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The first (Toni Griffin - Archie's Accidental Kidnapping) and the second story (Angel Martinez - Hell For The Company), while different in setting, had similarities in the mood and the theme: Toni Griffin imagines shapeshifter hounds from Hell on the hunt for half-Angels going wild; during one of these quests, Adze finds his mate, not it's only a question of convincing the cute boy he isn't as bad as he looks. Archie may be only a human, but he is clever and funny, and with a wicked streak that well fit with Adze. Angel Martinez chooses a sci-fi setting, imagining a far away future in the aftermath of a war between Angels and Demons. Shax is a demon, but he is not evil, as Ness will discover: a lost Angels, Ness will be nurtured back to health by Shax, and for that Ness will be forever grateful, but that is not the reason why he falls for Shax, Shax is the life and the love Ness has always desired. In both stories there is the connections with Demons and Angels, but other than that, there is also the approach to Demons, considering them more like overgrown kids who like to play more than make war. Funny and light, both stories were right to have you smile.

Totally different mood for Freddy Mackay - Internment, a bittersweet tale about love lost, found, lost and found again; Tadashi is a kitsune, a Japanese demon with the gift to change into a fox. The gift is also a burden, when Tadashi, still grieving the loss of his lover, will search his vengeance. Berg is the local vet, used to visit the shrine of Tadashi's family on the mountain when he was a kid; he had also a crush on Tadashi at the time, but as a little kid he didn't understand his feelings, and when he meets Tadashi again as an adult, he is married and with a child coming soon. Theirs seems to be a doomed love. Being this a romance, there will be a uplifting ending, but not without the two men deeply suffering for it.

Internment stood aside from the other two stories both for the length than the mood. But in any case, longer or shorter, all three stories are good, and I enjoyed this anthology quite a lot.

Series: Mischief Corner Anthologies
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; First edition (August 29, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1495282376
ISBN-13: 978-1495282379
Amazon: The Horns & Halos Collection (Mischief Corner Anthologies) (Volume 2)
Amazon Kindle: The Horns & Halos Collection (Mischief Corner Anthologies) (Volume 2)



More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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I remember a Japanese tale from my youth about a father who managed to trick Death in a chess game, his son was supposed to die at 19 and in the end he managed to let it become 91 (the reverse number). This tale had the same mood, but young Gregory, who was supposed to die at 14, managed to gain only 7 years, and at 21 he is yet again at Death’s door, and the one who is supposed to bring him through it is Thanatos. When Gregory saw Thanatos the first time, he wasn’t scared, on the contrary, a guy who was just then starting to understand he liked boys, thought Thanatos was a very attractive man, and for the following 7 years, marked by frequent brushes with death, he always dreamed about the handsome Angel of Death. And now that is finally the time, he has only one other request for Thanatos, for him to teach him how to love and be loved.

It wasn’t easy to write a romance around a story about a boy dying at 21 years old, but the author managed it perfectly; there is no indulging in the wordly life of Gregory, and she focused instead on what happened after, how Thanatos recreates a private Paradise for the two of them, where Gregory can finally enjoy all the happiness of life without the pain of living in a body that was unable to allow him all of that.

The story is mostly sweet, even when they have sex, it’s more dream-like than erotic. If you were worried this story to be sad, or bittersweet, forget it, no sadness in it.

Amazon Kindle: Kissed by Death (Kissed by an Immortal)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (February 25, 2012)

Updates: http://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/2156728?key=011e4dd0a1ff993d8c2322e691d6229ed9bbf74b
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It was difficult to find a label for this novel, it’s a Fantasy (I tend to classify as Fantasy every novel with an angel in it, moreover when the story is set in the Afterlife) but it’s also Gay Romance, since the main purpose of Allan is to finally conquer his friend Warwick, even if that will happen after they are both dead. Probably the best label is Satire, because I think the author is playing with the stereotype of the gay novels to make them his own and craft his personal genre.

If I have to be sincere, more than for Allan to conquer Warwick, I was cheering for Guy, the Angel, to learn how to fly: in my mind, I had this idea that, if he learned to fly, he was also more likely to conquer Allan. Yes, I think Allan was better suited with Guy then Warwick, and maybe there was a reason why they didn’t end together during their life. Anyway I’m digressing, but that gives you the idea that I really liked Guy and I hope the author will consider to give us his story.

I want to highlight that I did have some trouble in “entering” the story, sure it was clear that Allan and Warwick were dead and that they were in a some sort of limbo between life and Heaven, but we were thrown into it without much warning, and I had to grasp details like Allan was doing… maybe that was the purpose of the author, Allan has just died and it’s not like you know what will happen after death.

The ending was quite a surprise, and I’m not yet sure if it left me eager to read more (nice insight on the life in the suburbs of a long-term couple, right what I like) or shocked. Sure the author prepared us and so we know it’s not that tragic as it could seem, but still… I was a little shocked.

Lasting not on the title, that is perfect for the story: the characters are a little over the top, so yes, this was really a story about Drama Queens with Love Scenes. Oh, and the cover? I loved the cover!

Amazon: Drama Queens With Love Scenes
Amazon Kindle: Drama Queens With Love Scenes
Publisher Charles River Press (December 21, 2012)
Language English
ISBN-10 1936185903
ISBN-13 978-1936185900

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Vampires, Demons, Angels, Fae people, same old same old you would say, and instead nothing was as expected. The author took the usual characters of paranormal/fantasy romance and intertwined it in a story that was a mix of romance and horror, gothic in a modern setting. The strange mix was also aided by the choice of location, a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, that helped the gothic feeling due to the “being trapped” situation but at the same time was big and modern enough to dispel the haunting and dark. BTW I have the feeling the author did know about cruises since the little details she used were quite right, at least according to my experience.

Silas is a fae with a mission; he is using a glamour to mix among the other passengers, but Rhys seems able to see beyond it; to Rhys, Silas appears with an otherworldly beauty, that is actually his real looks. But also to Silas, Rhys appears “different”, and not only since he is young and cute. There is a mystery in Rhys’s past and apparently Silas has the right answers.

The novel was starting in an “ordinary” way, two men meeting by chance, passions flaring between them, good sex and all; the fact one was a fae, wasn’t particularly exceptional, considering this is a fantasy romance. So yes, I was thinking, good story, nothing out of ordinary. And then the real danger arrives, and more than paranormal is horror, vampires eating human flesh, not only drinking blood; and Silas, the fae, wasn’t cute and pretty, he was dangerous, armed with a sword, and when wounded, he was almost pathetic, gaunt and feral. The author took elements that usually convey beautiful imaginary, and turned them into horrific details, with a mastery that is almost unsettling.

Close Quarter was a surprise and a very good debut novel.

http://www.loose-id.com/close-quarter.html

Amazon Kindle: Close Quarter
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (November 13, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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I have contrasting feeling on this novel, basically I liked the idea, and the setting, but it’s clear the authors are newbie and their skills are not yet refined. Often the same detail is repeated in different sentences, like when Jax was “telling” why he decided to move to Salem, the same theme “I don’t know why I liked Salem, but I did” was developed in different ways. I thought about it and I found two explanations: one maybe that this is a co-authored book, and probably the two authors, instead of parting the scenes, each one developing a different scene, “shared” the same scene, joining their sentences; the second motivation could be that they are newbie authors, and maybe they didn’t cut the plot after the first drafting… I tend to think/prefer more the first explanation, but maybe it’s a mix of the two.

In any case the incipit is good, a 3000 years old nephilim living in the basement of a church under the protection of the priest; for the last 300 years Faelon has never left the protection of the church, after having experienced captivity at the hand of a demon. Faelon is a submissive, he was born a slave and raised to be a submissive by another angel, Delgorio. But, from what I understood, Delgorio doesn’t consider Faelon as his exclusive propriety, and so he basically dumped him in the hand of the church to be guarded by the dangers that are outside. The current priest, fearing is aging will prevent him to continue the task, decides Faelon needs a partner, and he handpicks Jax, a history researcher recently moved to Salem.

Jax is a strange character, not your usually “Master”. He is not at all strong or self-assured, on the contrary, he is often tentative and in need or reassurance; Jax is interested in BDSM, but he has never tried it, and Faelon is basically guiding him through the rope. While Faelon considers BDSM his way of life, for Jax is more a play, his own words, he doesn’t want a 24/7 slave, but he wouldn’t mind to try something different here and there. This and some other events gave me the idea that Jax has still a lot of growing to do, and that he has basically to decide what he wants in life, and what is really important: for example, when he finds out Faelon is a nephilim, he is not really worried that Faelon is an immortal creature, or that he has lived 3000 years, he is worried that Faelon has wings! Well, yes, that can be odd, but really, is it the most disconcerting thing?

In the end there is a great potential in these authors, and I’m sure they will develop into a great pair; Faelon was a nice debut novel, not perfect, but good.

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

Amazon: Faelon
Amazon Kindle: Faelon
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (April 5, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608208605
ISBN-13: 978-1608208609

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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“When Lucifer looked upon God's works, he vowed to destroy it all. He followed Adam and Eve from the Garden and stole Abel's soul before his drew his final breath, thus creating the first vampire. Since then all vampires have been damned creatures, their souls lost without hope.”

This is the incipit of this vampire/angel paranormal novella, first instalment in a continuous series (be warned, if you like it as I did, you will want to read them one after the other). David is a 50 years old vampire turned when he was barely 18 years old; being a vampire he should not have a soul and for sure he should not believe in the mercy of God, but David’s mother was a pious woman who made David promises he would find his brother Danny, lost when he was only 10 years old. After 50 years of useless search, David realizes he has only one last chance, to ask help to God. And surprisingly, God decides to answer to his pray and send Jophiel, an angel, as David’s aid.

Jophiel is the first one to be surprised since he was taught vampires have no soul, but he soon finds out David is different, and if at first he had questioned God’s mission, considering it a punishment, now he is very much involved.

There is sexual tension between David and Jophiel, but nothing that in this novella will be consumed. David is gay, but Jophiel is, like angels should be, asexual. I love how the author presents Jophiel, and is blinking to express every emotion, blink to disapproval, blink to surprise, blink approval, is so cute, especially since David is able to understand him even without words.

I like the author played with common paranormal elements in an original way, there was nothing really new in this novella, but how she mixed them together made for a very nice reading.

http://www.rainbowtrailpress.net/2011/10/intercession-first-impressions_12.html

Amazon Kindle: First Impressions (Intercession)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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With Hell’s Pawn, Jay Bell managed to have me up until the small hours of night since I didn’t want to close this book without knowing what was happening. And despite the theme of the story (Purgatory, Hell and Heaven), it was not at all scaring, so it was not a night with the scared in bed looking for the strange shadows in my room, but more an amused reader who was trying to understand where the author was headed.

First of all, I knew John Grey, the main character, was gay (he makes a comment right at the beginning of the story that let the reader know), but until ¼ of the book I did wonder if there would have been a love interest for him, since Dante, my most likely candidate, was clear was not the one. Second, again John is gay, but I really, really loved that Jay Bell didn’t stress this as the main reason for his quest through Purgatory, Hell and Heaven; on the contrary, the event that John is gay is almost insignificant, for his character and for the mission he has to accomplish he could have been gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, bisexual… whoever he wants, since sexuality was not the engine behind everything. By the way, if you were wondering, John being gay is not the reason why he is in Purgatory and not in Heaven.

When John arrives in Purgatory he finds an aseptic place, a temporary stop for people to redeem from their sins and go in Heaven or to fail on the mission and go down in Hell. The task seems easy enough, but the strange thing is that this Purgatory is overcrowded, by the way from people from every time and religion, and they all seem without “motivation”. More than the horror of living in Purgatory, John is pushed into action by the boredom, by the nightmare of not having stimulation for more than 1 week. At first, let be true, John is not exactly an hero, and I was wondering why he was the chosen one, why he was more suited to the task than Dante, a thief from the ‘80s or Jacobi, an heretic from the XVI century.

Dante and John manage to escape Purgatory and go to Hell (pun intended); the fact that Hell is way better than Purgatory and not so scaring at all was a nice surprise. John was always waiting for the downside of the place, but there is no one; on the contrary, here he meets Rimmon, an handsome incubus who joins Dante and John on their quest. Maybe the only downside is that, while Rimmon is not against the idea of having sex with John (he is an incubus after all), he is already in love with an angelic beauty, someone with whom John cannot compare.

Dante, John and Rimmon start a simil-Divina Commedia-journey, but in modern term, and so, other than the “catholic” afterlife places, they visit all the other religion, from the beginning of the existence of men on earth to today. They are more lucky than Dante Alighieri, their adventures are less scaring, and more or less, no one of the souls they meet are in pain, or suffering, apparently everyone is happy in their afterlife.

I think I understood the metaphor of this story, it’s not religion wronging people, it’s the rigid structure people built around religion; if you manage to get free of all the “tinsels” and go to the core of it, then you are good and safe.

Amazon: Hell's Pawn
Amazon Kindle: Hell's Pawn
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (July 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1463513461
ISBN-13: 978-1463513467



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


Cover Art by Andreas Bell
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I'm not usually drawn by menages stories, but I read and re-read the blurb of this novel, and was so attracted by it. A beautiful fallen Angel, Rion, new-born to the world like a baby after his fall; the farmer sidhe who takes care of him, Rex. A story sets in Scotland, a land I visited and loved... it was too tempting to not read, and I'm very happy to have surrendered to temptation.

It's true, there is some menages inside the story, and probably a female character who has a small role in this book, will take a main role in the continuous of the series, but Falling is basically a manlove book. Rex is a creature of earth, he is bonded to the land he takes care of, and while he nurtures it, he is nurturing back. It's centuries that he is living in the Lowlands, him a creature from the North, and he doesn't know why his People sent him there till the day he finds Rion, a Fallen Angel. Rex knows that he has to take care of Rion as he took care of the land the People gave him, but it's not a simple task; a Fallen Angel can gone mad, and if it happens, the sidhe who takes care of him has to kill his protege.

At first Rion is like a baby, he has no knowledge of his past and neither of the life on Earth. Everything is a discovery, but it's simple enough since they live in a secluded farm. And when Rion finds out that also Rex is a special creature, it's even simpler: Rion is no more alone in a stranger world. But Rex realizes that he is beginning to feel for the beautiful angel, and while for him it can be a choice, Rex has experience of world and different lovers, for Rion it's not. Rion has to make experience and if he will decide that he wants to spend the rest of his immortal life with Rex, then he will do it judging in full cognition of the facts.

The story is basically simple, and the legends involved are ancient, so there is nothing new, but nevertheless it's a very good story. I feel the myths, and the love for them. Rion and Rex live far from reality, but from what little hints I read here and there, I believe the time is middle-late XIX century; the strange thing is that it's not important when the story is set, since it has an immortal feeling: the same story could have been taken and moved at our time, and it would have been the same.

It's also pretty sexy and naughty, the sex scenes between Rion and Rex are always light but good, sometime even kinky, since Rion always maintain his "angel" look, complete with long white feathered wings, and Rex sometime is in his sidhe form, with little colorful wings and a tail. Despite this, the sex is nothing strange or icky, there is only the added bonus that Rex's tail is one more appendage that can be useful... Since I'm talking of the sex, maybe it's right to also spend some word on the het sex scene: as I said there are women in the story, and not only one. Both Rion than Rex, before starting their relationship, have het sex experiences with other sidhe, willingly or unwillingly; there is also a menages a trois, but it's really very short. As I said, all the het aspect of the story are so uneventful that you can really almost forget them.

There are many factors that drew me to this story, the cover (yes I liked it), the Fallen Angel (I'm a bit naught, sex with an angel...), the magic, Scotland... all of them are masterfully blend in a very nice story. So nice that I'm quite interested in reading also the second book in the story, even if it seems from the blurb that it's more an F/F story, and it's not usually my cup of tea.

http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1135

Reading List:

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

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