Monday, May 31, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Heaven (Heaven Sent, #1)
Loose Id - May 30, 2006 - 123 pages - ISBN 9781596322677
Genre & Keywords: Gay, Contemporary, Rock stars, Yaoi-inspired, GFY (Gay for you)
Heat level: ¹¹¹
The Back Blurb:
The Weiss Strande Hotel is in trouble. Business just isn't what it used to be when Tyler’s father ran the family-owned hotel. On top of business being down, dad's sick with cancer and bills have skyrocketed.
Desperate to save his family interest, Tyler and his best friend sink their hopes and what's left of their money into a new venture: a nightclub at the hotel. It's imperative that the White Room is a success, or else the hotel will go under. Lady Luck seems to be with them, however, because they manage to sign the mega-popular rock group Heaven Sent to play the grand opening.
Already a huge fan of the group, Tyler couldn't be more excited to welcome them to his hotel. He's not at all prepared for the bomb of lust that hits him when he's finally face-to-face with the painfully gorgeous lead singer, Johnnie Heaven. No, it couldn't be lust. Yes, Johnnie's probably the most beautiful person he's ever seen, but Tyler is straight. It must be a misguided form of hero worship that he's feeling.
Tyler finds out that he and Johnnie share an obsession: video games. When Johnnie invites Tyler to his room to play, Tyler jumps at the chance. Who wouldn't snap up the opportunity to spend time with their idol? He and Johnnie have a great time with the games, but Tyler soon discovers that Johnnie's got more in mind. The rock star's aims to introduce Tyler to a whole new level of game play.
I’ve read this book for the DIK Book Reading Challenge.
This is the very enjoyable first book in the Heaven Sent series which is about a rock band. In this first installment we meet the lead singer of the group, Johnnie Heaven. He and his group are booked to play at the opening of this new nightclub at the Weiss Strande Hotel. Tyler’s family owns the hotel and he’s running it since his father is sick with cancer. The nightclub is a new venture that should keep the hotel in business and it’s huge that they managed to book Heaven Sent.
The opening of the club is not only a success, his acquaintance with Johnnie is pretty big too, because Tyler, who always thought he was straight, feels attracted to the very sensual and handsome Johnnie. The singer feels the same towards Tyler and tries to seduce him. Tyler is reluctant and hesitant but Johnnie is very persuasive. Therefore the sex scenes bordered on non-consensual. And although I haven’t actually read yaoi yet, but I did read about it here, I did get a feeling that Heaven is somehow yaoi inspired, with a seme (attacker) and uke (receiver) as the two participants in the relationship. The seme is in yaoi the stronger one and always on top, which makes Johnnie here the seme and Tyler the uke. It’s probably this casting that made their encounters a little bit more black and white than in the usual m/m romance.
Still, Johnnie had his insecurities. Being the famous rock star, he has to deal with the fact that he never knows if someone likes him for him or only for his fame. He has much fun in the bed room with a lot of people but almost never for more than one night. Tyler is different, his reluctance is new for Johnnie, which makes him want Tyler the more so as it assures him that Tyler is not in for the fame aspect. I liked this concept. It gave Johnnie somewhat more depth and made his eventual love for Tyler understandable.
Aside from that Heaven is a lovely Gay For You themed story. Before he met Johnnie, Tyler never felt attracted to guys. He even was engaged with a woman until a short while ago. And of course, after he has been with Johnnie, he’s not interested in other men either: just in his rock star. I gotta admit that I’ve developed a soft spot for Tyler. I felt for him and his doubts about his feelings and it was funny how he initially explained away his behavior when he went for the sex with Johnnie. Those sex scenes were pretty hot too, by the way.
I was not only totally involved with these likeable main characters and their gradually developing romance, I also appreciated the glimpse I got from the secondary characters. Heaven does have a nice cast with quite a lot of characters, but although they played a part in the story, the focus was on Johnnie and Tyler throughout the book. That’s how I like my romances best. The other band members had my interest though, since they all get their own book in this series. I look forward to the other books and the extra shorts regarding this rock band. Although I’m not sure if I’ll read the last book (Revelations) which tells Gretchen’s story, the band’s manager, and is a m/m/f ménage as opposed to the other stories that are all m/m romances.
The series contains:
#1 – Heaven (Johnnie & Tyler)
#1.5 – Pretty Red Ribbon (Johnnie & Tyler)
#2 – Purgatory (Lucas & Reese)
#2.5 – Sexy Spring Surprise (Lucas & Reese)
#3 – Hell (Brent & Hell)
#3.5 – Feisty Little Firecracker (Brent & Hell)
#4 – Faith (Darien & Chris)
#4.5 – Sly Spectral Trick (Darien & Chris)
#5 – Genesis (all 4 gay couples from the first 4 books)
#6 Revelations (Gretchen, Owen, Archer – f/m/m)
Monday, May 24, 2010
Today’s sexy scene is from On Fire by Drew Zachary, a m/m romance that I started reading this morning and have almost finished. It’s like chocolate, once you’ve taken one bite you keep eating/reading. That’s because this romance is a very easy, light read with lots and lots of sex scenes, an uncomplicated plot and no angst. Just a lot of happiness and hotness.
One of the main characters, Robert, is a very tall, broad shouldered and fit firefighter and he’s Sam’s wet dream. And let’s just say that Mr. Zachary shows us throughout the whole book many, many times what’s so hot about wet firefighters…
Robert put an arm around him, hand moving to cup his ass. "I imagine ten minutes'll do. You really are a sex kitten, aren't you."
"I like it," Sam said easily. "It's fun and feels good and I play safe. What's not to be kittenish about?" He smiled and started rocking, loving the way the big hands held him.
"It wasn't a complaint, kid."
His head was tilted back up and his mouth taken. Robert kissed like he was in charge and knew it, just invading Sam's mouth and making him enjoy it. Sam made a happy sound, more moan than not, and just went with it. He pushed his tongue along Robert's and rocked harder, his legs spreading and one lifting to wind around Robert's hip. "Good," he said when he came up for breath. "Feels good."
Robert nodded. "It does. You do. Been way too long since I had a partner as eager as you in bed. Hell, I don't think I ever have."
Sam laughed. "I really like sex." He leaned up for another kiss, sighing as his cock twitched and started to lengthen again. "Should last longer this time," he whispered.
"Yeah? Good. Because I'll be able to last the rest of the afternoon with the edge off." Robert didn't look like was teasing.
"Oh, boy," Sam said again. He wiggled and shoved, and got Robert lying down on his back so Sam could straddle those hips and thighs. "You're gonna make me ache, aren't you? Make sure I walk funny?" He wasn't shy; he'd beg for it if he had to. Really and truly.
"That what you want, Sam? Want me to fuck you good and hard?" Robert's hands slid along his thighs, circled his waist.
"Christ, yes." Sam shuddered and his hole spasmed. "Ride you like this. On my back, against the wall, on all fours—don't care. Just want to feel it." He grabbed his dick and started stroking, almost blissing on the idea of Robert in him.
"Well, who says we have to choose?" Robert asked him, hand wrapping around his own, tugging with him.
Sam squeaked. "Oh, man, yeah. That'd rock. Seriously." He shook again and shifted forward a little, rubbing on Robert's balls. "God, this is gonna give me stroke material for months."
Drew Zachary’s website
Buy On Fire here
Take one tall, broad-shouldered fireman in his early thirties. Mix well with one skinny, eighteen-year-old college kid who lives for sex, and the results are sheer pleasure. Sam and Robert are about as opposite as you can get, aside from the fact that they're both into sex with guys. When Sam picks Robert up during Canada Day festivities, neither of them are expecting more than making some fireworks for the holiday. And the sparks definitely fly, especially since Sam is able to recharge his batteries as only an eighteen year old can. Robert finds himself both entranced and smitten with young Sam, who is bubbly and happy and can have more sex in the space of an hour than Robert can believe. But there's a world of difference between eighteen and thirty-two, as Sam and Robert discover along the way. Friends and family add to the difficulties they encounter. But the two of them come to realize that underneath it all, they have more than just a physical need for each other. The emotion that blossoms between them is soon as great as their first sizzling attraction.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Yep, that’s right. There are even more steps for me to take when it comes to M/M reading! It probably hasn’t remained unnoticed that I’m reading mainly M/M romances these days. I still squeeze the occasional regular romance in to remind me that I’m female, but those can be counted on one hand.
And now there’s yaoi! OMG, I’m like Bambi on the ice here, but I’m really going to try this. I can’t believe that a certain Aussie blogger that I do not dare to call a friend *cough*Kris*cough* has talked me into this. She forced my snail addy out of me and introduced me to some background information that was – I gotta admit – intriguing! I’m waiting for a yaoi paperback to arrive from Italy that she arranged to be send to me via her Great Yaoi Swap.
Meanwhile my American friend KC was sucked into it as well and last Friday she blogged about her very colorful introduction to Black Wade. Go check out her hilarious post here.
Because of this, a lively chat sprouted at Twitter and Goodreads Friday night with some other yaoi lovers. And my Dutch friend Leontine tweeted me that she’d bought Black Wade at the Book Depository and would send it to me after she received and read it. Woohoo!
So, that brought me to check out the Book Depo myself and wow, they have a lot of yaoi! And before I knew it, I had two first volumes of highly recommended series thrown in my basket. If it wasn’t for those peeps over at Goodreads and tweeps like @Ferishia I probably wouldn’t have know what to buy. It all looks the same to me. LOL!
And then my Canadian friend Tam (see how worldwide this yaoi love spreads?) had this wonderful, explanatory post over at Jessewave’s blog with the basic ins and outs about yaoi.
I guess, yaoi was in the air! And quite literally - after the volcanic ashes stopped being a pain in the ass again - so finally today my first yaoi novel arrived!! It’s called Love Mode and I’ve been told that it’s a sweet, not too explicit one. Good to start with. The other one I ordered has been dispatched as well and should arrive soon. That one’s called Junjo Romantica.
Sakashita Izumi, a typical straight high school student, gets into a sticky situation with a gay translator, Takamiya Katsura, when he gets mistaken for an escort. The two go on a date, Izumi goes all the way, and the older man's in love with him and possibly converting this initial homophobe into that which he fears.
Misaki is struggling to pass his college entrance exams, and has taken up a tutor: the cool and sexy Akihiko Usami, who also happens to be a famous boys' love novelist. At first, Misaki is disgusted by Akihiko, but slowly, Misaki realizes he may be developing feelings for the older man.
I think it will take me some time to get used to the reading from back to front cover and from right to left. But we’ll see.
All I know now is that I’m most likely to become the victim of another addiction. *sigh*
And I’m cracking my brain where to put these books in my house. Especially the more explicit ones that will probably follow. I wouldn’t want them to be found by some innocent bystanders, now do I? I’m afraid this time the graphics will give me away to my non-English speaking cleaning lady. And what if my FIL stumbles upon them, and he’s predestined to… There will be no hiding anymore that I’m a perve… *another sigh* What have I gotten myself into?
What would you do? Do you have special storage places for your smut?
Or does anyone know how to avoid addictions like this?
Have a Happy Gay Friday!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The lovely Tracy @ Tracy’s Place has given me the Bodacious Blogging Book Reviewers Award. Thank you so much, Tracy!
Here's how it works:
- Leave a comment on the post you were nominated on.
- Then copy and paste the post and add it to your own blog. Make a list of the last 5 books you read and pass the award on to 5 other bloggers.
- Please also identify the blog from which you got the award and don't forget to tell them they have a blog award!
I took the chance to share my thoughts about the 5 books, although that’s not requested for the award. So, don’t worry, my sweets :)
I am paying this award forward to:
Heather @ Darkly Reading
Lynette @ Lynette’s Two Cents
Renee @ Renee’s Book Addiction
Pattepoilue @ One Book Away From Heaven
Miranda @ Sweet Vernal Zephyr
The last 5 books I read were:
Out of My Mind by M.L. Rhodes (151p.)
Summary: Police detectives Rafferty and Nick are best friends and colleagues for four years now. But since his divorce a couple of months ago Raff’s been having erotic fantasies about Nick, which shocks him, being the straight man he is. Nick’s always known he’s gay, but keeps this under wraps on the job. When the two of them make a weekend trip on Raff’s boat things get stormy.
My thoughts: I’ve never read anything by this author before, but I’m definitely going to make up for that. Because I LOVED this story! I’m always a sucker for friends become lovers stories and for the GFY (gay for you) theme, especially when it’s been exercised so well as in this story. Raff and Nick both got to me, almost instantly, and I felt really connected with each of them. Ms. Rhodes shifts the point of view from one character to the other at the right moments to accomplish that. And OMG, the emotions were so tangible, it was heart wrenching! I couldn’t help sobbing for these guys. Besides the heart aching moments this story also had some nail biting, thrilling scenes, very hot smexing and sweet kissing scenes, great interior monologues and a satisfying ending. So, what are you waiting for, go grab this book! ;)
Somatesthesia by Ann Somerville (177p.)
Summary: 2041. Devlin and Connor are both investigators of the Federal Justice Agency. Connor is not an ordinary human, he has scientifically enhanced senses, as some sort of cyborg. He’s known to have zero social skills. When he’s being partnered up with Devlin this rapidly changes together with the building sexual tension between the two of them. But their attraction puts everything at risk, not in the last place their jobs.
My thoughts: This book was recommended to me by blogger and twitter friend Lynette @ Lynette’s Two Cents. I bought it more or less blindly, so I was kind of surprised when I started reading it to find out that it’s a futuristic novel. The cyborg thing caught me off guard and I wondered what I’d gotten myself into. But, it didn’t take me more than 20 pages to get used to the idea and actually start liking the premise. The awkwardness of Connor and the openness and quirky humor of Devlin did work for me and I couldn’t wait for the teasing sexual tension to turn into something concrete. Meanwhile the case they were working on, about child abduction, brought some good suspense too. But then in the middle of the book I started to get bored a wee bit. There was not only a dip in the plot – not a lot happened regarding the investigation or the romantic evolvements – but I also couldn’t appreciate the narrating choices of the author. There was too much telling instead of showing imo. And, not unimportant for me, the love scenes mainly took place off stage. Fortunately, the flow came back in the story when the suspense got high again and some decisions were to be made regarding the relationship. All in all, this was a good futuristic novel that had its highs and lows for me, but that I enjoyed pretty much.
Positive Possibilities by Shayla Kersten (82p.)
Summary: Gabe's life has just turned upside down. His lover of six years is cheating and his supposedly straight best friend of twenty-something years claims to be in love with him. Throw in that his cheating ex has possibly exposed him to HIV and Gabe's world is a confusing place. Dean has always been attracted to both sexes, but staying on the straight and narrow seemed an easier path. Now he has to convince Gabe of the positive possibilities of taking their friendship to another level.
My thoughts: Ms. Kersten always writes wonderful characters, that I can feel connected with. The way she shows a snippet from their lives, makes you understand them completely. In this story we meet Gabe and Dean, who are such hot, delicious and sweet guys. And their chemistry is great! They are friends for decades and one is straight, the other gay. So, both my favorite themes are present: friends become lovers and GFY! Add some tension to the mix in the shape of a cheating boyfriend and the threat of HIV, and Positive Possibilities has all the ingredients that make me happy. The only thing that could’ve made me even happier, was a little more anxiety or angst, for example when they had to fight another obstacle to be together over a longer period of time. Now the complete story took place within only a few days. But it’s my standard reaction to want more when I really like a couple, so nothing new there. I enjoyed this story anyhow, so I’ll better put my demanding inner self back in the box. ;)
Gaps in Your Soul by Shayla Kersten (52p.)
Summary: Jared can handle any challenge life throws him, whether in combat or at his best friend's wedding. Facing the groom's brother and the memories of their one-night stand isn't so easy. Even tougher is the excitement he still feels for the man he left behind. For ten years Dalton hasn't forgotten the pain of Jared walking out on him or the passion of their one night. He has the perfect plan for revenge. Bring Jared to his knees with pleasure and leave him there.
My thoughts: Jared is breaking my heart, he’s a tortured soldier who’s lost one of his men in Afghanistan in the attack that wounded his leg. And he’s so deep in the closet that he doesn’t know how to find the door when he wanted to. And then there’s Dalton, light-hearted and happily gay, but still crushed on Jared after avoiding him for ten years. His plan to take revenge does of course backfire. And then the awkwardness begins. Everyone can tell that they are meant for each other, sparks fly around when they’re together, but how to get this closeted gay out of that dark closet? That’s a tricky thing in romance stories and I got to say that Ms. Kersten didn’t convince me completely with the way Jared came out. First there were the alcohol and drug induced previous encounters with Dalton that left me with doubts about Jared’s willingness to admit he’s gay. Then there were the symptoms of him having some sort of post traumatic stress problems, that made me think he should get therapy first, before he could decide who he loved or what life altering changes he could make. Alas, when you don’t mind to suspend some disbelief I guess the ending was pretty cute. But I think maybe only a full length novel could’ve shown this kind of subject to full advantage. It would’ve given Jared some more time to come to terms with his feelings and that would’ve made the happy ending more believable. But this still was an enjoyable read, despite the length.
Mark’s Toy Box by Laine Williams (33p.)
Summary: Mark and Keith have a good relationship. Even though Mark is way more experienced than his cop lover, he knows Keith loves him, and he's pretty happy. Every once in awhile, though, Mark thinks about the box of toys he's collected over the years. When Keith catches Mark playing with a few toys by himself, things heat up fast, but will Keith be freaked out by some of Mark's collection?
My thoughts: This is the prequel to a series of shorts about the sexy couple Mark and Keith, that’s called Lessons in Mastery. Tam @ Tam’s Reads brought it to my attention a couple of weeks ago when she did a New Zealand post (haven’t discovered the NZ connection in this first one yet, Tam, ;) but that’s not what I bought this series for of course). It was Tam’s praise and the to be discovered D/s aspect of Mark’s and Keith’s relationship that piqued my interest. Although it’s a very short first story, I instantly liked this couple. Mark is the playful, smaller guy that has the happy, bouncing around attitude, despite the bad experiences he must have had. Keith is the big, caring alpha who’s self-assured even while he lacks experience when it comes to gay love. They have chemistry in kilos but still a lot to discover together. That’s why Mark doesn’t know how Keith will react when he finds out about Mark’s toy box which contains quite some collection! Well, I can only say that I loved his reaction! A lot. The rest you should check out for yourself. :)
Monday, May 17, 2010
Today’s sexy scene is from Sweet Caroline by Lissa Matthews that I bought a little over a week ago. In the meantime Lissa’s newest book, Stick Shift, released last week at Loose Id. If I’m not mistaken, both books are cougar stories, and I don’t mean the shifter kind, but the older-woman-younger-guy type of story. Doesn’t take much guessing why I like these kind of stories, huh? ;)
I had trouble cutting the next scene short, so it’s a bit long. I always have this difficulty when I start reading one of Lissa Matthew’s excerpts (over at her blog), I never can stop until I’ve reached the end. Lissa’s writing sucks me right into the story from the first sentence. That’s one of the reasons I decided to buy this book, another was the ‘warning’ at the end of the backblurb, that says: In this book, there are sightings of glass dildos, leather belt bindings, nipple rings, wicked clamps, cherry cheesecake and a hot, yummy handyman-type guy who’s really good with his hands…
Need I say more? Enjoy!
“I’d have never guessed you’d be interested in clamps.”
Caroline, the object of his affection, his lust, his raging out of control hunger jumped and dropped the items in question on the ground. She bent to pick them up and when she stood straight again, looked at him. She usually avoided direct eye contact with him, but not now, not here. In this place, the small hole in the wall adult toy store and lingerie shop, she seemed different, more sure and certain of herself. It seemed odd because most women he knew or had known, wouldn’t admit to being in a place like this, much less admit to liking any of the store’s contents. Not all, but most.
“There are a lot of things I’m interested in that I’m sure you wouldn’t have guessed at.”
Buck’s dick did just that. Bucked. Of all things he thought she might say, that was definitely not it, but since it was out there… “Really? Then by all means, Caroline, enlighten me. Show me.”
For a second he thought she would decline and walk out, but she tilted her head slightly and regarded him. A blush stole through her cheeks, but she kept her head held high and nodded.
“These. I’m interested in these.”
She handed him the clamps. They looked like miniature clothespins, but he imagined they’d hurt like a bitch. They were heavy for being so small. “What else?”
She looked down and pulled another package from the rack. “These.”
Japanese clover clamps. His favorite. Not always the favorite of others. He used them on some of his more adventurous lovers. Loved the look of them hanging from a pair of breasts, the chain being its own instrument of torture when tugged and pulled. Caroline said she was interested in them, but had she tried them? Did she know what kind of pain and pleasure she was looking at? The clamps looked harmless enough sitting in their plastic bubble packs, but taken out, put on naked, tender nipples and they became anything but. “Have you used these before? Either of these?”
The blush deepened, and that damn little tongue of hers came out to swipe at her lips.
“Yes. A long time ago. My… Derek used them on me. Before everything went south with us, we used to play with toys a lot. He liked clamps.”
Derek was her ex-husband. Divorced for four months or so, he knew Derek had remarried this past Christmas to the younger-than-should-be-legal-for-a-fifty-year-old man-to-marry girl he’d left Caroline for. Buck couldn’t begin to know how Caroline had felt or what had been going through the other man’s mind to leave her, but Derek’s dumbassness and loss was Buck’s gain. He wasn’t about to squander the gift fate had dumped in his path.
She looked him straight in the eye again. Since it was something she rarely did with him, he liked it and hoped she would do it more often. “I grew to love them and find I miss them.”
Holy… He held on tight to both sets of clamps. “What else?”
Caroline looked around and walked over to the back wall. Floggers, whips and crops hung on hooks at various heights. She took her time looking from one end of the wall to the other, from floor to ceiling. As he watched her take them all in, he noticed the blush was gone.
“These, but none of these. These are toys, novelties, play things. Derek knew a guy who made them, and he taught me to appreciate the handmade craftsmanship, the sting that came with something being made to specifics. He spent a lot of money on toys and instruments, but always felt it was well worth it.”
Buck nodded. He used to make his own floggers and had tried his hand at making a crop, but that wasn’t his forte. He knew some guys that made amazing crops and some of the most beautiful whips.
He hadn’t made anything in a long time, not since Derek’s last order, but he didn’t think Caroline knew he was the guy Derek knew. Buck hadn’t had anyone personal to make anything for in recent months. Maybe he would now. “In general, which of these instruments do you like?”
“In general, the crop.”
Fuck. How in the hell he was going to form any further thoughts, words and sentences? She was flaying him open at every turn. Outside she was this pretty but plain woman he’d never imagined would have a river of molten lava running through her veins. There’d been rumors of course, about Derek and her. Heck, Derek had even invited him to join in, but the last few months, all rumors and whispers were about Caroline being a block of ice, cold and untouchable. Buck hadn’t seen it. To him, she was warm and sweet. If she really was the Ice Queen Derek made her out to be, she wouldn’t be in here, in this store. “Anything else?”
She turned and walked to the counter, standing on the opposite side from the clerk. Inside the glass case were glass dildos. Behind her, Buck hung his head and closed his eyes. He was hard before, but with clamps and crops he was in jaw clenching pain. There was more though. There was Caroline, looking at glass cocks that would be, could be, should fucking be used inside her.
“I like these. No, that’s wrong. I love these.” She pointed to one with a red and purple swirl pattern that was about the same length and width as him at his hardest. He swallowed, and it was hard to do past the lump in his throat. “This is my favorite. I don’t know why, but… It’s the most realistic looking, and it’s how I imagine passion to be if it were in color.”
He had no idea what to say. Pretty much knew words wouldn’t come out. Instead of even trying, he placed his hand on the curve of her waist where it flared out to her hip. He squeezed lightly, and she leaned back into his body. It wasn’t what he’d been expecting, but hell, nothing about her was what he’d been expecting, not from the first moment he’d met her and definitely not today. He knew she could feel his erection. There was no hiding it. No denying he was harder than a hammer. She didn’t rub her ass against him. Didn’t press into his dick for which he was very thankful.
Then, oh fuck, then she pointed to a butt plug, and he had to count backward from a million or he was going to come in his jeans. It was a brilliant sapphire blue glass with three graduated balls that looked to be at one-inch intervals.
“I miss having a plug inside me sometimes.”
Her voice was soft, but he heard her and again, instead of being able to speak, he simply squeezed her hip.
Lissa Matthew’s weblog and website and Twitter account
Buy Sweet Caroline here
Backblurb Sweet Caroline:
The second time around is even sweeter…with cherries on top.
Blue Jeans and Hard Hats, Book 1
Buck doesn’t do personal projects. Until he runs into a woman wandering the aisles of the local home-improvement store, looking lost and confused. Just the way this fantasy looks at him nearly buckles his knees. In a hot second, the successful owner of a contracting company becomes a simple handyman, ready and willing to get as personal as the lady will allow.
Since her less-than-golden marriage to the local golden boy ended, Caroline’s declaration of independence includes her own business, road trips…and nipple piercings. Now it’s time to cut the last tie to her old life, but the house needs some work before she can unload it and move to her dream cabin in the mountains. Hard as it is to admit, she needs a little help.
Over the next few months, he shows her his toys, like hammers and drills, and she shows him hers—like floggers and paddles. And their attraction is the tinder that could send Caroline’s plans for an independent life up in flames…
In this book, there are sightings of glass dildos, leather belt bindings, nipple rings, wicked clamps, cherry cheesecake and a hot, yummy handyman-type guy who’s really good with his hands…
Friday, May 14, 2010
Yep, that's right. I have two posts today. This one is my weekly one with the Happy Gay couple pic (that I don't want to miss for the obvious reasons) and I just posted another one with a short review of William Cooper's debut story Broken Bones, Mended Hearts with a giveaway. So, if you want a chance to win this m/m book, be sure to check out that post too. :)
Now, for my weekly m/m reads: it’s been a nice week again. I’ve read the first two books from James Buchanan’s Taking the Odds series: Cheating Chance and Inland Empire. I absolutely loved them, especially the second one and I’ll write a review about it soon. I also read the, with this series connected, free stories about Nick and Brandon, from the author’s site: Squirrel Run (c) 2008, Spree (c) 2007 and Measure Up (c) 2008. And two others that appeared in the Toy Box anthologies Handcuffs and Rope, called Technique and A Little Trust (a reread). After that I started reading the third Nicky and Brandon book, All or Nothing, but felt I needed a little break from the guys, lol! They’re rather intense ;)
So, I read a bunch of quickies:
Give and Take by Anne Brooke
Really cute story with an HFN (Happy For Now) ending. It's about an older guy going out again after 2 years of mourning over his deceased partner and hooking up with a young man who knows what he needs. I wouldn't mind reading more about them...
An Australian Christmas In New York by Sean Kennedy
Very short but lovely Christmas story (I don't mind reading seasonal stories out of season). It's a snapshot from the life of two guys, one American and one Australian, who know each other for quite some years and live together in New York. The Australian bloke gets homesick around Christmas time and his boyfriend tries to make him feel better, which is really cute. It's a fun read for a half hour or so, but it's too short to leave a deep impression if it wasn't for the author's excellent writing.
Start From The Beginning by Chrissy Munder
Beautiful written story about two older men who have their scars and disabilities to learn to live with. It's not a passionate-let's-hop-in-the-bed story but more about a very careful sensing and learning to know each other kind of relationship. I think, it took more than half of the book before the two men even exchanged a word with each other. Even so, the attraction between them is tangible and believable. There's a lot of sexual tension and their feelings are told from both men's point of view. My only niggle is that the story ended too abruptly, which left us with just a HFN (Happy For Now) ending rather than a HEA, and with far less smexy scenes than could've been.
And last but not least, William Cooper’s debut Broken Bones, Mended Hearts that I reviewed here.
I hope you had a great reading week too!
Happy Gay Friday everyone!
Broken Bones, Mended Hearts
Dreamspinner Press - May 19, 2010 - 42 pages - ISBN 9781615814596 - $ 2.99
Genre & Keywords: Contemporary, M/M
Rating: êêê½ - êêêê
Heat level: ¹½
I received an ARC from the author for this review
When Noah wakes up in the hospital, he's relieved to see his best friend Mark at his side. Mark's always been there for him—ever since a school bully tried to steal Noah's lunch money. Is it too much for Noah to hope that Mark will want to be a more permanent part of his life?
This is a short story (42p) so I try to keep this review short too, because I don’t want to spoil your reading pleasure by telling too much about the plot.
What I definitely want to share is that I read this story with a smile on my face from the first page to the last. Don’t expect your heart to be wrung, because this is not that kind of romance, it’s a nice, angst free read. Something you don’t always expect in a GFY (Gay For You) themed story – Noah is gay and his best friend Mark is straight, or so he thought. Until Mark has to take care of Noah, after Noah wakes up in the hospital with broken limbs.
I loved about Broken Bones, Mended Hearts that the guys, or boys if you want, are carefree and uncomplicated. I thought that was rather refreshing. Noah and Mark have a cute relationship that evolves from friendship into love. And Mr. Cooper does get you there in an unexpected way.
The story is told from Noah’s point of view (first person), which makes you feel connected with him. But at the same time I loved Mark, who is the best friend in the world, and whose open mindedness is appealing. Both protags seem rather young – they’re still in college – which adds to their cuteness and makes their relationship sweet and endearing. Hence the never disappearing smile on my face.
Besides these two main characters this story has a bunch of secondary ones, all part of Noah’s family. Their presence made the plot a bit overcrowded but they, like Mark and Noah, almost instantly felt like real people too, which caused me to long for more tales about this couple and their loved ones. Maybe we can get a sequel, Mr. Cooper? And maybe one with more pages so we can enjoy Noah and Mark even more? Because I would really like to learn more about their feelings for each other. I also would like to know if they’ll stay together and how their explorations in the smexing department go from here. And about that… I wouldn’t mind if the sexy scenes got a wee bit more explicit. We girls love that about m/m romance… *ahum*… or is that just me?
William Cooper's website
Buy the book here
Read an excerpt here
Broken Bones, Mended Hearts on Goodreads
William Cooper has generously offered an ebook copy of Broken Bones, Mended Hearts for giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. I much appreciate it when you follow my blog (via Google connect in my sidebar), but I leave that up to you. :)
Giveaway is open to everyone, I will announce the winner on May 19, the release day for Broken Bones, Mended Hearts. So be sure to leave your comment before that.
Good luck to you all!
BTW My friend Chris @ Stumbling over Chaos is also hosting a contest for Broken Bones, Mended Hearts that ends May 18.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Her Vampire Husband
HQN Books - April 1, 2010 - 368 pages - ISBN 9780373774999 - $ 7.99
Genre & Keywords: Paranormal, Vampires, Werewolves, War, Violence
Rating: êêê½ - êêêê
Heat level: ¹¹
I’ve received this romance from the publisher, through Netgalley. It’s a full length novel and I’ve read it as an ebook.
This is one of my High 5, Low 5 reviews. The High Five are five things that have impressed me or that I really enjoyed, and the Low Five are five things that had me shaking my head or raise my brows in a less admiring way.
We have a colorful, sassy werewolf princess and a sexy, refined, old vampire, we put them together in a big luxurious house where they have to live together because of an arranged marriage, we throw a little physical attraction in the mix, add a lot of ancient hate and prejudices for the other sort and we have a wonderful premise for a lovely romance! Her Vampire Husband is altogether a fun read. Sexual tension, love, action, a sexy vampire and a kick-ass heroine, what more does a romantic story need? Well, maybe a slower build-up from mortal enemies to true loves? Or less conversation during sex scenes? So, there were a few things I really liked about this novel and a few that made me frown a little. I tried to cut them down to my five highs and five lows.
First the Back Blurb:
She may resist his bite, but she can't resist his charms…
Werewolf princess Blu Masterson won't allow her seductive vampire husband to consummate their marriage with his bite, marking her forever. Alone in a secluded estate with her sworn enemy, Blu curses the marriage arranged to bring their rival nations together, especially since Creed Saint-Pierre calls out to her most feral desires.
When Blu uncovers her pack's secret plot to destroy the vampire nation—and Creed—she is forced to confront her growing feelings for her sexy undead husband. Will she choose the only life she's ever known or accept his vampire bite?
• Vibrant heroine
Blu is a refreshing, witty character. I especially enjoyed her in the first half of the story when she gave off some attitude. She seemed strong and vibrant and yet had this deeply hidden vulnerability that she showed Creed more and more. Creed’s honesty and noble attitude got to her and made her fall for him.
• Good sexual tension
Although the love scenes were not too earth shattering, even a bit predictable, the sexual tension between the two characters was palpable and made this a very erotic read altogether. Their attraction for each other was made very believable.
• Nice character development
The two main characters were not only loveable, they also seemed to have a positive influence on each other and went through some kind of growth. I really liked that they sometimes were unpredictable, and I don’t mean acting out of character. For example the matter of Creed biting Blu which would make her his, was handled a little bit differently than I’d expected.
• Mix of love story and action
We get it all in this book, love and action and the both are nicely related to each other too. I really like romances that can deliver both in one package, it makes the romance so much more intense. I have to admit that the love and action could’ve been balanced slightly better. Now it was almost like the first half of the book was a love story and the second half an action story. I would’ve appreciated the book even more if this was dosed differently.
• Surprising magical world
I’m not an experienced paranormal romance reader, so I don’t have much comparison. But I liked how the paranormal and magical world in this story worked. There were vamps, wolves and witches and although they tried to work together the differences were too big for a happily living with and accepting the other sorts. At first it annoyed me that the witches were so harsh towards Creed and couldn’t see him as a person, only as one of the vampires. But I have to admit that it made the story stronger. Especially in the end when all is not solved with an easy way out (a magical spell), the plot surprised me more than when the author had chosen for the power of the magic. Now it was the hero’s goodness, his mental (and physical) strength, which brought the solution.
• Falling in love happened fast
It was rather hard to grasp how fast Blu and Creed turned from being mortal enemies to each other’s true love. It felt as if the protags were still in the phase of getting to know each other and learning to like each other when suddenly the big L-word was brought into the game. For me, the build-up to that should’ve taken much longer, especially given their history.
• Lukewarm smexing
The love scenes were nice and explicit but what turned me off was the extensive talk (about non-sexual things from Creed’s history) at one point during the smexing. Really?… bad timing.
• Where’s Bree?
At the first page we get introduced to Blu’s best friend, Bree, who seems to be important for Blu. And when she’s at Creed’s house she’s constantly phoning with Bree until Creed takes her phone away for a while (which had nothing to do with Bree but with Blu’s ex boyfriend). Funny thing is that Bree doesn’t play any role in the story from then on. She gets mentioned once or twice again but without it being meaningful. That strikes me as odd, especially since Blu could need a friend at some points in the story. Besides, I like it when the heroine (or hero) has some sort of social life with important people in it. Blu seemed very isolated in that aspect. It’s a missed chance to let Bree evaporate like that.
• Continuity mistake
Without wanting to give away something of the plot, there was a discontinuity near the ending. Before Creed could’ve told Blu what role the wolf Ridge had played during Creed’s important scene, which I try to keep spoiler free here, Blu knew about that while she couldn’t have known. This threw me off a little bit at that point, but it wasn’t a big deal.
• Cruelty of Blu’s father/wolves
The role and character of Amandus Masterson, Blu’s father, came across as rather one-dimensional. His cruelty and that of most wolves in this book seemed a wee bit oversimplified and therefore less believable to me. It did make for some good suspense though.
Those were my five highs and five lows. Overall, I most certainly enjoyed Her Vampire Husband! It was a refreshing and sexy love story with some nice action. I loved the heroine and hero and their chemistry. I would definitely recommend Her Vampire Husband to those who like their heroines to be kick-ass and their love stories to be action filled with a little vamp vs wolf drama mixed in.
Michele Hauf's weblog and website
Michele Hauf on Twitter
Buy the book here
Read an excerpt here
Her Vampire Husband on Goodreads
Fiction Vixen's review: 4/5 stars
Smexybooks Mandi's review: 3.5/5 stars
Larrisa's review: 4/5 stars
(Leave me a link if you want your review added)
Monday, May 10, 2010
Mondays Hot Couple without a Smutty Scene Or… What Do You Think of Authors Giving Themselves Rates @ Goodreads?
Again I’ve been away the whole day and since I’m horribly bad at scheduling I don’t have the time nor spunk to pick a smutty scene from the wonderful books and stories I’ve been reading this week. So, you’ll have to settle for just the hot couple pic. I hope you don’t mind. It's inspired by our own wedding anniversary yesterday :)
Besides all that, I really need to ask you a question. I’m an eager user of Goodreads, as some of you may know. A lot of you are as well. I use it to keep track of the books I read, want to read and want to buy. Before I buy a book I always check out Goodreads, not only to see if I already bought the book before but also to look up what other blogger and reader friends thought of the book and what rate they gave it.
And lately it happens more often than before that I notice among the rates for quite some books a rate from the author of the book him/herself. And, surprise, surprise, they rate their own book 99.99% of the time with 5 stars (this is not a scientific number of course, but honestly I haven’t seen any other rates than 5 stars). A lot of authors don’t do the rating thing at all, only the ones who do, give the 5 stars.
Now, is it me, or is it plain weird that authors rate their own books like that? What do you think?
Friday, May 7, 2010
Oops, it’s Friday night again! And I can’t miss another Happy Gay Friday, now can I? :) Maybe it’s just the perfect remedy for feeling sad all of a sudden (hubby’s fault, he showed me a pic of Binny and it caught me off guard). Browsing through my cookies is just what I need… and chocolate… and book shopping of course! So, you can all guess what I’m doing later tonight ;)
I have been away from home a lot the past week which meant less computer time but more reading time (the benefit of traveling with public transportation). Besides two novels for work (by José Eduardo Agualusa and Lisa Moore) I’ve read quite some romances, all of the m/m kind.
First there are two shorts: Night Shift (49p – 3.5 stars) by Jenna Byrnes and JackMagic (64p – 4 stars) by Jillian Snyder.
It unintentionally turned out to become the theme for my reading week (and hence this weeks pic).
Bound to Him (Bound, #2) by Ava March, 91p - 5 stars
Deliberately Unbound (Bound, #3) by Ava March, 12p - 3.5 stars
Chris and Lily recommended to me earlier this week and that I bought a while ago after some talk about it at Tam’s blog and that I decided to read soon when I read Patti’s review last month. So, my expectations were high for Cheating Chance (177p) by James Buchanan. It’s another first in a series (Taking the Odds), like I haven’t started enough series yet, that I still haven’t finished, lol. I’ve almost finished Cheating Chance, only 30 pages to go. I don’t think it’s going to be a 5 stars read, unless the last pages will be out-of-this-world awesome, but certainly a 4 or 4.5 stars rating. That has to do with the pace of the story. The very detailed descriptions of the technical and gamble law stuff slowed the story down imo. What I really like though is the premise of this novel (a suspenseful investigation), and the unusual characters: Nick and Brandon meet each other at a Goth convention and have the accompanying looks. Nick has long, dark hair and a vamp look, Brandon looks more like a biker boy and has short, spiked, dark hair and tattoos covering his back. One wouldn’t guess that Nick is an agent for a Gaming Commission and Brandon is a cop.
Oh, and it fitted into my bondage themed week unexpectantly because in the second half Nick turned out to be a Japanese bondage specialist *nom nom nom*.
I really enjoy these guys and I’m glad I already have the second book (Inland Empire) on my ereader and I think that it won’t take me long before purchasing the, only recently released, third book (All or Nothing). Maybe tonight, to serve my feel good book shopping mood :)
Retribution. I’m really curious about that one! And for more info on new m/m releases I think I better check out Lily’s Wednesday post first.
After the shopping I’ll probably be beat and ready for bed so that I can finish Cheating Chance tonight (it's nearly 11pm already).
Tomorrow has some more ‘outdoor activities’ in store for me and hubby (or actually there’s a bar involved and a dart tournament), so again hardly a chance to be online, *sigh*. I even doubt if I can read much among all them dart players who’ll get louder and louder with every hour. And I don’t know if I want to risk one of them asking me to show him/her my ereader in the middle of some smexy scene, lol! It actually happened to me yesterday in the train that a business guy asked me if that was an ereader and if he could see it. Good thing I wasn’t reading a smutty book at the moment but February by Lisa Moore (very decent, no sex). Pfeww!
Okay, I’ve nearly finished the bar of chocolate so it’s time to go do some book shopping. :)
Have a Happy Gay Friday!!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Today is the first day of a Blog Crawl in which 29 (mostly M/M) bloggers participate to post a fan letter to an author. The blog crawl button was created by E.H. of the Erotic Horizon blog.
Here is the schedule ...
6/1 http://erotromreader.blogspot.com/ aka ME :)
Labels: Letter to An Author
Monday, May 3, 2010
I’m back and exhausted, lol! But we had a great time! :D
Today was back to business as usual and although a lot of work was waiting for me at the office I did manage to visit a lot of your blogs in between the boring tasks to catch up with all the, sometimes multiple, posts. I didn’t have time to leave comments though, but I will be back in the ‘comment saddle’ by tomorrow night the latest, I think :)
We had a wonderful long weekend, although I missed being online a lot ;) And Queen’s Day (or Koninginnedag as we call it) was one big exhausting party! I took some pictures but it rained part of the time, so there weren’t as many boats as usual in the canals. Here's a little visual impression:
Still, everyone was in a good mood and lots of music was played and we were having a good time until far after midnight, for three nights in a row. We stayed for the rest of the weekend to meet with some other friends, have dinner with them, go out dancing and to the Casino and do some shopping.
And I bought me some ‘real’ books, that is, not of the digital kind but of the dead tree type. I know, it’s a shock! ;) I had these gift certificates, so I was looking for some English paperbacks to spend them on, and I stumbled upon the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost and Soulless by Gail Carriger in the biggest bookshop of Utrecht. I must say that I’ve never seen any of these books before in our local bookstore, so it was a surprise to find those authors. Look at them, being pretty on my desk!
Which reminds me, I have to wrap up my April smut reading month. Here’s my reading list:
Only Yours by J.R. Patrick, 3.5 stars
Dangerous Distraction by Mia Watts, 3.75 stars
Two Steps Up by Sean Kennedy, 3.5 stars
Her Vampire Husband by Michele Hauf, 3.75 stars
Oleander House (Bay City Paranormal Investigation #1) by Ally Blue, 4 stars
What Hides Inside (Bay City Paranormal Investigation #2) by Ally Blue, 4 stars
Ratchet (Deviations, #2.5) by Chris Owen & Jodi Payne, 3 stars
Pineapples & Chocolate by E.M. Lynley, 3 stars
Twilight (Bay City Paranormal Investigation #3) by Ally Blue, 3.5 stars
Closer (Bay City Paranormal Investigation #4) by Ally Blue, 4 stars
An Inner Darkness (Bay City Paranormal Investigation #5) by Ally Blue, 4.5 stars
Where The Heart Is (Bay City Paranormal Investigation #6) by Ally Blue, 4 stars
Happy Ending (Men of Smithfield, #2) by L.B. Gregg, 3.5 stars
Icing On The Cake by Shayla Kersten, 4 stars
Perfect Man by Shawn Lane, 4 stars
Another Chance by Shawn Lane, 4.5 stars
Trust by Shawn Lane, 4.5 stars
Heart and Soul (Assignment, #4) by Evangeline Anderson, 3 stars
Turquoise and Leather (Collared, #1) by Kim Dare, 3.5 stars
Centrefold by Kris Norris, 3 stars
It’s a total of 20 titles, but a lot of them are shorts and novella’s. Not a single 5 star rate this month, but still a good average and I enjoyed all the stories.
I hope you all had a great month too!