left at the altar by the man you thought loved you. Just ask Simon Wilder. He knows all about it. He also knows a thing or two about getting fired. It’s been a rotten week for Simon and making major life decisions during such turmoil may not be the wisest thing Simon has ever done. Or is it?

Packing up his clothes, his collection of Tony Orlando CDs, and his cat, Sambuca, Simon leaves the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia behind and heads out to live on his Uncle Tiberius’ farm in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Starting over on the farm where he vacationed once as a child is a going to be just what the doctor ordered, as long as that doctor is the good-looking large animal veterinarian, Gentry Martin. Is a sexy country vet the cure for a love-sick city boy?

Releasing 4/1/15 – Available Pre-Order: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=200&products_id=4372

Emerald Keep
by A. Catherine Noon & Rachel Wilder

When Emerald Keeper Teeka returns to the city of Reghdad and leaves the harsh desert behind, he finds that not all dangers come from the Great Valley. The dangerous Daymonth is nearly upon them and no one can survive on the surface of the planet — but Senior Hunter Quill Mayer is trying to get to Reghdad, and Teeka, before the start of it. Even if he makes it, Emerald Keep denies Teeka’s Contract with Senior Hunter Quill, and Teeka discovers his enemy is more powerful than any of them suspected and he will stop at nothing to separate Teeka and Quill — even by striking in the very heart of the city.

Releasing 4/8/15 – Available Pre-Order: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=200&products_id=4374

My Zombie Boyfriend
by T. Strange

Edward Grey is a medical student by day, necromancer by night. He lives alone with the first zombie he ever raised, his childhood cat, Boo. Edward’s life is simple: studying medicine, training his necromantic powers with his mentor, Mariel, and having weekly dinners with his parents. When he finds a very attractive corpse in a park and brings it home to reanimate, he accidentally creates a sassy, free-willed zombie who believes Edward is the one who murdered him.

With no memory of his former life, Edward names the zombie Kit and tries to win his trust. Kit slowly adjusts to his new un-life with Edward’s help, though he’s still suspicious of Edward’s role in his death and is convinced that Edward is hiding his former identity. Edward is very attracted to Kit, but understands why Kit doesn’t trust him. As they become closer to one another, Kit turns to Edward for comfort and love. The fragile trust they’ve built together will be tested when Kit unexpectedly regains his memory and seeks revenge on his murderers.

Releasing 4/15/15 – Available Pre-Order: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=200&products_id=4379

Room 1024
by Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae

When Cameron takes his submissive boyfriend Noah to a gay men’s leather convention in San Francisco, Cam expects to spend the week exploring their relationship and experimenting with non-monogamy. What he doesn’t expect is to run into his own former dom, Lou, in an embarrassingly public reunion.

While Noah is enthusiastic about the opportunity to play with the former international leather title-holder, Cam is more wary. He and Lou have unfinished business. A four-way encounter with Lou and his sub Stephen could be great fun—or it could show Noah that Cameron can never quite be the dom he wants and needs.

As Cameron and Noah work through the uncertainties in their relationship, Noah is offered everything he ever wanted, in a completely different way than he ever expected, leading all four men to discover that sometimes the only way forward is to revisit the past.

Releasing 4/8/15 – Available Pre-Order: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=200&products_id=4373

Urban Shaman by Lyn Gala


Title: Urban Shaman
Author: Lyn Gala
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 270 pages
Characters: Miguel Rassin & Nicolai Adelman
POV: Third Limited
Sub-Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal
Kisses: 5+




Blurb:

New York City cop Miguel Rassin’s life is going downhill fast. He’s got a spotty record from the Army, a one-night stand who won’t go away, and a flock of reporters trying to crucify him for shooting a civilian waving a toy pistol. Now kids are turning up missing in the Bronx, and he’s partnered with by-the-book Detective Rob Jackson, a man with problems of his own. Their first suspect is a local shaman, Nikolai Adelman, who is either the strangest holy man ever or a con working his own angle.

Miguel’s trying to navigate a baffling case that has more questions than answers, caught between a surprising physical desire for Nikolai and his new partner’s suspicions about a shaman who claims supernatural forces are at work. Miguel has always tried to avoid relationships out of guilt and fear, but Nikolai sees the darkness in Miguel’s heart—and the fortitude Miguel has hidden deep inside, a strength that will help him solve the case and reclaim his life.

Review:

“Urban Shaman” is written completely from Miguel’s POV. Miguel has a strong sense of what is right and wrong, and a lack of tact, which often doesn’t endear him to others. After what happened during his last posting in the army, and shooting the civilian, he’s close to burning out. And then a kid goes missing.

I fell in love with Miguel very quickly. A wounded warrior in all senses of the term, he’s trying so hard to make a difference, regardless of the fact that the press and public hate him. He agrees to work with Rob, even though the man is more like a “sledgehammer” (yes, I’m quoting) and almost always puts witnesses offside, because it seems like the only way he’ll be able to work on the case without press interference. And while they both suspect Nikolai’s a con artist, Miguel is willing to accept the possibility that Nikolai actually cares for the small community he’s adopted.

Ms Gala writes wonderfully complex characters, and the crime investigation is both realistic and riveting. Rob Jackson more than just a side character, he adds to the story, and Nikolai is a wonderfully complicated man whose diverse parts add up to an intriguing whole.

When I finished “Urban Shaman”, all I could think was “WOW!” I was so stunned I actually sat still for a moment to take stock. I’d give this book more than five kisses if I could, although there is a slight possibility I am biased, since I have read and loved “Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts”, “Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities”, “Turrbulence”, “Drift”, and “Long, Lonely Howl”. I must admit, though, that I found The Monsters Below (from the “Making Contact” anthology), and “Desert World: Allegiences” a bit too depressing (The Monsters Below was well-written and more in the vein of classic sci-fi), so maybe not.

I believe any lover of crime or suspense will enjoy this story greatly, regardless of whether they enjoy paranormal or urban fantasy or not. As with most of Ms Gala’s books, this is a story of personal discovery with a gripping plot.

Another great story. Thank you, Ms Gala, and please, please keep on writing.

Reviewed By: Alison

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