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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Only a novella, fast like the motorace theme of the story. I'm not really big expert or fan of this sport, but being it quite popular in Italy, we are used to hear about it on the news, and unfortunately I know it's indeed very dangerous, many young men lost their lives to it. This is the theme of the story, Brian is the foster brother of Varro, Varro's family has always been kind to Brian, and he fell in love with Varro, but considering nor Varro or his brother Nick were gays, Brian has always hidden his feelings. Varro has always considered Brian like his lucky token, the one who had to be with him for being able to reach his goals, but when Brian realizes there is no hope for his love, he realizes also that if he wants a life he needs to leave Varro. His purpose isn't to punish Varro, but apparently that is the effect, and Varro will have the chance to reconsider Brian's place in his life.

Quick but sweet, I'm not sure the story is 100% realistic, above all in Varro's turning gay for being the lover Brian needed, but, as I said, it was sweet, and so I'm satisfied. In a way, more than Varro and Brian's love story, I liked Brian and Varro's family relationship, how they all welcomed Brian in their lives, how they were able to share the love that was of their family with another person, apparently a stranger, but someone who will become a son as much as their blood ones.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (May 31, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Heart of the Race

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A nice seasonal romance, Christmas + kid is a sure recipe for success. Bianca "Bee" is the only daughter of a single gay dad; the story is old, Gavin and his best girl friend from high school got together only one time at prom night and Bee was the result of that. It is possible their story was fated to end, maybe like friends, but unfortunately Bee's mother passed away in a car accident, and now Gavin has decided to move to the big city and moreover to a gay friendly condo. There he meets Curtis, one of the few straight neighbors and so, even if Gavin has a big crush on Curtis, they become "only" best friends... but Bee has other plan for this coming Christmas.

While I liked Gavin, a sweet man, very right in the role of dad, actually, it was easy to image him as an househusband, devoted to the home and his daughter while his partner cared for the money side of the relationship, at time I wanted to knock Curtis down. First of all, if you are not gay, why did you let Gavin fall for you, well knowing he has a crush? It was selfish, he wanted the family Gavin and Bee represented, without giving to Gavin the partner he deserved.

Anyway, that was mostly me, Curtis wasn't at all a bad man, actually he was very good with Bee, and also a good friend for Gavin. The story had, of course, a light tone and an obvious happily ever after waiting for the two men. I also enjoyed that, while Bee has a main role in the plot, she wasn't stealing the center stage to the love story between the two men.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 30, 2012)
Amazon Kindle: Bianca's Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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Considering the setting, 1799, quite original just like that, and the plot device, a young man sent as endured servant for 5 years, I was expecting for this story to be very gothic like, dark and brooding, maybe even a little dramatic.

So it was with a little surprise that, page after page, I was discovering a romantic story, almost a sweet romance, with a kind Master who seemed more interested in taking care of his servant than using him; my prejudices almost pushed me to believe the Master was some sort of ogre and that he was fattening up the servant, but do not worry, this wasn’t the case.

Anyway, William is really a clever boy, even if only 18 years old, he had already his business as bookseller, but he had bad companies, and he ended up to pay for all his fellow mates. Merrick, his Master, is some sort of hermit, a well-respected apothecary who hides his features behind a cloak he doesn’t remove neither in front of William. But he is gentle and kind, and he treats William in a good way, so much that William starts to believe his bad fate isn’t so bad after all, and even if he has never been interested in men, now that he is in close proximity with Merrick, he is very much attracted by the man: another device plot I was used in my old fashioned romance novels, William falls for Merrick without even knowing his looks, he falls in love for the kind man who is behind the cloak, not for a pretty face.

A some sort of Beauty and the Beast, also here there is a reason for Merrick to hide himself, and William will have to prove that he loves Merrick despite all.

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

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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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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

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Going solo (no pun intended) has to be a trend cause it’s often and often that I read self-published books that are at the same level, if not upper, than other novels published by the more acclaimed Gay Romance publishers. Usually, you have to take in account some problem with the editing, some bad typos, but in this case, maybe I was so enthralled in the story, sincerely I didn’t notice any. And while the plot is, apparently, the usual gay for you theme, there is something more psychological, and in the end, bittersweet in the deployment of the story.

Dylan’s best friend, actually almost a brother, the one with whom he shared his teen years as runaway kid, was gay; and he is now dead, AIDS, as many other young men. Rick, the friend, used to turn tricks on the streets, and that is how Dylan met him; Dylan became friend, brother and protector for Rick, but couldn’t prevent his dying 5 years before, at 25. And now, 5 years later, Rick’s former boyfriend, Noah, the one who shared with him the pain of loss, asks Dylan to help Alec, a doctor who serves in an free-clinic for homeless people. The task is easy, Dylan restores vintage motorbike and Alec wants to buy an Harley; how he ends being Alec’s backup boyfriend to teach a lesson to Alec’s former boyfriend, Tyler, that is not easy. Especially considering that Dylan is not gay… but maybe he is not even straight.

Alec is an activist through and through, not only he gives his time for free at the clinic, he is also a promoter for same-sex marriage, arriving to be a poster boy for it alongside with his boyfriend Tyler; but now Tyler is gone, he is even in another relationship, and Alec feels lost. Little by little, you arrive to realize that Alec’s driving to a life in couple was yet another way to conform to a society that apparently is denying an ordinary life to him and the LGBT community; instead of fighting for the right to be different, Alec is thriving to be the same, and though, accepted.

On the other side Dylan is against every type of commitment, from him owning 15 bikes, so that basically, he isn’t attached to any of them, to not being with the same woman twice. Everyone he loved, eventually he lost, and he has no intention to give it a try. And then he is not gay… but maybe claiming heterosexuality is only another way to not commit? Meaning that, if he isn’t really with someone he can love, than maybe that is the sure way to remain single.

Series: The Boyfriend Chronicles
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: River Jaymes; 1 edition (January 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0991280717
ISBN-13: 978-0991280711
Amazon: The Backup Boyfriend: The Boyfriend Chronicles - Book 1
Amazon Kindle: The Backup Boyfriend: The Boyfriend Chronicles - Book 1

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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That of Matt and Aaron was a typically gay for you story if not for the attitude of Matt, that was realistically in line with what I was expecting to be a bisexual character, so much that I anticipated Matt’s turning point decision moment, when he consciously accepts he is in love with a man: Matt is equally attracted by women and men, but, as he says, and as I anticipated, it’s more convenient, and easy, to date women; no one questions you if you are heterosexual, and while sex is still sex, there is basically no need to complicate his life. Please remember Matt is a very young, still a college student, his life is an open road in front of him, no life changing decisions have ever been taken. Then Matt meets Aaron, and, even if not immediately, this time is love. Matt doesn’t deny he is immediately attracted by Aaron, and I appreciated that he wants to give it a try; yes, a try cause there is no denying that an homosexual relationship will be more complicated than an heterosexual one; but I have the feeling Matt was more scared by the fact this story could be serious, than the fact Aaron was a man.

Nice slow development of the love story between Matt and Aaron, and that also includes, and allows, Matt leaving his girlfriend before starting anything serious with Aaron, another thing that I liked, in a way Matt was giving to Aaron the respect he deserved as a prospect partner, doesn’t matter the gender.

Good cast of supporting characters, in particular Jay and Peter, whose story I wouldn’t mind to read. But also Matt’s roommates/friends, with their apparently careless attitude towards life that was instead a real caring for their friend’s well-being.

Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 8, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623806399
ISBN-13: 978-1623806392
Amazon: Better Than Good
Amazon Kindle: Better Than Good

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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Not an easy read, for the sensitive matter it deals with but also for the sheer length of it, more than 500 pages, that is a lot considering this is a second part in a story that neither with this chapter will close. But truth be told, it didn’t “feel” that long, usually I struggle to finish novels this long, but it took me only 2 days, simply for the reason it was really impossible to read it in one day.

The story starts with David recoiling from, in order, coming out as gay when he was already married and his wife was pregnant, losing his wife and son to a car accident that almost killed him and left his deeply scarred, abandoning his boyfriend cause he is broken and unable to love again, being raped and badly beaten on Campus ground only for the fact they found out he is gay… yes, quite a lot (most of it happened in the previous book, so this is not a spoiling of the current story). If to someone this appear as like too much for one man only, I have to give kudos to the author to not making a pity case out of David: he is broken and traumatized, and the story doesn’t underestimate the consequences of that, but nevertheless, David is still a man who is able to try and have a life, he is not reacting like a superman who isn’t touched, and he is not a victim who is only able to hide. I think the author was able to present David in the right way, so much that I wonder if she isn’t in familiar with these types of trauma in real life, maybe for her daily job?

Even if this isn’t the end of the story, I had the feeling a cycle was complete, it still remains the desire to see what is happening next, but the reader doesn’t feel as this particular story lacked in closure.

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books, LLC; Second edition (December 3, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Incubation: Finding Peace 2

Series: Finding Peace
1) Beginning Again
2) Incubation



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)

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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)

Updates: http://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/2156728?key=011e4dd0a1ff993d8c2322e691d6229ed9bbf74b
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This time the plot is a little more complex than others, maybe cause the story focuses on Wayne Maccon, who is one of the leaders of this series, the Alpha of the Delani pack, born werewolf centuries ago, powerful and always caring of the others. During the previous novel the reader had the chance to know him and Conner, his mate. The trouble is that Wayne isn’t gay and he has to come to term with the fact that his mate is a man. What probably is the funniest thing is that is a trouble only for him, cause nor his friends or his own family has a problem with that.

Once the finding your mate is out of the picture, this time the plot focuses on rescuing Conner from a pack of rogue wolves kidnapping him. The quest to rescue Conner is an excuse to gather all the team, humans, werewolves, Navy Seals, firefighters, FBI, and whatever other dream hero you can think of. Plus the introduction of some future plots, like Nikolai and his mate, Chance and Logan, Mitch and Locke…

I found Irish Wishes to be a little more fast paced and with and higher breath, like the author decided to bring her characters out for a field trip, in another country, Ireland, and with a more adventurous plot. Wayne and Conner’s story, for how much romantic it was, was like a parallel plot, but there were other important threads, the female pack, the wish of many of the previous pairs to become fathers, the tightening of different series into one. For the first time while reading this novel I wished I had a genealogy tree, to be able to collect and put together all the pieces.

Anyway, for who is following this series in its wholeness, Irish Wishes is an absolute needed reading.

Amazon: Irish Wishes (Volume 12)
Amazon Kindle: Irish Wishes (Volume 12)
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 27, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1480217883
ISBN-13: 978-1480217881

Series: Assassin/Shifter
1) A Marked Man: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1866493.html
2) Alaska, with Love: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1878006.html
3) By the Light of the Moon
4) Half Moon Rising
5) Best Laid Plans
6) For the Love of Caden
7) The General’s Lover
8) Russian Prey: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1737908.html
9) An Ignited Passion: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1777760.html
10) Reflash: elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/2788763.html
11) The Red Zone: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/2251976.html
12) Irish Wishes

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At first I wasn’t sure about the novel, usually cop novels are more gritty, almost dry; this one was light and funny, more like a college frat boys story. Indeed State trooper Ethan Brandt has to go undercover as a college student, and he was picked for the job basically cause he is 24 years old and looking younger, and fit and hot, that is another must if you have to bust a pay-per-view website.

The funny thing is that, the pay-per-view website is basically a reality about straight frat boys living and getting “dirty” together; so Ethan, who is straight, is perfect for the role… isn’t that right? Ethan is straight, right? Mmm, that is, Ethan seems to be a little too much interested in the guys, and while he is at it, also his partner Gabriel Donnelly is starting to become more and more attractive to his eyes, even if both Ethan than Gabriel continue to claim they are straight… perhaps they are trying too much, and the reader doesn’t believe them, like most of the other supporting characters around.

Once I entered the mood of the story, I understood this was more a satire than a mystery/thriller plot; nor Ethan or Gabriel were ever in danger, if not of losing their clothes and falling in love at the same time. Ethan and Gabriel are all around good boys, big bodies and even bigger hearts; there is hesitance in them about embracing their discovery of being in love with another man, but not since they have prejudices, but simply since they haven’t never really considered the possibility. Actually, even if there are only a man to man relationships in the story, I would consider both Ethan than Gabriel bisexual more than gay: they happen to be in love with a man and they decided to follow that pull.

That is basically what I liked of the story, and odd as it sound, what I feel was used too much: not only Ethan and Gabriel, but also Nick and Pete and then Will and Lucas, all of them, while in different circumstances, followed the same path. Nevertheless, I think I would be interested to read their stories, to see if the same path could be developed in different ways.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3459

Amazon: Frat House Troopers
Amazon Kindle: Frat House Troopers
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 19, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162380132X
ISBN-13: 978-1623801328

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Scars is a story about a man who needs to learn how to deal with his internal and external scars and of the man who will help him doing so. This is the main focus of the novel and the target is completely achieved, the narration of Jace’s PTSD is good and realistic, with the right dose of emotion without trying to exploit the drama to make them more sensational. As the author says in the preface, she researched a lot and is near people who went through the same attacks, and you can say that from the way she described them.

Lynley Wayne is someone who apparently writes about things she know or experimented, and considering her other book is about a LGBT family, I have the feeling she experienced that is possible to build such family, maybe with some difficulties, but not impossible. Also in Scars there are various developments of the concept of LGBT family: Jace will have the chance to confront his own family with the reality of him being in a relationship with another man, will they accept his partner or not? The love they clearly have for their son will be corrupted by this news? And the same Jace, who had never once considered the possibility to be gay, will be able to accept to be in love with another man? To not give out too much of the story, I will not go further, but there are even more deployments of the concept of family in the story, more or less all of them with a positive insight.

So yes, while the story’s incipit is dramatic, the development is positive, always with a good perspective, always with a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not an easy path for Jace, but Nicholas is near him, leading him through the nightmares, helping, but above all giving him a reason to fight. I liked this side of the story, even if someone else could think it was too positive: as I said, I have the feeling the author experimented that reality is possible, or at the minimum, she strongly believes it possible.

If I have to find something that didn’t ring right to me, it was in Nicholas’s past, a 13 years old runaway that 6 years later is still innocent and naïve; unfortunately, too often we see that in such occurrences, young boys are used and abused, sometime even by the system that should protect them. 6 years on the streets is a long time, and for how much I would like for Nicholas to be able to preserve his innocence, I highly doubted it. But probably the author didn’t want to charge too much drama into the story, and considering Jace had already a lot of burden to go through, she wanted for Nicholas to be a more steady figure, someone who could give love, patience, comfort.

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

Amazon: Scars
Amazon Kindle: Scars
Publisher MLR Press (September 5, 2012)
Language English
ISBN-10 1608207609
ISBN-13 978-1608207602

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

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
I liked the incipit of the novel; this is my first book by this author, and I admit there were some points of the story I found a little over the line, but maybe it’s due to the almost debut factor, or maybe it’s the age of the author (not really sure how old she is).

In any case, the straight American movie star falling in love for the gay skittish sculptor, considering he has never once felt attraction to men was a good start. Truth be told, even if Jaxon, the movie star, was insisting, even to himself, that he wasn’t stalking Liam, he did come out a little scaring. I think Jaxon was ready for a change, he was basically stalling in a life that he wasn’t feeling his own, and Liam gave him the push for the change. He juxtaposed his need of change in Liam, and that, sincerely, is not really healthy, but well, at least he was not dangerous. Jaxon tries to change his life in a way that it becomes attractive for Liam, it’s Jaxon’s way to court the man, and he succeeds.

When I said that sometime it was over the line, it’s, for example, in Jaxon doing charity in a field related to Liam’s interests… I would have probably preferred if he did that for his own satisfaction, even if, the satisfaction came nevertheless. And one point that really was too odd, was Garrett, just meeting Jaxon, who reveals all Liam’s past, with the excuse to protect him from Jaxon… sincerely it rung wrong, considering that, Liam does the same further in the story, so there was no need for the reader to read it at that point.

The story is not really a “show business” theme as the plot could lead; Jaxon and Liam most live their love story far from society, hidden in Liam’s mountain home, with few friends around them. In a way, when they are in the big city, it’s when misunderstandings come, like interferences in their relationship: they need the open air of the mountainside to be able to see the true in each other.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3894

Amazon: Same Page
Amazon Kindle: Same Page
Publisher Dreamspinner Press (June 14, 2013)
Language English
ISBN-10 1623806151
ISBN-13 978-1623806156

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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As others have noted The Other Guy is a “sweet” romance, where sweet has the classic romance rule meaning, i.e. the even if the two guys are having a physical relationship, the reader is not apart of that side of the story, you only know they are intimate by sentence like “and that night they didn’t part ways”, or “his toothbrush was in the bathroom”. This allows the author to focus more on the personal conflicts Emory, the Other Guy, is having in admitting he is in love with another guy.

At first I thought this was a gay for you romance, meaning that Emory was at the second bad break-up with a woman, this second even left him at the altar, and when he met Nate, I was thinking this was Emory realizing he could be in love with a man. But little by little, we find out that Emory was having trouble with his sexuality for a long time, and maybe the reason why he has never been able to really bond with a woman is that he is not in love with them. Nate I think is Emory’s first real love, and the one for whom he will really hurt. Indeed when his fiancé leaves him at the altar, I didn’t think Emory was really hurt if not for a question of appearance: being left all alone in front of his parents and relatives and friends was not nice, but it was not really the end of the world.

I really liked Nate’s character; apparently the stronger between the two, the one who seemed more self-conscious and comfortable with himself, he is the one who really stakes with his heart, the one who un-shields his feelings, risking to be hurt. And indeed, unwillingly, Emory will hurt him. That is the risk when you relate with someone who is not yet sure of who he is and what he wants.

The Other Guy is, somehow, an unassuming romance, that will insinuate in your heart, little by little, step by step, until the end, when you realize you are completely caught.

Amazon: The Other Guy
Amazon Kindle: The Other Guy
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 4, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 148023964X
ISBN-13: 978-1480239647

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


reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Divisions is another little step into the life of tiger Dev and fox Lee. They are now a couple, together in front of their respective families and the public. Dev’s football team is backing him, new friends are helping them settle into the life of a committed couple and some old friends are creating troubles. This new installment in a series that I loved since book 1 is confirming my idea that this is a very ordinary love story, a nice romance, with that just touch of sexy to make it good, about anthropomorphic characters, but that is like saying the guy had black hair and blue eyes, or the girl had long hair and brown eyes, only that here you have a guy with long stripes and big paws or the other guy with a fluffy tail…

It’s also about football, and for me who is not an expert, the feeling is that Kyell Gold knows about the stuff, and so, if you are a fan of that sport, I suppose this is definitely a book you wanted to read; from my external point of view, I suppose there are more men fan of the sport than women, so I would say this is quite a manly romance, but hands up, I’m pretty sure there are also women who love the sport (and the players!).

Other than football the main theme is Lee’s struggle with his mother, who has joined an ultra-conservative group that is supposedly helping the families remained united when a kid comes out. Unfortunately the group is moistly trying to “pray out” the gayness from the kid, often with tragic outcomes. Even if in an anthropomorphic setting, unfortunately this side of the story rang very true, and it’s saddening to think that this is really happening somewhere, especially in small town where the abused kid (because this is abusing) has no one else helping him out of that trap.

Kyell Gold started the book advising the readers that, once he finished the first draft of the story, it was too long to fit only 1 book, and so he split it into two separate novels. So you will reach the end knowing that not everything will be wrapped up here, but also with the good news that soon enough you will have the chance to spend another pleasant day reading about Dev and Lee.

Amazon: Divisions
Paperback: 388 pages
Publisher: Sofawolf Press (January 18, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1936689278
ISBN-13: 978-1936689279

Series:
1) Out of Position: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/503147.html
2) Isolation Play: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1204289.html
3) Divisions

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


Cover Art by Blotch

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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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The second in the series and you realize the author is building her world, adding characters and situation. The story of Josh and Mark is not so different from Mateo and Riley, they actually share the same cabin the previous couple did, the main difference is that, while in the previous couple Riley was playing straight, but well aware to be attracted to men, for Josh this is the first time he has real feelings for a guy.

Truth be told, Josh is not so “unwelcoming” to this feelings, sure, he is worried, and a little scared, but never once he denies his feelings are real and not really trouble they are for a man. There are other things that Josh is worried about, mainly the fact that Mark was sexually abused and he fears his sexual interest will arise bad memories in the other man.

These stories are delivering what you are expecting when buying them, i.e. hot strong men falling in love for the first time with another men. The author plays a lot both with the physical difference between the men, usually one is very muscular and macho man, while the other is lithe and sophisticated, but also with their social status; I’m not talking about money, since both men have jobs that allow them a good lifestyle, but more about the society they belong to and frequented until their meeting. In a way Josh is more rough, but he has also a very kind heart who is the right man for Mark now, a man in need of tender love.

Amazon: Alaska, with Love
Amazon Kindle: Alaska, with Love
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 5, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1470033917
ISBN-13: 978-1470033910

Series: Assassin/Shifter
1) A Marked Man: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1866493.html
2) Alaska, with Love

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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This is the classical Alpha male/omega male pair, with Marco, the Alpha of his pack, finding and mating with his fated companion, Nicky, who is human and above all a man, while instead Marco has, more or less, always preferred women (even if he has experienced also with men). Plus also Nicky, even if small and pretty, is straight, never once he has felt sexual desire for men. Nicky is not homophobic, his best friend is gay, and so, first he had the chance to discuss about man on man sex, and also the chance to meet gay men. Only that, they never have done anything for him.

When Nicky is forcible turned into a werekin, he goes into heat and his desire to mate with Marco is overwhelming. Nicky is practically forced into having sex with Marco, not by Marco himself, but by his own body which craves the alpha that is in Marco. In this shapeshifter society, there are precise role/play: each pair is made by a Dominant and submissive lover, and when a pair is made, the combination is strict; the wolves are the Dominant, the pet are the submissive. A pet is a werekin without the ability to turn into a wolf, and as a pet he/she is managed: with a collar, on a leash, always submissive to their Master’s orders.

At first I found that the submissive attitude of Nicky was a little too much, above all since he seemed to have not a chance: it was his own body betraying him, even if his mind was against the idea. If there was not the turn in the events, I would have probably thought that everything was too much: Nicky is behaving more like an eager puppy than a partner, arriving to crave sucking his Master’s thumb to fall asleep. But with the turn into rebellion that Nicky will have, the plot became more balanced and as such, I liked it better. Truth be told, even if handsome and strong, I didn’t find Marco particularly clever, on the contrary, he seemed to me a leader who was more used to command with his strength more than with his strategy.

Amazon Kindle: The Alpha's Pet (Dark Hollow Wolf Pack 1)
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing (May 8, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading_list&view=elisa.rolle
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Even if apparently this is the classical bad cop/good cop theme, actually in Cut & Run there is no good cop at all; both FBI agents Zane Garrett and Ty Grady have ghosts in their own past, and no one of them is a by the book agent.

At first glance, Zane seems to be the perfect FBI agent, all rules and restraining, and instead he is a recovered alcoholic with a problem to tighten another bond after the death of his wife; Ty is a unleashed dog, former-marine with posttraumatic syndrome who don’t take well orders. They are both bisexuals, actually I think their Kinsey scale leans more on straight than gay, but when they are throw together in the investigation of a very particular serial killer, they find out they click together better than expected.

I think one of the best character of this story is Burns, the boss of both Zane and Ty, who chose to put them together instead of firing both of them; instead of picking a good and bad to balance one another, he took the risk to put two self-destructive men in the same team to see if, instead of giving each other the final blow, they could find a way to exit to the black tunnel they begun.

I think the sexual relationship between them is their own way to help each other; sure, it’s passionate sex, and they like it a lot, but it’s also a way to nurture each other back to a some sort of mental sanity. Zane and Ty are too burned to trust someone else out of their bond, and if they need to find a balance to work together, that balance has to be total, in and out of work. Moving the working relationship to a personal level is the only way to stay safe and sound, they can allow only one behind their protective shield, and if that one is the working partner, than it will become also the life partner.

Cut & Run itself is a long novel and it’s only the first in a long series; it will be interesting to see how the fragile balance they reached will work in the long time, but in a way I think the balance seems fragile only to an external eye, for them, it’s stronger than steel.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1495

Amazon: Cut & Run
Amazon Kindle: Cut & Run
Paperback: 376 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 29, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 193519223X
ISBN-13: 978-1935192237

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading_list&view=elisa.rolle
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I’m not sure I completely understood this two “gay for you” approach of the plot, but for sure it was something I have never read before. When Marcus is turned into a vampire, he is straight and with a girlfriend he loves, he has never once desired men and he was completely satisfied with his love and sex life. But a newly made vampire is dangerous, and it’s custom to have them interact only with same-sex supernatural creatures, so that they can be as forceful as they want without causing damages. So Marcus had his first same-sex sexual experiences and truth be told, he didn’t mind it. Sure, Marcus still preferred women if he had to pick or at least that was true until Phillip.

Phillip is a young man Marcus met one night; he is fascinated by him, but probably nothing would have come from it if not for a fatal accident that forces Marcus to turn Phillip into a vampire; now Marcus feels responsible for the young vampire, even if he is almost unmanageable and almost homophobic. The only same sex relationship he manages is with Marcus, and so they become buddy friends with benefits, sharing a room and occasionally also lovers. For 20 years Marcus pines for Phillip, waiting for the time the man will realize they are destined to be together in a real mating bond.

In a way, I prefer Phillip to Marcus. I think Marcus is not fighting enough for their love, it felt like he didn’t believe in it. Phillip is always the one, to my eyes, who takes the first step, but Marcus is always ready to misunderstand his motives, in the end making him going away. This come and go motion continues for a long time, when, again, it will be Phillip that will take the ownership of deciding what it will be of them.

There is a lot of sex in this novel, even if it’s in front of your eyes sex; sex between men and women, vampires and shapeshifters, elves and sorcerers, and whatever combination of these you can imagine. So yes, love and bond here is not represented by monogamy, but more by a commitment of souls that goes beyond that of the bodies.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2334

Amazon Kindle: I love you, asshole!
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 17, 2011)

Series: Green's Hill
1) Litha's Constant Whim
2) I Love You, Asshole!

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


Cover Art by Anne Cain
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
I cannot ignore the fact there was a polemic behind this novel, people suggesting/implying this was a fanfiction of the gay themed movie Shelter. Now, I have seen Shelter, I’m not an huge fan, but I liked the movie, and sincerely, there are some similarities but for sure nothing you can compare to a plagiarism. Basically the only two things in common are the fact that the main character falls in love with his best friend’s brother, and that he has a younger brother he is taking care for.

But in Bear, Otter, and the Kid, the budding of the relationship between Bear (Derrick) and Otter (Oliver) was there well before, when Bear was only 17 years old and Otter 9 years older; that is one of the reason why Otter feels as if he is influencing Bear, like an imprinting he “imposed” to the boy since he was a kid, and the guiltiness pushed him away. Plus here Bear is the only caregiver of the Kid (Ty), there is no mother or father, or any other relatives (while instead if I remember well in Shelter there was a family, dysfunctional as you want, but still there). In Shelter, the main character is a wannabe artist, here Bear has no artistic skills.

I think to remember the author said he took inspiration from his own experience taking care for a younger brother for this novel, and I don’t exclude he felt near to the movie, like when you see/read something that call to you inner cords, that speaks true to your heart. Maybe he put something of that feeling in the novel, but something that is completely original of this novel is the character of the Kid. The kid in the movie was nothing compared to this one, and I don’t think this Kid can be “accused” of being a replica of someone else, it felt to good and true to be fake or copy. Sure, this Kid is not normal, he is probably a little genius, someone that, if raised in a different environment, or in a family with money, would have been one of those little adult who became multimillionaire at 14 years old, or some musical genius, or something else exceptional. Here instead, he is the perfect counsellor to his brother, the friends of his brother, and everyone he has the chance to touch with his aura.

The relationship between Bear and Otter is sweet, almost to the level of being innocent; it’s not that they are not having sexual intercourses, it’s that the sex is done “behind closed doors”, and sometime, like with me, you realize they had sex since one of them said it, not since you read about it. In a way, even if this is not a Young Adult novel, this could be a novel the upper age of teenagers could “use” as first attempt to gay novel literature.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2472

Amazon: Bear, Otter, and the Kid
Amazon Kindle: Bear, Otter, and the Kid
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613720874
ISBN-13: 978-1613720875

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


Cover Art by Paul Richmond
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There are various level of comfort for me on regard of BDSM and maybe Enslaved reached almost the upper limit. I’m saying almost since indeed it’s tempered, sweetened by the romance, and by the “Hollywood” allure that makes everything easier, but still, be aware that the BDSM component is quite heavy.

The story starts almost like a dream, Jeremy is a unsatisfied man trapped in an unhappy marriage; almost like an escape from reality, Jeremy first fell in love with a television actor, a man he saw only on the screen once a week, and then poured that love in a novel, a novel that was accepted from a publisher and then whose right were acquired for a movie… a movie that of course will have as main actor that same man who since the beginning inspired it. Jeremy is walking on clouds, he is sure that, once he will meet the man of his dreams everything will be perfect, doesn’t matter that he is married (to a woman), doesn’t matter that he has never had any gay lover, doesn’t matter that actually, the other man is engaged to a woman and doesn’t even know him from nobody.

Of course it will go wrong, and of course Jeremy will not be able to manage it; we soon learn that Jeremy has big behavioural issue, he has no self-confidence at all and he is prone to get angry. The coldness he sees in Andre is actually shyness and even maybe a little distrust in strangers, but Jeremy is ready to judge him. As soon as he gets angry with Andre, he is also ready to play the supine puppet for to his wife recriminations and then to that of the director of the movie. Andre sees that and offer to Jeremy to help… teaching him the real submission of a slave, and in that way empowering him in everyday life.

While I can have some reticence to accept this theory, what is probably the most difficult thing for me to accept is that it seems almost like everything is a play for Andre. He said he tried this D/s thing in the past, but he said that like “passing”, like it was not important for him. Now, I would expect someone more expert than him to be the Master in a relationship, especially with a fragile man like Jeremy; and indeed things could have gone very wrong if not for an ultimate turn of events. Anyway most of Jeremy’s discipline is given through spanking or similar, so it’s not that they are in danger to really hurt him, if not on an emotional level (that actually can be even worst).

Andre and Jeremy are good together, their main issue is probably that they are not yet fully convinced they want an homosexual relationship; they both profess to be bisexual, but like if they are leaving a door open, Andre especially more than Jeremy.

http://fannypress.com/2011/04/11/enslaved-book-1-in-pj-prouds-new-shameful-desires-trilogy/

Amazon: Shameful Desires 1: Enslaved
Amazon Kindle: Shameful Desires 1: Enslaved
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Fanny Press (March 29, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603814930
ISBN-13: 978-1603814935

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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I was a little hesitant to read this novel since, well, I’m not really into heavy sci-fi stuffs, and not only the title, but also the blurb, implied this was that type of novel; plus I think I have read somewhere this is supposed to be only first book in a series… so, yes, I was biased. But the author was really quick in making me changing idea, almost from chapter one. True, Jeremey and Julian find themselves involved in a pretty heavy and dangerous situation (that btw it’s more dark fantasy than sci-fi, involving immortals and demons), but the heaviness of the situation doesn’t translate in the novel; maybe it’s the young age of the main characters, 18 and 22 years old, or maybe the young age of the author ;-), but in the end, this novel was pretty easy to read and I was more interested, and involved, in the budding love story between Jer and Julian than in the dangers looming outside. One other thing that I think it helped, but that at the beginning made me wonder a little on the author, is the writing style: there are almost no description, most of the sentences are dialogue between the characters, and yes, even if at the beginning it was a little disconcerting, since it quickened the reading quite a lot, and didn’t give to the reader almost time to breath, in the end it made the reading experience more way simple than expected.

Coming back to the plot, in the prologue the author explained how Jer and Julian find themselves alone against the bad world; at first, when Jer’s father and Julian’s mother are still alive, Jer was almost annoyed by 13 years old Julian, especially when he had to babysit him. But the night they remained alone, when both of their parents are killed in an accident, Jer only thought is that he has to take care of Julian; so, his role of protector is something he feels way before the current time, when unwilling turned into an Immortal, it’s asked to let Julian go, almost as if Julian is a weight he cannot bear. As when he was 17 years old, Jer doesn’t listen from that ear, and he decides to embark in a run with Julian. As I said, most of the novel is about Jer and Julian’s relationship, how they discover their bound is more than friendship or what two brothers should feel for each other. Truth be told, Jer and Julian were already pretty “physical” with each other, probably more than ordinary brothers or even male teenagers; sure this is mostly due from being alone in the world, for having only each other, and 13 years old Julian probably still needed the physical comfort.

But we soon find out Julian is gay, and if you think about it, a 13 years old guy is probably already aware of his sexual impulses, and I think Julian’s crush on Jer began even before their parents’s death. Anyway it would be a little hard (no pun intended) for Jer to admit that he can be interested in Julian, not only since Julian is a boy but also since Jer sees him like a kid, and he thinks he should treat him like a brother. Of course Jer is only 22 years old, with a strong sexual urge due to his mutation, and Julian is willing and ready, and well, you can imagine what it will happen. Also this, the whole situation between Julian and Jer, very cute and romantic, and also funny, contributes to the lightness of the story.

So yes, if you, like me, are discouraged when faced with a sci-fi plot, in this case don’t worry, actually the background plot of dangers and dark enemies is just the right level (and after all, not so dangerous), and in the end, this is more romance than expected. One warning, I will tag this novel as Coming of Age due to the young age of the characters, but this is not really a Young Adult novel, there is quite a bit of sex, as expected in my opinion if you consider these are young men with very healthy and normal sexual urges.

Amazon Kindle: Symbiota Sapiens

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading%20list&view=elisa.rolle
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I’m used to the “pop culture” novels by Jet Mykles, actually the Heaven Sent series was probably the first yaoi style novels I read, and I like them. They are probably a must read for me, and that is the reason why I picked up Reverb as soon as it was out; and of course the cover by Laura Carboni was a nice bonus pushing me. True, Jet Mykles advised her fans that Reverb was a little more “dark” than the Heaven Sent series, this is a real sex, drugs and rock and roll themed novel, and the drugs IS a main part of the story, something that, odd as it sounds, in Heaven Sent was not, actually that series was pretty “vanilla”, and it’s saying a lot since it’s probably more on the erotica side than the romance one.

Indeed Reverb starts with a bump: Marlowe, the sexy singer who is “corrupting” young and naïve Nick to the dark side, goes to jail after causing an accident in which Nick is injured. Two years in prison, even if it’s more a rehab than anything else. But Marlowe is inside and Nick is outside, hating Marlowe for being the one who put a stop to his burgeoning career. If you are expecting, or are worried, this is a highly dramatic novel, with two starcrossed lovers suffering from separation, don’t worry. The two years go like a blow (no pun intended), and Marlowe and Nick have to face what is between them: is it sex? Love? Hate? It’s for them to decide.

There is a definitive change in mood from the first to the second part of the novel; the second part is more sweet and tender, more romantic. That is clear also in the change the character of Marlowe had undergone: after the rehab, Marlowe is more “present”, he has a stronger perception of reality, he has no more the drugs clouding his minds, and in this way he has a more raw approach to life and relationship. He is less “star” and more “man”; this change is not unnoticed to Nick, and in a way it was at first not a good change for him: Nick was fascinated by Marlowe, the star, Marlowe was like a hurricane, and it was difficult to refuse him something, even your body. The second Marlowe is a man who something needs to be reassured, to be comforted, he is more a taker than a giver (and yes, a little pun is intended). Nick is not sure he likes so much this second Marlowe, but in the end, it’s only with a man like that you can consider to have a future.

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

Amazon: Reverb
Amazon Kindle: Reverb
Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (May 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608202585
ISBN-13: 978-1608202584

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


Cover Art by Laura Carboni
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
It’s true that a Gay Romance novel can be serious and even a little bit drama, but I think that what can so many reader hooked on this genre were stories like the Heaven Sent series by Jet Mykles, or at least that was for me. I eagerly read all 4 books in that series, plus the bonus stories with all 4 pairs together; I’m guilty of not having yet read the spin-off, but it’s never too late. I admit that I was a little sad to see that series end, pretty and a little bit crazy guys playing in the show business field was a good treat for me, every time a new novel was out it was first in my reading list.

With Squire Jet Mykles comes back to that world, and starts a spin-off series, Indigo Knights; Rabin Squire already appeared in a previous novel of the Heaven Sent series, and he was for sure an interesting character; as other in that series, he was not openly gay, but let us say that he was at least bi-curious. In his own story, Rabin meets Izzy, Brent’s cousin (Brent is part of the Heaven Sent band and he is paired with Hell); Izzy is a bit of a stereotype: long, flowing black hair, lithe and smooth body, as much if not more pretty than a girl, if Rabin is bi-curious, Izzy is probably the right boy to experiment.

Izzy is coming out from a bad breakup and he says he doesn’t want nothing serious; he admits he has a crush on Rabin, and he is more than willing to be his buddy “f**k” friend, with strings attached. But saying and doing is different and without almost realizing that, both Rabin than Izzy develops a deeper feeling for each other, something that can easily turn in love if they give it a chance.

The story is pretty much on the light mode, there is really no drama, and I liked that, even if there was a little bit of thinking on the straight versus gay issue, in the end Rabin had more or less a “what feels good is good” attitude: being with Izzy is good, they are not doing anything wrong, no one will suffer from it, so, where is the wrong in that? They are young, they are free, and they are good together. True, someone could question Rabin’s easiness in accepting being involved in a gay relationship while he was “apparently” straight, but that is, the author suggests that while Rabin was fine in his “straight” relationship, he has never had anything serious with a woman since it was not really his fate.

Squire, and I suppose all the Indigo Knight series, like the Heaven Sent was, is a light show business themed story, with pretty boys, good sex and little if nothing drama, perfect for a R&R night.

http://www.loose-id.com/Indigo-Knights-Squire.aspx

Amazon Kindle: Squire (Indigo Knights)
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (September 7, 2010)

Series: Heaven Sent
1) Heaven: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/27253.html
1.5) Pretty Red Ribbon: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/22377.html
2) Purgatory
2.5) Sexy Spring Surprise: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/67552.html
3) Hell: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/68720.html
3.5) Feisty Little Firecracker: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/119856.html
4) Faith: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/68720.html
4.5) Sly Spectral Trick: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/166811.html
5) Genesis: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/211283.html
6) Revelations

Series: Indigo Knights
1) Squire

Reading List:



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Cover Art by P.L. Nunn
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Sometime reading this book I had the thought swirling in my mind, wow, isn’t it a bit too much? Too much instant-love, too much sudden passion, too much feelings, too much romance… and then I realized I was slightly complaining of what I usually complain is overlooked in the romance genre. Maybe my odd reaction was due to the fact that the two main characters are both hot and hunky men, and then I realized that I was a snob: why hot and hunky men can’t be overly romantic? After all, that was the same first reaction I had to a G.A. Hauser’s book, and we well know how she became an icon of the M/M genre, and so my advice is, if you like her genre, probably you will like also this novel.

Let me explain a little the points that in a way I both like and let me perplexed: Jake is a recently widower with two teenager kids; he had the perfect 2.5 family, a soccer mom wife and a high-paid job in finance; he was happy and thought nothing could go wrong; but economy and cancer took away from him both job than wife and now he is relocating in Texas, where a distant relative left him a ranch. All right, how nice and convenient that at the same time he is losing his Californian mansion, he inherited a full-paid ranch-style home in Texas. Not only that but he is able to work from home, so that he can take care of his two kids. Well, Jake is a very lucky man.

As soon as he steps into town, he meets wet-dream hot-biker Native-American Cade, the dad of one of his daughter’s schoolmates. Now Jake was never gay, aside from some experimenting in college with his roommate (and that is another thing I’d like to understand: Jake married at 19 years old and had the first son at 22; but he said he has never cheated on his wife… so when the experimenting happened? Between 17 and 19 years old I suppose), but as soon as he sees Cade, he falls over heels for the hot-man and it’s not long that the two are speaking of love and using tender nick-names. If I want to find a logical reason for this sudden turn of Jake from mourning widower to starry-eyed lover, I can only think that he was so much in love with his wife that he cannot bear the thought to have another woman in his life, and so he is able to truly love again only someone who is completely different from his wife. And sincerely as second best option Cade is a hell-hot of choice.

But for the two lovers things are not easy with the townsfolk. This is the last point that rang a bit strange on my ears, Cade was living in the small-town apparently without much trouble, he has good friends, a thriving business, and even temporary boyfriends (never lasting long truth be told). But as soon as he got serious with a man, people in the town cry scandal. Again what I can think is that, as far as Cade was more or less adopting a Don’t tell Don’t ask philosophy, and his partners were passing strangers, or closeted men, then the townsfolk was happy to ignore him. An open relationship with another single, and male, parent was not acceptable.

As my reference to the love at first sight point and the similarity to the Hauser’s novel could let you think, there is plenty of sex in the novel, and also very “vocal”: the two men like to talk and like to get messy, always of course remembering that they have teenager kids around, and so late morning sex, while the children are at school, is a must. Indeed their being parents, and having a family, is another strong point of the story, and another lucky point for them: I would bet every parent would like to have such wonderful kids like Grace, Thad and Sparrow, maybe they seem a little too old for their age, but that is probably due to the drama they have witnessed at such young age.

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2774

Amazon Kindle: Leather Nights
Publisher: Screwdriver (August 25, 2010)

Reading List:



http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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The first book I read by this author was a paranormal fantasy about some mythological scottish creature. Even if I was surprise by the quality of the book in comparison to the publisher (now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that publisher is not good, I’m saying that usually they point to a more fast-written/fast-read target), I was not so surprise by the detailed setting and characterization, after all the author was English, and so, in a way, she had maybe a vantage point in accessing such knowledge to make the story believable, even if it was a paranormal setting.

This time, even if this is a contemporary novel, I’m surprised the author managed the same achievement with a totally stranger setting; the Hawaiian culture is pretty popular, for different reason, to the US author, but I think it had to be difficult for a stranger to reach such detailed background. True, one of the main character is British, but all the quite rich cast is plain American. Plus, due to the length of the novel, more of 400 pages, there was plenty of chances to be caught in mistake, and for as much I can, that didn’t happened.

I also liked the many parallelism the author did with the title of the book: Sea Change of course refers to one of the main character of the novel, the Sea indead, which bind together Bran, a former US Coast Guard, and Steve, a British vet with a specialization in sea animals. The I think the “sea change” refers also to the tides and to the changes happening with them: Bran has always thought his life was to be a Coast Guard, but now, due to a work related accident, he is no more fit to the role; he has to rethink his life, and he is not sure of where this change will lead him. While Bran is unsure of his career future, I didn’t detect any uncertainty on his sexual awareness, Bran is gay and he has no intention to go back in the closet, not even for a man he could arrive to love. On the other hand, while Steve has his future career planned ahead of him, he has not the same clear path on an emotional level: he professes to be straight, and in search of the right woman, but he had at least a long-term relationship (6 months at 20 years old is long-term) with a college roommate, and so, he is not total against the idea of having a relationship with Bran, only that he is not exactly ready to be open with that. I don’t know but maybe since Bran has issues with a lot of his life aspect but apparently not with his sexuality, maybe he cannot accept to barter also on that, and so for him it’s all or nothing.

Now in any “ordinary” length novel, the gay for you sub-plot would have been the easy card to play, and as often happen, the sudden turn from straight to gay of one of the character would have been not so much supported by his emotional development. In Sea Change instead the author has plenty of time, and story, to make it believable, and so when Steve arrives to the conclusion that he is in love with Bran, it’s not sudden, but a well ripe, and well thought, decision.

As usual I concentrated on the romance plot, but this is not “only” a romance novel, it’s something more: there is the setting, that can tags this novel as multicultural, the adventure and even the quest of a man who is searching for his future. But well, from my perspective, the romance is very important, and even if here it arrives a bit late (more or less ¾ of the book), be patient, and I will assure you, it will be worth the wait.

http://s317925213.e-shop.info/shop/category_3-2-4/Sea-Change-by-Chris-Quinton.html?shop_param=cid%3D%26

Reading List:

 

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A classical family story, this is a mix of gay for you and “peter pan” syndrome. Sebastian is a 27 years old gayer than gay graduate student. He is the one with the “peter pan” syndrome, he doesn’t want to grow. Plus he is so gay. Both these are reaction to issues he has with his own parents, who didn’t disowned him when he came out since basically, they were not so caring anyway. When he came out to his mother she asked him that his behavior didn’t t become too embarrassing, and he started to behave like he is always in a gay parade; when his parents started to make comments on him always being in college, doctorate after doctorate, he not only didn’t choose an academic job, but he decided to specialize in a matter that has no future in the academic world. It’s not hard to read in Sebastian’s actions a clear refusal of his original family. A refusal that is even more clear in his attachment to Bella’s family.

Bella is Sebastian’s best friend; for her own reason, she is as incapacitated as Sebastian to grow up. Pairing with Sebastian is only a way to delay her own development, but Bella is younger than Sebastian, and she is still in a moment in life when she is still allowed to be uncertain of her future. So is not for Sebastian.

When Bella’s brother, Asa, comes back home after a bad divorce, he offers to Bella and Sebastain to come living with him; I think he is doing a nice thing towards Bella, but he is also trying to build a family around Jordan, his son. Jordan’s mother abandoned him and her family and Jordan is not reacting well to the news. Bella will play the role of the substitute mother, and that will help also her with her own psychological issue and Sebastian, well, Sebastian is tagging along. I don’t think Asa was thinking to a role for Sebastian in this makeshift family but when Asa and Sebastian meet, it’s clear what Sebastian’s role will be, he will help Asa in regaining trust in love.

Asa is bisexual, and he is quite open about it. He was married, but in a way, he was pair opportunity; he doesn’t judge his possible partner basing his opinion on the genre, but more on the common interests. And he has lot in common with Sebastian. Sincerely between the two, it’s Sebastian who has more issue, Asa only needs a little time to adjust to the new situation, but he is soon ready to fall in love again.

The story is nice, maybe Asa is a little too perfect to be true, a construction worker who has more the body of a model than a blue collar, with a wonderful house and an even more wonderful family, he is the perfect dream date. Not sure such fine man really exist, but in the end this is a romance, not real life.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1953

Amazon Kindle: Bewitched by Bella's Brother

Reading List:



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Cover Art by Anne Cain
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
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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The Wedding Planner is a bit more on the usual trend of G.A. Hauser’s previous Gay Romance, where women have not exactly an exemplar role, but at least they manage to redeem a bit in the end.

Perfect Groom Jordon is the dream of every woman: successful stockbroker with penthouse apartment near Wall Street and detached house in the suburbs, he is soon to be married with bimbo flight attendant Fawn. It’s not that Fawn is not a nice girl, it’s only that she doesn’t give the impression to be ready to marry, all the opposite of Jordon. Jordon is 30 years old, and has already reached all the right steps in his life, good work, beautiful house and now he wants the perfect marriage and maybe a family. I have the impression that, when he reached that conclusion, Fawn was right there, and Jordon picked up the first woman who fit the bill, at least a bit.

Jordon has some “old fashioned” idea in mind, on what is marriage and family, and being gay doesn’t fit it. Even more a misfit, if he considers his gay brother Bryan, that, to be gentle, is a slut. So, even if Jordon is the epitome of a Martha Stewart in a male body, and everything in him screams “gay”, he stubbornly refuses to consider even only the idea. Jordon is not simply bi-curious, he is totally with the nose in the “cream”, and he wants so bad to lap it all (there is a bit of pun here, yes, I know), but he fears that, if he surrenders to temptation, he will have also to loose his old fashioned dreams of being the next June Cleaver.

Then in his life enters Tyler, the wedding planner. Tyler is handsome and nice, gentle and caring, and so cute. He has also a past as debauched innocent (a porn star career when he was only 15 years old) that arise the protectiveness feeling of Jordon. And he is at the opposite of Jordon’s brother, Bryan; Tyler believes in love and in family, and it tears his heart to see how much Jordon want them and how few chances he has to find them with Fawn. To give him credit, Tyler doesn’t try to ruin Fawn’s image in front of Jordon’s eyes, she is very good in doing that all by herself.

Probably the most unexpected thing of this novel, it was that, even if there was a lot of sex talking, the act itself happens quite far in the book, something I’m not quite used in a G.A. Hauser’s novel. Here there is actually a story, a love story, and the author leaves a lot of space to it to evolve, in a nice and quite way, without rush or anything to make the reader feel like the character were skipping steps.

Loosely connected to The Vampire and the Man-Eater, Jordon is friend of Brock Harris and colleague of Adrian, Brock's best friend, and to The Kiss, Jordon is first cousin with Claire and Scott.

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2135

Amazon Kindle: The Wedding Planner

Amazon: The Wedding Planner (print book)

Series:
1) The Kiss: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/128685.html
2) Capital Games: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/210160.html
3) Love You, Loveday by G.A. Hauser: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/288895.html
4) When Adam met Jack: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/300519.html
5) Going Deep
6) Behaving Badly (Action! 4): http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/700268.html
7) The Vampire and the Man-Eater: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/401075.html
8) The Wedding Planner

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Man to Man is probably the most traditional gay romance by G.A. Hauser I have read. There is still some of the elements that I usually find in one of her romances, like men who like sex for the pleasure of sex, and who are incredibly outrageous, but all in all, these two men are two romantic at heart.

Tanner, a lifeguard, is just out from a bad divorce and he doesn’t want to have a committed relationship any time soon. There is also the little problem that Tanner doesn’t want kids, that is the mainly reason for the failure of his marriage, and at 30 years old all the women who buzz around him seem primed for pregnancy. So basically Tanner is avoiding any relationship at all, and things work just fine at least till the day Josh enters his life.

Josh is 25 years old and in searching of a change in his life. A business degree on the shoulder and a year of work as white collar left him with a desire for something different. With the summer approaching, Josh decides to enlist to be a lifeguard and he is also very good at that. At first Tanner takes him under his wing thinking to have found a good work partner, but he doesn’t expect all the trouble Josh is bringing on.

Even if Josh behaves like an “easy” man, he is for real thirsty for love; all his previous relationships, three in totals, have always left him with a bitter taste in his mouth, and in the end, his partners have always taken advantage of him. Josh has never been the one in control, he was always the one who begged for love and only received sex. Just before meeting Tanner, Josh was considering the idea to try to have next a sex relationship instead of searching for love, and then here it’s Tanner, sexy and single. The little detail that Tanner is straight it’s not something Josh considers important, two of his three previous boyfriends pretended to be straight, and used Josh as hidden boy toy.

The problem is that Josh is totally unable to prevent to his heart to be involved and on the other side, Tanner is not a bad guy like his previous partners. Both men realize that they are venturing in dangerous waters, that their hearts are on stake, but the temptation is too much. There is a bit of "gay for you" in this novel, even if it doesn't bring along the usual angst; yes, Tanner is scared to "come out" as gay, he is still stuck with the definition of what is straight and what is gay, and he is maybe considering the option of bisexual, but all in all, he is not resisting so much or so strongly to the idea.

Usually I like the G.A. Hauser’s men since they are not likeable characters, they are whining, spoiled, vain… and they are adorable. Josh and Tanner have not the negative traits and all the positives, they are handsome, generous, devoted to their work and unable to have a relationship without commitment, even when they are both willing to have it. In a way they are so perfect that they should be unrealistic, but I was more in the mood to hug them, at least when they were not bad mouthing the women around them! Yes, that is another thing from the previous novels by G.A. Hauser that comes back again here, women don’t come out exactly in a positive way, even if, in the end, the author gave them a moment of redemption.

http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Man+to+Man/exact_match=exact

Amazon Kindle: Man to Man

Amazon: Man to Man (print book)

Reading List:

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

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