Review: Rent Me by Brina Brady

Rent Boy Brennen wants to belong to his lover Dmitri Dubrovsky. The Russian mobster controls every inch of his life in and out of bed. Brennen works for Dmitri’s escort service. His only desire is to please his lover. When Dmitri marries Nika, his lover moves him out of their home to an apartment in Beverly Hills and tells him nothing has changed. What is Brennen going to do now?

This is a Gay adult consensual story focused on themes of corporal discipline punishment and explicit sex with some elements of BDSM between adult men over the age of eighteen.

I know. Psychos need love too. The best way I can describe this book really, truly is like a David Lynch film. Normally, I can get in the general vicinity of where a book is going. The only thing I could come up with here was Brennen ending up face down in a gutter with his throat cut, his skinny jeans down around his ankles and ‘Rent Me’ written across his butt cheeks. <---not what happened. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t entertained by this nutbaggery, though.  Kinda like a Lynch film in that is leaves you with a ‘Huh? WTF just happened?’ feeling afterwards.

When I read the blurb I had a Russian version of The Sopranos  in my head. Tony bending Christopher over tables and car hoods would’ve been so fucking hot, but the mafia angle wasn’t the focus. Rent Me is told entirely through Brennen. Brennen is temperamental, vain, insecure… wait, wait. Let me save all that and say it succinctly. He’s a hot mess. THIS SONG:

describes him better than anything I can say. Ever.

Ms. Brady dropped a lot of psychiatric buzz words and she did an excellent job of presenting Brennen as a product of his environment and upbringing. I understand why he is the way he is and as I said, she did an excellent job of putting the reader inside the mind of a mentally ill MC, but that doesn’t mean Rent Me was an entirely pleasant experience. I did chuckle more than once at the antics on display by all involved. Brennen is 21 going on 12 and very exhausting. I still find it ironic that the two Mafiosos are more stable than him. Not by much but still…

Dmitri and Mischa are brothers who are Russian mafia whose empire is based in LA. Brennen was taken in by them after they rescued him from a lunatic named Adrik when he was 12. The dynamic between the three of them is… weird as hell, pseudoincestual. Brennen sees them as family but he fucks Dmitri and wants him to be his Master. Both brothers frequently spank him when he acts out, just flat out smack him across the face or worse. *shakes head* Lynch film. In case you haven’t figured it out Brennen acts out All. The. Time. Particularly if Dmitri has to spend more than 5 minutes away from him with his old lady, Nika, or just 5 minutes period.
I need him to breathe. He is my everything.
Dmitri LURVES Brennen. He has plans for them to be together F.O.R.E.V.E.R. but he’s tight lipped as to how. Obviously, this calls for Brennen to respond by latching onto… well, pretty much anyone who pays attention to him for a minute or so. The next thing you know Brennen decides he’s going to give this whole girl thing a try and picks a kleptomaniac! *refer to gif #1*
I don't feel good about myself unless I have tons of people wanting me for sex.
Oh, man…

*wipes eyes*

 Christ Almighty! This thing really has to be experienced firsthand. Hop on board this crazy train, folks. I haven't even scratched the surface here. The storyline is completely nonsensical. These characters are freak shows. The situations that arise are akin to a bad acid flashback. And somehow all these whackadoodles know each other! Utter and complete weirdness.
Kink:  Mafioso + kink = not exactly SSC, maybe RACK, though I'm going with kinky fuckery and that's my final offer. The escort stuff was in the same vein-some of it was sort of hot, most of it was like a Lynch film minus the dancing dwarves. Opportunity wasted there.  

Writing:  Needs improvement. Far too much redundancy and repetition; too much emphasis on the mundane; too many descriptions of things rather than an actual plot. I couldn’t care less that Brennen carries minty toothpaste in his backpack. The dialogue is stiff as a board and much of it felt stilted. The characters all sound exactly the same. There were some continuity errors:  one cannot crawl on one’s hands and knees when one’s hands are cuffed behind one’s back without being a stellar contortionist. However, Ms. Brady did introduce me to the terms ‘boy clit’ and ‘whorebagel’. A heartfelt, Thank You for those gems.

*pets new words*

For those of you out there (and I know you are. Don’t lie) that enjoy reading about dysfunctional, codependent, abusive, possessive, irrationally jealous crazy trains that are bigoted, like to break stuff and screaming is their default conversing voice… WHOOOOOOWEEEEEEEEE! You guys just hit ALL the jackpots!

I'm going with 2 Hearts for the Lynchyness entertainment value and Brennen's characterization.

I would like to thank the author for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Unicorn Favorites: Love's Landscapes Stories : Week Six

The M/M Romance Group on Goodreads hosts a Don't Read in the Closet event each year where they invite members to submit a photo with a story prompt.  Interested authors then volunteer to write the requested stories, which are published for free for everyone to read.  It's a fun/exciting/stressful process, and a great opportunity to read stories from favorite authors.  And chances are, you'll also discover some new authors, who hopefully have a backlist of goodies to check out :)

This year's event was named Love's Landscapes and they started releasing the completed stories on June first. Here at BMBR, we've been following along on comment threads, anticipating the stories from our favorite prompts, and now greedily reading the stories as they become available.

You can read about some of our favorite stories from earlier weeks of the event here. And some of our favorites from the sixth week of the event, Jul 6-July 12, are below:

Jenni Lea: Strange Charm by A. Phallus Si

I had so much fun reading this story. It has just the right amount of adventure, excitement, silliness and fun to make this an entertaining and enjoyable read.

Well done!

Lorix: Watching Elijah Fall by Amy Spector

In amongst the stories written for the LL event you will find fantasy, contemporary, sci-fi, shifter, BDSM, comedy. There are established authers and newbie writers, authors from all corners of the globe, authors of many different races and sexual and gender identities. We have the choice between epic novels, short tales....and just about everything inbetween. The only thing all these stories have in common is the fact the MC's are both male.

I am thrilled to have the choice of so many FREE MM stories and know that whatever mood I'm in I will find something to it. Happy, sad, excited...This week among the books I read was Watching Elijah Fall and the best word I can think of describe the story is calm.

In my opinion it is a beautiful story that uses its simplicity and elegance to tell the tale of love without drama. It is a gem of a story, sweet, sincere and true. I am so thankful I've had the chance to read it. Thank you author for this calmness in my reading week.

SheReadsALot: Making it Work by Cari Z.
This prompt was quite the great one and then it went into supernova by having a ginger MC paired with a silver fox. Like seriously, call it in, genitals will be taking a definite trip to FuckYesVille: population you.

I love a lot of tropes (hate quite a bit too) but I love a good office romance story especially a great boss/secretary romance. And this story delivers the goods. Eric, executive assistant to lawyer silverfox Beau, has lusted for his boss for two years, knows the ins and out of the older man but never thought he'd be good enough because:
a) he's just an executive assistant
b) feels he's way out of Beau's league in all categories.

But life throws a curve ball with an upcoming family dinner which has thrown Eric for a loop. Let the scrambling commence. Great dialogue, realistic character portrayal, delicious slow burn and a satisfying ending without touching diabetic territory. Light, fun with a sense of realness.
“No, you don’t get to touch yourself in my car.”
“Why not?” It wasn’t a whine, it wasn’t. My voice was too deep to whine. It was more of a… whoan. Or something. I couldn’t think.
“Three reasons. One, I don’t want to get into an accident trying to keep my eyes on you. Two, if I got into an accident, or if we were pulled over for indecent exposure, the mood killing would be the least of our problems. Three,” and here it was, the tone I loved, that I could barely wait for even though I knew I wasn’t going to like what he had to say, “for the rest of the night, that’s mine. Don’t touch it.”
Oh and desk sex. Desk sex. I have a feeling I'll be rereading this story soon. Anyone who puts "whoan" in a story is someone I need to read. (My first Cari Z. - what rock have I lived under? Won't be my last).

Sunny: Where Willows Won't Grow by Lia Black

Pleasure and pain, how the two mix. It's a theme in the story, but it also describes my experience reading it. It's beautifully written, but the darker parts were painful to read.

I think Lia must have a very dark imagination. This was not an easy read, but everything that happened fit the story. Nothing felt gratuitous or over the top. For me to tolerate torture in a story is kind of amazing. And then to read about the hate for a tormenter all mixed up with a messed up love for a protector and how that impacts someone...
The psychology of it was perfectly demonstrated in a stunning fashion.  
The young warrior prince howled in triumph, yet the slave pleaded forgiveness. 
Lia's talent for writing shows in the fantastic world building and compelling characters. It was all so well done. I was firmly stuck in the story and it didn't shake off easily.

I was impressed by the variety of aliens and I liked how the author painted such a clear picture of them. I did get freaked out by some of the alien sex, though. Freaked out by what happened, and by my reaction to it; it left me cringing and turned on at the same time. Later, though, I only cringed. Illythe touched my heart, and then put it through a shredder. His despair, desperation, cautious all just stomped all over my poor little heart.

Blog Tour: Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder.

Author’s Note about Complementary Colors charity donation:

Mental illness affects people of all ages, races, religions, and financial status. And millions of those people will die because the only way they think they can escape the pain is to take their own life. Many victims of suicide are Veterans and those in the LGBT community.

Because so many people can benefit from having resources in a time of crisis, a minimum of 10% of sales from each book will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. With every thousand copies sold I will add an additional 1% until I reach 25% of all monies made.

This donation will be done in the memory of all those who have been lost to suicide.

Complementary Colors
By Adrienne Wilder
Erotic romantic suspense (m/m)
My sister Julia manipulated my life into a prison to keep me silent about our dirty family secret. Her greed made me a slave and circumstance left me with no way to escape.

Trapped, the only way I could silence the nightmares driving me to insanity was to wrap them in color, hold them with shadow, and stitch them to negative space with line.

But no matter how bright the pigments, no one could see my confession.

Except for Roy Callahan.

I thought he was just another nameless one-night stand in a long line of many.
But I was wrong. Roy could see past the fa├žade of my life and through the veil color over the canvas. He could see what the world couldn’t.

With him I’d find the courage to tell the truth about the boy.

The boy who kissed me.
The boy who loved me.
The boy whose name I couldn’t remember.

 About the Author:
City of Dragons Portfolio (this site has images of gay sex)
Georgia bred and born, Adrienne Wilder spent most of her childhood exploring fantastical worlds hidden in her own back yard among tall grass, and shadowed kudzu tunnels. When she was not dragon hunting, she spent most of her time, reading, writing, drawing, and digging holes.

Currently Adrienne lives in Dahlonega, GA where she shares her home with a variety of dogs and one cat. She still spends most of her time, reading, writing, drawing, and digging holes. Although now she calls the reading "research," the drawing "artwork", the writing "books," and the holes "ponds" and "gardens".

If you prefer the links:

There is a giveaway that will be available throughout all blog tour stops. Adrienne is giving away 10 ecopies of  Complementary Colors!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Anything But Everything & Five More Gay Erotic Stories by J. Phillip Elwes

Anything But Everything & Five More Gay Erotic Stories is six short stories about men lusting for and loving other men.

Here you will read about college fraternity bothers, a mechanic, police detectives, a former boxing champ, a famous photographer and others in such varied locales as San Francisco, a Colorado ranch, a ski resort and a small town in Oklahoma.

Two of these stories were previously published on a gay website and in anthologies.

Erotica done right.

Yep, that is exactly what this is, erotica done right. I could stop right here, because that really does say it all, but I didn’t because then my fellow unicorns would know what a slacker I am. Besides I really want to talk about these stories. These aren’t stories of hearts and flowers but that doesn’t mean they aren’t romantic. They are masculinized romance and have the unapologetic edge that making them more deliciously filthy than your typical MM love story. What makes these better though, is that they also have fully fleshed out characters and an actual story to go with the sex.

The author really nails the friends to lovers theme and those stories were by far my favorites. These are short stories, so you can’t assume you are going to get much backstory so when the author says they are best friends he needs to put something out there to make me feel it too. And Elwes really does. He puts just the right anecdotal glimpses in there and I can really believe that these guys are that close. Knowing and feeling that makes the sexy times just that much sexier. Because, while the sex is HAWT, the sex with the connection is HAWT x infinity.

While the average I have for these is 4 hearts, I threw in an extra half a heart for the sheer enjoyability of it all!

Brother North Star – 4 Hearts

Frustrated friends to lovers story about Mitch and Nathan, frat brothers who have been best friends since they met. Mitch has been pining for Nathan since the initiation ceremony at the frat house and the attraction is most definitely mutual. Poor Mitch can’t understand why Nathan isn’t willing to fool around, when his dick is just as interested as Mitch’s. What you think is just cock tease torture turns out to be incredibly sweet and romantic and I went “awwwww” at THE moment. The UST is high in this one and the payoff is well worth it at the end. Add the fact that the two look very much alike in every way and the visual is VERY appealing.

So, UST, hot look-alike frat boys, friends to lovers, romance and an HEA – yes please Brother North Star, you win!

Glass Pond – 3 Hearts

Big city web designer Tom Rally comes back home to small town Oklahoma after he and his boyfriend of 20 years split up. Riding his horse one day he comes across Kevin Adler, 20 years or so his junior skinny dipping. The lust pours both ways and Tom is aroused and curious while Kevin is aroused and a little cautious. It turns out Kevin has seen Tom working out in his backyard naked on numerous occasions and the two come to a jokingly awkward agreement that Kevin owes Tom moments of Kevin being naked in front of Tom to “even things up”. Actually, the awkward was what I really liked about this story. It really leant an added air of tension to their meetings that was sexy as hell. It was just a little too short though to get fully invested and that was too bad because I liked what little I knew about both of them. It felt more like a taste of what could be. They did end with saying they would see each other more, so I would say it ended with a cautious HFN. But, both walked away happy which given the time and circumstances that are here read realistically.

Stakeout – 4.5 Hearts

Partners on a stakeout, Mac and Andrews are best friends and with the story being told from Andrew's point of view, we know he’s been lusting after Mac for a long time. Mac throws enough little clues out there that it’s pretty safe to assume he feels the same. But, they are subtle enough, and Mac is a bit of a joker, so they could be laughed off easily instead of acted on. Thankfully Mac takes the reins as he is one horny bastard and asks Andrews how many times he jacks off a day and that hot conversation opens the door.

When thinking about their time in the car and the jack off conversation, Andrews has to take his boner to the bathroom to deal with it and asks his reflection, “How do you tell your partner you’re jerking off night and day thinking about them?” And doesn’t that simple question lead to some good times? The bathroom interlude was hot as all hell, especially the condom part and if cops and friends to lovers is your thing, this story was written especially for you. Note – a little smoochin’ would have bumped this story up another notch for me.

Hat Trick – 5 Hearts

Well, if this wasn’t every gay young man’s fantasy growing up, it is definitely in the top 5. Remember what I said in Stakeout about how well the author writes friends to lovers and connections? That continues on in spades for this one.

Country boys Pete, Charlie, George and our narrator (whose name I couldn’t find, it’s told from his POV and I didn’t even really notice until the end and I started writing this). A quick look-see back through and I didn’t catch it, but to be fair, I got distracted by the hat again :D. Anyhow, these guys are heading to an abandoned cabin by a lake for some get away time and skinny dipping. Our narrator and Pete have been best friends forever and the anecdote that describes how their relationship has already moved beyond friendship is 5-heart worthy alone. Seriously, then tension, the admissions, the affection and the lust were good, damn good. Damn, damn good. When the guys are driven into the cabin by a thunderstorm, naked and sporting the inevitable young man boners, you can pretty much guess where this is heading and you will NOT be disappointed.

What follows is funny, sexy, slightly awkward (in a good way) and really pretty sweet. Is it pretty convenient that all these guys are into it? Probably. Do I care? NO!

The First of the Month – 4 Hearts

This one started out a little funky. And by funky, I mean, post workout, sweaty jock funky. So, I had a brief “ewwwww” moment, but quickly got past it as the story progressed. These guys are athletes and a sweaty jock or two is part of their every day, plus Jason really dug on it, so embrace your kink and roll with it. I really liked how this one was told, from present day, to a shared memory, to a flashback and then back to present day. It sounds like it may be a little confusing for a short story, but the author is really good at telling a non-linear tale without losing the reader along the way. The office scene was quick, but damn steamy and I was a big fan. I also appreciated the sweet factor in this one a lot. When a deliciously filthy and sexy story can give you a “D’awwwww” moment as well, you’ve got a winner.

Anything But Everything – 3.5 Hearts

This one was . . . the most unique of the offerings here. The way Ted and Jack meet and connect is definitely different and while their “meet-cute” may not be everybody’s idea of a romantic interlude it sure did work for these two cats. It’s a good thing they found each other, Ted is an erotic photographer and Jack is perpetually horny, so they are perfect together. The meeting on the bridge was actually quite sweet even though I couldn’t help but feel bad for Liam. He needs his own short story of love and lust too! While the meeting on the bridge was sweet, the sex in Jack’s room was HOT and I highly approve of this couple staying together.

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

Author Visit & giveaway - RJ Scott

For our second visit from RJ Scott we let her throw open the questions to her fans. In her Facebook group she asked if anyone had something they would like to know the answer to regarding either her writing process or her books, questions came flooding in so for this post it's over to the fans...

Jase Glines asked: I'd love to know if you'll be writing more YA books. And will you write a full length "How Much" book.
I do have plans for a YA book, in fact book 4 in my LOVE … series. Hopefully this year… J
How Much For The Whole Night, a free short story, will be extended to a full  novel and will be available early 2015… J

LeeAnn Pratt asked: “I want to know where the ideas come from, do your characters fight for whose book gets done next and do they ever wake you up in the middle of the night so you can tell their stories.” Maria BlackHeart Flores asked:  ”How do you come up with so many Ideas and turn them into Books? Which I am Grateful For!” Sam Higson asked: “Where do your plot bunnies come from usually? Things you see day to day? TV? Or do you see a person and think - he has a story etc?”
I wish I could tell you where my ideas come from. Pictures, TV, songs, memories, films… you name it and it could inspire a story. When people ask me (usually in shock) about where the hell do I get all my stories from, I bet I feel the same as any author, that they just *ARE*. I often say I don’t understand why other people don’t have constant stories in their heads. So I guess authors are just wired that way. I don’t wake up in the middle of the night with ideas, I sleep too heavy, but I do have awesome dreams and I often recall them in great detail.

Elin Gregory asked: “Is there any genre you’d love to tackle, ditto one you’d avoid like a rattlesnake?”
You couldn’t get me writing historical if you tried. I would be crap at it. I leave that to the experts! I’d love to write another Sci-Fi book and I have so many ideas. In fact SA Meade and I are chatting about a possible apocalyptic story… watch this space.

Myssie Barnes-Nunn asked: “What were people’s reactions when you told them you were going to first write M/M romance? Positive? Negative? WTF?”
I wrote two *episodes* of Sanctuary, a fan fiction story (which incidentally inspired my whole Sanctuary series) and I had people telling me they enjoyed it. Well, I decided then, let’s be honest about it with hubby. He was very laid back, and was pleased people enjoyed my writing.
Yes, I have had people ask me when I was going to write *normal books* but I think I am writing bloody normal books and I just mutter under my breath… ROFL… I have had a combination of WTF and negative, but all has been outweighed by positive.
And hey, I’m a full time writer, so I get to show them that doing what you love can make you successful.

Miranda McIntosh asked: “How long does it take for you to write a book and how much research do you put into each one?” Steven Oxley asked: “How much research do you do for scenery? I've seen your posts about story boards with pictures, maps, and other stuff. How do you come up with all that?”
I research deeply for a lot of my books. I draw maps of the towns, and houses, and I pull together art and pictures for my characters. I am lucky in that being self-published for a lot of my work, I ask Meredith to create art before I write the book, so that is another part of my research. When I create maps it is so if my guy comes out of his house and turns left he always ends up at the diner, and so on. Consistency is good and allows a reader to relax into the story.

Lizzie Lane said: “Lowering the tone - but asking what everyone else wants to ....How hard is it to get your men to move on with the plot? Instead of leaping in to bed at every opportunity!”
ROFL. Anyone who reads RJ Scott will know I don’t add in sex for the sake of it, and the sex when it does happen has absolute meaning and is integral to the plot. If my boys wanted to do it quicker then I am  not writing them right… ROFL

Tracy Gee asked: “Do your characters talk to you while you are writing?”
Talk to me. Yeah, I guess they do. They want the story to go one way but I won’t let them unless it works… rofl… When I was writing a book for DSP recently the character worked in first person, I don’t know if that was the character talking to me but I sure listened.

Nic Starr asked: How many stories do you have on the go at once and do you give them all equal attention or find one takes most of your focus?
At this very moment I am writing Last Marine Standing, that is my focus and I wont move from that on my own books until it is done. However I am also working on co-authored projects with Meredith Russell, Amber Kell and Chris Quinton.

So there we have it, our second post interrogating interviewing RJ Scott. To be in with a chance of winning some goodies from this author pop back on the 20thJuly - when we will be questioning you to see how closely you paid attention. Three lucky entrants will win. $10 book vouchers for one first place winner and a book each for two runner up places.

Please note winners will be picked randomly from those who correctly answered the most questions.

Review: Every Inferno by Johanna Parkhurst

Depressed. Defiant. Possible alcoholic. These are just a few of the terms used to describe fifteen-year-old Jacob Jasper Jones. Lately, though, JJ has a new one to add to the list: detective. He’s been having strange dreams about the fire that killed his parents ten years ago, and he thinks he finally has the clue to catching the arsonist who destroyed his family.

A murder investigation isn’t the only thing the dreams trigger for JJ. They also lead to secret meetings with his estranged sister, an unlikely connection with a doctor who lost his daughter in the fire, and a confusing friendship with McKinley, a classmate of JJ’s who seems determined to help him solve the mystery.

All JJ wants is to shake the problems that have followed him since that fire, and he’s convinced he must catch the arsonist to do it. But as JJ struggles to find the culprit, he sees there’s more than one mystery in his life he needs to solve.

Earlier in the year I read Here's to You, Zeb Pike by Johanna Parkhurst and I really enjoyed it, so when a request came in to the blog for her new novel, Every Inferno, I jumped at the chance to read and review it. I was not disappointed.

Every Inferno is a YA novel and it is YA, not NA with younger characters. It follows the character of JJ in his fifteenth year. As a five year old JJ was involved in a fire that killed his parents, a fire of which the arsonist has never been found. The fire has defined JJ's life so far - he has been separated from his sister because of it, he drinks to block out memories of it, he feels he is always failing the parents he never really got to know - and he blames himself for their deaths.

His English writing class at school is the one place he feels happy, though he refuses to share his stuff with the class. McKinley is the popular , out, high school student who is hired to coach JJ's sister, the sister her adoptive mother has banned him from seeing. Events work out so that McKinley and JJ end up spending time together.

Through his friendship with McKinley and Dr Ben (the man who pulled him from the fire many years before) JJ starts to pull his life together. Through the course of the story we follow JJ as he investigates the fire and tries to find the arsonist who took his family for him. We watch him realise his growing feelings for McKinley are more than those of just a friend. And we see his journey through the years.

This book is so good. If you like YA then Johanna Parkhurst is a great - no FABULOUS - author to read. It's the kind of book (and I've said this before) that shouldn't be stuck away in the MM genre, it should be on YA shelves alongside Judy Blume, John Green, Stephen Chobsky and the such like. I love her characters, the hurt and defiance of JJ is so real. All the characters are real, even Dr Ben and Aunt Maggie 'the good guys', they are fully rounded people not carbon copy good.

The mystery storyline was capturing and I loved how the various relationships in JJ's life were dealt with - particularly the developing friends to more relationship with McKinley. I just loved this book, I couldn't put it down and know that Johanna Parkhurst is most definitely an author I'm keeping my eye on. I can't wait to read her next release.

Every Inferno is available to buy from July 24th 2014

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Review. (In)visible by Anyta Sunday.

Rune: Invisible
Scott: The only one who sees him . . .

A lonely boy falls in love with his closest and invisible friend.
A story about two boys struggling to be seen in each their own ways - and about friendship and love.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this story, it sounded a bit ...quirky. But I quite like quirky and I REALLY like Anyta Sunday, she's one of my all time favourite authors. So I opened it up and started reading and fell in love with this story.

We first meet Scott and Rune in their early teens when Scott and his dog save Rune from the suicide he was contemplating. By a quirk of...nature?...of something, we never really know what, Rune is invisible though animals can see him, so he is completely shocked when Scott speaks to him. Scott can see him, one lone person in the world who can.

Rune spends his time moving from place to place. He lives in abandoned buildings and uses an exchange system to get food without troubling his conscience, life is lonely and uncomfortable and he harbours a secret that hurts him to the core. He tells Scott straight away that he his invisible a fact that is easily proved when nobody else can see him but Scott. Living on a farm away from most people can be a bit lonely and Scott delights in having a friend and invites him to stay. Over the course of the summer the friendship grows, though Rune seems ready to go at the drop of a hat.

As well as friendship other feelings are slowly, slowly developing. Everything seems so idyllic - Scott even quite likes the fact that he alone can see Rune. Scott has a fabulous birthday and Rune promises him a wonderful day the next day...then disaster strikes and the two lose touch with each other. The second part of the story takes place four years down the line and after years of searching Scott finally finds Rune again.

Of course the road is never going to be completely smooth and each with their own secrets and burdens they have to learn to trust each other again. As ever Sunday's characters' and story telling are beautiful. There is a lot we didn't find out about Rune - but there at the time of reading we didn't need to know it. It wasn't relevant to the story being told - it just was.

I love her unconventional stories possibly even more than her contemporary tales. I mean this is contemporary in setting but has an almost whimsical, timeless quality to it. I would be reluctant to label it as fantasy though it certainly has fantastical elements to it. The setting - as beautiful as it was, especially the farm - is almost, almost, irrelevant to the story. It truly is a story of the interactions between the two MC's and the effect they have on each others lives. It is a story of the importance of others in our lives. It is a story of sacrifice. But most importantly it is a story about love. And love it I did.

Blog Tour: R.J. Scott Author Visit

Today we want to welcome author RJ Scott to the blog. RJ was our second author of the month here at BMBR and we enjoyed Unicornising her and chatting about The Christmas Throwaway ...but we wanted to get to know her even better. The enigma who is British but writes (mostly) American MC's and who writes across the sub-genres of contemporary, sci-fi and fantasy is popping in twice this month answering questions.And, then, on a third occasion, for a $10 first prize and a book each for two second place winners, we'll be quizzing you to see how closely you've paid attention.....

On the 17th July she'll be under the spotlight from her facebook fans, but today we are putting the spotlight on RJ.

So RJ, now you're comfy in our pillow nest let's get to it....

BMBR: If you had to pick one couple and one series of yours as a favourite - who and what would you chose and why? (I know that question is mean!!) 
RJ: When I go back to Texas and to Jack and Riley I am lost in their world. I choose Jack because he is a gruff cowboy with a soft heart who is so connected to his family. I choose Riley because he is the bad boy made good who needs Jack to ground him but who loves so much. Texas (along with Throwaway) are the two things people seem to associate with RJ Scott. I have so much love for my Texas boys.

BMBR: You write a wide range of books across a number of sub-genre's, do you have a preferred sub-genre to write in? 
RJ: Contemporary, modern, now…  but it’s a difficult choice between family stories (Texas, Back Home, Ellery etc) and my adventure stories (Sanctuary, Heroes, Bodyguards)

BMBR: How do you decide what book is coming next? Especially when you have several series on the go? 
RJ: I am led by what story is calling to me. Last year (2012) I was in a knee jerk reaction to the whole thing that went down with Silver and I was getting out stories on a schedule. That just led me to complete burn out where I lost November, December and most of January. I’m not making that mistake again. I know that by the end of this year I want to have written Texas 6, Heroes 2 and Bodyguards Inc 3. The order is how I feel the stories. I have decided on the following order, Heroes, Texas, Bodyguard… that feels comfortable for me.

BMBR: Morning or evening?  RJ: Morning
BMBR: Desert or main? RJ: Main
BMBR: Dark or light? RJ: Dark
BMBR: Sterek or Destiel? (Hey, we need some serious questions in here!! RJ: Sterek… OMG… Destiel just no! I WAS a huge SPN fan HUGE… but the angels, Castiel, all that stuff ruined it for me. I wanted the brothers on the road, not all the Destiel stuff… mutters… Sterek is kind of cool… :)
BMBR:  Spotted dick or knickerbocker glory? RJ: Knickerbocker Glory FTW
BMBR:Winter or Summer? RJ: Winter
BMBR:  Tea or coffee? RJ: Tea (fact: I don’t drink Coffee… ever… it’s is the devil’s brew… ewwwwww)
BMBR:  Bros, Take That or NKOTB? RJ: OMG Take That every time… Bros was flash in the pan, and I’m English so NKOTB was like a whole continent away…
BMBR: Complete the sentence...."Outside the wind blows and the rain falls. Lights flicker on and off in the intermittent power and a fire roars in the fireplace. As the rain pelts the window panes RJ is......" 
RJ: Cuddled up on the sofa with hubby and book… and preferably a cup of tea and a packet of digestives (or rich tea!)

(BMBR: *In this rain I could just fancy a cuppa and a rich tea*)

BMBR: You have a seriously impressive number of books under your belt. How long have you been writing? 
RJ: My first published work, was a short story in a DSP antho, which I think came out early 2010. My first novel was Oracle, which came out August 2010. So, yeah, four years nearly.

BMBR: So many different sun-genres; contemporary, cops, supernatural, country....Which series of books has been hardest to write? 
RJ: Supernatural Bounty Hunters, with eXtasy… that was one complicated world I created. I can’t seem to keep anything simple… ROFL…

BMBR: I was genuinely surprised when I found out you didn't live in the USA. Is there a particular reason you set your books in America when you are English? 
RJ: I first wrote fan fiction. In fact I wrote a million words in the J2 (Jared/Jensen RPF) world. I was pulled into a fan fiction world where we wrote American, my characters were American, and it never stopped. Also, 70% of my market is based in the US. I do write stories based in the UK (Gallows Tree, Bodyguards) but I write in US English. Yes, this does mean that sometimes things slip through in error, not so much losing the *U’s* or missing an *ize* but in the way a character may speak. This is why I have the wonderful Erika Orrick as my editor. She is American and stops me looking too stupid.

BMBR: What books do you like to read when you have time to kick back and relax? What is your desert island five? 
RJ: I love my genre, MM. I have a list of autobuy authors. Of course my friends are in there, Meredith Russell, Chris Quinton, Sue Brown, SA Meade, Amber Kell… BUT… outside of them, these are my faves… 
Garrett Leigh
Jordan L Hawk
Eli Easton
Marie Sexton
Josephine Myles and JL Merrow (because I wanted to put down 6 so I decided to cheat)

BMBR: What has been the high point of your writing career?
RJ: Christmas Throwaway getting bestselling book at ARe. Getting to number 1 at Amazon with some of my books. Every time I receive an email from a reader telling me they enjoy my books. Every time I get a new piece of cover art. Becoming a full time author in 2011.

Aaaaaaand breathe.....

Wow, thanks RJ. See you on Thursday for some more interrogating...this time by your facebook fans. Of course, we couldn't let RJ leave without a reminder of her Uni persona, Violet Dapple Foal.

Review: Catch My Breath by M.J. O'Shea

Danny Bright was born to entertain. He just needs his big break. So when he hears that Blue Horizon Records is holding auditions looking for the next big thing, Danny jumps at the chance. It doesn’t turn out exactly as he imagined, though. Instead of getting solo contracts, Danny and four other guys are put into a boy band.

Innocent, idealistic Elliot Price thinks he’s headed for college. An impulsive decision to sing in the local talent search changes all that. A bigwig producer happens to see him, hands him a business card, and turns Elliot’s life upside down.

Elliot and Danny are close from the beginning. They love all the guys, but it’s different with each other. Soon their friendship turns into feelings more intense than either of them can ignore. The other three boys only want Danny and Elliot to be happy, but when their management team and record label discover two of their biggest tween heartthrobs are in a relationship, they’re less than pleased. Danny and Elliot find themselves in the middle of a circle of lies and cover-ups, all with one bottom line—money. They have to stay strong and stick together if they don’t want to lose themselves… and each other.


Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor.

Gah. So cute. I basically swooned more than is deemed socially acceptable. I swear I had to continuously set down the kindle so I could sigh and squee. I can't even. I can't with all the cute. 
There was a band.
There was a TV show.
There were other hot and fun dudes in the band.
There were asshole record deal people.
There was stuff other than Elliot and Danny.

But I didn't even care about all the stuff that was "other".

All this grown woman cared about was #Delly.

Elliot and Danny. Their meeting, their friendship... perfect. They were all about each other from the beginning and I was all about them. They could feel it and I could feel it, right from the start.
They had such a connection and, like Elliot said, even if it weren't for the band they would have found each other and been together. *swoon* Just their friendship alone was adorable and endearing. Then came their touches. Oh, their sly and constant touches. Ugh. They were so hot and they hadn't even done anything yet. And then their kisses. Oh, the kisses. So sweet and so sexy. *dies* I love them so much that I could have seriously read 350 pages of them just being adorable. #TeamDelly

But then The Conflict came along. I could see it coming from about 4.76 million miles away. Give or take. I knew it was coming, I've read it many times before and I was okay with it. I was devastated but good with where the story was headed. But then the angst kept going and going and going. I think if the last 50% was about 100 pages shorter, with some of the angst cut out, the whole ordeal would have been just as effective, if not more.

Regardless, Catch My Breath was ridiculously enjoyable with a couple of the most completely likeable and endearing characters I've read about. I absolutely adored all the adorableness out of this book.


Review: Road of No Return (Sex & Mayhem #1) by K.A. Merikan

--- Don't talk to strangers. ---

Zak. Tattoo artist. Independent. Doesn’t do relationships.
Stitch. Outlaw biker. Deep in the closet. Doesn’t share his property.

On the day of Stitch’s divorce, lust personified enters the biker bar he’s celebrating at. Tattooed all over, pierced, confident, and hot as hellfire, Zak is the bone Stitch has waited for life to throw him. All Stitch wants is a sniff, a taste, a lick. What follows instead is gluttony of the most carnal sort, and nothing will ever be the same. Forced to hide his new love affair from the whole world, Stitch juggles family, club life, and crime, but it’s only a matter of time until it becomes too hard.

Zak moves to Lake Valley in search of peace and quiet, but when he puts his hand into the jaws of a Hound of Valhalla, life gets all but simple. In order to be with Stitch, Zak’s biker wet dream, he has to crawl right back into the closet. As heated as the relationship is, the secrets, the hiding, the violence, jealousy, and conservative attitudes in the town rub Zak in all the wrong ways. When pretending he doesn't know what his man does becomes impossible, Zak needs to decide if life with an outlaw biker is really what he wants.

As club life and the love affair collide, all that’s left in Zak and Stitch’s life is mayhem.

WARNING Contains adult content: a gritty storyline, sex, explicit language, violence and torture


Themes: Outlaw Motorcycle Club, organized crime, homophobia, family issues, coming out, first gay relationship, tattoo, piercing

Genre: contemporary homoerotic romance

Length: ~ 100,000 words (Standalone novel, no cliffhanger.)


What a kick-ass ride!

When I first heard of this book and read the blurb my exact words were “OHMYGAWD I WANNA READ THAT SOOOOOO BAD!!!!!!!!”  It looked to have everything I could ever want in a book.  Bikers, tattoos, piercings, bikers, sex, bikers, bad boys, bikers, did I mention bikers?  When I got an ARC I thought I was gonna pee myself I was so excited.  I was a bit nervous too as I hoped I didn’t get myself so worked up just to be disappointed.

Well, let me just tell you; it was everything I hoped it would be and more.

It was dirty and ugly and violent and rough and raw.  And just fucking gorgeous.

Stitch is a rough and tumble member of the Hounds of Valhalla, the local motorcycle club.  He’s tough and brash with a “take no prisoners” type of mentality.  And he’s also got a secret that can never get out or his life may possibly be forfeit.  You see, life in a motorcycle club does not allow one room to be gay.  So he just goes on pretending to be straight and tries to push his urges to the back of his mind and not act upon them.  That is, until he’s sitting at the bar celebrating the day his divorce is final and in walks sex on legs.  Or Zak, if you want to be specific.

Zak, mmm… Zak.  Zak is a tattoo artist who has just moved to town and set up shop in his home.  He’s pretty much covered in tattoos and piercings from head to toe.  That right there was a guarantee that I was going to love him.  It flips all my switches and hits all my buttons when a character has tattoos AND piercings.  Especially the nipple piercings… mmm… but I digress.

Their first encounter totally captured what I imagine it must really be like for a man who’s never been with another man.  Stitch tries to treat Zak like he’s treated the women he’s been with; calling him ‘baby’ and going the caveman route, trying to own him.
“Lets fuck the chit-chat.  You want to suck me, don’t you?”
He’s not misogynistic; it’s more that he’s ignorant.  This is the only way he’s ever known how to be when he’s with a lover.  But Zak’s not having it and reminds Stitch that he’s with a man and demands to be treated as such.  It surprises Stitch and he’s not sure how to react at first.  There’re a few stops and starts and it is uncomfortable and awkward at times but that just made it all the more real to me.

At first it may seem as if their “relationship” is toxic but as the story progresses it turns out these men are made for each other.  What they each bring to the table complements the other.  Oh, Stitch may resist but he can’t ignore the fact that Zak is what he needs.  Because Zak...
Made him remember he was still human, not a man whose muscles were made out of violence and bones out of fury.
This book is dark.  There is no fluff to be found here.  What these men had to endure throughout the course of this book was heart wrenching and horrific.  There was even a moment where a full body stop, along with a HOLY FUCK!, was required.  It’s not pretty.  Yet I was still left with a sense of relief by the end.  I do wish we had just a little bit more at the end.  It was a bit abrupt.  But what there was of it was satisfying.

Do I think this book was awesome?  Fuck yes!  Do I think it will be for everyone?  Definitely not.  But for those who enjoy a dark, brutal realistic read, this is the one to pick.  I was captivated throughout the entire story.  I was barely able to put it down because I just had to know what happens next.  

Bravo, K.A. Merikan.  You now have a loyal fan in me.

ARC provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.