Oct. 31st, 2015

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Wishbone by Elaine Burnes
Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company (May 28, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939562783
ISBN-13: 978-1939562784
Amazon: Wishbone
Amazon Kindle: Wishbone

It's 2004, the year same-sex marriage becomes legal in Massachusetts, the year the Red Sox break the curse, and the year everything changes for Meg Myers. Meg is an animal control officer who doesn't much like people and doesn't believe wishes come true. She grew up in state care, bouncing between foster homes and her alcoholic mother. Left physically and emotionally scarred, she is guarded about her past and pessimistic about her future. So she focuses on her job and her dream of opening an animal shelter. Meg's world is rocked by three women: Pam and her foster daughter, Violet; Gina, twin to Meg's best friend Jeff; and Samantha, the vet who shares an uncomfortable past with Meg. Through her relationships with these women, Meg is forced to explore mother-daughter bonds, loss and grief, and what defines friendship and gender in her quest to find security and love for the first time in her life.

I know I'm supposed to say something to justify my rating. I just finished the book and am trying not to cry, so I'm not going to be very articulate. This is a deeply moving story about a woman who has been through the worst life has to offer, has come out the other side mangled and broken, but finds friends and love. The story is a reminder that in spite of our pasts, we can make a future. If any of the books you've had me read deserve an award, this is the one.

LOVED from start to finish.  A lot of story packed into this one.  Loved all the characters, especially Meg and watching her grow. I really liked her relationship with Gina. Found this to be well written for a debut novel.  Looking forward to more from this author!!!!

With gorgeous prose and relatable, realistic characters, Elaine Burns has woven an emotional, sexy tale that explores some very relevant social issues. The story grabbed me from the start and didn't let me go until I finished the last page.

Oh my gosh this is a so good book! I like when a book can in a single opening take my all attention…and this was that kind of book. I have found the story interesting, heartwarming, engaging and fresh. I like to be surprised and, also if I was quite sure about the ending point of the romance right from the start (and I was right about it), I was surprised about Meg’s journey. An outstanding debut novel!

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We Found Love by Allison Cassatta & Kade Boheme
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 5, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632166763
ISBN-13: 978-1632166760
Amazon: We Found Love
Amazon Kindle: We Found Love

It’s no surprise Riley Connors is dealing with issues. He was kidnapped as a young boy, and his parents abandoned him after his newsworthy return. He bounced from foster home to facility and back. Now an adult, ghosts from his past continue to haunt him. After a suicide attempt, he is locked away in Hartfield so that people can make him tune in to emotions he has tried to bury.

Hunter Morgan had the kind of love that spans ages. But the stress of college and adulthood became too much to handle, and the love of Hunter’s life turned to drugs. After he overdoses, Hunter finds himself soaring out of control on the same miserable path. His brother finds him and calls an ambulance, and the sister Hunter would rather not have calls it a suicide attempt, landing Hunter in Hartfield.

Finding love isn’t easy, but it can happen under the most dire circumstances. Together Hunter and Riley may be able to grow from their pain. But they will need to learn to live for themselves, letting love come second.

This book echoes of pain and torment yet it is beautifully written with a bright light of hope of days yet to come. Definiitely a fab read.

Fantastic and emotional story. Wonderful character development that really draws a reader into the story and makes them invested in the characters as well as the story. Once I started reading, I didn’t stop until the book was finished.

This is one of the two best books I've read this year. The characters they built were phenomenally real---I felt like I knew them personally. And the settings (especially inside the mental institution) were also astonishingly real, like I was there myself. This book brought me to tears five times. I was able to find a few niggling points in the areas of plot and writing style that allowed me to shave a point off each of those categories, but this is a very-nearly perfect book!

This was an intriguing story and well written. I like stories with broken characters that find and fix themselves through the motivation of love. 
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Asher Beauregard Attempts to Give a Damn by Thursday Euclid
Gay Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (June 15, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Asher Beauregard Attempts to Give a Damn

With a sold-out tour looming and intense media attention on their every move, the Artificial Hearts are the hottest rock act in the world. It's just a matter of time until newfound fame illuminates a past Asher Beauregard would rather leave in the shadows. When he meets Leo Harpstedt, the irresistible frontman for the opening act, undeniable chemistry draws them together, but Asher’s secrecy and emotional scars keep Leo at a safe distance.

Posh and well-adjusted despite the blue hair, Englishman Leo comes from a world that Asher, a Louisiana-born high school dropout, can't imagine, never mind inhabit, but as first the Artificial Hearts' manager and then the tour throw them together, the tension between them grows uncontrollable. Leo's seeming confusion about his sexuality and Asher's refusal to let go of the persona and be vulnerable threaten to destroy the tender friendship they've built living and working together.

With help from his drag queen stylist, lesbian sound tech, and a lead guitarist with secrets of his own, can Asher overcome the public revelation of his deepest secrets and seize this chance at love?

Engaging story which showcased the perils of fame and the music industry and included characters both likeable and loathsome. Be careful what you wish for.
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Empty Nests (Nested Hearts: Book One) by Ada Maria Soto
Gay Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 12, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632169932
ISBN-13: 978-1632169938
Amazon: Empty Nests (Nested Hearts: Book One)
Amazon Kindle: Empty Nests (Nested Hearts: Book One)

Neither James nor Gabe has ever had a real relationship. They might make a connection if they can get past their differences--and their fears.

At age fourteen, James Maron decided to prove he wasn't gay despite vast evidence to the contrary. Now at thirty-two, he's getting ready to send his son to college and wondering what he's supposed to do next. Outside his son, his life consists of an IT job he hates and watching telenovelas with the women in his apartment building.

Gabriel Juarez is the CFO of a technology giant. He has looks, charm, fantastic wealth, a workaholic personality, and a string of boyfriends who only stick around because he's too busy to tell them to leave.

A bad laptop/projector interface causes James and Gabe's paths to cross. Friends, family, and coworkers jump to match Gabe with a nice guy, and James with anyone. But are they too different? Everyone will have to tread very carefully to keep things from ending before they start.

This book was sheer enjoyment, lightness and depth, humor and seriousness in perfect balance and so romantic. I loved it. Slow and easy, a teeny bit dragging in parts. Good sense of time and place with the different living conditions of the romantic leads. Characterization almost perfect in my opinion, except James is a little bit too good to be true. Smoot, easy and flowing. 

I really liked this story.  It was well done and anyone who likes to read stories dealing with men finally able to come into their own.  The characters are realistic and I loved the way James’ son helps move things along, especially the way he acted when Gabe showed up to take James out on a date.

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Wayward Son (Sons Book 2) by Shae Connor
Gay Erotic Romance
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 11, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634760786
ISBN-13: 978-1634760782
Amazon: Wayward Son (Sons Book 2)
Amazon Kindle: Wayward Son (Sons Book 2)

Sequel to Unfortunate Son

Sons: Book Two

After his move to Atlanta and away from the influence of his conservative parents, Mikey O’Malley finally feels free to be himself: art student, aspiring animator, and out gay man. He has friends, a new job, and not one, but two men interested in him. Cory Lassiter and Jimmy Black have been a happy couple for years, occasionally bringing a twink into their bed, but only for a brief roll in the hay. When Mikey meets the pair, the attraction is immediate, and it runs three ways. Mikey just can’t believe they’d have room in their lives for a permanent addition.

When Mikey’s newfound life is shattered by a lawsuit that accuses him of molesting a child years earlier, he’s determined to face his troubles on his own, but Cory and Jimmy are just as determined that he not have to go it alone. To reconcile his need for independence and his desire for love, Mikey has to learn that being a man isn’t just about standing on your own two feet. It’s about letting yourself lean on the ones who love you.

I got lost in the lives of the characters. It is rare that I will sit down to read a book and not move until I finish it. This one caused me to do just that. The story line was believable, you could easily see all three men becoming a threesome. I really enjoyed the fact the author brought in the charactors from book one and let me see the family dynamics.
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Mythica by L.J. LaBarthe
Gay Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: BK Publishing Trust t/a Bottom Drawer Publications (September 20, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0994157223
ISBN-13: 978-0994157225
Amazon: Mythica
Amazon Kindle: Mythica

Caiden Jones is part-selkie and lives an idyllic life by the sea in South Australia. He's had his fair share of disappointments, like being kept out of the Navy due to his mythica status, but overall he's got a pretty good life. Until he's in the wrong place at the right time. Cai steps in to subdue an out-of-control minotaur and in the process suffers a serious injury to his ribs. As Cai struggles to breathe, a gorgeous suit-clad sy'lph with mesmerising blue eyes races to his rescue. When it's learned that the minotaur was poisoned, the sy'lph, Gray, makes it his personal mission to keep Cai and his family safe. Cai has always harboured some resentment towards the sy'lph because of their easy acceptance into the community, so the attraction he feels for Gray takes him by surprise. But how can they find out what this might mean when the lives of Cai and his family are endangered by someone closer than they realise?

This story was so nice and easy to read.  What really kept me into it, outside of being a good read, was the mention of several cities in Australia that I was somewhat familiar with because of my author friends who live there.  
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Glamour Blade: A House Millar Book by Áine P Massie
Gay Paranormal Romance
Series: House Millar Series
Paperback: 222 pages
Publisher: Encompass Ink, Teen
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1517002036
ISBN-13: 978-1517002039
Amazon: Glamour Blade: A House Millar Book
Amazon Kindle: Glamour Blade: A House Millar Book

Sometimes the greatest hope is found when two hearts find their truth and their home. When Rory Ó Cuinn—a Sidhe warrior, knight, and noble—is sent by the Sidhe Queen’s Council to reestablish the magically enhanced vampire hunters known as Guardians, he doesn’t question his mission. Lord Lorccán is a rare vampire noble, as he only kills humans who are far more monster then not. When he meets Mistress Anya from the House Millar, he believes he’s found an ally in creating a warrior class to police the vampires and protect the innocent—human and vampire alike. Sidhe nobles aren’t meant to love the damned and Rory fights against a rising attraction for Lor, just as Lor pushes every one of Rory’s buttons—mostly on purpose. When they team up, using both their magics and knowledge to save those that matter most to them and find possible future Guardians, their predesigned realities and perceptions change and twist. As love, hate, passion, and betrayal collide, the only question left is which emotions the pair will grasp and hold.

This is the type of story I really like because it sticks to the paranormal element from beginning to end.  It was a bit long in exposition in some places, but not too much to ruin the overall story.  The ending was a bit quick instead of having the option of a stand-alone story whether it is part of a series or not. Still, it was a good read and I look forward to reading more from this author.


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