Sophie Reviews: The Grump by Wayne Mansfield


Title: The Grump
Author: Wayne Mansfield
Publisher: JMS Books
Pages: 62
Characters: Douglas, Brad
POV: 3rd Limited with Brad’s POV
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, May/December Romance
Kisses: 2.5

Blurb:

Brad can’t believe his luck when he finds the perfect place to live at the perfect price. It’s a pity his new landlord Douglas is such a miserable grump. It isn’t long before he wonders if it’s a good idea to be living in such close proximity to such a moody ogre.

Fortunately, his life at work is looking up with the arrival of a new employee named Enzo. Brad falls immediately in lust with the hot Italian. They start dating, though it soon becomes apparent there are going to be problems. Enzo starts exhibiting some unlikeable traits and, while Brad finds himself slowly falling in love with the man, he also realizes Enzo has problems not just with commitment, but also with his sexuality.

Brad has a dilemma. Does he persist with Enzo, tolerate his bad behavior, and pray for a miraculous, happy ending? Or will the love he seeks come from an entirely different direction?

Review:

The Grump is the first book I’ve read by this author. It’s pretty obvious the author knows how to write a good story, too bad it’s not a fully fleshed out and longer one.

Brad seems like an okay guy. He’s saving for a home, has a few friends and is an ordinary guy. There isn’t anything wrong with that except that I wanted to know more about him. We don’t find out what makes him tick and why he gives his affections away so easily. His past is a bit of a mystery and there just isn’t much depth to him.

Same goes for Douglas. Douglas is older than Brad (I think by twenty years or so) and has never recovered from a broken heart. He goes from grumpy to friend to future partner in a blink of an eye. There is a decent explanation as to why Douglas was so walled off before, but what I found strange is how quick and willing he was to throw away his pain (that he’s suffered from for years) and immediately fell for Brad.

The story was just told in a generalized way with hardly any depth at all. I wasn’t able to care about the characters like I wanted and truly wish the story had been a fully fleshed out one.

The Grump is a decent read, just not a memorable one. If you want a quick and easy read this book might be for you.

Reviewed By: Sophie

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Read away the Monday Blues with a New Release from JMS Books


TITLE: Buried Secrets
AUTHOR: Ginna Wilkerson
ISBN: 9781634864237
GENRE: Lesbian Paranormal Young Adult Romance
LENGTH: 52,902 words
PRICE: $4.99

PURCHASE EBOOK

When Emelia Behrends is caught in bed with her girlfriend Taylor by her strict Southern Baptist mother, she thinks nothing worse could ever happen. But when she’s sent to a small town in Kentucky to live with her aunt, stranger things do indeed happen. An incident in the gym locker room starts tongues wagging, and soon the popular crowd are spreading rumors.

Thankfully, Emelia meets would-be witch Hillary and the two band together as misfits and friends. Then Mariah enters the picture, and Emelia is instantly attracted. Mariah is entranced with Emelia’s beautiful smile and silky red hair, but she harbors deep secrets that might make all the difference between romance and tragedy.

The mystery begins to unravel when the topic of the Salem witch trials is introduced at school. Who is Mariah, and where did she really come from? And will Mariah’s buried secrets mean another love lost for Emelia?

TITLE: Dude Mama
AUTHOR: Michael P. Thomas
ISBN: 9781634864114
GENRE: Gay Interracial Fantasy Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 13,750 words
PRICE: $2.99
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When button-down biracial lawmaker Cassidy Uematsu meets hardscrabble fry cook Buford “Jax” Jackson, it’s lust at first sight. They’re only too happy to jump into the sack, and when Jax loses his condom mid-getting-to-know-you, Cassidy urges him forward, damn the consequences. What’s the worst that can happen?

After a couple weeks of morning sickness and a few months gaining weight, Cassidy learns an unfathomable secret about the men in his family that he’s pretty sure he was happier not knowing. Jax is a fan of Cassidy’s rapidly rounding belly, and of the sexy “Dude Mama” roleplay it inspires.

But the night he feels a kick inside Cassidy’s growing belly, Jax hightails it, certain at least one of them has lost his damn mind. A pregnant dude? That’s impossible. As the ninth month since the condom mishap approaches, Cassidy sure hopes he’s right.

TITLE: Lust for Gold
AUTHOR: Dale Chase
ISBN: 9781634864244
GENRE: Gay Historical Western Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 20,350 words
PRICE: $3.99

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In 1849, the promise of gold brings many a man to California, but most find more hardship than riches.

Jesse Quinn, a golden-haired twenty-year-old is among them. He settles into the gold camp of Whiskey Slide to work with two other men in an effort that barely yields enough to keep them alive. With merchants charging exorbitant prices for provisions, it’s said men dig for food, not gold.

After hardship and disappointment, Jesse moves to another camp, Dutch Flat, where he takes up with the stern and silent Abel Munday. As the two work Abel’s claim with success, things take a positive turn for Jesse. Can Jesse bring some light into the darkness that’s plagued Abel much of his life? Together, they just might be able to find something richer than gold.


TITLE: One in Vermilion
AUTHOR: Kris T. Bethke
ISBN: 9781634864251
GENRE: Gay Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 25,978 words
PRICE: $3.99
PURCHASE EBOOK

Wyatt Janson needed a change of scenery in the worst way, so he packed up his dog and moved to a small tourist town. When he spots a man in a vermilion beanie, he’s intrigued. Why would someone would wear such a hat in the middle of summer? Their paths keep crossing, and Wyatt soon learns that Truitt Rackley owns a dog grooming and training service. It’s the perfect opportunity for Wyatt to meet Tru.

What begins as friendship quickly blossoms into more. But Tru’s happy demeanor hides a sad past. The hat he wears is only one part of it. Tru needs Wyatt’s support as he deals with the fallout, and Wyatt is glad to be able to provide it. Now that he’s found Tru, he knows he’ll do whatever he must to keep him. Can two broken men find the happily ever after they’ve been searching for?

Lydia Reviews: Sawdust and Berries and it gets a nice 4 kiss rating!

Title: Sawdust and Berries

Publisher: JMS Books

Author: Mel Bossa

Pages: 205

Kisses: 4

 

 

Blurb:

To others, Liam Stokes is a confirmed bachelor, content with his job as a foreman and satisfied with his quiet life. Liam’s friends and family don’t suspect that under his calm surface a storm is gathering.Liam has had it with living a lie, but can’t summon the courage to come out as gay until faith takes charge of that. One morning, his back gives out and Liam is forced into getting a massage.Inked and pierced, Kieran is a young massage therapist with a healing touch and audacious smile. From the moment he sets his hands on Liam, Liam knows this will be unstoppable. But as their relationship evolves, both men are surprised at how much they have in common despite their age difference.Could this be more than a physical connection? And if so, how far can they take this love before someone else tries to end it?

 

Review:

Sawdust and Berries is an angst filled story by author Mel Bossa. The story pulls the reader in from the beginning and soon you won’t be able to stop reading. The heroes are total opposites yet they form a bond that many cannot understand.

Liam works in construction and while on the job injures himself. At the suggestion of a friend, he goes to a massage therapist. It is there that he meets Kieran and the attraction he feels for the younger man is instant. But Liam is deep in the closet and fears what would happen should he ever come out.

Kieran has been out on his own for some time. He has fought for everything he has, including becoming a massage therapist. But the young man has a habit of always choosing the wrong man and his current situation proves that.

These two men come together at a time when both want someone in their lives yet neither is really ready for what changes that may involve. The family issues that both men are forced to face play heavily into the troubles that enter the men’s relationship. More than once I was worried by the way things were playing out and must admit that I was afraid that this would not end well. While I loved the way that Liam was able to grow as an individual, coming into the strong person that he was meant to be, the pain he goes through to get there will make you cry.

I do not remember reading anything by this author before, but after reading Sawdust and Berries I will be looking for more.

 

Reviewed by: Lydia

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Out of Light and Into the Night by Wayne Mansfield

Title: Out of Light and Into the Night
Author: Wayne Mansfield
Publisher: JMS Books
Pages: 35
Characters: Karl, Daniel
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Paranormal
Kisses: 4

Blurb:

Karl and Daniel are driving back to their small farm after celebrating Daniel’s birthday when they strike something in the road. Whatever it is lands on the roof of their pick-up truck. Not keen to find out what it might be, Karl floors the accelerator as Daniel leans out of the window. Despite the light from a full moon, nothing is seen on the road behind them.

When they arrive home, their relief is short-lived. As Karl turns into their driveway, Daniel disappears out the window of the truck.

Karl hurries after his lover, and manages to catch sight of a dark shape flying through the night sky. Dangling beneath it is his beloved Daniel. Before he can call for help, he’s knocked off his feet. A minute later, he finds himself int he air, too, held securely in the grip of a nightmarish beast.

The best Karl can hope is both he and Daniel will survive the night, but that might be easier said than done.

Review:

Out of Light and Into the Night is a fast moving read that threatens to break your heart! Karl and Daniel are perfect for each other. They are strong, passionate, and very much in love. Until one fate-full night they are chosen to be a vampire’s new “plaything”; their lives will never be the same. They are locked in a dungeon and forced to watch each other submit to vampires every whim as well as forced watch the vampire’s kill other men.

What I really liked about this book is: it’s a great story of how love can get you through the darkest times. I thought the author did a great job describing the surroundings of the guys and at times, I could picture myself in the dungeon with Karl and Daniel. Their love is truly beautiful, and I only wish there was more. Recommended!

Reviewed By: Jerry

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Tyler’s Teacher by JM Snyder

Title: Tyler’s Teacher
Author: JM Snyder
Publisher: JMS Books
Pages:73
Characters: Jason Peters, Greg Boucher and Tyler
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre:m/m romance
Kisses:4.5



Blurb:
Jason Peters is a young widowed father whose son, Tyler, is a precocious first grader starting a new school in the middle of the term. His new teacher is Greg Boucher, a man near Jason’s age who is incredibly attractive. For the first time since his wife’s death, Jason finds himself interested in the possibility of a romantic relationship.

It seems Greg feels the same. At a parent/teacher conference, Jason admits he’s gay, and to his surprise, Greg asks him out on a date. They spend a wonderful evening together, but when morning dawns, Jason realizes things can’t move forward between them unless his son is comfortable with the arrangement.

Will Tyler understand Jason’s interest in his teacher? Or will Jason have to choose between what he wants and what’s best for his son?

Review:
Very sweet, honest story of a man trying to move on with his life. Jason is a widower with a young son and is learning how to have a life again. With his wife’s passing 4 years ago he hasn’t given anyone the chance to become close to him. Openly gay, and a gay erotic writer he just hasn’t found the person to make him let go again. Then he meets Greg, Tylers teacher and you can amost see the sparks fly. The only catch is will Tyler be o.k. with his daddy dating his teacher? I really liked this story, the characters had me rooting for them from the beginning. Great story with a wonderful storyline.

Reviewed By: Jerry

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A Present for Daddy by JM Snyder


Title: A Present for Daddy
Author: J.M. Snyder
Publisher: JMS Books
Pages: 50
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay, Romance
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

Six months after his wife leaves him, Bob Jansen finds himself spending the holidays with his parents in the town where he grew up. With him is his seven year old daughter, Jenna, who sometimes seems to be handling her mother’s absence better than Bob is himself. But he’s worried that, in her letter to Santa, Jenna has asked the jolly old elf for something Bob knows he can’t pull off. He’s afraid she wants her mother back for the holiday.

While shopping for his daughter’s Christmas presents, Bob runs into Dave Knarr, an old friend. They used to be best buds in high school, before Julia, Bob’s soon-to-be ex-wife, came between them. The two men catch up over drinks, and before the evening ends, Dave makes his real feelings for Bob known.

If Bob is shocked to learn Dave has always been attracted to him, he’s more surprised by his own reaction. Even if he’s willing to take another shot at romance, what will his daughter think of his old friend?

Review:

A Present for Daddy is an adorable, funny and heartwarming book. Bob Jansen is a divorced dad who spends his holidays at his parents. Jenna is Bob’s daughter who wishes for her dad to be happy. Knarr, Bob’s best friend during high school, confesses his attraction to him. I enjoyed this book and how the author wrote this story as a divorced dad wondering how his daughter will react to her mother’s absence and also the new relationship with his best friend during high school. I love also how different scenes of the book had very descriptive words for the reader to picture how the story unfolded. I highly recommend this book to any reader for romantic and funny moments.

Reviewed By: Jen

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Loosen Up by J.M. Snyder


Title: Loosen Up
Author: J.M. Snyder
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Pages: 29
Characters: Liam Martin, Cooper Dawson
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4






Blurb:

Between course work, an internship, clinicals, and a part-time job, med student Liam Martin is worn out. When his lab is cancelled, freeing up his Friday night, all he wants to do is crash.

Liam’s roommates have other plans. They think Liam is too stressed and needs to loosen up … as in going out to party, not staying home to rest. Adam scores coveted tickets to a concert by local alt band Ebola Rain and uses his connections to get backstage.

But Liam doesn’t want to go, and manages to lose his roommates backstage by hiding out in one of the dressing rooms, where he promptly falls asleep. Little does Liam know the room belongs to Cooper Dawson, sexy frontman for the band, who also thinks Liam needs to loosen up.

Then Cooper asks Liam to hang out with him, and suddenly Liam isn’t so tired anymore.

Review:

Liam Cooper spends his days dissecting cadavers in med school. He’s burning the proverbial candle at both ends and has just about come to the point where he will be snuffed out by the sheer burden of his schedule if he doesn’t find a way to unwind.

His roommates seem to be the only two who can see this, though, as Liam draws further into his need for sleep and downtime by burrowing into his bed and hoping the world—or at least his roommates—will just go away and leave him alone for a while. They can see better than Liam that he needs to get out and do something that doesn’t include working or studying or sleeping, so they invite him out for a night of mindless fun, anything that will get him out of bed.

Liam can think of a million reasons why he should say no but just one, albeit a very compelling reason, to say yes—to remind himself that he’s still alive. But that doesn’t mean he acquiesces without a fight, both with himself and with his roomies, when they take him to a concert by a band he’s never heard of, and decides pretty quickly he doesn’t care to hear of. He only wants to ditch his friends, the venue, and catch up on some much needed sleep—and he does, just not at home in his own bed.

Cooper Dawson is the sexy front man of the band Ebola Rain, who finds Liam in the one place Liam shouldn’t be. Cooper doesn’t know whether to be mad at Liam or to be curious about him; maybe he’s a little of both, but eventually the curiosity wins out and he becomes as determined as the others to make sure Liam loosens up and lets go for just a bit.

This was a quick and sexy read from J.M. Snyder, delivered in a way that made me wish we’d learned a lot more about Cooper and a little bit more about Liam. This is one of those short stories that felt like it could’ve been a novella, at the very least, because what is there is so darn tasty and it only whetted my appetite for more.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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You Think We Don’t by J.M. Snyder


Title: You Think We Don’t
Author: J.M. Snyder
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Pages: 10 (.pdf)
Characters: Thad, Joachim
POV: 2nd Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4.5






Blurb:

Two college basketball players on a team bound for the championships carry on an affair after hours. Neither talks about the time they spend in each other’s arms. They kid themselves and pretend it’s just sex. They think no one else knows.

They’re wrong on both accounts. But it isn’t until a fellow teammate interferes that they’re willing to admit how much they care for each other.

Note: This story appears in my anthology, Flashed, available in both e-book and print format.

Review:

I first had the pleasure of reading You Think We Don’t in J.M. Snyder’s flash fiction anthology Flashed. There were quite a few memorable stories included in the collection, but this one was definitely of the notable variety; first because of the narrative style, and second because it was such a touching exposition on what it means to live life up to others’ expectations rather than living on your own terms.

Joachim and Thad are the worst kept secret on their college basketball team. Even their coach knows that the two boys feel more for each other than they’ve been willing to admit to anyone, including themselves.

Sneaking into Thad’s room in the night, lights out, no words between them other than a name that escapes in the passion of the moment, the boys let their actions speak for them in the way they touch and kiss; though in the light of day, they resume the act of being nothing more than teammates. Or they think they do.

Narrated by an outsider, by a friend who is on the outside looking beneath the façade the two boys think they are portraying, the opportunity to say the things that need to be said is the turning point in Thad and Joachim’s relationship.

This is flash fiction, so the depth isn’t in the exposition but in the atmosphere and the emotion that J.M. Snyder skillfully constructs that drew me in and left me feeling satisfied in the happy-for-now ending.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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Tricked Out by J.M. Snyder


Title: Tricked Out
Author: J.M. Snyder
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Pages: 82
Characters: Willis Moore, Corey Thomason
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance/Mystery/Crime Drama
Kisses: 4






Blurb:

Willis Moore is a detective with the Richmond City police department. A case he was involved with went down badly and he was given a month’s sabbatical to pull himself together after the death of his informant, a young man named Teabag, with whom Will had let himself become sexually involved.

Back on the force now, Will finds himself drawn to another street punk, a hustler named Corey, who seeks police assistance to protect his “boys” from a violent attacker. He and Corey work well together, and Will dares to hope their relationship might be heading toward something more. But he still can’t seem to shake the feeling he will eventually fail to protect the hustler … the same way he failed to save Tea.

Review:

Tricked Out is the story of a man who is given a second chance, not to repair past wrongs, but to atone for them. This is a story of forgiveness, about being able to forgive oneself and to heal.

Willis Moore committed the near cardinal sin of police work: he allowed himself to become intimately involved with his informant in a case that, in the end, went horribly wrong, leaving Tea dead and Willis irrevocably scarred, not physically but emotionally. After a month long sabbatical, Willis is back on the job and quickly becomes embroiled in a relationship with a hustler that smacks a bit of history repeating itself, especially when Corey Thomason’s boys start showing up battered and abused and unwilling to talk to the police.

For Willis, it’s an opportunity to redeem himself; it’s a race against time to find the perpetrator before a murder is committed, and, perhaps most important of all, it’s a chance to keep Corey safe in the way he couldn’t with Tea. The only question is how will he keep Corey from using himself as bait to catch the criminal?

Willis and Corey’s relationship was sweet and sexy, and there was plenty of action and suspense in the plot to keep me turning pages, even though J.M. Snyder allows the reader to know who the attacker is from the outset. The thrill in this story is in the cat and mouse contest to see how quickly Willis will discover and neutralize the threat before Corey becomes the victim.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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Gimmie Pride by J. Tomas


Title: Gimme Pride
Author: J. Tomas
Publisher: JMS Books
Pages: 26
Characters: Chip Reid, Bobby Jarrett
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: YA/Contemporary
Kisses: 4






Blurb:

At 15, Chip is out and proud. It doesn’t hurt that his best friend Jennifer is only the most popular girl in their high school. With her at his side, he feels invincible.

When Chip’s older sister invites him and Jen to help her man a vendor booth at Richmond Pride, the two teenagers jump at the chance. Decked out in a provocative bathing suit and feather boa, Chip is completely in his element. Then Jen spots Bobby, who plays soccer for their school and who Chip’s had a crush on forever. If he’s at Pride, does that mean what Chip hopes it means?

But when Chip tries to talk to Bobby, he discovers not all gay teens are as comfortable flaunting their sexuality as he is.

Review:

Chip Reid’s sister has hired him and his best friend, Jen, to work in her vendor booth during Gay Pride Day in Richmond. Chip is fifteen, out and proud, and excited about the prospect of spending the day with his BFF and absorbing the experience, something he doesn’t get the chance to do being the only gay guy at his high school. Or so he thinks.

Chip understands that the only reason he’s been immune from the bullying is because of Jen, who is the consummately popular girl. His friendship with her has given him a pass because, really, all the other guys just want to stay on her good side, which means they leave Chip alone, but it doesn’t stop the whispers and hateful things they call him when they think he can’t hear.

While mixing a little work with a lot of play, Jen and Chip get a bit of a surprise when they spy one of the most popular boys from their school at the Pride event, a boy that Chip has had a huge crush on since his freshman year. But Bobby Jarrett, the star of the soccer team, gay? It doesn’t seem possible, though the idea thrills Chip, which, in his excitement, causes him to make a move he comes to regret.

Gimme Pride is a great little story that contrasts two boys’ lives and what it means for them to be both proud and afraid of who they are and of what it means to feel the pressure of being “different” in high school. This is a story about being comfortable in your own skin versus the very real pressure of keeping things on the down-low to maintain the status quo, a message that was delivered with just the right mix of humor and heart.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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