Review: Serenading Stanley (The Belladonna Arms #1) by John Inman

Serenading Stanley Welcome to the Belladonna Arms, a rundown little apartment building perched atop a hill in downtown San Diego, home to the city’s lost and lovelorn. Shy archaeology student Stanley Sternbaum has just moved in and fills his time quietly observing his eccentric neighbors, avoiding his hellion mother, and trying his best to go unnoticed… which proves to be a problem when it comes to fellow tenant Roger Jane. Smitten, the hunky nurse with beautiful green eyes does everything in his power to woo Stanley, but Stanley has always lived a quiet life, too withdrawn from the world to take a chance on love. Especially with someone as beautiful as Roger Jane. While Roger tries to batter down Stanley’s defenses, Stanley turns to his new neighbors to learn about love: Ramon, who’s not afraid to give his heart to the wrong man; Sylvia, the trans who just wants to be a woman, and the secret admirer who loves her just the way she is; Arthur, the aging drag queen who loves them all, expecting nothing in return—and Roger, who has been hurt once before but is still willing to risk his heart on Stanley, if Stanley will only look past his own insecurities and let him in.

John Inman stories make me happy.

They are funny and his quirky characters are just as important and dimensional as the MC’s and this one was no exception. In fact, I think the secondary characters in Serenading Stanley were some of my favorites of all time.

Serenading Stanley is the story of Stanley Sternbaum. He is a graduate student who is moving out on his own for the first time. He moves into the Belladonna Arms which seems to be a hotbed of quirk. His first encounter is with Arthur, the bear, drag queen with a heart of gold who can barely make it up the stairs to show Stanley his ‘penthouse’ apartment.

Stanley is a sweet soul who sees himself as painfully ordinary and he’s terribly shy. He’s never really had a boyfriend and with his completely insane mother, he’s found it best to just try to fly under the radar. As Stanley says,

“Two weeks with Stanley’s mother could make the Valentine’s Day Massacre seem like a skeet shoot. The sinking of the Titanic a mere act of baptism for fifteen hundred people. A flesh-gobbling case of leprosy little more than a diaper rash.”

It’s no wonder Stanley needed to get away. Little did he know what he was getting himself into at the Belladonna Arms. Not only do we have Arthur, but there is also ChiChi, the nipple ringed “massage therapist” down the hall; Ramon, the freshman beauty student; Charlie, the certified kleptomaniac UPS driver; Pete, the anti-social token straight guy and my personal favorite, Sylvia, the pre-op transsexual that absolutely everyone loves. Sylvia and Stanley become fast friends and I loved reading the conversations between them.

Of course we can’t forget Roger Jane, a god among mortals in Stanley’s eyes. He is just entirely too perfect for Stanley to take seriously. There is no way Roger could be interested in plain old Stanley Sternbaum. Roger is fantasy fuel for sure and Stanley gets to know Roger and he discovers that he is also a truly nice and caring guy who just happens to be interested in Stanley. The two of them have lots of starts and stops to their courtship and that is mostly Stanley’s doing. To be fair, Stanley has spent his entire life feeling plain and boring, larger than life Roger is just too much for him to wrap his brain around. He even asks Roger,

“But why would you be thinking about me? You’re beautiful, I’m just . . . me.”

It never feels like Stanley is fishing for compliments, he is truly stymied by Roger’s interest. Roger has been hurt in the past though and he’s not going to let Stanley get away with hiding from him, Roger doesn’t play games or pull punches with how he feels and I’ve got to give Roger credit for his incredible patience. They were very honest with each other though, when Roger could pin Stanley down that is.

One of my absolute favorite things about John’s books is the boys get together well before the end and then they stay together! Sure, it’s the honeymoon period so there’s lots of hearts and flowers, but that’s refreshing. It’s not the formula of:

Finally come together, throw in some icky angst, question and regret all misunderstandings, work it out at 98%.

It's more:

Finally come together (like for reals) at 50-60%, stay together, be all kinds of sappy, and keep coming together, both literally and figuratively until the end.

I like it.

I’m normally not a fan of the overly sweet, although thinking about it, maybe I’m just not a fan of the overly sweet that takes itself too seriously. That’s probably why John’s books work so well for me. Just when there are declarations of all manner of fluffy love forever and always, the statement will end with,

“You’re the best thing I’ve ever known. And you fuck like a monkey.”

Now that’s my kind of sweet talk right there.

Review: Bump in the Night Anthology by Various Authors

Turn off the lights . . . and turn on your darkest fantasies.

Demon pacts. Ghostly possessions. Monsters lurking in the depths. The things that go bump in the night frighten us, but they also intrigue us. Fascinate us. Even turn us on.

Join us as fan favorites Ally Blue and Kari Gregg bring over-amorous aquatic beasts to life with their mythic twists on the Siren and the monster in the lake. Erotic horror pros Heidi Belleau, Sam Schooler, and Brien Michaels show us just how sexy scary can be with a pair of demon deals destined to curl your toes and set your heart thrashing. And literary masters Laylah Hunter and Peter Hansen weave haunting worlds where ghosts and dead lovers can touch our hearts (and other, naughtier places too . . .) and teach us lessons from beyond the grave.

By turns exciting, evocative, and exquisitely explicit, the stories in Bump in the Night are sure to scratch your sexy paranormal itch. Explore your wildest fantasies with us in this collection of dark erotic tales.

Resurrection Man by Laylah Hunter 2.5♥s 

This was a sexy and creepy little tale... and that's about it. I was confused for about 7 or 8 pages, which is a lot considering it's only 20 pages long. It took me a bit to catch what was going on and when I finally did, it was over. 

Let me get you a rundown so you're not all confuzzled when you read it. Basically, Josef takes back his dead lover from the morgue in order to resurrect him so they could be together forever. Everyone knows that when you bring someone back from the dead they are not the same as they were before. Well, neither was Josef's lover. Let the sexy times commence! 

There just wasn't enough background given or character development to make me really care about Josef and what happened to him. Meh. Next.

Mating Season by Kari Gregg 5♥s

Now we're talking! This is what I wanted from this anthology. Some tentaclesex, dubious consent and WTF is going on moments. This was just fantastic and sated all my pervy cravings. Of which I have many.

Danny has had a string of bad luck and just can't catch a break. His BFF, Keith, suggests that he take some time, relax, and go camping at the local lake where a sea-monster is rumored to live. Those silly legends are never true anyway, right?

Oh laaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwd, get me my fan! I was sweating like a sinner in church! 

So, ahem, there was in fact a sea-monster. And there was some definite tentaclesex happening.  Me likey tentacles but I don't think I've ever read tentaclesex of this caliber. It was off the charts.

I think I enjoyed this more because I didn't really know what to expect and was just as shocked as Danny with what went on. So, I'm going to leave it at this: read it.

Flesh and Song by Ally Blue 3♥s

This started out strong, really strong and I loved the concept. Noah ends up on an undiscovered island and becomes entranced by this sex-god person. He's there for an undetermined amount of time living in mindless, sexual bliss. He can't leave and can't even think beyond his lover and what he'll demand of him next.

I really liked his creepy lover and would have preferred if there was more time spent on that part of the story. Once that was over, I became uninterested in what happened to Noah. Then the ending felt rushed and left me wanting. Still, I was more than engaged in the story most of the time.

Out From Under by Brien Michaels 4♥s

That was creepy as hell! There was blood and guts and gore, severed heads rolling around and all that. It was way out of my 'normal' zone, but I really couldn't put it down.

Brent made a deal with the devil and it cost him his boyfriends life. Now, he made yet another deal to bring his boyfriend back. 

I really don't even know how to describe what was going on except that this was a clusterfuck of constant weirdness. But in a good way, a really good way. I was immediately sucked into the story and stayed that way the entire time. Oh, and there were tentacles.

Sleeping with Ghosts by Peter Hansen 2.5♥s

The idea of the story was good. There are some children who are born without souls, because of this there is a group of people who are 'called' to kill in order to take old souls. They give the old souls to the newborns so they can have a new life. Sounds kind of interesting, right?

Well, it kind of was boring. I was never connected to the main character and I did not understand why he was attracted to the ghost. He was haunted by one of his kills and then BOOM! he wanted to have sex with the ghost. Huh? Why? I don't know.

I feel like this could have been a lot better than it turned out to be and is the weakest of the bunch.

Blasphemer Sinner Saint by Heidi Belleau and Sam Schooler 4♥s

This. This one was good.

Tobias is reunited with his first love from when he was a kid. Things had not ended well between Tobias and David, so there were some bitter words that were exchanged when they met again. Ultimately, what came out of their choice words was that David was sick and wasn't going to get any better. Luckily, Tobias found someone to save David, he only had to sell a piece of his soul in return. Dun dun duuuuunnnn...

I love a good second chance romance. Every happy couple deserves another shot, right? The way it happened here might have been a little creepy and weird, but it was an HEA nonetheless, so I was

There was more of a focus on the romance in this story. There wasn't much romance or HEA time in this collection of stories and my sappy heart was starting to feel withdrawals. It was a nice way to end the anthology. 

Find on Goodreads!

Review: The Women Who Love Gay Romance, edited by Ryan Field

If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to be a straight woman thrust into the intimate, emotional relationship of two gay men, this book might answer a few of your secret questions. It’s a collection of very different fictional stories that mesh together and create fantasies that in some cases could actually happen in real life.

When one gay man falls in love with his best girlfriend and her boyfriend, it becomes a heart-wrenching trilogy with three new adult stories by Bella Stanberry that cross social boundaries for which the characters will eventually pay a price. In Anna Black’s Fallen Angel, the straight female character finds out what it’s like to explore her most discreet fantasy. And in Baby Got Bach by Giselle Renarde the straight female character is invited to cross a line that leaves her terrified.

A Touch of Therapy by Morgan Honeyman delves into new age lessons about how to heal as the main character observes two gay men from a comfortable distance. Li Blaine’s Changing Curses is a more lyrical dream world which takes a mystical approach when the main character figures out a way to rid herself of a curse. The Facilitator by Tilly Hunter shows how a woman can find herself involved with her best gay friend and his boyfriend, with handcuffs and her grandmother’s wooden spoon. And in the sweet, tender tale of Lustful Wishes by R. Noir, the main character is a confused young man who has had both women and men in his life and he’s trying to figure out how to do the right thing.

All these stories combined with The Courage to Jump by Oleander Plume, where an m/m erotic romance author gets a chance to meet and explore her gay characters in real life, create a world of dreams that challenge one of the least mentioned topics today: The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance.

Overall rating.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

When I read the introduction by Ryan Field to this book I was excited about the concept. He had a vision of stories
“....about women who not only love gay romance, but were willing to include strong female characters in gay romance as active participants in the actual romantic storylines.”
Of course to my mind this would make it M/M/F rather than M/M, but I was happy to give something different a go.

There's a problem I have sometimes with anthologies though and that’s the fact that each story is written by a different author, so the likelihood of not enjoying everything opens right up – and that is what happened with this book. Unfortunately the first story up was one I didn't enjoy. To me the characters weren't particularly likeable, there was far too much tell not show and I couldn't get an emotional connection to the story. Even more unfortunately this story carried on in the next two instalments – I nearly turned off the e reader and e mailed back to say BMBR couldn't review this book. But I didn't, I turned it off, did something else then went back to it.

I found it was a mixed bag, several of the stories I didn't enjoy, but there were some I did. The Facilitator by Tilly Hunter tells us of a woman who doesn't quite shut down her gay porn site properly (have to say this story reminded me of the Unicorn Mafia from the start). She dreams of watching her gay room-mate and his boyfriend make out before she reaches for her vibrator, but they always go out for their dates. Until the night when she’s out on a date and they stay in. Unfortunately – or actually very fortunately - she gets home early, and interrupts some light bondage between the two boys. Bondage inspired by the website she hadn't quite shut down. Things heat up and Vicky gets to join in – just with a little tying up and spanking. Turns out the men both prefer the sub role so she gets to dominate them a little then watch their enjoyment before going off to find her own toys. Kinky, but I liked it.

I also enjoyed Lustful Wishes by R. Noir, especially when I found out it was just an extract from a full length piece of fiction she hopes to one day have published. It felt like an extract, I had a connection to the characters but I definitely wanted more. Raven is the ex-prostitute and sex addict who is spending time in a monastic retreat when he falls for Jake, an eighteen year old who has lived at the monastery all his life. Jake feels the same way but Raven is determined to keep his vow of celibacy for the year, he doesn't want to expose his ‘dirty’ past to Jake.
I enjoyed this story once we got to the monastery, I didn't really need to know all the details of his life before then but I could totally see this as part of a longer work, a work where we get to know the characters and fall in love as they fall in love. Of course that means I liked it from the point that his ex-girlfriend wasn't in it anymore, which kinda defeats the point of the anthology. *Shrugs* I can only be honest about what I enjoyed and what I didn't.

So, as with any anthology, it’s a mixed bag. Unfortunately my prevailing feeling was that I didn't overly enjoy it, but that’s not to say you won’t. In some cases it was the writing I didn't enjoy, with some I felt totally unconnected to the characters and that’s a big no-no for me - I can forgive many things if I fall for the characters. In some books though I found a welcome gem of a story I could enjoy. As much as I liked Ryan Field’s vision and introduction, I can honestly say I don’t feel as excited about the stories as he did. But he did – so you might.

The College Years, Graduation & Sienna Rose by Bella Stanbury;
Unfortunately these stories just didn’t work for me. I didn’t particularly like the characters, I found them difficult to connect with, and though I appreciated the daring storyline it wasn’t enough. It felt like I was being told what was happening rather than shown and I had no emotional attachment to these stories.

Fallen Angel by Anna Black;
Could be considered PWP. Again I found the characters hard to connect with but she ups the steam factor so if you’re looking for the perfect male model to get down and dirty with a sculptor and his bestie then this may be for you.

Baby Got Bach By Giselle Renarde;
I enjoyed this one more as I felt a connection to the characters. Julia’s adoration of Jamieson was believable, as was the relationship between Jameison and Daniel. At times I felt it was more tell than show and I had to suspend disbelief for a moment when her idol and his boyfriend asks her what her fantasy is – and she sits there and tells them. I mean sit me in a room with Misha Collins and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to admit my deep dark sexual fantasies to him, however much booze I’d consumed, (though if anyone can arrange this we could try and see, in the name of science obviously). And well yeah, the fantasy was the fantasy and that was that.

A Touch of Therapy by Morgan Honeyman;

‘...My cock is as stiff as a spear,’ Josh laughed. ‘And it’s ready to impale my lover against the cold walls of the baths.’
Fair enough this line was spoken while in regression therapy but I’m not sure I can get past it. Okay, I did and I did quite enjoy this story, it gave me the warm and fuzzies – even if there were bits I had to overlook.

Changing Curses by Li Blaine;
A fantasy story in the mix. Again it didn’t thrill me but I also didn’t hate it. I liked the relationship between Grenn and Ilya, though I found it hard to believe at times. I liked the concept of the story – it was a pleasant read with an HEA, which I appreciated.

The Facilitator by Tilly Hunter;
Now this one I enjoyed. I liked the characters, I liked the writing style and I believed in the story. It felt real – a fantasy, but real. This was definitely my favourite story of the collection (and not just cos each member of the UM secretly wishes they have a gay flat mate they can tie up and beat with a spoon).

The Courage to Jump by Oleander Plume;
This one was just pure fantasy and that I could live with. A tale of two fictional characters exiting their author's laptop and having a sexy, steamy night with her. Well someone give me a Microsoft word document and show me how the magic works. I liked it, pure escapism, pure fantasy.

Lustful Wishes by R. Noir;
As I said before this was an extract of a longer piece the author hopes to have published one day. I enjoyed it, I felt the characters especially Raven and I was rooting for him. I particularly enjoyed it when we see him at the monastery and with Blake – I didn’t care so much for the earlier chapters telling me about his exes and indiscretions, this could be woven into the current story IMO. But I did enjoy it, I liked the developing relationship between Raven and Blake and even though it ended where it did I could see the potential for a great story about their relationship.

Review: The Douglas Fir by Anyta Sunday

Somehow, someway, Jason Kress will find Noah the most unique and clever gift ever. A gift that will surprise him, and win his heart.

A gift that just might be magic . . .

Indie Author Review, ARC supplied by author for an honest review.

I was so pleased when I was asked to review The Douglas Fir as it is just my type of book. A sweet, romantic Christmas story with great characters. I wasn't disappointed for the most part - there was just one thing I...., hmm, how do I put this, I would have liked a little different.

Firstly, I love Anyta Sunday's style of writing, it's relaxed and easy to read and I 'felt' the characters straight away. I was instantly out of the real world and in the kitchen with Jason and Noah and this is really important to me when I read. That feeling when you are disorientated after reading, it takes a second or two for reality to flood back, that's what I look for in my books and Anyta Sunday delivers.

As the other unicorns all know, I love me some romance in my reading. Hot, sexy scenes are an added bonus as far as I'm concerned, it's a good old fashioned romance I'm looking for and Jason's pursuit of Noah most definitely falls into this category. (Don't worry if it's hot and sexy you're looking for - it delivers in the end!). He wanted to give Noah the most original, surprising birthday gift ever - now I don't want to give away what he did but it took a lot of time, effort and dedication. It was sneaky and I thought really romantic. I loved it.

I loved the relationship between the characters - Jase, Noah, Jase's younger brother Scott and Noah's friend Dave. They interacted well, I liked how Jase was jealous when he thought that there was something going on between Dave - the perfect, and really nice - Dave and Noah. When he realised that Dave was as interested in Noah as he was Jase was jealous, he thought he didn't stand a chance, yet he still carried on with his surprise birthday gift - and, although the gift Noah knew about, what Jase was doing with it, the hard work he was putting in, was anonymous.

Okay, sooooo - so far I'm loving it yet I gave it 4 stars not 5. Why. Well I can't write this bit without spoilers so if you don't want to know a major plot twist stop reading now.


Okay so all of you left are okay with the spoiler. The disappointing bit of the story for me was that it wasn't Noah Jase ended up with. After all that hard work, all that sweet romantic pursuit and he gets together with Dave. Let me I said Dave was also interested in Noah, Jase is there when Dave makes his move on Noah and when Noah turns him down and then he's the one Noah asks if he comes across as gay, because he isn't, he's straight. Now Jase hasn't mentioned his own sexuality to Noah, they are neighbours and friends and, though he has the hugest crush, it is a secret crush.

So then, when it is revealed that Jase too has feelings for Noah and their whole relationship breaks down - Jase's fault, he's too in love to just be friends - they have several months apart but Jase starts spending time with Dave. It was obvious what was going to happen and it was sweet and romantic, but for me  a disappointment because so much of the book was focussed on Jase's pursuit of Noah. I'd invested myself in their relationship and then it never happened. It was a beautiful friendship and I didn't dislike Jase and Dave as a couple - I just wish the focus had come away from Jase and Noah sooner and the main focus had then been put on Jase and Dave.


All that said, I would totally re-read this book because it is sweet (yet not syrupy) and romantic and sometimes that is just what the (book) doctor ordered. I will also most definitely be checking out other works by this author.

Interested in an additional perspective on The Douglas Fir? Check out these minireviews from fellow BMBR unicorns:

Sweet, festive, and unexpected holiday romance.  I enjoyed this story and its slower pace. The Douglas Fir kept me guessing and surprised me, which is definitely unusual for a romance.  The love that blossoms is gentle and kind of sneaks up on the characters and the reader. It works, though, and the titular Douglas Fir plays a central role in the warm holiday feeling that this story engenders.  A few editing items distracted from certain points, and extreme time jumps were a little bumpy. That said, a pleasant read overall with characters I liked.

This book is cute. Not really my kind of book because it's a little sweet for me, but overall enjoyable. I liked the unique elements like the Douglas Fir, the MC being a gardener, the cute neighbours aspect. I seen the twist of fate coming a mile away, which kind of worked for this book. Everyone was cute, everything was cute. Cuteness and fur everywhere.
I'd like to leave you with a quote I never thought I'd read in a M/M Romance novel. :)
"Reaching over, I yanked open the compost and poured some into the hole."

Review: Dangerous Ground Series by Josh Lanyon

Special Agents for the Department of Diplomatic Security, Taylor MacAllister and Will Brandt have been partners and best friends for three years, but everything changed the night Taylor admitted the truth about his feelings for Will. And when Taylor was shot a few hours later, Will felt his reluctance to get involved was vindicated. For Will, the team and the friendship have to come first--despite the fact that he hasn't failed to notice just Taylor is.
Happy Birthday, Taylor! Taylor has pretty well recovered from his shooting, but not everyone is happy to see him reach his next birthday. Does a cobra pickled in a bottle of wine means someone cares enough to send the very death -- best?

Special Agents for the Department of Diplomatic Security Taylor MacAllister and Will Brandt have been partners forever and lovers for three months, but their new relationship is threatened when Will is offered a plum two-year assignment in Paris.
For Special Agents of the Department of Diplomatic Security, Taylor MacAllister and Will Brandt, the strain of a long distance relationship is beginning to tell after eleven months of separation. A romantic holiday could be just the thing to bridge the ever-growing distance, but when Taylor spots a terrorist from the 70s, long believed dead but very much alive, it's c'est la vie.


  This review will be one giant review based on all 4 books in the Dangerous Ground series that are published thus far. I’ll touch a bit on each book and then the series as a whole. A bit about me first. Lanyon is my all-time favorite author. His books and his style of writing are made exactly the way I like ‘em. I like mystery novels (my favorite is when Lanyon does horror) and I like the slow burning, imperfect romance. Just sayin’, you might want to keep that in mind when reading my review.

Spoilers in this review.

Book 1 - Dangerous Grounds
Meet Taylor MacAllister and DDS partner William Brandt. These two are partners at work, both gay, and best friends. They’ve known each other around three years and know pretty much everything about one another. Taylor is written as the playboy commitment-phobe, and William is the down-to-earth traditional family man. Somehow, this isn’t exactly how it seems to play out in the series though.
IMO, this book had a bit of a slow start. I had a hard time getting into it and started it once a few weeks ago and set it down to read something else. Once you get past the initial slow start, it’s pretty much a while party and Taylor is the punching bag. So, there was this situation that happened pre-book where Taylor was shot and William was sad because basically Taylor spilled his little heart out to Will, and Will was all “no way jose”. It’s sad and it sucks but whatever. I felt the chemistry between the two MCs in this first book and had happy feeling about them.
This book is worth reading even just for the hot tub sex scene. Holy crap. I read that scene and thought to myself it was possibly the steamiest sex I’ve read of Lanyon’s.
Lesson of this book: Taylor is a sexy, purry cat.

Book 2 - Old Poison
Happy Birthday to Taylor! In this book it’s Taylor’s birthday and it starts with seemingly a very sweet, loving gesture by his boyfriend, William. Awwwww. Turns out, William is actually quite the wiener. He says things to Taylor like how he wishes they didn’t start off a relationship. Like, c’mon. That’s a little mean, isn’t it? Taylor has seemingly dropped his playboy ways and is nothing is not completely committed and willing to create a life with William, mostly to suit William’s selfish needs.
David Bradley. He was mentioned in the first book as Will’s boyfriend at the time, but they broke up once Taylor was shot. It was getting serious between them. So, in this book they’re separated and assigned other partners in other cities. Wouldn’t you know it? Somehow Will is partnered up with David Bradley. Don’t get me wrong, I love this kind of drama. I eat that shit for breakfast. But man, Will was already walking on thin ice for me. So basically in their relationship, it consists basically of Taylor being a perfect boyfriend and waiting around for Will and being caring and understanding, and Will being a selfish jerk. He goes out to dinner with DB and you can tell that it makes Taylor uncomfortable. But who cares, right? Not Will. Maybe he’s not cheating, but if it makes your boyfriend uncomfortable, maybe you shouldn’t do it.
Oh, but wait. At one point in the story, David Bradley asks if he can kiss Will goodbye… Will sheepishly laughs and then agrees and they suck face.
Lesson of this book: William is a god damn jerk.

Book 3 - Blood Heat
So in this book they’re protecting Harry Potter’s pregnant owl from some bro’s that wanna shoot her. They decide to capture her, while basically out of their jurisdiction, and then take her back to the bossman themselves. Foolproof right? Wrong. Because everyone wants this little chica dead. Through this book they’re struggling because Will wants to take a promotion with a minimum of two years working in Paris, oh-lala. Classic William. It’s tearing Taylor up inside but he tries to be a good sport about it, but it’s hard.. you know. Because of the two year across-the-world thing.
Carrying on. Basically, a bunch of crap happens, some EXTREMELY hot sex included. Actually, quite a bit of hot sex included, and they get the pregnant girl, who turns out to be innocent, to a doctor where she can name her baby after them. Also, Taylor shoots William and William has a bit of a hissy fit. One of the best part’s of the series. **Highlight**
So, in the end, William, the selfish bugger he is, accepts the promotion in Paris.  
Lesson of this book: Harry Potter wants his owl back.

Book 4 - Dead Run
Eleven months have passed and Taylor is going to go visit William in Paris! Awww. Except Taylor thinks he spots a terrorist in the airport. Booo! Turns out, they label him wrong. So he calls Will to let him know that he’s going to be on a later flight and guess who answers Will’s phone.

No, go on. If you’ve read this much I’m going to give you a moment to guess who answers the phone.

… *waits* …

Had some thinking time? That’s right, boys and girls. David Fucking Bradley. Of course he answers the phone! Who else? I’m almost not shocked at this point by anything shitty that Will does. Will is allowed to have friends. Even ex-lovers, sure. But in a relationship that’s as insecure as this, where you live on opposite sides of the world and haven’t seen each other in eleven months, maybe, just maybe you’d have the decency to mention to your boyfriend across the world that your ex-lover, who makes your current lover very uncomfortable, is going to be popping over for dinner and some drinks.
What a buffoon. The incredible part is that Taylor doesn’t even lose his shit. Best boyfriend ever. He’s very unhappy and uncomfortable but doesn’t even lose his mind. If he can be a grown-up about things like that, you’d think Will could too. Huh. Moving on. Some shit happens and Taylor and Will have to work together in Paris to search out some bomb threats. Oh no! An explosion and then William is hurt!! Taylor is sad. :(
William goes into the hospital with scrapes as bruises but wakes up with _____________!!

No, guess. I dare you. Imagine what he could possibly wake up with that would make me flip my fucking lid. I’ll wait.

Did you guess amnesia?
If you did, I’m making you a cake, because there’s no fucking way I seen that bomb being dropped.
Guess what? It gets better… okay. So, William remembers everything BUT his relationship for the past year and a bit with Taylor, ALSO he thinks he’s still in a relationship with David Bradley, who Taylor sees when he walks into Will’s hospital room! *slaps knee and makes gun hand-gesture* Classic!
The anxiety this caused me, I cannot begin to describe. It was around this time that Taylor’s heart was breaking. After DB told Taylor the situation, DB kissed William in front of him. And Taylor doesn’t go on a Godzilla rampage, how? I was so depressed and upset at this point in the story, I wanted to cry. I went to my BMBR friends and asked them for hugs because I was so sad. Not even mad. Just sad about this situation. I really felt like Taylor was perpetually dragged through the mud this entire series, and this was definitely the icing on the cake. His lover doesn’t remember him, only him though, and when Taylor mentions the idea to him, Will basically says that it’s impossible because he’d never be with Taylor.

I’ll give you a moment while your heart breaks.

In the end, they catch the bad dude (as if I’m paying any attention by this point), and Will get’s his memory back and they go live under a fucking rainbow in the sky.
But really, if I were William, I’d stop thinking DB was a good person all together, because kissing someone with amnesia because their head isn’t on straight, seems like… oh, say, taking advantage of someone. The fucker.
Lesson of this book: William is a fucking wiener.

Series review:
Now, while it seems like I was pissy most of the time while reading this, it wasn’t true. I had a lot of hope for the boys in the first book, and then it slowly went downhill. I wasn’t that mad. Okay, kind of mad. Not like, Jake Riordan level of mad, but kind of annoyed that William sucks as a boyfriend. Taylor didn’t deserve any of the shitty things that happened to him, and that honestly made me sad. The best part is that even if you hate the MCs (or one of them) you still care about them, and they're human. They make human mistakes and that really draws you in.
But the action parts were VERY exciting! Guns, shooting, killing, hunting down murders, surviving shots to the chest, falling down cliffs, rescuing your boyfriend, getaway chases. Love this shit.
The books, as usual, very well written and sometimes above my head. Especially the last book that was based in Paris. I tried hard to follow the storyline of everything besides the romance, but that just didn’t happen. I liked this series, I’d recommend it to read, but definitely not if it’s your first Lanyon book, or first Lanyon series. Books that leave me with little hope for the MCs makes me sad.

Things this series has taught me so far:
- Classic Will = Asshole Will
- Don’t sleep with married Japanese business men
- One’s ex is never really out of the picture
- Power bottoms might just be sexier than tops
- Taylor reminds me of Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles)
- Looking after your jerk bf’s dog is not a good excuse not to go to Iraq
- Pregnant munchkins are trouble

I’ll be reviewing the fifth installment of this series on December 10th, so come back and check it out.

Review: Prince of Silk and Thorns by Cherry Dare

Prince Alar is notorious... and tormented.

The prince's decadence is as famous as his extraordinary beauty. Rumor holds that he murdered his own brother to get one step closer to the throne. Some believe him to be the son of a fallen angel. But beneath his icy exterior, the prince burns with secret guilt... and untapped passion.

Farm boy Garin is innocent... and reckless.

Garin is shocked when Prince Alar rides into his village and demands that the young men strip for his inspection... so he can select one as his new slave! To protect his brother, Garin volunteers, leaving his peaceful village-- and his innocence-- behind. But even naked and chained, he is no helpless victim.

At the palace, Garin discovers a new world of decadent sex, dangerous intrigue, and devastating passion. But from the moment the arrogant prince puts a collar around Garin's throat and claims him as his own, the men are bound together in more ways than one.

From sadistic sex games to tender caretaking, from erotic awakenings to a deadly gladiatorial match, their journey together pushes both men to their physical and emotional limits... and beyond.

A novel of the passion that consumes, the love that sustains, and the ties that bind.

You'd think being taken from your home and becoming a slave might make one a little bitter inside. Maybe resentful? Even hateful towards the captor? Not for Garin! It's like a dream come true for this farm boy! He gets to live out all his wildest fantasies with a prince, no less.

In the beginning I don't think things played out quite like they did in his dreams. When Alar first took Garin he was terribly harsh and played sadistic games with Garin in front of his court.

I loved every cruel second of it.

It made the dynamics of their relationship all the more angsty and delicious seeing how they went from master and slave to lovers. Don't worry they still had their master and slave kink when they were lovers. Garin never lost the urge to crawl on his knees to his master nor did Alar lose the want to boss his sweet farm boy around. Their bedroom games were smoking hot and I really couldn't get enough of them together.

With the plot twists and turns and the political mess they were in, they didn't have anyone to trust but each other and they proved themselves time and time again. Their mutual respect and trust was what made me love them more and they way they took care of each other made me swoon on more than one occasion.

I really enjoyed Prince Alar's character and the many layers he had to wear. There was so much to know about him and I liked how the author revealed more and more about him just a little at a time. It was just enough to keep me guessing about his choices and what he would do next. He kept on surprising me with his unexpected devotion to Garin. Harsh and evil prince isn't so icy when faced with his pretty slave, now is he?

I love stories about slaves, I especially love stories about slaves who just want to please their master. Now this isn't your typical sweet slave story since Garin was captured and taken away from his town and family without his consent. But that didn't make him any less sweet. Like I said, he had a secret kinky part of himself that was just waiting to be explored. Because he was the lucky captive, he was able to have his dick and balls wrapped up tight in some rope like he always hoped and dreamed he would.

Prince of Silk and Thorns wasn't as dark as I was expecting, there were a couple dubious consent scenes but... can it really be considered dub-con when, really, Garin wanted it? Everything was mostly consensual and the love story really was sweet and romantic despite the way the relationship started. So if you're on the fence about a capture/slave book, this might be a good starting point. Then you can join me in my fangirlness over sweet slaveboys.

C'mon... join me.

Fangirl Moment: Dark Space by Lisa Henry

Brady Garrett needs to go home. He’s a conscripted recruit on Defender Three, one of a network of stations designed to protect the Earth from alien attack. He's also angry, homesick, and afraid. If he doesn’t get home he’ll lose his family, but there’s no way back except in a body bag.

Cameron Rushton needs a heartbeat. Four years ago Cam was taken by the Faceless — the alien race that almost destroyed Earth. Now he’s back, and when the doctors make a mess of getting him out of stasis, Brady becomes his temporary human pacemaker. Except they’re sharing more than a heartbeat: they’re sharing thoughts, memories, and some very vivid dreams.

Not that Brady’s got time to worry about his growing attraction to another guy, especially the one guy in the universe who can read his mind. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just biochemistry and electrical impulses. It doesn’t change the truth: Brady’s alone in the universe.

Now the Faceless are coming and there’s nothing anyone can do. You can’t stop your nightmares. Cam says everyone will live, but Cam’s probably a traitor and a liar like the military thinks. But that’s okay. Guys like Brady don’t expect happy endings.

This review was previously posted on Goodreads but I love this book so much I just had to share it here as well.

I am a complete and utter mess after reading this book. I don’t even think I can articulate how I feel. My thoughts and emotions are all over the place.

I’m not even sure I could tell you what this book was about. Was it GFY? Yes, but not in any way that I have ever read. It’s almost as though the feelings of being gay were forced upon Brady but then you get the feeling that they were already there, just buried so deep that Brady wasn‘t even aware of them. Maybe. Sorta. I don’t fucking know.

And that, my friends, is the gist of the whole story. It was one big confused cluster fuck. At least from Brady’s point of view. But. It. Was. Amazing!

Brady has had a hard life. A hard life. Everything he’s had and everyone he’s loved has been ripped from his grasp over and over again. Its no wonder that he can’t accept when something good comes along. He’s so depressed and despondent that he’s barely holding his head above water. He’s going through the motions of life, just biding his time in the service until he can get back home to his family. Then, in a chance occurrence he’s somehow bonded to Cameron in a way that’s so intimate, so invasive that he doesn’t know how to deal with it. He’s scared but intrigued.

And he’s confused.

He doesn’t know if the emotions flooding him are Cameron’s or his own. He has these memories and knows that they aren’t his but he can’t help the reactions he has to them. He can’t trust his own feelings because he doesn’t know if they are a biochemical reaction to the bonding or if they are his true feelings. He just. Doesn’t. Know.

Cameron’s an enigma. The only human in the known universe to have been taken by the Faceless and returned alive. And he’s broken. Or is he? Is he a survivor and a hero? Or is he a traitor to the human race? All he will say about his time in captivity is that “the Faceless are coming and they want peace”. But do they really? Again, you just don’t know.

The bond they share, though it may just be a biochemical reaction, is so deep, so totally encompassing that it is almost too much to take. And you can’t quite tell when it turns into something more. It is so in your face but at the same time subtle, if you can make sense of that. I told you, it’s confusing as hell!

And the creep factor, my God the creep factor! I will be sleeping with the lights on tonight for sure. The Faceless are so cold, so impersonal that even though their speech and touch may be gentle you can’t help but shudder and feel the hairs rise on the back of your neck. To them, we are no more than animals to be studied or, in Cameron’s case, be kept as pets. They call humans “it” as though we are nothing more than inanimate objects. It rings of sociopath behavior with a bit of mad scientist thrown in.
“I’m not the same as him!” I said again, my eyes stinging with tears, my nose dripping. 
“We’re not all the same!”
But who can tell the difference between insects, right?
This story wasn’t a roller coaster ride. It was jumping out of an airplane without a fucking parachute. Just when you come to terms with your imminent death you realize you have wings and you soar. Then you find out the wings are just your imagination and you plummet again. Right as you’re about to hit the ground you are picked up by a mighty gust of wind and brought safely to the earth to land on your knees only to notice a shadow swiftly growing larger around you and see that it is the plane you jumped from hurtling through the air, coming to crash land right on top of you. It’s that intense.

Yet throughout all this turmoil there is a feeling of hope and comfort and happiness. And love. And that’s the kicker right there. That is what made it all worth it.

This is the first solo venture of Lisa Henry’s that I have read but it will certainly not be the last! Lisa, you are awe inspiring. You have blown me away with your words. You, dear lady, can write!

WINNER: Josephine Myles Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who checked out BMBR's interview with Josephine Myles about her new release, Merry Gentlemen, and thanks for entering the contest to win an ebook from her backlist. Congratulations to the winner!

~ vitajex ~ (with this comment)

Please contact us at contactBMBR(at)gmail(dot)com so that we can coordinate delivery of your prize. Thanks!

Review: Quietly into the Night by James Cox

The plan was simple: get in, kill the target, and get out. Things got complicated, lines were crossed, and hearts were pried open.

My name is Rylan and I’m not who you think I am. I’m never who I appear to be. I am the wind. I am the shadow that fades quietly into the night. I’m an assassin and I’m here to kill the father of the man I love.


"We need a man with your skills, your heart and your dick."

Rylan was awesome. Being inside his head might be one of my favorite places. He had me chuckling on more than one occasion with his internal dialogue and constant concern with his constant erection. Of which he had so many, he may have had cause for concern. He tries to stay on task and get the job done, but it's hard for him when he's aroused all day and can't keep his mind off all the pretty boys. Frankly, I don't blame him. I loved it when his mind was on all the pretty boys. It then caused yet another hard-on that had to be taken care of. Stat.

Let's talk about the sex. There was a lot of it, so much that this borders from erotic romance to PWP. But what I loved about this book was the variety in the scenes. It never felt redundant and I was never bored, actually I was anticipating what these guys were going to do next and what sexy toy they were going to use. There were lots of toys, lots of totally awesome toys. There was a Fuck Machine, FFS!

It's also very easy to get confused while reading a ménage scene, but I never found myself scratching my head wondering who was doing what and with whom. The ménage scenes were very well written and I could clearly picture everything that was happening. Lemme tell you, it was one great picture.

From the blurb and from what I've read from James Cox in the past, I was expecting some porn without plot. Quietly into the Night was that, but it also had a sweet romance. Which was great, as I love me some romance in my romance. But because of this, I couldn't quite get the feel of the book. I felt like it was balancing between PWP and romance. I would have preferred it was one or the other, or that it had been longer. Because this was so erotic, when it came to the love story I just couldn't buy into it. I never really felt the love between Rylan, Gold and Loxy.

Quietly into the Night was a fast-paced, action-packed adventure, with a lot of hot man lovin' sprinkled in. As usual, I bow to James Cox's ability to write fantastic sex scenes, quotable quotes and a completely entertaining read.

Copy provided by publisher via The Romance Reviews.

Sunday Funday!!!

Penis Mold Alternative Uses, or...
When to draw the line at trying to find practical ways to reuse your bachelorette party gifts.

Originally this Sunday Funday post was going to be about a movie that a number of us unicorns watched on Friday evening. Alas, the movie, a British film called Weekend, was just a little too depressing and serious for a Sunday Funday topic.

Soooo...instead here's a link to some awesome and HI-larious penis mold cakes! :D

I came across this link and just about fell over from laughing so hard. Gotta hand it to her -- some of them are pretty darn creative!

Here's a pic of the one that a few of us actually looked at and thought, "hey...that could actually work!"

If any of you try one of these creations or have an idea of your own, let us know! =)

Review: Turkey in the Snow by Amy Lane

Since Hank Calder’s four-year-old niece, Josie, came to live with him, his life has been plenty dramatic, thank you, and the last thing he needs is a swishy, flaming twinkie to complicate things. But when Justin, the daycare worker at his gym, offers to do something incredibly nice for Hank—and for Josie—Hank is forced to reconsider. Justin may be flamboyant in his speech and gestures, but his heart and kindness are as rock steady and dependable as anyone, even Hank, could ask for. Can Hank trust in his dramatic “turkey in the snow” to offer his heart the joy he and Josie have never known?

Ohmigah! This story was cute and ohmigah great!


What I mean is...I enjoyed this story! I usually shy away from Amy Lane books because I'm totally not an angst-seeker. I avoid it, to be quite frank. I've noticed, though, that I really enjoy her lighter reads, and Turkey in the Snow fits into that category.

When we first meet Hank, he's quite harried and doesn't want to bother dealing with the gym's flaming daycare worker, Justin. However, Justin's offer to do something very sweet and thoughtful soon has Hank looking at him with new eyes.

I wasn't sure if I would like Justin, honestly. He was loud and dramatic, and seeing him through Hank's eyes, Justin just wasn't someone I could see myself having the patience to deal with on an everyday basis. That said, I like how the story unfolded to show Justin's depth and Hank's ability to move past his initial prejudice. By the end, I adored Justin - ohmigah, I really did.

There's a little bit of an age gap here with Justin's just-turned-21 matched up against Hank's 26 years.  However, through actions, we see Justin's maturity and capacity for caring, especially when that caring is directed at Hank and Hank's niece, Josie. The age gap doesn't register as much of a blip other than in Hank's mind, and Justin soon dispels any doubts Hank (or the reader) might have.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this read, and it was very good for a holiday novella. The characterization was lovely and even with the small bit of angsty stuff at the end, it felt uplifting all in all. Some parts of the story were definitely glossed over, and there was a bit of a time jump that was jarring. I also would have liked a little more of seeing Hank, Justin, and Josie together after Hank and Justin become an item. However, for a holiday story that's meant to make you feel good, I thought this one did an admirable job of it. Recommended for a nice dose of holiday feelz.