Review: Truly, Madly, Boys (Mad About the Brit Boys, Book 5) by JL Merrow and Josephine Myles

Love—the most intense connection.

The challenge of finding love in the world today can take many forms, but at its heart love is the same: it’s all about forging a connection with another person. Experience romance at its most relatable in these four contemporary stories of male-male love with a British flavour from award-winning authors Josephine Myles and JL Merrow.

In these stories you’ll find out how to communicate without words, be teased by a memory that’s just out of reach, flash back to young love and emerging sexuality, and discover how opposites can attract when you meet a stranger in a strange land. 

These stories have all been previously published, but are now available exclusively in this anthology.


This is such a delicious collection of sweet, short and dirty connections and reconnections between men who are lucky enough to find love and I was lucky enough to pick up this anthology when it came through the clubhouse. Short stories aren’t easy to get invested in, but these four are perfect examples of short stories done right. They are all just enough without being too much and they left me completely satisfied but still wanting more. More because I read about eight characters that I had a lot of feelz for in just a few pages and considering I’ve read a few recently that gave me very little in a couple of hundred pages, I was thirsty for some meat on my men and these two authors delivered.

Epiphany by JL Merrow 

Anyone who is a fan of JL Merrow’s Muscling Through (and that’s pretty much everyone) will love Epiphany. It’s similar in that’s it told in first person POV from the less cultured of the two MC’s. Vinnie is the quintessential New Yorker who tells things like he sees them and when he spots Graham, a Brit who is lost his way in the Big Apple, he’s instantly smitten. I loved reading his totally honest view of Graham especially when it was more rough around the edges. It’s a completely charming little tale and I loved it.


Halfway up the Stairs by Josephine Myles 

Halfway up the Stairs is such a well told established couple story. The balance between the current and the flashback are perfect. Some readers are not big fans of the established couple theme, and I get that, reading the discovery of a new romance is a beautiful escape. But, the flashback to when Charlie and Josh get together along with Charlie’s coming out will satisfy any romance reader and then some. It’s sweet and it’s hot and it’s perfect. The author managed to deliver a new romance, some established couple angst (that most people can relate to) and an HEA in just a few pages.


Sense Memory by JL Merrow 

Colin lost his sight a year ago and while he’s completely independent, he is lonely and is giving the online dating thing a try. He meets up with Alban at a coffee shop and the two of them hit it off. The author did a great job of showing a connection between the two. The twist at the end gave the story a unique flavor and there was a good subtle build up that made it work seamlessly with the meeting between Colin and Alban. It’s not easy to pull off the idea of an HEA in such a short story but I would but it for this one easily.


Without Words by Josephine Myles 

Without Words is short and sweet perfection. Josephine Myles is amazing at giving a lot of character depth with so few words and this story is a great example. Lots of showing made extra telling unnecessary which fit even better for the story of Nick and Sean. It’s one of those stories that I read and then felt the neeeeeed for more because of how much I got invested so quickly, but at the same time, nothing was left unresolved or unsatisfying. I just loved it so hard that I wanted more.


For more info on Truly, Madly, Boys, check it out on Goodreads.


**a copy of this anthology was provided for an honest review**

Review: Confidential Encounters Anthology by Various Authors

When the pressure at work rises, so does the passion. Five sweltering shorts to heat up your kindle and set your pulse racing.

Relationships in the workplace sound like a fantasy come true, especially with your sexy boss, but it’s not all hot encounters in the stationary cupboard and stolen kisses over the coffee machine. Being a couple in both your professional and personal world could make it easier to face what life throws at you, but it could also threaten to drive you apart.

Confidential Encounters includes five short stories, each very different in their own way with equally different men, but all have one thing in common… their professional and personal lives are mixing.

Though the passion and the heat is off the charts, can they turn hot encounters at work into something more, or is that a step too far?

All the proceeds from this anthology will be donated to the Kaleidoscope Trust which promotes LGBT rights internationally. By reading, you’re helping support a very valuable service to our community. Thank you.


This was a pretty entertaining anthology. Some hot sex, a bit of love at first sight and a lot of naughty work dalliances.

The Newcomer by April Wallington - 2.5 hearts

The idea of this story was good and I started out really enjoying it, but the writing was a bit disjointed. The characters lacked chemistry and the plot jumped all over the place.

Dylan is nineteen, living with his physically abusive father and working in a mailroom. When his HR manager approaches him and asks him to go and work at a competing company to find out their secret to success, he accepts. This was plot weirdness number one. The HR manager was an overly sleazy character, who I was sure would play a big part in the story. I was looking forward to Dylan eventually punching the guy in the nuts, but alas it was not to happen. In fact this character just completely disappeared, which was a disappointment.

When Dylan gets to the new company he is interviewed by the three CEO’s who are all extremely attractive men. Over the period of his first week at his new job he see’s a fourth man getting fucked in separate encounters by two of the CEO’s, first in their office and then in the staff room. Dylan also gets a lot of sexual innuendos thrown his way by all of the CEO’s. After his previous HR manager I would’ve suggested running as far as he could, but alas, they were all hot so it was fine.

Dylan soon discovers that the three CEO’s and the mysterious fourth man (who is an old school classmate on Dylan’s) are in an open/polyamorous relationship. Dylan is slightly more drawn to Jaime, one of the CEO’s, and they end up sharing a beautiful night together where weird things are said….

His cock was ready for everything Jamie promised and demanded it even if his head was slow to catch up. "I ache, Jamie, make the pain stop."


"Just lay back and let me take you places you've never experienced…”



The sex was fairly clinical, and I really didn’t feel much chemistry between any of the characters.

Anyway, then a whole lot of other stuff happened... like a whole lot, and suddenly we’re three weeks into Jaime and Dylan’s relationship and they’re engaged…..

This was the type of plot that needed to be told in a full length novel, not a short. This storyline was so complicated and so much happened that if it was told over a longer period of time, maybe then the characters could have developed more chemistry and the story may have made more sense.

I actually really liked how Jamie and Dylan ended up. Not the engaged after 3 weeks part, but their relationship dynamic. If the story had been longer, or the plot less complicated I really would've enjoyed reading this.


Below the Line by Louisa Mae - 4 Hearts

This was a lovely sexy office romance.

Connor and Jason have a smoking hot one night stand one Wednesday night. When Connor goes to work the next day he meets his new boss, and guess who it is? That's right, it’s Jason!

This was a fairly standard storyline. A one night stand which is different to all the others. Should they mix business and pleasure? How will that affect their lives and relationship? There’s also a jealous ex-lover, and a sprinkle of misunderstandings. I really liked it, sometimes simple is best if it's written well and the characters are engaging, which it was here. It was probably a good palate cleanser after the last story, which was overly complicated, and not written as succinctly.

Connor was a pretty fun character. The flip-flopping of his emotions towards Jason were a tad annoying, but not so prominent that I couldn’t enjoy the story. Jason’s character didn’t get developed all that much, but it worked for a short story. The sex scenes were pretty yummy, and made special because we had fucking over a desk! Let's face it, all office romances need some desk fucking to feel complete!


Double Dealing by Nicole Colville - 3.5 Hearts

This was a very unique story, I don't think I've ever read a contemporary M/M with an arranged marriage, which is essentially what this is all about.

Ryder is a self-made billionaire with a multitude of companies under his name. Trace is the son and heir to the Lyon corporation, another million dollar company based in Atlanta. Trace’s father is deeply homophobic. He knows that Trace is gay, but refuses to acknowledge it, and has Trace’s life virtually under his complete control.

Ryder and Trace meet and have a one night stand, and both feel the undeniable connection but part ways in the morning due to Trace’s father’s controlling nature. Two years later when Ryder is trying to buy out the Lyon corporation is when this story really starts.

I won't even try to explain how these two go from being just attracted to each other to getting into an arranged marriage, because I can hardly understand it myself. I'll just touch on the basics of what worked for me and what didn't.

These characters were really well developed. Ryder is an arrogant man who's used to getting what he wants, but Trace makes that exceedingly difficult for him. While Trace is so used to bending to his father's wishes, he has to learn how to take things for himself, but is finding that hard when he's smothered by such an imposing person as Ryder.

This was probably the best fleshed out story so far, but I found it dragging at times. It got a bit tedious hearing Trace moan about the marriage, and having Ryder telling him ‘this is more than just business’ but never backing it up with anything more thoughtful. Ryder has some serious communication issues. He has no idea how to express his feelings in any way other than to invade and conquer. But everything does end up with a beautiful HEA, it just takes a while to get there.

The sex was also yummy! Ryder is fairly dominating which was delicious.

Trace spread his legs, teasing Ryder as he threw his head back, his fingertips tantalizing his hot flesh as they drifted lower. Before they could reach their goal and grasp his stiff cock, Ryder took hold of his wrists, climbing onto the bed, nudging Trace’s thighs wider and securing himself in between them. “That’s mine, and I’m the only one who touches it.”


Trace isn’t so bad himself. When he decides to take something, he has the confidence and seduction to do just that!


Skin Deep by T.A. Reign - 3.5 Hearts

This was such a sweet fluffy fluff story, but also with the seriousness of issues such as insecurity and low self-esteem. These themes are handled really well.

Jai is a scrub nurse who has vitiligo, which has caused his naturally brown Indian skin to be scattered with different spots and patches of pale white skin. He has this over his whole body, and has gotten used to hiding behind large hoodies and his surgical masks. He has some fairly severe self esteem issues, and has never had a serious relationship because of people not accepting his looks.


Dr Lazarus Sukas is a generally high tempered and ill-mannered surgeon, and when Jai has to assist him in the O.R. he becomes taken with Jai.

I really liked Jai’s insecurity. It was well written and I loved seeing him overcome it with Laz’s help. Some nice ‘comfort’ moments there. Like many people with insecurities or low self-esteem, they tend to act irrationally about these issues, which Jai does a fair bit. This became a tad annoying at times, but Laz was always there to comfort and reassure him.

The sex was all loving touches and intimate promises, which was lovely, however some of the dialogue was quite stilted and there were a few ‘overdone’ lines that took me out of the beautiful moments.

“Fuck, you’re so beautiful, Jai. I want to come all over your beautiful skin and mark you as mine. Just thinking about it is bringing me closer to the edge. I don’t know how much longer I can hold off!”
Jai suddenly felt wanton. He loved the idea of being claimed and marked. “Do it!” Jai demanded. “Do it so I can feel your seed on my skin.”

The story also dragged a teeny tiny bit because of the fluff, but I still highly enjoyed it!


Beautiful by Laura Raven- 4.5 Hearts

By far my favourite one! This story is about a gender fluid individual. Now in this story we aren’t made aware of the characters biological gender until the end, and I thought the mystery of it was done rather well. So if you want to be kept in the dark, don’t read this review. Though given the nature of the anthology I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by giving it away.

I love, absolutely love, crossdressing stories! Especially when there is gender identity involved in it. This was probably one of the best genderfluid stories I’ve read so far.

Nathan works at a telemarketing company while trying to ‘make it big’ with his band. The HR manager calls a meeting discussing the importance of non-discrimination in the workplace due to a new employee starting the next day who has chosen not to disclose their gender. Nathan doesn’t expect to have an instant attraction to the leggy woman named Skye who walks into work the next day.


Nathan is of course straight, and all of a sudden has to reconcile his attraction to this woman, who he’s not entirely sure is a woman, to his own idea of himself.

This is an entirely sweet and ridiculously beautiful story. There are of course a few moments where people ridicule Skye for being who he is, but generally this story is all love and acceptance.

I’m kissing and caressing the most beautiful woman in the world, and he’s getting hard against my hip.


Skye is such a beautiful character, someone who has been through a lot but chooses not to let life bring her down, and I love how readily Nate accepts who she is.

Their relationship/friendship development was such a joy to read, everyone communicated what they wanted and how they felt. It was quite frankly, astounding! Their sex scene was also really hot, very sensual!

Just a little heads up to exclusive M/M readers, Nate has a masturbaton scene at the beginning, and there’s some relatively detailed description of lady bits. Just thought you'd like to know ;-)


My overall thoughts of the anthology are that I think I would’ve liked it more had I read it in reverse, from end to beginning. Obviously I liked some of the stories more than others, and I may even re-read some of my favourites again.


A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Find out more on Goodreads.

Cover Reveal: Slave Hunt (The Subs Club #5) by J.A. Rock


This is proof positive that dreams really do come true.

Just feast your eyes on this little gem.



Thirty people. Two hours. Only the strong will survive.

When Riddle decides to put on a slave hunt, the Subs Club is on board. Tops hunting bottoms in the woods with paintball guns? Yes. Captives strung up on whipping posts, at the mercy of their captors? Hell yes. But on the morning of the hunt, nothing’s going according to plan. Miles and Drix are at odds over Miles’s reluctance to move in together. Dave is determined to show up D, who thinks Dave won’t last two minutes in the woods. Gould finds himself torn between obeying his master’s orders and living out a longtime fantasy. And Kamen inadvertently becomes a double agent when he aligns himself with two different parties.

By the end of the hunt, alliances will be forged and broken, loyalties will be tested, relationships will be strengthened…and someone will barrel roll. Narrated by ten different characters, Slave Hunt tells the story of two hours in the woods that will change everyone forever. Or at least, remind them that love is the greatest victory of all.

Author: J.A. Rock
eBook release: Oct 17, 2016
Print release: Oct 17, 2016
Word count: ~43,900
Page count: ~166
Type: Part of a Series
Cover by: Kanaxa

This title is part of the The Subs Club universe. 


Pre-Order Link: Riptide

To quote Leslie Jones, I'M LOSING MY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEST DAY EVARRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!



GIVEAWAY + Blog Tour: Custom Fit (Tailor Made #2) by Josephine Myles


Release Blitz & Giveaway- Josephine Myles - Custom Fit (Tailor Made #2) 

Author: Josephine Myles

Release Date: August 23 2016

Buy Links: Amazon US  Amazon UK  kobo  Smashwords 

Cover Design: Lou Harper

Length: 42,000 words

Tailor Made (Tailor Made #1) buy links: Amazon US  Amazon UK  kobo  Smashwords  AllRomance

Blurb

Being “wrong” has never felt so right!





Felix McAvoy is having an identity crisis. No longer the bad boy of art college, he’s now employed as a human billboard, roaming the centre of Bath dressed as a Roman soldier while attempting to fight off his nicotine cravings. It’s a comedown for the former conceptual artist, although there are compensations to the costume. The skirt, for one…

While Felix hasn’t made a secret of his desire to wear women’s clothing, he’s never dared try it until now. He’s always been worried once he goes down that road, he won’t want to come back, and the prospect of cross-dressing 24/7 terrifies him. Of course, he can’t tell that to Andrew, who’s now busy making Felix a slutty red dress.

Andrew Wheeler loves coming home to Felix and their cosy city centre flat. He just wishes Felix would let him know what’s bothering him. And maybe then, Andrew could confide what he really wants. Felix might not see him as anything other than a top, but Andrew’s yearning to switch things up.

Living together is one thing. Actually plucking up the courage to talk about their secret desires is going to be a whole other—and excruciatingly embarrassing—kettle of fish.



Excerpt – NSFW!

Felix pulled on the skirt and stared into the mirror. Okay, that wasn’t as bad as he’d been expecting. The burgundy faux leather that Andrew had tutted over last night felt cool against his legs, and the way it draped over his crotch was… interesting. Felix gave an experimental twirl, watching in the mirror as the heavy fabric flared out ever so slightly. Ooh, that was weird. But good weird. Probably. Yeah, definitely.

Suited him too. With his pale skin and dark hair, Felix always looked good in strong colours. And the skirt would totally go with his cherry red Doc Martens. Shame they weren’t part of his new uniform.

Felix cocked his hip and pouted.

“Mmm, looking good,” came Andrew’s voice from behind him.

Felix whirled around. Andrew’s sleep-rumpled blond head was poking up from under the thin cotton sheet. “Oh my God, I thought you were asleep.” He’d woken up extra early what with it being the first day at his new job as a human billboard, but he’d taken extra care to keep quiet while showering and getting dressed so Andrew could enjoy his lie-in. “Sorry. Was I making too much noise?”

“I just couldn’t sleep properly. It’s so hot in here.”

“Yeah, even with the window open. Bloody seagulls woke me up. Noisy bastards.” Felix walked over to the window and threw the curtain back. He stared out over the Bath rooftops. The view from their new attic flat was amazing, which kind of made up for the noise and the heat. And best of all, the central location meant he only had to wake up about half an hour before starting work. Thinking of which… He could hear Andrew getting up behind him. Why would anyone voluntarily get out of bed on their day off? “I should go and make a cuppa,” Felix grumbled.

Andrew’s hands landed on his waist, and then the whole hot length of him was pressed up against Felix’s back. Talk about morning glory! Felix could feel that monster trying to burrow its way up and under the pleather. He’d already managed to persuade his own hard-on to give up, but he could feel it rousing again. He wiggled his bum and Andrew thrust against him.

So good! “Uhh, not fair. I have to get ready.”

“I’ll help you.”

“I’d be quicker on my own.”

Andrew’s voice rumbled against Felix’s neck as he nibbled on the sensitive spot just under his ear.

Mmm, that always got him going. Sneaky bastard. “Yes, but it’ll be more fun this way.”

The protest on Felix’s lips died as Andrew ran his hands up under the skirt.

“I like this easy access,” Andrew said, grabbing hold of Felix’s dick. “Hmm, so does somebody else by the feel of it.”

Felix thrust into Andrew’s hand. “It feels weird, though.”

“Weird how?”

Andrew sounded genuinely interested, so Felix did his best to explain the half-formed thoughts and feelings swirling around inside him. “Weird in a way that makes me kind of worried. I don’t know, like I might like it too much? And you know, it’s kind of feminine. More than a kilt, anyway. People might laugh at me.”

“I think once you’ve got the rest of the costume on you’ll be fine. It won’t look feminine when you’re kitted out like a Roman soldier. And besides, it’s not that girly a skirt. It’s got pockets. Womenswear hardly ever has pockets. The girls at college complain about it all the time.”

Andrew should know all about that kind of thing seeing as how he was on a fashion design course, but that wasn’t quite what Felix had been getting at. Mind you, he still wasn’t entirely sure he understood what he was feeling, so he gave up trying to explain. Instead he wiggled his arse some more. “Think we’ve got time for a quickie?”


Author Bio

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo’s novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She writes for publishers but has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion, although she prefers to leave the “boring bits” of the ebook creation process to someone else. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an incessantly curious toddler.

Website and blog: http://josephinemyles.com/


Twitter: @JosephineMyles

Newsletter: eepurl.com/hrQ4s






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Audiobook Review: Little Wolf (Beings in Love #4) by R. Cooper, Narrated by Robert Nieman

On the run from his old-blood werewolf family, Tim Dirus finds himself in Wolf's Paw, one of the last surviving refuges from the days when werewolves were hunted by humans and one of the last places Tim wants to be. Kept away from other wolves by his uncle, Tim knows almost nothing about his own kind except that alpha werewolves only want to control and dominate a scrawny wolf like him.

Tim isn’t in Wolf’s Paw an hour before he draws the attention of Sheriff Nathaniel Neri, the alphaest alpha in a town full of alphas. Powerful, intimidating, and the most beautiful wolf Tim has ever seen, Nathaniel makes Tim feel safe for reasons Tim doesn’t understand. For five years he’s lived on the run, in fear of his family and other wolves. Everything about Wolf’s Paw is contrary to what he thought he knew, and he is terrified. Fearing his mate will run, Sheriff Nathaniel must calm his little wolf and show him he’s more than a match for this big, bad alpha.

Listening Length: 18 hours and 54 minutes
Narrator: Robert Nieman



This audiobook is almost 19 hours long. 19. Hours. And unfortunately, it feels like it.

I loved the idea of this one. I’m a big fan of R. Cooper. I’ve only listened to one other narration by Robert Nieman, Amy Lane’s Clearwater, and I really enjoyed it. I love his narrator’s voice.

But Little Wolf was really just too long. It could have easily been half as long and for me it would have worked better. There were SO many repetitive conversations and while I love the narrator’s voice it was the only voice that was used in this one. So, extremely long and repetitive conversations all in the same voice; the back and forth was completely lost to me repeatedly. I mentally clocked out way too many times and I never lost out on any information.

The whole premise of the story is that Tim needs to figure out his shit. Fair enough, that can be really good stuff. Tim had a lot of figuring out to do, he’s been sequestered away his whole childhood so he had no clue how Were society worked. His frustration came out as sarcasm and more than once he said he knew he could be a real asshole. He was right. Then there’s Nathaniel who is just so damned good and delicious, I could absolutely understand why Tim had the boners for him, I just didn’t get the other way around. Tim had his moments of clarity and selflessness, but I needed more to make him worthy of Nathaniel for me.

Tim’s whole plan is to bail out of town as soon as his Uncle tracks him down, so the inevitable exit comes up a lot. He’s in love with Nathaniel and Nathaniel is in love with him and every human, Were, animal, vegetable and mineral knows that Nathaniel and Tim are mates. But, NO ONE lets Tim in on this little, and by little I mean HUGE, secret. He was supposed to figure it out on his own. But Tim is stubborn so he doesn’t figure it out and I could see no good reason for other characters not to fill him in on how the mate thing worked. The whole time everyone, especially Nathaniel, kept saying they would help him learn their culture. I really don’t get how keeping him in the dark was supposed to be helpful. It just made him more frustrated and made he and Nathaniel all fussy because of the UST.

I’m not a huge fan of miscommunication or lack of communication as a plot device and this was lack of communication taken to a Defcon level.

Honestly, if this one had been edited down and then some better communication between characters it would have been so much better because the bones of the story and the characters themselves were really good. There was too much ‘sameness’ in the narration to make the lengthy conversations work in an audiobook.

The last hour helped, there was finally some communication and some admissions. I would have loved them to have come along hours earlier. 19 hours of miscommunication/lack of communication are about 18 hours too many for my ears. I’ll definitely read more R. Cooper and definitely listen to more Robert Nieman, the combo for Little Wolf just wasn’t for me unfortunately.

For more information on Little Wolf, check it out on Dreamspinner Press.


**a copy of this audiobook was provided for an honest review**

GIVEAWAY + Blog Tour: The Butch and The Beautiful by Kris Ripper




Today we welcome Kris Ripper to the clubhouse to promote the second in zir Queers of La Vista series.


Hi, I'm Kris and welcome to the blog tour for The Butch and the Beautiful, book two in my awesome queer soap opera! Enjoy the blog tour!




Jaq Cummings is a high school teacher who really wants a committed relationship—as long as it doesn’t keep her out late on school nights or interrupt Sunday mass with her dad. She is absolutely not about to fall for the hot-mess divorcĂ©e she hooks up with even if said hot mess pushes all her buttons. Jaq’s white knight days are over.

But one hookup with Hannah becomes two, then coffee, then more incredibly hot sex. And unlike most of Jaq’s exes, Hannah’s not looking for someone to come on strong. In fact, Hannah comes on plenty strong enough for both of them. But she’s just out of a disastrous marriage, she’s in the process of moving across the state, and Jaq can’t take a chance on yet another relationship where she defaults to being a caregiver instead of a partner.

Just when Jaq decides her relationship with Hannah is far too precarious, a crisis with a student reminds her of her priorities and makes it clear that sometimes, you have to take big risks to get what you really want.


About Kris Ripper

Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

Connect with Kris:

·         Webiste: krisripper.com
·         Facebook: www.facebook.com/kris.ripper
·         Twitter: twitter.com/SmutTasticKris


To celebrate the release of The Butch and the Beautiful, one lucky winner will receive their choice in ebook from Kris’s backlist. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 27, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Review: Immemorial Years Books 1 & 2 by T.J. Klune

Once upon a time, humanity could no longer contain the rage that swelled within, and the world ended in a wave of fire.

One hundred years later, in the wasteland formerly known as America, a broken man who goes only by the name of Cavalo survives. Purposefully cutting himself off from what remains of civilization, Cavalo resides in the crumbling ruins of the Northern Idaho Correctional Institution. A mutt called Bad Dog and a robot on the verge of insanity comprise his only companions. Cavalo himself is deteriorating, his memories rising like ghosts and haunting the prison cells.

It’s not until he makes the dangerous choice of crossing into the irradiated Deadlands that Cavalo comes into contact with a mute psychopath, one who belongs to the murderous group of people known as the Dead Rabbits. Taking the man prisoner, Cavalo is forced not only to face the horrors of his past, but the ramifications of the choices made for his stark present. And it is in the prisoner that he will find a possible future where redemption is but a glimmer that darkly shines.

The world has died.

This is the story of its remains.

Illustrated by Blake Dorner.



One day. One day someone, and I don't know who, but someone will say enough. A line will be drawn, and there will come an hour that we will rise and say we've had enough. That we won't take the darkness any longer. That we will say no. That we will fight against those who would break us. We will fight back, and in this hour, we will have succeeded in what we have set out to do.

The inherent destructive and power hungry nature of man is what makes this story affecting and gloomy, but there will always be those who will not go gentle into that good night, who will rage against the dying of the light. So we continue to hope. Perhaps foolishly but that, too, is the nature of man.


I feel like I owe TJ Klune an apology. Does Hallmark make a 'Sorry I misjudged your writes' card? Because I did. I've been paddling in the mm pool for awhile now, so I knew who he was but all I ever saw were gross sobbing reviews. No way. I figured he was a one trick weep reaping pony and we'd never interface. Until Wolfsong. That's when I knew I had to try something else by him and then I stumbled across the words "dark" and "post-apocalyptic" and thought "O'Rully?". 

Withered + Sere is a brilliant, sometimes poignant and dark novel that was invigorating to read. From start to finish I was fully immersed into this gritty, dystopian tale of a man on the brink of complete insanity. Cavalo is an antihero who lives in a former prison with a sarcastic and slightly bossy robot named SIRS and Bad Dog, his loyal and hilarious canine companion. As Cavalo's backstory reveals itself it becomes clear how much he's survived. The only things keeping him from spiraling into the black hole of psychosis that he's skirting the edges of are his friends. The entire story is told through his distorted prism and it can be fragmented and difficult to follow, but not only is that accurate it's also what I loved most about it.



The prison is just outside The Deadlands where the Dead Rabbits reside. This world is well crafted without being overwhelmingly or tediously detailed. The Dead Rabbits are cannibals and not to be trifled with but one day when Cavalo and Bad Dog are out hunting their prey wanders into The Deadlands. They narrowly escape capture but couldn't outlast the tenacious Dead Rabbit with his ghastly mien. 



Once the Dead Rabbit joins this rag tag bunch things begin to subtly change. Neither trusts the other but they are inexplicably drawn to one another. There is no sex and I wouldn't categorize this as a romance. There is but a glimmer of something between them some of the time, the rest of the time they are a hairsbreadth away from killing each other. I envision a whole lot of obstacles before that glimmer turns into a flame. It seems inevitable that a war between the Dead Rabbits, Cavalo and his band of misfits, the townsfolk of Cottonwood and the UFSA is coming. Allies and enemies will surely be made. And lost.


Lucas kissed him again. It was chaste. Dry. Catastrophic.

The way in which the story is written made me feel like a girl chasing butterflies and laughing with delight. Every time one question was answered another three would spring up in its place. So I just kept running. Withered + Sere is meaty with nuanced characters none of whom are sane and some of whom aren't human but still enrich this story and make it unforgettable. 

Also, it ends on a cliffhanger so have the next one handy.


Alas, the time of the most despicable man is coming, he that is no longer able to despise himself. Behold, I show you the last man.



Twenty-one days.

In a world ravaged by fire and descending into madness, Cavalo has been given an ultimatum by the dark man known as Patrick: return Lucas to him and the cannibalistic Dead Rabbits, or the town of Cottonwood and its inhabitants will be destroyed.

But Lucas has a secret embedded into his skin that promises to forever alter the shape of things to come—a secret that Cavalo must decide if it’s worth dying over, even as he wrestles with his own growing attraction to the muted psychopath.

Twenty-one days.

Cavalo has twenty-one days to prepare for war. Twenty-one days to hold what is left of his shredded sanity together. Twenty-one days to convince the people of Cottonwood to rise up and fight back. Twenty-one days to unravel the meaning behind the marks that cover Lucas.

A meaning that leads to a single word and a place of unimaginable power: Dworshak.
 




War is coming.



The time has come to take a stand against the Dead Rabbits. Cavalo becomes the de facto leader much to his dismay of this little rebellion consisting of his makeshift family and the people of Cottonwood. Lives are lost. Hatchets are buried. Secrets are revealed. Friendships are formed. Blood is shed. 

Crisped + Sere is much more gruesome than its predecessor but no less exhilarating to read. The Dead Rabbits are reminiscent of zombies which isn't something I go for usually. Thankfully the details of their appearance is kept to a minimum. They are mindlessly devoted to their demigod. They are relentless and their numbers are vast, but they fight without purpose. Whereas the people of Cottonwood are desperate. Desperate people who have accepted the inevitability of their fate thereby making them formidable foes.



The pacing of this entire series is breakneck. Clear your schedule and pack a sack lunch or two because if you can manage to put either of these books down you are stronger than I. Intense is an understatement and these battles bring new meaning to words the longest day. There is a lot of warring and gore but the life-force of this series is the characters and their quiet moments that are both evocative and heart wrenching.

The fact that no attempts are made to depict either of these characters as anything other than what they are is daring and continues to be what I love most about this series. Cavalo nor Lucas suddenly become logical statesmen or merciful. They are both survivors who do what it takes to survive including being ruthless. Cavalo does begin to question his own reality, but honestly, he's the sanest insane character I've ever read. He can most definitely be a son of a bitch, but that doesn't make me like him any less. He's survived unimaginable horrors-bees, dancing trees, Mr. Fluff, rubber bands, snow globes-and is still capable of caring for and even loving others, though the way he shows that love is unorthodox. He is hardened, gruff and gristly. He's a man of few words and a misanthrope, but when he lowers the shield... it'll take your breath away.



Theirs is not a traditional romance but it is devastating in its own rite. The boy who cannot speak and the only man who can hear him. They both contemplate suicide at various times and they are constantly on the razor's edge of killing each other. Yet there is no fear between them. Their trust in one another is tacit, all posturing to the contrary.


But most of all, he wondered when Lucas had gotten so under his skin, like a shard of glass now breaking into pieces. He wondered if he could have stopped it if he'd even tried.


In addition to the two fully realized MCs the ever faithful Bad Dog and SIRS play their roles to the hilt and some of the townsfolk from Cottonwood play pivotal roles. I really love when strong female characters who are neither whiny nor bitches are given page time and there are two depicted in this series which is part of the reason why this series appeals so much to me-the making a family where there was none trope. That gets me every time and the fact that they embrace Cavalo and Lucas mental health issues notwithstanding charms me to no end.




He wasn't a stupid man. But sometimes, even the smartest of men fall prey to hope.

The ending is hopeful and realistic for the future of mankind. There isn't a doubt in my mind that Lucas and Cavalo will make it or die trying. And I legit squealed when I read there is more to come from this series. This story does not end on a cliffhanger though. 

The quibbles I have are few and do not in any way detract from the 5 Hearts I'm giving it. I continue to be dogged by that quote. I think I know what it means, but I can't be certain. I also am confused as to how Cavalo et al. have evaded the effects of the radiation whereas the Dead Rabbits have not. Makes me wonder what's in The Deadlands. ALSO! I really missed the illustrations! I kept thinking one would pop up sooner or later but I'm guessing they aren't in the ARC version. So congrats to all of you who didn't ARC review it. *sad frown*

Needless to say, I believe I'm starting to understand the Klunedimonium and I would highly recommend this series. I might even pester some people into reading it. I won't go so far to say he's an autobuy, because ugly crying is a big ole NO, but I will read all his blurbs before making a decision from now on!





Review copies were provided in exchange for honest opinions.

Find out more on Goodreads and Dreamspinner Press.
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Review: Third Mate (River Wolf Pack, #3) by Rebecca James

Sequel to Second Alpha

The winds of change are blowing through the River Wolf Pack compound. River, the pack alpha, has allowed rogue wolves, a coyote shifter, and humans to join the pack. Then there’s the twin girls that Josiah, River’s mate, has given birth to. A movement to return to more traditional werewolf ways is gaining momentum.

In exchange for Leo’s help, Stone offers him the position of second alpha should Stone succeed in usurping River as pack alpha. Leo has his own problems -- his desire to rise within the pack wars with his dislike of Stone. With the addition of Sam and Foster into the mix, Leo’s personal life is no less complex.

Jax knows he must make a difficult decision before he’s turned out of the compound. Should he remain human or accept David’s bite? He loves the alpha wolf, but he also has ties to the human world, ones he doesn’t want to sever. When David discovers Brooks is considering mating Stone, David determines to prevent it. Can Jax provide a solution to Brooks’s problem even if it means sacrificing his own happiness?

Can River remain in charge of an increasingly fractured pack? Does he even want to?


This book contains three different, but overlapping stories told from four different POV’s, and I devoured this in just a couple of hours!! I was so enthralled in all these characters lives and stories I just couldn’t put it down! So why the lower rating? There was just too much story to it fit into a normal length novel.This means we end up getting a shortened version of each story, which, while still enjoyable, isn’t what I would’ve preferred.

It'll probably be easier to highlight each story, as they all focused on different characters but everything was told along the same timeline. This means we would end a chapter on one story but not get back to those characters for a few chapters, and because the progress of the story was constantly moving forward, we miss important relationship developments. This was probably a bit of a rate remover for me.

Josiah and River’s story was probably my least favourite of this book. River is dealing with an impending uprising due to his decisions to harbour outcasts and willingness to talk with humans. Also the birth of his and Josiah twin girls (there are no females among werewolves) have left him out of favour with many of his pack. This tension was an underlying theme throughout all the stories. It was nice seeing some of Josiah’s POV again, and he and River were as hot as ever, but with the other two stories holding my interest, I was happy we saw these two less.

The next story was David and Jax. This ended up being my favourite, probably because it evoked a lot of different emotions in me. Frustration, anger, understanding, sympathy, joy….. so many. David and Jax pretty much pick up where they left off in Second Alpha. They are both secure in their love for each other, but they literally can’t live in each other's world. What makes things worse in this book is Jax has decided he doesn’t want to be a werewolf, so he’ll never be accepted by the pack, and David will never be able to have children.

This story above all others should have been it's own novel, but instead it gets the least page time. Like I said, so many emotions, and all of them conveyed really well, but a lot of really important events were told as a series of highlights which just got me frustrated.

Sam, Leo and Foster: this story started out being my favourite, but while I loved them to begin with, once the ‘consummating’ occurred, it sort of fizzled. Sam and Foster (who we met in Second Alpha) are both outsiders and have been welcomed into the pack by River. They’re like brothers to each other…. brothers who occasionally suck each other off. Then there's Leo, the alpha. He finds both Sam and Foster attractive, but hasn't ever pictured himself having anything other than a beta mate. I can’t give too much away, but I enjoyed reading about how all these individual relationships progressed, and I did not pick how it was going to end.

As before, all of the sex is insanely hot! I also really really liked how none of the story lines ended how I thought they would, but everything still ended well. I think there is room for more in the series, which I’ll definitely be interested in reading.

Each of the three stories were entertaining, and each had elements of a great story, however it would’ve been much better if they were individually written so things didn’t feel as rushed.


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Review: The Cobbler's Soleless Son by Meredith Katz

Everyone expects Renart Walker to follow in his mother's footsteps and become the cobbler for their little demon-ruled town. That'd be the proper thing to do: keep his head down, live his quiet human life, and try not to get too involved with demons. But Renart has never been terribly concerned with proper, and he isn't interested in a quiet life. His interests are a little more ambitious: he's aiming to catch himself a demon prince.

As a human, he'd never be allowed to even get close to Prince Hrahez. The only solution is to make a bargain with a demon, and everyone knows what they want. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and he's got a plan—but it involves tricking a demon. If it doesn't work, nobody in town would want to be in his shoes.








Renart is nineteen, human and fascinated with demons.

(*whispers*Horns, am I right?)

In the high fantasy world created by Meredith Katz in The Cobbler's Soleless Son, Renart is focused on one thing no matter how aimless he seems to his cobbler mother. Human/ demon relations are frowned upon in their world. Humans are treated more like cattle and slaves in most of their world and Renart's little family has it sweet. Humans are allowed to live in peace (mostly). Demons like using humans as playthings sexually, especially cubants (like incubus and succubus). They are gender-fluid shapeshifters that feed off their sexual partners life force during sex.

Renart has bigger dreams than being a future cobbler, though he has talent. He's been a demon's plaything and he wants to maintain that lifestyle once he makes the eyes with demon prince of his town, prince Hrahez. Thus begins a different kind of tale with magic curses and painful tests for the human to complete.


The story's unwinding fairy tale-esque format worked, in a sense, for the information the author introduced about demon vs. human society, It was interesting especially cubants. But the execution worked against The Cobbler's Soleless Son for me. Renart is fascinated with the Prince, makes crazy bargains on an off chance he'll be picked up to be a plaything.

All over one glance? Eh...

Granted, the last 10% answers a majority of the questions I had. But I have to rate the story on a whole. The first half read more like it was trying to make a statement then tell a story. By the time, the story got into a decent enough groove, it was too late for any character investment. I could care less for either main character.



And the final "test" was unnecessary for me but I guess it adds more interest and shock value. Meh.

Too little too late. I think I'd had liked to read more relationship development aka a clever cat and mouse kind of courting instead. Reflecting on the entire thing, there's moments of cleverness but too little too late for me.

Book's strongest point? The demons, the sex and the openness on gender. *coughs*foot sex*coughs*
I don't think it needs to be a warning but I know there are readers who'd like to know there is a MF on page sex scene. It was HOT! (As was the MM scenes) If this was just PWP, I'd have rated it higher.

Overall, not bad. I think the length was a good fit, I just wished more I don't think the author's writing style is a fit for me, but I think readers who enjoy interesting, quirkier high fantasy reads that gives a little erotcism and fairy tale might enjoy.

Gorgeous cover, BTW.

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