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

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

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

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

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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This was a rather complex, and well researched book primarily for two reasons: the setting into the trading funds world and the non-exclusive relationship. Now, it’s not the first time I read about non-monogamous couples, but usually it’s something they are doing together, and mostly involving someone else in their relationship on a pretty much steady basis. Here instead Jon is the accepting, if not willing, partner, who is always welcoming back his wandering boyfriend, Ricky. The most appalling thing is that, Ricky is not even hiding it, Jon knows that he has weekends in, when Ricky is with him, and weekends off, when Ricky does, more or less, everyone else. Hundreds and hundreds of men, without names and sometime even without a face. I really, really wanted to like Ricky, and to find some justification to his behavior, but actually, who will arrive to understand himself and his reasons, will be Jon and not Ricky, Ricky more or less will play the role of the little kid who realized how much he liked that toy when it was broken and too late to save it.

Now don’t think I didn’t like the story cause I really didn’t like Ricky, on the contrary, I loved the challenged it involved to understand Jon and his love for Ricky; in a way, I did like Ricky like someone with the Red Cross nurse syndrome would like him, wanting to save the desperate soul, believing you are the only one who could spare him from a dark future.

I’m not sure this is really the end for Ricky and Jon, Jon did grow a pair and was able to stand up to Ricky, but, as I said, I still think Ricky did it for the wrong reason, to have Jon back, and not cause he was really convinced that was the best for him. Plus I did miss the part in which Ricky tries to merge with Jon’s family and background, meeting parents and relatives, mingle with the good society he apparently is not part of. Moreover, there is still unresolved issues in Ricky’s past, basically Jon doesn’t really know him and his origins, making a relationship between them really difficult.

I’m not saying this book is missing something, already like this it was longer than usual, but I would consider if I was the author to revisit these two.

Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 30, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613724098
ISBN-13: 978-1613724095
Amazon: The Rare Event
Amazon Kindle: The Rare Event

Updates: http://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/2156728?key=011e4dd0a1ff993d8c2322e691d6229ed9bbf74b
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Red+Blue wasn’t at all what I was expecting from the first pages, actually, I didn’t like much nor Jason or Red/Ben at the beginning, and Adrian was so far that I didn’t feel him like a main character. The first two parts of the story are told in first point of view, first from Ben and then from Adrian. It’s not an alternate telling, it’s exactly the same part of the story, but first we read it “with” Ben and then Adrian will give you his side. It’s not since the “common” telling is starting that I felt the cohesion between Ben and Adrian, like in a relationship when it’s time to start a life together.

Another good point is how the author managed to have the characters adhere to their supposed age, so much that, even if there are little more than 10 years of difference between Ben and Adrian, you could say they were from different generations, above all on the perception of the potential threat represented by AIDS.

The book is pretty long, and the only fault I can find is that I wasn’t able to finish it in one day, I had, regretfully, to stop and finish it the day after: my enrapture pushed me to forget and continue reading, the very likely chance that I was to spend a night awake, and I cannot afford it at my age, forced me to stop.

Amazon: Red+blue
Amazon Kindle: Red+blue
Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 25, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613725205
ISBN-13: 978-1613725207



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

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

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

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

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I think the author put together an original ensemble of characters: Farrell, the former high school bully, is a classic example of kid who is projecting the difficult situation he has at home outside, plus he is also fighting the realization he is gay, when his family is uber-conservative and anti-homosexual; Toyo is the fat kid, the one with a very low self-esteem, the one that today, successful business man, is still looking behind his shoulder believing everyone is laughing at the “fat kid”; even Allen, Farrell’s “bad” boyfriend, is, in a way, a good character, so vain that he is almost a farce. Maybe the only complain I have is that all these characters were too “harsh”, their edges were not smudged, and in this way, sometime, they scratched my reading. Farrell’s tendency to always fall in tear, Toyo’s stubbornness to always see the worst in Farrell, Allen’s selfishness, Ty’s mother being so uncaring, all of them were on the edge, like their faults were magnified by a lens.

But I applaud to the author’s plotting skills, and even if on the edge, their characters were for sure not ordinary. I above all liked that, even without being common, these characters were not extraordinary, and please forgive me the strange contraposition: the author managed to build an original story with ordinary characters, Farrell is not some unrealistic romance hero, Toyo is not a knight in shining armor; Farrell is generous, able to great kindness towards Ty, but Farrell is also the kid who was torturing Toyo; Toyo managed to build a new future for himself, but he is not turned into a fitness model, he is still an ordinary man, struggling with maintaining the right weight, still with his self-esteem issues.

Amazon Kindle: Coming Alive With You
Publisher: Amira Press (February 8, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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This Christmas by J.M. Snyder

This Christmas is a sweet story about two college guys who are both alone for Christmas time in the campus. Despite what everyone is probably thinking, is not at all a naughty story, and Ned and Bobby are not taking advantage of the freedom of being far from their family in an almost empty college dorm. Ned is still harbouring a broken heart, his boyfriend Jake cheated on him and not in a good way, if there is any good in cheating; he did it very bad, very hurting and it’s not easy for Ned to forget. Doesn’t matter that, from a memory here and there, we can understand Jake was not really Ned’s soul mate, doesn’t matter that probably Ned is better without him, and doesn’t matter if Bobby was Ned’s high school crush way before he met Jake. When Ned meets Bobby on Christmas Eve, and Bobby lets Ned understand he would like to spend Christmas together, Ned is not ready to fulfil this dream. Luckily for Ned, fate has other idea in mind and Bobby is a very persistent guy.

As I said, this is not a story about sex, and actually between Bobby and Ned there would be no sex at all, while instead Ned remembers some past experience with Jake; it’s like the author wants to make a point, Bobby and Ned is a true romance, and they don’t need to get down and dirty to prove the reader. I liked this approach, I like the author focused more on the feelings than on the bodies.

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=54&products_id=74

Amazon Kindle: This Christmas
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (November 28, 2009)

Secret Santa by J.M. Snyder

Secret Santa is a classical office romance, with all the sweet naughtiness that usually these romances convey. Micah is Jewish and so he should not partake in the Christmas festivities, but his office organized a Secret Santa gift exchange and now he has a nice little packet on his desk. Only that inside the packet there is a box of condoms and the message is very, very naughty. In an office of few people, there are only 2 other gay men, and one is in a committed relationship, so Micah is sure the gift is from Brady. Brady is no bad as a chance, but Micah would have preferred for him to be Jonathan. Only that Jonathan is not gay, as Micah found out the very first night they hung out together, when his drunken move on him was kindly rejected, kindly but still rejected. Micah doesn’t believe in Santa, but maybe, if he is a good guy, he will have his dream comes true.

A nice and sexy short story, with a final sweet touch, Secret Santa is a good short interlude during the Christmas season.

Amazon Kindle: Secret Santa
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (December 26, 2010)

This Christmas is included in So in Love: Stories of Gay Romance. Contains the stories:
•Afflicted
•Caught Off Base
•Henry and Jim
•His Song
•Love in the Library
•Maybe
•Skaterboy
•This Christmas

Amazon: So In Love: Stories of Gay Romance
Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1449520545
ISBN-13: 978-1449520540

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

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In this short story by Jack Greene I had two confirmation: he likes pretty boys and romance. By the plot, and some of his previous story, I was sure on the first, but the romance was more a surprise.

In less than 25 pages, if you want to fit into it a good sex scene, usually the romance is a bit neglected. And so, as soon as the two met, I was there waiting to see when they would move on the dirty part of the story. Since they met in a gym, I thought the showers was a good place; but the shower scene arrived and passed without them doing nothing. Then they planned a dinner, and the two of them inside the same car was another good place, but they arrived to the restaurant and nothing happened. Then the dance club and still nothing. I finally realized the author was writing a full romantic story, with an old style courtship, and sincerely the sex was not his main target. Now don’t get me wrong, there is sex, and it’s good, but it’s the icing on the cake, not the main course.

Of the two men, the pretty boy, Kieran, yoga instructor, in all his oddity made by eyeliner and lipstick, was in a way the most classical character for a M/M romance; who instead was more original was Zach, personal trainer: usually this type of character is not famous for being smart or courteous. Zach not only is smart enough to avoid unneccessary involvement with people he works with (both customers than colleagues), but also to understand when someone important crossed his path so to do an exception. Plus Zach is sure of himself so much that he has no problem to admit that he can be attract by a man, and when he is, to act upon that attraction.

http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Bending+the+Rules/exact_match=exact

Amazon Kindle: Bending The Rules

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The Love Thing is a perfect office affair romance, the old style one with incomprehension, mistakes in judging characters and happily ever after.

Greg is a young and cute gay guy from New York. When his college boyfriend dumps him for an older and wealthier man, Greg is on a downfall mood and his friends Tommy offers him a way out: subrenting a room in a wonderful restored Victorian house in the Castro while the owner is spending the winter in Mexico. Greg has no work in New York and a father who is pressuring him to go to law school, something Greg has no intention to do, and so the other side of the country seems far enough to let the pressure go. Greg has no idea what he wants to do in the future, but he is still young enough to take a break and decide.

After a few months of mourning over the lost boyfriend, Greg is ready for looking around and the first day as temporary private assistant for a law firm seems to give him a lot of prospective: both David than Andrew, the two lawyers in his floor, are gay. But while David is friendly and smiling, Andrew is aloof and detached. Things gets worst when Greg finds out to his best girl friend that Andrew is her landowner and at the same party Tommy hooks up with Harold, Andrew’s best friend. Now everything around him seems to conjure to bring Andrew and Greg together, while Greg would way better prefer to be with David.

As it was not enough for Greg to be the hard fought bone between David and Andrew (even if Andrew plays it cold and doesn’t let anything transpire), a third man enters Greg's life, William, the owner of the house: almost fifty and very handsome, William makes pretty soon clear that also him is interested in Greg, but more like a buddy friend with benefits than a in live partner. William is gentle and caring, always with a kind word or a willing ear for Greg's trouble. William has all the wisdom of his age and he is willing to share it for free. Oh, and I almost forgot, just when Greg is trying to find his way on the love labyrinth that are David, Andrew and William, also Matthew, the treacherous ex-boyfriend from New York returns in Greg's life, ashes on the head, pleading forgiveness.

This Love Thing is like a table game, with David, Andrew, William and Matthew playing all the spectrum of possible boyfriends, and Greg who has to decide what is the best card to pick up to assure himself an happily ever after. The strange thing is that, in a way or the other, all of them are good choices, they have good and bad sides, and with all of them, Greg has almost the same share of chances to be happy. Sure some of them I would not pick up, and in the end, I restricted my choice to the two that Greg himself chose, so probably both the author and I had the same idea regarding Mr Right.

Basically Greg is a sweet guy, sweet as the cakes he starts to bake to make friends at work and ending to like doing it more than expected. Generous and kind with everyone, even with his nemesis, Wesley, he isn’t able to have bad vibes, and the author granted Wesley an happily ever after as he did with Greg.

Amazon: The Love Thing

Amazon Kindle: The Love Thing

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Rase Illion is a forthy something (maybe fifty) multimillionaire business man. He has not made his fortune, he has inherited it, but he was very good in manage and multiple the millions. A friendly ex wife, a son in college, a new trophy wife, he should be the happiest man, and instead he is living an half-life. He always had an inferiority complex with his father, he was never the son his father wanted him to be. First of all he was gay and second he liked to be dominate; when his father discovered it, in the worst way after he finished in hospital due to a too rough scene, Rase again tried to be the perfect son. He married, he had a son to perpetuate the family name, he took care of business family... for thirty years he tried and he was never good enough. Then his father died without giving to Rase the acceptance he craved, and five years later Rase is still in a limbo, not yet realizing that he finally can be what he wants.

Gabriel is a young lawyer who lost his work; he makes both ends meet as stockboy for Race's firm and he draws Race's attention when he is found with a pair of cuffs in his pocket. When Rase goes to him in search of relief, Gabriel thinks the man is like all the others, men who believes to buy him, and he unloads on Rase all his hunger. Rase takes all and ask for more; only one night with Gabriel is enough to trigger a series of events that will change Rase's life.

Rase's character is pretty good developed. We know why he acts like he does and what are the reasons for his insecurity and desperate need of love. Even if I can't relate with his need to be hurt, and badly hurt, it's probably something linked with his relationship with his father, some unanswered questions he needs to close like that. Rase is lucky to find someone like Gabriel, someone that care for him enough to hurt him physically, but not to hurt him emotionally.

Gabriel is a strange and interesting character. He is not a main hero in the story, the story is almost all about Rase. And so we have some bits of information on Gabriel, but not all his story. Why he is without work? What happened in his past? Was he really a whore, as he called himself, or was it a metaphoric expression? Why he wanders around with a pair of cuffs in the pocket?

For how much strange it can be sound, I found Uneven a really tender story. Rase is a very good man, someone easily to hurt in his feelings (it's too simple to hurt him in body, he asks for it) and Gabriel seems to understand it, and even before deciding if he wants or not a relationship with the man, he tries to be careful and not to hurt him.

The sex is good, a bit "hard", with a lot of masochism play, so maybe not for all, but as I said before, in someway it's a caring love.

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1441

Amazon: Uneven

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I'm not new to the "muscle growth" books by Rowan McBride, but everytime I'm in awe at how enthralled they made me. There is something in this play of contraposition, a big strong body that can overshadow another smaller one, but at the same time being a protection against the world... I don't know, I think it's my kink. Actually I have always loved the story where the male partner is bigger than the female one, in het romance it's easy to find, not so much in manlove. With her exaggeration of the muscle growth, and sometime the aid of paranormal events, Rowan McBride makes it possible also in man on man couple, and I drink these stories all at once.

This time the author chooses to give almost a possible explanation to the sudden change in shape of both main characters: a flu shot with some unexpected consequences. Nick is the prodigy kid in a big firm, at 27 years old he is already head of his department; Nick is also the perfect boss, sure of his value, he is not worried in share his passion for work with his colleagues, helping them in improving their work. Nick has no problem at work, but it's not the same at a personal level; I think Nick is probably shy, he doesn't see himself as a man with something to give in a relationship, he thinks that his only value lies in how good a job he can do. And so he is blind to people around him searching his attention. Like Riley, the new kid on the blog.

Riley is not much younger than Nick, only 4 years old, but the difference seems bigger since Nick doesn't allow him near than necessary. Looking at Riley, so young and innocent, it's like looking at a mirror, Riley is too similar to Nick and it scares him: if Riley is weak, so is Nick. And then Riley is Nick's subordinate, and nothing between them can happen, no matter how pretty Riley is.

Then the flu shot, and the different reaction it has on Riley, who grows bigger and confident, and Nick, who instead loses height. The small advantage Nick had on Riley, being a little bit older and a little bit taller, disappears and Riley starts to becoming more and more demanding, for attention and maybe something else. And Nick, that wasn't so sure of himself even before, is not forced to face a difficult truth: he desires Riley, and more Riley is big and strong and more Nick wants him.

Before their change in size, I think Nick liked Riley as you can like a pretty pet, but not love. Nick needed and wanted someone different, if not bigger than him in size, at least in age or social status. So maybe Greg, an older colleague to whom Nick always looked as example, could have been the right man. Riley wasn't really that man, he was younger, smaller in body, he gained less money... it's not that Nick is shallow, it's only that he needs a man he can look up to. But Nick has underestimated Riley, the young man is not so simple as he believes, and he has a plan.

I like how complex and interesting both men are, even if probably Nick has the lion share. He comes really out of the page, his little idiosyncrasies, the useless worries, how he can easily influenced by the smallest events. Nick projects an aura of self-assurance, but he is a good liar, he loves so much numbers and statistics since in them he can find that security that he lacks in life, the number doesn't lie, and they are more sure than real life.

And the there is Riley, who seems always so sure, thanks to his physical strength, but who then, in the end, is only a 24 years old guy in love. Actually he is not so different from Nick, and since Nick needs that difference to consider a partner, without the muscle growth, Riley would have never had been a chance. Again, it's not that Nick is shallow, it's a natural thing, like a selection: Nick is searching someone stronger than him to fill a void he feels, the only chance Riley has with him is to fill that void.

One Shot seems apparently an easy and light story, but I think that it's really a psychological study: Nick is so complex and detailed that I had trouble to let him go at the end of the story, I arrived to the last page not wanting to turn it since I knew I wouldn't have had anything more to read.

http://www.loose-id.com/prod-One_Shot-1023.aspx

The Rainbow Awards: First Week results: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/811346.html


Cover Art by P.L. Nunn
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Ally Blue is usually known as the Queen of Angst (Forgotten Song, Easy, but also the more recent Untamed Hearts). Here she takes a detour from her usual path and writes a funny comedy.

Thom is a pretty boy with an angelic face and a devilish behavior; long blond hair, blue eyes and lithe body hide a very strong character and dom tendency. Probably since he is tired to always been considered weak only due to his look, Thom has developed a very bad boy attitude, arriving even to be forceful with his partners.

On the other hand, Phil is a big boy with a uber tender heart. At six feet and three inches, he likes the pretty boy type, but he also like to be dominated. Nothing excite him more than a little thing that can order him around. So he is the perfect partner for Thom, if not that they are at totally opposite, not only physically but also in expectations: Phil is a flower-child type who runs a own business like a charity project... if he has enough to eat and dress, it is all right. Instead Thom is more the business man type, with the right degree and the dream to go far from where he started. Plus he had a very bad experience with a former lover, and so he is pretty skittish when it arrives to commitment.

When Thom goes to work for a company with a very bad reputation in civil rights and fair play, the relationship with Phil is at risk. But what I really like of this couple is that they manage to understand that one thing is work and another thing is love: they can disagree on the first and still be very hot and deeply involved by the other. And then the diversity in their point of view is not so huge as they think; Thom's disagreement is more a question of stubbornness, something he needs to defend to not have to admit that he is wrong. Stubbornness is maybe the worst fault of Thom.

This is exactly the case where opposite attract in a very good way: Phil's simple and quite behavior is the perfect balance for the little hell cat that is Thom. There is also a lot of sex, funny and light, but not too much to overwhelming the story: for example (little spoiler), Ally Blue decided to not completely tell us Thom and Phil's first sex encounter: she leads us till a point, with a lot of expectation, to then, like a trick, leave us suspending, and maybe drooling. But don't worry, soon after she makes amend, and Thom and Phil will experiment every possible position and place...

http://samhainpublishing.com/romance/the-happy-onion

Amazon Kindle: The Happy Onion

Amazon: The Happy Onion

Reading List:

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


Cover Art by Anne Cain
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
I haven't read all the stories in the Games People Play line by Torquere Press, but I have to say that the ones I read are really good. Like this one by C.B. Potts, about the secret fantasies of Graham: he wants to find the perfect domineering partner (who doesn't want it?), but Graham is pretty vanilla, and his fantasies are not hard core or similar. He is a bit like me, I don't mind to fantasize, but probably I would be scared if my fantasies lead to a dangerous path.

Graham is also quite lucky, he logs on a social network site where you can write your secret fantasies, and share comments with other users. When Graham writes his first fantasy, to be mastered by a strong and unknown man, he has his wish granted the same night. It's pretty obvious that Graham was immediately spotted and targeted, but as I said, he is lucky, since the mysterious man pushes him only till certain edge, without really causing him any trouble. Truth be told, Graham is not playing safe, following a stranger in dark alleys and allowing him to enter his house, all of that without even knowing his face, but still, I never felt as Graham was really in danger, this mysterious man always felt safe to me.

I like Graham, he is this mix of nerd and twink, he still has not the courage to display his real self, but he is daring enough to experiment. And when gently pushed toward the right direction, he is eager to follow. And the level of sex in the story is a bit like him: sensual but not all in display, maintaining a bit of secrecy that I like.

I often said that I'm not into too much BDSM and similar, but this novella has the right amount of it for me; some mild blindfold play, a little spanking here and there, and a bit of public display of affection, but never too much. The games remain between the two men, and I prefer the things like that; this story is right for whom likes the sex a bit naughty and kinky, but not too extreme.

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&manufacturers_id=24&products_id=1828

Reading List:

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

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