Purify by Etienne


Title: Purify
Author: Etienne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 346
POV: 3rd
Kisses: 4.5






Blurb:

Reporter Clint Buchalla has been tasked by his editor with delving into the activities of a sitting Senator, who is rumored to have been caught in bed with a dead girl and a live boy. Clint begins what he suspects will be a months’ long investigation. Instead, things quickly come to a head, and he and his partner, Lucien, find themselves in mortal danger.

The search for the rent boy leads to dinner with an older couple, one of whom worked as a rent boy in DC for twenty years, until he was paid two million dollars by the Senator’s aide and ordered to disappear. The rent boy wants something in return for his testimony, though. He wants Clint to help him get his memoirs published.

In the midst of everything else, new information comes to light regarding Clint’s previous investigations into the activities of people who seem determined to lower the birth rates of certain groups. It might take an attempt on their lives before all the pieces start falling into place.

Review:

Purify is the third mystery novel in author Etienne’s, The Ivory Solution: The Chronicles of Old Town. Once again newspaper reporter Clint is back with a variety of stories that he can’t walk away from. When the story opens up Clint is given a story to follow by his publisher and editor. What starts off as a story about the escapades of a sitting Senators soon becomes much more. A lead sends Clint after a former rent boy who has information on past and current Politian’s, information that puts Clint and his partner Lucien in danger.

There are a lot of twists in this portion of the story, and I was not surprised by the events that occurred due to the people Clint was investigating. I liked the way the author rounds out this part of the story, giving the readers a glimpse of what happens to some of the Politians that Clint wrote about.

One of the things I love the most about this series is the fact that the author does not settle on one mystery. In Purify, readers are given more facts on the birth rate case, the story that originally introduced Clint to the readers. I was surprised by the way this part of the story played out. While the author does close up some of the lose end in this mystery, new questions are opened up and I cannot wait to see what will be revealed next.

As always the author fills his stories with a variety of secondary characters. There is of course Lucien, who has finally realized his dream and is in the process of opening his restaurant. Of course this does not go smoothly. Old friends and co-workers show up and new ones introduced. And what would a mystery be without a few bad guys thrown into the mix.

Purify is an excellent story for those who love the mystery sub-genre. However, it is important that new readers to this series realize that the books must be read in order.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed by: Lydia

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Bottoms Away by Etienne- published by DSP

BottomsAwayTitle: Bottoms Away
Author: Etienne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 225
Kisses: 4
Gay/ Contemporary

Blurb:

Chris Bottoms is glad to be home from the first of two surgeries that will free him of his ostomy bag, but life is keeping him on his toes.

Sequel to Bottoms Out; About a Bottoms: Book Three An Avondale Story

Chris Bottoms is glad to be home from undergoing the first of two surgeries that will free him from the ostomy bag he’s been wearing for more than a year. He’s anxious about the upcoming second surgery, but life is keeping him on his toes.
The bank hierarchy is clearly grooming Chris’s partner, Mickey O’Donovan, vice president of a mega-bank, for a promotion. That doesn’t help reconcile the family who turned their backs on Mickey for not going into the family business. To make matters worse, Chris’s little brother’s abusers are still out there, and that makes Chris angry. He and Mickey are raising Ted now. Between dealing with spiteful relatives and doing their best by a hurt ten- year-old boy, Chris and Mickey wonder how much more reality they can take.
Chris’s second and final surgery can’t come soon enough. Both men are looking forward its most important side-effect—Chris will once again be able to enjoy prostate massage—but not until three months after the surgery.

Review:
I have been lucky enough to have reviewed each story in the About A Bottoms series and I have given them a high rating for these reasons.
They are well written, the research that has been done to cover the medical issues that Chris has endured and survived must have been intense and the sexual abuse that both Chris and his little brother have endured has been dealt with by showing with a lot of therapy and love and support you can go on to live a happy and productive life.

Chris and Mickey are still one of my favorite couples, still deeply in love and with the new surgery that Chris has gone through he can now go back to the sex life he loves.
Ted is making great strides in his therapy and has discovered a great love of cooking. I love this sweet, quiet little ten year old and I hope one day to read his story, he deserves his own HEA.
If you have not read this series I hope you give it a try, it is a great love story and a story of survivors.
I found that in a few places it went a little long in the details of just everyday life but I think the author did this to show with all the hurdles these characters have had to endure it’s the little details in everyday living that helps heal the brokenness.

If you love a book that has depth to it and can still have the sexiness of two men in love, you will certainly enjoy this series.

Reviewed by: Cheryl

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Buzz Bets Badly, But Begets Bliss by Etienne


Title: Buzz Bets Badly, But Begets Bliss
Publisher: Smashwords
Author: Etienne
Pages: 342
Kisses: 4.5






Blurb:

Adam Yancey is about to graduate from college, with a degree in music at the age of eighteen. He’s highly intelligent, totally goal-oriented, and anxious to begin working on a Master’s and then a Doctoral degree, so he can pursue a career as a concert organist.

But what he really dreams of is having a loving relationship with another man—a relationship like his father and his father’s partner have. Unfortunately, Adam has a secret. One he feels certain will prevent him from ever having such a relationship.

Buzz Patterson is a jock and a track star, and all he wants out of life is to get laid—as often as possible. Then one day, his buddies goad him into betting that he can find out if Adam’s long fingers fulfill the old saying about long fingers being an indication of length elsewhere.

Buzz has all summer to win the bet, and he begins to actively pursue Adam. Will he win the bet? Or will he wind up getting more than he bargained for?

Review:

Buzz Bets Badly, But Begets Bliss is author Etienne’s latest addition to the Avondale series. This is a coming of age story about two young men with nothing in common who come together and soon find they were meant for each other. While this is a story in which the two main characters are in their late teens – early twenties, the issues they face are in no way trivial.

While I loved the book, there are a couple of things, for me that stood out. One is the way the two young men meet. Buzz sees Adam sitting by himself in the student union. While he is intrigued, it isn’t until after Buzz is talked into betting on whether or not he can see Adam naked, that he approaches the young man. This is not a new plot line, however, the fact that the author does not draw this part of the story out, and in fact reveals the bet early, kept the story from being like the others out there. The second is the way the author handled Adam’s secret. Readers will be surprised by the maturity Adam has for one so young and will want to see him get his happily ever after.

As a fan of Etienne’s, I look forward to each new book. His stories are always well written and the characters pull you into their stories. This is an author that is one of my must buys and one I strongly recommend his work to others who like to read m/m books.

Reviewed by: Lydia

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Bottoms Out by Etienne


Title: Bottoms Out
Author Etienne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 266
Kisses: 5
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series




Blurb:

Chris and Mickey settle down to raise Chris’s brother Ted. But Ted’s been abused and Chris wonders how many secrets one family can have.

About a Bottoms: Book Two; An Avondale Story

After the death of their mother, Chris Bottoms adopted his little brother, Ted, and Chris and his partner, Mickey O’Donovan, settle down to raise him. Through paperwork left by his mother, Chris learns his brother has a deeply troubled past.

During a Thanksgiving visit with Chris and Ted’s maternal grandparents, they find out Chris’s grandfather allowed his friends to abuse Ted, so Chris severs all ties with that side of his family.

Through his job at a hospital, Chris hears of a surgeon at the Mayo Clinic who has developed an ileostomy reversal technique that has proven successful in cases like his. When Chris enters the clinic for preliminary testing, he learns he is a good candidate for the procedure and schedules the first of two surgeries for the beginning of January. A visit from estranged relatives while he’s in the hospital leaves him wondering how many secrets one family can have.

Review:

This is book two in the Avondale Bottom Ups series. If you have not read Bottoms Up I highly suggest reading it first before beginning this book.

Bottoms Out continues where Bottoms Up stopped, and is just as fascinating as the first story and just as well researched.

Chris and Mickey are learning how to parent Ted with the help of all their new friends in Avondale. When Ted continues to have nightmares Chris takes him for intense therapy and discovers the horrors the ten year old has gone through.

Chris and Mickey are still intensely in love and their love life has not suffered at all. Chris is told about a Doctor at the Mayo Clinic that can correct his previous surgery so maybe he can live a more Normal life.

This book has a lot going on and meeting new friends and becoming more involved with the elderly twin sisters that live across the street, while dealing with Ted’s trauma and Chris’s health.

I love the interactions of Chris, Mickey and Ted With the couples of Avondale and I will be buying their books because they are so interesting and fun.

I highly recommend this book and the series as well. Bottoms Out is both a wonderful love story and will pull your heartstrings as we learn about the abuse that ten year old Ted has gone through.

I’m definitely looking forward to the third book of this Bottoms Up Series comes out this summer and I cannot wait!

Reviewed by: Cheryl

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Cleanse by Etienne


Title: Cleanse
Author: Etienne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 270
Kisses: 5+




Blurb:

An arrest in Florida leads to the exposure of another plot by supremacists, and the FBI invites award-winning investigative reporter Clint Buchalla to interview as many suspects as are willing to talk. It’s not his first time working on a controversial article for his newspaper, the Washington Ledger.

At their home together, Clint and his lover, Lucien Cormier, meet their new neighbors: a divorced woman and her two sons. One of the sons seems terribly troubled, and the woman’s situation prompts Clint to search public records for information. Ultimately, he finds a trail that leads him to another pedophile priest—and thus a series of articles exposing him and the church’s complicity in covering up his crimes.

Meanwhile, Lucien hears from the lawyer who serves as trustee of his education fund and learns that because he was thrifty enough with his education funds to leave him money to spare, he will come into additional money on his twenty-fifth birthday… a windfall that could allow him to realize his dream of opening a Cajun restaurant.

Review:

Cleanse is the second book in the, The Chronicles of Old Town series by author Etienne. While the main characters are a couple, it is not their romance that plays center stage in this story but rather the mysteries that Clint finds himself investigating.

Once again Clint finds himself investigating a pedophile priest, only this time he is taking on the Catholic Church, who isn’t very happy with the work Clint is doing, especially when the work he does on this story opens up a larger can of worms than they expected. Then there is the case the FBI is working on, which due to his special connections with them, Clint also gets to cover. While the first story is something that we see all too often of the evening news, it is the second story that really held my interest. I could not help wondering if something like this could really happen, while at the same time I am surprised that no one has tried anything like this yet.

Through all of that however, Lucien is by his side. I love the relationship that exists between these two. Even without detailed, graphic intimate scenes, it is easy to see the closeness and love these two feel for each other. I also love the surprise the author has for Lucien towards the end of Cleanse which will allow him to obtain his dream. I cannot wait to see where the author takes this series next and hope the wait will not be too long.

I have read several books by this author and will admit that the first books were difficult for me to get through. I am glad I stuck with that first book as it kept me from missing some wonderful stories. While I think these stories may not be for everyone, they are great and if you are looking for a new author to try then pick up something by Etienne.

Reviewed by: Lydia

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Bottoms Up by Etienne

Title: About a Bottoms, Book One: Bottoms Up
Author: Etienne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 250
Kisses: 5
Contemporary, Gay






Blurb:

About a Bottoms: Book One An Avondale Story

RN First Assistant Chris Bottoms enjoys being a bottom. Though abused by his stepfather as a boy and conditioned to enjoy sex only one particular way, he’s come to make the most of his life. And he enjoys bottoming—to the hilt—whenever and wherever he can.

As if colorectal cancer wasn’t enough of a trial, the subsequent botched surgery robs him of normal bodily functions—no more prostate massage for Chris. In the middle of his medical drama, his best friend, Mickey O’Donovan, accepts a promotion that brings him to live in Jacksonville. Roommates in college, they’ve remained friends and occasional fuck buddies ever since. Chris’s crisis brings their relationship to a new level, though, and long-suppressed feelings are
revealed.

Chris and Mickey settle down together and life is good, even though they can no longer indulge in their favorite sexual position. But Chris can’t seem to catch a break. When his past rears its head, Chris and Mickey must face a new challenge, together.

Review:

The Blurb tells you what this story is about. I found it a little hard at first to get into the story but I hung in there and was richly rewarded.

This story was well written and the Author did the research need to include the medical jargon scattered throughout, while taking some poetic license which is acknowledged.

Chris is very promiscuous, and loves sex but to tell the story of what he lost we must see what his life style has been. One constant in his life since college has been his best friend and occasional lover Mickey.

The love story of Mickey and Chris is so touching and Mickey stayed by his side throughout Chris’s Medical nightmare and their love only grew and solidified.

I loved meeting all the couples of Avondale, they immediately took Chris into their circle and became true friends that Chris had only ever known before with Mickey.

I liked how the sexual abuse in Chris’s past was acknowledged and dealt with through counseling though not dwelt on.

This is an inspiring story and I can’t wait to read the stories of the men of Avondale.

I highly recommend this story.

Reviewed by: Cheryl

Grand Tour by Etienne


Title: Grand Tour
Author: Etienne
Publisher: Self-published through Smashword
Pages: 224
Characters: William Lodge Lane and Henry Cabot Lane
POV: Alternating 1st Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4.5


Blurb:

William and Henry are cousins, sons of identical twin brothers, and members of two well-known Boston Brahmin families. They’ve roomed together through prep school, Harvard, and Harvard Law, and dated some of Boston’s most eligible young women.

Instead of taking a grand tour of Europe, they opt to go backpacking around the US, and are taken prisoner and sexually assaulted in a small southern city. The assaults make them realize how they’ve always felt about each other, but first, they have to escape.

After their escape they plan and execute an elaborate trap and ultimately catch their attackers red handed. After their attackers are tried and convicted, they settle down to practice law together on Beacon Hill.

Review:

While a very good book, in fact one of my favorites by Etienne, Grand Tour covers some very sensitive subjects that may be difficult for some readers. These incidents are an important aspect of the story line, and, although the author does not glorify them, they are detailed.

Etienne’s
stories are the types that always seem to pull me in and Grand Tour was no different. I really liked Henry and William. Although the two young men come from old money, they don’t have that snooty quality to them, and in fact their altruism can be seen throughout the story. Before the two start their law careers they had decided to see the United States, but instead of going first class the young men have been back packing. Even before the reader knows just how the William and Henry feel about each other, there is a closeness that cannot be denied. The way in which their relationship comes about is not what readers would expect, yet from the time they reveal their feelings for each other there is not keeping them apart.

Like with the author’s previous stories, Grand Tour covers a large period of the men’s life, and while the chemistry between them is strong, it is not the focal point of the book. Early in the book Henry and William go through a traumatic event that plays a strong role in their lives. Rather than let it cripple them however, it makes them stronger and sets them on a course for justice. This part of the book is very gripping and I could not believe what the two young men went through or how they planned on setting things right. Many scenes had me setting on the edge of the seat and I was up late into the night reading.

Grand Tour is full of wonderfully written secondary characters. While some, like the men’s grandmother, are new to the reader many previous characters are already known to the reader. This is something the author does quit frequently and one of the aspects I enjoy, as I like catching up with couples I have seen before.

I have no problem believing that fans of this author will enjoy Grand Tour, and while the book does touch base with some previous characters it is not necessary to read their books before reading this one. As for those new to Etienne’s books, Grand Tour is a great book to start with and should not be missed! Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Lydia

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Etienne is graciously giving Top2Bottom readers a 25% Discount on his book Grand Tour! Just use coupon code EQ98T at the checkout. Thank you, Etienne!!