A Change of Tune by JM Cartwright published by Loose Id

jmc_a_change_of_tuneTitle: Change of Tune

Author: JM Cartwright

Publisher: Loose ID

Pages: 280

Characters: Johnny Rayne and Virgil Grissom

Sub-Genre: gay romance

Kisses: 5

 

 

 

 

Blurb

Johnny Rayne has had enough–enough of being at the top of the rock music industry for the last decade, enough of constant touring and recording. He wants something more–something very different. Moving to a farm in West Virginia, Johnny runs smack into Sheriff Virgil Grissom his first morning in the mountains.

The sheriff challenges Johnny in a multitude of ways–with overt machismo, disdain for Johnny’s musician past, and all-around know-it-all-ness. The two men clash continually, and Johnny resists succumbing to the sheriff’s brash charm until Grissom forces him to admit some very basic truths.

 

One: Johnny’s definitely attracted to men. Two: Johnny’s definitely attracted to Grissom. And three: Johnny’s definitely going to enjoy every moment of it.

 

Review:

Johnny Rayne has been at the top of his game for quite a while. Hit recored oafter hit record. Constantly touring and recording he has no time to make a family, or a real life for that matter. So he makes his mind up and moves to the country. The band isn’t happy and his manager thinks he is crazy but he has to live his life for him for a change. The last thing he expects though is Sherriff Virgil Grissom. Johnny knows he likes men but he has never admitted it. Virgil makes him not only realize it, but realize that maybe he can have it all. Not going to be easy, but he is starting to believe. The only question is will the two men kill each other or love each other. Or both

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Reviewed By: Jerry

Brainy and the Beast by JM Cartwright


Title: Brainy and the Beast
Author: J.M. Cartwright
Publisher: Loose Id.
Pages: 311
Characters: Nick Shelton, Henry Travis
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5


Blurb:

Robotics researcher Henry Travis uses his brain for just about everything, but once he meets Nick Shelton over the hood of his 1960 Mercedes 300, he’s at a loss. How does he control his attraction to this brash, sexy mechanic?

Nick owns his own classic car garage, and he is more than willing to hit it with the brainy, seriously hot, Henry. What he doesn’t need is the aggro that comes with feelings. But since his 14yo nephew, Grant, has come to live with him, he’s been dealing with aggravation every day. And now his dad lives with him, too. A dad who doesn’t mind commenting on Nick’s lame parenting skills.

With Henry turning his crank in a big way, and Nick enjoying not being in charge for a change, things heat up pretty fast. They’re actually dating, with dinner and everything, before he knows it. And the after-dinner drinks at Henry’s gorgeous house have Nick wiping the sweat from his brow.

But Henry and Grant don’t get along; Nick isn’t sure he wants a relationship at all, and Nick’s dad, Big Mike, has an opinion on everything.

How’s a guy to have fun on the weekends – even during the week, for crying out loud – with all the family baggage hanging around?

Review:

From his first person perspective, Nick is the one telling us this story of how he meets a handsome genius, Henry, at his family’s classic car garage and hopes the guy is gay. The reader is grabbed pretty much from the start and taken for a ride. Well, perhaps a family type outing is more apt. The moment Nick’s two dogs enter the picture, you will laugh. It’s unavoidable. That kind of thing only happens in real life! And in this story even fish learn how to date.

First person perspective works here because it puts us in Nick’s position. He’s not a mind-reader, and we don’t get any special knowledge as to what Henry is thinking. So basically this is real life. We struggle along with romantically inept Nick who tries to understand his relationship with Henry. Nick has never been in a long-term relationship. Their attraction doesn’t smooth any personality rough edges, either. And yup, sometimes Nick gets a big fat stinker of a foot in his mouth! That causes more than a few schisms between the two. Nick thinks he wants just sex and doesn’t get wanting more (even though he does) while Henry is prone to communicating with big words and with sex. Despite his gorgeous looks, Henry’s insecure about a lot of things.

Nick’s father, Mike, and Nick’s nephew, Grant, come through as lively side characters. Mike’s having heart problems, but is both stubborn and practical about it. Grant is sullen like only a fourteen year-old teenager can be, but his heart is in the right place, and he wishes to be close to his family. The three men live together, so clashes are bound to happen when they’re all smart-mouthed and opinionated. Yet, the warmth of their feelings for each other is there from the start.

In my opinion, the title was a bit misleading. Sure, Henry is smart, but Nick is not a beast. He’s a working man. Perhaps he sometimes doesn’t get high education references, but that doesn’t mean he’s stupid. Well, romantically he’s totally clueless, but other than that… Nick is also not the beast in the bedroom where it’s Henry who is definitely the top. One of the most amusing things about their relationship is the fact they can’t keep their hands off each other, most of the time to the point where they’re coming before even getting undressed. Funny stuff, and hot!

This is the first book I’ve read by J.M. Cartwright, but it won’t be the last. The writing is effortless and flows smoothly, and the dialogue is realistic and gripping. Especially scenes between Nick and his nephew Grant are wonderfully emotional and intense. Apart from the romance, there are other topics here, from racism and bullying, to jealousy and learning how to communicate and how to commit. Yes, some of these plot threads don’t get fully wrapped up by the end, but all in all the story is fulfilled in a satisfying way.

I recommend!

Reviewed By: Susan

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Torquere Books Charity Sips Blitz


Title: The Book of Wisdom
Author: JM Cartwright
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: contemporary
Characters: Con, Stephen, and Jesse
Pages: 33
Kisses: 3.5







Blurb:

Con Danvers is not jealous. Uh-uh. No way. The fact that his lover is helping a young college kid with life issues doesn’t mean Con has to get all growly and snarky. Does it? Stephen Rydell wants Jesse James Callender to succeed in life — and being gay in a small West Virginia town hasn’t exactly given the kid a head start.

Catch up with the boys from A Change of Scenery five years on, as they host Stephen’s protégé for the summer.

Review:

If you’re looking for a sweet short story that has all the elements of a good engaging story line, I think you should give Book of Wisdom a shot. The story is about Con and Stephen and the young Jesse who has been recently accepted at the state college and how Con deals with his jealousy over the younger man and the attention Stephen gave to the young Jesse before he left for college before the story begins. I’m thinking this occurred in the first book, A Change of Scenery, which I didn’t get to read.

Jesse comes home for a visit, as Con and Stephen are the only people he has in his life who’ve been there for him and guided him after his family turned their backs on him. However, Con must deal with his insecurities that creep up when Jesse is around Stephen. Con believes Jesse has a crush on the older man, and the fact that Stephen laughs it off doesn’t set well with him. But in saying that they do come together and work as partners to advise the younger man especially when it comes to the matter of his heart and possible love interest.

The characters are introduced in the main story as mentioned above, and I didn’t get to read that, however, I wasn’t lost at any point in this story, so I will say this is a fine standalone. The story itself is easy moving, no angst to speak of, but wonderful sex scenes where two men know one another so well that they know what makes the other tick or tock.

Title: Family Values
Author: Alexa Snow
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 17
Characters: Tim and Marvin
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

When Marvin and Tim go to Marvin’s family reunion, they’re nervous about their reception. After all, Marvin’s family has been less than accepting in the past. To their surprise, things turn out far different than they were expecting.

Review:

Imagine the intense build up you put yourself through when you know you have something coming up that you must do and it’s something you don’t care to do on any level, ever. We fear the unknown and avoid any situation we can that may present the unknown and that’s what this story is about. Due to the fact that prior family get togethers have been nothing short of kais, Marvin and Tim are what I like to call a hot mess. Expect the unexpected.

I enjoyed a glimpse into the thoughts of the character as anticipation rose and how they dealt with this in the days leading up to the actual reunion itself. Tension build up in this story was wonderfully done. And I like to compare the end as a burst of brilliant colors where everyone in the story and out can say: AHH.

Title: Fiends In Low Places
Author: Missouri Dalton
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 17
Characters: Simon and Gabriel
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Paranormal
Kisses: 5


Blurb:

Simon Murphy, psychic and former thief is trying to rekindle the romance between himself and his FBI beau, Gabriel. The two of them have gone from being on opposite sides of the law, to the same side, to fighting over cases. At each step they’ve been drawn closer together and thrown apart over their constant fighting. Can a pizza date fix this mess? Or will the vampire mobsters after Simon ruin any chance Simon has of being with the man he really loves?

Review:

The comedy value alone in this short story brought it from a 4 kiss read to a 5. It takes talent to pull of a story in the 1st person to start with, then it takes more to know when to add the comedy and not overdue it. Missouri Dalton hit this one smack dab perfect. I found the character Simon simply adorable, he’s witty, he’s intelligent, and he’s a psychic who used to be a thief. The story is told in his POV and he is in love with Gabriel, who works for the FBI. As the blurb states they used to be on opposite sides of the law, now they are on the same side, Simon just goes about things differently, especially when it comes to Vampires. See, he works for the agency who deals with the supernatural side of things and mostly Garbiel doesn’t approve of Simon’s ways.

These two men have been an on and off again item, they love and hate each other, and over a pizza date they realize it has to be one or the other, they can’t go on as it is. Simon in the meantime locates a Vampire and follows him to the bathroom where he does what he does and then tries to hide it from his partner who is waiting on him in the restaurant. The whole set up, the way Simon goes at it, the way he looks at it and tells us about it, simply awesome. I truly loved this story and would love to read more about the couple.

Title: Four Years On
Author: Nicole Wilkinson
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 22
Characters: Jason, Kale
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary/Urban
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

Jason thought he’d left it all behind when he went to college: the family who couldn’t accept him, the boyfriend he might have outgrown, the small town with even smaller minds. The past, however, catches up to him on the day of his graduation, when Jason is set to give the valedictory speech. Thanks to his new boyfriend Kale’s meddling, this might just be the closure Jason needs, for better or worse.

Review:

This is truly a cute story about a young man who basically ran away from the small minded people in the small town he grew up in, leaving his boyfriend behind with them to escape the pains and looks. However, four years later, that certain past caught up with him, and on the day of his graduation he’ll see not everyone sees or thinks with a small mind where love and family are concerned.

Title: Happy Hour
Author: Bella Leone
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 28
Characters: Bodie and Eli
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

After a light, flirtatious conversation about what makes a good beer, Bodie invites Eli back to his place to try some real brews. After a few different beers, the boys loosen up and are in confession mode. All their embarrassing tidbits come out, making for fun and silliness, like surfer Bodie coming out of the musical closet, to the ginger cowboy’s delight. Will there be more to it, or will friendship be enough

Review:

I love when a story can pull me in on the very first sentence and keep me there until the end of the journey and this little piece did that for me. It’s a cute short romp of a tale about a southern born man living in the big city and the man he meets, Bodie, who makes or creates beer for a living. Eli is from Texas and quite a ways from home, and the man he meets who changes his life forever is Bodie. Theirs is a sweet romance where respect and love go a long way.

Title: Hard Choices: Thanksgiving
Author: Winnie Jerome
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 26
Characters: Todd and Shane
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

In this sequel to “Hard Choices”, Todd brings his partner Shane over for Thanksgiving. As things go from bad to worse, poor Todd wonders if the situation will ever get better. Can he convince his family to leave well enough alone?

Review:

Sometimes the blurbs for the stories don’t match the story itself and it proves true in this case. This story is so much more than what you’re told in that blurb and if I were the type to only take the blurb into account before selecting this to read, I would have missed out on a hell of a story with some amazing characters. While the blurb does mention a bit of a struggle for Todd to bring Shane home for Thanksgiving, it does not mention how Todd, who is now a teacher, saves the life of a young boy by sharing his own past with him. Truly, a heartwarming story that should be shared and read.

Title: My Boyfriend Has a Scar
Author: M. Raiya
Publisher: Torquere Press
Pages: 24
Characters: Gage and Kyle
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Modern Contemporary
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

A gay teen’s worst nightmare is to be caught in the act by someone who disapproves. Gage snaps under his conservative father’s fury and bolts, fleeing school, the family farm, and his shy, quiet boyfriend, Kyle. Ten years later, a violent thunderstorm brings the two together again. Can weathering the storm mend the damage?

Review:

For as short as this read it, it sure does a number on you. We have two boys, who as teens in school were the best of friends and lovers, until one fateful night when they were caught fooling around in the barn which pushes Gage over the edge causing him to flee everything he knew and loved. For ten long years he stayed gone, he headed to Hollywood where he was sure he’d become famous. Things didn’t go as planned as another fateful night stole his youth and looks. He decides to head home, his pride wounded only to end up in the arms of his long ago boyfriend, who never once gave up on them or their love. Very nicely done with a touch of angst with well written dialogue and awesome scene setting made this a definite worthwhile read.

Reviewed By: Michele

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