Alison Reviews: Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford

Title: Black Dog Blues
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: DSP Publications
Length: 246 pages
Characters: Kai Gracen & sidhe Lord Ryder
POV: First Person
Sub-Genre: Speculative Fiction / Post Apocalyptic
Kisses: 5


Ever since being part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figures he used up his good karma when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in. Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races are left with a messy, monster-ridden world, and Stalkers are the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy appears.

It’s a hard life but one Kai likes—filled with bounty, a few friends, and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him of his past. And killing monsters is easy. Especially since he’s one himself.

But when a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego, Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It’s supposed to be a simple run up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary. Easy, quick, and best of all, profitable. But Kai ends up in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.

No one ever got rich being a Stalker. But then few of them got old either and it doesn’t look like Kai will be the exception.


Black Dog Blues follows Kai Gracen, a man who looks elfin but feels human, in a time only a few decades after the Earth and the Elfin planes have become one. Many humans still hate the sidhe for the war that followed the merge, and the strange creatures that came with it, but Kai makes a reasonable living hunting the more vicious beasts. He might not be happy but he is content with his lot, especially since he knows from personal experience his life could be a lot worse.

I really loved this book, and couldn’t put it down. It is one of those that, twelve hours later, I still feel. The world is complex, full of undercurrents, and the characters fascinating. I actually did a little chair dance when I checked the publisher page for the blurb this morning and discovered the author intends the book to be the first in a series.

If you enjoy reading fantasy or urban fantasy, or stories about characters with shadowy pasts, survivors, post-apocalyptics, or action, then this is one is definitely for you. I will give you warning, if you are looking for on-page sex you won’t find any as this book is primarily a speculative fiction tale, but to be honest, on-page sex would probably have dulled the impact of the story.

I haven’t read any stories by this author before, and I am now going to rectify that. Please, if it even remotely looks like something you might be interested in, get it. You won’t be sorry.

Reviewed By: Alison

Click HERE to enter the DSP Publications Website

Patrick St. James Reviews: Uninvited Guest by Brian Lancaster

Title: Uninvited Guest
Author: Brian Lancaster
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 189 Pages
Genre: Gay fiction/London/paranormal
Main Characters: Anton, Stephen, Sebastian, Christian and a cast of beautiful people
Rating: 5 LARGE Kisses


Fate is conspiring against lawyer Anton Swann. First, his Grandmother dies, then he hits the worst traffic of his life on the way home from her funeral, keeping him from friends in London—and possibly a much longed-for sighting of his ex. And finally the detour that he thought would save him time, ends with the electrics failing on his car, leaving Anton to trudge through heavy rain back to an old cottage he’d passed along the way, hoping for help.

What he finds instead, is the mysterious Dr. Stephen Miller, a man fighting his own battles. Anton is invited inside to join the tail end of an all-male dinner party, but this is no chance encounter. What Anton thought was fate, is actually a spirit at work making sure he ends up at the cottage—and stays there until unfinished business is resolved for both Anton and Stephen.


A delightful novel and once again lucky to read one set in a British atmosphere. This isn’t a novel filled with wild sex, or even frequent sex. It is truly a novel of a love that develops over time, runs into barriers, as in real life, and pushes on to an inevitable, fate filled ending.

Along with being light on sex, it is also light on the paranormal, which I was hoping there would be more of in the story. However, once again, this is a love story with tinges of the paranormal and sex. I must admit that by the end, I had a tear or two in my eyes. The author knows how to write emotion and tenderness as well as the harsher sides of falling in love that can be encountered when the road is not clear. Anton had to deal with an ex and his new boyfriend and Stephen has to deal with the death of a former boyfriend.

I can recommend this book without reservation for those who seek a solid story of one man falling in love with another who also happens to have a few really neat friends that I wouldn’t mind having in real life. Get the book, you won’t be disappointed!

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed by Patrick St. James

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Website

Lydia Reviews: Fit to be Tied by Mary Calmes

Title: Fit To Be Tied
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Author: Mary Calmes
Pages: 244
Kisses: 5+


Deputy US Marshals Miro Jones and Ian Doyle are now partners on and off the job: Miro’s calm professionalism provides an ideal balance to Ian’s passion and quick temper. In a job where one misstep can be the difference between life and death, trust means everything. But every relationship has growing pains, and sometimes Miro stews about where he stands with his fiery lover. Could the heartstrings that so recently tied them together be in danger of unraveling?

Those new bonds are constantly challenged by family intrusions, well-intentioned friends, their personal insecurities, and their dangerous careers—including a trial by fire when an old case of Miro’s comes back to haunt them. It might just be enough to make Ian rethink his decision to let himself be tied down, and Miro can only hope the links they’ve forged will be strong enough to hold.


Fit To Be Tied is the second story in Ms. Calmes Marshals series. This is a series that must be read in order so please understand if you have not read book one, there will be spoilers ahead.

Fit To Be Tied picks up a few months after the end of book one. Miro’s and Ian’s relationship is going strong. They are more in love now than when they came together as a couple. But while Miro is ready to take their relationship to the next level, Ian is afraid of what could happen and would rather stay as they are. Then live gets in the way leaving both men to wonder if they will even have a relationship to argue over.

This is another well done story/series by Ms. Calmes. From the beginning the author pulls you back into the world she created for Miro and Ian. The action that seems to surround the men is present from the start and so is the love that is the basis of their relationship. I love watching these two interact between each other and those around them, especially the criminals they go after. The snarkiness that both men have a tendency to exhibit is sure to make you laugh. I was a little worried when it looked like their relationship may have hit a spot that it could not overcome, but Ian’s reaction after a fight, and Miro’s need for Ian, makes it clear that these two will do anything to make it as a couple.

Of course the men’s unit all show up at one time or the other, and Sam is as tough and intimidating as ever. There are plenty of ‘bad guys’ to catch and at times it was hard to decide who I felt more sorry for, the crooks or the other law enforcement agencies Ian and Miro helped out. There is one major case that is woven into the story and it is one that readers will remember for a while.

I am a huge fan of Ms. Calmes, and have read Fit To Be Tied more than once already. While she has several series out with follow up books waiting in the wings, I hope the Marshals series will get a third story soon as I would love to see what kind of trouble these two get themselves into next.

By the way, fans of Chickie’s will not be disappointed as he has a great scene in this story that is sure to please.

Reviewed by: Lydia

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Webpage

Cheryl Reviews: Pent Up by Damon Suede

Title: Pent Up
Author: Damon Suede
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 290
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Kisses: 3


Can bodyguard Ruben protect financial hotshot Andy and untangle a high-priced conspiracy, while guarding his own heart?

PENT UP: Mix business with pleasure and take cover.

Ruben Oso moves to Manhattan to start his life over as a low-rent bodyguard and stumbles into a gig in a swanky Park Avenue penthouse. What begins as executive protection turns personal working for a debonair zillionaire who makes Ruben question
everything about himself.

Watching over financial hotshot Andy Bauer puts Ruben in an impossible position. He knows zero about shady trading and his cocky boss lives barricaded in a glass tower with wall-to-wall secrets and hot-and-cold-running paranoia. Can the danger be real? Is Andy for real?

What’s a bullet catcher to do? Ruben knows his emotions are out of control even as he races to untangle a high-priced conspiracy and his crazy feelings before somebody gets dead. If his suspicions are right, Andy will pay a price neither can afford, and Ruben may discover there’s no way to guard a heart.


I am a big fan of Damon Suede and I jumped at the chance to read and review Pent Up. But, that being said I was surprised at how hard it was for me to get into this book.

I don’t think it has to do with Mr. Suede’s talent I think it has more to do with the subject matter.

I don’t find hedge funds interesting and I thought the character of Andy to be a little boring, but on the other hand, Ruben was a little more fascinating though he has no self confidence. As the story continued, I found I began to see Andy in a different light and through Ruben, I started relating to Andy more and more.

If you are looking for romantic love and sweet sex you won’t find it in this book. What you will find nasty, dirty, rough grab you by the balls sex.

If you can keep up with the twists and turns in the plot, and hang in there the story actually gets interesting and in the end I found it enjoyable.

Have you read Hot Head yet by Mr. Suede? I highly recommend it!

Reviewed by: Cheryl

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Website

Alison Reviews: The High King’s Golden Tongue by Megan Derr

Title: The High King’s Golden Tongue
Author: Megan Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 107,000 words
Characters: Prince Allen and High King Sarrica
POV: Third
Sub-Genre: Fantasy
Kisses: 5+


Prince Allen has trained his entire life to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious mother, who has made their kingdom one of the wealthiest and most influential in the empire. For the past few years he has trained to become the new consort of the High King. The only thing no one prepared him for was the stubborn, arrogant High King himself, who declares Allen useless and throws him out of court.

High King Sarrica is ruling an empire at war, and that war will grow exponentially worse if his carefully laid plans do not come to fruition. He’s overwhelmed and needs help, as much as he hates to admit it, but it must be someone like his late consort: a soldier, someone who understands war, who is not unfamiliar with or afraid of the harsher elements of rule. What he doesn’t need is the delicate, pretty little politician foisted on him right as everything goes wrong.

Publisher note: this is a highly expanded, completely re-written version of the free short that was previously available under the same title.


The Harken Empire consists of a complex combination of languages and classes, and has been at war in some way or another for far too long. The current High King is the perfect example of this. He’s an ex-soldier whose deceased husband was also a soldier. As often happens with Monarchs, since it’s been years since his husband died, he’s being pushed into marrying again. Enter prince Allen, a silver tongue (translator) who knows more than ten different languages fluently and has been training for the past two years for the position of High Consort, and who is nothing like the soldier partner High King Sarrica wants. Allen and Sarrica are both stubborn and determined, and despite Sarrica snubbing him at their first meeting, Allen is determined to do what he was trained for.

For those of you who may not know, the first version of “the High King’s Golden Tongue” was a short free read written for the Goodreads MM Group’s 2012 Don’t Read in the Closet event, and although I did enjoy the first edition, I felt that there was a lot missing. The new edition doesn’t just fill those holes, it creates a whole new landscape. For one, ‘alternative sexualities’ (such as the LGBTQ rainbow) are taken as being as normal as hetero leanings, and transgender people are accepted as being the gender they feel rather than what they are born as. For example, Sarrica’s first husband was male yet carried their children, and one of Allen’s siblings is asexual (obviously that’s not the term used, though). I must admit, I loved that acceptance, as it is how I feel it should be always. In top of that, the Harken Empire is made up of many different languages with many dialects and the confusions such things cause, yet gender is not taken into account when it comes to careers, lifestyle, or status.

I don’t know if I could say I had a best bit, per se, but I did love the fact that all of the main characters had their own strengths and weaknesses, the teasing between friends and family, and the way each character was affected by their past in different ways. To be honest, I couldn’t put it down, and my sister gave up trying to talk to me until I finished the book because I either didn’t hear her or had to ask her to repeat what she’d said. (I’ve actually trained myself to mostly not do that anymore, since it’s dangerous to be oblivious to what’s happening around you for hours on end.)

I would recommend the second edition of “The High King’s Golden Tongue” for anyone who enjoys reading stories with action, drama, fantasy, wit, or people who persevere despite the odds. I will admit that I am a fan of Ms Derr’s but even so, I would put this story among the best she has written in the fantasy genre.

Reviewed By: Alison


Check out the latest from Torquere Press!!

This weeks specials! 20% off books by M.D. Grimm, L.J. Hamlin, Chris Owen & Tory Temple!!
New Releases 11/18/15

Emerald: Good and Evil
by M.D. Grimm
261 pages / 78400 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-996-4

Buy Link:


Home. Family.

Those words often invoke a sense of love and comfort. But for the dark mage Morgorth, they mean hate and pain. As the seventh son of a seventh son, many believe Morgorth?s destiny is to become the Destroyer. His father embraced such a future and trained Morgorth through torture and fear to become his weapon. Morgorth managed to escape his father?s cruelty, but not the nightmares that still haunt him. For many years he?s lived with the stain of his father?s savagery, but now he must confront his nightmares head-on.

His father has found a stone of power.

Morgorth must return to his land of birth, to the memories he?s tried his entire life to suppress. Aishe is determined to help Morgorth defeat his inner demons, but he knows he might not be enough to save Morgorth from embracing his darkness. They know it will be a fight to the death and know Morgorth won?t be the same if he survives. With Aishe by his side, Morgorth hunts for his father, and finds answers to questions he never dared to ask?and must live with the truths they reveal.

Black Lace
by L.J. Hamlin
123 pages / 35000 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-999-5

Buy Link:


Jed Chance is the lead singer of Black Lace, a very successful rock band. It’s gone through a few lineup changes: first, Jed was outed by a former bandmate, and now they’re looking for another new member. That’s when Donnie comes to audition.

Donnie is ten years younger than Jed, and he’s beautiful, with a complicated past. He instantly gets a crush on Jed, but is afraid to act on it. Still, Jed and Donnie can’t keep away from each other. But getting together isn’t their only problem: Jed has attracted a dangerous stalker, who means to do Jed serious harm.

Available for Pre-Order NOW

Your preordered books will be emailed to you directly on Tuesday evening before the release. Take advantage of getting your books first.
Coming 11/25/15

Never Too Early: Full Circle
Chris Owen & Tory Temple

In the final book of the Never Too Early series, cowboys Jake and Tor and firefighters Chance and Tucker have more on their plates than they bargained for. What started out as friendship has developed into strong feelings, and the couples continue to grow and learn about each other. However, adding two and two is more than a simple math problem. Words and emotions can be a dangerous mix, as the four men discover, and jealousy and miscommunication threaten what they’ve built together.

When two of the four unexpectedly connect, it sends all of them reeling. Pride is bruised and feelings are wounded, although they try desperately to hold themselves together in order to navigate this new territory. The physical distance between them all is both a blessing and a curse. When one of them reveals something that can’t be taken back, it threatens the relationships of all four men. How do two separate couples blend themselves to become one unit? The doubts and fears threaten to overwhelm them all, and no one will emerge unscathed.

Releasing 11/25/15 – Available Pre-Order:

Thicker Than Bone
by Matthew J. Metzger

If you could save someone’s life, would you? Anyone’s?

Ali’s older brother has a swastika tattooed on his knuckles, a prison ID number for nearly beating a man to death for the crime of being Middle Eastern, and spent his teenage years ruthlessly persecuting Ali for being gay.

Blood may be thicker than water, but Ali has spent most of his life desperate to prove that he is nothing like Tony. A committed vegetarian, charity-supporter, and blood donor, Ali would do anything for anyone, and is frequently teased by his partner, Yazid, for being too soft-hearted. Ali may share parentage with Tony, but he is determined not to share anything else if he can help it.

So when Tony contracts leukaemia, and Ali is the only match for the urgently-needed bone marrow transplant, Ali is caught between two equally awful choices: to refuse, and condemn a man to death, or to donate.

And in donating, save the life of the man who nearly murdered Ali’s Iraq-born boyfriend?

Releasing 11/25/15 – Available Pre-Order:
Coming 12/2/15

Tivi’s Dagger
Alex Douglas

The son and heir to a noble, Nedim Melchion has always been used to the more illicit pleasures in the high society of the Divine Kingdom of Lis, where laws are harsh and punishments harsher. So far his money and status have protected him from the grim realities of life?but now that the Protectors who police the land have a new leader, life has taken an unwelcome turn for the worse.
What could be more unfashionable for a noble in his prime than being forced to wear a pilgrim brown tunic while trudging through the dangerous mountain kingdom of Methar to pay homage to the Gods at an ancient shrine? Bound to serve by a Rite invoked by his devout older brother, Nedim can do nothing but count the footsteps until he can get back to his friends, his favorite tavern and his decadent ways. But as he and his traveling companions are guided through the land of the love gods by a handsome young monk, will Nedim find reason to change his ways?

Releasing 12/2/15 – Available Pre-Order:

Go Ask Alice
by Anne Key

Alice is in trouble.

Big trouble. Her girlfriend, Cat, is dead, Alice just got out of the hospital, and everything is falling apart. The girls bought a bag of pills from a dealer and took them to Cat?s house to LARP their game, Underneath. The plan is to take one pill after another until the vampires come for them.

Problem is, the vampires didn?t come, the ambulance did.

As soon as she gets home, Alice runs away to attend Cat?s funeral and meets Leveret, Cat?s cousin, and that?s when she falls down the rabbit hole.

From shrinking and growing, from a monster in a hospital to a haunted toy store, from a nightclub filled with vampires to a Ren Faire with the most unnerving Mad Hatter and a game where ninja ballerinas beat people to death with sticks ? Alice?s trip follows the heart of the Alice in Wonderland story, if not the letter.

On the way Alice has to make a number of decisions ? is she sane? Is she dead? Is she willing to sacrifice everything for someone else or does she exercise self-preservation even if that means losing the girl she loves?

Releasing 12/2/15 – Available Pre-Order:

A Fool’s War
by Voss Foster

Marley is alive, and back with Toby and the rest of Zirkua Fantastic. But King Jester, the spirit of discord, still roams free, and his most fearsome creations, the Princes, have been loosed from their prisons. Now, human and immortal alike are disappearing, no sign of a body or a struggle to be found. More and more of them each day.

Now, it?s the duty of the last remnants of resistance to stand strong against the impossible, battle back the chaos before it ravages Earth. And all the while, a single question remains unanswered: can life ever return to normal after this?

Releasing 12/2/15 – Available Pre-Order: