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

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

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

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

More Reviews by Author at my website:, My Reviews
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
I have to be truth, I picked up this book as soon as it was out cause I wanted to read a good mpreg story, and that is not easy to find. While the good part was there, there isn’t much of the mpreg, I think that, being this a series, most of it will be in following book.

The main theme is an interracial love story between a young human, Dale, and a warrior alien, Keyno. From what I could gather, the alien race hasn’t really gender, they are all warrior with the ability to conceive; only that, as an aftermath of a chemical war, their reproductive system was damaged, and now they need to find mates who are able to carry on a pregnancy; female apparently won’t go, cause the babies are bigger than usual, and it leads to miscarriage. So basically, Keyno’s people is travelling the star system, vising various planets and picking a few thousands of willing or unwilling men to be “harvested”. At first, Dale was on the unwilling side. But he soon changed idea when he saw the advantage of having a sexy mate like Keyno, even if he comes with a tail and a little more fur than usual (cat-like) and with the requirement for Dale to be the one to give birth to their babies.

Let me say that I enjoyed the story, it was mostly light and cute, not really heavy-set on details like many sci-fi novels. So yes, I’m not a big fan of sci-fi, I prefer my stories like this one, but this is also a warning to possible readers of what they will have reading it, if you are hard-core sci-fi fans, maybe it’s good for you to set your expectation.

Another little warning is for the character of Dale, he is a brat, a cute, little brat, well aware of the appeal he has on Keyno and able to use it. The relationship between them is, or better, should be Dominant versus submissive, but Dale soon learns the technique of topping from the bottom, and he has soon Keyno tied around his little finger. Truth, that was fated from the beginning, cause Keyno’s people is used to consider mates like precious ones to be protected and cherished.

I wouldn’t have minded to read a little more about Dale and the prospective pregnancy but he mostly joked about it using stereotypes about women and pregnancy; I suppose the real deal will be in following books when it will be his time to experience it.

Series: The Harvest
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Storm Moon Press LLC (October 31, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162757073X
ISBN-13: 978-1627570732
Amazon: The Harvest: Taken: Book 1
Amazon Kindle: The Harvest: Taken: Book 1


reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
A sweet, almost old fashioned romance, this novel follow spaceship captain Jason falling in love for Ferran, a young alien. Ferran comes from a matriarchal society, and since he is sterile, he was destined from birth to be, more or less, a male housekeeper. He has a docile streak, breed in him since he was born, and as usual among his people, he is very sensual, they see sex like an ordinary expression of deep feelings. Jason in comparison is more reserved, maybe even a bit aloof, very much in line with his Eastern world roots, but it is impossible for him to resist Ferran, even if they know their love is doomed by the impeding due of Ferran: go back home and marry a woman chosen by his mother.

As I said, this remembered me the old futuristic romances I read when I was a teenager, futuristic wasn’t really a popular genre, or at least it wasn’t in comparison to the historical romance, but I did enjoy some of those novels, and I found again that enjoyment in Changing Worlds. The world building is not very complex, not until Jason exits the sheltered environment of Ferran’s home; the life inside that matriarchal home is like you will expect to be in a pre-World War family, only with a woman in place of the man; actually, even if I don’t have direct experience, they told me that some African culture were and still are similar to that, in Ethiopia, for example, during the WWII, the chief of a tribe was the oldest female, and when a man married, he went into the wife’s family.

I enjoyed the evolution of both characters, that of Ferran is more marked, basically is also the purpose of the story, but also Jason changed a little, becoming more open, less aloof, opening his heart to others other than Ferran.

Amazon: Changing Worlds
Amazon Kindle: Changing Worlds
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Storm Moon Press LLC (May 18, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937058301
ISBN-13: 978-1937058302


Cover Art by Nathie

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
I went back to read The Good Fight after I read the sequel, The Fight Within, so I already knew what it was supposed to be of Jerry and John. That gave me the chance to concentrate on them as a budding couple, how they met, how they fell in love.

Probably the most unexpected development is the one of John. I’m true, I have this romance novel imagine of Native Americans, and I’m always expecting for them to be proud of their heritage, strong men and women who will fight for all the rights that should be theirs right from the beginning. Actually a little how it was in The Fight Within. But here John, while for sure pride, is also a man who is able to recognize he needs help and that help can arrives from Jerry, the man he is falling for. John is quite emotional, maybe a good thing in a relationship, but not so much when you are fighting for custody of two children. Jerry is a mainstay, someone who is able to ground John’s emotions and drive him steadily towards their happily ever after as a family.

I also liked that Jerry wasn’t some perfect nerd/geek guy, clever but naïve of real life; Jerry decided to “retire” to a small town after he had the chance to experiment the big city and deciding it wasn’t for him. He saw the bad and went back to a more comfortable environment, one where you know your neighbor, bad or good as they are, and in a way, knowing you possible enemy is a way to being able to face them. And after all, the enemy is not so bad, and you have all the chances to fight and win them over.

Amazon: The Good Fight
Amazon Kindle: The Good Fight
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 3, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613727364
ISBN-13: 978-1613727362

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Anne Cain

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The story is a frighteningly possible apocalypse now future; or at least it was considering the devastation the AIDS plague brought to this world. In a future society, people tested positive to the homogene, mind you that doesn’t mean they are homosexual, but that they have a specific gene believing to determine homosexuality; consequence is that even men who are not homosexual, but married (and in love with their wives) and fathers are confined in isolated camps. For the last 7 years they are captives of machines, since prison officers are now substituted by robots and only one or two men, tested negative to the homogene, can control an entire prison.

This is the situation where we find camp guard Rafe and prisoner Dylan; Dylan understood the only weak point of that situation are the human guards and he plans to seduce Rafe. Of course nothing is simple as appears and our men will find themselves in a very uneasy situation.

The setting was perfect, since it was oppressive; as usual in these stories, even if not specifically said, the mood and the writing style convey a perennial shadow, even in broad light the sun seemed not able to warm this inhuman world.

Even the characters, Rafe and Dylan, were perfect, right for the reason they were not: Rafe didn’t struck me as particularly clever, and Dylan was ready to use everyone to his purposes. There is to be considered that Dylan was 17 years old when he was imprisoned, and now, 7 years later, he is a man of 24 who hasn’t had really any chance to live. A bit of selfishness is probably amendable.

I’m not sure the author intended this as to be a standalone book; she introduces different elements that are not totally wrapped up at the end, and even for the main characters there isn’t a 100% closure; in a way, I’m not even sure Rafe and Dylan are destined to be together, or maybe they are, but in this uncertain future, where nothing is sure, they have the only possible relationship, a relationship to be lived day by day.

Amazon: Quarantine
Amazon Kindle: Quarantine
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing (September 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1781845271
ISBN-13: 978-1781845271

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
I was almost used to an Andrew Grey’s novel, setting in a pretty small town or in an old fashioned ranch, that this new series caught me by surprise. The Fight Within is almost entirely developed in a Native American reservation, and this alone gained major points from me since I have always been interested in those reservations and the today life. You have a lot of historic essays and even some novels, but current life is often overlooked in favor of old notions.

Bryce is a recent widower (actually his partner died days before their marriage but the ceremony was only something formal to make it legal what they already consider a status quo); even if still mourning, Bryce knows that his late partner wouldn’t have wanted for him to do that forever, and so when Bryce meets Paytah, he knows it’s time to look ahead to another future. The trouble is that Paytah is coming out from an abusive past and he is scared to love again (or better to love for the first time, since what he went through before is as much as far from love you can imagine).

Another difference I noticed from previous experiences with the same author is that the sex part of the novel is not so much on center stage; sure, the two main characters will arrive to share also the physical aspect of their relationship, but maybe due to the sensitive matter the novel is dealing with (child abuse), the author decided to let it being late into the novel and not so explicit. I quite appreciate this soft touch, it was right for the context.

I liked that here the strength of the men lied not in their physical body, but more in their upbringing and self-consciousness: while Bryce is hurting, he comes from a supporting family and circle of friends, and so he is strong enough to overcome his loss; on the other side, while Paytah is apparently the stronger man, big and sturdy, he is actually the one who needs help because his hurting is deep and still bleeding inside.

Amazon: The Fight Within
Amazon Kindle: The Fight Within
Paperback: 206 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623804000
ISBN-13: 978-1623804008

Series: The Good Fight
1) The Good Fight:
2) The Fight Within

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Anne Cain

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
A strange, and oddly, funny book about a young Tarot reader and his discovery of true love. While reading this book, a sometime even complex book, mostly played inside the mind of Brent, I had this idea of the author, a retired archbishop who writes explicit gay romance novels, in a committed relationship since the 1990s: I was imagining a good-tempered, kind man, in body and mind, and then I turned the last page and saw the picture of a long-haired blond Viking, better suited for a novel about pillaging than a new-age story like this one. But even if it sounds strange, that gave me a new perspective on the novel, making it a little more biography than pure fiction.

At first Brent seemed too odd to be true; now it’s true that I know people who are 100% in communication with their inner soul and living according to the same rules Brent is, but to my very grounded persona, it’s always difficult to admit they are real people. Not true, and I think Brent is a little bit a fictionalization of the same author.

Brent’s love interest is hunk Native American Takoda; perfect in everything, inside and outside, Takoda is a wet dream comes true, and he really loves Brent, from day one. Again, until last page, this sudden bond seemed rushed, and indeed I was thinking that Takoda was replacing his lost lover, another man with Swedish origin like Brent, with him, but again I was wrong, and everything was in the plan of God, the tarots, or the Sioux’s spiritual guides (it depends from whom is reading the signs). Sometime I wondered if some event had some deeper meaning, like the tale of the dollar bill and Brent's adopted ancestor, and the only explanation I could find was that everything was in a complex thread, nothing was superfluous.

I wanted to highlight the funny core of this story since I think it’s deliberate; sincerely, when I start this book I was not expecting it; on the contrary, from the blurb, I was ready for a little dark mood, a mourning hero, maybe even some tragedy. Nothing of that in this story, and while there is emotional involvement, everything is seen through the eyes of Brent, who manages to turn all of that in positive signs, and the outcome as well is more than positive.

Amazon: Brent: the Heart Reader
Amazon Kindle: Brent: the Heart Reader
Paperback: 254 pages
Publisher: Mystic Ways Books (July 14, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0985598174
ISBN-13: 978-0985598174

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
A quite “classical” paranormal romance, even if this is book 7 in a series, I decided to read this one since I was fascinated by the character of Dagus, an African-American blind man who is the mate of Brad, a polar bear shifter.

There were many of the themes I usually like, multicultural pair, a main character dealing with disability, a big and strong man but with a caring attitude (and almost housekeeping tendencies, he likes to cook and to take care of Dagus in a “motherly” way). I think the author wanted to move some of the cute characteristic we usually link to a teddy bear to the “human” version of the same, Brad. Even if strong and bigger than Dagus, Brad is not an alpha, he is more an enforcer, someone who can for sure take care of his mate, but who doesn’t really have the strike to be an Alpha pack leader.

Dagus on the other side has a strong willing, but it’s clear that his disability is limiting him. The author doesn’t underestimate these issues, and even if it felt a little forced that Brad is browsing the net to search advice on how to go out on a date with a blind man (I’m not really sure what type of help you can find like that), I appreciated that Dagus’s blindness was not yet another label to make up Dagus’s character, and instead it influenced him and his actions.

This is not a long novel, and it has a medium-high level of erotic scenes, but I have to pay my homage to the author since I quite enjoyed the sex scenes, they read nice and good.

For sure reading book 7 not having read all previous ones is a little difficult, there are a lot of supporting characters and their background is only slightly hinted, but truth be told it was not really a problem, if you want, you can go back and read about them, but Brad and Dagus’s story, even if not long, is nicely wrapped up and complete in its own.

Amazon Kindle: Through Dagus's Eyes (Wolves of Stone Ridge)
Publisher: eXtasy Books (March 1, 2012)

Series: Wolves of Stone Ridge
1) Werewolf at the Zoo
2) Alpha's Prerogative
3) Accepting His Animal
4) Accepting His Human
5) Finding Balance
6) Goading the Enforcer
7) Through Dagus's Eyesy Charlie Richards

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
My first question upon opening this book was: is it a gay novel? Eddie, the gay character who with all rights make this a work of gay fiction, is already dead. All the words we heard by him are through the journal his brother Dave is reading to help him understand why his more than beloved brother is dead. Eddie’s is dead but is voice is strong through all the novel.

At first I thought we were leading into a tale of forbidden love between Dave and Eddie, the relationship between the two brothers was strong, almost symbiotic, so much that they were planning to go an live together along with Dave’s wife, Maura, in the same house once they were back to California from Saudi Arabia. But Eddie doesn’t make it and Dave seems inconsolable. Dave is searching a reason for Eddie’s death, but I think that he is truly searching for absolution.

The strong bond between Dave and Eddie, that led me to think there was something between them, is not of sexual nature, or at least not the easiest sexual nature a reader could think. There is something dark, and tragic, in both Dave and Eddie’s past that forged that bond so strong, and that is also the reason why Dave is willing to put in danger not only his life but also that of his wife Maura, to find the true about Eddie. It’s like if with Eddie dead, Dave has not more reason to live.

We will arrive to understand why Dave felt responsible for Eddie in a way more than a normal older brother should be. We will also arrive to understand why Dave needs a reason to continue to live, maybe the proof that, even if Eddie is dead so young, he has lived and loved, at least a little bit. Dave needs to know that Eddie’s life had a meaning, because trough that meaning Dave can give to his own life a meaning too.

This is the story of Dave and Maura, so maybe it’s not really a Gay fiction, but it’s also the story of Eddie, and when Eddie talks through his journals, he is a wonderful character and a strong narrative voice, so maybe this is, in the end, also his story, and then a gay novel.

Amazon: Eddie's Desert Rose
Amazon Kindle: Eddie's Desert Rose
Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (August 10, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1463746814
ISBN-13: 978-1463746810

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Car Trouble by J.M. Snyder

Another short story in the Working Man series. Terrence is a more than forty years old Afro American business man that one day heard a strange sound in his new mercedes. Since his baby feels not well he immediately take her to a garage. Here he finds Jimmy, blond young guy with a penchant for older man...

Obviously the baby is forgotten for a little bit while the daddy plays with the hot mechanic.

Really there is nothing more other than Terrence is a pretty interesting man, very vain and selfconscious that maybe is lucky to find a man like Jimmy who likes to be direct. And I have also my glimpse to a possible happily ever after, so I'm satisfy.

Buy Here

Amazon Kindle: Car Trouble
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (May 1, 2011)

Easily Addicted (Working Man) by J.M. Snyder

Zach and Trevor meet at work during a lunch break. Trevor is a smoker and is spending his break indulging in his vice. And Zach immediately fancies him and tries to approach him. But Trevor is just out of a bad relationship and the forward attitude of Zach finds him unready. But rethinking to the opportunity he has so easily refused, Trevor is not more sure he has made the right decision and he is waiting for a second chance.

J.M. Snyder doesn't tell us how many years old are both Zach and Trevor, but I have the feeling they are somewhere between 25 and 30. No more college student, but not still adult. Young. And Zach gives me the impression he is young and somewhat innocent. He is open and friendly, very selfconsciousness. He knows to be handsome and probably he is not used to be denied.

The story is very short, less than 30 pages, but I have liked it a lot. Zach is a wonderful character, he could be easily decipted like a spoilt brat, but he is so nice that you can't find him nasty. And Zach seems to be the classical good boy, the person you dream to find to spend the rest of your life.

Amazon Kindle: Easily Addicted
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (December 16, 2010)

Lunch Break by J.M. Snyder

Nick works in a grocery to save money for his tuition. He is a simple guy with dreams of his own and when he sees Kevin one day at lunch break, he thinks that one of his dreams comes true: Kevin is a ten years older African-American man, who practices with a lawyer. He is refined and classy, and beautiful. 

Nick can't believe when Kevin asks him out. But obviously he has no intention to refuse this great opportunity.

The Working Man series by J.M. Snyder are short but very interesting stories. Short but complete, you have in less than 25 pages an entire story that let you fill what it's not said with your imagination.

In this case Nick is so sweet and Kevin so selfconscious and tender, that I'd like very much to read a whole story with these two characters.

Buy Here

Amazon Kindle: Lunch Break
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (June 18, 2011)

Makin’ Copies (Working Man) by J.M. Snyder

A drunk joke during Friday Night Christmas Party could cost to Johnson his work: he has photocopied his butt (and all the other jewels around) with the office printer and has left the proves to find to Mr. Sanford, the boss.

But lucky for Johnson, Mr. Sanford has admired the "proves" and now he wants a first hand experience and not only a photocopied one.

What will Johnson do? Even if Mr. Sanford his an handsome men, he is also twice his age....

A very short, less than 15 pages, but very nice office affair which leaves you with a stupid smile face and a thought: but why when you find a nut thing during Christmas Party, it doesn't become a new begin like this one?

Amazon Kindle: Makin' Copies
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (March 5, 2011)

On the Job by J.M. Snyder

Another short story in the Working Man series by J.M. Snyder.

Charles is a service tech for a cable company who accept to go on a call for a new install since the customer is particularly trouble. But when he arrives to the designed site he discovers that Billy, the customer, is a very handsome young man, and also a flirty twinkie. Charles seems not able to take off Billy's hands from him, and he quite manages to do the work before Billy jumps to his bones.

As all the Working Man series, also this one is a very little one, less than 25 pages, but as always is well plotted and the characters are deepens and originals. It's very funny to see Billy's open seduction and he is a mix of boldness and naiveete. Charles has no game till the beginning in trying to deny him something.

Buy Here

Amazon Kindle: On the Job
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (July 3, 2011)

Opening Day at the County Fair by J.M. Snyder

Jesse is a 20 years old country boy. He lives in the middle of nowhere and the only divagation to his routine is the annual county fair. But now for him the county fair is work, no more a child to run all around, he has to spent 6 days selling vegetables.

But this year something is changing, and has the name and the face of Davis (from jefferson davis I suppose): a pale and handsome guy of his same age, son of a contractor who previously lives in the same county and now returns only for the fair. But this year he has sent his son instead, and Jesse and Davis will spend this six days in ways more interesting than work.

I like this very very short tale. It's less then 30 pages but J.M. Snyder has decipted a complete world in few words. You can feel the heat of the day and the dirty of the road. Jesse's secret desires, the liberty he found in the arms of Davis, the joy to have another six days and maybe no more, but it is still joy, because are STILL six days and not ONLY six days... what different perspectives has youth.

Amazon Kindle: Opening Day at the County Fair
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (October 15, 2010)

Pleasure Cruise (Working Man) by J.M. Snyder

Andy is a young college student who has the nut idea to join two friends on a "normal" cruise during winter break. And cause it's a normal cruise, most of the people on the ship are couple and the others are not interested in three young guy, one of them gay.

So when Andy spots the cute Hispanic bartender, Carlos, he thinks to have found a way to spend two weeks on the ship. But Carlos is not very fond of Andy's friends and the first night they meet it doesn't end in a good way for Andy. But there is always breakfast time (in bed...).

Another short story, less than 25 pages, this one is "pure" pleasure. Andy and Carlos are two young men who want to have funny without commitment and broken heart, and what better place than a cruise ship to do that? in a confined space is very simple to find a way to meet.

Amazon Kindle: Pleasure Cruise
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (February 27, 2011)

Summer Kisses and Ice Cream Dreams by J.M. Snyder

Ahi ahi ahi J.M. Snyder, you are a teaser... Summer Kisses and Ice Cream Dreams is a very very short tale about how sweet could be a summer fling. Like in a old comedy of the '50 (even if I think it's a contemporary setting) Sean and Andrew fall in love in front of a sundae and Andrew woos Sean sending him messages through a friend (I last did this when I was 12 years old...).

And because it's a old comedy style, you will read only of tender kisses and walking hand in hand: no sex allows in a sweet tale, and then too hot things could melt the ice cream...

All right, joke apart, if you want to take a break from all the iper sexy M/M story I have read lately, try this tale by J.M. Snyder: maybe for the first time in months I have read something I will have no problem to reccomend also to a underage reader...

Amazon Kindle: Summer Kisses and Ice Cream Dreams
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (October 29, 2010) (Contains the stories: At Your Service Cafe de l'Amour Car Trouble Closing Time Easily Addicted Lunch Break Makin' Copies On the Job Opening Day at the County Fair Order Up Pleasure Cruise Speed Trap Summer Kisses and Ice Cream Dreams Tech Support )

Amazon: Working Men
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (August 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1463763107
ISBN-13: 978-1463763107

Reading List:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
I have to admit that cop novels are not usually my cup of tea, even if I can sympathize with the imaginary seeing a cop like a perfect lover. But this cop in particular, Cristian Flesh, or simply Flesh, is at the opposite of your common idea of a police detective: unapologetically gay, and that is the point I liked the most, he is also pretty open on what he likes and doesn’t like; he likes sex and more is good, and so, probably for the first time in a novel, I found a detective that slept at least once with co-workers, victims, suspects, defensive lawyers… in a way the reader could guess who was involved in the plot by the fact that Flesh has slept with him.

When Flesh is asked to investigate on an attempt murder, he has to renounce to the case since he slept with the victim; then, on a short distance, he sleeps with two of the suspects and when he is framed with a crime, he sleeps with his lawyer (plus other non-important men in the middle). If at the beginning I was wondering if I liked Flesh, one night stand by one night stand I started to realize that, even if it sounds odd, he was sleeping with all these men to take a distance from them. Lowering everything to an “only-sex” level it allowed Flesh to convince himself these men were not touching him.

That is another point I noticed, Flesh has an “untouchable” aura: not only on the physical side (bald head, white skin, no body hairs), he is also aloof and distant; Flesh put everything on plain air, his body, his personal life, so that no one can accuse him of hiding something, but in reality, he is firmly protecting what is most important for him, his heart.

Colby, the lawyer who has to help Flesh, is more or less at the opposite: apparently more open than Flesh, kind and compassionate, warm against the ice that is Flesh, he is instead deep in the closet. For various reason, his job, his friends, Colby doesn’t want to come out and in doing so, he doesn’t allow Flesh to do his “trick” with him; Flesh is not “allowed” to sleep with Colby as soon as they met, and in this way, Colby is able to insinuate in Flesh’s heart a little bit. Once there, it will not take long before the breach will break Flesh’s protective shield.

While the first part of the novel was about sex with strangers, and while good, it didn’t do much for me, once Flesh and Colby start their relationship, the sex turned in very good and hot. Flesh in bed was as complex as he is out of it, strictly a bottom, he was not though weak, and in a way he managed to be in control also in that position. Again it was an odd thing, since usually when someone tries to protect his heart, I usually link it with a refusal for the bottom position, but again the author prepared the scene for a right and good explanation of also this point.

Amazon: In the Flesh
Amazon Kindle: In the Flesh
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 27, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161581552X
ISBN-13: 978-1615815524

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Maintaining the light BDSM tone of all the series, and maybe exaggerating a bit in having gay cops all in the same family and working for the same department (but that is also the nice side of this novellas series, you start to have a lot of familiar faces around), Kim Dare adds a little bit of introspective plot with the story of Ed Rawlings, who is so good in doing his undercover job that he is losing his same self in that.

The other original touch is to pair big and burly Ed with a little but tough Afro-American martial art instructor, Derby. In your ordinary romance the big and taller man is of course the dominant, and the little and pretty one is the submissive. Aside from the simple fact that is not at all a mandatory combination, Derby is by the way more skilled and dangerous than Ed, in above all he is more balanced and at ease with his inner self.

In Ed’s mind, and to Ed’s body, it’s clear that he wants to be a submissive and that he needs the right dominant, but maybe due to Ed’s job, and his family, and everyone’s expectation, he cannot be that. Pretending in his private life like he does in his job, allows to Ed to pretend with himself as well: he doesn’t really need a dominant, it’s only a play, he is not really like that… and that is probably the bigger lie he is telling to himself.

At first Derby has nothing against the idea to play Dom and sub with Ed, at least not until he doesn’t start to feel something deeper for the mouthy cop. As soon as Derby understands what Ed really needs, then he is ready to prove to Ed that be true with himself can be more satisfying than any game they can play.

Amazon Kindle: Handcuffs and Headlocks (Rawlings Men)
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC (January 24, 2011)

Series: A Handcuffs & Lace Tale
1) She's Got Balls by Mia Watts:
2) Handcuffs & Leather by Kim Dare
3) Handcuffs & Glory Holes by Kim Dare:
4) Handcuffs & Headlocks by Kim Dare

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Hands up: this story by Kiernan Kelly was born by a specific request I did in a chat almost two years ago. Sheikhs romances are my kink, dating back when I was still reading Harlequin Presents, and I so wanted to read a story with a young and handsome sheikh in it; the obvious counterpart in this type of romance is the innocent virgin, but giving the modern time, where you can find a completely innocent boy to fit the dress? Of course in an Amish community! And so here was the very high level plot bunny, a romance between an Amish boy and a sheikh. That night, during the chat, I think we agreed the only obvious place where these two completely different men could meet was in front of the United Nations in New York City, and so from there Kiernan Kelly developed Cornfed.

Jacob is a 18 years old Amish boy leaving Intercourse, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, for the first time in his life for his rumspringa; his secret dream has always been to visit New York City, and so he is realizing it, even if the reality is not so shining, and by the way it’s even more expensive than expected. While touring in front of the UN, he literally bumps into Fahd, second son of a Saudi Arab sheikh, visiting NYC in a diplomatic mission.

In a way, even if from completely different roots, Jacob and Fahd are not so different after all: both of them have to hide their secret desires for men, even if Fahd has already consciously realized it, and experimented his sexuality, while instead Jacob, has not even yet internalized his sexual urges. Jacob is completely innocent; he has never had any sexual experience and he has neither once questioned that he will go back to Intercourse, enter the church, marry a woman and bear children, many of them. Both Jacob than Fahd are from families where there are multiple brothers and sisters, so it’s not like they have to continue the family line, it’s simply that they have to “adapt” to the common way.

The main difference between Jacob and Fahd is that Fahd is a “rebel”, he doesn’t want to follow his father’s rules, and in a way, he is not as bonded to his family as Jacob is. Fahd can renounce to his family, I see really unlikely that Jacob can do the same.

In comparison to similar romances set among the Amish people, I think that Kiernan Kelly did a fair job, simply since she didn’t exaggerated the whole, and it was not an easy task, not only for Jacob and the Amish, but also for Fahd and his background. True, some “easy” escapes Fahd had were maybe a little too quick and lucky, but indeed he is the son of a sheikh, so it’s not like he is an ordinary man.

Amazon: Cornfed
Amazon Kindle: Cornfed
Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: Torquere Press (February 23, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1610401670
ISBN-13: 978-1610401678

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Dharma in Eight Lessons is another little jewel by Sarah Black; you don’t expect much from these short stories, if not a brief break between other more important things, and so I’m always surprised when I realized that I have probably just finished to read something very important, something that is probably too big for the small space that is a short story.

Mike is searching the meaning of life; Annan, a Buddhist from Thailand told him he can reach a Dharma, a righteous duty, in eight lessons, for the modicum price of 25 dollars each lesson. But more than the meaning of life Mike is probably searching for a friend and why not, a lover, and Annan has still not learned himself to renounce to the flesh in due of the spirit. Annan tells Mike that desire leads to suffering, but more than to Mike he is telling it to himself.

Lesson after lesson is more Annan who is learning how to cope with his desire for mortal things and Mike is a perennial temptation; in the end, to reach lesson 8, Annan will have to make a choice, let Mike go discovering his own lesson while Annan himself will conclude his path, to then meet again when they are really ready for something more.

This short story is at the same time warm and sad; it’s like a sad glance on the world, but with the warm of love. Even if it was not obvious the right time for Mike and Annan, I knew that there was a chance of happiness for them, even if it was not immediate and easy. Strange thing was that, even if it was a short story, the pace was slow, and quiet, like a more longer novel.

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Faceoff (Playing The Field 1) by J.M. Snyder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
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.

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

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
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.

Reading List:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
It’s easy to like, and love, an hot macho man but caring Marine, not so easy to love him when he shows you his human (not so macho) side, and that he, as a man, make mistakes.

If David has to be sincere with himself, the wonderful night he shared with a stranger Marine, Bud, was only that, a one night stand, and nothing more. But David fell in love at first sight, and when Bud came back to him, he was unable to say no. So is Bud’s entirely fault when their relationship took a wrong turn? Truth be told, even after their second night together Bud tried to sneak out without being noticed, so it’s not that he has given many signs to David that he wanted a long-lasting relationship. Now don’t get me wrong, from my words it appears as if Bud is a completely bastard who takes advantage of David who was too much in love to be reasonable. On the contrary, I think Bud is maybe as much as weak as David, above all when you are speaking of true feelings; Bud is a fighter, a good soldier, but he was a foster child without foundations while growing up, and so I think he is a bit “damaged” on an emotional level: he felt the need to bind himself with the wrong person too soon and too young, and now that binding is preventing him to enjoy his love story with David.

But despite the good and bad, Bud is a ray of light in David’s life, and in a way, it’s better to have loved and lost than to have not loved at all. And again I don’t think I will spoil you too much if I’m saying that this is an happily ever after story, after all the author decided to use as a prologue something that to me sounded very much like an epilogue, and so, reading the book, I was sure that I was heading towards an end that I would have liked.

In comparison to other stories about soldiers, and in particular Marine, I noticed that these men cry a lot; that is not something I have never found, they reminded me a bit some characters of Bobby Michaels, and knowing how much that author loves Marine, in novels and real life, I have no doubt that the description done by Drew Hunt is true, or at least for some of these men. And as in Bobby Michaels’ novels (that if my friends don’t remember, I like a lot), these men have sex that is down to earth, very physical and graphically detailed, again another bit of contrast with the emotional turn they sometime have.

Buy Here

Amazon: Rough Road to Happiness

Amazon Kindle: Rough Road to Happiness

Reading List:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
When David’s life seems to crash down he has only one place where he wants to go, Stanley, inside the Sawtooth Wilderness. In that place, when he was only a child, David was happy, and he felt at home, and he felt loved. Quanah Parker Running Bear was the one who loved him, the Native American boy next door, who fed David’s mind up with stories and stories, the same stories now in the first poetry book he wrote.

Even if apparently David is running away from an embarrassing situation, I think that indeed he is going back home; David has done what he should, he has published his first book, with success, he has proved that he can be independent and good far from Quanah Parker Running Bear, but not happy. When he arrives in Stanley, he doesn’t immediately go searching for Quanah Parker, but I think he knows that, when it will be the time, Quanah Parker will arrive for him, same as the boy did when they were young.

And same as so long ago, when Quanah Parker arrives, there is no need to explain, no need to ask: David knows that he belongs to Quanah Parker, and it was time for him to come back home and in the arms of the only man he has ever loved.

The feeling of the story is a mix of romanticism and comedy; love is obviously the engine behind David and Quanah Parker, but as David likes to think in haiku poem, so Quanah Parker prefers to be enigmatic, like a sphinx. Quanah Parker almost never replies to a direct question, he prefers for David to arrive by himself to the answer; same as he did with their relationship: Quanah Parker didn’t go searching for David, even if it was clear that David was his soul mate, but instead he waited for the time when David was ready to come back to him.

Quanah Parker is a really possessive man, but he doesn’t need to force people to stay with him, he knows that, if he let David free, in any case David will always come back to him; he has not even need for David to swear eternal love, actually he has no need for David to even say the love word, it’s more important that David behaves accordingly to the word.

Even if the story is centered around David and Quanah Parker, and it’s only a novella, the whole cast of supporting characters is so well delineated that they seem to come out from the pages, even if they have only few words for them: Quanah Parker’s father, the grocery store owner, the old lady, the bookstore owner… everyone of them contributes to the big Native American tapestry that is this novella.

Amazon Kindle: Tootsies

Reading List:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
In the recent polemic of who is writing for whom, most of Stormy Glenn’s books are probably aimed more to a female target (and I think that you all know that for me this is not a negative point).

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon Kindle: His Dirty Little Secret

1) Picture Me Perfect:
2) Sammy Dane:
3) His Dirty Little Secret

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
One thing that I almost always find in a novel by Drew Zachary is the “easiness” of the characters, they are usually just a little over the average gay men, with ordinary job and a comfortable house in the suburbs. Maybe they are still young, students or just graduate, and the nice home in the suburbs is in their future. They are your neighbour, your brother, your son… and for this reason you can easily plunge in their love story, with a smile on your face, and enjoying their home-made love. But, one other thing that never lacks in a Drew Zachary’s novel is also the sex, nice, good and plenty as the story and as the home-made dishes that the story remembers.

Heart Doctor is also classical, yes, really, it’s the classical Medical Romance, or Nurse/Doctor romance as was known in the ’50 and ’60: basically, since nurses and doctors spend most of their time inside a hospital, it was obvious that the nurse (it was a woman in the ’50) would marry the doctor (it was young and handsome). Now the nurse is the same committed and pretty, but he is a man, Drey. Of Indian origin, he was saved the burn to have traditional parents (his same father was disowned by his family for marrying a non-Indian woman), and so Drey grew up serene and happy, comfortable with his sexuality and satisfied of his work; when he sets his eyes on the new doctor, Brady, there is no way that he will not conquer him.

Brady is new in town and maybe also a bit eager for family; he is ready for that, he has just landed his first important job after long years of studying, he can afford that, and right there is Drey, handsome, friendly, and he cooks too! Drey is perfect in every aspect, and he is also good in playing his cards: Brady is a bit on the conservative side, he doesn’t like the too much forward approach but he is not against the subtle wooing… in few words, Brady is a romantic, and like those doctors in the ’50, he likes to be pursued but the hunter has to have all the right characteristics for a long term relationship. And he has to respect that Brady will not put out at first date!

There is no big drama in the story, the feeling is really of a sweet romance, with the added spicy of the sex (and it’s a curry flavoured spicy). Date after date, night after night, dinner after breakfast after lunch, Drey and Brady will have the time to discover that they are perfect for each other, like two halves of the same apple, and I so much see in their horizon long afternoons spent on an Ikea megastore finding the perfect furniture for their comfortable future home in the suburbs.

Amazon: Heart Doctor

Amazon Kindle: Heart Doctor

Reading List:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Keegan is a 43 years old man who spent the last 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. When he was 18 years old, openly gay and totally bad boy, he was the sore eye of the small town where he lived, and so, when he was framed for a murder of another young man, no one, from the judge to the police to his lawyer to his same parents believed in his innocence and he was sentenced to life. The only one who believed in him was his grandfather, a very wealthy man, who apparently couldn’t do anything for him if not preserve his inheritance. Now 25 years later Keegan is out on parole, and he is also rich, but the only thing he wants is to go back to his ranch, and live in peace, as far as possible to the folks who convicted him.

Jaxon was an orphan two years younger than Keegan; to his teenager eyes, Keegan was a forbidden fruit, someone he desperately wanted. Jaxon was also in the same gang who killed the boy Keegan was accused to, and he knew the true. Only that at the time, Jaxon was too scared to loose the only family he had, the gang, and so he said nothing. Growing up, Jaxon managed to become a famous professional baseball player, but almost as a penance, off season he is back home, and helping Keegan’s grandfather to preserve the ranch for his grandson. Even now that the old man is dead, Jaxon is going home to do his work, but this time it’s Keegan who opens the door, of both his home than all the forbidden desires Jaxon tried to forget. Jaxon is openly gay, but it’s not the gay thing that is forbidden, it’s the love he has for an ex con and also the guilty that weights on his shoulder: how can he fall in love with Keegan knowing that he stole 25 years of his life?

Even if both men deny the feelings they are having for each other, the desire is stronger, and they always end in each other arms. It’s like a play of pull and push, but in the end, it’s more Jaxon who is trying to reach out for Keegan: even if 25 years later, even if more experienced and successful, Jaxon probably is still that boy who was looking upon Keegan, waiting for the bad boy of the town to notice him, Mr Nobody; and yes, maybe it’s also a way for him to re-pay Keegan of his lost years, Jaxon for sure will do everything to make the man happy.

Overall I liked the story even if sometime it was “too much”: Keegan’s grandfather who dying left him multimillionaire? If he had so much money, probably he would have been able to help his grandson before that; it’s more believable that he asked Jaxon to help him out, since, even if it’s not said, maybe he noticed Jaxon’s interest in his grandson; a little less believable is that a professional baseball player is able to live as a rancher during off-season, and even less that he can be openly gay without the media give a fit. It’s instead quite understandable that Keegan doesn’t want to be involved with Jaxon, there are many reason for that: Keegan wants to be left alone and in peace, and a relationship with a public persona will not help; Keegan’s imagine is not help for Jaxon’s professional career; at a time the author hinted also to the interracial issue, Jaxon is Afro-American, but sincerely this was the last of their problem.

The mystery side of the story is pretty simple and the most enjoyable part is probably the hot sexual relationship between the two men, both of them well out the inexperience age, and quite aware of what they like and want.

Amazon Kindle: Redemption

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon: ePistols at Dawn

Amazon Kindle: ePistols at Dawn

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Anne Cain
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Interlude by Vivien Dean

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon: Behind The Scenes (print book)

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Wishbone is at the same time classic and innovative. It’s classic where it retells the story of Pygmalion, or My Fair Lady, or Pretty Woman (see how many time it was told?): a wealthy and cultured man picks a filthy whore from the streets and teaches him how to behave. It’s innovative since, what the wealthy man teaches to the whore it’s a totally different thing from the usual lessons on good manners or polished language, but is instead the power you have in surrendering.

From the very first night, to Wishbone, the whore, Sir, a shih-aan, an alien creature that it’s not exactly human, not exactly beast, teaches the fine art of the pain/pleasure games. Without not much than few words, Wishbone experiences a fisting session and we can say that he is happy to be a whore. But it’s not much the physical pain (or pleasure) that makes Wishbone come back to Sir, and maybe not even the prospect of living in comfort, it’s more the curiosity: Sir gave him enough to momentarily sate him, but not enough to placate his thirst of life. Wishbone doesn’t know at the moment, but Sir is preparing him not to submit but to dominate. In many points we understand that Wishbone is stronger than Sir, first of all the fact that Sir gives out his real name almost immediately, and instead Wishbone lets it go much later in the story.

What at the beginning the reader, through Wishbone’s eyes and mind, can’t understand, is the philosophy of Sir and his people. For them being the one to receive pain during a sexual game it’s not a sign of weakness, but almost a privilege. When Sir “plays” with Wishbone it’s not to punish him, but instead it’s a sign that he is very pleased with Wishbone. Same with Terefar, Sir’s bed slave; he is from a lesser breed, a population that was defeated in battle. To Wishbone, Terefar is someone to commiserate, true, they more or less do the same work, but at least Wishbone is the only owner of himself. What Wishbone doesn’t understand is that Terefar is happy with his life, he has no desire at all for something different. Terefar is not to commiserate since he is “forced” to be a slave, he is to commiserate since he doesn’t know how to desire more; Terefar is comfortable with his life since he has no wish for something different. To prove to Wishbone how Terefar’s people is really defeated, Sir tells him that they are no more able to write poetry… poetry is the language of the heart more than the mind, and where there is no heart, there are no desires.

Terefar is not contender to Wishbone for Sir’s affection: first of all he has no desire to be, and second, and more important of all, Terefar has no feelings for Sir other than the ones he would have for everyone who was his master. And probably for this same reason, Sir is searching, needing for someone different. He is not displeased by Terefar, Terefar is doing perfectly his job, but he can’t be nothing more than a pet. Wishbone draws Sir since he can play the role of a pet, but for sure he is not.

To appreciate this tale you have to put back some of the boundaries that usually people who read romance have; there is no concept like fidelity or exclusivity, everything related to sex is more a question of amount of power than a simple stress relief. When Wishbone enters the story, he craves sex like and addicted craves a drug; at the end, he will be able to sip it like a expensive vintage wine. That is probably the main lesson that this fantasy “Galatea” learns during his particular tutorage.

Amazon Kindle: Wishbone

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Joe is flying from Los Angeles to Chicago to help a friend he hasn't seen in 20 years and talked to more or less the same time. Back in their native small town, Joe and Israel got along at first as best friends and then as lovers. But it was always their secret, the small towm was too small to allow them something different, and then Israel was born on the wrong side of the street, he was a love-child of mixed origins, probably with African American blood, but his mother never told. Anyway with the courage that always have kids, Joe and Israel dared their parents and friends and tightened a bond that seemed impossible to break... and instead it was too simple to. Joe went to College, Israel didn't have the means, and after a year Joe stopped to write and then... life happens. This is probably the part I don't like very much, for sure it's not a good image what we have of Joe, a man who practically dumped his lover without a real reason if not that he grew old of his feelings. Or maybe Joe is in denial, even if he is living out of the closet in L.A., he is actually doing so far from his hometown, and far from who really knows him; in this way, he is still in the closet, since he shut out an important part of his life; he conveniently forgot of Israel's existence till the day he read about him on the news.

Israel in the end left the small town for Chicago, to follow his son; he didn't marry, but he had a child with a girl who always tried to get him hooked, and when Joe left, she had her chance. But Israel knew that he wasn't in love with the mother of his son, even if he did all he could to help her and the kid. Teddy was a good kid and a very talented artist, but he lived in the wrong side of the city, as his father did when he was young. He ended killed on the street by a street gang, and the leader of the gang was killed some days later with Israel's weapon. For the police is all too obvious what happened, but Joe is not so sure: he can't believe that the man he knew is able of such a thing, even 20 years later.

The reader has to believe Joe, since for sure we have no enough details on Israel's life in those 20 years to have our own idea. The most interesting thing of all the book, and even the most endearing and tender, are the little introduction scenes at every chapter played by young Israel and Joe, that chapter after chapter help us to make our own idea on both Israel than Joe. They help us to decide that, yes, Israel is not a man that could kill a 16 years old boy, even if a murderer, and that yes, Joe is not the selfish man you can think at first. The long ago lost voices from the past are the only reason we have to justify Joe's behavior 20 years before, but also to understand why the same man, now, don't think twice to come in help of his past lover. That same voices, the one so fragile and fearing of young Joe, and the one so strong and sure of young Israel, are also the reason why Israel accepts Joe again in his life without questioning once... it's like Joe only went out of the door hours before, to come back as soon as Israel needs him.

And so I don't know if I like so much who is Joe now, but I vouch him thanks to his old voice, hoping that the voice is stronger than the adult man, and that will lead him toward the right direction.

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The setting is the same of a previous book by Angelia Sparrow, Nikolai, there is even a reference to a character in that book, but the feeling of this book is completely different; Nikolai was dark and gothic, I remember that I said it was not a romance. Instead Glad Hands is a classical love story with the nice add that one of the characters is a trucker, a profession that Angelia Sparrow knows well and so she describes it in a very accurate way. There is neither too much angst, an element that usually abounds when one or both characters are young.

Chuck Hummingbird is a Cherokee and he lives in the Tribal Lands, an independent territory inside of what it was once the United States of America. Tribal Lands is quite a good place to live, the territory didn't go back in time like other places, there is more freedom for people to be as they like, as for gays that are recognized members of society, but more freedom means also more crime. But from living with a bit more crime and not living at all, since in the Confederacy of South they kill homosexuals, Chuck thinks he is pretty lucky. And with his job as a trucker and his chance to travel the country, he sometimes picks up stray here and there, mostly kids who were kicking out of their home.

Seven is one of those kid. He is not so young, he is 20 years old, but he went through a very bad experience; in Heartland where he lived, an uber religious place, they still believe that they can heal the gayness from their kids, and Seven was sent in an hospital to have his "therapy". Now he is scared and skittish and he has a tattoo on his hand that prevents him to find a honest job and start a new life. And so he is thinking to leave and like a knight in shining armor arrives Chuck on his truck.

Chuck and Seven go along well since the first moment; it's obvious that circumstances make Seven falls in love with Chuck: he is his savior and he is also the first openly gay man he has met; with Chuck Seven finds again the family he lost, and there is no way that he will let him go. I don't know if meeting Chuck in a different situation would have the same result, but probably yes, since Chuck is really a good man and also very handsome (I always have a fondness for long black hair Native American style).

The book is almost divided in two parts: the first one is a road story, with Chuck and Seven who are too busy to run away from hostile territories to indulge in more than kisses and something more, but it's also the time when their relationship cemented in something more than friendship. The second one is spent with Chuck and Seven trying to find a way to make things work between them, and doesn't matter if this is a futuristic tale, the problem they face are exactly the same of an ordinary couple with more the issue from being from different cultures.

There is sex, but not so much as you would expected from an Ellora's Cave romance; the sex is something nice that happen between Chuck and Seven but it's not something absolutely necessary in their relationship, and so when they can't have it, it's not the big problem that would be in so many other books that base their existence mainly on it.

The futuristic part of the book is not so heavy and if not for the prologue (that leads you think that the futuristic setting would be more important) and the way in which gays can live in Tribal Lands (probably an hope for the future), the story would have had not a problem to be a contemporary: there are no special effects, on the contrary, this futuristic world is almost gone back to the past instead of proceeding toward the future.

Amazon Kindle: Glad Hands

Reading List:
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Usually I don't like to give up a story, but in this case I'm allowed... First time I heard of latino man Antonio and his blind lover Gabriel was perhaps two years ago. I read a short story by Laura Baumbach, South of Border, no more than a scene in an hot tube, but really hot (as most of Laura Baumbach's books). I don't know, probably it's a fetish, but I always am fascinated by love stories involving a blind partner... there must be a lot of trust on one side to allow someone near you when you are blind, but if you find the right partner, I believe the resulting feeling are much more intense. And so I was waiting for the longer novel the author was writing with the same pair.

The story actually starts at the beginning, when Gabriel is still a sighted San Francisco Police Department undercover agent. During his two years as undercover agent, but really even before, Gabriel, alias Giovanni, only allows himself one night stands and possibly well far from the circle he gravitates in: even if in San Francisco, mafia is not a word which match well with gay. And so when one of his one night stand, Miguel, reveals to be the lieutenant of the Mexican drug lord Gabriel's boss is dealing with, Gabriel is a bit disconcerted. How can he be so attracted by a villain? He should be the good guy and not mixing with the evil guys... But maybe Miguel is not so bad boy as he appears.

The first part of the book is good, I really like the way how Giovanni and Miguel met in a club and that first raw sex scene is almost an housemark for Laura Baumbach's books, but truth be told, I like much the second part; it's all over all pure hot romance, but also mushy feeling, and in some part it almost made me cry. How Antonio deals with a wounded Gabriel, how he manages to pull out all the protective layers of the man, to bare his soul... and how Gabriel leans on Antonio, without for this being weak or dependent: it takes a real man to understand when it's the case to call for help.

So sorry to the thriller lover, but I read this book more like a very good romance. Oh, don't worry, there are also the car racing scene, the shootings in the night, and also the classical scene in the warehouse, but I manage to read them in a bit to hurry to my romance scenes... instead, you, thriller lover, could linger on them as you want, you will have plenty.

As for the characters, Laura Baumbach confirms her love for a good Alpha male, Antonio is the classical type: it reminds me one of that chocolate with the dark and hard exterior but with a sweet and molten inside. Perhaps a bit different from the other Alpha males' mates I was used, is Gabriel, but not too much: it's true that Gabriel, as an agent, is independent and strong, but in his private life he prefers not to be the dominant side of the couple; he prefers to be dominate, he fights against his mate, but then, if the mate is worth of it, he surrenders with joy.

The book is the first in a new series with the same characters; good thing since they are both really worth of some more books. And then I still have to read about Christmas at Antonio's family.

Amazon: Mexican Heat #1 Crimes&Cocktails Series

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Gabriel has recently moved to Hawaii; usually he doesn't regret his decision, but during Christmas season he misses the snow and the real Christmas trees, and also the cold weather! Maybe he would be less of a grudge if he had someone near him to share the Christmas joy, but Gabriel is alone, until Keoni enters his sweet shop: a beautiful Hawaiian man from an influent family, Keoni is a dream comes true, but Gabriel can't imagine that the man is interested in him. Truth be told, Keoni is alone like Gabriel, and he misses to have a partner beside him. He is also tired to travel to world for business and he would like to finally settle in a place. Maybe during this Christmas season both men will see realize their wishes.

The story is nice, Gabriel is somewhat a character full of surprises, since he starts as a shy man, almost dreamy and not very upfront with what he wants, and then suddenly he becomes almost a vixen, teasing and sexy, and seduces poor Keoni with almost the man doesn't realizing it. To be sincere, I didn't understand fully Keoni: he is a very handsome man, but also unselfish and generous, not with his money but with his feelings, that is better; I believe Keoni likes the idea of love, and he is ready to fall in love, and it's not important if his partner his a male or a female. This is why I didn't understand him, I didn't understand if it is his first gay experience with Gabriel or not... but in the end it doesn't matter.

I was also surprised by the end, not since it's not an happily ever after, but since it's almost too normal after the dream comes true scene we read before; Keoni is coming back home from a tiring business travel, he would like to spend some quality time with Gabriel, but he realizes that he is too tired... all right love is the most powerful force in the world, but if you are sleep deprived...

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle


reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)

April 2019

 1234 56
2122 2324252627


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags


All cover art, photo and graphic design contained in this site are copyrighted by the respective publishers and authors. These pages are for entertainment purposes only and no copyright infringement is intended. Should anyone object to our use of these items please contact by email the blog's owner.
This is an amateur blog, where I discuss my reading, what I like and sometimes my personal life. I do not endorse anyone or charge fees of any kind for the books I review. I do not accept money as a result of this blog.
I'm associated with Amazon/USA Affiliates Programs.
Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. However, some books were purchased by the reviewer and not provided for free. For information on how a particular title was obtained, please contact by email the blog's owner.
Days of Love Gallery - Copyright Legenda:

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 24th, 2019 05:56 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios