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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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It’s a huge achievement if you can laugh while reading a tragedy; Hanley’s debut novel has humor, clever and never crass, but at the same time is one of the most unthinkable drama you can find; Thompson and Timothy (aka Rod Hard), identical twins, sharing a mind like all twins, criss-crossing lives, needing to find a way to break their link to be able to save each other life, or maybe once you broke it, it’s the end?

After a few chapters I realized I wasn’t reading an evolution of a story, a development of lives, I was actually approaching an implosion, the vital need for Thom to deconstruct his life from the very beginning, to understand how he is at this point, and maybe being able to really starting living, cause there is like a block in him, something dragging him behind, something anchoring him to the bottom, while redemption is above, far from. But at the same time, I was feeling a deep compassion for Timothy, he was dragging Thom behind, but he was at the same time screaming for his own life, for his own chance to live the same existence of Thom. While Thom should have that chance and not Timothy? Weren’t they, after all, like one person?

Like many tragedy, there isn’t really a final chapter giving closure, if not, maybe, that Thom and Timothy will have a chance to peace and happiness; but that is probably another story.

Paperback: 222 pages
Publisher: Red Baron Press (October 23, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615750257
ISBN-13: 978-0615750255
Amazon: The Convertible Life
Amazon Kindle: The Convertible Life

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews
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The first for me in this series by Andrew Grey, I think I got lucky; the story was good, a little cinderfella, a little star-system, it never went over the top and mostly remained with a small-town/good neighbors feeling.

Wilson is almost at the point of burning out; a country singer who is not even able to ride, all his persona is a fluke. But Wilson is aware of that and it wasn’t what he dreamed; he wants a simple life, doing music, sharing it with the audience, but not selling his life to them. So he decides to leave it all and to buy an horse ranch in Wyoming… only that the ranch hasn’t horses and it’s completely empty, aside for a young man, Steve, who was supposed to be an horse trainer for the previous owner, and arrived too late.

The runaway/starving kid is a common theme in Grey’s books, especially in the Love Means… series, another series with a country setting; I’m not really able to explain, but it does fit right with the story, western romance gives you that idea of comfort and quiet life, something you associate with a warm home and a full belly, so feeding the starving boy rings true for this type of romance. And once the runaway kid is well-fed, he proves to be an asset to the ranch, way more than Wilson that aside for the necessary money to buy it, hasn’t really any idea of what a ranch life implies.

Book after book Andrew Grey is starting to become more and more the Gay Romance equivalent of the Big Ladies of the serial Romance like Diana Palmer, the stories maybe don’t differ much, but when you pick one of these books, you are sure to be on for a good read.

Amazon: A Foreign Range
Amazon Kindle: A Foreign Range
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 15, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613725507
ISBN-13: 978-1613725504

Series: Stories from the Range
1) A Shared Range
2) A Troubled Range
3) An Unsettled Range
4) A Foreign Range

Updates: http://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/2156728?key=011e4dd0a1ff993d8c2322e691d6229ed9bbf74b
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The strongest point of this novel is that is a solid, traditional, well-crafted western romance; the plot maybe is not overtly original, burned out Hollywood star goes back to his roots and falls love for hometown school buddy, but the romance is good, the turn of events where you are expecting it, and overall, an uplifting happily ever after that has just that touch of glamour without being too out of the realm of reality.

What I noticed is that, there are two pacing in the story, at first the author is going fast, Austin and Kitt have just the time to reacquainting again and they are already in bed, going at it like bunnies, but then, once the knot is tight, she decides to put a break, having the two spend months together and just “meeting” with them every 2/3 months. I suppose that was necessary to give credibility to Austin’s choice, something that, if he took on the spur of the moment, wasn’t to have the same chance of happiness than like this.

The story is a mix of glamour and homemade cooking, Austin coming back home is not simple as buying an home and settling down, he comes with high level security, money to buy whatever, and whoever he wants, the chance to just take up the phone and change the life of someone else. On the other side there is Kitt, too much land and too little money, too much proud and too little trust in the community, but simple cause he was an abused child, and the fault of the community was to not intervene helping him. Kitt learned that, if he wanted something, he had to fight alone, and so he is still doing.

Both Kitt than Austin are gay, actually both of them fantasizing about each other when they were in high school, only that Austin’s memories of Kitt faded away once he hit the road, but to Kitt, Austin is still the best fantasy, one he still feeds with all the movies and the magazines about the actor. And now his dream comes to live next door, and he is also pretty open in wanting Kitt. Of course, there is no hesitance, at least until everything remains in the closet.

There is a lot of sex, sometime to me it was even too raw; don’t get me wrong, nothing fancy, just plain, old, basic, good sex, but at some point the details bordered on the Erotica; to me it was like being jerked off from my dreamy land of romance, even if, after the hot sex, the two men always went back to that romance land, and for sure, Austin’s behavior at the end is that of the best romance heroes.

Amazon: Texas Pride
Amazon Kindle: Texas Pride
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Kindle Alexander LLC.; 1st edition (March 18, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0989117316
ISBN-13: 978-0989117319

Updates: http://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/2156728?key=011e4dd0a1ff993d8c2322e691d6229ed9bbf74b
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Quite classical vacation fling plot, on this occasion in a winter Paris, always remaining the city of love, what is probably the most interesting thing of all is Jason’s character and is approach to realizing he is in love with a man.

Jason is a successful lawyer in Philadelphia with a beautiful fiancé and bright future planned ahead. But then he comes home one night to find his fiancé in bed with another man and this opens the drawer of doubts in Jason’s head. Profiting of the empty Paris apartment of his sister Rosalie, he decides to take a two months leave of absence. On the first night in Paris, Jason, a jazz lover, enters a club an meets 22 years old Jules.

At this point it arrives what I said is the most interesting aspect of all: Jason isn’t questioning his attraction to Jules, sure he wonders why he is attracted to a man when he was in love with a woman just days before; but Jason’s questions don’t arise from prejudices and sincerely the fact that Jules is a man isn’t really an issue, more troubling is that he is so younger than Jason. Jason had some homosexual experiences in college with a buddy friend, but nothing important and nothing that left him with regrets. Basically Jason is on the middle of the Kinsey scale, being equally attracted by men and women; gender is not an obstacles, problem is the compatibility of the partner.

Anyway, Jason is in a moment in life where an age difference is not something that will prevent him from enjoying the Paris fling, and from fling to love the step is short.

From Jules’s side, this is a typically Cinderfella story: kicked out from home at 16, Jules lived on the street and then thanks to the help of good friends; now he is a struggling artist who would love to be a jazz artist, but probably he was destined to end as waiter. Jason’s connections will help him to find his path, and if that means that their love will also have a component of gratitude, well, that is right, and coherent with the story.

Amazon: Blue Notes
Amazon Kindle: Blue Notes
Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 30, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613722729
ISBN-13: 978-1613722725

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


Cover Art by Anne Cain

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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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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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I was a little scared to read this story about a virgin 18 years old boy who accepts to film a adult reality with 8 other guys during the summer to pay for tuition costs; I know that adult movie can be fun, but Evan was so young and innocent, and I didn’t want for him to approach sex in that way. So, if you are like me, don’t be worried, I will not spoil the story, but it’s enough to say nothing bad happened to Evan, if not a little of heartache.

When Evan interviews for the job, Bran is the first guy he met; 27 years old and a little jaded from the adult movie industry, Bran is an “old” pro. He approached this world when he was still underage, but he was lucky to meet with a director that basically became a second dad to him, for sure better than the one who kicked him out at 16 years when he came out. Living on the streets since he was 16, the Bran who approached the adult movie wasn’t innocent like Evan. In a way that life saved him. But for Evan is different, and Bran fully understands that. Plus he has this strange possessiveness feeling, once that doesn’t allow him to share Evan.

The story of Bran reminded me a little of the true story of Brent Corrigan, of course not the love story. But I often wondered what could be the future of an adult movie star once they are not more a twink. If they are lucky, they have enough money to start a small business of their own, but is possible for them to find true love? For this author the answer is of course yes, and she played the ace card of sweetness (Sweets is actually the nickname of Evan). She basically gave Bran a totally innocent partner, someone who doesn’t care that Bran is an adult movie star, because, more or less, he doesn’t even know what an adult movie is.

This was the first story I read by this author, and as I said, I was a little scared since usually these types of story are bittersweet, but in the end, this is more sweet than bitter.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3621

Amazon: Keeping Sweets
Amazon Kindle: Keeping Sweets
Paperback: 206 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 11, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162380406X
ISBN-13: 978-1623804060

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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I liked the story but I also felt like it was more an introduction than the whole, complete plot. Travis and Aaron are living together, but even if Travis is in love with Aaron, he is behaving more like a caretaker, a role he picked up after the death of his brother Timothy, who was friend and guardian angel of Aaron. There is a lot of Travis worrying about Aaron’s careless attitude towards sex, so much that I was expecting something was behind the corner and it was not good. Instead it’s Travis that suddenly needs Aaron’s assistance, and this brings the other man to admit his own feeling for the younger man.

Meanwhile there were two subplots, a young man with a talent for singing, and another very young man who really needs help, both of them well plotted, but remaining on a blossoming stage. Sure, this is a number 1 in a series, so I’m sure the author has more to come for both of them.

The story was cute, and no paranormal/fantasy elements the cover was suggesting; Timothy is a strong presence in the lives of Travis and Aaron, even if he is dead, but his is an emotional presence, the memory of someone who was important to both of them, and also to the family he left behind. Nothing really tragic happens to these guy, maybe since the tragedy of losing Timothy is already the maximum they can bear. So after that, and after a little bit of heart troubles, the author prefers to give them cute and sweet, and yes, also a little sexy.

Amazon Kindle: Incongruent Angel (Liquid Sin)
Publisher: The Rooster & The Pig Publishing (July 9, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading+list&view=elisa.rolle
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I think this novel has full points for me for the choice of having unsympathetic characters, i.e. a cheater and a manipulator. Or at least that is the first impression, but I actually went beyond this standard label.

It’s true that Morgan is married, but his story is not the usually “old” story: his marriage is really only by name, his wife has a life of her own, and she is not more interested in Morgan as a companion, they are more like roommates sharing an house. But nevertheless at first Morgan is not the victim of Danny’s play, he sought out Danny for his own personal casting couch, and he did so in Danny’s shelter, the place where he can be Danny, and not Dan Blake, the famous screenwriter. Hurt in the place where he feels it more, Danny reacts treating Morgan like a toy, and he will do that for the following years, a treatment that Morgan willingly accepts for the return of small favors here and there in the Hollywood scene. Now years later, both of them want something more and above all, something different.

As I said the strong point in this novel is their characters. Nor Morgan or Danny are good, positive role models, on the contrary, for most of the novel they are far from being a good example, and as I said I’m not referring to the fact that Morgan is married. Both men have actually big self-esteem issues, and for Morgan is also an issue of not being to a level of independence suited for his age. It’s like Morgan put a stop to his personal development when he left home in search of fame and fortune in Hollywood. On the other side there is Danny, who is suffering from the classic syndrome of the middle child, the one that always feels like he hasn’t enough love and moves this feeling to his adult life.

Amazon Kindle: Taking the Dare: Truth or Dare, Book 4
Publisher: Breathless Press (February 3, 2012)

Series: Truth or Dare
1) Keeping House: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1342479.html
2) Telling the Truth: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1777097.html
3) Giving Up
4) Taking the Dare

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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When I read the blurb of this book I had to buy it: young devilish rock star in love? shy computer geek who is mesmerized by the lure of the show business? hot sex from night one? yes, it seemed another of that "show business" novel I like so much, full of scandal and spoiled naughty young artist in love... and I was wrong! No, not since I didn't like it, I'm up at 2 at night since I can't give up the book till I reached the last page... I was wrong since this is not a glittering love story for paparazzi.

Right, Jordan is a bit of a geek, he is a 28 years old software gay engineering and his target in life is to build a comfy nest for another lovebird... there is the little problem that Jordan's expectation in a partner are quite high and till now no one has measured up to them. But Jordan is willing to wait, he is in no hurry. Have you started to realize that Jordan is not an easily impressionable man? And so he is less than happy when his sister forces him to be her chaperon on the hottest rock concert of the season, a live performance of Tyler Curtis; from what Jordan knows, Tyler is a spoiled badmouthed rock star with a rotten attitude and the habit to sleep with a different groupie every night.

On the scene Tyler is good, but all the circus around him is so tiring that on the following party, Jordan is only searching a way to escape. And far from the crowd he meets Tyler... actually no, he meets Alec, the real "Curtis". Alec is a barely 20 years old man with the behavior of a teen and the innocence of a baby. Due to an health problem, Alec was abandoned by his mother and sheltered by his father; when the father suddenly passed away, Alec felt almost captive of a selfish manager who treats him like a puppet. The real talented Alec was hidden to allow the birth of Tyler, a man Alec himself despise.

Alec is all Jordan's dreamed off: sincere and trustful, naivee till embarrassment, all blushing and sweetness... he is so innocent that "virgin" is not quite enough to describe him. Suddenly Jordan is fiercely protective for the man who seems to be the lovebird missing to his nest. The author manages to turn the tables in all I was expecting: it's not Jordan who is swept away in a world that he didn't know and let him helpless, it's Alec who is the "damsel in distress"; it's not an erotic and naught love story, on the contrary, the sex is almost chaste and always behind closed doors if not for only once time; it's not a funny romp, sometime it's almost a drama.

I was well aware in some part of the story that the author was pushing on the moving button, while reading some scene, I was really thinking, here he is, now he pushes the right button and he is sure to have the reader in tears... and I was in tears! I couldn't help myself. All right, it was only a moment, and after all the story is more sweet and tender than dramatic, but nevertheless I poured one tear or two.

So if you want to read a very unusual gay romance, with a very fresh and young style, The Curtis Reincarnation by Zathyn Priest is on my recommendation list; I don't know how old Zathyn Priest is, but I would bet that he is young, since his novel has a very young feeling.

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

Amazon: The Curtis Reincarnation
Amazon Kindle: The Curtis Reincarnation
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (February 16, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 160820779X
ISBN-13: 978-1608207794

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

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When I read the blurb of this book I had to buy it: young devilish rock star in love? shy computer geek who is mesmerized by the lure of the show business? hot sex from night one? yes, it seemed another of that "show business" novel I like so much, full of scandal and spoiled naughty young artist in love... and I was wrong! No, not since I didn't like it, I'm up at 2 at night since I can't give up the book till I reached the last page... I was wrong since this is not a glittering love story for paparazzi.

Right, Jordan is a bit of a geek, he is a 28 years old software gay engineering and his target in life is to build a comfy nest for another lovebird... there is the little problem that Jordan's expectation in a partner are quite high and till now no one has measured up to them. But Jordan is willing to wait, he is in no hurry. Have you started to realize that Jordan is not an easily impressionable man? And so he is less than happy when his sister forces him to be her chaperon on the hottest rock concert of the season, a live performance of Tyler Curtis; from what Jordan knows, Tyler is a spoiled badmouthed rock star with a rotten attitude and the habit to sleep with a different groupie every night.

On the scene Tyler is good, but all the circus around him is so tiring that on the following party, Jordan is only searching a way to escape. And far from the crowd he meets Tyler... actually no, he meets Alec, the real "Curtis". Alec is a barely 20 years old man with the behavior of a teen and the innocence of a baby. Due to an health problem, Alec was abandoned by his mother and sheltered by his father; when the father suddenly passed away, Alec felt almost captive of a selfish manager who treats him like a puppet. The real talented Alec was hidden to allow the birth of Tyler, a man Alec himself despise.

Alec is all Jordan's dreamed off: sincere and trustful, naivee till embarrassment, all blushing and sweetness... he is so innocent that "virgin" is not quite enough to describe him. Suddenly Jordan is fiercely protective for the man who seems to be the lovebird missing to his nest. The author manages to turn the tables in all I was expecting: it's not Jordan who is swept away in a world that he didn't know and let him helpless, it's Alec who is the "damsel in distress"; it's not an erotic and naught love story, on the contrary, the sex is almost chaste and always behind closed doors if not for only once time; it's not a funny romp, sometime it's almost a drama.

I was well aware in some part of the story that the author was pushing on the moving button, while reading some scene, I was really thinking, here he is, now he pushes the right button and he is sure to have the reader in tears... and I was in tears! I couldn't help myself. All right, it was only a moment, and after all the story is more sweet and tender than dramatic, but nevertheless I poured one tear or two.

So if you want to read a very unusual gay romance, with a very fresh and young style, The Curtis Reincarnation by Zathyn Priest is on my recommendation list; I don't know how old Zathyn Priest is, but I would bet that he is young, since his novel has a very young feeling.

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

Amazon: The Curtis Reincarnation
Amazon Kindle: The Curtis Reincarnation
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (February 16, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 160820779X
ISBN-13: 978-1608207794

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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At the third book in the series, the author decided to label this one the “Icon Men” series. I thought about this “icon” tag, and my conclusion is that these stories are centred around characters out of the dreams, sexy and not, of many men, but then in the end, they are more down to earth than what you were expecting. In the first story there was the sexy escort, in the second one the drag queen, and now the pop/rock/blues star; the common theme is an immediate attraction to the “icon”, the dreamlike imagine we have of the man, but then the lover will understand the man is just like everyone else, with his goods and bads.

Brian is really only a kid at the beginning of the story, he is already 20 years old, but he is practically living alone since he was 15, dragged from place to place by his boyfriend with whom he has a rock band. When the cheating boyfriend finds someone else from whom he can dig, Brian finds himself in need of help and shelter and he finds them in the arms of Chase, a blues guitar player, and in the welcoming family his father Trent built with partner Cameron.

There is really no bump in this story, if not, as I said, the need for Brian to grow a little and learning that the world is not Black and White and that it’s good sense to give people a second chance. Brian is really a spoiled brat at first, both with Trent and Cameron, but also with Chase. In a way he is expecting the world to love him since he had a “difficult” youth, not realizing that, in the end, he got it way simplier than many other kids.

http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9334-a-fool-for-you.aspx

Amazon Kindle: A Fool for You (Icon Men, Book Three)
Publisher: Ellora's Cave (May 11, 2011)

Series: Icon Men
1) The First Real Thing: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1164385.html
2) Appearing Nightly: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1344063.html
3) A Fool for You

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading_list&view=elisa.rolle
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A solid good story, well written and nicely developed, With the Band was almost a “classic” romance; the show business theme, the love between members of the same band, the issue of being gay when you have a public persona, all these points where faced, developed and resolved.

Aaron and Bastian are not “heroes”, they are ordinary men, and I liked that, even if the Band is having success, in any case it remains to an average level, that means lot and lot of miles and cheap motels and maybe even struggles to arrive to the end of the month. How many of these stories there are out there? How many musicians choose to live of little for the love of the music? Aaron and Bastian are two of them, and it’s not for the glamour of the scene they are doing that, but for the satisfaction of being able to sing their songs.

That is also the reason why this novel rang true; I have the feeling the author well knows the life of a roadie, or at least she has done her homework. It’s a world of sweat and tears more than glitters and glamour; maybe it’s about sex, drugs and rock and roll, but it’s also about sharing an apartment with your brother or best friend and having to hide your true feelings since, even if you are good, public opinion is still stronger than you on a commercial level.

I like the contrast of both Aaron and Bastian; Aaron appears to be really young, like the little kid brother, but he is also able to take the upper hand in most situation, and even in bed; Bastian on the other side seems to be this big bad boy, leather and brooding looks, but he has a layer of insecurity that can be charming, making you want to cuddle him.

As I said the plot development is almost classic, what is more important is probably the good setting, you could almost feel the “flavour” of all those bodies writhing to the vibes of the hard rock music.

http://www.loose-id.com/With-the-Band.aspx

Amazon Kindle: With the Band
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (March 22, 2011)



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


Cover Art by April Martinez
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Aislinn Kerry builds a future possible world where clones are common occurrences, arriving to have women “bear” their own clone instead of risking to have a child with a stranger. Adrien and Cristian’s case is not the same, being Cristian only few years younger than Adrien, but they grew completely apart from each other, Adrien in the US, the son of show business people and becoming himself an actor, and Cristian in rural Spain where he is now the owner of a B&B. I don’t know if the author wanted to make a statement about human genetics and homosexuality, since she really didn’t highlight it too much, but both Adrien than Cristian are gay, even if their upbringing was completely different.

Adrien doesn’t know about Cristian, while instead Cristian knows about the actor, and every step in his life is conditioned by that knowledge. Cristian has a mix of love and hate for Adrien, he cannot really hate him since he knows about their connection, but loving him is not either possible, being Adrien out of reach. But when Adrien knocks at his door, that is Cristian’s chance to complete his life since until that moment a piece was missing, the other half of himself. Cristian is in a relationship with Felix, and Felix will work us conduct between Adrien and Cristian, through the sharing of a partner, Adrien and Cristian will be able to reconnect.

I think many could find odd, if not even too kinky, for a man to have a sexual relationship with his clone, but for me is at the same level of a woman who decides to give birth to her own clone, it’s all a question of biology more than morality. In a way the author lets understand the reader she is not really fine with the idea of giving birth to your clone, but no prejudices is expressed for Adrien and Cristian’s sexual relationship, or at least I didn’t feel any.

Adrien, Cristian and Felix will build a perfect ménages, each of them completing or giving something one of the other two needs, something the other lover was not able to provide. Removing one of the three will unbalance the relationship, and so it’s essential for them to be together.

Aside from all the clone thing, the future world where Adrien, Cristian and Felix are living is pretty much the same as today, the issues Adrien is facing with his notoriety are exactly the same, the lack of privacy, the need to satisfy the public demand, and so on.

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

Amazon: Double Feature
Amazon Kindle: Double Feature
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC (August 13, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611249503
ISBN-13: 978-1611249507



Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Chase in Shadow was almost an essay on the pornographic pay per view field. Now I’m not saying I didn’t know anything about that field, but Amy Lane didn’t shy away from even the more specific details, giving a realistic glimpse in a world that often people think as perfect. But now don’t get me wrong, she didn’t even make it gritty and dirty, Chase and all his “johnnies” friends are also family, and John, the owner, sometime is also like a father, worrying yes for a good business, but also considering his boys like real people, with their troubles and their need.

Chase is in full denial, he knows he is gay but even if his best friend since high school Donnie had the courage to come out, Chase is in a more complicated situation. Chase is trying to be the perfect son, and in the picture is contemplated a wife and a son or two. Mercy, Chase’s best friend in college is the right candidate to complete that picture and she is really a nice woman, supportive and warm. Mercy is a very nice female character and she will prove it throughout the novel, nothing that will happen can be frame to her, and even when she would have been the right to be upset she is always able to react in a positive way.

When Chase has some minor money issue, and a friend suggests, almost as a joke, that he can audition for Johnnies, a gay porn pay per view website, Chase launches himself into it like a fish out of water who sees a lake. Here he meets Tommy, a guy who has his own troubles, but at least he is fine with his homosexuality, fine enough not only to admit he is attracted by Chase, but also to accept being his “little” secret on the side. For one year Chase not only hides to his girlfriend that he is working as a porn start but that he is also cheating on her with a man. As strange as it sound, maybe right since Mercy is a good girl and in a way I think that, if Chase was sincere from the beginning, she would have understood him, it didn’t feel really like a cheating, and, even stranger, I didn’t take any side, not Mercy, not Tommy and not Chase. Tommy and Chase are the item and I was only waiting for Chase to find the courage to put his life in the right track.

It’s a dramatic event the one that will force Chase to face the truth, but it was probably necessary. Again, the author didn’t shy away from the reality of that, and Chase’s breakdown rang true and the climbing up from hell slow and painful. But the prize was a right incentive, and again, I was sure Chase had all the cards to win this bet.

Chase in Shadow is a sexy, sometime even cute, read, but it’s not light or shallow. I think this was a good intake of the gay porn industry and of what could be the life of those pretty boys you see smiling on the promo pictures.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2781

Amazon: Chase in Shadow
Amazon Kindle: Chase in Shadow
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 24, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613724217
ISBN-13: 978-1613724217

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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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 Change of Tune is pretty much a story of good feelings and happily ever after, there is no drama, no angst, only love, passion and plenty of fun.

Johnny is a rock star who is tired of the old abused sex, drugs and rock and roll motto, above all since he has never really enjoyed the sex and drugs part. Plus, even if he has always played with his “androgynous” look, he has never really admitted he is gay. So that, he has also never had an homosexual relationship, even if he is more than tempted. But more than the sex, Johnny is searching for the meaning of life, and that for him means home, family and stability.

He decides to leave everything he knows behind, to buy an home in West Virginia in a small town. As soon as he arrives, he also finds love in the arms of the country town sheriff Grissom, a big man with even a bigger heart. In a rush, Johnny turns into perfect gay country gentleman, not only adopting a dog he needs for security, who turns to be more of a protector and jealous lover than a simple dog, but he also rescues two little lapdogs, 8 cats and 2 babies… yes, 2 babies, one girl and one boy who of course Johnny transforms in a living ad for Ralph Lauren’s kids line.

Nothing wrong or bad will happen to Johnny, and even the sex with Grissom will turn to be an out of ordinary experience. Maybe it irked a little to me that Johnny was so ready to embrace his gay side, but on the other hand he repressed it for so long that probably it was ready to burst at first chance. The balance between Johnny and Grissom is all bottom versus top, and Johnny is a perfect top from the bottom too, Grissom calls him alternative blondie or princess or your highness, depending on how bossy Johnny wants to be, but in the end, who commands in their bedroom is always Grissom. While Johnny has the more feminine character, also Grissom displays some “househusband” traits, for example he is the one with the more housekeeper skills, while Johnny has the fashion streak.

A Change of Tune is a perfect seasonal romance, something you want to read when outside everyone is wishing you Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas or Happy New Year.

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=97&products_id=2938

Amazon Kindle: A Change of Tune
Publisher: Torquere Press, Inc. (November 24, 2010)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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This is only a short story but I think it has, not only a good plot, but also a good characters development, or at least as much as you could achieve in 25 pages.

Devon is a young “modern” boy in West Hollywood. 22 years old and without a steady job, he is not actually worried, since he knows that, sooner or later he will find his real path in life. Devon is also gay, and like for his lack of career prospective, also being gay is not an issue; he is not living in a gay bubble, meaning that he has friends in and out the LGBT community, but when you see him, you can tell Devon is gay, it’s who he is, and he is not ashamed of that. So when the hot star of the indie movie for which Devon is doing temp work as technician asks him to be his teacher for gay “kissing” (since the straight star has to kiss a man on the screen), Devon is more than willing; no thoughts of “this is a closet gay man I should out him”, or “poor me I’m so in love with this man and nothing could happen”, is passing his mind. Devon likes Stephen and Stephen is a good guy, and he is treating Devon with respect and like a true gentlemen… of course Devon will let Stephen know that he can be a little less gentlemanly and having his wicked ways with him, Devon is again, more than willing.

I like the approach of the author to the situation; Stephen is probably gay, but he is working in a field where it’s risky for him to come out, at least at this moment in his career when he is average famous but he is still not a 20 million star. Stephen is not presented like a negative character, or weak or without courage, and I also like that Devon understands the situation and is not behaving like if Stephen is betraying him since he doesn’t want to gamble on his own career.

http://www.phaze.com/book.php?title=Lights%2C+Camera...

Amazon Kindle: Lights, Camera...
Publisher: Phaze Books (August 29, 2011)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading%20list&view=elisa.rolle
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This novel by Adam Fitzroy has written “UK” all over; in the setting, that is easy, but also in the mood and the feeling, bittersweet humor, comfortable romance, fire under the ashes sex, all bundled together in more than 500 pages, all of them perfectly timed in a slow paced rhythm.

Callum and Jon are the most unlikely likely couple you can imagine; unlikely due to the age differences, the different life expectations, maybe even a little bit their upbringings; likely since they are both actors, they understand each other without many words, and they of course are in love.

As I said this is not a fast paced romance, and I truly enjoyed how Callum courted Jon without more or less Jon realizing it, and in a way without neither the reader. Callum is probably the most complex character since, truth be told, the author was really good in making him an easy target for the reader hating: Callum is the one who drags Jon in a relationship to then dumping him and marrying a woman; Callum is the one who dares to come back into Jon’s life when he needs comfort without considering how painful that can be for Jon; Callum is the one who continues to maintain a bond with Jon when it would be better for the other man to be freed… but fellow readers, trust me and don’t give up on him since I will assure you he will be able to atone all his sins.

On the other hand I think you can love or hate Jon, there are no half-measures with him; hate him since he has that aloof halo around him like nothing can touch his heart, since his heart is wrapped in ice; love him since it’s easy to understand that it’s not ice around his heart, but simply a self-protective shield. It’s easy to like Callum, he is like a puppy, or a teddy bear, and he is scandalously and unashamedly free, really proving his young age, but he is also considerate of Jon’s feelings and troubles. It’s not explicitly written, but I think he was the one cutting their relationship since, in a way, he was trying to protect Jon, Callum knew that Jon was not ready to lose everything in exchange of his love; that was where Callum was wrong, and maybe he was a little presumptuous from his side to pretend to know what was better for Jon, but still, I think he did it with good intentions.

I really love the setting, the small town feeling of the theatre world, where everyone knows everyone else; the little gossip that was sometime reflected by the more mainstream media gossip, but that was mostly told behind closed doors, in front of a cup of tea; the tight net of relationships, marriages and funerals all in the span of less than 3 grades of connections (friend of a friend). Of course in more than 500 pages, the stories told are not only that of Callum and Jon, but also of their circle of friends, in good and bad, no one character will enter the scene without a purpose or/and its own story to tell, and like those gossiping spinsters or widows in front of a cup of tea, the reader will enjoy to listen to their bad or good outcome.

http://www.manifoldpress.co.uk/2011/05/stage-whispers/

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading%20list&view=elisa.rolle
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This is a collection of two novellas, completely different in theme and setting but from the same author, and so, with the same feeling.

This Ground Which Was Secured at Great Expense is a First World War tale, the time is the beginning of the twenty century, and as I often say, you can feel the changing in the air: the soldiers, and in particular the officers, are more knights than war-meat and honour is still a concept taken into consideration.

Nicholas Southwell is a member of nobility and while he is in love with his estate manager Paul Haskell, he thinks this love unrequited; plus there is the war in France and every men worthy of that name feels as he needs to enlist. Even if Nicholas denies it when Paul suggests the idea, I also think that Paul’s pacifist ideas don’t fit well with Nicholas’s heroic idea of what is war. Truth to Paul, he is unfit to enlist due to a trouble to his leg, so in any case there was no chance for him.

At French’s front, Nicholas meets Philip, another fellow officer, another man from nobility… again, I don’t want to be unkind with Nicholas, but I think that is fast shifting of interest from Paul to Philip is also due to the fact that Philip fits better the idea of companion that Nicholas has in mind. True, Paul is not so welcoming of the hero when Nicholas comes back home on a leave, and instead Philip is there, willing to comfort the broken heart nursed by both of them for different men (also Philip has another lover, Fergal).

In a way or the other, it will not be Nicholas that will choose, events bigger than him will path his way out of the emotional trap he himself built around his heart.

The Case of the Overprotective Ass is set at the end of the Second World War; less than 40 years divide the two novellas but the men in them are completely different. Gone is the idea of heroic knights at war, gone is the uncertainty about each other feelings, what remains is the forbidden relationship between two men.

Alistair and Toby are two heartthrob of the UK movie industry of the ’50. Like many closet cases of the time, while they love each other and are in an exclusive relationship since years, to the public opinion they are best friends and contendants to the heart of fellow actress Fiona.

The intake of this story is light and mostly funny; Alistair and Toby are also surer of each other feelings and as such, they display their affection with more freedom than Nicholas and Paul.

I really am not able to say what is the more romantic between the two novellas, as I said they are very different; maybe the first one has a little more bittersweet aftertaste, while instead Alistair and Toby’s story is sparkling, a good parallelism is dark red wine against champagne… you can appreciate both, but not compare them.

http://www.cheyennepublishing.com/books/fires.html

Amazon: Home Fires Burning
Amazon Kindle: Home Fires Burning
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: Cheyenne Publishing (September 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 098282677X
ISBN-13: 978-0982826775



Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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I admit that one of them main reason I bought this book is since it was an anthropomorphic novel and I’m a bit hooked on this genre. The author did a nice job with the theme, but she remains quite high level so I think this is a gay romance that can appeal even the non-fan of that theme; sure, there are some not-to-miss details that makes this an anthropomorphic novel, like the highlighting different species and different traits, but other than that, you soon forget you are reading about a crossbreed wolf and raccoon and a fossa (big compliments for the original choice), to being involved in a love story between a 32 years old metal rocker and the 24 years old wanna-be rocker he wants to help, other than love.

Actually, I’m not an expert on the genre, far from that, I read more or less 5 novels in total, but I think the author had some concessions on the strict rules, like the fossa has a rabbit pet, when btw there is also a rabbit as supporting character, and the guys went out to dine on a steakhouse eating moose when, again, there is a deer as supporting character… these are all little details that made me wonder; true it would have been unrealistic having carnivores eating only fish, but still…

Now, please, don’t get me wrong, aside for these very stupid details, I really liked the story; it’s not overtly erotic, there are just that sex scenes to make them fitting right in the plot without boring the reader, and the love story was very sweet and romantic. The show business background was nicely done, it’s clear the author knows her business when talking about metal rock and underground scenes, and I also wondered about her knowledge of a not so notorious city like Dresden; through for an European reader, Dresden is well known, and even I that are not so skilled in hard rock know that Germany is a big name for that music field, but the author really immersed the reader in an original setting, Germany, with a skill that, again, seems to arrive from direct experience.

The book is also pretty long, almost 500 pages; yes, sometime, especially at the beginning, I was wondering when the story would have finally kicked in, but I think that was supposed to highlight how Marcus was reaching a breaking point, how he was really tired of his life as it was, and when Bard enters the scene is like fresh air, pure energy that shakes Marcus from his numbness. Not exactly Sleeping Beauty and his prince, but almost. Speaking of prince and princess, there is not really a dominant role in the couple, sometime it seems that Marcus is taking that role, but it’s more due to the age factor I think, and when talking about sex, they pretty much take turn… so yes, this is definitely a balanced couple, in each meaning of the word.

https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/new-release-c-1/rainbow-in-the-dark-p-446

Amazon Kindle: Rainbow in the Dark
Publisher: Silver Publishing (August 10, 2011)

Reading List:

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Cover Art by Rukis
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Gulliver Travels is young, funny but not “light”; it’s about a young boy trying to recover from a broken heart in New York City. On an impulse Gulliver left West Hollywood and cheating Graham and came to New York City and best friend Todd.

Todd is living the life of the rich and beautiful, parting each night and changing partner more or less at the same time; if you think that Gulliver, with his broken heart, would be that character moping on the past and not enjoying his lucky star, than you are wrong. Gulliver embraces full front the city and its chances, and sincerely he got it easy; sure at the beginning he is like any other unemployed boy, and it’s not far away the time when he realizes that his dream to be a designer in the Big Apple will never come. Of course there is the classical Starbucks gig, but then, thanks also to cute puppy Senor (Todd’s dog), rightly one of the protagonist of this novel, he lands a job in a theatrical agency.

Sure the author could have it easy, having Gulliver meeting the love of his life, this time the true love, and living happily ever after, but as in the notorious novel, more or less with the same title, there are lot of various adventures waiting for Gulliver on his life travels: on so from designer to waiter, to agent, to porn actor and then to bartender, Gulliver will manage not only to sleep his way to independency (meaning that, in good and bad, it’s Gulliver sleeping with the right or wrong guy that generate a change in route) but also to gain more friends and a lot of self-esteem.

I really liked this novel, even if it’s not strictly a romance, my favourite genre, but more a discovery journey to adulthood. The Gulliver we met at the beginning of the story is far away from the one we will leave at the last page, but in a way, even if completely different, I like them both. First Gulliver is your typical party boy, the one who always looks with critical eyes to other boys, who labels them considering how they are dressed or who they frequent; he is not a bad guy, on the contrary, he is cute and pretty, twink and all. Second Gulliver is more aware of what life cost (and not only on a money level), he is less inclined to judge other people, and probably a better friend. Yes since in the end, more than a love story this is a friendship story: true, Gulliver will have his unrequited love, but while he is able to rip off a lover like an old plaster, the same is not for his friends, especially Todd. Most of the time, I had the feeling that Gulliver was more worried to loose his friends than losing a possible lover, and again, that felt quite right: in the end, for a gay boy alone in a strange city, what is more important than your supporting circle of friends?

Amazon: Gulliver Travels
Amazon Kindle: Gulliver Travels
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: BoiParty Books (May 13, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615489621
ISBN-13: 978-0615489629

Reading List:

 

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&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
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Todd is a pretty ordinary guy, an electrician working for tv shows and enjoying every minute of it. He is a big fan of America’s Next Top Dancer and in particular of Nathaniel, one of the dancer; when he has the chance to sub for one of the electrician working for that show, he would have never guessed that was also the chance to meet Nate. Even if working for a real show, Nate is as much ordinary as Todd, and when the two guys meet, a sweet and romantic love story will start.

I liked the contraposition of their bodies, Todd strong and big, bear-like, and Nate small and lithe, a real dancer, with the pretty much similarity of their attitude; Todd and Nate like the simple things of life, they have common interests and it’s clear their love story will be a lasting one.

There are no obstacles to their love, and while Todd has no a public life like Nate, nevertheless they don’t clash together; both Todd and Nate are on the shy side, but Nate will kindly lead Todd a little out of his shell, just enough to allow them to start a good thing together.

The Dancer & Sexy Big Man is only a short story, but it didn’t feel like that; the story was well plotted and the characters were nice and good together. I wouldn’t mind to see more of them together, seeing how they will manage their life together, I have the feel that Todd would be a good supporter to Nate’s beginning career in the show business.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2043

Reading List:



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



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


Cover Art by P.L. Nunn
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The previous series, Screen Shots, finished, all the men paired, now Willa Okati has enough material to play, and so from a shot she moves to a scene ;-) The new spin off series starts using the same couple who was in the first book, college guys Cody and Aaron, former roommate, now lovers and also start of the 20SomethingTwinks, the online p**n website where sex is fun and good, more a thing of boys at play than real business.

Katherine, the owner of the company, wants to film on special locations… but no, don’t think she is ready to send her guys all around the world, it simply means that she redecorated the barn outside the farmhouse they are using as headquarter, and she wants to send Cody and Aaron out to play, like a mother would do with two unrequited boys.

Not only that, she will let them free to experiment, and so there would be no director or assistant, only them, two bodies and a camera. When Cody and Aaron arrives on the new location they are immediately ready to start, sex between them is still good even if they are doing it in and out the work field; but there is a little surprise: Guillermo, one of the new twink who is auditioning for the website, is there to see, and maybe pick up the courage to try something more than a solo in front of the camera. It’s a right choice for Willa Okati to choose Cody and Aaron as training ship for Guillermo, they are probably the more “ordinary” of all the 20Something Twinks, and above all they are also a couple in real life; Guillermo needs to be assured that what he will do in front of the camera is natural and good, something he would do anyway for his personal pleasure; it’s not a “real” job, it’s more playing and being happy while gaining some money doing it.

Right for this attitude of the guys, the strong feeling that they are happy and good, I don’t mind if there is not exclusivity between the different couple. It’s clear they are enjoying themselves, as it’s clear that, once they ends the “day” work, two, or three of them, will go home together, and continuing being happy. When they will be no more 20 something twinks, they will have someone beside them with whom they will share the rest of their life and choose what they will do, maybe franchising another p**n website!

http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1380

Series: Screen Shots
1) Seduced: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/751693.html
2) Smolder: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/812531.html
3) Slinky: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/862977.html
4) Submissive: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/926027.html
5) Sexology: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1041080.html
Series: Screen Scenes:
1) Surrender

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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Dabbed as “summer reading”, something that usually is light and easily forgotten, Between Boyfriends was one of the most nice surprise I had lately; I can really imagine someone finding this book in 20 years or so, in some yard sale, with the cover full of wrinkles, since it came out directly in paperback, and having again the same surprise I had. Between Boyfriends is witty, romantic and shocking; it’s a full immersion in the most flaming and gayish gay life you can imagine, with characters coming out (pun very much intended) from the stereotype imaginary of gay culture.

Steven, the main character, is a gay soap opera screenwriter; his dearest friends are a pushy forty financial guru, a stock investor, a former ice-skating star and a go-go dancer. They all have emergency meetings in the local Starbucks, getting high on caffeine instead of alcohol. They exchange sex stories like you can exchange your daily routine with your mother on the phone, and they all seem happy and independent, but in reality, they are all searching for true love… ok, well, maybe the go-go dancer is not trying so hard, and the ice-skater would prefer to have won that bronze medal at Lillehammer, and the financial guru is happy to change boytoys like he changes boxers, but at least Steven and his best friend Flynn are sincere enough to admit that they want a long-lasting relationship, and it’s a pity that they are not for each other, since they would be perfect together.

Steven is so desperately searching for love that he falls in love at first sight for any gay man he meets on the street, saving changing his mind when he realizes that he is not Mr Right, but maybe only Mr Right Now. In any case, I really liked Steven, since I found a little of everyone in him: who has not spent a lot of money to buy a dress that makes you feel wonderful, only for having your daydreams broken when your hot date calls back to postpone/cancel the appointment? Right after you signed that expensive credit card receipt with no reimburse available? But Steven is so in love with love, that he is always able to find another daydream and another Mr Right, and even if it’s not yet the right one, at least he is enjoying the ride. Steven is not like that sad single gay men mourning the lack of a boyfriend in an empty apartment, he mourns with style, in a disco surrounded by friends and dancing along; and he is even able to go back home with an hot stud, since, even if he has not found Mr Right yet, who said he has to “sleep” alone in the meantime.

There is a lot of sex, but it’s always funny and light, profane but always with a laugh; it’s for sure gratuitous sex, as I said Steven is not waiting alone for Mr Right, but it was never awkward: Steven and his friends enjoy sex, and sex is something fun, only that with love is better. And if you like romance, there are at least two good love stories here, and one in blossom, the author has material for at least two other books (Flynn and Lindsay), and then if he wants to complete the circle of friends, Gus and Sebastian are other two very nice romance material.

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/finditem.cfm?itemid=16871

Amazon: Between Boyfriends

Amazon Kindle: Between Boyfriends

Reading List:

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


Cover Art by Kristine Mills-Noble
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In a way or the other, the previous 4 stories in the Screen Shots series were about a couple or at least a triplet; then, it’s true, they all played together, and as I said before, the feeling was of a community based on love. One by one, all the men involved in twentysomethingtwinks.com, the porn website specialized in pretty twinks, found their match, and in the end, there is a spared one, the cameraman, Jake.

Jake is a college student who is writing his dissertation on the modern sex industry; he really tried to face things with the right distance, to not be involved in the game, but it was like taking a kid on a candy shop and saying him not to eat anything. Thank to a lucky coincidence, Jake and 9 of the twentysomethingtwinks.com “employees” (3 couples and a triplet) are trapped in the basement of the former farm converted in headquarter of the firm, and they all think it’s time to make Jake feel welcomed in their “family”.

It’s not only a surprise for Jake, but also for the reader: Jake will not play the role of the toy for all of them, but instead he will take the lead; more, he will also top Gabriel, the big bad boy who is the boss man in the triplet with Brandon and Dylan. This is a nice novella, and in a way even traditional, usually at the end of a loved series, authors write a wrap up story, where all the main characters of the previous books get together and celebrate their love, and so they do here; I have only a small complaint: Jake enjoys it all, and fully embraces the twentysomethingtwinks.com’s philosophy, but in the end, he is only a temporary player, he is not really a steady addition for any of the previous matched men; true he is having the time of his life, but I wouldn’t mind to see him paired with someone with whom he can go back at home when the game is over.

http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1260

Series: Screen Shots
1) Seduced: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/751693.html
2) Smolder: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/812531.html
3) Slinky: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/862977.html
4) Submissive: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/926027.html
5) Sexology

Reading List:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon: ePistols at Dawn

Amazon Kindle: ePistols at Dawn

Reading List:

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


Cover Art by Anne Cain
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Interlude by Vivien Dean

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon: Behind The Scenes (print book)

Reading List:

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

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

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

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

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

Buy at 1 Romance Ebooks

Amazon Kindle: Aki's Love Song

Reading List:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://samhainpublishing.com/romance/adder

Amazon: Adder

Amazon Kindle: Adder

Reading List:

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


Cover Art by Anne Cain
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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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When you buy a season short story, for sure you are expecting to read a all around good feelings type of story and Kelsey’s Present delivers it.

Des is a small town gay doctor who devoted himself to his niece Kelsey 10 years before, when the then 6 years girl lost her parents in a car accident. Now Kelsey wants to give something back to her dear uncle, and what is better than cute young fiction actor Victor, in town to shoot some scene in the local high school?

As I said before the mood of the story is all sweet and sugar, there is no drama, no sadness, and the main characters are almost too good to be true: Des, nice doctor, good step-father, just the right dose of handsomeness to have a bit of self-esteem, but paired with a bit of shyness that makes him even more cute. And what about Victor? An actor who has not lost the allure or the small town boy of before, and who is more interested in having an home made dinner than to live under the lights of success.

If someone is wondering how is it possible for a big star to be happy in small town contest, truth be told, Victor is a “low-profile” star, for a tv fiction show and not for movies, and I had also the feeling that, all in all, he is neither so much interested in remaining low-profile: Victor has no desire for being a famous movie star, he has not the attitude of the big movie star, and a small town doctor as boyfriend is his perfect choice.

In according with the seasonal mood of the story, even if there is sex, it’s more romantic than sexy, more nice than naughty, something not usual for this author.

http://www.extasybooks.net/ebjmsite/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=ebook_flypage&product_id=7023&category_id=31&manufacturer_id=11&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=44

Amazon Kindle: Kelsey's Present

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
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There is very few of submissive in Skyler, the new twink of 20Something. He is arrived to the professional porn firm with a single mind purpose, to conquer Thom, producer and lead cameraman, but also former porn actor. Skyler can’t believe he has retired for good, but most of all, he can’t believe what people is saying, that Thom is now like a “priest”, he is like an asexual “father” for all the pretty boys around, but he doesn’t touch anyone.

But as Skyler says, what he wants, he gets, and even if he pouts and mumbles, his patience is big almost as Thom’s, and so, after a right period of observation, Thom is ready to give Skyler a taste of what he so much wants, and if, at the end of the day, he will be not on his way out of the place, then maybe Thom will be sure that the man he is waiting for six years is finally arrived.

It’s almost a torture what Thom does to Skyler, almost a Tantalus’ torture, since, while he, Thom, never once gives up to the urges of his body, Skyler instead is on a rollercoast, each time reaching an higher apex to then falling down to an apparently calm, to then, almost immediately reach another higher level. More Thom gives to Skyler and more Skyler is there to ask for more.

There is a light difference between this story and the others in the series: even if Skyler is working for the firm, doing scene with other men, this is not part of the story. It’s not “important” and the focus has to remain on the particular relationship between Thom and Skyler. As proved in his “torture”, it’s not important for Skyler to be abstinent, it’s important for him to understand that, if he obtains Thom, then he will be an exclusivity only of him. And I’m not referring to his body, the body for Thom is not important, this is a question of will and how much Skyler is willing to let his will be lead by Thom. It’s not even a question of pleasure / pain, even if the plug Thom uses with Skyler doesn’t seem so comfortable, aside that Thom doesn’t use anything else to “play” his will-power game with Skyler.

Not denying release to Skyler, not using anything tangible to force him, when Skyler will let it go, when he will surrender to Thom, it will be a total surrender, something he has decided with full conscience, and so even more satisfying.

http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1243

Series: Screen Shots
1) Seduced: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/751693.html
2) Smolder: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/812531.html
3) Slinky: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/862977.html
4) Submissive

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
The third in the Screen Shots series is probably one of the most kinky, and for a series set in the porn industry that said a lot. Ross, the All American Boy Next Door of TwentySomethingTwinks is what you would call a training ship: he is steady and sure, he doesn't miss a shot (punt intended), but maybe he is a bit too much vanilla. He doesn't like any pinchbeck during sex, just two guys, a bed and condom and lube.

Then arrives Maddox, a mix of new age guru in a biker boy body; he is handsome but "altered" by tattoo, piercings, dyed hair and outrageous clothes. He seems not the match for Ross, but Maddox entered TwentySomethingTwinks only for him. From day one is a play of teasing and playing kiss or dare with Ross. And Ross is both attracted than perplexed, he doesn't understand why he is interested in a guy who is the opposite than him... for someone who works with sex, he doesn't know much about life, does it?

When the new age yoga skill of Maddox unveils a potential flexibility in the man that is the forbidden dream of most teenager, Ross is hooked, but he wants his revenge: it will be not Maddox to seduce him, but Ross will knock him to the ground and have his way with him... problem is that it's exactly what Maddox wants.

As I said, this is a very kinky little novella; it's all about sex, but the strange thing is that, despite all the tattoo and piercing, Maddox is a real down to earth guy and the sex they have is good and very much normal. The kinkiness is almost vanilla, like Ross: just a man, Maddox, who knows how to use some strategically placed piercings. Story after story I'm more and more enthralled by this series, that is light and funny, and really gives the idea of young and healthy boys at play.

http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1229

Series: Screen Shots
1) Seduced: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/751693.html
2) Smolder: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/812531.html
3) Slinky

The Rainbow Awards: Third (and last!) Phase: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/850354.html
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Conquest is one of those books that you like despite yourself. Personally I didn't like nor Jesse or Evan, the two main characters, but this is exactly the reason why I liked their story. Jesse and Evan are two young rock star, Jesse still a struggling one, but he is only 20 year old, so he has time to succeed, and Evan is a burnt star, he started when he was only 17 years old and now at 27 he seems to have lost the passion for it. They are moody, hot tempered and arrogant, in few word they are the perfect rock star.

Jesse is young and full of life, he has not supporting parents, they kicked him out when he told them he was gay, but his brother Brandon is playing the role of perfect older brother-substitute father. And so at 20 years old, Jesse only real trouble is how to find the money to produce his first album, his love life is still like he was a teenager, no really life burnt there, and Brandon is trying his best to protect him from the big bad world. I think Jesse is not yet a fully man, he has not really had bad, he is spoilt and too much self-conscious, but in a way, I like that in him: why someone has to suffer to be a good character? Jesse is lucky enough to have someone who takes care of him, and when he meets Evan, he only changes protector, from his brother Brandon to his lover Evan, and again, he didn't suffer in the shift.

Evan on the other hand is a full arrogant piece of... man. And as he said he was arrogant even before being a rock star, so his behavior only worsen in the change. He went in a self-imposed exile after a very bad experience, but again the experience was mostly his own fault. Evan has no one to blame if not himself, and to add badder to bad, it's not that the exile changed him so much. Basically he is a temper tantrum artist, and you have not to be on his path. But if you are on his right side, than Evan could be the perfect best and boy friend. In comparison to Jesse, maybe Evan had some trouble while growing up and also during his career, but again, I don't feel like he is a fully grown man, I still see him like an overgrown child playing with fast cars but still needing the comfortable embrace of a loving family, something he has lost and still miss. So when he finds Jesse, and his brother Brandon, Evan thinks to have found it all, and doesn't think twice to make them his own makeshift family... and here again, in a way, he is behaving more as a selfish man than a really caring lover.

I'm too harsh with them? I don't think so. See for example the little details, the safe sex issue. Jesse is a virgin, and his brother Brandon is always pestering him about being safe when he finally will do that. Jesse always replies like he is having that "boring" lessons, but you think, he, at least once, listened to that? And then, first time he has sex with Evan, he forgets it all. And Evan? he is older, wiser, responsible? No. Maybe, you think, he knows he is safe, but what lesson he is teaching to Jesse? They met that same night, I don't think they could play the exclusive card, and so? That is only a little detail that made me look at them more as child than really adult men.

Anyway, the story is one I like, I have always loved the show business setting and despite their fault, Evan and Jesse are cute, it felt more like I was reading about boys playing with their parents clothes, but still, they were sweet. Both are not macho men, they tend to be very emotional, and there is also a lot of sex, but again, I think it's in their characters. At the end of the book there is sneak peek on the sequel, so maybe Evan and Jesse will have the chance to grow in their second book.

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

Buy Here

Amazon Kindle: Conquest

The Rainbow Awards - Second Phase: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/823682.html

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