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At first I didn't like much the story, Alex was to edged, too harsh, Daniel was too much a punching ball, taking everything Alex was lashing out without apparently back bone. But it's actually those extreme characterization that made the reading interesting. I wanted to see how they were to come together, cause coming together (no pun intended) was obviously the natural outcome. And during their separate paths that had to join somewhere, the characters changed, displaying how Alex was indeed full of insecurity, and how Daniel instead was strong, and able to be the mainstay Alex needed to take back in track his life.

The story isn't really long, and truth be told, I wouldn't have minded a little more background when Alex was doing self-assessment and looking back at his past to correct his present and future. But aside for this, even if in few pages, the plot seemed well developed, the love story between Alex and Daniel slow but steady, even if the attraction was there from moment one, they took their time to bring it to a physical level.

Interesting debut for this author, I'm pretty sure I will read more from her.

Publisher: JMS Books LLC (February 8, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: What You Are

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For how much lighthearted this historical "romp" was it made me think twice. First of all, it was a long time I didn't use the term romp for an historical romance, a romp was a very popular genre when I was reading a lot of historical romance in my teens, and I actually liked them a lot: light, funny, not too much commitment but a pleasant feeling of relax.

Second, the theme, a man misguided as a woman who is so convincing he ends to be bethroted with another man. Unrealistic? Maybe 10 years ago I was to say yes, but now, after all my historical researches, I know that isn't actually impossible. True, what I found more common is a woman passing as a man (so convincing in a case that only when she died people found out she wasn't a man), but I remember I read a biography of a French spy to the Russian court, a man, who loved so much his woman role that, once retired, moved to England and continued his life as a woman, and again, only when he died, people found out he was a man.

So no, the theme of this novel isn't unrealistic, and I quite liked how the author didn't make of the "heroine" a stereotype: Joseph/Josephine, in modern term, would be referred as a cross-dressed, he doesn't want to be a woman, he likes to dress as one, but during the intimacy with Marcus, he is quite happy and comfortable with his man body.

Again, do not expect a serious novel, but if you want to read a light novella, this is the one.

Publisher: Three Worlds Press, a div of Three Worlds Productions, LLC (December 22, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Lightson Dinasty

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This was quick and nice, actually I think I missed the book where Braxton was introduced, but I managed nevertheless to "know" his character: truth be told, I think he wasn't really a positive one before, sure he loves his brothers, but he has a lot of improve in the trusting field; Braxton is "defective" and in a shapeshifters world where defective means death, he thinks he will never be part of a pack. But then he meets Wright, a wolf shifter on the run, and Wright doesn't care about Braxton's defects, cause to the eyes of a mate he is perfect. Through Wright's eyes, Braxton sees himself and their world in a different way and will be finally able to accept himself: that is, it wasn't their world not accepting him, it was the same Braxton who hated who he was.

As I said, quick but nice, the sex wasn't really the main theme of this one, I felt like Braxton and Wright were "young", maybe not of age, but for sure to an emotional development level. They are just learning how to love, and through it, how to grow in better men.

Publisher: eXtasy Books (January 1, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Braxton's Salvation (Wayne County Wolves 4)

Series: Wayne County Wolves
1) Ervin's Dilemma
2) Run, Alger, Run
3) The Odds Maker
4) Braxton's Salvation

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Quick and fast, but indeed nice. Even if Tony is doing something that, at most external eyes, is heroic, he doesn't see it like that. He is a good guy who started with a misstep, a troubled teenagehood that landed him in prison, but at mid-twenties he is trying to go back in track. Tony is also gay, but that is not really something that is characterizing him, it is who he is, just like if he had blue eyes, or brown hair. Sure being gay makes him the perfect match for Alec, the closeted cop who is put in charge of his security while he is the main witness on a mafia trial. Alec has always avoided temptation, but now temptation is there, at hand reach, in a very small, secluded mountain cabin.

I will not say more, just that, when it happen, it's a mix of hot and dirty, but somewhat there was also romance beneath it; Alec is like a big strong baby not realizing he can hurt people if he is not careful, but a baby isn't able to be careful, it's like emotion are boiling inside him, and then erupt, and there is not way to stop them.

Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC (May 12, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Witness Protection

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I remember the first book in this series, and it was a little darker, a little heavier on drama; Strengthened by Fire, while having a moment of two of "tension" between Lee and Dirk (but nothing huge, just the adjustment movements of a newly formed couple), it is way lighter, actually it remembered me those "seasonal" romances where a well-known author writes a novella for their fans using a beloved pair from a previous series.

The By Fire Series is a spin-off of a series Andrew Grey is setting in Carlisle, a small historical town, so the mood of the story isn't "huge", meaning that, everything seems nearer, both from an emotional than physical point of view.

It's probably wise to read Strengthened By Fire in order, in here, Lee and Dirk are already a couple and the whys and whens of their relationship is all in the previous book. Nice note is that, while I'm reading a lot, and I read the previous book long ago, those two characters where still fresh on my mind, proof enough they were good characters.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 7, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Strengthened By Fire (By Fire Series Book 2)

Series: By Fire
1) Redemption By Fire: reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3552118.html
2) Strengthened By Fire

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Only a novella, fast like the motorace theme of the story. I'm not really big expert or fan of this sport, but being it quite popular in Italy, we are used to hear about it on the news, and unfortunately I know it's indeed very dangerous, many young men lost their lives to it. This is the theme of the story, Brian is the foster brother of Varro, Varro's family has always been kind to Brian, and he fell in love with Varro, but considering nor Varro or his brother Nick were gays, Brian has always hidden his feelings. Varro has always considered Brian like his lucky token, the one who had to be with him for being able to reach his goals, but when Brian realizes there is no hope for his love, he realizes also that if he wants a life he needs to leave Varro. His purpose isn't to punish Varro, but apparently that is the effect, and Varro will have the chance to reconsider Brian's place in his life.

Quick but sweet, I'm not sure the story is 100% realistic, above all in Varro's turning gay for being the lover Brian needed, but, as I said, it was sweet, and so I'm satisfied. In a way, more than Varro and Brian's love story, I liked Brian and Varro's family relationship, how they all welcomed Brian in their lives, how they were able to share the love that was of their family with another person, apparently a stranger, but someone who will become a son as much as their blood ones.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (May 31, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Heart of the Race

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A nice seasonal romance, Christmas + kid is a sure recipe for success. Bianca "Bee" is the only daughter of a single gay dad; the story is old, Gavin and his best girl friend from high school got together only one time at prom night and Bee was the result of that. It is possible their story was fated to end, maybe like friends, but unfortunately Bee's mother passed away in a car accident, and now Gavin has decided to move to the big city and moreover to a gay friendly condo. There he meets Curtis, one of the few straight neighbors and so, even if Gavin has a big crush on Curtis, they become "only" best friends... but Bee has other plan for this coming Christmas.

While I liked Gavin, a sweet man, very right in the role of dad, actually, it was easy to image him as an househusband, devoted to the home and his daughter while his partner cared for the money side of the relationship, at time I wanted to knock Curtis down. First of all, if you are not gay, why did you let Gavin fall for you, well knowing he has a crush? It was selfish, he wanted the family Gavin and Bee represented, without giving to Gavin the partner he deserved.

Anyway, that was mostly me, Curtis wasn't at all a bad man, actually he was very good with Bee, and also a good friend for Gavin. The story had, of course, a light tone and an obvious happily ever after waiting for the two men. I also enjoyed that, while Bee has a main role in the plot, she wasn't stealing the center stage to the love story between the two men.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 30, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Bianca's Plan

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Considering that I'm not really a sport fan, I find odd to always like so much stories with a sport theme. Moreover this novella was interesting cause the love story wasn't center stage, but the spotlight was equally shared with the story of Tom, a runaway gay kid who finds shelter at Eddie's place, a old-fashioned diner, and soon after starts training at Bannon's Gym, owned by Eddie's former lover, Danny.

Danny and Eddie didn't really split, but a tragic even parted them. Plus, Eddie had a strictly catholic upbringing, arriving even to study in seminary to become a Catholic priest, and that isn't helping with the sense of guilt that haunts both of them. But Eddie and Danny will find a way to collaborate to help Tom, and in helping Tom they will find a way also to patch their hearts, not healing them completely, but enough to be able to admit there is still something between them.

The story didn't really have a closure, actually it was more like an appetizer, but it was a really good appetizer enticing the reader to go for the full meal.

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (April 1, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Black Dog (Bannon's Gym)

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What is probably the first you notice in Cowboys & Vampires, the first adventure in the Venom Valley series, is the horror: a living dead zombie, a man who is forced to "kill again" the woman he has always considered his mother, the difficult of trying to scind the memories of the good time past and the present horror. Sincerely I'm not a fan of horror stories, so the first instinct should have been to not continue with the reading, but there was something in Josh, an innocence and naivete that was a stark contrast with the horror.

And as soon as Dex enters the scene, I was bought. Josh's secret, the hidden force that linked me to him, was now clear, it was Dex. The boys growing old together, both of them having feeling for each other, both of them not having the courage to say it. But the horrific events, instead of tearing them apart, is the reason to finally come true. The sweetness of their love was the right counterbalance for the horror and the main reason why I wanted to go on and see what happened.

A small warning, Cowboys & Vampires more than a first novel in the series, is a first part of the story, to fully enjoy it you have probably to read it together with the second installment, Stakes and Spurs.

Paperback: 318 pages
Publisher: Wilde City Press, LLC; 2 edition (August 21, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1925031462
ISBN-13: 978-1925031461
Amazon: Cowboys & Vampires/Stakes & Spurs
Amazon Kindle: Cowboys & Vampires: Venom Valley Book One

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I know this is only a novella, and that it was well played to make you dream without considering any realistic implication, but well, I really liked it. Isaac is so sweet and tender, like a big, very big teddy bear, that I almost felt bad for him when Rafi, even if rightly, was treating him with cold shoulders.

Rafi has every right to hate Isaac, but indeed, if you picked the innuendos, it was clear that Isaac was bullying him in high school cause he was denying his own homosexuality; Rafi was out and proud, no one has every questioned his coming out, and he had a supporting family. Isaac instead wasn't supposed to be gay, he was the sport hero, the high school jock, also for him there were expectations, and those expectations didn't allow him to be gay.

In a way, Isaac is more sensitive than Rafi, he is able to link with his emotions in a better way than Rafi; Rafi remained attached to his hate for high school Isaac, and he would not change, if not for Isaac's persistence in having him seeing the different side of the story. Yes, I like Rafi, but I love Isaac, and the only fault I find in this story is that it was too short.

Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 10, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627984879
ISBN-13: 978-1627984874
Amazon: Home Again & A Shot at Forgiveness
Amazon Kindle: A Shot at Forgiveness

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Office romance is a my kink, probably due to my chosen profession. I can relate to the office dynamics, and yes, even to the worries Harrison was having in being involved with Gray, who was one of his employees. This is not a long novel, actually it's a novella, so it's not surprise that the reader was plunged right in the middle of the action, meaning that, attraction is already in place and both Harrison than Gray know each other well, and also that both of them are available, and willing in body if not in mind. There is no hesitance of such, is he gay or not, is he interested or not, and the only obstacle is their professional relationship.

I enjoyed how both were sincere with their feelings, how they didn't deny what it was, and that, even if with hesitance, they were trying to find a way to make it work. Sure, they aren't perfect machine, and so misunderstandings are natural, and that is what makes the story. But there was chemistry between these two and this was the good part of the story.

If I have to find a little fault in the story, they were two events, not so essential to the story, that didn't ring right to my reading: first, ending on the tv news for being stuck in a blocked lift for 1 hour, even if you don't have better things to show, that isn't at all a worthy news to air; second, an emergency doctor who asks out to his patient even before he is dismissed, I think that, at least, he would have waited for the patient to be home. Anyway, maybe this is my perception from big town inhabitant, I didn't catch exactly where these two were living, maybe it was in a medium-small town and so what it sounds strange to me, it is normal to them.

Publisher: Siren Publishing (July 3, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Gray and Harrison

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I admit, I was ready to dislike this novella as soon as I started it: a young man in prison for a nefarious crime (killing children) has to pay his debt becoming a whore, first raped by the prison guards, and then sold to the relatives of the children he killed. I wasn’t sure what was worst, the crime he committed or the punishment he was enduring. Because the young man was basically stupid, used by others as a mean for the crime, a crime he committed not understanding the implications.

But one of those relatives, a young lord whose brother was one of the children, the older of the children to be killed, the one who was trying to save them all and died in doing so, decides to “buy” the prisoner’s debt: now the young man is living on the lord’s estate, not understanding what the lord wants from him, how he is supposed to repay him. Living on the estate, the young man has the chance to see the true from the other side, to recollect who was the young lord’s brother, how unselfish and kind he was, what great crime he committed in killing him, basically killing the whole joy of the estate and its inhabitants. For a simple boy like him, a commoner, worse than a commoner now, a slave, it seems impossible to be able to replace such loss.

I arrive to deeply care for both the young man and the young lord; towards the end, it seemed almost a fairy tale, a tragedy turned in romance… but that wasn’t surprising, cause, for what I remember, the best fairy tales are indeed tragic love stories.

Publisher: Love in Dark Settings Press (June 21, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Debt Price (Master/Other)

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Slightly different in comparison to other serials I read by the same authors due to the sci-fi/futuristic setting instead of an historical one, there is in any case a common thread. The primitive and passionate nature of human beings is tamed by the force of intellect or by the ability to dominate their own emotions. From this perspective, even a violent act as rape becomes a teaching tool. That is probably the most difficult point for me to understand, I always avoided the gratuitous violence, and maybe, I can accept it here cause, as I said, this time there is a plan behind, a purpose, that in this futuristic society, is working. Now, take out it from this environment, and my prejudices remain the same.

Another point that let me accept it is that, while difficult, and particular in its own way, the bond between Egon and Halvar is there, and it was real, I arrived even to see it turned from captive to protector, with Egon caring for an aging Halvar, and dreading the time when Halvar will die, cause it will deprive Egon of his mainstay, the reason why he managed to find a balance in his own existence as a slave.

Publisher: Love in Dark Settings Press; 2nd edition (January 17, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Pleasure (Slaves of the Northern Corporate Dominion)

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This was mostly a funny and light seasonal romance, but indeed, it had an unexpected deepness in the characterization, subtle but not stupid. Mick is apparently a college jock, too handsome for his own good, but little by little you see hidden layers within him, the first his decision to leave the frat dorm to be able to really concentrate on his study; Mick was introduced to sex at 14 years old, basically abused by a female family friend: it’s not that Mick considers that an abuse, not until he realizes that now he considers sex with women something detached, something that is not giving him the emotional fulfillment that he needs. The only real emotional attachment he has always had has been with male friends, in particular with his current roommate, Fielding.

Fielding is basically a genius, a child prodigy who has never had the chance to “live”; Mick not only take care of him on a physical level, forcing him to eat healthy and doing some outside door activities, he is also allowing Fielding to go out from his “intellectual” cocoon. The author doesn’t touch this point, but Fielding is maybe afflicted by a light form of autism, to a level that sometime he is detached from reality. Like the time he asks Mick to touch him the art of kissing, without considering gender and sexuality: to Fielding kissing is without gender, cause no different genitalia are involved…

Really, really nice novella, a pleasure to read, especially in a cold winter night, it warms your heart.

Publisher: Eli Easton (November 16, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Blame It On The Mistletoe

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Sometime is nice to have an insight on what is happening after the happily ever after; not that you want for the couple to break up or similar, but that little window in their future is usually nice and warming. For Eli and Geoff is exactly like that.

I admit I haven’t read all the series, so I didn’t know Eli and Geoff adopted a little kid, Jackie. It was a nice surprise to see them as daddies, and Jackie seems really a cute kid, very loving and loved as well. Even if Eli, currently, is very busy, and also tired, he always finds time to give love and comfort to Jackie, even when this means losing a little of intimacy with Geoff. But Geoff is not resenting it, he loves Jackie as much as Eli.

This is only a novella, there isn’t nothing new happening in their lives, but it’s a way to have a confirmation that their love is strong, and not limited to the two of them, but able to include in their circle of love the extended family they created, including family, friends and co-workers.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 26, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Love Means... Renewal (Love Means... Series)

Series: Love Means...
0.5) Love Means... Courage: elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1147399.html
1) Love Means... No Shame: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1011299.html
1.5) Simple Gifts
2) Love Means... No Boundaries
3) Love Means... Freedom: elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1645632.html
4) Love Means... No Fear
4.5) Love Means... Healing
5) Love Means... Family
5.5) Love Means... Renewal

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The best achievement of this book? Having me read a story where the main character is a spider shifter! I hate, totally hate spiders, really, I cannot find anything pretty about them, and instead, when Haben shifts into a tarantula, the author manages to make him cute, in a way that, when Lou, rightfully got scared by his shifter appearance, I felt bad for Haben, and wanted to cuddle him.

This story was really quick, or maybe, as I said, the author was good in having me caring for Haben that, when it ended, I was sad, I wanted a little more. Haben is quite an interesting character, he is for sure the top in the relationship with Lou, but he was also really caring, sweet and protective of Lou, but never once overwhelming or domineering; not in a way that made him weak, but more making him a really good candidate to be the partner of a single man with a child, I could totally see Haben as a father of a teenager.

And also Lou was a nice and original character, from his pudginess (again presented in a totally positive way), to his “homely” sexiness: Lou is not a party boy, but he is also someone who enjoys sex. Maybe I missed a little having a backstory on Lou’s previous partner (and the biological father of his son): was he gay and used a surrogate mother for his child? Was he bisexual? How was his relationship with Lou? But this man is already dead, so maybe it wasn’t necessary to dig on him.

Publisher: eXtasy Books (August 15, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Spider Sense (Kontra's Menagerie)

Series: Kontra's Menagerie
1) Mutegi's Sweet One
2) Catlin's Appaloosa
3) Hope for a Buffalo
4) Dominating the Wolf
5) Spider Sense

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The most frightening thing of this near future story is that, what the author tells us is not something so impossible that it couldn’t happen.

Nikolai Sidorov, Nick, was born in Australia but from Russian parents, and when he was 20 years old he was expelled by his home country for a stupid misdemeanor. At the time the country was starting to fear there wasn’t enough food reserve for the “real” Australian, and Nick wasn’t considered as one. No matter that Nick didn’t know anything else than Australia, didn’t speak Russian or that he was studying to become an architect, that he had friends, and family, there, he wasn’t a citizen.

Now he is back for the funeral of one of his best friends from the past, but not only the country has changed, also his remaining friends have, above all Daniel, the boy he had a crush at the time.

This wasn’t a comforting story, it was unsetting, a little frightening, and in the end, bittersweet; it doesn’t give you answers, on the contrary, it opens questions, some of them you are even scared to have an answer to. Good tension and short sketched but deep and interesting characters, I think it would be good to see them fully developed into a novel.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (March 12, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Coming Home (Under the Southern Cross)

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This is really a gay fairy tale (no pun intended) cause it’s sweet and romantic, to an innocence level that only very young mind still have, but that also an adult could appreciate, if they wanted to dream.

The story is Cinderella, from beginning to the end. The author didn’t try to divert too much from the original, and the only major change she did is to have Cinderella becoming Cinder, the young cousin of the two twin sisters from hell, Penelope and Jessalyn. Cinder will fall in love with his Prince Charming, Xavier, but Xavier is the heir to the crown, and he needs to marry to a certain age, to meet the requirement to be eligible to the throne, and his birthday is upcoming. How Xavier and Cinder will manage to achieve their happily ever after is part of the reason why you will have to read the story, cause that wasn’t in the original Cinderella fairy tale.

I liked the author maintained the story to an “ingénue” level, just some chaste kisses; I’m not sure if the two even consummate their love, cause, well, like in the old tradition, the author says and doesn’t say, leaving to the imagination of the reader to fill the dots.

Another point that I liked is how the author approached the homosexuality; first of all this is a fantasy story, so well, isn’t like there a right or wrong way, but the author simply had Cinder admit to himself he prefers men, but in a way like he was admitting he prefer fish over meat. Of course there were troubles involved, Xavier needs to marry a woman, but well, Cinder being a man wasn’t really the main issue, in a way it was more problematic that Cinder was a servant and Xavier a prince.

Publisher: Silver Publishing (February 3, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Cinder

Updates: http://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/2156728?key=011e4dd0a1ff993d8c2322e691d6229ed9bbf74b
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Quick and fast, like a country two-step, From the Boots Up is the story of how down-to-earth Meg was swept away by city-girl Gina. This is not a coming out story, both Meg than Gina have already a well-developed personality, and from what I gathered, Meg is also out from a relationship gone sour. When she meets Gina, not knowing she is the reporter who is supposed to spend some weeks at Meg’s father’s dude ranch, she is immediately attracted, and it’s clear the attraction works both way. Gina doesn’t hide her interest in Meg, and she is also more bold than Meg in reaching out for what she wants. In this, the old motto that city is faster than country, in everything, is confirmed. But it also true that country makes deep roots in your heart, and once Gina is trapped, it will be difficult for her to leave Meg behind.

Nice novella, not a fully developed novel length, and for that reason the romance maybe is let behind in comparison to the meet&greet of the two main characters; but that could be also seen from a positive side, you can read, and plenty enjoying, the story in just one sit, from beginning to the end.

Amazon Kindle: From the Boots Up



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A nice Christmas novella, cute and good for a Young Adult target as well as for older readers. This is basically the story of Caleb’s first love, since he was 11 years old he was in love with Christian, but as in all unrequited love story, most of the teen love stories are, Christian is unattainable: he is their high school football team hero, the golden boy, the one who will have a bright future… or maybe not? When they are at their last year of high school, Caleb, an openly gay student, activist in many LGBT organization, with his plans for the future clear in mind, realizes that Christian is just another boy, who will attend community college to stay near his family and help manage his father’s restaurant; after high school their paths will divide, but not since Christian will shoot for the stars, but cause Caleb will be the one going for great things. But even if everyone around him is trying to convince Caleb he can have way better guys than Christian, Caleb is able to see things in Christian that no one understand, Christian is a good guy, maybe not so bookish clever, but with a big heart and with genuine feelings.

Good, nice and comfy story, like most Christmas novellas, it warms your heart and gives hope for the future.

Publisher: MLR Press,LLC (November 21, 2011)
Amazon Kindle: A Picture Perfect Holiday (MLR Press Story A Day For the Holidays 2011)

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Considering I liked a lot the previous one, Love Is in the Title, there is no wonder I liked also this one; again, despite this being a short story, the feeling was of something bigger, of a whole novel concentrated in little more than 40 pages.

On the contrary of many coming of age stories, Love is in the Hallways is not a pink glasses/fairy tale perspective, there isn’t roses falling down around Luke and Cameron, and fellow students cheering at them like the next homecoming couple, there is instead ostracism from the usual suspects, and friendship from who was already best friend. Luke and Cameron don’t have an easy path in front of them, but high school is only a stage, college could be better and most important, they have the support of good friends and above all family. Happiness is possible and it’s just around the corner.

Amazon Kindle: Love Is In The Hallways
Publisher: RJ Scott (August 26, 2011)

Series:
1) Love is in the Title: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1694371.html
2) Love is in the Hallways

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For a short story I thought both characters, but especially Josh, were well developed. The first scene, with Josh leaving New York and mourning the loss of his house was so sad, but so good to put the reader in Josh’s shoes; also the following travel back to Texas, all Josh’s life stowed in the trunk of his car, just a step before living on the streets, and that step is Josh’s father home, an homophobic father who will never accept Josh being gay. And then the first day at his new construction job, Josh meets Zach, a man who can be his dream man.

The story has the potential of being much more, and considering the subtitle Zach and Josh’s Love Affair, I have the feeling the author is indeed planning more for these two. Considering the preamble, I think it will be good to see them again.

Amazon Kindle: Working Stiff (Zach and Josh's Love Affair)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Updates: http://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/2156728?key=011e4dd0a1ff993d8c2322e691d6229ed9bbf74b

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Good sexy story, maybe I was a little sad to see it end so soon, it’s a novella length and it’s basically all developed around 3 encounters between short-tempered Irish-American cop Brendan, and naïve and inexperienced doctor Stephen.

Brendan is hot, but not exactly a dream-date and indeed his current boyfriend dumps him; doesn’t matter Brendan was thinking to do the same, when that happens he needs to prove a point and he decides to kidnap Kent in a closet and teach him a lesson. But the one kidnapped is not Kent, but Stephen. This is an erotic romance bordering in erotica, and so the focus is the sex; it will not be a one night stands for Brendan and Stephen, but the authors didn’t indulge in the details of how they plan to date or the anticipation of their meetings, and instead focus on what they do when they are alone, i.e., sex!

For me it’s a first time of both authors, and there is definitely a lot I like in their styles, Brendan is a faulted hero, the one I preferred. There is no drama in this story, but you understand that Brendan has the potential to be a beautiful troubled romance hero. If I have to find a fault in him, and in the story, is the hint of threesome (m/m/m) at the end of the novel: I didn’t know enough the characters, and the evolution of their story, to be able to understand if they were ready for that.

Amazon Kindle: Manhandled
Publisher: Lyonnesse (April 26, 2012)

Updates: http://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/2156728?key=011e4dd0a1ff993d8c2322e691d6229ed9bbf74b

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I suppose the focus of the story was to have a cute and fun reading about two boys (and yes, they are boys, first year of college, barely legal young men just leaving the nest and spreading their wings for the first time), but if I have to be truth, I was worried for them. They are so young and naïve, playing the game of sex like it was the new console for video game, that I wanted to tell them, be careful, it is serious thing what you are doing. But Adam and Josh are not listening to their mind, yes, in this case you can well say they are being led by their small head (pun intended).

Adam is a virgin, and horny, curious gay boy; when he finds out that his roommate, whom he wasn’t liking much, is gay as well, and with the hidden, and forbidden, desire to be a Dom that well pair with Adam’s submissive nature, the match seems to be made in heaven and not by the College Administration office. But that is the trouble, nor Adam or Josh really knows what BDSM really is, for them is like a game, to play at night instead of watching a movie or using the game console. Or maybe instead of a trouble that is their lucky: they cannot do much in their dorm room, aside from some spanking and role play, and so they never go to a level where pleasure can be discomfort.

I’m not sure they are in love, maybe they can be in the future, but at this time, they are two college students discovering their sexuality and enjoying the process, a lot.

Amazon Kindle: His Roommate's Pleasure
Publisher: Carina Press (July 1, 2013)

Updates: http://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/2156728?key=011e4dd0a1ff993d8c2322e691d6229ed9bbf74b

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This is a free story on the author’s website, so I strongly recommend you to give it a try, cause, a real novella completely free? What is there not to like? Moreover if you add to it the fact that this is a good start knowing a new author.

I have this imagine in mind of Byron, good-looking, not really a jock, but with enough body built to appear masculine, and then, surprise, he likes to cross-dress, even if cross-dressing is limited to the underwear.

The day Byron finally admits to himself he is gay, is also the day he is kicked out of home by his homophobic father, and is also the day he is almost raped and risks his life in a car accident. And the day when he meets his own personal angel, in the guise of Cobin, the emergency doctor patching him up and offering shelter.

Cobin seems the perfect dream-comes-true prospect boyfriend, if not for the little detail of Nathan (that indeed is not so little), currently Cobin’s best friend, but to everyone, Byron included, is perfectly clear that Cobin and Nathan are destined together, and who is Byron to break that perfect picture? From Nathan’s friends and colleagues to Cobin’s family, everyone is only waiting for the two guys to open their eyes and get together, and Byron decides to play Cupid. Problem is that playing that game most likely means losing his own heart.

The story is nice, maybe a little naïve sometime (what about the accident with a dead man outcome? Is it even possible that police don’t investigate?), but with a lot of potential. With just a little bit at the beginning explaining Byron’s path to admitting he is gay, and a little bit at the end, to tighten the bond of the newfound romance, this could even be a full novel length story.

http://www.mchoule.com/?p=584

Updates: http://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/2156728?key=011e4dd0a1ff993d8c2322e691d6229ed9bbf74b

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I know that when I’m approaching to read a Quinton’s story, I’m not to be disappointed, but it always surprises me. Even in a novella, even in a simple romance story, with just that hint of magick to make it special, but not enough to be paranormal.

Cal is a young chef just out of school at his first job; he comes from a privileged environment, his dad owns an exclusive restaurant in San Francisco, Cal studied at a prestigious school in New York City and now he is apprenticing in an important restaurant in Modesto. Sure, he is not working for his dad, but at the restaurant they know who he is, and moreover who is dad is. So this is not the story of a struggling poor boy with a dream, it’s more the story of two lucky boys falling in love. The other boy in question is Andaluz “Luis”, the nephew of Cal’s new boss; bold and brash when he first meets Cal, no hiding he is gay, interested in Cal, but only for one night, he is soon turned down by Cal who was previously burned by an in-working place relationship. But not letting Luis have his new toy to play is the sure way to have him hooked for the long-term instead.

Most of the story centers around this, Cal and Luis’s blossoming love, and the building of their future together. The story just stops at the beginning of that, but the reader is sure the future will be bright and happiness will be part of it, cause, as I said, there is just an hint of magick, like a window in the future, that makes you sure that will happen.

Amazon Kindle: Sullivan's Yard
Publisher: Silver Publishing (February 3, 2012)

Updates: http://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/2156728?key=011e4dd0a1ff993d8c2322e691d6229ed9bbf74b
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Very strange novel, with an original approach that I’m still thinking about; I didn’t want to write a review soon after I finished the book cause I wanted to think about it, I wanted to find a way to convey the feeling. The author doesn’t introduce her characters, they are actually presented to you with a bag of events you don’t know; the author will jump back and forward in their life until you will have all the elements to put together the pieces of the puzzle, but again, you will have to do that by yourself. The second thing I notice is that, in this post-apocalypse future, time is inconsistent and they are distances; in the course of few pages, the characters spend together almost 20 years, starting as barely legal soldiers to end as pushing 40 revolutionaries. The strangest thing of all is that for all those 20 years they are at the same time lovers and worst enemies, always at the opposite fronts. When it was war, they were fighting against each other, when it was (barely) peace time, they were competing against each other at the Olympics. But do not imagine Olympic Games as you know them, the Olympics in this story are dark and horrific, more like the Roman arenas where gladiators were fighting to death.

Anyway expect the unexpected from this story, do not expect linearity, wait for the turn of the tables; the only constant is that Merq and Armise love each other… to death.

Warning: this one was quick and the introduction to a series, The Borders War, so there is an hanging ending.

Amazon Kindle: One Breath, One Bullet (The Borders War)
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing (May 30, 2013)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Very classical seasonal romance with a bromance subtheme. Adam awakes in an hospital bed with a caring boyfriend by his side, Joe. He is in pain, but the soothing presence of Joe is helping a lot, and Adam thinks how lucky he is to have such an handsome and caring man by his side. The problem is Adam doesn’t remember Joe and he doesn’t remember anything else of his past life. Doctors are confident the memory will be back and Adam doesn’t worry too much. But as soon as Joe brings him home, their home, Adam finds out he is not Joe’s boyfriend, but his best friend since forever. They are not together and moreover Adam is straight, and with a girlfriend, while Joe is gay and single. But why Adam feels like he is in love with Joe, and why Joe is protective of Adam to a level that it seems almost jealousy?

The story is simple, sweet and cute. No much drama, just an happy and welcoming family and two “stupid” guys who need just to sit down and talk to each other. From this point of view, it was right, Adam and Joe, even if pushing thirty, are basically still boys who have barely left the safe shelter of their home (and with home I mean Joe’s family who “adopted” Adam when he was still a teenager; it’s not a legal adoption, but Adam, being Joe’s best friend, was more at Joe’s home than his own). When they started to move from the young adult to the adult world, and the instinct of having a relationship and building an home started to make their appearance, both Joe than Adam feared ruining their bromance if they gave a try to moving it to something different. But now it’s time to let those fears go away, now it’s time to spread the wings and fly.

Amazon Kindle: Inseparable
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 30, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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This was part of a “First Time for Everything” package at Dreamspinner Press, a compilation of daily doses, those short stories/novellas you can easily read in one day, maybe right before bed, like I did. Just-You Eyes is actually a long novella, that is good, moreover considering it spans only 1 day (and half a day of recap) in the life of the two men, Elliot and Aleksy; that means there is plenty of building up and chatting between the two men before they end in be (but they WILL end in bed, do not worry). It’s also a many first-times, for both of them: first time Elliot joins the local Speed Dating night, first time he lets himself consider a one-night stands, first time he will not consider the consequences and enjoy the moment. First time for Aleksy, once he leaves the morning after, he has regrets, not of having slept with Elliot, but that he will not have the chance to meet him again.

The story is all Elliot and Aleksy, two boats meeting at night in the dark sea, they flash each other and then everyone to their own path, sailing away for a faraway harbor, London city, that by miles could be just half a day by car, but to experience is right another world. Elliot is like a country flower, those small, apparently fragile flowers, but that can resist the worst winter, he cannot leave in the city, he would be stomped over; but here in the country, he can flourish, and with the right hand, he can open his petals (no pun intended) and be beautiful. Aleksy has only to understand it.

Amazon Kindle: Just-You Eyes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 1, 2011)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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While the impromptu of the story is not new, two men meeting by chance willing to have a one night stand experience without strings attached, the author decided to play with the theme adding a mysterious woman, Madame Eve, that like the best match-makers of the past is able to see what is that you really want, beyond the words you expressed, and the men who she handpicked are more long-term relationship material than flirts.

Actually Garrett had already the chance to see the output of such matchmaking, and so, when he realizes Madame Eve has perfectly understood his unspoken desires, he is already planning the perfect Dom/sub relationship he will have with cute Martin. The fact that Martin is older than Garrett, a world-travelling executive, doesn’t matter, those are all details he can easily fit in his plans. Garrett will not let Martin go, but first of all he has to sweep the guy of his feet for one night and give him a taste of what their life could be.

Martin has always underestimated himself, having the wrong assumption that if you are not a gym-rat/jock-strap type of boy, you are not really a man; that was his father’s expectation and he didn’t match it. But he is instead the perfect match for Garrett, that is always ready to tell him he is beautiful, to care for him and to satisfy all his secret urgings, even when he is not aware to have them. Martin is not entering this adventure with the preparation that Garrett has, he is totally unaware and as such, more vulnerable, but that is a bonus, since he is more open to totally give on to Garrett, arising Garrett’s protective streak and making Martin irresistible to Garrett’s eyes.

Amazon Kindle: Accidentally Beautiful (1 Night Stand Series)
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC (March 4, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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I enjoyed this story, it was quick, but good, good romance, with a light mood.

Both Dez than Mel are sporty girls, very much alike, and maybe that is the reason why they aren’t together: following the rule that opposites attract, they have been both in relationship with women who don’t understand their love for outdoor living. Dez and Mel wait the whole year for the summer when they can move near the river and spend their days camping and rafting. They share stories at the firecamp, talk about their past year life and exchange projects for the future.

It’s clear to the reader that Mel is trying to let Dez know she would be willing to a lot more than friendship, but Dez is not exactly the smartest girl when talking about love. It was endearing to see how Mel was subtly, and not so subtly, courting Dez, and we all know that, in the end, she was destined to catch her girl. They are young, in love, and with the whole life in front of them.

Amazon Kindle: Some Kind of River
Publisher: Andi Marquette (January 16, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

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The Hawk and the Rabbit is almost “innocent” in its development; the first impression I have of this story is that it has completely removed the concept of homosexuality as a sin. In this fantasy world, being gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight is like being a brunette or a blond, having brown or blue eyes, you are born with. If someone is complaining about something is, first that prince consort Henri is from a breed that is still using magic, while instead in Gaia’s kingdom magic was banned, and that Henri’s personal sorcerer, and advisor, Leal, is really too young, more a boy than a man (we will learn later that actually Leal is under a wrong spell and so his boyish looks don’t match his real age).

When Gaia falls under a dark blood spell, Leal isn’t capable alone to remove it and he has to ask help to the Dragon Knights’s Master, Hawk. Leal has a secret crush on Hawk, but the man despises magic and, in connection, he doesn’t trust Leal. Going together in a quest to retrieve some magic elementals that will help queen Gaia will allow to Hawk to understand that Leal is not a mean sorcerer, and that magic can be good (and even funny sometime).

As I said, this is quite the innocent tale, while Hawk and Leal will arrive to be intimate, it’s almost done in a “secretive” way, the reader will not take part to their intimacy. I had almost the feeling I was reading a young adult novel, or a fairy tale, it was more important the quest, and giving the change to Hawk and Leal to be alone and to know each other, other than “consuming” their love. Even the level of danger they encounter is mild, nothing cruel or really dark, and the worst it happens is to sprain a calf.

This one was a cute, light read, pleasant and smooth, and the fantasy setting wasn’t too heavy, so that I could actually enjoy the story without being distracted by the “surroundings”.

http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=106_109&products_id=370

Amazon Kindle: The Hawk and the Rabbit (The Bestiary)
Publisher: Less Than Three Press; 1 edition (November 20, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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While this author is probably more famous for her simil-regency gay romances, I picked up this contemporary novella because it intrigued me: Craig is a until now straight guy working in a gay go-go bar. From what you can gather, Craig has no prejudices at all, so for him it’s just a job, even if his patrons are gay men, he doesn’t blink twice at that. Craig had also a girlfriend, not really a dream-date one, she was abusive and made Craig’s life an hell; and now don’t start to question how it’s possible that the abused partner in an heterosexual couple is the man, while that is true the majority of cases are of abused women, it’s not the first time I heard of the contrary. Moreover, Craig proved to be a remissive character, someone who is not prone to violence, or even to fight back for his own rights, that is the reason why he has no family to call of and a less than stellar living situation.

Now Craig is single, and with a sexual block, he is not able to feel attraction for another woman, and when he realize the only one who stirs his instincts (yes there is a veiled pun there) is another man, Doug, as I said, there is no prejudice at all in Craig, and so he decides to give it a try. Convenience is that Doug is supposed to move at the end of the month, so Craig can experiment without fearing to end in an awkward situation.

The novella is good, but above all is very sexy; I’m usually one who cares a lot of the sex in a story, but this one was good and enjoyable, basic, nothing out of ordinary, but exciting.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2349

Amazon Kindle: Cherries on Top
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 1, 2011)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading_list&view=elisa.rolle
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This is a Bittersweet Dreams title, so I knew that a not traditional happy ending was to be expected, plus the blurb was easy to decipher. So I concentrated more on the development of the story than on the ending, and I found myself enjoying very much the relationship of Alen with his mother, so much that, in the end, I was almost in tears.

The life of Alen is not easy or idyllic, but he does everything he has to do since he deeply loves his mother; but Alen has never felt as he belongs to the village he was born or among the people who always looked at him like a strange creature. Maybe that is the reason why he searched for solace in something else, and the only thing he has in his poor life is the fire in the heart of the cottage. Alen more than once convinced himself someone is in it, he saw a face, and that burning eyes were calling him.

That is the reason why, when he is condemned to the pyre, he doesn’t fear it, on the contrary, he sees it like a way to his freedom.

In the end, Burnt Offerings has an happy ending, only that it’s not traditional, the bittersweet is more for Alen’s mother, but she is like all mothers should be, glad for the happiness her son found.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2583

Amazon Kindle: Burnt Offerings
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 25, 2011)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle


Cover Art by Anne Cain

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Almost a comics in written format, I have the feeling that Pawn Takes Rook, first episode in the Checkmate series is part of something bigger in the author’s mind, something she has already developed and that is now feeding us little piece by little piece. A lot has already happened when the story starts and I struggled a little to fit all the details, but in the end I had a good idea: the time is the same as today, 2013, but it’s an alternative universe; the poly vaccine caused a genetic variation in the newborn who acquired special powers, and now almost everyone is a superhero. If you are really a good one, you are part of the Alliance, fighting the villains in the name of the law. Things you consider as given, televisions, laptops, are luxury items people save a life to buy.

Hogarth, the nephew of the Google’s algorithm creator, want to be part of the Alliance, but he is actually more a nerd than a hero. When he is rescued by Rook, a former Alliance hero, he sees him as his chance to meet the Alliance standards: if he cannot make it alone, why not try with a dynamic duo? But Rook is like a loose cannon, not really trustworthy, plus he is defective, like a pot that, when reaching the boiling point, instead of going in off mode, explode. Doesn't hurt that Rook is also an hunky viking, with startling icy eyes and long, blond locks.

You can say the author had a lot of fun writing this novella, I had the feeling like she planned it with friends, like a videogame she was playing and trying all the special effects. Yes, the mood was of fun, light entertainment, winking the eye probably to some favorite cartoon or comic character I’m not able to point out (not really a comic fan here). But even if I cannot pinpoint the origin, it was a funny little piece.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3643

Amazon Kindle: Pawn Takes Rook
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (March 12, 2013)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle


Cover Art by Paul Richmond

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Have you ever had that feeling of eating something really good, and thinking, I would wish more, but then, considering that the morsel was the right mix of flavours without stuffing you? That is the feeling I had upon finishing Game On. I knew Summer Devon, and I was expecting to like the characters and the writing; on that front this author doesn’t disappoint. What I was not expecting was for the story to be short, a novella, because usually, if I like the characters, a novella is too short to satisfy my need to spend time with them.

But Game On had a nice development of the story, even if, basically, it’s four scene in total: boy meets boy, boy fights boy, boy falls in love with boy, boy and boy live happily ever after. But the strong asset are the characters, Grant and Ned; both different types of nerd at school, they managed to become successful in their respective fields, but those fields are so different that they seem unlikely as a couple.

I like the sexiness that seems unborn in Ned, and I like the uptightness of Grant, who is able to unleash a dominant lover when necessary; I also like that Grant, while admitting having a relationship with Ned is not politically correct (for working related reasons), in any case doesn’t deny to himself the pleasure to indulge, and with no regret.

Amazon Kindle: Game on
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

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What will remain the most with you of this romance is the language, almost poetic. Sometime I had the feeling I was reading a poem, not a novel, and it was so enthralling that I was almost forgetting the plot or the characters. And you should not because the author decided to being totally honest with them, especially Diego.

Diego is the villain, that character that usually will remain unpaired at the end, if he arrives at the end of the story; a villain can have honor, but if he doesn’t redeem, he cannot have the happily ever after, or at least so are the romance rules. Well, here Diego will not redeem, and until the very end, he will maneuver is dark empire with a coldness that is scaring, a coldness that, on the other hand he doesn’t reserve to Alec, the man he found lost at sea and that he brought back to life… apparently. Sure Diego has a tragic past, and he became who he is as an act of rebellion, but instead of fighting to destroy the system, he decided to conquer it; sure, he has honor, he will not trade with the worst kind of smugglers, but while weapons and drugs are not human lives, they nevertheless kill them. And not, do not hope he will be rescue by Alec’s love into a new and better man, that is not where the story is aiming, on the contrary, in a way, it will be Diego that will drag Alec into his den.

Alec has amnesia, he doesn’t even remember who he is; Diego is his only constant, and even if the police will tell him the true about the other man, nevertheless Diego remains his only shelter. Living in Diego’s remote mansion, I think allow Alec to deny he has not more his own life; no one is asking questions, no one is pretending answers. Alec can build a new life, while Diego can reborn a little. In a way they are both hiding, Alec from a past is better he doesn’t remember, Diego from his own past he doesn’t want to remember; since Alec cannot share his past, at the same time he is not asking Diego about his own, and Diego is not volunteering the info. They are both willingly falling into oblivion. And no, there will be no return, to them, that is their happily ever after.

Amazon Kindle: The Foundling
Publisher: Eye Scry Publications (June 23, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Miami Moon is at the same time original and old fashioned. It's old fashioned for the way it looks on the vampire's lair, a den of debauchery where pain is mixed with pleasure and where the kiss of a vampire is both deadly than arousing. It's original for how it plots this novella, starting from the full light of a sunny day in Miami's South Beach to end in the moon light of a cold Chicago's night.

The first scene is like a Playgirl centerfold, an handsome blong guy with an hairless broad chest and beautiful blue eyes is soaking in the sun. Apparently he is like everyone else on that beach, someone who is spending the day lazing on the beach before heading home and probably towards a night of sex and play. But Jason is not like everyone else, he is a man who is running from a destiny that was already planned before he could decide anything; and at the beginning he was all right with it, but then he had a taste of how feeble human life is and of how powerless he was. Now Jason is searching a new meaning for his life and the sunny Miami seems the right place to find it.

In another scene that seems to come out from another glossy '70 or '80 magazine, Jason leads in the water while the sun is melting around, and it's like he is washing away his past and getting ready for what is expecting him that very night. Jason has not even time to get used to the city and the atmosphere that he is swallowed up by the night and thrown out in a vampire's lair.

Again it's like being in a lustful set for an erotic shot: men strutting around in nothing if not studded collars, candlelight, poshy furniture and a vampire master as naked as his thralls: he is alluring and tempting and he is promising something to Jason, the immortality, the lack of which was the first reason why Jason left his old life. And to add a cherry to the top, the immortality comes along with unbelievable sex, something Jason was not yet ready to admit, but that he probably already wanted.

Reading this book, the lasting impression I have is of sex that borders more on being erotic than vulgar, even if it's very detailed. There is a care to details that is clear both in the setting than in the sex scenes, sorry if I go too much into graphic description, but I believe it's the first time that in a sex scene the attention is equally distributed between the balls and its near companion... it really hit me and made me wondered if this is one of that things that let you understand when a sex scene is written by a woman or by a man.

http://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-erotica/miami-moon-vampires-lair-book-one/#.UY0xy8oazyA

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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I'm a faithful reader of T.A. Chance from the beginning; long or short, with cowboys or sport stars, fantasy, historical or contemporary, a new story by T.A. Chase always climbs the first place in my reading list. They are always different but still there is always this mix of romance and naughty sex that make them so good. And in a way, I can say that T.A. Chase loves everyone of his characters.

Padraig is a ghost; but he is not living in Paradise, he is wandering the earth since when he died, he left too much things behind, above all his unrequited love for Gareth. When he was in life, Padraig was an hot head; he worked in the docks in Belfast and he was not exactly a good boy. And probably he didn't believe he was good enough for Gareth, a shy man who worked as employee in the docks office. Padraig and Gareth exchanged glances but seldom words, and at the moment Padraig died in a fight bar, he had just gathered enough courage to go finally talk to Gareth. Only that he hadn't time to do so.

Gareth is a really nice character, but who came out in full in this novella is Padraig. I can almost see him, always self deprecating himself, always thinking that, someone like him, doesn't deserve anything better than what he gets. As a dead man, he almost arrives to think that, well, maybe it's better that he ended like that, for his mother and Gareth will only be better without him. Even when he has the possibility to come back to life in the body of another man, a dying man, he has still this little doubt that maybe the dying man was better than him, and so he shouldn't deprive him of his life: mind you, Patrick doesn't do nothing to "kill" the man, he only happens to be there at the right moment for him to possess the body of a man that would die in any case.

Ten years for Padraig were without "time". Padraig knew he was a ghost, but for him time means nothing and so, when on St. Patrick's Day he has a second chance with Gareth, for him it's like he left the man only seconds ago. Not the same for Gareth, who is mourning his lost chance with Padraig for years, even more since when Padraig died, he received his last gift, the token which should have marked the beginning of their love together. And so when he is approached in a bar by a man with the same green eyes of Padraig, he does the unthinkable, he brings him home. Probably since so many years ago Gareth hadn't the courage to grasp his chance at love, and he always regretted it, now Gareth gives to this "second" Padraig in his life the chance he didn't give to old Paddy.

This is a novella and so spans only a night and a day in Padraig and Gareth's life. Their present time together is spent practically always in bed, like they have to make up for the lost time; the romanticism and the sugary feelings arrive all from their past together, even in few words, T.A. Chase manages to let you imagine the life of these men, when they were young and full of hope, when they still had all their life ahead of them. From here derives the mix between sex and romance I said before: when the reader is almost to the edge of tears, thinking to all the lost things, then he is plunged in an erotic scene, that even if detailed, it's never vulgar.

http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=TACGHOST

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Aside from being among the Bestsellers in Gay Romance for last year, I was drawn by this series for the m-preg theme. I think someone suggested this to me, and being the first one a novella, I thought, why not? The commitment is not too much if I don’t like it, and if I like, there is always book 2. I read it in one night and bought the second novella the same night.

Valentina Heart doesn’t shy away from the chosen theme, and actually, it’s the main reason why Prince Rinin is able to barter a marriage instead of being a sex slave to King Merinej. Rin is now alone, his kingdom lost the war against Merin’s one, and now the council has decided for him: he will be the pawn to beg mercy. Since he was born, Rin wasn’t fated to be a warrior, too fragile and precious; he was special, a man able to give birth, but that is also coming with the almost certainty of death if he tries. And now he is supposed to be a sex slave to Merin, him that doesn’t have any idea of what sex or even the simple contact with a man means. But for once Rin decides to rebel, and proposes to Merin a marriage: he will bear Merin’s child, a child of two kings, someone destined to be powerful and of perfect lineage. If death will come, for Rin it will be better than a life as a slave.

This is for sure a story that appeals to many, but at the same that is not suitable to all. This is a gay version of the Savage Romance, with many of the clichés of that genre, but also with all its attractiveness. It’s not realistic, it’s not about equality in a relationship, it’s about a strong character in relationship with a more fragile one, but fragility doesn’t mean stupidity. Rin is not stupid, he is naïve; he is the first to admit he was not raised to be a leader, and he doesn’t want to be. But at the same time, he is proud of his ancestry, and wants the respect he deserves.

I strongly suggest to approach these two novellas as a whole, and to read both of them close to each other.

Amazon Kindle: King's Conquest (Mending the Rift)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (January 21, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Owner of My Heart (Mending the Rift)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (July 14, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

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