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A great historical that despite the length (more than 450 pages) was quite easy to go down, like a smooth glass of water. It's for sure less romance and more high sea adventures, and considering the pirate them, it was in a way old fashioned like the historical setting, but considering my being an aficionado of vintage things, that was a plus to me. Moreover, even if this is far from being a breeches rippers, the romance between Kit and Griffin was hot enough to satisfy also the romantic reader that is in me.

I have to admit, I'm not an huge fan of the setting, while I know it's extremely popular, especially among the UK readers, and also considering the best historical novels are about this theme; that is the reason why I was maybe a little reluctant to start this specifically novel. But it was highly recommended by different friends, so I almost "forced" myself to read it, and was I happy I do. It wasn't long that the usually boredom of reading about ships and officers and co was soon forgotten, and instead I was enthralled in understanding Kit and Griffin, their reasons, the almost rude courtship Griffin was clearly moving on Kit, and Kit not even realizing it.

My favor is of course on Griffin, cause he was more open about his desires, but it's also true that he didn't give many chances to Kit to understand loving him wasn't a so huge betraying of everything he believed as true and right. But indeed I recognize Griffin in such attitude, it's another way to destabilize Kit, and in doing so, having him fall for the trap love he is preparing.

Publisher: Etopia Press (December 12, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: On a Lee Shore



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

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I wasn’t really familiar with the two plays by Shakespeare, The Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice, and so I have never realized the similarities between the two Antonios, both of them willing to help their friends to a level that will put at risk their own lives. But these two Antonios, even if one of them is even the one giving the title to the play, The Merchant of Venice, for a reason or the other are not who most people remember, and maybe that is the reason why Gil Cole decided to give them the center role for once, and imagines they are the same person, moving from town to town and from lover to lover. The author says this is a romance, and well, like in all respectable romances there will be an happy ending only that I bet most of you will not be able to pinpoint which romance will succeed.

Antonio moves from adventures to adventures, changing faces, cities and destinies, but always remaining faithful to himself and his desires; Antonio and his story blends in a perfect way with the times and customs, and even if his story is fiction, that is not the same for the setting, that is well-developed and believable. This is an example of the best historical novel, in which the reader will have the chance to enjoy the fictional story of the characters while experimenting the real history of those times.

Antonio’s first love is Franceschino, but then he will meet Rodrigo and Bassanio, and each one of these men will mark a moment in Antonio’s life; even that is part of the love story, cause in the long life of a man not always the first love will be the forever one… unless this is a romance, and well, the author wanted to preserve at least one of the unwritten rules of romance. So yes, Antonio will have to wait, and going through a lot of perils, but there is an happily ever after waiting for him.

Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Station Editions (March 7, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937627012
ISBN-13: 978-1937627010
Amazon: Fortune's Bastard
Amazon Kindle: Fortune's Bastard

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

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At first I was not sure what to “do” with this book; the historical setting was very appealing, but this poor boy, Edmund, was always ending in a trouble, one worse than the other. Sure, more or less he was enjoying the experience, but well, for the third son of an English earl to end, more or less, on the meat market as sexual slave… but then I had like a lightning of understanding, what I was reading was like one of those feuilleton, only with a LOT of sex on it. Basically the plot was a frame to the sex, and in this context, it was a nice addition, but it wasn’t supposed to be accurate or consistent. Buccaneer Island is the retelling of the sexual adventures of Edmund, something that he is doing in his old age, adventures no one believes are real, and maybe neither Edmund, maybe he is enriching them a little.

There is even the hint of a transgender story, Edmund is so willing to please his master of the moment that he changes his looks to appear as a woman, and maybe he would have even considered a sex change (rudimental and quite dangerous). Sure, at that point the reader is questioning how much is Edmund’s sexual fantasy and how much can be considered real (I propend for the first hypothesis).

In any case, even when he is in the most dangerous situation, Edmund approached everything like he was taking a sexy escapade from reality, always sure his noble parents will rescue him sooner or later, and when that happens, well, it’s almost a bummer to Edmund, who was enjoying the freedom of the Buccaneer Island, especially the sexual freedom.

Amazon: Buccaneer Island
Amazon Kindle: Buccaneer Island
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (April 17, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602826587
ISBN-13: 978-1602826588



Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Short novella, a mix of sci-fi and futuristic romance, with a touch of steampunk, I had the feeling this was part of a bigger plot, but knowing Willa Okati, I’m not entirely sure, she is not new in building an almost complete universe, just for one short story (and that is major bonus to her).

Jazz is a an expert on explosive, and he likes them as much as the next shining thingy; Riot, Jazz’s lover, is both scientist than pilot than busboy, he is basically everything Jazz needs, in and out of bed. Together they are they own crew of pirates, a crew of two, but more than enough to strike the target and run away with the goodies, all with a big bang boom but not casualties.

Jazz likes to cross-dress, and in a world where steampunk is the last fashion, he can enjoy the satin and silk of those shining gowns, that are also very useful to hide his little tricks. And when he is back with Riot, the matching stocking to the gown, are alone enough temptation for his lover, even without the gown at all.

One book, a run, and an hot aftermath, and the story is already to the end, but as I said, Willa Okati managed to concentrate in it an entire universe, and a past and future for her characters, allowing the reader to know them with only few highlights.

Amazon Kindle: Jazz Bang Boom
Publisher: Changeling Press, LLC (November 18, 2011)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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I’m not usually a big fan of sci-fi, but I have a kink for the Sci-fi Regency sub-theme, probably a legacy of my past as Regency Romance reader. So as soon as I started this novel, I knew it was up my alley. Actually there is very little interaction between the main characters and the outside world, so the Sci-fi setting is not so overwhelming. This is basically the story of the slow seduction of pirate Valero towards captain Tristan, and Valero behaves like a real gentleman. A former military man himself, Valero is intrigued by young Tristan, who displays courage in a moment when, really, only a fool would have fought back.

Before meeting Valero, Tristan is the boy toy of a spoiled aristocrat; a valued and honorable man, Tristan felt the burden of being assigned to this task, but he is also in conflict with his body, which appreciates the chances it has to enjoy the pleasure of the flesh. Tristan hides a kinky core, something that he allows outside only through his hidden fetish for silk and lace. Tristan is a noble man but he is also a man who is able to appreciate the pleasures, in every form they arrive.

Temporarily blind and a captive of Valero, Tristan falls for Valero’s tactic: Valero understands that he will gain more with honey than vinegar, and he courtships Tristan like he would do with a prospect spouse. One thing I liked of this story is that in this futuristic society, homosexuality is no more the exception to the rule, and so no one is questioning Valero and Tristan’s relationship, if not for the fact they should be enemies and not lovers.

Probably my favorite point of the whole story is when Tristan regains his sight and he looks at Valero for the first time; it’s not that Valero is not handsome, but he is not what Tristan was expecting; Tristan fell in love for Valero’s soul, not for his body, and when he sees the other man is different from the mental imagine he had, he falters only a bit, before realizing that is not important, whatever looks Valero has, that is not what matters.

Very sweet and romantic story, not what I’m used to read in a sci-fi novel, but for me this is a bonus.

Amazon: Blind Space
Amazon Kindle: Blind Space
Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: Silver Publishing (December 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1614954607
ISBN-13: 978-1614954606



Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Steampunk is a popular genre in fantasy and I have to say that the cover artist did a fantastic job with this cover, enticing but also subtlety sexy. If I have to be sincere, I’m not a big fan of fantasy in general, but this particular subgenre, Victorian/futuristic setting, appeals to me; most of the time, like in this case, the author introduces some fantastic element (in this case an airship) maintaining the historical accuracy. Aside from flying instead of sailing, our heroes don’t have anything else of modern.

Henry is a simple hand on a luxury airship, he is no fancy officer, he comes from a poor background and learned a job that is allowing him to live but probably not to comfortably retire when it will be time. He for sure has no money to marry, even if he was incline to this option; but Henry prefers the company of men, a secret he hasn’t shared aboard, something he satisfies on the brief time he is allowed ashore. When his airship is hijacked by pirates and he lands in the hands of handsome pirate captain Volentine, he is not really happy, not until he doesn’t see that being the pet of an handsome captain can have its advantages.

Alone in the captain cabin, Henry can free his hidden desires, he can satisfy all of them, plus he can quill his sense of guilty thinking he is forced by Volentine. But actually Henry doesn’t put up much resistance, and he is soon a willing partner to Volentine.

If I have to be sincere, while Volentine plays the role of the sadistic captain, I really didn’t perceive him like that; he is quite kind and sensitive, always worrying of Henry’s needs, sometime even having them in mind before his owns. He always tries to find the solution that will bring less danger to Henry, and even when he finds Henry in a compromising situation, he is ready to believe his words, without questioning too much. To me, Volentine was everything other than ruthless, and the ending, while funny, was actually quite in line with the idea I had of this man.

http://pinkpetalbooks.com/Sky-Rat-Angelia-Sparrow.html

Amazon Kindle: Sky Rat
Publisher: Pink Petal Books (October 7, 2010)

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


Cover Art by Christine M. Griffin

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This is basically three books in one; it starts like a coming of age / young adult novel, with our teenager hero, Mayport Titus, living the boarding school where he spent most of his youth in search of adventures, or better, trying to regain power onto his late father’s business, the Titus Chocolate Company. To do so he enrols the help of his nemesis/lover of the past, Joseph Thiervy, an older boy who was in boarding school with Mayport and who was Mayport’s first love. This part of the story is really like a kid adventures, with both Mayport and Thiervy running away from their supposed tasks to try to path the way to their own future. Mayport and Thiervy also reignited their past relationship, like time wasn’t gone through. It’s not an open relationship, Thiervy more than Mayport, wants to be discreet, and while in bed he is open and welcoming, during the day he treats Mayport like he is nothing else than a business man with money with a spaceship and a captaion to hire and Thiervy is that captain.

As soon as the story is set, it becomes like a pirate’s adventures novel, with Thiervy and Mayport moving from, supposedly, Asia to Europe to America (even if the places have different names and the distances are shortened due to the use of spaceship instead of airplane). Mayport want to regain the control over his father’s company, but I think he wants also to find a place where he and Joseph can be who they want without restriction, and that it means both family expectations than society customs. This Utopia is May Port, a harbour city that is a mix of New England style and Medieval feud; in May Port the ruling officer has full authority on the city, and that means he can legislate and approve whatever law he likes, even allowing same-sex marriage…

And so here it comes the third part of the novel, that Victorian drawing-room drama suggested by the author; Mayport and Thiervy have collected relatives and friends all around the world and they are now settle in May Port, but there is still a piece missing to the puzzle… Mayport wants to marry Thiervy, but he has to find the courage to ask, and will Thiervy overcome his reluctance to public display of affection? Will society be able to accept the love between two men, if recognize by the law?

Chocolatiers of the High Winds is a long and high paced run along with Mayport and Thiervy, apparently a run to success, but actually the oldest of the quests, that for true love.

http://www.circlet.com/?p=3974

Amazon Kindle: Chocolatiers of the High Winds
Publisher: Circlet Press, INC (May 2, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading_list&view=elisa.rolle
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There is a theme in my tag list that I’m not using often, but indead it’s very popular, the “pirates”; pirates, like sheikhs, cowboys and similar dream lovers were very popular among the women who knew about the world only through the books; pirates were of course always men with a noble soul (if not a noble birth) and the perfect lover for a damsel in distress. Of course when we have two men, the balance has to change a bit, but in The Devil’s Heel the change is minimal: Rogan Brockport, nobleman and pirate on the side, is an handsome rogue and he has a quest, to conquer again Drew Hibbard, former lover who dumped him to marry a woman. And also this is not an uncommon situation, in a story that is set at the beginning of the XVIII century, it’s even a common trend.

But Drew is not exactly your typical gay romance hero who surrenders to the society laws (and not only society…): Drew’s betrayal is a reaction to an act of the same nature, he is in love with Rogan, so much that for him is impossible to share. The first impression you have of Drew, from Rogan’s point of view, is of an extremely handsome man with a mourning soul; I had the feeling he was also strong, and that Rogan had a contendant of his same strength in him; I was building a story around a battle of wills with the winner who was uncertain. But when the reader has the chance to “meet” Drew, you realize that he is a completely different man from Rogan; he is very emotional, easy to take abrupt decision, not always right decision, and more or less a man that tends to be led by other men around him. If you add to this the fact that the sexual relationship with Rogan is a mix of rough and dominant behaviour, it’s not surprise that this novella can easily be classify also a breeches ripper, and in this case you have also all the right to do that, since the breeches ripping actually takes place.

One strong point of the story is that, despite being only a novella, it ranges widely, from ballrooms to ships, from bedrooms to cabins, and it introduces also some nice supporting characters. It’s probably a story that is more suitable to the romance lovers than the real historical fiction readers, but as I said at the beginning, the pirate lover is one of the most common in the romance imaginery.

https://www.nobleromance.com/ItemDisplay.aspx?i=122

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