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Even if it's probably unbelievable, it was more than 10 years I haven't read a full novel written in Italian. So it was quite strange at first, I have often told to an Italian friend of mine how I'm not able to read erotic details in Italian while I have less trouble to read them in English. But aside from the sex, that indeed was nice but not really graphic in details, what pushed me to finish Mascarado was the romance between Iacopo and Matteo, both so cute and apparently unaware of that, and yes, that is like honey for bees.

Even if Iacopo was living a lie, he was basically honest and indeed strong enough to put himself in front of a choice that was easy to take at that point. Matteo maybe had displayed more courage when they were young, not denying his homosexuality, but he was also the one who didn't take the chance to drag Iacopo out of the closet, like maybe Iacopo was secretly hoping.

Mascarado has the whole spectrum of the LGBT community, the flaming queen, the drag queens, the bisexual man, the fruit flies, the closeted case, and so on. It's a mix of realism and romanticism, not full pink glasses perspective, but neither a drama about being gay in Italy: it's not easy, but that doesn't mean you cannot find your happily ever after.

First novel I read by this author, and if it's, as I believe, the first long story by them, then it's a very nice debut.

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Kindle: Mascarado

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The book was really short, maybe in a way even too short. The plot was nice and catching right from the beginning, high school student new in town from an loving and adjusted family meets the school paria, the anorexic, self-imposed mute kid who everyone avoids. Jayden is a romantic at heart, believing in true and forever love, but he is in a way more immature than Liam, above all from an emotional point of view: he doesn't understand that what he feels for Liam is love, and that is funny, cause his parents not only understand it, but are also so good people that aren't against those feelings. Liam too probably understand that he is in love, but he also understand his troubled past can harm Jayden.

As I said, I loved the plot, above all cause, while dramatic, I never felt as it was impossible for these boys to find happiness, probably thank to Jayden's parents who were really perfect. And maybe that was another common feeling throughtout all the book, everything moved really fast and sometime usually overwhelming obstacles were in this case almost null. Instead of a whole story it felt like an appetizer, and I strongly suggest to the author to cultivate these two boys, not only giving them more time together after these current events (college perhaps?) but also maybe revisiting this story and make it a little longer.

And, by the way, catching cover too.

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Kindle: Secrets and Demons

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Not sure why this story pickedd my interest, it was probably the description of "Guy", the bartender who basically rescues and beds Jimmy without revealing much of himself, if not he is for sure a better guy that the manys Jimmy met before.

Guy seems to not ask much and instead gives a lot. He is safe and strong without being domineering, he is kind and gentle without losing masculinity, he is, in one word, my dream man. And apparently also Jimmy's dream.

If I have to find an irk with the story is that, for how much money Guy's family may have accumulated in the years, I don't think it's likely Guy may afford a Ferrari, that even second-hand, I think it's a more than 300.000 $ car. Sure Guy's character is well-established, with his own property, but he is in any case a local shop owner, a Ferrary was out of character.

Said that, I loved Guy (without the Ferrari :-) ) and he is the main reason why this novel was so good. And by the way, I understood which was Guy's real name way before Jimmy, probably at the first hint Guy gave him, and it was funny to see how instead Jimmy was without a clue.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (January 21, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: What's in a Name?

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

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

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

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

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One day I was browsing the Internet for nothing in particular and I saw a picture of two male seahorses carrying their babies (not big in bioligy, but from what I understand, female seahorses lie the eggs and male seahorses carry the babies in their pouches until their are ready to leave the "nest"). I thought, this would be a good plot bunny and they I thought, impossible no one has already written it and with a short internet search I found two titles The Shark Who Rode a Seahorse & The Seahorse Who Loved the Wrong Lynx.

The first one is more traditional (if traditional can be used in a paranormal shapeshifter story...) and it is about a shapeshifter shark falling for a shapeshifter seahorse. Of course Byron and Skylar, the human version of them, are reflecting their shifted forms, and Byron is all domineering towards the cute and shy Skylar. Indeed, Byron and Skylar know each other, but Byron is trying to avoid Skylar as much as possible, not trusting himself near the fragile man. But of course, as soon as Skylar needs protection, Byron will be there ready to claim his mate.

It's a cute story and most of the focus is on the expected outcome, Skylar will get pregnant with Byron, and he will carry one little shark and one little seahorse. Maybe the nice twist is that, the baby shark will inherit his seahorse father attitude, and instead the baby seahorse will take upon his shark father, becoming in the end a spoiled brat young man, who will star in the second book, The Seahorse Who Loved the Wrong Lynx.

The second pair, seahorse Layton and lynx Preston is maybe more "strange" than expected, and in a way, it's odd to think two really different creature, one from the water, the other from the ground, can not only mix, but having babies together. But that is indeed a futile reasoning, this is paranormal fiction and everything is possible.

Layton and Preston's story is more comedy than that of Layton's parents; from Layton's bratty behavior to him getting knocked up the first time he had sex cause he wasn't considering the option.

Anyway, these two stories filled my impromptu thought of a story involving a shapeshifter seahorse and male pregnancy.

The Shark Who Rode a Seahorse
Series: Mate Or Meal
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc. (May 11, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162241022X
ISBN-13: 978-1622410224
Amazon: The Shark Who Rode a Seahorse
Amazon Kindle: The Shark Who Rode a Seahorse

The Seahorse Who Loved the Wrong Lynx
Series: Mate Or Meal, Siren Publishing Classic Manlove
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc. (June 20, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1622411900
ISBN-13: 978-1622411900
Amazon: The Seahorse Who Loved the Wrong Lynx
Amazon Kindle: The Seahorse Who Loved the Wrong Lynx

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

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I have to admit that, considering this is not the first time I read a novel with superheroes and villains all living together in a somewhere in the future city not so distant from our own universe, I'm starting to feel like I'm missing a big piece of cultural background... is this scenario part of some literary universe? is it a sci-fi subgenre or maybe a classical fiction I'm not aware of?

In any case, in this novel, Alex Gabriel approaches the usually light tone with even an heavier push on the hilarious button, and, while dealing with villains trying to conquer the world, instead of being scared, it seems like the mere civilians were amused. I think that no alive being was affected, and only some building took the brush of the villains' actions.

And indeed Pat, one of our heroes, is the son of a villain (female), and his three sisters are as well. Pat is not cut for the villain life, and he prefers to be an architectural student, while working part-time as house manager of a superhero, Nicholas. But Pat is a night house manager and interacts with Nicholas through an AI which is managing the whole house, so they never met, until the night Nicholas asks for a rent boy, and Pat, who didn't understand the request, reply by person... and well, you can imagine what happens next.

The story is a mix of naughty and funny; but even when dealing with sex, while explicit, the author always maintains the humor sublayer, so that, the whole experience of reading this story is a light one, nice, funny, comfortable, happy.

Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Alex Gabriel Books; 1 edition (December 22, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1505695988
ISBN-13: 978-1505695984
Amazon: Love for the Cold-Blooded: Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion's Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero
Amazon Kindle: Love for the Cold-Blooded: Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion's Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero

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

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This is only a novella, and if I have to find a flaw, it felt a little rushed in the end, like the author was forced on a specific length. But aside from that, I really enjoyed it, above all for the realistic devolopment of Luke's approach to a relationship with a disabled boyfriend, Alex. At first Luke was pushed towards the relationship by his attraction, both physical than mental, for Alex: Alex is clever, cute, sexy, and the fact he is in a wheelchair doesn't seem a big issue. But when the relationship develops in something serious, Luke has to consider the logistic of living with a disabled man, what he will have and what he will give up; the fact the author didn't downplay this side of the story was the main point why I recommend this novella.

This is the second story I read by Eli Easton featuring a relationship with a disabled person, the other being the Mating of Michael, and in both stories I felt there was respect for the characters, not pity. It's likely the author is experienced with this situation or that she did a good job in her prep researches for the story.

Also, and this add to not pitying Alex, even the kink aspect of the sex life between Alex and Luke contributed in my liking the story and, yes, feeling like the author had respect for Alex, not pity.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Puzzle Me This

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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I was curious about this novel due to the particularity of the main character, that if you want to define in a simplicistic way, is an hermaphrodite. To be more specific, Lindsey was diagnosed with the Klinefelter's syndrome, that means he has one extra X chromosome: male have XY chromosomes, female XX chromosomes; a human with XXY, having the Y chromosome is considered a male, but genetically he is both male and female.

In the novel Lindsey has a very feminine look, but his behaviour is totally male, so much that he is brave and bossy, even with Hank, the former high school quarterback who was his juvenile crush. That didn't end well, so bad indeed that Hank is on the verge of suicide; his high school girlfriend, well aware of who is Hank's real love interest, pushes him to go and look for Lindsey, who is now performing as a drag queen in a local night club.

Hank was a real surprise, I started the novel fully expecting to be enthralled by Lindsey and eventually my favorite was Hank. He was a mix of fury inside a fluffy ball, a power that unleashes only if the ones he loves are in danger.

The story flows smooth and basically without bumps, and to my taste maybe a little too fast: I was enjoying both Hank than Lindsey's characters so much that I would have liked to stay with them for a little longer. All the interactions with both parents are very quick, and I think there is space for at least another novel, or maybe a "coming back together" novella.

Publisher: Loose Id LLC (September 23, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: No Tea, No Shade

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

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

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

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

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

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Jasper Swinton and Brian Stark are among my favorite couples, cause, well, Jasper is so unlikable that you cannot avoid to love him. Jasper is really an unpleasant man, bad not for wanting but cause he is so insensitive he doesn't realize when he is hurting people. In this second enstalment, the author has already explained who Jasper is and so he doesn't really do any arm, but maybe it's also due to the good influence of Brian, who is basically the opposite of Jasper, a good man with a great heart and a sensitive soul.

The story centers around a prank war between the two of them, trying to outdo each other. They are clever but innocent pranks, and in the middle of them, Jasper and Brian enjoy a lot of sex and good friends. There is a moment of climax, no pun intended, just a touch of drama, but truth be told, I didn't need it much, to me the story as it was had already satisfied my needs.

One complaint? Barney the cat wasn't so much on the stage as I would have loved too, he is a kitten, still in that moment in life when he is totally cute cause there is no second intent in his actions.

Publisher: Manifold Press (March 30, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: This Means War (Above All Book 2)

Series: Above All Book
1) Above All
2) This Means War

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Ok, I have a kink (only one I swear)... pairing between a tall man and a shorter partner. And if the tall man arrives with a kind streak, a gentle soul, well, you got me. So when I read the blurb of Canning the Center, I was totally sold to 6 feet 7 inches Jamal and his love at first sight for drag queen Trixie aka Trevor. But once I started reading, I also fell with in love with Trevor, mathematician genius who feels his love for cross-dressing is a shame, something he has to hide from his publica persona, that he will never find a man who is able to love Trixie knowing Trevor is behind the makeup. And instead Jamal was never once deceived, when he sees Trixie perform, he knows there is a man behind, and he loves both Trixie and Trevor, cause there is no Trixie without Trevor, and viceversa.

The story maybe is a little too much good feelings, knowing how bad the world could be, a family like the one Jamal has is a dream to me, but I really, really hope there are people like them, and that for 10 kids who are kicked out of home for being gay, there is at least 1 family who will cherish their son or daughter; and maybe, in time, the proportion will shift more and more and we will arrive to a time when the rejection will be the exception, or even better, a crime against law.

Anyway, Trevor and Jamal play my kink to perfection, Jamal is, like Trevor said, a big bunny, cause even a teddy bear is too hard a word to describe the tenderness he is able to display toward Trevor. And even if Jamal may take wrong decisions sometime, it's indeed a proof that he is still at the edge between youth and adult, still needing the guidance of his parents' wise words.

Really enjoyed this story, it warms your heart.

Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 17, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 163216261X
ISBN-13: 978-1632162618
Amazon: Canning the Center (The Long Pass Chronicles)
Amazon Kindle: Canning the Center (The Long Pass Chronicles)

Series: The Long Pass Chronicles
1) Outing the Quarterback
2) Canning the Center

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The type of novel I found reading Acrobat isn't what I was expecting. From the cover, from the blurb, I was expecting a lot more drama, more angst, and instead, even when the story turns into a little bit of drama, it was always with a romantic/comedy tune that has never had me worried about the main characters.

Nate is a 45 years old English lit college professor, gay with a 27 years old son he had with his best girl friend from high school, best girl friend who is still a huge part of his life. While Nate doesn't value himself a lot, he is not a reclusive gay man pining for love, he has actually a string of former boyfriends, all of them potential Mr Right material, but none of them the Mr Right for him. Two of them, the last, former boyfriend, Duncan, a police detective, and the papable next one, Sean, a surgeon, are still in the picture, when hunky neighbor Andreo enters the frame too.

Nate, missing the father role now that his own son has gone to make his own independent life, has became a father figure for Michael, the teenager next door under the care of his young uncle, Dreo, 28 years old. Apparently Nate has never cared much for Dreo, but cares a lot for Michael. But one day, Dreo makes it clear that he is very much interested in Nate, and that he wants him to become a permanent asset in the family he makes with his nephew Michael.

Now while Dreo is indeed a imponent figure, compensating the age gap with his dominant attitude, I found a little strange that Nate was complaining he wasn't right for a relationship with 32 years old Sean, 5 years older than his own son, and then he basically doesn't make a flitch in being in a relationship with 28 years old Dreo, only 1 year older than his son. But sincerely, cute Nate, cause Nate, even if 35 years old is very much cute, was such a funny character that I didn't care much about the incongruence. Nate is like a women magnet, but not for sexual reasons, but as your best gay friend. Do you rememeber that movie with Julia Roberts and Rupert Everett? yes, Nate is like Rupert, perfect in every aspect, just not for a woman. But he is a perfect boyfriend for Dreo, a perfect father for Jared and now Michael, a perfect son in law for Dreo's parents, a perfect friend, a perfect colleague, a perfect teacher... Perfect! and while being so perfect may be boring, the author managed I don't know how to not let that happens, and indeed I loved Nate.

Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613725000
ISBN-13: 978-1613725009
Amazon: Acrobat
Amazon Kindle: Acrobat

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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

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I wanted to read a May/December romance, and truth be told, the age gap between Eli and Quinn isn't so huge to make it a truly May/December (23 yo Eli, 35 yo Quinn), but it was enough to tinge the story with that flavor.

Quinn was in a relationship with Peter, and since Quinn was basically without family, while instead Peter had a tight knit one, Peter's family became Quinn's one. Only that Peter, a firefighter, and I think also being a Catholic was a component of it, was basically in the closet. Even with his family, it was like the pink Elephant in the glass shop: everyone knew but no one commented. Then Peter decides he is not gay and moves to get pregnant a woman and marries her. Peter's family nevertheless continues to include Quinn in their family meetings and Quinn decides he needs a cover, an hot boyfriend who will let them know he is over Peter. Eli fits the bill.

I really like the interaction between Eli and Quinn, and I loved both characters: Quinn so strong in body but a gentle and kind soul, Eli a little firecracker, all energy but suddenly like a kitten in need of warm and milk... only to be back to his full energy outburst the moment after.

If I have to find a fault, is that the story wasn't so long and I wouldn't mind to read more about Eli and Quinn as a real couple, facing the obstacles of living together, matching their different backgrounds and having that works out.

Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (November 6, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609288122
ISBN-13: 978-1609288129
Amazon: Bad Boyfriend (Bad in Baltimore)
Amazon Kindle: Bad Boyfriend (Bad in Baltimore)

Series: Bad in Baltimore
1) Bad Company
2) Bad Boyfriend

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

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I have always been more an historical or contemporary kind of reader, but sometime I don't mind a paranormal here or there; true, I'm not really a fan of the big paranormal novel, special effects and all, I prefer ordinary story, and so a novel about house cat shifters was up my alley. Trouble Comes in Threes is about Dolf and Tal, a black and white domestic cats who are already mated to each other, but their Goddess decides to give them another mate, a human, that is, more or less, in the middle between them: Dolf is an Alpha male, the future leader of their clowder, Tal is an Omega male, gentle and kind, and sometime he is not able to meet Dolf's needs of dominance; at the same time, Tal is also a male, and so he has needs Dolf, a full dominant, isn't able to fullfill.

It was nice to see the three of them interact; Kirk, the human mate, was indeed perfect, a mix of strenghtness in body and gentleness in soul, a flavor for kinky that can match Dolf's desires, but also a willingness to submit, that makes him the perfect companion for someone like Tal, who isn't Dominant at all, but needs to dominate sometime; a stronger man wouldn't do, cause Tal needs to feel like he can be the leader sometime.

It wasn't a complex plot, and in a way, I enjoyed more when the plot was even more simple, just the three of them in the remote cabin of Kirk, but even when they joined Tal and Dolf's clowder, the mood was mostly homemade. As I said, I prefer a paranormal novel which is more ordinary than extraordinary, and so this one was fitting my needs.

Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 29, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632165503
ISBN-13: 978-1632165503
Amazon: Trouble Comes in Threes
Amazon Kindle: Trouble Comes in Threes

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I think I remember the author posting about the search about the sex surrogate they were doing for this book, or maybe it was about a documentary on the Italian television about a Swiss clinic offering this type of service, in any case, at the time I thought it had to be difficult for the one providing the service to not become emotionally attached to their patients, and indeed, the character of Michael starts his path from the principle he is a very caring person, someone who feels obliged to take care not only with expert and trained hands, but also with an emotional push that, in certain case, can be dangerous cause it borders towards love.

I liked the decision of the author to not have James being one of Michael's patients. James is disabled, on a wheelchair after a bad case of polio when he was still a child, but he has found his own path in the world, albeith a lonely one. James is single, and gay, but he has never had a serious relationship in his life, to the level he is a virgin to sex, if not to feelings. When Michael expresses his interest in James, James is not able to understand how a good looking boy like Michael can be interested in an average man like James. Probably Michael's work allows him to see beyond James's disability, not denying the fact that, in ordinary circumstances, another guy would have taken into consideration the trouble of being in a relationship with James, but to Michael makes no difference. Never once he weighted the odds with the goods, for Michael it was always plain good.

Despite the matter, this novel was always more romance than drama, it was sweet, sexy and very romantic, a joy to read.

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 30, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632160153
ISBN-13: 978-1632160157
Amazon: The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle Book 3)
Amazon Kindle: The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle Book 3)



More Rainbow Awards at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, Rainbow Awards/2014
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I loved Kevin and Cedric's story probably for the same reason someone didn't: it was over the top, it wasn't everyday ordinary life and it was very much like a Cinderfella fairy tale. I haven't read all the books by this author, actually I think I read only one, her first novel, and this one, but both stories dealt with the high life not many of us have the chance to experiment.

True, in Disasterology 101 Kevin is a construction worker, divorced and with three kids, struggling to reach end of the month with only his salary, but on the other end Cedric is so rich one can only start to imagine it. To compensate his lack of money, and to not make the relationship unbalanced, Kevin is indeed the perfect man, attentive, caring, loving, exactly the one who will be able to understand Cedric's needs.

Cedric has a badly case of OCD, and he will never be 100% well, but with the right man beside him, he can have some sort of stability and Kevin is the one who can give him that. Always talking of balancing the characters, I liked that the author didn't make a whimpering queen out of Cedric; it would be easy, giving his psicological weakness, to translate it in physical weakness as well, to have him someone who needed also the body strenght of Kevin other than his psicological support. But Cedric is a strong man, if not for his OCD, he would be probably the one in charge in the relationship, and with his extreme wealth, that wasn't a good recipe for happiness with Kevin. Like this, Kevin and Cedric match, Kevin's stability helps Cedric's OCD, Cedric's strenght, and yes, domineering attitude in bed, matches Kevin's inexperience in gay relationship.

I was also quite invested in supporting characters, would love to read a story about Evan.

Paperback: 398 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (July 17, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608208818
ISBN-13: 978-1608208814
Amazon: Disasterology 101
Amazon Kindle: Disasterology 101



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There was something in this book that was "unappealing" and yet somehow "addictive", it was like my mind was saying "hey, do you really like it?" and an inner voice was replying, "yes, I like it, and so what?" and it pushed me to continue reading it.

The theme, prim and proper business man meets rent boy, fall in love and rescue him from the hell is basic and common, something I like indeed, but not something that would cause my addiction to this book; it was more the character of Michael, the business man who isn't actually a business man but a content editor, averagely wealthy, from a trust fund more than from his chosen profession, with a wife and kids at home, maybe the wife isn't really warm to him, but she isn't neither a monster, just probably they aren't in love anymore, if they were ever. Michael searches for that comfort he isn't finding at home in the arms of James, a rent boy who isn't really the good-hearted whore of so many movies and books, but just an average boy from the ghetto, with some trouble and no chance to go out his private hell if someone doesn't help him. At one point, Michael rightly tells James they will never be equal from a social status point of view, not cause James is stupid or not worthy, but simply cause Michael had a born advantage that James didn't have.

Anyway the story is sometime passionate, sometime gritty, sometime even too explic, dark and brooding, and, truth be told, never once light. This wan't a fluffy romance at all, but, as I said, it was somehow addictive.

Paperback: 142 pages
Publisher: Lyonnesse Books (October 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1481151711
ISBN-13: 978-1481151719
Amazon: Something Different
Amazon Kindle: Something Different

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Maybe I'm full of of plots and stories that almost nothing seems to spark my level of interest, but that is not the case with Above All. Even if I was very busy, and sincerely I didn't have many time, these two men and their story was always there, in the back of my mind, asking me to continue reading and knowing what was their happy ending. Cause Above All is a romance, almost sweet sometime, not really about the sex, more about the romance.

Truth be told, while Brian, with his troubled past but clearly good heart is for sure a romantic hero, Jasper for sure isn't; Jasper is actually mean with most people, friends included, and without realizing it, he is mean also with Brian, whom sincerely doesn't need it, on the contrary, he needs to be taken care, to be nurtered, and yes, even pampered a bit.

Sure, Jasper's bad behaviour isn't specifically towards Brian, Jasper is Jasper, he is bad with everyone; it seems Jasper likes to plot vendetta plans, and to realize them. Even if, most of the time, Jasper is the one on the wrong side. And instead Brian, who will have all the rights to plan vendetta, is the first to be willing to forgive, to give without asking, even when he has nothing basically to give.

Anyway, I loved this story, from the main characters, to the supporting, to Barney the cat... everyone was perfect.

Publisher: Manifold Press (May 3, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Above All

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The reason why I was struggling a little with this novel, is also highlighted by the author in the terminal notes: this is the story of Dylan, trying to surviving the tragedy of having his first boyfriend commit suicide in their teenage years to break free from an abusive father. The author not only decided to let us "meet" Shane, a good part of the novel is set around the time when Dylan and Shane, childhood friends, admit their love for each other, but also give Shane voice, he is the one telling us part of his story right up to the moment when he takes his dramatic step. Reading and listening to him, knowing what he will do, his heartbreaking, and I usually struggle with a story if I don't see a light at the horizon.

The light was Conner, a goodhearted hunk of a man, a former wrestler who is now managing a gym; gay and without no desire to hide it, he is the one who asks Dylan more than a one night stand, he doesn't wan't sex, he wants love, and Dylan has buried his willingness to love with Shane. Coming out from that dark place is not easy, but it seems that Conner is worth the fight.

This was a new author to me, but I really appreciated the romance, from what I understood, the author writes both heterosexual than gay romance, and that is what I'm saying, it's not that the previous books in the series are het and this one is gay, like they are separate things, the whole series is about romance, beyond the gender.

Paperback: 406 pages
Publisher: Optional (July 6, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0991054288
ISBN-13: 978-0991054282
Amazon: Let Love Live (The Love Series 5)
Amazon Kindle: Let Love Live (The Love Series 5)

Series: The Love Series
1) Let Love In
2) Let Love Stay
3) Let Love Heal
3.5) Let Love Shine
4) Let Love Be
5) Let Love Live

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Second Change Sam won a Rainbow Award as Best Erotic Romance, and indeed the erotic side of the novel has a lion share on the whole, but it's not all. The character of Tristan, a young man with an abusive recent past who is scared the sin of the father will loom upon the son, was quite nice; moreover, the toppy attitude, so clear since he was 6 years old, paired with a bottom preference was cute as well. The mix of drama and cute was strange but well melted in an unique layer. His boyfriend Cory, the silent but strong type, not an hero but an ordinary guy with a tendency to be the protector without any dominant side, was again, original and complex. For both of them, I like the idea they fell in love at 6 years old, already so clear in their mind they liked boys and not girls, so natural and not forced. Cory's mother didn't oppose to his budding sexuality, and so Cory grew up gay and comfortable with that; an utopia most of the time, but not something unheard of.

The plot concentrated on Cory and Tristan as college student, with only the prologue showing how they met in first grade; what happened in between is only told in flashback, but I think there was material there for a whole book; in a way, Second Chance Sam seemed like a second book in a series, good and standalone, but the "other" book seemed good as well.

Another original character was Sam, probably one of the very true bisexual characters I met in a Gay Romance; Sam is a good man, big heart on a big body, clever even if not of the "college" breed from where both Cory and Tristan come from. But that is not a derogative trait for him, Sam has his own business, true, he works with his hands more than his mind, but nevertheless, he is a professional, and above all, someone who loves his work.

Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC (November 16, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623005728
ISBN-13: 978-1623005726
Amazon: Second Chance Sam
Amazon Kindle: Second Chance Sam



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Even if dealing with fairies and demons, The Care and Feeding of Sex Demons wasn't a typical paranormal romance, but a classic urban fantasy: the "menages" between human Cy, fae Patrick and sex demon August was a whirlwind of events, sometime so crazy packed that was almost difficult to understand what was happening; an example? when Cy is "feeding" August, for what I know of sex demon, that means they are having sex, but I had to read two times that scene and still am not sure they were having sex... it was more an impression that a detailed description, so if you are expecting to buy this novel for the hot sex... well maybe you have to change your expectation. But if you are searching for a crazy urban fantasy, with IKEA and McDonalds throw in the middle of it, humor and satira, well, then, this is your book.

I'm pretty sure this is part of a series, and indeed the whole book was like "viewing" an episode of a modern television fiction, those snarcky, but clever series that are the hit of the moment. I'm not really a fan of fantasy, or urban fantasy, but I'm a fan of complex characters, and all three of them, Cy, Patrick and August are the best example of multilayered characters.

Publisher: Loose Id LLC (January 13, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: The Care and Feeding of Sex Demons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This was a really sweet romance, with just that touch of kinky to make it sexy: Nicholas Goring, the butterfly hunter earling, may have, most of the time, his head on a cloud, but when he manage to tack down Dave, then he becomes like a little tiger, tenacious and hungry, overwhelming Dave with his desire.

There was an hint of bittersweet in the story, something related to Nicholas's "condition", the son of an earl, when his family butler agrees with Dave the contract terms, he also asks him to take care of Nicholas, like he is a precious thing. And indeed he is, Nicholas, precious, and fragile, but as I said, he unveals hidden strengths, that maybe aren't useful in real life, but that make him intriguing, also to the eyes of otherwise straight Dave.

Truth be told, I don't believe Dave is straight; he fell in love with Denise when he was 5 years old, and just by chance, Denise is a strong woman, way stronger than Dave. I have the feeling that, if Dave was approached by a boy and not a girl, he would have fell in love with the boy too. Dave needs a leading hand, not in real life, but for his emotional path: what a strange combination, a guide who needs to be driven.

Julie Bozza puts together an unlikely pair, but right for that, it was endearing to read how they fell in love, and the ending was almost fairy tale.

Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: Manifold Press (November 12, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1908312963
ISBN-13: 978-1908312969
Amazon: Butterfly Hunter
Amazon Kindle: Butterfly Hunter

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A really nice and sweet&sexy romance, a delightful surprise cause I was maybe expecting the usually hot firefighter plot, with the ordinary man falling for the unattainable hunky man, but that is not what you get with this story. Braden, while open with his desires and able to express them without hesitation, is not a simply one nightstand; yes, he has never had an important relationship in his life, but cause he hasn't really found the right person. Wes may be that right person but he has to give Braden a chance.

Braden comes from a supporting and big family, he has a lot of love to share and more important, he knows what responsability means; not that he wants to be with Wes out of duty, but he is not one to step back when the chance of something important comes to the horizon. Wes has commitment issues, probably due to his past, both family than love. Everyone he has loved left him, willingly or not. And now for him it is difficulty to accept that Braden, whom he met for a one night stand, is there to stay. Moving him from casual to permanent is a huge step, but once taken, it is not possible to back down.

Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 25, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1499147449
ISBN-13: 978-1499147445
Amazon: Stay (Blackcreek 2)
Amazon Kindle: Stay (Blackcreek 2)

Series: Blackcreek
1) Collide: reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3977019.html
2) Stay

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And now for something completely different... but only on the surface: truth, steampunk novels maybe be a novelty for the readers of Amy Lane, but even if the setting is fantasy, and the time is a tale, the troubled heroes are always there, the struggling to achieve an inner happiness when everything outside is crushing is there, the subtle humor that makes you smile even amidst the drama is again always there.

The author recreates a world that is a mix of pre-industrial era, when machines didn't rule the world, and yet, machines are already part of her fantasy world, but they aren't "moving" the world; if anything else, they are making it worse, used in the wrong way but powerful men... the irony of today critique moved in a fantasy world. Technology should help people, not destroy them.

The pain of the post-war heroes like Dorjan and Areau is that of a today soldier having to deal with the reality he killed civilians instead of enemies. How many today boys, just out teenagedhood, join the army with big ideas of doing the right thing and come back with nightmares that will never leave them, it they come back at all. A common theme in Amy Lane's works, so much that I did wonder how much near home she is hitting. Anyway, nothing was fantasy in Dorjan and Areau's pain, and Taern is the only medicine Dorjan's broken soul needs. It's not only about sex, even if that will be part of it, like one of the prescriptions, it was more about closeness, and filling the emptiness.

It wasn't a "comfort" read, and so it's not the ending, if you will arrive to care for all the characters, even the apparently "bad" ones, you will hurt a little in the end; in a romance all the good ones are happily living after, but well, that will not be in this story. Nevertheless, you will know they did the right thing, and that is what make them heroes.

Paperback: 340 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 21, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162380244X
ISBN-13: 978-1623802448
Amazon: Under the Rushes
Amazon Kindle: Under the Rushes



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Reading one of these anthologies is like going to a party, some people you know, some you don't, and maybe you will make some friends you will gain for the future. Of course you pick the book cause you know you will like the stories of the authors you know (Shane Allison, J.M. Snyder, Eric Del Carlo, Gregory L. Norris, Jay Starre, Dale Lazarov, Max Vos) but then it will be nice to be surprise to like very much some of the new ones (Lee Hitt, Tony Haynes, Landon Dixon, Boot LS, K. Lynn, Calvin Gimpelevich, Huck Pilgrim, David Holly, Dilo Keith, Dominic Santi, Thomas Fuchs, Dan Cavanagh).

The whole spectrum covers the "classical" themes of an erotica anthology: the blue collar worker, the college boy, the best friend's dad, the new neighboor, ... and all the stories are quick like a trick, that, indeed, is the right purpose of an erotica anthology, you can read these stories all at once, or just one, like a quick fix or a cigarette after sex. True, if you talk to my romantic side, I will say that my favorites are My Best Friend's Dad (that believe me, isn't as "usual" as you can think) and A Walk in the Park, cause there was romance other than erotica, but that was like finding a chocolate chip in a plain muffin, unexpected and nice, even if it wasn't in the menu.

Said that, the sex was good in all stories, and that is from a reader that usually don't care of sex if it is not good.

Series: Best Gay Erotica
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press (January 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1627780017
ISBN-13: 978-1627780018
Amazon: Best Gay Erotica 2014
Amazon Kindle: Best Gay Erotica 2014

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Starting from the assumption that I liked this romance, and that I'd recommend it to my friends, I want to let it out from the beginning the only nagging feeling I had while reading it: the two men in the story are bisexual, and they really wanted to let the reader know it, cause they more than once said it, highlighting how people don't understand the concept of bisexuality, how everyone believes that or you are homosexual or you are heterosexual; now maybe I'm familiar with the Kinsey scale and I didn't feel necessary to affirming it so many time, but truth be told, I also understand the author that probably faced more than once this sort of ghetto for bisexuals, like they are in a limbo people don't recognize.

Anyway, the concept of the story is that Ty and Landon fell in love probably at first sight, but to avoid problematic confrontations with family and friends, they decided it was only a best friendship; they visit each other (one living in Austin, the other in Houston), they watch sport, they crash at each other place when necessary. And meeting after meeting the tension build like a mountain until the night it crashes down, overwhelming both men.

The author hasn't the pink glasses on, and she well know it is not easy for both of them, especially for Ty whose uber-conservative deep bible-belt family will not understand his love for Landon. So after sex, there will be the moment to let the heat cool down and the brain taking some decisions. It will hurt some, it will make happy some other. The eroticism is well balanced with the emotional involvement, tipping the story more towards erotic romance than erotica, even if the sex side of the story is an important and catalyst event.

Publisher: Carina Press (July 29, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Waiting for Ty (Lovers and Friends Book 2)

Series: Lovers and Friends
1) Sharing Hailey
2) Waiting for Ty

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VIncent Meis is not known to write linear stories, actually at the third experience with one of his stories, my feeling is that if there is a common trend is that he tends to have quite a complex storyline paired with complex and full-dimension characters. As the story isn't simple, so are the characters, who tend to avoid being tagged as gay or straight or bisexual, they are all and nothing, living in the limbo of sexuality.

The description of the Cuban culture and setting is vivid and alive as I imagine to be the real deal: I was never in Cuba, but I have the feeling it's a mix of color, hot and shadows, a feeling that was confirmed reading this novel. The passion of the author for the setting, and I suppose the country, is clear in every page and character, so much that, even if I don't approve some of their behaviour, I nevertheless had the impression it was a more than possible development. And even if I didn't like some of their actions, they were in any case taken out of passion, love or maybe just desire, in a case or the other, something real and deep.

It wasn't an easy read, something that, again, I experimented with this author. I don't exclude that is due to my not being a native English speaker, but that doesn't mean I cannot appreciate the story, and above all, its protagonists.

Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher: Fallen Bros. Press (May 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615812201
ISBN-13: 978-0615812205
Amazon: Down in Cuba
Amazon Kindle: Down in Cuba



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There is one thing to be said for sure about this series, and yes, I'm saying it with a positive meaning, it's totally freed of heavyness; once you start one book, you are more likely able to finish it in one gulp, it goes down smoothly and easily.

Each story has a strong point, and this time is the contraposition between Alpha and Gamma roles in the pack hierarchy moved to a relationship: in the Dark Hollow Wolf Pack homosexuality isn't something frowned upon, but a relationship between two wolf, that is something unheard of. And so when Rory, not only the Gamma of the pack but also the nephew of the Alpha, Mateo, finds out his mate his another wolf, and an Alpha to both, that is when there are trouble; basically to accept the mating bond Rory, the lesser wolf, had to renounce to his priviliged status in the hierarchy pack... even if there is who is saying the pets, the mates of the wolves, are the ones really ruling the relationships.

Anyway, I did enjoy this story, it was like giving freedom to the brain for an hour or two, to just rest and relax.

Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing (September 27, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1618859080
ISBN-13: 978-1618859082
Amazon: Cry Wolf (Dark Hollow Wolf Pack Series 2)
Amazon Kindle: Cry Wolf (Dark Hollow Wolf Pack Series 2)

Series: Dark Hollow Wolf Pack Series
1) The Alpha's Pet: elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1628201.html
2) Cry Wolf

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I was surprised by the romance, I was somewhat expecting it to be more erotic tinged. Not that there isn't the erotism, on the contrary, most of the sex scenes are quite explicit, and Parker is no shrienking violet, having a one night stand encounter right at the beginning of the story, and bedding Luke at their first "unofficial" date; but the turn to romance soon happens, and indeed Parker asks to go for the full courtship route, asking Luke out for an official, and old fashioned, date, and behaving like a courteous admirer, including ignoring possible "distractions" once he sets his mind, and heart, on Luke.

The show business theme is one I do like, and the author played this one in a good way, having enough of the common trick (the red carpet walk, the gossiping media, the public declaration), but always maintaining the "play" in the intimate setting where everything started between Parker and Luke; in this way I had the feeling their love was safe, sheltered by the love of their friends and families.

Parker is also a good character, he is not openly gay, but he is not even denying his interest for Luke: I suppose Parker is bisexual, and till Luke he has never really fell in love; once he does, he is ready and willing to go for it.

Publisher: Ravenous Romance (August 1, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Dare to Act

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For once, I did know the mystery since the beginning (I'm not usually that good), even if I didn't know who was the culprit. But to me, that wasn't a spoiling of the enjoyment of reading the story, cause there were many points I deeply appreciated, two out of them, the love story and the setting.

The setting was faboulos, and considering I love that Gilded Age atmosphere, and I usually try to visit at least one of those villas each time I'm in the US, I was fascinated like Griff by the architecture, and I believe the description of the lives of who was lucky enough to grew up among those walls was spot on. And the there was Pierce, so handsome and aloof, but only at first glance, cause he is the one initiating the spark between Griff and him, and once fire took place, it's hot. The sex scenes, when happening, were at the same time erotic but classy, perfectly in character with the protagonists, and again, the setting.

I often say that, but I have to say it again, once you read a novel by Josh Lanyon you have the best of two worlds, the romance and the mystery/thriller.

Publisher: Carina Press (May 5, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Stranger on the Shore

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Even if I was never a huge fan of fantasy, this one was a pleasure to read. While I know the author isn't young by birth, the style was young, so that it well adapt to the purpose of the book, i.e. being a novel for young adult readers. I would have no problem to recommend this book to a young person, moreover I would probably recommend it to students, to entice them reading more. This novel will also allow them to digress with their mind, into an imaginary world that was masterfully recreated by James Elrich. And as in the best fantasy tradition, if the reader enjoyed this one, they already have 2 more books to prolong their full immersion in this world.

The recreated world is complex, but the author also managed to make it consistent, it was easy to imagine it, and again, I think that was aimed to the young adult reader, to help them focus their minds. It was also engaging, in that helped by the plot: complex like the setting, it was nevertheless speedy, not leaving dead periods with the risk of the reader being distracted.

Perhaps the reason why I enjoyed it, while I'm not a fantasy fan, is that, like the youngsters, my mind tends to wander if it's not harnessed with the story, and that didn't happened with Dreams... good job indeed.

Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (December 15, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623809169
ISBN-13: 978-1623809164
Amazon: Dreams of Fire and Gods, Dreams
Amazon Kindle: Dreams of Fire and Gods, Dreams



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While Slow Burn is a cop themed novel like the old classics, I was pleasently surprised the author gave more focus to the love story than the mystery plot. Sure Brody wants to solve the case he is following since he was a new recruit, but he will realize that is not his whole life, like it is not the fake persona he is presenting to the world, to safe the imagine he was taught was that of a real man. Contrary to most novel where the one in the closet comes from a difficult childhood, where he was taught more with fear than love, Brody's father was a good man, a cop as well, but he was old fashioned, and he had his idea on gay men. I'm not sure Brody wasn't giving him credit, and maybe if told about Brody, he was to surprise him, but we will never know, he is dead now, and as a dead man, he is even more difficult to compare with.

While Brody is a classical case study, cop in the closet and all, Zack is another as well: out and proud, he apparently has a tendency to pick them in the closet and straight acting. Maybe that is his type, why not? only that this type is sure to bring him more pain than happiness, unless, like Brody, even if in the closet, he is still a good man, and what they said? a good man is hard to find (that goes with the pair, a hard man is good to find as well).

I liked the author didn't underestimate Brody's issues and Zack's requests for not being pushed back in the closet with Brody, but that, at the same time, they always tried to make it work, and, after all, there wasn't a moment when they didn't consider their relationship something good to fight for.

Publisher: Loose Id LLC (January 7, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Slow Burn

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When the story started with best friends Asher and Oliver discussing Asher's passion for BDSM, to an almost hard core level, I thought, uhmm, not sure this is my cup of tea (not really a fan of BDSM stories...); but I'm used to Cardeno C.'s stories, and I know this author is very romantic, sometime to a level of being sweet, just bordering on too sweet... so how was it possible to concile these two side of the story? that kept me reading, and I was glad I did, cause, and yes, this is maybe a spoiler, the story is far from being BDSM, the most kinky these two men arrive to be is a good spanking session.

Daniel is at the opposite of the twinks Asher is used to trick with, and that is the reason why he stands out; while he looks barely legal, Daniel is 33 years old, he has a past, and his own secrets; he may be easily distracted, to a level someone can consider him light-headed, but that is far from being true. Daniel has hidden talents, some of them so hidden even him isn't able to see. He isn't a "plain" character, and while I caught there was something behind the looks of a drifter, the sudden revelation at the end of the story left me sort of disoriented, maybe I would have liked some more story span between the two of them, to be able to adapt to the new evolution.

But one thing was confirmed, this author knows how to write a full romance; someone might consider it unrealistic, but that is, indeed, the basis of romance, giving people the bread, a basic reality, BUT also the butter, the plush romance dreams.

Series: Family
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 25, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162380535X
ISBN-13: 978-1623805357
Amazon: Something in the Way He Needs (Family)
Amazon Kindle: Something in the Way He Needs (Family)

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Taking a quite common "romance" plot and giving it a twist: the plot of two friends betting on the chance one of the two will be able to have someone else falls in love is common, the originality here is that, usually, when the plot is unvealed, the one doing the bet is never strong enough to admit their fault and plead for forgiviness. And I said strong cause, to me, it's a proof of strenght if you are able to admit your mistake. That of Kent and Terry is the shorter story, but my favorite.

The second story follows Blaine and Spencer, respectively Kent and Terry's best friends and future groomsmen planning the wedding and falling in love in the meantime. This is maybe more traditional in its plot, but the nice twist is given by the fact that neither Blaine or Spencer are "wedding planners", actually, apparently, they aren't even "marrying types", but having to do it for their best friends will face them with unexpected developments.

I was used to Sandrine Gasq-Dion's Assassin/Shifter story, and this is a new side of her writing, more light, in a way, with less enphasis on her usual themes, and for that reason, more fluid and easier to approach, especially if you are not familiar with the author and want to try her.

Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Wilde City Press, LLC (August 28, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1925031349
ISBN-13: 978-1925031348
Amazon: A Betting Man, A Marrying Man
Amazon Kindle: A Betting Man, A Marrying Man



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

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Snow Balls was a good mix of erotica and romantic comedy; the character of JJ, a flaming queen hiding inside the body of an alpha male, was original and sweet, and he gave a push to the usual scripts. Being big and sturdy doesn't mean you have to be a macho man, and that is exactly how it is for JJ; he fought all his life with the preconception he has to be a dominant top, while instead he would like to find a dominant lover for himself. While Ryan has the attitude of a dominant, he isn't reflecting it on his looks, Ryan is smaller than JJ, so much that, if they want to kiss standing, he has to stretch to reach him. But never once he gave me the impression he wasn't the one in command.

Another original side of this story is that, the romance was almost sweet, as I said, very much romantic comedy, but when we arrive to the intimate moments, the heroes go down to hot and dirty, reaching level of erotica. It was a little disconcerting, unexpected, but a nice surprise, like finding cream inside what you believe was a plain brioche.

Nice addition to a funny series, I'm not reading them in order, but now I really want to go back and read about David and his two young lovers.

Paperback: 138 pages
Publisher: Etopia Press (November 18, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1940223571
ISBN-13: 978-1940223575
Amazon: Snow Balls
Amazon Kindle: Snow Balls

Series: Balls to the Wall
1) Volley Balls
2) Fire Balls: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1528380.html
3) Beach Balls
4) Snow Balls

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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Not having the time to read much lately, I read the first book in this series, and so I know who Elliott Smith is and his background, and who is Steve, Elliott's partner, the whys and whens of their relationship. At book 4, Elliott and Steve are a steady couple, and I have to say I enjoyed reading about their "ordinary" relationship; they were extraordinary in being an ordinary couple in a romance thriller setting. Elliott, playing PI, isn't ultra-charming, uber-hot or any other superlative adjective. Maybe Steve, from what I gather, is on the handsome side of beauty, but even him, althought an artist, is struggling with a day job and with an uncertain future as newby gallery owner.

Another interesting plot device was having the victim, still alive for a good part of the book; that gave the reader the chance to know him, and in a way hating and loving him at the same time. Dante is very handsome, very talented and a total prissy diva. He is unpolite, egoist, a liar... but in the end, when he is killed, I felt pity for him, like he didn't have a chance to prove he was better than what he appeared. And then, it was a waste of talent and beauty.

Beside, all the possible culprits were nice characters, and I didn't want for anyone of them to be the murderer. And yes, when I found out who they were, again, I was sad for them, till the end I wanted a turn of the tables telling me I was wrong, but that didn't happen.

How it was possible to like both the victim than the murder? to want for both of them an impossible happy ending? that is probably the best achievement of this book and author.

Paperback: 204 pages
Publisher: Zumaya Boundless (July 27, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1612710654
ISBN-13: 978-1612710655
Amazon: Dante's Circle: An Elliott Smith and John Mystery (Volume 4)
Amazon Kindle: Dante's Circle: An Elliott Smith and John Mystery (Volume 4)

Series: Elliott Smith and John Mystery
1) His Name Is John: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/639320.html
2) Aaron's Wait
3) Caesar's Fall
4) Dante's Circle

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

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