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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

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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This one reminded me one of those serial romances I read when I was a teenager, in particular there was a series about people and travels, always visiting exotic locations, like this time, the Fiji Islands, a private island resort, Bendura.

Jordan is a Manhattan shark who inherits half the island from his uncle Blake. Now Blake wasn’t old, actually he was only two years older than Jordan, and the only thing I missed of this story is actually Blake, and that is strange, considering we will never “meet” him, already dead at the beginning of the story. But Blake is really a nice character, and we will feel his loss like he was an old friend.

The other partner in the resort is Ryan, Blake’s old friend and a widower. Like Jordan, Ryan arrived to the island to overcome the loss of a beloved one, his husband, and from what we gathered, Blake asked him to help Jordan overcome his loss as well. Jordan isn’t gay, and yes, maybe he likes to be dominated during sex, but by a woman, Sam, who is also Jordan’s best friend with benefits. And actually, even if he likes to bottom with Ryan, I didn’t read their relationship like a D/s one; basically Jordan likes to give up the power during sex, he finds his release like that, and he is very generous in his giving. Ryan understands that and will treasure the gift.

Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc. (Scarlet Rosebud) (September 28, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1628301295
ISBN-13: 978-1628301298
Amazon: Just Ask
Amazon Kindle: Just Ask

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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Blain’s husband, Manny, is missing, just like that: they went to Blain’s high school reunion in Alabama, and Manny disappeared from the party and was nowhere to be found. Being this a mystery, you would think the story was to understand what happened to him, but actually it’s more Blain’s rediscovery of himself and of his relationship with Manny. In the aftermath of that night, Blain and Manny appear to be a perfect couple, but days pass and the cracks in the relationships become more visible. What I appreciated of this story is that the author doesn’t try to make Blain’s pain less hurting for the fact he had trouble with Manny: Blain and Manny were in love, and they were trying to make their relationship work. Actually, considering it was Blain’s infidelity that causes some of those cracks, there is also his feeling of being in part responsible for Manny’s fate.

I cannot say much without ruining the story, but this one surprised me cause it soon was apparent that more than a mystery, this was an involving contemporary romance, about a man who is not perfect, a recovering alcoholic, someone who is able to betray the man he loves for the cute face of one of his students. I liked the author wasn’t condescending with his character, and on the contrary, he was willing to present him in all his facets, some positive and many negative. The victory of the man over the basic instincts will be even more rewarding in this way.

Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Seventh Window Publications (August 31, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0988231018
ISBN-13: 978-0988231016
Amazon: Missing
Amazon Kindle: Missing



More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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This was mostly a funny and light seasonal romance, but indeed, it had an unexpected deepness in the characterization, subtle but not stupid. Mick is apparently a college jock, too handsome for his own good, but little by little you see hidden layers within him, the first his decision to leave the frat dorm to be able to really concentrate on his study; Mick was introduced to sex at 14 years old, basically abused by a female family friend: it’s not that Mick considers that an abuse, not until he realizes that now he considers sex with women something detached, something that is not giving him the emotional fulfillment that he needs. The only real emotional attachment he has always had has been with male friends, in particular with his current roommate, Fielding.

Fielding is basically a genius, a child prodigy who has never had the chance to “live”; Mick not only take care of him on a physical level, forcing him to eat healthy and doing some outside door activities, he is also allowing Fielding to go out from his “intellectual” cocoon. The author doesn’t touch this point, but Fielding is maybe afflicted by a light form of autism, to a level that sometime he is detached from reality. Like the time he asks Mick to touch him the art of kissing, without considering gender and sexuality: to Fielding kissing is without gender, cause no different genitalia are involved…

Really, really nice novella, a pleasure to read, especially in a cold winter night, it warms your heart.

Publisher: Eli Easton (November 16, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Blame It On The Mistletoe

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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Friends with benefits is a theme I like a lot, I have always found sexy when two “new” lovers know each other so well they have a mutual understanding that usually couples found in years of relationship. It’s quite common when the friends with benefits theme is paired with a gay for you, but here the author played an originality card: it’s not the gay friend who falls in love with the straight one and manages to conquer his best friends, it’s actually the opposite.

Kelly has always been the caretaker of the Sidewinder team, and so when he is injured and the bullet who took him down was directed to Nick, it’s only right that Nick will be the one to take care of him during his convalescence. Nick came out to his teammate one year before, and from that moment on Kelly, the straight one, looked at Nick with different eyes, maybe realizing that the yearning he was feeling sometime wasn’t jealousy for the women Nick was able to have, but cause he wasn’t the one to have Nick. But Nick isn’t interested in Kelly, he is actually in an on and off relationship with another man, and if he ever will consider a relationship, it will probably be with that one. Kelly takes a chance when they are alone in his cabin and asks Nick to kiss him… and that is the starting of everything.

I have only read one previous novel in this series, so I wasn’t familiar with Kelly’s character, but he was cute, not in the meaning of pretty, but more like he wasn’t aware of how much irresistible he was for a man like Nick, who, from what I gather, isn’t used to have to work to fill his bed, but Kelly is different, he is a good friend, a teammate, and he cannot be consider just another notch on the bedpost.

The novel wasn’t long, but I read the author is writing more on these two men, and that is good, cause I really liked them.

Series: A Sidewinder Story
Paperback: 106 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing; first edition (September 30, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626490562
ISBN-13: 978-1626490567
Amazon: Shock & Awe (A Sidewinder Story)
Amazon Kindle: Shock & Awe (A Sidewinder Story)

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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While reading this book I was often remembered of the Kinsey scale; “The Kinsey scale ranges from 0, for those who would identify themselves as exclusively heterosexual with no experience with or desire for sexual activity with their same sex, to 6, for those who would identify themselves as exclusively homosexual with no experience with or desire for sexual activity with those of the opposite sex, and 1-5 for those who would identify themselves with varying levels of desire for sexual activity with either sex, including "incidental" or "occasional" desire for sexual activity with the same sex.” That is, if someone wondered about the credibility of a character like Cooper, who was heterosexual for all his life until the moment he finds himself in love with his best friend Noah, I suppose it’s not impossible, it simply means that Cooper is somewhere between 2 and 4 of the Kinsey scale. Another conclusion I reached is that, more than likely, if Noah wasn’t taken away from Cooper when they were just teenagers, and they had the chance to grow up together into adults, this development towards love of their relationship would have happened before. Like this, they met again at the brink of thirties, with their sexual experiences as adults done, but there is a but for Cooper, he hasn’t had really the chance to see the world, and there aren’t many gay people around in Blackcreek, or better no many openly gay people. And considering that Cooper likes women too, it was easier for him to develop his heterosexual side.

I did like the slow development of their sexual relationship, and even the bump in it; it’s not like a switch you can click on and off, for Cooper to accept he is attracted by his best friend, a man, is not easy and he needs time to adjust. I also liked that they had some interferences from the outside world, and some obstacles to overcome, but nothing really huge, cause, in the end, the major obstacle was the private one, admitting their feeling, arriving to pact with their own desires, and they really didn’t need anything else. A certain level of angst was good, too much drama would have been futile. This was more a small town sort of novel, it didn’t need a big drama to make it good.

Maybe Cooper isn’t the stereotypical firefighter hero, big, strong and always stony sure in what he does or decides, but he is realistic, a good man, a good civil worker, with safe and strong values, and a positive attitude towards life, despite the drama in his past.

Series: Blackcreek
Paperback: 332 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 8, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1493755544
ISBN-13: 978-1493755547
Amazon: Collide (Blackcreek) (Volume 1)
Amazon Kindle: Collide (Blackcreek) (Volume 1)

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This wasn’t really a time travel story, but the feeling was like reading one. Phil is travelling on a country road near Bath and he has an accident; alone and trapped in the car, he goes into a semi-coma that basically transport him back to the Roman Empire age and in the body of Caius, a younger man who was in an accident in the same point, only, more or less, 2000 years before. While Caius wasn’t really an expert in deception, Phil is and he is able to recognize that Caius’s accident wasn’t casual, but a plot to kill him. Problem is that, among the people around him, and possible suspect, there is also Rianorix, a barbarian who resembles strongly Ryan, Phil’s partner in the XXI century, and a man Phil was starting to find quite attractive.

If I have to be sincere, I enjoyed a lot the XXI century plot, and wasn’t really drawn into the Roman Empire one; and that is probably a good thing, cause the real romance is the modern one. Phil and Ryan are both bisexual, but they are also coming from a past where it was better to not being open on their sexual preferences; and so they haven’t confessed to each other, and when they start to feel a sexual interest stirring between them, they try to deny it.

While the story is pretty much a friends with benefits plot, or maybe even an office affair, sex isn’t really on the front stage; actually, when they really have a sexual encounter, it happens in blackness, both literally than practically. Despite that, the story is very sensual, and I had the physical perception of both characters, and the attraction between them, even without the graphic detailed sex.

Amazon: Paradox
Amazon Kindle: Paradox
Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: Silver Publishing (May 21, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1614956766
ISBN-13: 978-1614956761



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Owen’s Home and Garden is a novel that moves slowly and insinuates in you without notice, and suddenly you find yourself caring for these characters that maybe, at first, you didn’t even like so much. Owen and Simon are best friends, maybe they could have been more, but when they met, Owen was in a relationship with someone else, and Simon was just out a bad break-up with no mood to start anything else. Simon needed a friend and Owen fit the bill. 5 years later they are both single, but Simon is playing the field, hard, and Owen doesn’t want to be just another scratch on the bedpost, even if, truth be told, he is a little pissed off that Simon never even tries to get into his pants.

When Simon’s ex makes an unexpected appearance, Simon needs to reaffirm his self-esteem and powership, and poor Owen becomes the target; the morning after, instead of trying to patch the things between them, Simon runs away, leaving a puzzled Owen wondering if he has lost a friend or a lover, or both of them. Up until now, I wasn’t liking Simon very much, and sincerely I was finding Owen too submissive. But that is when they started to break my shield, with little pushes, just like Simon’s haiku poems on Owen’s online wall, and Owen’s taking care of Simon’s home and garden, like they were his own home and garden, like he was building the nest for their future happiness. I didn’t find at that time Owen to be weak, instead I was reading him like a spouse waiting back home for his partner, knowing the beloved one needed time… up until the moment Simon took the leave of absence a little too long, and Owen decided to put a stop to his foolishness; proving at the same time that he, Owen, wasn’t weak at all, and that he was able to fight for his love.

This was mostly a sweet story, a friends to lovers theme, very comfort-like feeling, warm and cuddling like a blanket and a fire in winter.

Amazon Kindle: Owen's Home and Garden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 7, 2012)

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

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There are some romances that are not pretty or cute or pink glasses perspective; they are raw, and intense and a punch in your gut. Amy Lane is able to write the first but also the latter, only that, when she goes for intense, she goes all the way through you and take your heart, and just squeeze that little to make it hurt, but not too much to break it.

Peter loved Bodi, but also Michael loved Bodi, and Michael was Peter’s beloved cousin, the hero of his youth, in everything Michael did, he was better than Peter, and so, Peter thought, also in loving Bodi he was the best. That happened when Michael and Bodi were only boys, and Peter a kid, and then tragedy struck, and Michael left, and Bodi left too. Peter felt betrayal, yes, and even if he still loved Bodi, and Michael, he didn’t search for them. Peter was only sixteen, he was still a kid. Six years later, Peter is maybe a little less angry, and Michael is dead; maybe now is the time to claim Bodi, if Bodi is willing enough, not to love Peter, but to live: loosing Michael can be the final blow to his fragile psyche.

That is the best thing of this novel, Peter, Bodi and Michael aren’t perfect, they have emotions that lead them to make mistakes, some deadly, like Michael enlisting in the military, and some almost, like Bodi becoming addict to heroin. This is not a story where love conquers all, or at least, love doesn’t solve everything just by its existence; sure is that love is an ailment for the heart, and is a powerful feeling that could patch things, but the little cracks between the patched pieces will always hurt a little, even years to come.

Amazon: Mourning Heaven
Amazon Kindle: Mourning Heaven
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613727453
ISBN-13: 978-1613727454



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Cover Art by Paul Richmond

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In common with almost all the other novels I read by Rosen, Sparkle focuses more on the friendship than the romance, like the author wanted to highlight that, even if the quest for the perfect romance is something that everyone is undertaking, the real important thing is to have a best friend by your side. There is strong sense of community, the clear message that, most of these young boys may have lost their native family, but they have now a new, and more supporting family, the one made by their friends.

Sparkle is that friend to Secret. They are extremely young, 22 and 21 years old, and with the world in front of them. Secret is the new boy in town, innocent and naïve, and Sparkle will take him under his wing. Sparkle is the like Harold of The Boys in the Band, like the cricket of Pinocchio, the one you may not like, but who always tells you the truth.

If I have to be sincere, I would have liked for Sparkle and Secret to be together, and why not, maybe when they will be 30 or 40 years old, they will realize they have already spent so much life together, that at this point they can make it permanent, but now is not yet the time for them. As I said, this is a story of friendship and not love, and while at the beginning Sparkle is in hospital and the reader doesn’t know who put him there, that even is not the main focus of the story; through Secret’s words we will have the chance to meet Sparkle, and with him their circle of friends, the goods and the bads of this circle, you can judge them, you can love them, you can cheer for them or wanting to teach them a lessons, because, sometime they are like kids misbehaving.

Amazon: Sparkle: The Queerest Book You'll Ever Love
Amazon Kindle: Sparkle: The Queerest Book You'll Ever Love
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: Fierce Publishing (June 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983767807
ISBN-13: 978-0983767800

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Very classical seasonal romance with a bromance subtheme. Adam awakes in an hospital bed with a caring boyfriend by his side, Joe. He is in pain, but the soothing presence of Joe is helping a lot, and Adam thinks how lucky he is to have such an handsome and caring man by his side. The problem is Adam doesn’t remember Joe and he doesn’t remember anything else of his past life. Doctors are confident the memory will be back and Adam doesn’t worry too much. But as soon as Joe brings him home, their home, Adam finds out he is not Joe’s boyfriend, but his best friend since forever. They are not together and moreover Adam is straight, and with a girlfriend, while Joe is gay and single. But why Adam feels like he is in love with Joe, and why Joe is protective of Adam to a level that it seems almost jealousy?

The story is simple, sweet and cute. No much drama, just an happy and welcoming family and two “stupid” guys who need just to sit down and talk to each other. From this point of view, it was right, Adam and Joe, even if pushing thirty, are basically still boys who have barely left the safe shelter of their home (and with home I mean Joe’s family who “adopted” Adam when he was still a teenager; it’s not a legal adoption, but Adam, being Joe’s best friend, was more at Joe’s home than his own). When they started to move from the young adult to the adult world, and the instinct of having a relationship and building an home started to make their appearance, both Joe than Adam feared ruining their bromance if they gave a try to moving it to something different. But now it’s time to let those fears go away, now it’s time to spread the wings and fly.

Amazon Kindle: Inseparable
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 30, 2012)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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I followed this couple of billionaires around the world for the last three books, so my judgment is probably biased, but I really feel like they are old friends and I know all their antics and like with friends, you accept them and smile with indulgence.

Glen & Tyler are very young and very wealthy, a wealth that is impossible to imagine. They are married and in love and doesn’t care if that is not legal in some of the countries they are visiting, where it counts they have the backup of their wedding contract and where it doesn’t count, they have Tyler’s millions to let them be not only accepted, but also welcomed, everywhere. They are using the world as their personal playfield, the political contacts as aces in the sleeves, and the money as tokens. If they see something wrong, they simply make a call and have it righted. Is it real? Is it possible? Maybe not, but that is not the reason why you are reading Glen & Tyler Adventures, you want the dream of impossible, you want the little satisfaction Tyler is feeling when he can say, Glen, my husband, and have him threated better than a king.

While quite clever and cultured, both Glen than Tyler are basically young men with still the wish to enjoy life without much commitment, aside from the commitment they took with each other. As such, in more than one occasion, the author highlighted how they still enjoy to admire the players in the field, both men and women, but in the end, they are exclusive with each other and the game remain on a watch don’t touch level. Glen and Tyler decided to be together because they were in love, not since they didn’t have any other option, in a way the body would be willing to try, but their heart is binding them to their marriage votes.

I have to warn the possible reader, to fully appreciated this series, you have to start from book 1.

Amazon Kindle: Glen & Tyler's Paris Double-cross (Glen & Tyler Adventures)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Series: Glen & Tyler
1) Honeymoon Adventure: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1470902.html
2) Scottish Troubles: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1794775.html
3) Paris Double-cross

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


Cover Art by Michael Broderick


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An all-boys story with women playing best girlfriends. Maybe I have this feeling since all three men involved were friends before becoming lovers, but indeed they bond on different levels, not only through love and sex. The interrelationships between Riley and Jason, and then Riley and Eric play well inside and outside the bedroom; plus they are all-100%-men, enjoying sports and outdoor life, even if Riley is a college professor.

I also liked how the author managed to not make anyone of them on the wrong side. Sure Eric is the less likable of them, the bisexual man who broke Riley’s heart, and when everyone from the reader to Eric know that Jason, the good brother, was already in love with Riley in college… the only one that has still not understood it is Riley.

Six years later, Riley and Jason are starting a tentative relationship, shadowed by the memory of Eric. When Eric comes back into Riley’s life, apparently Jason continues to play the “good boy” role. Apparently since, like we will understand, it’s more the fear to get hurt again than trying to do the right thing for Riley. So even the knight in shining armor has a crack on the armor… On the other side, Eric the villain, is not so bad after all, and while the reader starts to understand Jason they also start to wonder if, in the end, Eric is not the right man for Riley.

I like how the author played with his characters, leaving open all scenarios, and giving them good and bad points at the same time.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2957

Amazon: The Way Back
Amazon Kindle: The Way Back
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 11, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613725264
ISBN-13: 978-1613725269

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading+list&view=elisa.rolle
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I stopped reading het romance more or less in 2006, but Sherrilyn Kenyon and J.R. Ward were among the last authors I read in that genre, and I remember I liked them. I especially liked the paranormal genre (while oddly I now prefer the contemporary ones) probably for their alpha male hero, always so strong, always so protective, always so bound to being honorable and right. That is not how Qhuinn and Blay are, or at least not totally; they are not really Alpha males, they are more enoforcerers, and till now they gravitated on the edge of the series, favorites to many readers but never having their own story. On the forums there was speculation they were gays, but the author never really gave them the definitive push, not until the book before this one: from what I gathered (since I haven’t read that one), Blay finally came out, but not to be with Qhuinn, but instead with Qhuinn’s cousin, Saxton; and to make things even more complicated, Qhuinn decides to have a child with a female, even if he didn’t mate with her.

So this is the situation we are when this book starts, and I was not sure I liked it. For Qhuinn and Blay to be together it meant Blay had to betray Saxton, and for what I could say, Saxton was a good man. And Layla, Qhuinn’s Chosen and the mother of his still unborn child? Was it right for her what was happening? And again, she was apparently a good and comprehensive woman, someone who deserved a lover of her own. So yes, I’m not sure why and if there was a reason, but J.R. Ward didn’t pave the path for these two to be together in an easy way, a lot of hurt had to be done and it seemed there was not solution for everyone to be happy.

The plot was running in two parallel but separate ways: one was the center piece story about Qhuinn and Blay, a plot that was introduced in the previous book and that was to find an end in this one; the other was about the ongoing fight of the Brotherhood and the personal target of Wrath to make a better kingdom for everyone to live in. Not having read the previous books (and I strongly suggest to read the summary of all previous books to have an idea of the characters and of what happened before), I have to be sincere, I didn’t care much for the second plot; I mostly focused on Qhuinn and Blay, with some spare interest on Layla, Saxton and John Matthew (actually I was hoping for more on this last supporting character). This story was good, pretty much as I remembered this author was, and the sex scenes were hot, and this statement arrives from someone that usually doesn’t care much for them. In my previous experience with an het romance author trying her hand to a gay romance, the feeling was that she didn’t dare too much in the sex department, but here J.R. Ward was not shy at all. Now don’t get me wrong, she neither went into almost analytical details, and maybe that is a bonus, she cannot go wrong in that way, but for sure she gave these two guys enough time and space to enjoy also the physical side of their relationship.

Amazon: Lover At Last: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
Amazon Kindle: Lover At Last: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
Hardcover: 608 pages
Publisher: NAL Hardcover; 1 edition (March 26, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451239350
ISBN-13: 978-0451239358

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

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I had the wrong idea this was an almost comedy type of romance, and that is the spirit I started reading it, to then, almost immediately, realizing there was something deeper, and even if Joel, the main character and narrating voice is a mix of bittersweet and spicy, I tend to classify the novel more on the discovery/journey life genre other than romance. Truth be told, and that is also where the major points lie for me, I felt like the real relationship was that between Joel and his dog Dudley, more than that between his current lover Philip, temporary lover Lincoln and past lover Matt… and no, don’t get the wrong idea, Joel is not “easy”… well, not soo easy at least.

Getting things on perspective: Joel is having a relaxing two weeks in London, middle of the second week, he meets Philip. Love at first sight, or better, good sex at first sight, they spent the last 4 days together, practically without leaving the bedroom. Then Joel is back home and to the awful news that his mother died, and Joel is not ready, and maybe that is the reason why, he continues to see, and talk, with his mother’s ghost, like she is the last linking chain to his past, a past Joel is not ready to letting go. Back in the US, Joel also has a return of flame with Matt, his former boyfriend, a man that is a positive character in the novel; not like instead Lincoln, an old acquaintance of Joel that basically invites himself over for the road travel Joel needs to take from Maine to San Francisco. And the self-invite includes also Joel’s bed. In the meantime, Philip from UK is trying to reconnect with Joel as well… and Joel’s main trouble is not choosing among Matt, Lincoln or Philip, or choosing what to do now that he suddenly quit his job, or where to live since he basically is homeless… his main thought is what to do with his ten years old dog Dudley, who sincerely seems to be way more independent than Joel!

I quite enjoyed this novel even if it had imperfect characters. Actually the one who really needed to grow up was Joel, since both Matt and Philip were positive figures, and good example, and above all, supporting friends and lovers to Joel. They didn’t push but let Joel arrive to his own decisions… even if Joel was painfully slow.

Like Philip tells Joel, he needs to realize there is no time like today, and it’s not good to delay to tomorrow because you are never sure if tomorrow will arrive. Joel is seeing his mother’s ghost not since he has something to conclude with her, but since his mother represents his past life, his previous self, something/someone he has to learn that is gone, he needs to look ahead and not behind.

Amazon: Detours
Amazon Kindle: Detours
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (November 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602825777
ISBN-13: 978-1602825772

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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A collection of three novellas, all of them dealing with the theme of friends with benefits, or better from friends to lovers, as the title suggests.

I know it’s bad to have a favorite in a class ;-) but indeed I have one, and it’s the first novella “It Was Always You”, about two long-time friends who were always too shy to confess each other love, or better one was shy and the other was not ready. Caleb and Kevin were the gay kids at school, but Caleb was nerdy and wallflower and instead Kevin was exuberant and always in the middle of life, whatever life was. Despite their difference they moved their friendship from youth to adulthood, and Caleb was always there for Kevin, pining after the man without having the courage to confess his love. And now Kevin has called telling him he is in love with another man and he wants for Caleb to meet him.

I have to say, don't even think I fell for it: it was clear Kevin had something in mind and that was what made me reconsider him and winning point for this novella to be my favorite of the three.

The second one, “Blind Love”, about 18th century samurai, was almost a fairy tale, even if there wasn’t any fantasy element. It was very refined, with a delicate them, almost if the author was dealing with fragile feelings, although into strong bodies. What impressed me more was, more than the two men, the reaction of the others to them: take Hirata’s father, he wasn’t really worried or upset that Hirata was following his heart and search for his love, Sho, a man, but more than he was leaving his future in his father’s dojo. It was apparently more important their differences in social status, than their equality in sex.

And finally there was “Skating For Gold”, about Olympic skaters. Here the sport theme led me to imagine a story with a grandeur sense, and instead it was almost cozy and familiar, maybe since Lance and Devon are country boys, living in a farm. Sure there was the fighting hard for your dream theme so common to these stories, but all in all, this was more a small town romance than some in the public spotlight story.

Amazon Kindle: Friends to Lovers
Publisher: Ai Press (October 27, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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This story surprised me because, well, I was expecting to have to suffer more for these boys to be together. Nick and Angelo grew up together, both gays and misfits, and everyone was expecting for them to get together; and instead Nick ran away with the first guy showing a real interest in him, leaving Angelo, big bro, the one who, maybe, was only waiting for Nick to be old enough.

Both Nick and Angelo are from eclectic families, not bad, but maybe not steady and safe like a sheltering environment is supposed to be. Angelo, the older and more grounded, played the big brother role, but truth be told he wasn’t so much experienced and sure than Nick. Or strong. And when Nick decides to leave, obviously following a fake star, Angelo let him go. Now Nick is back, and Angelo is sure that he doesn’t want for him to have a chance to go away again. Like Angelo, also the reader was probably expecting a fight, maybe a little denial, but Nick surprised both, Angelo and the reader, taking the lead and seducing Angelo in the shower the very first day of his coming back.

From that moment on, I was waiting for the bomb to explode, and indeed there are some firecrackers, but nothing really destroying; Angelo and Nick are indeed made for each other, and once they both admit it, it’s only a question to find the right equilibrium. More than the story of how they got together, this is a series of vignette on their life as a couple. Some of what are probably the passions of the authors (yaoi manga and co.) are turned into the main characters, but it’s more to play than anything else. So far so good.

What I really like is the intimacy Nick and Angelo have with each other, how they are able to reach a deepness in their relationship so soon and so fast thank to their past history. In a way, I even understood Angelo’s passion for jocks, a type completely different from Nick: since it was impossible for him to fall in love with someone so different from Nick, it wasn’t like he was really betraying Nick, he was only passing the time waiting for Nick to come back.

http://www.stormmoonpress.com/books/After-the-First-Taste-of-Love.aspx

Amazon Kindle: After the First Taste of Love (Nick and Angelo)
Publisher: Storm Moon Press LLC (November 16, 2012)

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


Cover Art by Yana Goya

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Just the other day I was reading a story about college boys and thinking how they were really too naïve in their behavior for being guys living out of the protective umbrella of their family. Here the feeling was exactly the opposite, when first we met Chase, I didn’t feel the vibes of a college boy but of a more mature man. Then in the course of the story, and especially when we met Alex, the college boys theme is more accentuated, but still, I have the feeling this story could have been also between two older friends suddenly realizing their mutual feeling had turned into something else.

The author pushes a lot on the bisexual button, so much that I’m comfortable in saying this is more a bisexual than a gay romance, even if there is no woman in the mix; but the author wants her characters to be bisexual, and like that, I have no trouble in picturing this couple, maybe in a next future, opening their relationship to a woman, given that they find someone who is compatible with both of them.

The moving from friends to lovers was not sudden, it was something boiling between them for a long time, so long that it doesn’t seem strange when they almost rush to the sexual aspect of their relationship. It’s a rush for the reader, since they have just met them, but it’s not for them, who are best friends since high school, and now something more, something deeper for a long time.

There is a lot of sex, long, detailed sex scenes between Chase and Alex; maybe my only complaint is that I would have not minded to see them interact a little more with the external world, even maybe testing the waters about their relationship with someone else other than trusted friends. But maybe that is the subject of another novel for this author?

http://store.samhainpublishing.com/best-both-worlds-p-6622.html

Amazon Kindle: Best of Both Worlds (Friends and Lovers)
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (January 31, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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In the same series of Chase in Shadown, Dex in Blue follows the life of two other Johnnies (a gay-for-pay porn movie company), factotum Dex (and I mean “totum”, in front and behind the camera) and stud Kane. As many of the other Johnnies, both Dex and Kane arrived to the company posing/believing as straight men who needed easy money; the only difference with many other porn company, is that Johnnies accept candidates only if they are comfortable with being gay-for-pay, i.e. they have to be very near the gay/bisexual end of the Kinsey scale.

Dex actually is a gay in the closet, for most of his college years he had a series of girlfriends, and actually it was one of them that suggested he did porn to raise enough money to pay for his tuition. But Dex was running away from home, Montana, after his first and only male lover, died in a car accident soon after they had the courage to come out to each other. So Dex is well aware he is gay, and that is the starting point of his story in this novel.

Kane instead arrives from a string of bad relationships (if you want to call them that, they were probably more one-time encounter) where girls used him; he is basically trash, a Latino guy with a nice face and body, but not enough money to be a good partner. He joins Johnnies since he needs money to pay for his niece’s hospital bills, and to a 18 years old, sex is sex, and considering he gave it for free until the day before, he doesn’t see why he couldn’t make money instead.

Dex and Kane end up together for convenience, Dex needs support after a very bad break-up, and Kane needs a place to stay. Considering what I told before, that for Kane sex is sex, there is no reason why they shouldn’t share a bed: Kane likes Dex, and Dex needs the comfort of a friendly body. This is for sure a friends with benefits story, and as commonly happens, friendship turns to love in a very natural way. There is no sudden realization for Kane that he is actually gay and in love with Dex, there is simply the realization that he feels good with Dex, living and loving him, and so why bothers that Dex is a man?

I liked this story, I liked the author didn’t underestimate the side effects of being in the porn industry for these young guys; I liked also that she wasn’t too much dramatic, and that she put obstacles on their path, but nothing overwhelming. Maybe there is one point that didn’t ring completely truth to my ears (but you should also consider I’m not really an expert): how can a 18 to 20 years old boy doing porn for a small-independent local firm raising enough money to pay heavy hospital bills, buy a 4 bedroom house and an expensive car? Sure gay-for-pay “pays”, but my idea is that it doesn’t pay so much (but I can be wrong…)

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3251

Amazon: Dex in Blue
Amazon Kindle: Dex in Blue
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623800102
ISBN-13: 978-1623800109

Series:
1) Chase in Shadow: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1556308.html
2) Dex in Blue



Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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After the very long ride to read this book, I feel like worn out, an hole was forming in my heart and the author suddenly filled it in a rush, so strongly that it let me hurting. This novel is good… disturbingly good. John Parker is an eighteen years old straight teenager who decides to give himself up for sex to his best friend Nathan; Nathan is gay and in love with John, and John is thinking he can be Nathan’s sex toy, while at the same time having a girlfriend and some other heterosexual adventures on the side. While with all the women he is the dominant lover, with Nathan he is always the submissive; strange as it’s, John is able to have sex with a man only if that man is Nathan, and only if Nathan is in command.

At first the author, through John’s own words, let you have an imagine of John that is not exactly good; he seemed quite conceited, convinced he is like a God gift for girls and guys, sex on legs like he said of himself. I didn’t like much John, especially since, even if he is always very nice with Nathan, he was also cheating on him with his girlfriend Mary, and cheating Mary with Nathan, but above all he was cheating both of them with other non-important flings. And while at the beginning John was only having sex with women other than with Nathan, then he starts also with other boys, and then he starts doing “dirty” things with these boys once he understands Nathan is not up to the same game he is. Again I approached this side of John in a negative way, I was thinking how unfair he was with Nathan, how stupid and selfish he was… but then I started to see something different, John was trying to degrade himself, he was trying to find a way to prove he was no good, that he wasn’t indeed that God gift everyone was thinking, Nathan first in line. He had to prove to Nathan he was not worthy of his love, not for him but for Nathan’s good. He was so in love with Nathan, that he was ready to destroy himself for him.

There is "consensual" rape on the page and non consensual sex behind the page; this novel is not pretty and cute as it could seem at first, it’s dark and disturbing, and as I said, I was addicted to it like Nathan was addicted to John, but a hole was in my heart, a scaring hole from the fear I was having these two guys weren’t destined to an happily ever after. But don’t worry, the author managed also to scare away that thought like he managed to put it there. It will not be easy for Nathan and John, and I don’t think the end of the novel is the end of their trouble, but at least they have a beginning. We will see where it will lead them, and I hope the author will share with us that.

Amazon: Atom Heart John Beloved
Amazon Kindle: Atom Heart John Beloved
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (June 30, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1478142928
ISBN-13: 978-1478142928



Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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A mix of friends with benefits and gay for you themed, this is the story of best friends David and Trace who will find the love of their life in each other arms. When David is in need of a good friend, the one who is immediately in his mind is Trace; it’s not that Trace is the only friend he has, and by the way, he is not even is oldest or best friend, but maybe unconsciously David needs someone to love and take care of him in a deeper way than simply a friend, and maybe he knows he will find that in Trace.

Trace is apparently straight, but he has no preconceptions or hangs up on the chance of being in love with a man; actually is only fear is to barter on their friendship, he is pretty easy on the issue of being attracted, for the first time, by a man. Again, I think that deep down, Trace was already in love with David, and that feelings made them both aware they were right for each other, even if consciously they hadn’t yet given a name to the feeling.

The story between David and Trace is very sweet, in time they will arrive also to sex, but even then, it will remain more on the sweet than the erotic level. They kiss a lot, they cuddle, they are all around male, but don’t disdain the more tender said of their love. They are also very open with their feelings, and there is no denying of them. When David and Trace start to realize there is something more between them, they are also able to stop and consider the chances they have to an happily ever after, and to give to that a shot.

I was more or less used to the fact that “friends with benefits” and “gay for you” stories are usually more erotic, more explicit, maybe since the characters have a more masculine side and tend to show it more, but even if, as I said, nor David or Trace display a feminine side, I appreciated that the tone of the story remained on a more romantic level, so that, even when sex arrives, it was almost a plus, due to the fact that both David than Trace had already displayed their affection to each other in more sweet ways.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1666

Amazon: The One That Got Away
Amazon Kindle: The One That Got Away
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 27, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615810854
ISBN-13: 978-1615810857

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


Cover Art by Paul Richmond
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While I was browsing October Gay and Lesbian releases on Amazon, I stumbled upon this book; I didn’t know the author, it was a self-published book, so I didn’t know either the publisher, but if an author is willing to pay for an original cover art from Michael Broderick (author of a coffee-table art book for Bruno Gmunder) then he has to be pretty confident of his own work. So I bought the book and since the story was too nice, I also decided to read it as soon as I had my hands on it (sorry to my thousand books long reading list).

As in an old fashioned Hollywood comedy, Tyler has to marry before his 25 years birthday to inherited the trust fund from his grandfather. But even if Tyler had plenty of girlfriends, no one is readily available and so Glen, Tyler’s best friend since they were teenagers, and current roommate, proposes him. Now you are thinking, Glen is gay and in love with Tyler… yes and no. Glen is a “gay for you” type of guy, meaning that he fell in love with Tyler 10 years before, but he wasn’t ready to admit it. Until the day Tyler had insignificant relationships, Glen had not the feeling to risk losing him and it was enough. But now that Tyler has to marry, no way Glen will let someone else get his guy. Since nothing is against the event Tyler is marrying a man, and they are living in Vermont, in less time than thinking it, Glen and Tyler are married and when the judge says Glen can kiss Tyler, Tyler has an epiphany as well: he is in love with Glen.

The first part of the story is very much comedy and roses: everything is perfect, Glen and Tyler are in love, Glen’s family support them, Tyler inherits 36 billion dollars (yes, that is right, he is the 4th richest man in the world) and they exchange as marriage gift hockey teams. They spend their time having fun, meeting gay guys, and mostly doing nothing. It was fun but I was wondering how the author was supposed to fill the other 2/3 of the book. And then the book took a romantic adventure turn, with someone threating Glen and of course Tyler becoming the knight in shining armor protecting his damsel in distress (even if the damsel is built like an hockey player and probably weight 1 and half his knight).

Sure the story is not serious, sure it’s naïve and funny, and no, despite all the threats and dangers, no one will get harm, not even the villain. This is more like a young adult romantic comedy than a real thriller, and even if it’s not specifically aimed to a YA target, giving the amount of sex (almost none if not some “talking about it”) and the light tone of the whole, I would say maybe the actual target can include also some teenagers… it’s good for once to have a light and funny story, sure not realistic, but so romantic.

Aside from that, I think this sugar and honey story will also appeal to the more adult reader who wants a break from reality. It’s like reading one of those glossy magazine, with all the fashion and design pictures on them: only one out of 1000 could really relate to them, but nevertheless it’s nice to dream. Glen and Tyler are not rich, they are well far more than rich; they have a penthouse in NYC, an island “near” Long Island, another one in the Caribbean sea, plus probably an home in every major city, in and outside the US. They own planes and ships, banks and hospitals, and more important than that, 2 professional hockey teams, but in the end, they like to cook for each other and for their friends when they have them at dinner. And then they are stupidly in love, and the author has already planned book two in Scotland and book three in Paris (see attached picture for reference), just the right way to hook me to this series.

Amazon: Glen & Tyler'S Honeymoon Adventure
Paperback: 402 pages
Publisher: lulu.com (October 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1257851454
ISBN-13: 978-1257851454

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


Cover Art by Michael Broderick

More Cover Art by Michael Broderick )
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As the title suggests, Eric Arvin takes a spin on A Midsummer Night’s Dream and weaves a contemporary tale with a fantasy flavour. I say flavour since, after all, nothing that will happen in this novel is magical, if not the magic of love.

Doug is friend of Jerry and Jerry is friend of Tony and so Doug is friend of Tony too; they all met at Verona College (a place that often appears in Eric Arvin’s novels) and their friendship survives still now, when they are at the verge of thirty. Actually Doug and Jerry had something more than friendship happening between them, but Doug was, and still is, a flirt, and he doesn’t notice that Jerry is nursing a deeper feeling for him. Sometime Doug let it out that in 10 years or so maybe he will be ready to settle down with only one man and that, if he meets the right man, Mr Right will be willing to wait for him. I think Jerry applied for the role, and is now in the waiting phase, even if Doug didn’t notice.

Tony noticed though, but he has his own trouble to deal with and so is not really able, or willing, to help Jerry. On the contrary he would like for his friends to let him alone, but they don’t listen: they practically kidnap Tony to bring him with them on an isolated B&B in a beach village when outside is still too cold for the summer season. They will have a manor house all for them and the nice surprise will be the wonderful garden outside the house and the even more wonderful gardener. Where Doug is all looks and friendly attitude, and Jerry a plain joe type with a nice heart, Tony is bitter and aloof but he is the one to catch the eyes of the handsome Sal, the master of the gardener.

No one of the three men will find in Beechwood and in its enchanting gardens what they were looking for, but in the end all of them will go away with what they really needed.

The feel of the novel is of fresh air and blossoming season, i.e. a moment in time when everything could happen. Even the sex is a little absurd, very much like in a comedy of errors, when people fall in bed with the wrong partner to then wake up searching for the one they really want. But even if sex happens, and often, it’s not explicit, on the contrary is almost fake, and the author describes it in detail only when it’s happening between the wrong ones, and instead, when the sex is between the soul mates, then it happens behind closed courtains.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2148

Amazon Kindle: Another Enchanted April
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 12, 2011)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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At first I had some difficulties to understand why two men that were so obviously made for each other, like Nick and Holly, were not together. Nick and Holly were best friends at college and maybe even something more, but Nick has always played the role of the caretaker and Holly that of the modern rake, a young man with too much money and too much trouble in his hands than what he could manage. And then college ended and real life kicked in, and Nick moved to New York City while Holly set in Los Angeles, a whole country between them. Why such a choice?

The first impression you have of these men is that Nick is the savvier one, who has always the right answer, who is always making the right choices; instead Holly is the bad kid, a mother who has always suffered of depression and an estranged father, he didn’t have the right basis to grow up as good as Nick. Of course Nick is the good one, of course his choices are the right ones… or not? Little by little I started to understand that, true, Holly is bad for himself, trying to kill the pain with alcohol and drugs, but at least he is true to himself, while instead Nick is in full denial. Nick abandoned Holly to follow what society was expecting him to do, marrying the perfect china doll woman, so similar to him to resemble more his twin sister than his soul mate, having a steel and glass apartment in upscale New York City and doing a job he doesn’t like but bring home money, more money to add to what they already have.

When Nick comes to rescue Holly he is saying to himself that he is doing a favour to Holly, that Holly is not able to take care of things like Nick is, but I think he is actually doing for the first time what he really wants, escaping from the prison that he himself built around.

Nick and Holly play a little role game, Nick being the dominant lover and Holly the willing submissive, but that is exactly that, a game; Holly proved that if he wants, if he has reason to fight for, he is able to take care of himself even without Nick, while instead, I had the feeling that Nick, without the “task” of take care of Holly has no purpose to be.

I really like both Nick and Holly since they were not perfect characters, but I have to say that they gave me the idea of trust fund boys with a privileged life they were able to mess up in a perfect screwed way.

http://ebooks.carinapress.com/F922D1F6-2CD2-46BF-A73E-6DDF1702ECAB/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=D8029ABD-E142-4505-A47E-40FEEE3CD86D

Amazon Kindle: One Real Thing
Publisher: Carina Press (January 3, 2011)

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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I don't know if Ethan Day, the author, is like one of his characters, but I like to think so, since Julian from As You Are, Aden from Dreaming of You and Davis from Self Preservation, are men that I'd like to know, and they have all one thing in common, they firmly believe in Love, in The One that will make you happy, and despite the age, or the time spent waiting for him, they know that sooner or later the happily ever after will be there also for them.

Ethan Day and his men also represent perfectly the common idea people have of a mid-twenty, thirty-something gay men: good looking but not gym butch, cultured and bright, with a deep passion for all his glamour and fashion, a love for the old divas like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford (if they are a bit more radical for Katherine Hepburn, more European leaning, for the "other" Hepburn, Audrey). It seems a stereotype? I can already listen some of you say, "this is not real, this is how people tag the gay community, but reality is way more different?" Right? Wrong! The gay community is "also" it, but not only. If you want to read a gay romance, you have to know that you gay character can be like Julian, not all are some Alpha Males or omega men.

I like Julian, he is a man who knows his own faults but likes them. He is a bit crazy, very much lazy and easily distracted. He is almost thirty years old and he is still living on his parents shoulders, even if he went out of home at 18 years old to attend college. He has a job as bartender to pay his tuition (for the fourth time trying to finish a degree), but the car he drives is his father's gift, the credit card he uses to buy clothes is his mother's, and so on. Is Julian's repentant to live like that? No, and why should he be? His parents are all right with that, his roommate Danny is more than happy to share the living expenses and Julian has all day full with his best friend Gabby, his mother's visits and whatever else catch his very shifting attention, most of the time dreaming of finding the right man and settle down.

There is a problem: he is in love with Danny. And Danny is a man-heater that brings back a different boy every night. At first Julian dreamed that sooner or later Danny will awake one day to the realization that he was in love with Julian, but when that day never came, Julian behaved like a child to whom was refused a toy he wanted... the toy is not so good after all. And so now Julian wants to show to Danny that he can have a good man by his side, and the good man has to be Andy... but even if Andy kisses as a pro, and is handsome and with a wonderful job, he is also Republicans and very religious, two things that Julian is unable to move over on.

In all of this maybe Danny is a little on the backstage: it's not that he is a bad character, it's only that Julian shines so much that he overwhelms a bit his counterpart. Danny is probably like most of the mid-thirty men out there (and no, I'm not meaning gay men, this is common to all men), he is comfortable with his life as it's, he doesn't see why he has to change that, but then he has not yet realized that, in 10 years or so, finding new young chicken every night will be harder and harder, and also that, probably, it's better to come home to always the same person, who knows and loves you. Sound boring? To me it sounds happiness.

All the novel is a big one question: will Julian renounce to his dream of Mr Right, and settle down for a Mr Not-so-much-Right-but-almost? And it's funny and light and so good to follow him, again, I had the feeling to really see the author in this novel, this is probably the best of the three I read. Ethan Day is growing with his novels, and in a way, I think he stopped to write what he thought people wanted to read, to finally write what he likes, and in doing so, he is gifting us with Comedy books that are the paper version of the Comedy movies I love so much.

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

Amazon: As You Are
Amazon Kindle: As You Are
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (July 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608204057
ISBN-13: 978-1608204052

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Faceoff (Playing The Field 1) by J.M. Snyder

This short story by J.M. Snyder it's all a question of "play": the hockey game Christian and Ronnie are playing on the ice, for the first time in opposite team after being fellow players the years before; the play of glances they are doing, Christian trying to catch Ronnie's look, and Ronnie trying with all his own to avoid him; the secret game they were conducting, playing the role of teammate and being instead lovers. The book lasts the time of the game, during which Christian replays his story with Ronnie and more the game goes on, more the time is near the actual one, and the final move will be played here and now.

Usually in a sports romance there is always the big issue of being gay in a uber-manly world, a world that seems to deny that gay men can also be good players (no pun intended). Instead in this short story, this issue is down-played; it's not denied, but it's not the main problem Christian and Ronnie had. When their relationship started, they probably recognized a fellow soul in the other man, the necessity to hide the relationship was common understanding, and the things seemed to develop nice and easy. But Christian is a young professional players, with still big dreams and stars in his eyes: he wants to hit the big game, and the little league where Ronnie and him are playing is not his final target. Ronnie instead is content with his life, with his steady role in a small town league that probably allows him more freedom, always with discretion. And so it's not the "gay" issue that torn them apart, but more Christian's ambition.

Now three months later, Christian wants to "play" their problem on the field, and instead Ronnie seems to prefer to avoid all of it. It's really ended between them? Actually there was not a break point, Christian simply left and Ronnie didn't stop him... the final confrontation will prove if their love (if love was, since no one said the big word), was real or was only another game.

As I said the book last only the space of a game, so it doesn't want to be all-inclusive of all the possible strand of the story; it's more a moment in life, but both characters are quite nice. Christian maybe is more developed, but Ronnie has potential: his reasons are not quite explained, I can only imagine them, like my idea that he prefers to "play" in a small field to avoid the judgment of the big media, but I believe this is a bonus; I have enough hint to fill the void that a short story usually leaves.

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=32&products_id=175

Amazon Kindle: Playing the Field: Faceoff
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (December 11, 2010)

Tee'd Off (Playing The Field 2) by J.M. Snyder

The second in the theme sports series by J.M. Snyder, Playing the Field, is a bittersweet story which is perfectly set in the golf course world. I don't know, but I always link golf with quiet and also a bit of sadness, maybe since ofthen the movie industry influence that idea.

And so here we start along the memory lane with Greg, a man that has always dreamed to live of golf and that he has always felt more at home in a golf club than everywhere else. He has now the perfect life, he lives and works for a golf club and he can enjoy its atmosphere every single moment of his life... but maybe the golden cage is more like a real cage, above all when prevents Greg to meet and seriously set down with a man. He has plenty of opportunity to meet willing men, but Greg has a point to not have relationship with customers, and the people who work for the club like him, are mostly temporary worker, today here, tomorrow perhaps.

Greg has never realized as the life is fast flowing through his fingers till the moment he meets again Trey. Trey was the son of the first man for whom Greg was a caddie, the man who helped Greg to realize his dream. Trey was four years younger, and Greg has never seen him as nothing more than an annoying kid. Not even when Greg started to have feelings for other men, he thought twice to Trey. But now Trey is back again in his life, all grown up and willing... where all those years went? Is it possible that, while Greg was living in his golden cage, the world outside move one? The meeting of the two men should be a nice chance for Greg to have some fun, and instead it starts a chain in Greg's mind that will lead him to wonder if what he has is what he really wants, and if Trey could be something more of a weekend fling. At the same time, the thought to having a relationship with Trey means, in a way, to close a chapter of his life that probably Greg is not yet ready to do, if Trey remains the little annoyng kid of his memories, Greg will remain forever the young man with great expectation.

For a 40 pages long short story, Tee'd Off has two round characters and a nice set, and it's really an enjoyable story, above all, as I said, for the setting in an exclusive golf club, and for the taste of a life that not all people can have.

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=32&products_id=176

Amazon Kindle: Playing the Field: Tee'd Off
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (December 26, 2010)

Play On (Playing The Field 3) by J.M. Snyder

Play On is another short story by J.M. Snyder sets around some sport field, this time soccer played by college guys. Sean is a junior at College and also in the soccer team. He is one of the best player but then Cordero joins the team; it's not the competition that distracts Sean from the game, it's the man: Cordero, with his African American look and his cool behavior is like fire for a moth, Sean can't resist to be near the man.

Quite daring for someone you don't know well, Sean makes clear his preferences with Cordero the first day, and good for him, Cordero returns the interest. It's hot, fast and often sex till first day, but only after practice; it seems that, other than a great sexual agreement, there is nothing much else between them: they have different friends, different interests... The mood of the story is exactly like that, it's not a romantic love between Sean and Cordero, and I'm not saying that they will have no chance to an happily ever after, it's only that, in this moment, no one of them is searching something more. Now the only problem is to have enough sex to satisfy the initial hunger so that they can also play on the field, instead of playing only out of it. Or the other possibility, is to find the time to meet also out of the practice day, so that when it's time to start the game, they are not horny like two teenagers who have just discovered sex.

Another hint that basically this is an erotic romp, and not a sweet romance (if sex in the shower, on the couch, on the kitchen table is not enough...), is that Sean's attraction for Cordero is very much physical; Sean doesn't even know what Cordero is studying, what he likes, what he wants, he at first doesn't even know if Cordero is gay, but despite all of this, Sean knows that he wants the man; Sean likes African American men, he even tries to melt with the slang, that is not his own, to have better chances at success. So Sean is more attracted to what Cordero represents than to who really Cordero is. But as I said before, for a sexy romp without expectation to be more, this is more than enough and leads to very naughty and enjoyable sex scenes.

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=32&products_id=179

Amazon Kindle: Playing the Field: Play On
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (December 16, 2010)

http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8&products_id=201 (print book)

Amazon: Playing the Field: Volume 1
Paperback: 178 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (February 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1456521535
ISBN-13: 978-1456521530

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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This is one of the best novella I have ever read, seriously, before anything else, click on the link at the bottom of the page and go and buy it, trust me, you will not be disappointed. It’s funny, sexy, naughty but with a serious undertone that makes everything just perfect.

Kenny Lee and Julio were at cooking school together, but admitedly, Julio was the better of the two; there is a bit of competition between the two of them, but sincerely Julio is too good a guy for Kenny Lee to be angry with him. Julio is tender, caring and a good friend and sometime lover, it’s impossible for Kenny Lee to not fall in love with him, above all since Julio is not even aware of all of that. Kenny Lee on the other hand has a self-esteem issue, he thinks he didn’t match his parents expectation, he is not the best in his field, the best is Julio, and he is not even able to hate him for that. When Julio admits he is depressed and under drugs therapy, the first selfish impulse of Kenny Lee is to be glad, at least Julio has a crack on his shining armour, but then Kenny Lee realizes that Julio is not only a buddy-friend, he is the love of his life and he has to do something to help him: suddenly it’s not more important to excel on Julio, but the purpose of his life will be to dissipate the shadows in Julio’s beautiful eyes.

By the way this novella it’s not only a joy for the heart and the mind but also for all the five senses: the little fights between Julio and Kenny Lee to find the right mix of ingredients for the perfect recipe, their eat, love and sex philosophy, and their ability to recognize their true feelings and what is important in life all of that make this novella a precious little jewel.

http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1386

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading_list&view=elisa.rolle
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It took me a while to read this second book in the “The One that…” series by T.C. Blue, so much that I have almost forgotten what the first story was about. I do remember thought that I like T.C. Blue’s characters since they are simple and ordinary men, your friends, your neightbors, your colleagues.

In the first book, Jim and Michael love and fight over Elliot, an hot 24 years old personal trainer who shared their apartment. Michael went away and then came back and he brought along Jamie, a 34 years old psychologist from Boston. Elliot and Jamie have apparently nothing in common, but they click together in a perfect way, at least for a weekend. No one of their common friends was giving them the time of a day, but when Elliot has the chance to go to Boston, Jamie is there, ready to welcome him… for another weekend or so. Their relationship continues like that, without strings attached and apparently is what both of them want: Jamie thinks Elliot is too young to wanting something serious, Elliot thinks Jamie is out of his league.

Maybe it’s true that Elliot thinks he is too young to commit, that he likes go clubbing and changing partner every night or so, but in the end I think Elliot is only protecting himself. Not giving his heart to anyone, but only his body, he is stating that he is of no one, that he can decide for his life without anyone having a word. Elliot was disowned by his family, he woke up one day finding out he lost everything and now he doesn’t want to be in that position again.

But things are with Jamie, maybe also since he is a little older, and yes, maybe since he grew up in a progressive family, with two “dads”; Jamie gives Elliot a feeling of safety and comfort, he is a mainstay in the middle of a storm. It’s also good that Jamie is open and free with his sexuality, he has no doubt; more he is sure with his feelings and this gives Elliot the most comfortable feeling of all, with Jamie Elliot will always know what to expect.

There is a lot of sex, Jamie and Elliot at first connect through sex and only after they realize that something more can develop between them; moreover I think that at first both of them are finding in each other someone with whom they can have a little vengeance, on Michael, on Jim, on all the people who believe they would be better with someone else. The good thing is that both of them are aware of that, and so there is no surprise or bad feelings between them.

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1990

Amazon Kindle: The One that was Lost

Series:
1) The One that Got Away: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/664270.html
2) The One that Was Lost

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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This is by this time the fourth book I read with this fellows, and so now they are for me as familiar as old friends. I know them and I don't need to find new hint to understand them, but, it's strange, they seem always a bit different from book to book.

Jonty has always been the more easy of the two, in everything he did, job, life and love. Both Jonty and Orlando had bad experience in the past, but Jonty probably had the more traumatic experience, he was abused when he was a young boy at school. Despite this, he grew up as a good boy and with a joy of life that seems untainted by what happened years ago. And instead in this book, where he has to investigate in the murderer of the same two men who abused him, we discover that Jonty is very good in wearing a mask. A mask that, for a bit, he is unable to lift even with Orlando, who is the real love of his life.

Also Orlando changes a bit in this book. He has always been the shier of the two, the one who always worried for the future, who was always skittish to express their love through a physical manifestation. And instead now, he is very much physical, almost if he understands that Jonty needs the material assurance that a warm body gives. And he is also very protective, but always in a quiet and good way, even if he has all the reason to hate the men who abused Jonty, he realizes that he can't have an outburst of rage, it would be worst for Jonty than everything else.

As you all know, I'm not much for the mysteries, so, when I read one, I notice other things ;-) This time for example, my attention was caught by two different things: the setting, and with that I mean the various habitat where Jonty and Orlando move, like they restored Georgian cottage or Jonty's family country house. The author describes them in such a detailed way, that it almost seems to the reader to be there, living with them. The second thing I noticed where the supporting characters, that were as nice as the main ones, and sometime take the center stage; above all, Jonty's mother, Mrs Stewart and her husband, but also Jonty and Orlando's housekeeper, Mrs Ward, and finally, but not last, Rex Prefontaine and Matthew Ainslie, this last a character I would really loved to see having an happily ever after of his own.

I like this series, since it has a suspending feeling, it's an historical, obviously, but it is set in a time that it's not so far from us, and so we can identify in the men. How they live, how they think, how they love. Orlando maybe, is a bit too innocent, but I think he would be the same even in a modern setting, Orlando is an innocent at soul. And Jonty needs him to be like that, to cancel the ugliness of his past experiences with men very much not innocent.

http://samhainpublishing.com/romance/lessons-in-power

Amazon: Lessons in Power (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 4)

Amazon Kindle: Lessons in Power: Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 4

Series: A Cambridge Fellows Mystery
1) Lessons in Love: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/417687.html
2) Lessons in Desire: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/506663.html
3) Lessons in Discovery: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/641112.html
4) Lessons in Power

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading+list&view=elisa.rolle
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In the recent polemic of who is writing for whom, most of Stormy Glenn’s books are probably aimed more to a female target (and I think that you all know that for me this is not a negative point).

The distinction between strong Alpha male and cute and pretty omega man is quite clear, but in any case she is able to always give a particular shade to this classical pair. In this case the Alpha male is a half black, half white mama’s boy; I think to remember that indeed, like in Italy where the matriarchal concept is pretty strong, also in the African-American culture is the same. Graham, the mama’s boy, is a perfect example: only since his mother told him that, if he wanted to be gay (sigh!) he had to find a black man as a partner, to fulfil at least one of her dreams, now Graham is losing the only man he has ever loved.

He started a friends with benefits relationship with Darren, one of his buddy friends, the one he shoots pool with. At the beginning it was pretty intense, but then Graham tried to break things; the reason? Darren is whiter than white can not be, or Irish origin, with red hair and green eyes… quite difficult to make him pass for a black man with his own mother.

Aside from this, Darren would be perfect, and right for this reason I find that Graham should grow a backbone. The lame excuse that he would make mama suffers is not enough good to justify what he did to Darren; let aside this, what he again does to the man when he wants to “protect” him is even worst. From this story Graham doesn’t come out like a very nice man let alone a good cop.

And Darren? Aside for the fact that I would have kicked Graham out of my home probably way before Darren did, he is not a bad man. He is unfortunately deeply in love and so he is willing to accept almost everything Graham dishes him out. Graham strikes and Darren turns the other cheek.

The subplot with the fake marriage is maybe a little too much “romance”, and I have to laugh to my same words, since I really like romances, but indeed this one is a bit too much even for me. Not that I didn’t like it, only that, in this case, the author privileged the romance to the “law” of nature and men: if only everything was so simple, the world would be probably a better place.

In conclusion, His Dirty Little Secret is a romance to the nth power, and you have to leave at home pragmatism and let it go with the flow, or otherwise you can’t enjoy the experience.

https://www.nobleromance.com/ItemDisplay.aspx?i=135

Amazon Kindle: His Dirty Little Secret

Series:
1) Picture Me Perfect: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1058170.html
2) Sammy Dane: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/910453.html
3) His Dirty Little Secret

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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I'm too old and it's too much time I'm around. Or maybe it's only that I read too much. Z.A. Maxfiled wrote a parody about a man who wrote a parody... I think I'm able to recognize to whom Z.A. Maxfield identifies herself in the novel, enough to say it's not the writer (too simple), and I recognized who was the writer she is paying homage to.

The story is actually a comedy of errors: Jae is a literary critic working for an LGBT Magazine, The Adversary (quite clear reference to The Advocate...); Jae is an half Caucasian half Asian man, and his full name is Jae-sun, but he goes for Jae, and this sometime leads people to think that he is a female. Often writers who are pissed off from one of his reviews accuse him to be a woman, and so to being unable to understand a real good piece of Gay Literature. You would think that Jae would be the first to defend himself claiming that he is a man, and instead he has always let it go, finding useful to have the change to play the double role, male or female when it is necessary. Like in this case: Jae is real angry since a woman, Kelly Kendall, dared to write a parody of one of Jae's favourite coming of age novel, Doorways. Doorways was like The Catcher in the Rye or some other breaking coming of age novel for Jae, and seeing a trashy novel like Windows taking and ridiculing it, it's too much. Above all since the author who did it is a woman! (payback is hard to digest…) How does she dare? She can't understand how important that book was for young Jae.

Problem is that Kelly can truly understand, since he is not a "she", he is Kelly Mackay, alias Kelly Kendall, alias Kieran Anders, the author of both Doorways than Windows. He wrote Windows to fulfil a bet with Will, his houseboy / dogs boy, a 20 years old former hustler who he welcomed in his home as secretary and buddy friend with benefits. Where Kelly was probably the angst teenager in Doorways, Will is probably the slut teenager in Windows... they are two different perspective on the same story, and Kelly is also probably overgrown on the teenager he was. At this point I also recognized another gentle homage Z.A. Maxfield probably did, to the movie Finding Forrester; not only Kelly Kendall has the same Irish/Scottish origin of the character in the movie, William Forrester, but he has also the same problem to being trapped by his first novel: people adore Doorways so much, that Kelly is scared to writing something else. To do so, he changed completely the genre and went under another pseudo. Plus Kelly suffers of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and he avoids like a plague everything that is not ordinary or stranger.

Jae is bent on "outing" Kelly Kendall as not only a woman (his publisher maintains the mystery around him) but also a plagiarist. He starts to pestering Kelly with emails from a supposedly female fan, StrawberryFields, mails to which Kelly replies with gentleness but avoiding giving details. Only that, email after email, both Jae than Kelly start to realize that they have much in common, and that they like to talk with the other online... is it possible that a so good online relationship turns in something real? Yes, it’s, since Jae is used to have things to easily, and dating Kelly it’s not easy at all. Someone could say that Kelly is a nut case, but I think that he is only a very special man, and he needs someone to take care of him. Don’t get me wrong, Kelly is not retarded or similar, he is only a man with a lot of odd customs, but it’s what makes him a special man, and he has not to change; he only has to find a man who can deal with him. And learning to deal with Kelly maybe will teach to Jae to see things less in Black and White, to see the shades, to be more flexible, and learning that, to be a better man. Not always being a crusader is a good thing, sometime crusade did a very poor job to humanity.

When I said that being a crusader is not necessarily a good thing, I’m not only referring to Jae’s fight to “out” everyone who hides his homosexuality (which negative side we read in the fate of an actor at the beginning of the book); take Kelly’s OCD… someone like Jae, so strong and used to see only the right and the wrong, probably would try to cure himself, to force nature to submit to human’s will… and doing so you would destroy the real Kelly. The real Kelly it’s not the “healthy” man, the real Kelly is the obsessed one, the troubling one, he is special since he is not normal, level him to the rest of the world, means to kill him.

I like also as the author dealt with Kelly and Will's relationship; true, they are having a sexual relationship, but not from Kelly's side or Will's one there is a real emotional commitment. Both of them know that what is between them it's not real love, problem is that Kelly doesn't know if real love exist, at least not until Jae. I like that, even if at the beginning the author let us in the more intimate details between Kelly and Will, when Jae is becoming something more than an email address for Kelly, that relationship slowly but steadily turns in a real friendship, without benefits. It's made in a way that I don't feel bad for Will, on the contrary, I believe that he needs more Kelly as a friend rather than as a lover. Not only Kelly finds his love, but it happens at the same time when Will's past is revealed (a past of child molestation), and in a strange play of destiny, it's actually a better thing for him that Kelly, who can be a fatherly figure for Will due to the age difference, becomes totally sexually detached.

http://samhainpublishing.com/romance/epistols-at-dawn

Amazon: ePistols at Dawn

Amazon Kindle: ePistols at Dawn

Reading List:

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


Cover Art by Anne Cain
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Interlude by Vivien Dean

AJ and Tyrone are work colleague and friends, both pianomen in a Reno Casino. They have a personal show where they "duel" on stage using music, and on the stage they have a perfect alchemy. Off the stage instead there are some problems... since AJ is desperately in love with Tyron and instead Tyrone is a playboy who doesn't discern on the gender, men and women are the same for him, if they help to warm his bed.

AJ is a shy guy who lives for his music; and since he met Tyrone, now he also lives for the man, from afar. He has never had the courage to unveil his feelings to his friend, and every night he suffers on seeing him pick the choice for the night. Tyrone is a very handsome African-American man, open and friendly with everyone. After the show, AJ drinks his beer alone and goes home, Tyrone parties till the few hour of night. They are like Ebony and Ivory, and not only for the color of their skin.

Then everything changes: Tyrone has the chance to a big engagement in Las Vegas and he wants for AJ to go with him. Change city, home and friends. It's a big step, but not doing that means fo AJ to loose Tyrone and so it's not really an option. But in Las Vegas also Tyrone changes... all his attention is devoted to AJ, but it's only the spur of the moment or it's the real thing?

The story is pretty simple and not very long, 60 pages more or less. It's a pretty classical theme, two friends, one of the two hopelessly in love with the other, and then, BUM, the big revelation: my best friend is also in love with me! And instead of joying at the idea, AJ is scared, he can't really grab the opportunity, since having it for a bit, and then loosing both friend than lover, is worst than not ever having to lover but always having the friend.

A nice reading, good for a rest and relax break.

http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/Interlude.html

Amazon: Behind The Scenes (print book)

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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There is a whole story behind this book, but the author chose to tell us only a little bit. Inside Tamotsu’s mind, who is half daydreaming and half remembering, we learn that he is in love with Aki, the rock singer he is the manager of, the same Aki who he met when they were 16 years old, 20 years before, and to whom he is in love since then. The same Aki he has never had the courage to approach in any different way if not as a friend, preferring to see him with other women and men, loving and leaving them, to always, in the end, coming back to him, Tamotsu.

But while Tamotsu is thinking all of that, Aki is changing, Aki is now really in love, and he will d everything to have the one he loves. Will this new event in Aki’s life be the end of his long-lasting friendship with Tamotsu?

As I said this is only a part of their story, the telling of the fatal night, when everything will change. But it’s not really this night that is the main event of the story; it’s more the brainstorming that happens before. In those thoughts we read all the love of Tamotsu for Aki, but also all his proud behaviour, typical of eastern men; for Tamotsu, family, real family and the one you choose as an adult, is first of everything, and so, when his real family needed him, he renounced to his dream, and when he had a second chance in life, he swore that he would have been always there for Aki, and if Aki needs a friend, Tamotsu will be a friend. Tamotsu knows that Aki will probably leave a lover, but he will never leave a friend. Choosing the role of a friend, Tamotsu is choosing the surest way to always be in Aki’s life.

It’s not up to Tamotsu to change this, he would never dare, but again, if Aki asks, Tamotsu is there to promptly answer and to do everything to please his little precious jewel, his Aki.

http://aipress.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/now-available-akis-love-song/

Buy at 1 Romance Ebooks

Amazon Kindle: Aki's Love Song

Reading List:

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Cover Art by Les Byerley
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I think I have already said it for the previous long novel by Willa Okati I read, but she is going better book after book. And Call Me in the Morning it’s not only one of the most nice Silver romance I have ever read (meaning for Silver Romance a book where one of the two main character is over 40 years old, and here they are both) but also a Friends with Benefits romance, another theme that I like a lot. In a way, it's also a Gay for You romance, since not Eli or Zane has never considered the option of being with a man, they are not suddenly turned gay, they fell in love with their best friend, and it happens that the best friend is a man.

Eli and Zane, 43 and 41 years old, are the fun of all their friends, they called them “married” since where one goes the other soon follows, and they seem to be latched to the hip. Eli thinks and Zane speaks, Zane asks and Eli answers, always together, always in agreement, they are so perfect together that the reader risks to have a glycaemia overload from sugar. But the strange thing is that, they are not too much, they are really good together and the reader enjoys every moment, the cuddling and the perfect harmony they have, it’s like listening to a beautiful concert.

Eli and Zane, despite their friends’ idea, are not lovers, and probably Eli was not thinking at it even. Divorced and with a lot on his mind other than personal relationships, Eli’s needs are plenty fulfilled by Zane, and they are not physical needs; Eli wants a friends, a shoulder, a sympathetic ear, even a warm embrace, without sex involved. Eli is probably in a rebounding phase, not only from the divorce but also from life: he is a “late” doctor, he entered medicine school late in his life, and doing that, he delayed all his life. On the other hand, Zane was fated to be a doctor since he was able to stay on his own legs; he started everything before his same age fellows, studies, love, work, and now he is ready to face the true: he is in love with Eli, and it’s time that Eli recognizes it.

But Zane chooses the right approach with skittish Eli, he doesn’t force on him his feelings, he, like before, gives Eli a safe place to find shelter. Little by little Eli starts to use Zane as paragon for everything, beauty, friend, work, love… Zane is now all Eli’s world, but after admitting it with himself, Eli has not to find the courage to declare it to the world.

Both characters are really good, even if it’s from Eli’s perspective that we read the story; Eli’s doubts, insecurities, realizations, we live all of them, but there is a thing that Eli never questions, his love for Zane and the love of Zane for him: as friends or lovers, doesn’t matter, the most important thing is that Zane seems to be the only secure point in his life. Loosing him is not an option.

Maybe since this is more a book of feelings than sex, it was very sweet; this is not the first time it happened with a Willa Okati’s book, I noticed that, when the book is for fun, sex is good, plenty and naughty, but when she wants to push on the heart button, sex is more sweet, lazy and warm. Plus there is a very nice light undertone, the awareness that Eli and Zane are able to have fun, and that basically they are plenty enjoying the ride.

http://www.loose-id.com/And-Call-Me-in-the-Morning.aspx

Amazon: And Call Me in the Morning

Amazon Kindle: And Call Me in the Morning

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading_list&view=elisa.rolle
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Bound to Please perfectly explains one of the reasons why I understand the existence of a ménages a trois, while I usually am a monogamy supporter.

Benny is in love with his boss Jason, a Dom and the owner of a BDSM private club (he is one of the character in Phoenix Rising, the previous book by Kimberly Gardner set in the same community). With his body and heart Benny is willing to give anything to Jason, but with his mind he is scared by all the different layers a BDSM relationship can have. Jason knows that, if he pushes the boy, Benny would probably agree to a Master / slave relationship, but deep inside it’s not what he wants.

Enter Rain, former porn actor and now fetish model; he is one of the models Jason is using for his exhibition, and he is more than willing to be the guinea pig for the most extreme of Jason’s pictorial fantasies. Rain is a happy to go guy, sex is something good and full of joy, and he lives it like that, willing to share his body with a freedom that Benny envies. But Rain is not selfish, obviously, and he finds in both Jason than Benny something he needs: Jason is the authoritative figure he needs to have an appearance of stability in his life, and Benny is the buddy friend he wants to not forget that, indeed, life is a good thing.

There is a complex work of balance in the trio: Jason needs both Rain than Benny, since the two together fulfil all his desires, his sweet and his hard side; Rain needs both Jason than Benny; and Benny needs both Rain than Jason, Rain to help him understand that there is not to be feared in the type of relationship the darker side of Jason needs. No one of them is complete without both of his lovers, missing one of them would be the end of the whole relationship.

I like all the characters, but for sure the boys, Benny and Rain, are the best; Jason is good but he fades on the background when the boys are around, something that is strange considering he is the Dom. Benny and Rain, purple and blue hair, are like boys at play, I have always the feeling to hear someone laughing when they are in a room. Jason is not their puppeteer, he is the one who is fallen in their net; I have this image of Benny and Rain building a net with colourful rope, and Jason totally caught in the middle.

There is a lot of sex, some of it also quite extreme, but above all I have this feeling of esthetical beauty: each scene is like a carefully planned painting, with full and deep colour, it’s a very visual feeling. On this matter, at the beginning the cover led me in the wrong direction: it gave me the idea of a futuristic / fantasy romance, and so I didn’t realize that indeed, this is a totally contemporary novel, and moreover, the sequel of Phoenix Rising.

http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=BOUNDPL1

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Amazon: Bound to Please

Amazon Kindle: Bound to Please

Series:
1) Phoenix Rising: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/358022.html
2) Bound to Please

Reading List:

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


Cover Art by Anne Cain
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Well, I’m always kind to college boys stories, since the guys are so young and cute that it’s difficult to not enjoy their story. At that age, they are no more teenagers, but they are not yet adult: the world is still in front of them and everything can happen, even that you fall in love for your man-whore and straight roommate and, in the end, that love is not either without hope.

Clay and Jack have spent the first years in college together trying to bed as many girl as possible, and now that the last months of permanence in their shared dorm room are approaching, Jack seems to have increased the effort and instead Clay is at a junction: to be or not to be an adult? To be or not to be gay? To love or not to love Jack? Yes, since in the last weeks it’s not beautiful woman that stars in Clay’s wet dreams, but it’s his roommate Jack, and Clay has not heart to tell Jack that he is mistaking in changing woman each day since first, he, Clay, would like to be one of that women, and second, not having Jack a steady girlfriend is the only consolation Clay has.

Clay is so stuck inside his brainstorming mind that he is not even able to realize that Jack is giving him hints that he could indeed been interested in him: if bringing him in a gay club didn’t do it, well Jack doesn’t know what else it could. More than fear Jack’s refusal, I think that Clay is afraid of admitting that he is gay. Being gay will change too much the simple life that Clay is having, college, girls, friends… admitting to being gay in a way it means being an adult, and Clay is not yet ready to be that. I like Clay, but he definitely is not the usual mourning gay in the closet too clever for his age; Clay is, indeed, a simple college boy, like so many others like him, and for this reason he has all the insecurities of his age.

Jack is maybe a little more self-conscious, but it’s not really that he is a lot more grown up than Clay. I’m not sure to like him as much as I like Clay, but that is probably due to the fact that, in the end, Jack is bisexual, he is really a man-whore, for women and men alike, and he is totally unrepentant: he takes his pleasure when and where he finds it, no matter the gender of the partner. So, probably, for romantic Clay, Jack is a bit too much, but maybe, as Clay admitting to be gay will grow, so Jack, starting a relationship with someone that he actually knows, will understand that there is something more in life than a notch on the bedpost.

http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Dead+Men+Get+No+Tail/exact_match=exact

Buy at 1 Romance Ebooks

Amazon Kindle: Dead Men Get No Tail

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading_list&view=elisa.rolle
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First time I "met" Ally Blue, she was known as the Queen of Angst: books as Easy and Forgotten Song are without doubt beautiful books, but so full of angst. The she started to change, and she gifted us with light funny comedy as Catching a Buzz or The Happy Onion (even if, between books, she also wrote the Bay Paranormal Investigation series that's not exactly "light"), but sometime she returned back to her old habit with books like Untamed Heart. So you can understand that I approached this last book with a big question in my mind: angst or light and funny? The Show Business setting let me think that it would be the second one but then the not easy relationship between Adder and Kalil, with their incapacity to come clear with their feelings was a sure hint that the angst part was there, ready to struck.

Adder is the first violin and leader singer of a rock band. Big on stage and even bigger on life, Adder has an easy-to-go approach to sex: if they are legal and willing, he is on for the ride, not matter if with a man or a woman. And he is so easy and fascinating that no one seems to be able to hold a grudge with him, and so he has not a string of disappointed former lovers behind him, he was even able to remain friend and bandmate with one of them, Vi, the girl at the keyboard. You will think that this approach to life, all sex and denying the existing of love, would be a consequence of some broken heart in his past, and instead Adder is for real like that, he is not the jealous type and he doesn't consider exclusive sex as a possibility since he doesn't consider there is a chance for him to find someone with whom he will desire to be exclusive... until Kalil.

Kalil is the new drummer of the band and a very handsome young man. As soon as Adder sees him, he is bent to the task to seduce the man, and maybe Kalil, unwillingly, does the only thing to secure him a more than passing interest by Adder's side: he plays the role of the unreachable damsel on the ivory tower... but thanks to a drunken night that tower crushed down and Adder breaches the door of Kalil's most hidden treasure (pun very much intended). I was almost holding a grudge myself with Ally Blue since she deprived me of that sex scene (I only had to read of the two waking up together AFTER the crime), but she soon made amend and gave us a lot of other sex scenes between the two, very much intense and good... as I will say later on in this post, I believe that there is a reason for the author to not allowing us to see the performance of Adder as a top.

Coming back to out heroes, It's not that Kalil is not interested in Adder, he only doesn't want to be another notch in his belt. Anyway after that night (the only one in which Adder tops since he is a bottom for nature), Kalil's defense line are filled full of holes and it's not so much time that he and Adder drift onto a some type of relationship, with Kalil uber-jealous of Adder, and Adder that doesn't do nothing to fuel that jealousy if not being who he is, friendly and flirting. Knowing that the angst was there ready for make its entering, I was fully expecting that the jealousy issue would be the trigger point and instead I was wrong... but I will not say more ;-) (be warned, when the angst struck there is always trouble among the heroes, even if they remain "faithful" at their own way).

I like as the author plays with the characters and their behavior to make a point on the story. For example, Adder's claim that he is a bottom, you can think it's only a sexual preference, and he also gave a quite good explanation, but for me it's a proof that he is not yet ready for commitment: being a bottom allows Adder to be always at the center of the adoration, all right, he is open in a most intimate way, but he doesn't take the lead in the encounter, he doesn't claim no one as his own (with women doesn't count, since Adder doesn't risk to fall in love with a woman); and in fact, as soon as he realizes that he is starting to feel something for Kalil, he is not more able to let someone top him since that claim is of Kalil now.

On the other hand Kalil behaves very much like an animal (in the good meaning of the word): he is not able to say the word, and so he stakes his claim marking Adder with sex, everytime he can. What I like very much in this story is that the one who is accused to be not fully grown from an emotional point of view, Adder, is instead the one that understands better Kalil and their relationship. Adder knows that something is eating alive Kalil, and more than once tries to push the man to talk, but Kalil is as stubborn as a mule. I believe that Adder is not insensible, he has only reached a moment in his life in which he is ready for something serious, and maybe he is at that point since he has tasted all the possible ranges before. As strange as it could be sound, the one who needs to grow for me it's Kalil.

To a very good development of the characters, add also that the show business setting is nicely described, the supporting characters play nicely their role, being present but not obtrusive, and you will have probably one of the best romance I read by Ally Blue so far.

http://samhainpublishing.com/romance/adder

Amazon: Adder

Amazon Kindle: Adder

Reading List:

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


Cover Art by Anne Cain
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Take two young pretty boys who know each other since forever and so, in a way, bring with them all the innocence of youth, add my personal kinks of the difference in body structure of the two guys and the long hair of one of them, and you have the recipe of a very nice short story.

Apparently Malcolm is an high maintenance lover, small and pretty but not so independent, he seems perfectly paired with Jordan, wealthy macho latino man, police officer and 12 years older. And if sometime Jordan has that superior attitude that makes you cringe, well, Malcolm seems happy so the reader, and best friend Dustin, can’t really deny him the perfect boyfriend. But when Jordan comes out like a totally cheating man, to only person to whom Malcolm can turn is his best friend Dustin, the same best friend who is pining after him. Malcolm doesn’t know, and Dustin didn’t tell, but now having the man in the close quarter of his one bedroom apartment is like torture.

What I liked of this story is that, even if Jordan was a cheating man, he wasn’t a totally negative character. In a way, he was right for Malcolm, if Malcolm wasn’t already “booked” by Dustin, romance rules speaking. Jordan has his idea on love, and being faithful is not one of them, but he is not treating badly Malcolm; he is attentive and careful, and even when they went separate way, he still has some attention for him. But when I said that Malcolm was booked by Dustin, I mean that they are predestined lovers; they met when they were teenagers, they fell in love even if no one of them had the courage to admit that, probably since they were too young. They need only the time to realize that, and their happily ever after is ready right there, for them to reach it. So, in a way, Jordan did a favour to Malcolm cheating on him, he gave to Malcolm a reason to reach for Dustin and their happiness together.

Both Dustin than Malcolm are still so young, and life for them is still something they will have to discover; no one of them is stronger than the other, they are both at the beginning of their path; the sweetness of this story is that they have the change to walk that path together, forever and ever, one of the few chance for your first love to be also the last one.

http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/BestGift.html

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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I remember with pleasure By Degrees, the previous romance by J.B. McDonald, and In the Rough is almost a sequel. Rick and Jay, the two men of this new story, were also in the previous book; Rick is Tim’s older “big brother”, the reference figure social services assigned to Tim when he was a troubled teenager. But Rick is not the perfect man that usually is assigned to this task; he himself was a runaway kid, escaping and abusive father when he was only 13 years old. Rick was only lucky to find Jay before any other potential danger found him, and Jay took him under his wing. Jay who at 16 years old was barely old enough to look after himself, who was already and hustler and a drug addicted, Jay tried to save Rick from all of it, since he was unable to save himself. And Rick obviously falls in love for Jay.

Now 20 years later, Rick is still in love with Jay, but he is also angry. Oh yes, to the reader Rick could seem the perfect balanced man, the mainstay for the unbalanced Jay, but for me Rick is only a very upset man; for almost 20 years he has waited for Jay to change, for finally stop behaving like a teenager and take in hand his life. After that, obviously, Jay would finally realize that Rick is the perfect man the readers already see, and he would fall in love back for him… yes, Rick is always supporting of Jay, he is always ready to help him, even now that he is trying to obtain his daughter’s custody, and he is always willing when Jay is in the mood for some buddy-sex without strings attached, but deep inside Rick is always hoping for more, he is always trying to change Jay, to fit him to the image of the perfect partner that he wants, someone completely different from his own father.

And instead Jay is avoiding all of it, he is avoiding having a serious relationship, he is avoiding having a family, he is avoiding settling down… he is trying to be as far as possible from how his father was. But when his daughter needs him, then Jay understands that it’s time to change his life, and even if not consciously, he is slowly arriving to the conclusion that, since Rick was always there for him, since he loves him and Rick loves him back, then why they couldn’t be a family? What I was probably expecting was that sooner or later one of them arrived to the logical conclusion that being together, and living together, would have solved their entire problem. Since Rick loves Jay, for me it was obvious that he should offer to Jay his heart and his home; since Jay loves Rick, for me it was obvious that he should accept Rick’s help for the well-being of his daughter… but what it was obvious for me, it wasn’t for them.

Sometime I had the feeling that Rick was willing to help Jay, but only so far; he was risking a lot, but not all of him, I had the impression that, in the end, he was not willing to risk his heart. It’s not that Rick is not a good man, it’s probably that he has some hung ups from his past that he has never realized to have: he can’t fully help Jay, risking his heart, since he himself needs to be comfortable with his own trouble. For all the novel, all the people around focused on Jay, and on making him change, to be a better man and a good father, but no one, if not sometime Tim, had the courage to bring aside Rick and tell him to grow. When they were young, Rick thought Jay to be the world; when they got older, Rick thought he overgrown Jay, and now Rick thinks to be better than him since he has a job and a place to stay. In the end, I think that instead Rick has never overgrown his best friend, and Jay still is the older and bigger of the two, who is still taking care of all the people he loves, while at the same time trying to destroy himself due to some bad placed guilty sense.

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&manufacturers_id=261&products_id=2110

Amazon: In the Rough

Amazon Kindle: In the Rough

Series:

1) By Degrees: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/584822.html
2) In the Rough

Reading List:

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

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