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Peter's Chair is for sure a breaking novel, the fantapolitical novel on a gay Pope: how many boundaries it's throwing down? gays inside the Church, sex outside the marriage, celibacy (or the lack of it). That is probably not fantasy, but it's for sure something no one dares to speak. John Simpson decides to break that rule, and he does it from as a man informed of the facts. It's clear that he knows the way of the Church, its traditions and structure. Even in the simple things, like the use of foreign language, in this case Italian, he never once did a mistake. All the Popes he is referring to, at least until Papa Luciani, Giovanni Paolo I, are real, he only decided to take a different path in history from that event, and changed the name of all the other Popes after that.

For a human decision, the desires of some young Cardinals to change the path of history, or maybe for the will of the Holy Spirit, a 49 years old american man, Brian, is elected Pope. Brian is a man with a strong will and with his own ideas: he is gay and has a 27 years old lasting relationship with William, another priest he met in seminary, who now follows him everywhere as his personal assistant. If you are expecting a naughty tale about sex between men in soutane, change your mind: for all what is regarding Brian and William's relationship, they are more like an old couple than two horny men in love. More, when Brian is elected Pope, William is both worried than scared, he doesn't feel right to continue having a sexual relationship when Brian represents the same structure that condemns both homosexuality than the lack of celibacy among priests. In a way, Brian is more coherent than William in saying that he doesn't see what is changed, if they were having sex before, why not now? But I liked Brian's attitude, it was a way to prove that he really believes in his role as a priest.

Brian and William are very different, but complete each other. Brian is more a leader, but he probably wouldn't have reached that position without William by his side. William makes Brian think, gives him the chance to ponder his choices. On the other side, William has not the strength to be a leader and probably not even the outside image. It's not that William is weak, it's more that he doesn't like to be on center stage. I really liked their relationship, it talked a lot of their past together, without need to speak the words aloud.

Brian, as Pope, is more a political chief than a man of the Church, but sadly that is the true. Vatican is a little state, but it has a lot of power in the matters regarding the free choices of people all around the world, and so the work of a Pope is more a political issue than that of a shepherd of God. Peter's Chair is a a lot of adventure / thriller novel and not so much romance, but it has its sweet moments, like the day to day romance between Brian and William, made of little habits honed by years of cohabitation (Brian is not a morning person, William is a bit on the stubborn side, and so on), and the naughty side of the sex relegated to more younger men, like Brian's personal bodyguards. But still, the sex is not really the main element of this book, and I think that is right like that.

It can be said that John Simpson has a deep knowledge of the recent political history and in particular all regarding the Church. It's also clear that he has is idea and he has no problem to expose them. And, little side note, it's also clear that he doesn't like so much Italians or Italy: some remarks by Brian on how he wants all American things around him, also the smallest things like a tv programs, made me wonder what we did to him ;-) Italians and Italy are not so bad after all, at least not all of us.

Amazon: Peter's Chair
Amazon Kindle: Peter's Chair
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 2 edition (December 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613727054
ISBN-13: 978-1613727058

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
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On the summer of 1969, Young Man is a high school dropout who is spending his days prowling the East River Park in NYC. He has never actually spoken with any of the other park patrons, but he knows them: the man with the Chihuahua, the woman with the Dalmatian, and that old man who is always looking at him. Young Man doesn’t understand himself or his feelings, at times he is attracted by the woman, at times by the men, I think that whoever of them would approach him, Young Man would be fine, since basically he needs a leading hand. And Mr Chervy alias Miss Crystal, a retired teacher who cross-dresses only in the intimacy of his home, will be the one to take in hand, literally, Young Man. Young Man and Miss Crystal’s relationship is very much that of teacher and pupil, and while Young Man likes Miss Crystal, he doesn’t like the authoritarian persona he represents and he, liked dropped out of school, arrives to a confrontation with Miss Crystal that leads him away. Out again in the street, he meet the Librarian, almost a replica of Miss Crystal, another kind and lonely man who wouldn’t like better than finding a companion, someone who is never to leave him. Young Man will be the bridge between Miss Crystal and the Librarian, and maybe for the time being he will be with them, but I think that his task is accomplished, Miss Crystal and the Librarian will never be alone again, they now have each other, and if they wish to help other young men, why not, but the most important thing is that, while these young me will come and go, they will always have each other.

I know that probably this is not the most literary novella by Mykola Dementiuk, he wrote much important works, but to my romantic heart, this is my favourite; I really like Miss Crystal and the Librarian, they are compassionate men who need love, and I’m so glad that in the end they met each other. Young Man is probably a desperate case, he could probably improve, but I have the feeling that he will be always like that, a bad boy with a bad mouth. But that doesn’t matter, since he has not a bad heart, on the contrary, he is confused and needing love as much as Miss Crystal and the Librarian need. And for a little time, or maybe forever, they have found that love and each other.

Amazon Kindle: The Men on Grand Street
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing (January 25, 2012)

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
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I don’t know what I was expecting by this novel but for sure I’m impressed by how the author managed to make of Philip Croft, the Rice Queen Spy, an even too real character, with the faults and down of a man, not an hero.

Philip Croft is a spy for the Queen of England, but he is not some fake James Bond; when the novel starts, Philip is 58 years old and under investigation for being gay. Investigation that implies physical torture to the hand of his same colleagues, betrayed by whom he believed were friends. And Philip will betray other colleagues, sure, brought to the edge by a sadistic man, but nevertheless he will shout the names of other homosexual men in the Service. After this experience, Philip is forced into an early retirement, but in a way this will be the freedom he was always searching.

Philip always lived his homosexuality abroad, in Asian countries were other foreigners profited of their wealth in comparison to the poor local boys. Yes, Philip is not some romance hero in searching for Mr Right; on the contrary, he is more like a sailor with a lover in every Asian Pacific harbours, and with his retirement he didn’t change his customs. Philip will open a gay sauna in London, and spend his winters wandering the Asia and in the end, having a 4 months boyfriend in Philippines, Reynaldo, while at the same time maintaining a friendly relationship with his employee in London, Kwan, and with an in-house boyfriend at home, Robin. And before and after these new boyfriends, he had always saved the memory of the love of his life, Tom.

There is a dark side in Philip the author is not willing to hide: Philip’s passion for young men, barely legally boys, borders into paedophilia, and indeed there are men in the circle of Philip’s friends that probably are not stranger to that; the same Philip is tempted, but for various reason he will never lapse, even if, only having being tempted is a nightmare that will always haunt Philip’s life.

Doing a balance of the pros and cons of Philip, he has to come out with more positive traits since, in the end, he will find a young man, Robin, who will be faithful to him until the end. And yes, the author chooses to accompany the reader until the end of Philip’s life, an end that is no bad, an end that will see Philip old and not alone, but maybe a little haunted by one too many ghosts. But you could say that he has so many ghosts since he had so many years to live and love.

Amazon: The Rice Queen Spy
Amazon Kindle: The Rice Queen Spy
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Senneff House Publishers; First Edition edition (September 10, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0975275666
ISBN-13: 978-0975275665

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Steve Walker
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Silver Romance is one of my favourite genre, maybe since you don’t find it often around; and then, probably, I feel more near to the pain for love of a 45 years old or more man than a barely legal kid. But, truth be told, I prefer my silver foxes to be “unaware”, not really hunters on a prey, but more prey themselves. And so the Silver Foxes of C.B. Potts are right up to my alley, almost all of them are Daddies for play, meaning that, more or less they are preys of the pretty clutches of their boys.

In Board Meeting, a young soldier, back home from a war that probably he didn’t want to fight, seduces his father’s friend, maybe hoping to find again the innocent boy he was before leaving, the same boy who secretly admired that man so full of passion and strong beliefs.

Ring Tones is the story of a Daddy with a good boy, who sometime needs to be a boy himself. His lover can’t give it to him, and so he “hires” help. This silver fox is so “out of the world”, an artist with the head more on the clouds than on earth, that I can’t really don’t like him, even if he is actually cheating on his partner: it’s cheating since the partner doesn’t know it.

Goodnight, Daddy, sees the young lover far from home, needing the comforting and warm words of his Daddy to fall asleep. You can think that this man is not independent, that he clings to his Daddy, but instead I think that he has the other man in his little fit.

Where the Buffalo Roam is the classic college boy falls in love for dude ranch cowboy story; it’s fated to have an happily for now end, but maybe college boy will be smart enough to not losing a good thing when he finds it.

Seducing the Hunter is a game in style, it’s all the brainstorming inside the head of a old writer, who is approached by a young man on his favourite bar; when the flow of thoughts starts, the old man is the hunter, but at the end he will be the prey, and the reader sees it all happen following that flow.

R&R and Christmas Morning are about the two same men, two soldiers in Vietnam, who, despite the war, and the ever present death danger, manage to find a reason to live and love. You don’t know if they will make it out of Vietnam, but you know that, even if it seems impossible, they were at least a bit happy there.

Crackhead Soup sees a father in visit to his son at college discovering that the boy has not yet understood that college is for study and not party. But the distraction of his son’s roommate will help the man to soothe his discontent, and maybe it will give him a reason more to check his soon more frequently in the future.

Getting Person is about two men working at the same factory, who really don’t know each other; or better, the older one thinks to know his colleague and he also thinks he is good in hiding the gender of his bed’s companion’s choice, but the younger one will let him know, with no doubt, that the secret is out, and that he wants to profit of it.

Rough Road is a danger escapade of a young man who likes rough sex, and does everything to find it in the most dangerous places… I don’t know if I’m so fond of this story, above all since the young man really puts himself in danger, and more or less, he is only lucky that nothing yet happened.

Getting Ready for Christmas is a fun little tale of a college boy who want to prepare a surprise for his older lover back home: maybe since he is young, or maybe since his lover wanted to wait, they didn’t have anal intercourses, and the young man wants to “prepare” himself for that, with the help of a dildo.

Rural Rentboy is a “pretty man” themed novel, with the older, and handsome man from out of town, who rents the young whore of the town for a night. The sex is good, the rent boy is smart, but I would have not mind if there was the chance of happiness for him; true, maybe he likes his life as it’s, living good and saving money for the future, when he will be the one to choice his partner.

Flower Power is another story that was good, for the sex and the characters, but again I’m not sure to like how it ended: a man gets smitten for the florist who has to plan the flower arrangement for his marriage. I will only give you an hint: the marriage will not be annulled.

Ringside is about a young boxer and the coach who helps him out of misery. They had almost a father/son relationship, since the day both of them realized it was not enough. Now they have to learn how to live with this new development, or renounce to having the other in their life.

Mountain Music is a funny tale about an aspiring musician who ends up in bed with the man who can help him with his career, and he doesn’t even know.

Emergency Room is about a young hot cop and the doctor of the emergency room where he drags a drunk man one night: you will never know where and when you will find your Mr Right.

Shutterbug is the tale of the debauchment of a country biker boy to the hands of an apparently inoffensive photographer… only that the pictures he takes are not innocent, and biker boy will, willingly, become a star, but only for selected eyes.

Hornbrook is set in 1935; two buddy friends discover that their friendship can lead to something more, only that, one is willing to take the risk, and instead the other not.

Greasy Monkey is again about two buddy friends, working in the same machine shop, one teaching the other the job, and both of them teaching each other way more than that.

Amazon: Silver Foxes: Steamy Stories of Older Men

Amazon Kindle: Silver Foxes: Steamy Stories of Older Men

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Kimball Davis
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Jack and Ricky are exactly at the opposite: Jack 48 years old and embittered by life, is living like an hermit in suburbia; for Jack is almost a self-reclusion, a punishment he is inflicting himself for some past sins. Ricky is 18 years old and at the beginning of his life: he has just discovered sex and his first experiences were not so good, not bad enough to discourage him, but probably enough to give him the idea that, trying with someone more skilled maybe will do the difference.

Ricky knows Jack since forever; he is his neighbour and his parents’ friend. When Ricky started to dream about boys instead of girls, Jack was a good wet dream material, an openly gay man just living next door. On the other hand, Jack has never once considered Ricky on a sexual level, and when his father asks him to hire the guy for a summer job, he takes it more like a bother than a chance. It’s not clearly said, but I had the feeling that Ricky consciously tried to seduce Jack, right for the reason I said, Ricky knew that sex could be good, and he wanted to learn from a master.

Jack is almost dormant: he has not sworn off sex, but he confined himself far from temptation; when temptation falls on his lap, he is not against the idea to profit of it. But Jack, even if doesn’t consider the age difference an impediment, well knows that Ricky is really young, and willing assumes the role of the training ship: Jack doesn’t take, he gives, but only if asked; he poses like an inflatable doll for Ricky’s inexperienced hands. It’s a strange relationship, since for sure there is no sense of guilty on Jack’s side for being older, or on Ricky’s side for being younger, but both of them are well aware of their age difference; they don’t consider it a limitation but instead an advantage.

I also liked a lot that Ricky, even if obviously appreciative for Jack’s willingness on sharing his sexual experience, doesn’t erase himself on Jack; when they reach some points where Ricky is no comfortable to go, Ricky is also strong enough to say no, and Jack is also balanced enough to accept that no. On the other way, Ricky is willing to learn and absorb, and in case, to change his mind: but it’s not something he does to please only Jack, it’s something he understands it will be good for both of them.

There are 30 years between Ricky and Jack, but truth be told, the age difference seemed shorter, but it’s Ricky who shortened it; he is way more mature and balanced than boys his age. Jack instead has all the strength of a lived past, and the wisdom of someone who was able to capitalize that past. For this same reason, nor Jack or Ricky start this relationship swearing forever and exclusive love to each other: Ricky needs to see, and try, what is good and what is bad, and then, when he will have enough elements to ponder, only then he will be able to take the right decision.

There is a lot of sex, and it was always good; there is also a good romance, a right dose of drama, but not too much angst. Anah Crow and Dianne Fox again confirm to be a pair of authors able to write romances apparently simple and good (family, love, happiness, good feelings), but never “light”.

Amazon Kindle: Slow Bloom

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon: And Call Me in the Morning

Amazon Kindle: And Call Me in the Morning

Reading List:
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The tagline of this novel is "A love story", but how can be a love story if one of the lover is killed at the beginning? well, it all depend on what you consider love, and then don't forget that the most famous love stories in the world haven't an happily ever after (Erich Segal was only one of the last...). Ahah, now some of you are thinking, so this novel has not an happily ever after? wrong, and again, it all depend on what you consider happily ever after.

Donald and Mark are happy and in love. They are actually still in the apex of their story, a six months old couple, a love at first sight that led to a sudden life in common. They are talking of the future, they are building a future. There is quite a wide age difference between Donald and Mark, something that Donald briefly considered, at 50 years old he didn't like to play the role of the daddy, but Mark won his every resistance. They would have been probably a very happy couple, but it's not fate to see it. Mark is killing during a gay bashing and Donald is left with his memories. And strange to say, I believe that the fact that they were a quite "new" couple allows Donald to survive; he is in pain, he misses Mark, but he is not thinking to kill himself, something that probably he would have thought if the one to die was his long-term partner. Instead Donald has still a life other than the one he shared with Mark, their relationship was still fresh enough to allow Donald to move on after a right mourning period. And maybe it helps that Mark didn't really leave him, he is still a steady presence in Donald's life, not exactly a ghost, but more the projection of Donald's love for him, an output of Donald's mind who speaks through Mark's image to tell Donald what he has to do.

Life is also helping Donald to move on, a new neighbor, Walter has moved upstair, and Walter is friendly and gay and willing... They have sex, and someone could question the choice of Donald to "come" out from his mourning period so soon, but actually it's not the real Donald, but, ab absurdo, the type of man that in their ill and twisted minds the gay bashers were targeting. Mark and Donald were an ordinary couple, they were exclusive and committed, they were talking of adopting a puppy. All right, they were coming out from a leather club, but they were in a gay friendly neighborhood, and they had just spent a nice night out and were heading home. Now, I'm not saying that, if they were different, the gay bashers would have been some reasons more, absolutely not, I'm saying that, where one of the basher was obviously a criminal and totally crazy, not even for one moment I feel pain or remorse for his wasted life, the other one, Jeremy, is a boy that probably, with the chance to have a different perspective in life, he would have seen the thing in a different way. If he would have been allowed to see Donald and Marc in their everyday life, maybe he wouldn't have been there taking part to the murder of a man.

When Donald looses Mark, for a bit he behaves like the man Jeremy thought he was, a man without moral, a man who changed partner every night and without real strings to life. Jeremy takes out his hate on gay men, but actually his rage comes from his family, from his mother who behaves exactly in that way, considering her son only a burden; and the only person who care for him, his uncle Walter, is gay... now I will let out a quite hazardous theory: since his mother neglects him in favor of her relationship, Jeremy has a special bond with Walter, who is gay; Walter is gay and so he has no women in his life, and little boy Jeremy didn't know about gay relationship, and so he thought uncle Walter was all "his" own property, someone who will never leave as his mother. But when Jeremy realizes that being gay means that his uncle Walter will have relationship with other men, he starts to develop hate for all gay men, since they are all possibile competitors for his uncle Walter's love. And more they are "sexually" active, more they are guilty... Risky theory, isn't it? But I believe it's not all wrong, and it explains also why this book has to be "sexier" than Reed's usual work.

So, coming back to that tagline, "A love story"... there are more than one love story here, Donald and Mark, but also Jeremy and his love for his uncle, Donald and Walter... maybe even Donald and his sister Grace, they are all different type of love, but nevertheless love stories.

Buy Here

Amazon: Bashed

Amazon Kindle: Bashed

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle


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