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Small town romance about a very much out of the closet gay veterinarian, Wesley, who falls in love, or at least at the beginning, in lust for "apparently" straight widower, father of three, Travis. But this is not a gay for you story, Travis is bisexual, well aware of it: when he was in college, and engaged with his future wife, he was also having sexual relationships with men; he wasn't exactly cheating, his soon to be wife told him that, if it was with a man, she didn't care, but indeed, she did, and Travis, who was really in love with her, choose the path of being faithful. Then his wife died, and Travis, 4 years later, is still grieving.

I liked this approach, maybe I'm wrong, but this is what I consider bisexuality: being bisexual doesn't mean you have to be with both sexes at the same time, but that, you could fall in love with either; once you fall in love, you can be exclusive with your partner cause you love them, and not cause you choose one sex over the other.

I like basically all the characters, supporting and main, with the obvious exception of the villain. If I have to pick one favorite, it's little Mason: not sure, but I think Brandon Witt may have a nice story about Mason when he will grew up, or at least I hope so.

Nice, comfortable story, good feelings and overall warm environment, with just the touch of hardness to make it realistic.

Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 29, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 163216258X
ISBN-13: 978-1632162588
Amazon: Then the Stars Fall
Amazon Kindle: Then the Stars Fall

Series:
1) The Shattered Door
2) Then the Stars Fall

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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Hands up: I did probably make a mistake, I read Colorado Fire not only without having read Colorado Wild before, but also without having basically any idea of what the series was about. The result? I struggled with the beginning of the story to grasp all characters (this is really a choral book, with minimum two couples front stage, Zander/Marshall and Grant/Roger, and some other in the background) and their involvement with each other. Moreover, while I had an idea of the whole meaning of Wild Bluff ranch, it was only when one character said it aloud that I was really sure it was a some sort of special team of operative secret agents.

Anyway the secret agent side of the story wasn't really my cup of tea, wherelse I enjoyed the private interactions between the men. Basically all of them the strong and silent type, not really use to talk about their feelings, they were nonetheless able to admit they "had" feelings, and that those feelings were also scaring: they may be not scared by danger and weapons, but the hurting of the heart is something completely different. Sure, it wasn't probably too much realistic to see this big and bold men being at the mercy of their fragile heart, but this is a romance after all, and if we wanted to read about realistic secret agents, we weren't to buy a romance novels, for how much romantic thriller it can be.

The sex scene were quite hot, and, as I said, this is a choral book, even in that aspect, so there were many "pairings" happening, but now don't get me wrong, they were all between committed or soon-to-be committed couples.

So my warning is, if possible, to read the first book and then the second, and to approach this with the right perspective, to enjoy a romance, with a tinge of thriller.

Series: Colorado Heart
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1494850745
ISBN-13: 978-1494850746
Amazon: Colorado Fire (Colorado Heart)
Amazon Kindle: Colorado Fire (Colorado Heart)

Series: Colorado Heart
1) Colorado Wild
2) Colorado Fire

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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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

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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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

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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For two months atop of the Best sellers list in Gay & Lesbian Erotica, Ethan was a book that picked my curiosity; I didn’t realized until I was basically clicking the buy button this was a 5th book in a series, and that the previous books are a various mix of ménages a trois, heterosexual romances, and now, with Ethan, strictly gay romance. Just to recap, I seem to understand that Ethan’s brother, Travis, is married to a woman, Kylie, but is also in a committed relationship with Gage; Kaleb, another brother, is married to Zoey, and from what I gathered, their is the only “ordinary” relationship, aside for a penchant for exhibitionism; Zane, the third brother, and Beau’s best friend, is married with V., but he was used to have ménages a trois with the same Beau, and he had one with his own wife and Beau, before this late decision that he wanted to find real love, and that with Zane was only a deep friendship, but not the real thing. BTW, the author hasn’t yet told their story, but there are also two twin brothers, and maybe there is something boiling there…

So yes, this author is exploring all the taboos of erotica, and is developing all the variations inside the same family, the Walker brothers, living in a small Texan town, and owning the local private, and adult club, Alluring Indulgence.

Considering I’m not a big fan of pure erotica, I was a little weary of reading this story, especially when it started at the club, on a New Year’s Eve, with Beau witnessing Ethan having sex with his own boyfriend, Blake. True, Blake wasn’t really a nice character, and it was clear he was soon out of the picture, and indeed the story took a positive turn, from my point of view, after that event. I liked the slow but hot development of the love story between Ethan and Beau, I love how these were adult men but with a sort of naiveté regarding relationship: sex they knew, love was uncharted territory. The sex was hot, and yes, considering this is an erotic romance, it was abundant, but, very much strict to my taste: a one to one relationship between two men, no funny games, hot, sweat and skin. Oh yes, and the classical shower sex scene ;-) but that is almost a must in erotic romance (has happened also to you that since starting reading erotic romance, when entering a new bathroom, you look at the shower with different eyes? )

So yes, to my taste, this was almost perfect, the almost given only by some quirky point that irked me, but didn’t deter from reading the whole book: for example, telling me three times in the span of few pages that Jared just came out of nowhere beginning of January was probably overdoing it; unless it wasn’t really important for me to know it, but it wasn’t. (So, needless to say, they’d butted heads since the day Jared showed up right around the first of the year. (p. 27); Now that Blake wasn’t working for them , Ethan wondered if that would help the strained relationship that had started to develop since the first week of January when Jared had shown up out of the blue (p. 28); The other was occupied by Jared, Ethan’s cousin, who had practically dropped out of the sky on New Year’s Day and landed smack dab in the middle of Walker Demolition (p. 44)). Other than that, a very satisfying reading, an erotic romance that was at the same time “romantic” (not sweet of course, but well, I had the feeling these men like to cuddle…)

Series: Alluring Indulgence
Paperback: 524 pages
Publisher: SL Enterprises (January 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939786177
ISBN-13: 978-1939786173
Amazon: Ethan: An Alluring Indulgence Novel (Volume 5)
Amazon Kindle: Ethan: An Alluring Indulgence Novel (Volume 5)

Series: Alluring Indulgence
1) Kaleb
2) Zane
3) Travis
4) Holidays with the Walker Brothers
5) Ethan

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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This is not the first story I read in the from the Range series, and I’m quite surprised the author always manages to make them different remaining nevertheless inside the confines of the same range, same town and more or less same circle of supporting characters.

This time it was the time of Marty and Quinn, two different young men, and yes, I have to highlight young cause Marty is at his first year of college and Quinn is a veterinary assistant. They are still in that moment of life when their future is in front of them, but they haven’t yet decide how to approach it. Marty is gay but he doesn’t have the courage to come out to his family, with his father a republican senator who is promoting laws against the LGBT rights. On the other side there is Quinn, maybe a little older than Marty, and his father is not a public figure, but still, he is an homophobic who disapproves of his son working for a gay couple like Dakota and Wally.

Another point that made this novel different from the others is that, for most of the novel, more than half, the relationship between Marty and Quinn remains innocent, to a level where they barely kiss. It was sweet, and call me ingénue, but to me it was right for the age and the character of the two men, I didn’t see them as ready to have a roll in the hay like that, without having the time to come to pact with their own life and desires.

A nice addition to a series that is already an aficionados for many readers.

Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 3, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623800765
ISBN-13: 978-1623800765
Amazon: An Isolated Range
Amazon Kindle: An Isolated Range

Series: Stories from the Range
1) A Shared Range
2) A Troubled Range
3) An Unsettled Range
4) A Foreign Range: elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/2403579.html
5) An Isolated Range

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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What most surprised me of this historical romance was the “unromantic” perception of the main characters, and bear in mind I’m saying it in a positive way and I will explain why: this is a western romance set in 1864 in the then wild territory of Montana; while one of the men had the chance to live in the city, the other grew up in a sheep ranch where he still is and probably will ever be, and has never once left his home. Red knows he is an inverted, he has always known, but to him, that means he loves sex with men; at the time it was already difficult for a man to understand what love means towards a woman, most of the time marriage was a convenience and completed with the first available woman, loves towards a man is not a possible concept. On the other side Henry was raised by missionary parents, he knows he doesn’t want to marry a woman, but again, the concept of a family with another man is not something he is considering. So no, there aren’t romantic feelings between Red and Henry, and till the end, love is something that maybe is becoming tangible between them, in their own way to approach it, but it’s not what drives them together. Sex, passion, that is the protruding force, and what they both understand, being experienced like Red or naïve like Henry. I found this approach believable and very much in line with the time.

And now, the second “unromantic” element: Red and Henry are not exclusive. Actually Henry is, more or less, but basically cause he hasn’t the same sexual drive as Red, while on the other side, Red is willing to renounce to have sex with other men, but only if Henry is able to fulfill his needs, and Henry isn’t. Again, not a romantic concept, but probably a very true approach to the matter.

Is it believable that not only two men like Red and Henry meet and fall in love, but also that they are living in a place where Red is able to go and find willing recreational partners? I think so, cause, it’s pretty much similar to what happened in real life with George Merrill and Edward Carpenter: this is one of my favorite real life romances, Carpenter, English socialist poet, philosopher, anthologist, and early gay activist met and fall in love for Merrill, a working class man. It was England, not Montana, but again it was the meeting of two very different souls, who mated for life, 37 years, and the two died little more than one year apart from each other. That was love, not question, but historic records attest Merrill and Carpenter weren’t sexually exclusive; nevertheless, no one is possibly questioning their love for each other.

Publisher: Manifold Press (September 27, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Montana Red



More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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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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Forget the cowboy romance hero, forget the strong and silent type, forget Marlboro Man and co, Scott M. Terry is too harsh and vivid to be romantic, but nevertheless he is an hero. Yes, he has bitter in his mouth and he needs to spit it out, not with violence, more with vengeance, another way to cure himself from his past, to soothe his scars, to be able to appreciate even more the good life he has now. It would be nice, and pink glasses perspective, to say that he smoothened everything in his life, with all his relatives, that he was able to find peace and agreement with his own sister and his parents, but that is not truth; the reality is that, due to strong religious belief, he is basically lost to most of them, where most includes the one who is really important, his sister Sissy. How can Mr Terry not condone the religion that has basically stolen his sister from him? So yes, the spite is justifiable, even right from his point of view. And it’s not that if he looks around things are better, if even from “friends” he receives messages on the trend of “love the sinner, hate the sin”.

What is the most surprising, but also comforting achievement for this man is that he was able to find a balance in his private life, a loving companion, someone with whom he can share his life, to whom he can give his love, and receiving back. It’s amazing that from a childhood like the one he had, he was able to grow into a man still capable of giving, but that is why I find it comforting, the knowledge that he is not alone, that hopefully he will never be alone again, that the little child shivering on a cold winter is gone, and now there is a man who can turn in his bed at his Oakland home and embrace the love of his life.

These memoirs are really a flow of remembrances, and as that, not always have a logical flow; reading them, we know that Mr Terry is now in a long-term relationship, that he is probably happy, that he was able to share this happiness with his grandmother, but we don’t really have a full perception of his life in a couple. I suppose the simple reason is that, these memoirs are not about him and his partner, but about him and his family, his relationship with them and religion; above all his relationship with his father, and the ultimately, and regretfully conclusion that he didn’t match the hero images that a little boy has of cowboys. Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth, Mr Terry will touch all points highlighted in the title, deeply, and for the romantic reader like me, you will have find splashes of memories about a four, important, point: love.

Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (October 6, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590213661
ISBN-13: 978-1590213667
Amazon: Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved From Religion
Amazon Kindle: Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved From Religion



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This is a typical gay western romance, with its plot developing in the middle of farm animals, Sunday roasts, and bunkhouses. I’m not familiar with that life, but, from what I can gather, the author is, the feeling felt true, cause it wasn’t a dreamlike utopia, but more low income jobs, small town community, that can be good and bad at the same time, and always checking the account books cause the next storm can be your defeat. So the setting was more than good, and I appreciated the choral job the author did with all the characters. Maybe I had some struggling at first in getting familiar with all faces, cause this is a second book in a series, and almost all the characters came from the previous story. But once you manage, the output is to want to go back and read that book.

There was an hint of May/December romance, meaning that Tommy is a very young cowboy and Noah is instead a more or less thirty years old pastor, plus Tommy is totally new to relationship, being gay but never had the chance to “experiment” it, while instead Noah hints to the fact he had at least one important long-term relationship in his past. But again, the author managed to make it playful and not like something really bearing on their love story.

There is maybe too much sex, but that is entirely me, and truth be told, there is an equal balance of plot and sex, so that this is for sure an erotic romance (meaning romance with sex) and not plenty erotica.

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 30, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613724756
ISBN-13: 978-1613724750
Amazon: Complete Faith
Amazon Kindle: Complete Faith

Series: Morning Report
1) Morning Report
2) Complete Faith

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The first for me in this series by Andrew Grey, I think I got lucky; the story was good, a little cinderfella, a little star-system, it never went over the top and mostly remained with a small-town/good neighbors feeling.

Wilson is almost at the point of burning out; a country singer who is not even able to ride, all his persona is a fluke. But Wilson is aware of that and it wasn’t what he dreamed; he wants a simple life, doing music, sharing it with the audience, but not selling his life to them. So he decides to leave it all and to buy an horse ranch in Wyoming… only that the ranch hasn’t horses and it’s completely empty, aside for a young man, Steve, who was supposed to be an horse trainer for the previous owner, and arrived too late.

The runaway/starving kid is a common theme in Grey’s books, especially in the Love Means… series, another series with a country setting; I’m not really able to explain, but it does fit right with the story, western romance gives you that idea of comfort and quiet life, something you associate with a warm home and a full belly, so feeding the starving boy rings true for this type of romance. And once the runaway kid is well-fed, he proves to be an asset to the ranch, way more than Wilson that aside for the necessary money to buy it, hasn’t really any idea of what a ranch life implies.

Book after book Andrew Grey is starting to become more and more the Gay Romance equivalent of the Big Ladies of the serial Romance like Diana Palmer, the stories maybe don’t differ much, but when you pick one of these books, you are sure to be on for a good read.

Amazon: A Foreign Range
Amazon Kindle: A Foreign Range
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 15, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613725507
ISBN-13: 978-1613725504

Series: Stories from the Range
1) A Shared Range
2) A Troubled Range
3) An Unsettled Range
4) A Foreign Range

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I don’t particularly care for BDSM, especially when it’s done more for show than love, and so I wasn’t particularly liking Glenn, the man Luke falls in love with; I read the blurb, and I knew there was a moment in the story where Luke was finally meeting his real love, but still, with the “bad” introduction he had to D/s, I wasn’t really sure it was possible for him to still enjoy it.

Sawyer is a completely different man from Glenn, not only he is sweet, and caring, he is also open with his feeling; it’s not weakness to admit you are in love, on the contrary it’s proving that you are confident and a well-balanced man. That is a man that can really understand the meaning of BDSM and how it can enhance a relationship.

It’s strange but the story doesn’t span much in the lives of its characters, on the contrary from the moment Luke meets Glenn to the last page, it’s probably little more than one month, but nevertheless, while the reader is sure Glenn is the wrong man, you are also sure Sawyer and Luke’s relationship is destined to last; it’s in their ability to trust each other, despite past misadventures.

Claire Thompson is probably the first author I read with a BDSM theme, Golden Boy, and years later, she is still among the few that is able to deliver a full BDSM novel that rings true to my ears, and not some fake stage act.

Amazon: Heart Thief
Amazon Kindle: Heart Thief
Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 4, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1463687230
ISBN-13: 978-1463687236

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The strongest point of this novel is that is a solid, traditional, well-crafted western romance; the plot maybe is not overtly original, burned out Hollywood star goes back to his roots and falls love for hometown school buddy, but the romance is good, the turn of events where you are expecting it, and overall, an uplifting happily ever after that has just that touch of glamour without being too out of the realm of reality.

What I noticed is that, there are two pacing in the story, at first the author is going fast, Austin and Kitt have just the time to reacquainting again and they are already in bed, going at it like bunnies, but then, once the knot is tight, she decides to put a break, having the two spend months together and just “meeting” with them every 2/3 months. I suppose that was necessary to give credibility to Austin’s choice, something that, if he took on the spur of the moment, wasn’t to have the same chance of happiness than like this.

The story is a mix of glamour and homemade cooking, Austin coming back home is not simple as buying an home and settling down, he comes with high level security, money to buy whatever, and whoever he wants, the chance to just take up the phone and change the life of someone else. On the other side there is Kitt, too much land and too little money, too much proud and too little trust in the community, but simple cause he was an abused child, and the fault of the community was to not intervene helping him. Kitt learned that, if he wanted something, he had to fight alone, and so he is still doing.

Both Kitt than Austin are gay, actually both of them fantasizing about each other when they were in high school, only that Austin’s memories of Kitt faded away once he hit the road, but to Kitt, Austin is still the best fantasy, one he still feeds with all the movies and the magazines about the actor. And now his dream comes to live next door, and he is also pretty open in wanting Kitt. Of course, there is no hesitance, at least until everything remains in the closet.

There is a lot of sex, sometime to me it was even too raw; don’t get me wrong, nothing fancy, just plain, old, basic, good sex, but at some point the details bordered on the Erotica; to me it was like being jerked off from my dreamy land of romance, even if, after the hot sex, the two men always went back to that romance land, and for sure, Austin’s behavior at the end is that of the best romance heroes.

Amazon: Texas Pride
Amazon Kindle: Texas Pride
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Kindle Alexander LLC.; 1st edition (March 18, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0989117316
ISBN-13: 978-0989117319

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More than a whole novel, this was more a nice, sweet novella; it’s odd to use the word “sweet” in relation to a story regarding saloon prostitutes, but this one was indeed sweet and very romantic. Probably a quite ordinary western romance plot, the one about the young cowboy falling in love for the soiled dove and sweeping her from her feet to ride together towards the horizon… with the exception that Lila is transgender and the reason why young Tommy fell so hard for her is that he couldn’t care less for women and he has actually a crush on his boss, Hal.

When Lila realizes that the virgin cowboy she picked isn’t actually scared of women due to inexperience, but that he actually prefers men, she feels safe to reveal him her secret. If I hadn’t known that what Lila did was not only possible, but even ended up in some newspaper of the time, I would have probably questioned the possibility for Lila to pass not only as a woman, but to even exercise the older profession in the world, implying intimate contact with men. Actually what I questioned was not that, but more the fact that Lila, after meeting Tommy, basically will not continue with her trade: true, she is falling for Tommy, and Tommy is paying her, but nevertheless, I think at the time the life of a prostitute wasn’t so easy. The author managed it making the time span of the novella quite short, less than a week.

I’m sure life will not be easy for them, Tommy is really young and naïve, he has no real money, and even if they manage to find a place where to start anew, they are bound to have problem, how they will manage to buy the land, the cattle? But I suppose that is not the purpose of the novella, the target was to write a romantic, happily ever after story, and that target was totally achieved. Lila is a good character, she felt real, a soiled dove with a tender heart, someone who is able to comprehend Tommy’s fear and not making fun of them; that is probably the reason why Tommy falls in love, other than, simply as that, Lila is also the first, and only, experience he has with sex and desire, but why we cannot believe that your first real love can be also your forever one?

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7&products_id=514

Amazon: A Cowboy's Heart
Amazon Kindle: A Cowboy's Heart
Paperback: 170 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 12, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1475057318
ISBN-13: 978-1475057317



Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Let It Go was not at all the fluffy cowboys gay romance you could imagine from the cover; at a time gritty and dirty, at a time sweet and romantic, it was an odd mix that worked almost in a perfect way, and the almost is there only since, sometime the gritty parts made me uneasy, but actually that is a bonus for the story and kudos to the author.

Eli and Creed were always competitors, since the time Creed, 17 years old, won the horse competition against Eli, 18, there was a feud between them that is difficult to solve. Eli even moved to the bull competition to avoid to be face to face on the rodeo with Creed, but nevertheless, every time Eli meets Creed on the road, he is the first to start a fight. But this time he made a mistake, since the fight took place in Eli’s hometown, and the judge who is called to fine them, his Eli’s godfather and he wants to teach Eli a lessons: he forces the two men under house arrest together, and or they kill each other, or they learn how to cohabitate.

But Eli and Creed do more than cohabitate, they discover the tension between them had a long-lasting sexual origin, that both Eli and Creed are gays and they are attracted to each other. So far, you classic cowboys romance, isn’t it? But at this point the gritty I was talking about raise its ugly head, and child abuse, violence and rape are few of the hidden secrets you will learn about. For Eli and Creed is not simply a question of falling in love and live happily ever after, they need to trust each other, enough to be able to come clear of their past, and deal with it. It’s not even a question of acceptance, at least of the other past, is more a question of acceptance of their own, understanding that surviving was not a fault but a merit.

Despite everything, when Eli and Creed are together, they manage to be almost tender, happy, and probably for the first time, young: while they are together, you realize they are still boys more than men, or better men that have never had the chance to enjoy their young age, and a little piece of that lost youth is reliving in their lovemaking.

Amazon Kindle: Let It Go
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books (September 24, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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For how strange it can sound, there are two things in this romance that I both liked and didn’t like.

The first one is Josh’s relationship with Guy; Josh considers Guy a “fixture”, someone who is there just for the fun, and is not able to realize that instead Guy is in love. How he is not able to see it is far from my comprehension, because it’s pretty clear. Moreover, Josh goes to Guy right the night after he spent with Dane; truth that with Dane is not yet a relationship, and Dane did send him away and not in a good way, but still, I found quite callous from Josh to not think twice and basically using Guy as a second choice, without considering his feeling. On the other hand, as I said, I liked this side of the story because it made Josh a realistic character, I don’t think there are many men or women in real life that are behaving like a romance hero character.

The second thing is Dane’s attitude towards Josh, especially during sex; Dane is really forceful, almost arriving to hurt Josh. Dane is suffering from Post traumatic stress disorder, and sometime he doesn’t realize that, to chase away his nightmares, he is basically forcing Josh to accept him, in many ways. Again, I felt uncomfortable when that was happening, but at the same time, and again, it gave deepness to Dane’s character, again making him more realistic. PTSD is not some easy plot device the author can use to flavor their novel, it’s something serious and if you want to use it in the plot you need to manage the consequences. That is what this author did, and that was right.

In the end, I have only one regret, that among all the happiness the characters will find, they seem to have forgotten Guy… again, Josh is a realistic character, because in real world, it’s not easy to patch things, and I think Josh has still something to learn.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3311

Amazon: Worth the Coming Home
Amazon Kindle: Worth the Coming Home
Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 26, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623800447
ISBN-13: 978-1623800444

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


Cover Art by Anne Cain

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There are not many novels set at the beginning of the XX century and dealing with homosexuality, but the few I read gave a chance of happiness to the heroes that at first I wasn’t thinking possible. But indeed, hidden in the layers of history, there are many of these stories, of “roommates” who never married, of old bachelors who shared an house, of men who married but still had a special relationship with their best friend. They are the gay men of the past, sometime emerging from vintage photo-shoot, posing in their best Sunday attire and conveying from those pictures all the love they felt for each other.

But it was not simple for them, it was not easy above all to accept they were different. For how strange it sounds, I think that, for who was living in the “Wild” West, it was easier, women were scarce, and I don’t think many questioned if two men were living together. But our heroes move their story to the big cities of the east, Atlanta and Philadelphia, and with the big city comes the feeling they are different, and comes the guiltiness, the hoping and believing there could be a cure for those strange feelings.

This is not a cowboy meets cowboy and they walk together towards the horizon, they have to earn that right, more than an heterosexual couple. And while Federal Marshal Forest O’Rourke can be more refined than County Sheriff Eugene Grey, he also the one who seems to give up to them, not accepting his feelings, believing they are an illness. Not that Gene is more comfortable, even him has the feeling to be dirty, but in a way he is more resigned, less bent upon denying them.

There is sex between Forest and Gene, but it’s not graphic details and mostly to give the feeling to the reader that their love is complete, in any sense, physical and emotional. It’s also romantic in a way, and the ending, while not easy is, as I said, full of hope for a chance at happiness.

http://www.cheyennepublishing.com/books/shiny.html

Amazon: A Shiny Tin Star
Amazon Kindle: A Shiny Tin Star
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Cheyenne Publishing (November 23, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937692175
ISBN-13: 978-1937692179

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading+list&view=elisa.rolle
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For a reason that I now don’t remember, I read the following book to this one in the series, and I had a completely wrong idea of Ty and Cass as a couple, and this is a positive comment, since it means they developed as a couple so much, that they reached the equilibrium I witness in Hold Tight.

My assumption was that Ty was this strong former military man who swept away from his feet the more refined Cass. I even had this idea of Ty being stronger and older, and of course the leader in their relationship. On the contrary, at the beginning of their story, Ty is a lost soul, a young man in desperate need of the comfort of a family, something he is searching in Gibby, his former mentor in the Army, and now cook at Cass’s ranch. Unfortunately for Ty he arrives too late, and Gibby is now gone. In a way, Cass substitutes the fatherly figure that was Gibby, but being him more Ty’s age, instead of a family made of father and son, what he proposes is that of two partners. If Ty is willing.

Ty has not only to overcome his PTSD, but also some very bad experiences he had, going back to his family. He is commitment shy since, until now, commitment didn’t bring him good luck, and for sure he didn’t have any good luck in the relationship department; maybe if he had the chance to witness Gibby’s own relationship with his partner, he would reconsider, but as for now, Ty has no role model for love and family. Cass will have his hands full in managing such skittish man, but the reward is worth the effort.

Amazon Kindle: Ty Hard (Willow Springs Ranch)
Publisher: Hot Corner Press (July 25, 2011)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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This was a very nice novel above all for the outskirts feeling. If not for the use of machines and the tales of life in the big city Sydney, the way of life in small town Burreela was like that of 50, maybe even 100 years before. People know each other, everyone has at least a brother, a cousin, a friend, who was in school with the neighbour, and even the smallest secret is actually the talk of the town. Michael is a graduate vet student who knows he has to change his life; a drug addicted and party boy when he was in Sydney, probably due to the refuse he received from his own father when he came out to them, Michael decides to detached himself from temptation accepting the position of assistant vet in Burreela. What Michael didn’t expect maybe is that most of the work is farm work, and Michael finds himself spending day after day travelling from farm to farm, and above all he meets Ryan, who owns an horse ranch and who is very interested in Michael, and not for his vet skills.

Ryan was a former Sydney police officer who came back in Burreela to help his brother and father; he doesn’t vent him being gay, but his family knows and Ryan is also at a point in life when he would love to be in a commitment relationship; what a convenience that the new guy in town is obviously gay and unattached. Ryan sets out to slowly wooing Michael into his life and bed.

As I said I liked the feeling of the story, it was slow paced but nice, Michael and Ryan meet but don’t immediately fall in bed, letting the reader, and probably Michael, adapt to the new event, so that, when the fact will happen, both of them are ready and primed.

The incursion of modern life, i.e. evil big city, is sudden and almost frightening, Michael will understand that his self-imposed exile is also his safe-shelter, and that there is nothing in the big city that he cannot find in small town, on the contrary, small town has more options for him than any other place in the world.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2383

Amazon: Equilibrium
Amazon Kindle: Equilibrium
Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 24, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615819509
ISBN-13: 978-1615819508

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading_list&view=elisa.rolle
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A 100% Cinderfellas story: Cyrus and Weber met some years before during one of Cyrus’s travel with his friends. A surgeon from San Francisco and a cowboy from Texas is apparently a mismatch, but they click together in a perfect way. Weber thinks the only reason is that they are meeting every few months, so that Cyrus has always the feeling it’s a light escapade; Weber is sure that, if they had to enter in a routine, the novelty will soon wear off and the wealthy surgeon will find a better match.

But when they are over forty and Weber’s career as bull rider is over, he forgets the last time he left Cyrus he was told to not come back if it wasn’t to stay forever; Weber’s need for warm and comfort brings him to Cyrus, and Cyrus is there to welcome him. Weber thinks he will “recharge” his soul and then he will go away, again with the idea that this is the only way his relationship with Cyrus can work. But this time there is a difference, Cyrus’s sister desperately needs a nanny, and Weber has a way with her three kids. Not only Weber is now the hero of the younger members of Cyrus’s family, he is also loved by Cyrus’s parents, sisters and brother, plus sister in law and also Cyrus’s friends… nothing seems to be against the idea of them together as a couple if not Weber’s feeling he is not enough for Cyrus, like a frog with a Prince Charming, only that, for how much kisses Cyrus is giving to Weber he will not turn into a Prince.

It was a nice and simple romance, full of good feelings and family values; maybe some situations were a little too much pink glasses perspective, but well, it was a romance after all, wasn’t it? I really liked Cyrus, how he was persistent in his loving Weber, how he was able to wait and ready to catch his man when it was time.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2892

Amazon Kindle: Frog
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 24, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Also Best Characters Development (1° place)

I didn’t really know what to expect from this fantasy gay western romance, fantasy and western seemed a strange pair, but I have to admit the author blended them in a perfect way, avoiding any friction between the genres.

Aren comes from a wealthy family, boarding school, good college, but I gathered they were not so tight or supporting of their own son. Aren is orphaned by mother, sent to boarding school as a little child, it was quite obvious that he lacked a fatherly figure. Abused by older kids when he was in boarding school, he moved to college to end up the kept boy of a college professor, someone who used, and again, abused him. When he got tired of his new boy toy, he sent Aren in the Oestend, i.e. the equivalent of the Far West of the XIX century, a place where civilization and modernity are still strange words.

The setting is fantasy since there is a lot of paranormal elements in the story, and there is the use of “modern” elements, like electricity, in an old fashioned environment, like a XIX-century-like cattle ranch, but truth be told, I think the author opted for the fantasy to have a little more “freedom” with her characters, allowing them an homosexual relationship with, yes, a little opposition, but at least not a death-by-hang crime.

In the Oestend Aren meets Deacon, the foreman of the ranch in which Aren will be the bookkeeper. Deacon is a Native of the Oestend, like Olsa, to very old housekeeper of the main house. They are pretty much how you would imagine to be the Native Americans, people with very old traditions, having their roots in ancient times, still very much bonded to them. As it is, the Wraiths, the ghosts haunting the Oestend lands, and killing the farmers are ancient warrior ghosts who, I gather, are still protecting their lands and their people. It’s strange but in the end, I was almost feeling sympathy for these ghosts, even if they killed a lot of people, and amongst them, good and bad men.

The relationship between Aren and Deacon is not easy but neither too complex; as soon as they realized the attraction is reciprocated, Aren and Deacon settle into an almost “marriage” bond, an equal partnership where they comprehend and support each other. Deacon is for sure the stronger in body, but Aren has a better emotional balance. It’s strange, and well welcome, but Deacon doesn’t substitute the fatherly figure Aren was searching, on the contrary, he gives that power in their relationship to Aren to make him emotionally independent and stronger.

http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?P_ID=1331

Amazon: Song of Oestend
Amazon Kindle: Song of Oestend
Paperback: 412 pages
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing (October 26, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0857157477
ISBN-13: 978-0857157478



Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Well, well, well, kudos to SJD Peterson to dare the non-written romance rules of the happily ever after. True, Lorcan’s Desire is a first book in a 3 novels series, all of them evolving around Lorcan and Quinn, so even if the end of this book is not what I was expecting, it’s not said that this is the definitive outcome, but still, it was a daring move.

First of all the setting is a nice western romance, the old fashioned type with handsome and tall cowboys falling in love for the naïve innocent. The naïve innocent is Lorcan, 21 years old and virgin, too pretty for his own good. Lorcan left his house not since he was kicked out for being gay, but since he was in a rebellion mood; that is one of the main fault of Lorcan, he is impulsive and prone to carelessly take decisions that will change his life forever.

At the beginning of the story, Lorcan suspects he is gay, but since everyone is already convinced of that, Lorcan decides he doesn’t want to give to all of them the satisfaction of being right and he leaves home; sure, stumbling upon a ranch managed by a three gay cowboys, two of them over-sixty and together, and the third one 31 years old, very handsome and in the closet, is not exactly the right move to deny being gay. Temptation is there and Lorcan is more than ready to be tempted; I saw in him the typical sex-driven mentality of someone who has for too long deny his own instincts.

Quinn on the other hand is well aware of who is the object of his desires, but he cannot allow himself to be gay; his own neighbours will never accept a gay ranch owner. Falling in love for a 21 years old guy who has just discovered his own sexuality is not exactly playing it down and when another man starts to poach in his own territory, Quinn is not enough ready to stop him.

Jess is sexy, open and friendly and he adores Lorcan; there is no doubt in his mind that he loves Lorcan even if that means letting him go back to Quinn. That is probably his winning chance, being so unselfish and always open with his feelings. Lorcan in the end is the young boy he is, and he needs as much comfort as passion. To be honest with him, he is not playing with Jess’s feelings, and he indeed left both of them, Jess and Lorcan, but the one who is more ready to go and ask him back is the one that will own his heart… at least in this first novel.

I probably liked this novel, and its unexpected ending, since I feel it’s not yet all written for these three men; I cannot imagine how the author will manage those three in the next novel, but I think she will move her characters again, like pawns on the chessboard. If I have to be true, I didn’t like so much Lorcan at the beginning, I found his being virgin role a little too much, and when he first made love, I felt a little unnecessary he had to admit he was a virgin, I’m not sure a man would use that line, or at least not at 21 years old. But again, that was really a minor point, and the major big points of this novel is that it doesn’t play according to the rules, and that is definitively a strength.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2365

Amazon: Lorcan's Desire (Whispering Pines Ranch)
Amazon Kindle: Lorcan's Desire (Whispering Pines Ranch)
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 30, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161581888X
ISBN-13: 978-1615818884

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


Cover Art by Anne Cain
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bIn comparison to the previous novel, Bareback, Natural Disaster is way more “comfort zone” read. Bareback was one of the first M/M romance I read, and maybe I was “naïve”, maybe I particularly don’t like when there is a cheating, but I remember that it was a reading that left me quite upset, not really in a bad way, but more like I was too much involved in the trouble of the main characters and even if in the end boy gets boy, in any case it was a long and troubled journey.

Aside for the simple fact that Natural Disaster is shorter (in length and also in time span) than Bareback, it’s also more sweet and romantic; true, it starts with Jake losing his sister Lissa, and suddenly being responsible for his teenager nephew Jacob, but from the relationship point of view, his bond with Tor is strong and above all exclusive. Hands up, one of the thing I didn’t like so much of Bareback was the easiness how Jake and Tor fell in bed with other men, true, it was a shared “falling”, but I think that in a way it influenced the following trouble they had in the relationship. In Natural Disaster there is not this issue, and the only friction is when Jake almost OCD syndrome surfaces, and Tor has to take him back into the safety of his arms and their relationship.

There is of course a lot of sex, but it’s not the lion share of the story: not only Jake and Tor have a lot of “sweet” moments together, like cuddling and kissing, but they have also to face some personal commitment alone from their couple, like when Jake has to take care of Jacob, or when Tor is alone on his business travels.

If you like the “Marlboro man” idea, the country western atmosphere and the small town attitude, in its positive and negative shade, Natural Disaster is for sure a good picking. As often in this case, it felt like homemade pie and it was warm as just out of the oven feeling.

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=97&products_id=478

Amazon: Natural Disaster
Amazon Kindle: Natural Disaster
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Torquere Press (August 7, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934166634
ISBN-13: 978-1934166635

Series:
1) Bareback
2) Natural Disaster

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


Cover Art by Pluto
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It was a long run reading this novel, but one that I strongly recommend everyone to take. And with everyone I don’t mean only the fans of Gay Romance, but also the history lovers, and those who are, like me, fascinated by vintage “threads”.

At almost 600 pages length, it tells the story of 4 brothers, from the end of the XIX century to the beginning of the XX century. There is a narrative voice, a fictional character who stumbles into the hand-written 8 journals of a former cowboy, Nick. Reading the journals the voice learns how Nick “fell in love with a cripple and lived happily ever after”; the nice coincidence is that the voice was used to live in the same town where most of the events happened and he didn’t know that most of the town landmarks’ name derived by the 4 brothers. Calvin, Calhoun, Caleb and Caliban owned an equal share of a ranch in Montana; in years the equal balance shifted, above all for the greediness of Calvin and the foul mood of Calhoun; among the brothers, the ones who were able to maintain a good relationship almost until the end were Caleb and Caliban, mostly since Caliban was a nice and friendly man who was unable to believe any of his brothers could really do bad.

Caliban is the “cripple”; handsome and educated (as often happened at that time when you were no able to do manual work), he was the town teacher. Since he was part of the most prominent family of the village, Caliban was able to openly live with Nick without anyone questioning it. Of course they were no “open” about their relationship, Nick and Caliban were apparently best friends, and Nick was living with Caliban to help him due to his disability. For all his life Caliban was homosexual but he had never lived outside his home as an homosexual; when he started his relationship with Nick, he was so clueless about the possibility someone else could share his feelings, that Nick had to practically have him naked before he clued into the fact Nick was homosexual too. But once started, and once they were living together, they were everything for each other until death brought them apart. As much as Caliban and Nick were discreet outside their home, they were exactly the opposite inside, and everyone entering that house, and having the chance to spend a day with them, understood immediately their living arrangement.

I like the approach the author had, a mix of historic record and romance novel; for this reason there is part of the novel that is more “detached”, like list of dates of birth, death, marriage, and part that is instead more personal, the love story between Nick and Caliban. I like to think the narrative voice is real, and that for this reason, when the story is more detached is due to the fact the voice is simply listing the info he found in some public source, and instead when it gets personal is since we are reading the novelization of Nick’s journals.

The love story was wonderful, passionate and long, but I have one little complaint: considering Caliban’s disability, and the ordinary lifespan of the time, him living until almost 60 years old was a great achievement, and again, considering he met Nick when they were barely 20, it means they had almost 40 years to live together and happily (remember Nick’s word, “I fell in love with a cripple and lived happily ever after”), but at the end of the novel, the author let the reader knowing Nick died 32 years after Caliban, at the old age of 86… how was his life after Caliban’s death? How was he able to survive so long without his companion life and without any family he could call that? My heart is still grieving for him, even if I’m happy Caliban and him could have such a beautiful love story.

https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/glbt-historical-c-53_55/the-city-of-lovely-brothers-print-p-237

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Amazon: The City of Lovely Brothers
Amazon Kindle: The City of Lovely Brothers
Paperback: 580 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (February 20, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1456395289
ISBN-13: 978-1456395285

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

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Car Trouble by J.M. Snyder

Another short story in the Working Man series. Terrence is a more than forty years old Afro American business man that one day heard a strange sound in his new mercedes. Since his baby feels not well he immediately take her to a garage. Here he finds Jimmy, blond young guy with a penchant for older man...

Obviously the baby is forgotten for a little bit while the daddy plays with the hot mechanic.

Really there is nothing more other than Terrence is a pretty interesting man, very vain and selfconscious that maybe is lucky to find a man like Jimmy who likes to be direct. And I have also my glimpse to a possible happily ever after, so I'm satisfy.

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29&products_id=275

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Amazon Kindle: Car Trouble
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (May 1, 2011)

Easily Addicted (Working Man) by J.M. Snyder

Zach and Trevor meet at work during a lunch break. Trevor is a smoker and is spending his break indulging in his vice. And Zach immediately fancies him and tries to approach him. But Trevor is just out of a bad relationship and the forward attitude of Zach finds him unready. But rethinking to the opportunity he has so easily refused, Trevor is not more sure he has made the right decision and he is waiting for a second chance.

J.M. Snyder doesn't tell us how many years old are both Zach and Trevor, but I have the feeling they are somewhere between 25 and 30. No more college student, but not still adult. Young. And Zach gives me the impression he is young and somewhat innocent. He is open and friendly, very selfconsciousness. He knows to be handsome and probably he is not used to be denied.

The story is very short, less than 30 pages, but I have liked it a lot. Zach is a wonderful character, he could be easily decipted like a spoilt brat, but he is so nice that you can't find him nasty. And Zach seems to be the classical good boy, the person you dream to find to spend the rest of your life.

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=184

Amazon Kindle: Easily Addicted
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (December 16, 2010)

Lunch Break by J.M. Snyder

Nick works in a grocery to save money for his tuition. He is a simple guy with dreams of his own and when he sees Kevin one day at lunch break, he thinks that one of his dreams comes true: Kevin is a ten years older African-American man, who practices with a lawyer. He is refined and classy, and beautiful. 

Nick can't believe when Kevin asks him out. But obviously he has no intention to refuse this great opportunity.

The Working Man series by J.M. Snyder are short but very interesting stories. Short but complete, you have in less than 25 pages an entire story that let you fill what it's not said with your imagination.

In this case Nick is so sweet and Kevin so selfconscious and tender, that I'd like very much to read a whole story with these two characters.

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29&products_id=301

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Amazon Kindle: Lunch Break
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (June 18, 2011)

Makin’ Copies (Working Man) by J.M. Snyder

A drunk joke during Friday Night Christmas Party could cost to Johnson his work: he has photocopied his butt (and all the other jewels around) with the office printer and has left the proves to find to Mr. Sanford, the boss.

But lucky for Johnson, Mr. Sanford has admired the "proves" and now he wants a first hand experience and not only a photocopied one.

What will Johnson do? Even if Mr. Sanford his an handsome men, he is also twice his age....

A very short, less than 15 pages, but very nice office affair which leaves you with a stupid smile face and a thought: but why when you find a nut thing during Christmas Party, it doesn't become a new begin like this one?

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=221

Amazon Kindle: Makin' Copies
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (March 5, 2011)

On the Job by J.M. Snyder

Another short story in the Working Man series by J.M. Snyder.

Charles is a service tech for a cable company who accept to go on a call for a new install since the customer is particularly trouble. But when he arrives to the designed site he discovers that Billy, the customer, is a very handsome young man, and also a flirty twinkie. Charles seems not able to take off Billy's hands from him, and he quite manages to do the work before Billy jumps to his bones.

As all the Working Man series, also this one is a very little one, less than 25 pages, but as always is well plotted and the characters are deepens and originals. It's very funny to see Billy's open seduction and he is a mix of boldness and naiveete. Charles has no game till the beginning in trying to deny him something.

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29&products_id=313

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Amazon Kindle: On the Job
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (July 3, 2011)

Opening Day at the County Fair by J.M. Snyder

Jesse is a 20 years old country boy. He lives in the middle of nowhere and the only divagation to his routine is the annual county fair. But now for him the county fair is work, no more a child to run all around, he has to spent 6 days selling vegetables.

But this year something is changing, and has the name and the face of Davis (from jefferson davis I suppose): a pale and handsome guy of his same age, son of a contractor who previously lives in the same county and now returns only for the fair. But this year he has sent his son instead, and Jesse and Davis will spend this six days in ways more interesting than work.

I like this very very short tale. It's less then 30 pages but J.M. Snyder has decipted a complete world in few words. You can feel the heat of the day and the dirty of the road. Jesse's secret desires, the liberty he found in the arms of Davis, the joy to have another six days and maybe no more, but it is still joy, because are STILL six days and not ONLY six days... what different perspectives has youth.

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=27&products_id=141

Amazon Kindle: Opening Day at the County Fair
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (October 15, 2010)

Pleasure Cruise (Working Man) by J.M. Snyder

Andy is a young college student who has the nut idea to join two friends on a "normal" cruise during winter break. And cause it's a normal cruise, most of the people on the ship are couple and the others are not interested in three young guy, one of them gay.

So when Andy spots the cute Hispanic bartender, Carlos, he thinks to have found a way to spend two weeks on the ship. But Carlos is not very fond of Andy's friends and the first night they meet it doesn't end in a good way for Andy. But there is always breakfast time (in bed...).

Another short story, less than 25 pages, this one is "pure" pleasure. Andy and Carlos are two young men who want to have funny without commitment and broken heart, and what better place than a cruise ship to do that? in a confined space is very simple to find a way to meet.

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=220

Amazon Kindle: Pleasure Cruise
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (February 27, 2011)

Summer Kisses and Ice Cream Dreams by J.M. Snyder

Ahi ahi ahi J.M. Snyder, you are a teaser... Summer Kisses and Ice Cream Dreams is a very very short tale about how sweet could be a summer fling. Like in a old comedy of the '50 (even if I think it's a contemporary setting) Sean and Andrew fall in love in front of a sundae and Andrew woos Sean sending him messages through a friend (I last did this when I was 12 years old...).

And because it's a old comedy style, you will read only of tender kisses and walking hand in hand: no sex allows in a sweet tale, and then too hot things could melt the ice cream...

All right, joke apart, if you want to take a break from all the iper sexy M/M story I have read lately, try this tale by J.M. Snyder: maybe for the first time in months I have read something I will have no problem to reccomend also to a underage reader... 

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=28&products_id=156

Amazon Kindle: Summer Kisses and Ice Cream Dreams
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (October 29, 2010)

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=334&zenid=0ugnpbi3a3rqrn11t4ra5tm4h3 (Contains the stories: At Your Service Cafe de l'Amour Car Trouble Closing Time Easily Addicted Lunch Break Makin' Copies On the Job Opening Day at the County Fair Order Up Pleasure Cruise Speed Trap Summer Kisses and Ice Cream Dreams Tech Support )

Amazon: Working Men
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (August 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1463763107
ISBN-13: 978-1463763107

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading+list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
For sure the purpose of this story is to touch deeply and strongly the emotions of the reader; Kaden is a traumatized young man, at only 19 years old he has already a past of years of abuses and also violence, and so, even if only one time the author will explicitly say that, we are dealing with a case of pedophilia. All of this will make clear to the reader that this is not an easy story and so some of the feelings you can have for the characters have to be weighted with that.

Kaden is young, lithe and very feminine; adding to that he is also deeply scared by anyone who is stronger than him, and so basically by all men. In this condition it’s clear that he cannot have a normal relationship, above all since he cannot have a normal life. When he loses yet another job, the owner of the body rental agency offers him a three months contract as cook in a Montana ranch; of course the reader will immediately think, but it’s really necessary to go and search a cook in New York City if you are in Montana? And of course there is probably a good explanation for that, Logan, the ranch owner, doesn’t really need a cook, but his cousin, the owner of the body rental agency, asks him a personal favour, he wants to find a nice and safe place for the young man. At first I though he had some personal agenda for the boy, but then I realized that he really wanted the best for Kaden.

And no, if you are thinking he was matchmaking, it’s not like that; Logan is not gay, he is only a very good man and good to the core; he will never ever hurt someone else, man or animal. When he finds himself with a skittish Kaden around, he understands that he needs to give him space, to heal and gain stability and courage. The love that blossoms between them is probably fuelled by Logan’s good heart, by his need to take care of who is weaker.

Of course the sexual relationship between Kaden and Logan will not be immediate, and Logan will wait patiently and carefully for his little one, as he nicknamed Kaden, to be ready for him; Kaden will set the pace and Logan will never once try to rush him.

I’m not sure everyone will like this novel, Kaden is really a difficult character, he is troubled, scared, mentally and physically abused; to some people he can appear weak, but I think he is everything other than weak, even when he knows he is hurting himself, he is aware of why he is doing so. Kaden needs only time to repossess his life, body and mind. Logan is easier to like since he is basically perfect, maybe a little too touchy when someone misunderstands his actions (even if he hadn’t explained them), but sincerely nothing huge or inexcusable.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1966

Amazon: Touch Me Gently
Amazon Kindle: Touch Me Gently
Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 3, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615815740
ISBN-13: 978-1615815746

Reading List:



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


Cover Art by Anne Cain
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Ranch Hands is a novel with the taste of an homemade apple pie. Sid Rosen is the only owner, and worker, of a ruined ranch in an farm county. He has no money to hire an help and neither to pay the mortgage, but he doesn’t want to give up. The only one to answer his ad for a ranch hand is Roger: not much experience, but willing to help in exchange of only border, Roger is Sid’s only chance.

They start a cohabitation that is at the same time easy and awkward: it’s clear that both of them have secrets to hide, and it’s also clear that they are drawn to each other, but neither of them is willing, or able to do the first step. I had the feeling that both Sid and Rog are quiet men, plain and homely, not really the hard core type; together they are able to do something and go on, but alone they would probably give up. Due to their submissive character, they are also easy prey, for unscrupulous men; their past history is quite similar, and for this reason they have in common also a future development; I’m not sure to find believable that both of them had almost the same “accident” with a past lover, but then, that is also a point that bond them together, so maybe it was a necessary twist in the plot. For sure it gave me the idea that Sid and Roger have to be really careful in the future, since, as I said, together they can face adversity, but alone they are not much of an opposition against fate.

I wondered also on the place where they live; it was a throughout idyllic farm place, and for idyllic I’m not referring to the life condition, that were hard and dry, as most of the farm town nowadays, but on the acceptance that both men find with townsfolk and families: I’m not sure that is possible, at least not in US, not even in those countries where same sex marriage is legal, but at least it didn’t distract the reader from the relationship between Sid and Rog; acceptance was not one of their problem, building a common life in an difficult environment, when both of them were not exactly “macho men”, that were their obstacles.

Ranch Hands is a nice and sweet western romance, but two unexpected main heroes: those cowboys are not your usual imaginary of Marlboro man, but they are more, as the title says, ranch hands, simple, and average, men.

http://silverpublishing.info/index.php?main_page=product_book_info&cPath=45_53_54&products_id=25

Amazon Kindle: Ranch Hands

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading+list&view=elisa.rolle
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Keegan is a 43 years old man who spent the last 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. When he was 18 years old, openly gay and totally bad boy, he was the sore eye of the small town where he lived, and so, when he was framed for a murder of another young man, no one, from the judge to the police to his lawyer to his same parents believed in his innocence and he was sentenced to life. The only one who believed in him was his grandfather, a very wealthy man, who apparently couldn’t do anything for him if not preserve his inheritance. Now 25 years later Keegan is out on parole, and he is also rich, but the only thing he wants is to go back to his ranch, and live in peace, as far as possible to the folks who convicted him.

Jaxon was an orphan two years younger than Keegan; to his teenager eyes, Keegan was a forbidden fruit, someone he desperately wanted. Jaxon was also in the same gang who killed the boy Keegan was accused to, and he knew the true. Only that at the time, Jaxon was too scared to loose the only family he had, the gang, and so he said nothing. Growing up, Jaxon managed to become a famous professional baseball player, but almost as a penance, off season he is back home, and helping Keegan’s grandfather to preserve the ranch for his grandson. Even now that the old man is dead, Jaxon is going home to do his work, but this time it’s Keegan who opens the door, of both his home than all the forbidden desires Jaxon tried to forget. Jaxon is openly gay, but it’s not the gay thing that is forbidden, it’s the love he has for an ex con and also the guilty that weights on his shoulder: how can he fall in love with Keegan knowing that he stole 25 years of his life?

Even if both men deny the feelings they are having for each other, the desire is stronger, and they always end in each other arms. It’s like a play of pull and push, but in the end, it’s more Jaxon who is trying to reach out for Keegan: even if 25 years later, even if more experienced and successful, Jaxon probably is still that boy who was looking upon Keegan, waiting for the bad boy of the town to notice him, Mr Nobody; and yes, maybe it’s also a way for him to re-pay Keegan of his lost years, Jaxon for sure will do everything to make the man happy.

Overall I liked the story even if sometime it was “too much”: Keegan’s grandfather who dying left him multimillionaire? If he had so much money, probably he would have been able to help his grandson before that; it’s more believable that he asked Jaxon to help him out, since, even if it’s not said, maybe he noticed Jaxon’s interest in his grandson; a little less believable is that a professional baseball player is able to live as a rancher during off-season, and even less that he can be openly gay without the media give a fit. It’s instead quite understandable that Keegan doesn’t want to be involved with Jaxon, there are many reason for that: Keegan wants to be left alone and in peace, and a relationship with a public persona will not help; Keegan’s imagine is not help for Jaxon’s professional career; at a time the author hinted also to the interracial issue, Jaxon is Afro-American, but sincerely this was the last of their problem.

The mystery side of the story is pretty simple and the most enjoyable part is probably the hot sexual relationship between the two men, both of them well out the inexperience age, and quite aware of what they like and want.

http://www.loose-id.com/Redemption.aspx

Amazon Kindle: Redemption

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Cowboys and Gay Romance are quite a popular pair, and it has also almost always an angst feeling. This story is about a ranch in Montana and two cowboys who are grieving for the loss of the same man. Simon was Dylan's brother and Wade's lover; it was Dylan who introduced Simon to Wade and doing that it made of Wade an happy man and of himself a desperate one. Dylan was in love with Wade but Wade has never seen in him as nothing more than a friend. And when Wade found his happiness with Simon, Dylan was able to accept it since he loved Simon as much as he loved Wade if not more. But then Simon died in a car accident while driving with Dylan, and Dylan had not the courage to stay and see the sorrow in Wade's eyes, he dreaded the question, why did Simon die and did you not? To not loose also the best friend after losing the brother, Dylan severed any contact, loosing in this way also his family.

Years later Dylan is called back home: Wade's ranch is decaying as it's doing his owner. Without his lover by his side, and having lost also his best friend, Wade was unable to cope and let it everything go waste. Dylan knows that he can let it happen and he decides to be again Wade's best friend. But when Wade asks for more, Dylan has to understand if the man is searching a substitute for his lost lover, or if he is ready to love again.

Even if quite sad, the story is almost a sweet romance. There is more speaking of feelings than sexy scenes. The mood is definitely not light, but the story is very romantic. And there is the undisputed acceptance of Wade and Dylan's, and previously Simon's, sexuality, without trouble, with only love. There are not opponents to their love. The troubles between Wade and Dylan are of different nature, it's a question of too much unasked questions.

The strange thing is that I really think that Simon's death is the only reason why Wade and Dylan have a chance to be happy together, and it's not so obvious: Wade was really in love with Simon and I don't think he would have been the same with Dylan before. Wade and Dylan are too similar, they would have been probably shifted in an ordinary and boring life together, and sooner or later they would have split. Simon is the glue that sticks them together. With Simon, Wade had the chance to taste what is a passionate love; without Simon, Dylan had the chance to live outside the ranch. Now, both Wade than Dylan know what they want to be happy, and they know that they can have it together.

Side note: Dakota Flint paid an homage to James Buchanan, a supporting character on the novel was reading The Good Thief and was enthralled by the story.

http://samhainpublishing.com/romance/seeing-you

Amazon Kindle: Seeing You

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Eye of the Beholder (Cattle Valley 11) by Carol Lynne

The eleventh book in the Cattle Valley series is the classic example of why this is a serial, and it's almost impossible not to read it in the right order. Bo Lawson is a spin off character from another serial, Campus Cravings. He was Lark's first lover, and he had a quite important role in Lark's book, A Biker's Vow. In that book, Lark and Kade were considering to move in Cattle Valley, and Bo tagged along when they went to perusing the area. He liked the place and he decided to stay; in the very first scene in Cattle Valley he set his eyes on Rance, but in the following books there was no indication on what happened to them. In this perspective, you are not forced to read all the Campus Cravings books to enjoy this one, but maybe it would be better if you read at least that book, A Biker's Vow.

Bo is a friendly and handsome man, so friendly that he managed to stay friend with Lark even after their relationship ended and he married with a woman. Bo lived in a Canadian "free love" community, and why he married a woman it's not quite clear, since Bo's preferences are all for men. But in the community the marriage's bond it was not so important, it was almost like a roommate statement, if you are married, you share a room, nothing else. Bo's main characteristic in that story it was his HIV positive status, something he shared with Kade, and this allowed Kade to see that, even if positive, you can still have a normal life, with some precautions more, but still a life. The same acceptance Bo found in the community, he finds also in Cattle Valley, and when his story starts, he is in the middle of wooing Rance, trying to overcome Rance's barriers.

It's not Bo's HIV+ status that put a stop to their story, it's something in Rance's past; I like this taken on the story of the author, she deals with Bo's illness in a light mode, but not underestimating it; I believe that she willingly decided to not make it the turning point of the story but at the same time giving the right importance to the matter. Actually, once the reader finds out Rance's secret, compared to Bo's trouble, I had almost a reaction like, "well, is it all? And you have a problem due to that?" and since I'm quite naughty, I also anticipated the enjoyable conclusion that Bo arrives to... I don't want to give up the story, but it's all a question of right angles ;-)

Book 11 in the series is one of those books that is nice and good, without any breaking event, but nevertheless essential to the story; it serves also to know something more about Jay, the almost androgynous new Cattle Valley's character, and about Asa, the multimillionaire gay man who decided to move in Cattle Valley, but that I still haven't quite framed.

http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=476

Amazon Kindle: Cattle Valley: Eye of the Beholder

Cattle Valley Days (Cattle Valley 12) by Carol Lynne

As I have already had the chance in the past to notice, Carol Lynne can write light and almost unbelievable love story, where everything is perfect and the happily ever after is just there around the corner, and then, she suddenly comes out with a full drama, like Cattle Valley Days.

From the blurb and the beginning of the story, I was ready to read one of those wrap up books that usually an author writes when a series is going on for so long that she fears the readers could have lost the thread. These books usually are light and funny, a all come together type of story where old and new friends meet, they share happy news and are all good. In this one, Carol Lynne also gets together even the Good Boys, the characters from the Good-Time Boys series from which she span off the Cattle Valley one.

As it should be, the main characters of Cattle Valley Days are once again Nate and his partners Ryan and Rio. Nate is plunged till his head in trouble to organize the Cattle Valley Days, the rodeo weekend during which there are also sports tournaments, carnivals and a great ball on the street. For Nate this is the final test, the time he can prove to the city that he is a good mayor; only that Nate is not able to delegate, and he is taking all the decision on himself, from the big things to the smallest trouble. This reflects bad on his relationship with Ryan and Rio, for different reason: Rio was used to have Nate around him all the time, even if they have an official job as owner of the local gym, they actually spent all the time matchmaking their friends, and waiting for their Alpha man Ryan to come back home. They were like boys at play, taking all with lightness. Now Rio is all by himself and he feels lost; he also fears that he is living again the nightmare of his parents' divorce, when he was forced to choose between them: if put in front with the question if he prefers Nate or Ryan, he really doesn't know what to do.

On the other hand, Ryan at first is supporting of Nate. He knows what it means to be in charge, and he thinks to understand Nate's stress. But then the lack of Nate's availability starts to get even to him. And maybe he starts to feel like he is no more the Alpha man he was before. Nate is trying to do everything by himself, he doesn't search Ryan's counseling, and Ryan doesn't like it, he wants to be there for his man, he likes to be the mainstay of their relationship.

So on, the story was less light than I was expecting, but it was still a simple quarreling among lovers, nothing major and something they obviously can deal with. Then Carol Lynne decides to give a dramatic spin to the story, something that involves not only Nate, Ryan and Rio, but all the town of Cattle Valley. And this is like an earthquake to all the series, since, more or less, Cattle Valley till now was like the Paradise, a place where everything was perfect, where everyone knows everyone else, and where it was only a question of time to find an happily ever after for your own. Maybe after 11 books, Carol Lynne decided to give a taste of reality even to her perfect little paradise place on earth.

It was a surprising read, something unexpected. At the end of Book 11 I was waiting for Jay's story, and when Cattle Valley Days came out, truth be told, I was a bit disappointed: why Carol Lynne felt the need to write something more on an "old" trio like Nate, Rio and Ryan, when she had so many new possibilities with characters like Jay, Enrico, Asa or Mario? Now I understand that she needed to prove that, in Cattle Valley you can dream, but nevertheless, it is a place like all the others, where there are good and bad things. It's a splash of reality that gives deepness to this fictional world.

http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=515

Amazon Kindle: Cattle Valley Days

Amazon: Cattle Valley Vol 6: Eye of the Beholder / Cattle Valley Days (Volume 6)
Paperback: 258 pages
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing (August 19, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1907010963
ISBN-13: 978-1907010965

Series: Cattle Valley
1-2) Cattle Valley 1: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/211609.html
3-4) Cattle Valley 2: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/285655.html
5-6) Cattle Valley 3: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/326486.html
7-8) Cattle Valley 4: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/405427.html
9-10) Cattle Valley 5: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/528702.html
11-12) Cattle Valley 6

Reading List:

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


Cover Art by April Martinez


Cover Art by April Martinez

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