Review: The Rainbow Connection - Vol. 1 by BJ Sheppard

Living a care-free party life-style, junior journalist and gay lifestyle reporter, Liam Adams thought he had it all; the money, the job, the endless supply of men in his bed. But when his work causes him to question the very foundation of the life he has built for himself, Liam finds certain areas are glaringly lacking. All it takes is one assignment to unravel the very fabric of his promiscuous antics, compounded by the arrival of a long-forgotten tryst. With the rusty screech of the mailroom guy’s trolley wheels, Liam lands head-first in the arms of something bigger; something more.

As the romance burgeons between Liam and the Mail-Manny of his dreams, each article he writes proves to uncover something new and never realized about himself, namely that all the one-night-stands in the world could never give him what he truly wants; love. In a slapstick commentary through the eyes of the world’s most hypersensitive journalist, watch as Liam’s story unfolds in the most ridiculous of fashions, leading him straight into the arms of love, via The Rainbow Connection.

I . Loved. This. Story. So much. It’s a quick read, full of snark, humor and ends with super hot sexy time. Liam’s voice is pretty much my favorite thing and his inner musings had me chuckling out loud and cringing (in a funny, ha-ha, ewwww) way repeatedly. And while he’s hilarious, he’s also brave enough to tackle the questions about the fans of MM romance. Why are they mostly woman and why does that even work? The author did an AMAZING job of getting the ideas and personalities together of MM fans in general. It was sweet, smart and thoughtful never pandering or patronizing.

Liam is questioning his ideals and the path his life is on while he is tasked to write an article for the Rainbow Connection. His research has consisted of cruising online porn to an endless stream of writes and rewrites and nothing is working for him. His struggles with his article (and his newly discovered wants) are punctuated by his colorful coworkers and his commentary on them is priceless.

Then Liam finally finds his path and admits that his life is missing an important thing or two and the words start to flow. He learns about more than just the MM fandom, he also learns about himself and he sees it’s ok to want more than what he has gotten use to settling for.

“I wanted to cry that male-male romance writers had stolen my happily ever after, that I never knew I wanted but now could not stop thinking about. I wanted, in all honesty though it is embarrassing to admit, to ask if anyone in the office thought they could love me (*note to self: desperation is a home shopping channel fleece covered in picture of wolves that is in no way a good look for you).”

I love enlightened Liam.

I also love slightly buzzed Liam and Liam under deadline pressure with “more caffeine in his bloodstream than humanly possible”. There are more parts to this story and I can’t wait to read them. This one ends with an incredibly steamy (and hopeful) HFN. Nothing may come of this particular encounter, but dammit I hope it does. At least Liam leaves us at the end of Volume 1 satiated and with a hopeful and completely amused heart.

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

For more information on Goodreads!

Review: Christmas in His Heart by Haven Fellows and Lee Brazil

Christmastime brings joy to hearts everywhere. Between snow angels, festive clothing, holiday decorations, and of course, all the beautiful lights, it’s hard not to partake in the season.

Unless you no longer have Christmas in your heart.

Dermot Alasdair has never shared the horrific memories that keep him from celebrating the happiest time of the year, nor does he ever plan to. He’s fine being alone and shut off from everyone; he has his restaurant and that’s all he needs. He believes that, too…until the craft store next door from his eatery hires a perpetually smiling annoyance. Really, it isn’t normal for someone to be that happy all the time.

Xander Leahman didn’t know what he was getting into when he accepted an invitation to visit his best friend and help her interview people for the newly created position of manager at Craft Time. When a surly man bumps into him and then walks away with an enticing sway to his hips, Xander decides the position—and Dermot—are perfect for him. Now all he can think of is finding ways to get Dermot out of his clothes. Well that, and how to open this grinch’s heart to the Christmas season and, hopefully, love.

Who wants Christmas to be over? Not this Unicorn! I read the Jingle Jizz all year long and I loved this story about a surly (and kinda broken) Chef and an overgrown Elf-man who is completely charming and who I feel completely in love with. Yes, you Xander, you cheekly little minx.

Christmas in His Heart is written in a dual POV style and while I know that isn’t always everyone’s thing, or easy to pull off, it totally worked here for me and I’m so glad it was written this way. Xander’s brain is too amazing not to be a part of and Dermot would have come across as a totally unsympathetic ass hat if I hadn’t been able to get a gander at his inner musings and turmoil.

Ok, let’s talk about Xander some more. He’s charming as all hell and confident without being cocky. I couldn’t help but be drawn to him and his positive and really funny nature. His thoughts seem to head in the “stream of consciousness” direction that can be either too much and annoying or adorable. This was adorable. He’s completely smitten with the chef from the neighborhood and he’s made it his mission to make the grumpy man smile just for him. He starts by bringing Dermot coffee in a ridiculous Christmas mug. This is at 5% and from whence I fall for Xander;

Oh brother, did he suddenly feel like an obsessed teenager again – he’s touching my mug. He couldn’t help it though, ever since he came to Parkerburg the tall, dark, and gorgeous restaurant owner had caught his eye. What Xander wouldn’t do to be the reason behind a full-blown thousand watt smile on that man’s face.

D’awwwww. Remember those moments? When your crush touched or held some insignificant object of yours and suddenly it mattered way more than it should? And all he wants to do is make Dermot smile. How stinkin’ sweet is that? Basically it was two of my favorite things in one paragraph. A simple little moment and one character’s desire to just make another happy. There is nothing sexier on a man than a real smile, so this totally worked for me.

But Dermot has tragedy in his past and it weighs on him heavily. I appreciated how the authors gave enough hints and snippets so that you knew what happened without it turning into an overdramatic mystery. The event was horrible enough, so extra drama wasn’t necessary and it wouldn’t have gone with Dermot’s personality. So, there was some angst but it wasn’t overdone and getting to see into Dermot’s head made his thought processes clear and understandable.

Dermot isn’t a real chatty guy but as the two got to know each other I could see why Xander was so attracted to Dermot and how the two of them complemented one another perfectly. It did take a little time to get to the chatting as the sexual tension was a little too overwhelming to ignore for something as banal as conversation, but I did get their connection. As much as Xander wants to make Dermot smile, Dermot wants to feed Xander. “Food is love” to him and watching Xander enjoy one of his creations is food porn for Dermot and it was really sweet to read this stoic professional get all gooey watching his new love swoon over his culinary skills.

Then, the incident happens and just as these two guys are coming together, they fall apart. They’ve come to an understanding about Dermot’s aversion to Christmas and even though Xander doesn’t know all the details he’s cool with it. He isn’t going to let one day of the year get in the way of an HEA. But, they still haven’t had the all-important confessional conversation yet so misunderstandings and overreactions happened.

The action and conversations during were a little choppy for me and while I knew what was happening the comments by Shawna (Xander’s BFF) seemed a little out of place for the moment and I get why they needed to be somewhere, it just didn’t seem like the time given what was going on. I kind of expected Dermot to be a little more freaked at that moment so it read a little odd to me.

Thankfully Xander and Dermot acted like grown-ups and owned their own fuck ups. I was glad the break up didn’t drag on too long and while Dermot’s revelation was a smidge rushed I was ok with it since I liked these two together so much. The epilogue was perfect and I was happy to read that Xander finally shared his kitchen fantasy with Dermot and Dermot was happy to oblige, within reason of course, health codes exist for a reason after all. I would highly recommend adding this one to your Merry Jizzmas reading list and keep the holiday spirit all year long!

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**
For More Info on Christmas in His Heart, check it out on Goodreads!

Review: Teach Me by Sloan Johnson

Two words stripped Austin Pritchard of the privileged life he’s used to. The moment he uttered the words, “I’m gay,” he realized there is no such thing as unconditional love. Now, he’s gone from traveling the world with his family to living on the streets trying to figure out how he’s going to stay in school.

A chance opportunity changes everything. Austin impresses the foreman and lands a job, but even more, he catches the eye of David Becker, who is determined to teach him that true love doesn’t come with strings.

The only thing David had as a child was love. His family struggled to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. That has driven him to stay focused on his goals; become a tenured professor at a university and save enough money to build a home of his own. It’s not until he sees an insecure college student working on his new house that he realizes that he hasn’t planned on someone to share his life with. He’s about to learn that everything he’s already accomplished is nothing compared to the task of making Austin see that he is worthy of love.

Teach Me is definitely not the worst book I've read in 2014, which a plus in this book's favor. It is not memorable. The best things about this book? The blurb and cover. It's eye catching. An older professor/ younger student who is also homeless due to coming out to his family? It sounded promising. The execution...did not excite nor entice.

The writing style is not for me, this story tanked to two hearts already at 10%. I love alternating first POV, I think you get the best emotion from a main character when it's written right. The characters were as dimensional as the thinnest sheet of paper.
"Austin, talk to me. Make me understand what you are beating yourself up over. Let me help you."
"What makes you think I need help?"
"Perhaps it is because I'm a highly educated man who has spent tens of thousands of dollars on a fancy degree to hang on my wall. Many of the courses related to psychology, which gives me just enough knowledge to be dangerous."
Please don't get me wrong, this type writing style is a popular one. Plenty of readers find stories that tell rather than show very enjoyable. This style was one I saw in a lot of popular MF romance books. I cut down on that genre due to over saturation on the market. The plots became very generic and done to death. The styles were just one big meld of the same - two characters instantly see each other, they fall into consuming insta-love, hysterics/unnecessary drama/big soliloquies/declarations are made/ tears are shed/ doors get slammed/big honking HEA is slapped haphazardly and the end. This style has been found in MM too, its resurgence in the last couple of years has dominated the sales charts.

I'm just one of the readers who is over it. However, I staunchly believe one reader's trash can be another reader's treasure. *shrugs* I have tons of status updates on GR if you're on the fence about reading this. I have a lot of quotes on there to see if this book is worth your time and cash.

Teach Me is about 20 year old rich college kid who came out to his family and was kicked out of his house. Austin meets a pseudo-homeless couple on the street who immediately take him under their wing and keep him from the realities of being homeless. One of the couple has an apartment, she just sleeps on the street to be with her bum and lives in her apt during the day. Weird? Or maybe that's just me. But the coddled boy goes from being still being coddled when he gets a construction through the help of his pseudo-homeless friend. And coddled by his 15 year older boss/love interest David. David can already know how Austin feels and thinks. It could be his tens of thousands dollar's worth of psychology classes (I majored in psychology - does that make me a ticking time-bomb?) but it's mostly how he is written. He comes off pretentious, patronizing, weird and creepy.

An example of David's "love" already at 14%:
"Yes, I am aware that my fascination with the much younger man is bordering on obsession. I spent more hours of my night than I would care to admit telling myself to let it go, to let him go, but I can't. The kid's in so much pain that it's nearly a tangible force following him around."
The feelings are told rather than being shown. I couldn't buy anything either main character said because it read more wooden than real. The drama: tantrums, squeal's door slamming, running out of the room...Austin was allegedly an adult but he read childish and those are examples. The couple both state in the beginning third of the book that they do not care about each other's age but it's a problem for them through out the book (more so with their friends) but if it wasn't an issue, it should have been dropped. However, there was no real angst to give interest and move the story along, even the fights were sloppily resolved, if at all. The last big fight was so oddly handled...what was the point? We didn't even find out if David was reprimanded or not.

I found myself editing this book while reading. And instead of turning this review into a manual, I'll discuss my major points of contention.

How it could have been effective for me:

- Book is all filler, minimal substance. Shave 40-50% off this story. Do I need to read a paragraph about staples and paperclips and a college's budget on affording them? Things plateau before 40% and just dragged out the inevitable. Book is not memorable.

- Edits - I have a gazillion quotes and notes of areas where this book was weak, a scene could have been rewritten for maximum effect or removed because it was unnecessary. I would suggest an editor and one who is impartial because the content needed revisions.Yes, there were also typos but nothing that threw me out of the book while reading.

- Austin was "homeless" but he had a pretty sweet life. More was shown on how obnoxious he was than showcasing his human side. (You'd think a kid who had no home would be more appreciative. I guess his tantrums were supposed to do that?) Or if he was supposed be a brat, then it wasn't as consistent which would lead back to the editing.

- Dialogue - not consistently smooth - Some scenes were decent, when the main characters acted closer to their age. Then you get a scene like this:

"Sit," he demands as my feet hit the floor. "As much as I love you, I'm getting sick of these childish games you play sometimes."
"You knew when you met me that I'm still a child," I retort, which I know is about the most immature thing I could say.
 "Stop, petulance isn't a good look on you."
David treating Austin like a child was disappointing. And he was more like a father than a lover. Some might find it romantic. *shrugs*

Overall, a disappointing read for me. There were a few good parts, sometimes the scene might work. Then more unnecessary drama was added and ruined the effect. The sex scenes were decent enough. In fact, better than I expected the first 2 times. But I disliked both main characters, they were flat. And if I could care less about the main characters, what's the point? My rating is on the writing, story content and overall effect.

Do I recommend? No.

To the curious: read a sample, see if you like it. Read the reviews from reviewers you trust. Take it from there.

I will not willingly read more work from this author in the future. There is a fan base so I'm sure I won't be missed. :)
Good luck to the author in future endeavors.
For more information on Goodreads!


Now, Let's HUG it out!

According to Urban Dictionary (which is where I get all my important reference and research materials) a Unicorn Hug is:

"Engaging in a friendly embrace whilst sporting an erection"
Is there any better way to start the new year? Anyone? Anyone?
Noooooo, there is not.
So, from our clubhouse to yours, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! And, thank you! Thank you for playing in our sandbox full of glitter with us. We hope you've had as much fun as we have in 2014 and we can't wait for new extra shiny shenanigans in 2015.
We have no formal plans as that is not how unicorns roll and goes against our carefully constructed business model of random. It's all about getting a wild hair and galloping away with it.

What we do know is that we have some wishes.

  • We wish you Unicorn Hug boners full of love in the New Year
  • We wish a ridiculous amount of cash and prizes rains on your pretty manes in the New Year
  • We wish you access to an endless plethora of your kink of choice written by your fave author in the New Year
  • We wish you the amazing discovery of new-to-you authors and we hope we can point a few your way in the New Year
  • But most of all we wish you good health, happiness and laughter in the New Year, you're a unicorn, you deserve nothing less.

Cupcake's Year in Review

Hi all! Happy New Year to you and yours. Being the end of the year I thought it would be a perfect time to be completely unoriginal and talk about my favorite reads of 2014. 

2014 a.k.a. the year I became a unicorn!

A seminal moment in my life. *snortles* I said seminal… 

I haven't been a unicorn all year BUT I 2014 was also my first full year of reading predominantly M/M.  Still a neophyte in the genre, but we all gotta start somewhere, right?

Without further ado, let's get this party started! 

Lists are in no particular order.
Let's start with one of my favorites. 


Slow Bloom by Anah Crow & Dianne Fox
Fantastic MANTIES. Great story with an age gap, a little bit of kink and so much romance.

Blind Space by Marie Sexton
Amazeballs MANTIES!!! Good Lawd, I'm still fanning myself.

Life Drawing by Jane Davitt
Cute story with a big guy bottom. Yum. Who likes MANTIES. Yummerer.

Mark Cooper vs. America by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock
MANTIES + Henry/Rock = Full of Win

Wallflower by Heidi Belleau
More cross dressing than MANTIES. The story has meat on its bones. Plus, Bobby.

Dark Space by Lisa Henry
I really have nothing profound to say. Read it. It's fantabulous.

Sarge by Bey Deckard
Superb D/s in spaaaaccccceeee with a big guy bottom. 

El Presidio Rides North by Domashita Romero
I don't even like zombies and I chortled through this thing. Plus, IT'S FREE!!!

Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala
My eyes *may* have become juicy whilst reading this. I rarity indeed.

Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities by Lyn Gala
Phenomenal world building. Fantastic writing. Ondry & Liam… *sigh*

The Laird's Forbidden Lover by Amelia C. Gormley
Uh, kilts. Lots of them. And buttsex in barns. 

All in with the Duke by Ava March
Regency kink with angst. Who can resist that?

Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders by Cornelia Grey
Super hot, not your run of the mill kink with two of the best character names, like, ever.

You can't get much more contemporary than The Colbs. Ammah right?

Fight by Kelly Wyre
Loved this story. Loved the relationship. Loved the fuckhot sex. Loved it.

Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan
C'mon! Nowhere Ranch, man! She's Queen Shit of Fuck Mountain. Got to read.

Motel. Pool. by Kim Fielding
Great love story. Fielding can rip your heart out with the best of them & make you run back for more.

It's Like This by Anne O'Gleadra
I just loved these kinky kids. Loved Niles' angst and being inside his hot mess of a head.

The King by Tiffany Reisz
King wears a corset. OMFG KING WORE A CORSET!!!!!!!! 3 words: Sex. On. Legs. (in heels)

Animal Instincts by Kim Alan
Adorbz story with a cute dog, a vet and a damaged new guy to the neighborhood with a pinch of kink.

Bloodraven by P.L. Nunn
I still think of this as my accomplishment read of 2014. It's like 4 books! Long books. Great books, but lllllooooooooooooonnnnnnnngggggggggg. Pack a sack lunch.

Caged:  Love and Treachery on the High Seas by Bey Deckard
Pirates. Kinky pirates who are treacherous. Amazing writing. Blown away by the level of skill in this debut novel.

Sacrificed:  Heart Beyond the Spires by Bey Deckard
Three kinky pirates who get into one heck of a pickle. Did I mention they were kinky?

Master of the Game by Jane Kindred
Angels & demons with a Russian twist and exceptional writing.

Thick as Thieves by Tali Spencer
VORGELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND PETAL!!!!!!!!!!!!! So stoked for the sequel.

Hidden Gem by Lissa Kasey
This book held me hostage and I think melted my brain a little bit, but it was worth it.

Tribute by Lisa Henry
Awesome. Unbelievably awesome. Still can't believe this was Henry's first novel.

Armed & Dangerous by Abigail Roux
Ty & Zane. That is all. I really need to get back to this series.

Hostile Ground by Aleksandr Voinov & L.A. Witt
The thriller part sort of petered out but the relationship between Ridley & Mahir was quite nice.

In The Red by Kari Gregg
More like boiling or ON FIYAH!!!! The Gregg brought'd it. Pay no attention to that cliffy ending.

City Knight by T.A. Webb
Growly bear & a rent boy twink. That's all I got. What else do you need? I mean, really?

Love in a landscape. Good, right? 

I don't know about you guys but I thought the quality of the stories that we got FOR FREE this year was impressive. And so many of them!

The Arroyo by M. Caspian
You'd be hard pressed to find another author that writes the most fucked up things so eloquently.

Bird Meets Cage by Anyta Sunday
There was a clown and I still loved it! Nothing scarier than a clown.

Cruel to be Kind by Kim Dare

The Case of the Insufferable Slave by Gillian St. Kevern
Inspired noir writing that harkened back to Bogey & Bacall.

Where Willows Won't Grow by Lia Black
Fantastic world building & dub con with kinky wrestling. You heard me.

Geeking Out on 11C by L.L. Bucknor
I giggled & snortled & felt uncomfortable & giggled again & I loved every bit of it.

Stranded By Lies by Finn Marlowe
This just made me happy. It reminded me of some great times in my life & Finn's so talented.

Consorting with Dragons by Sera Trevor
Dragons. Regency dragons in an AU. It's like a soup of all my favorite things. A yummy soup.

Blood in the Water by Tami Veldura
Swashbuckling paranormal pirates who battle & have angry sex.

My SMUTASTIC category. Plot schmot is what I say! Have your lube handy.

Concubine by Jill Knowles
Sparkly butt plugs & bedazzled sex toys & oodles of orgasmic sex.

Dirty Fighters by Kyle Adams
They fight & fuck in a basement. One handed read. 

Please Come at Home for Christmas by Misha Horne
Garland & tree skirts will never look the same to me again. Ever.

Bound to be a Groom by Megan Mulry
So hot & kinky & hot. Did I mention it was hot? Because it was.

These three are in a class by themselves. 

YES by Lord Original Buttersworth
Profound & so wordy. It's almost purple.

Clipped by Devon McCormack
I know there were monster cocks & #teampain & there will be a sequel & I will be there for it.

Kraken by M. Caspian
I don't even know. I know it creeped me the fuck out. I'd read it again though.

And last but certainly not least… 
Cupcake loves her some kink, so here goes.

The Dark Collector by Vanessa North
Fantastic story with cathartic kink.

Fettered by Lyn Gala
Great leather society kink & Dilly is adorbz.

Uneven by Anah Crow
I haven't words adequate enough to describe how good this was.

Her Grace's Stable by Joely Sue Burkhart
The most exquisite pony play.

Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan
Sam. Sam. Sam. The writing was stupendous because… Queen Shit of Fuck Mountain, but Sam… 

Mr. Benson by John Preston
If you like gay kink. You read John Preston. The Godfather of gay kink.

Bad Things by Varian Krylov
A. Xavi
B. I like Krylov's writing style even though it's wordy or maybe because of. I'm not sure.

The first two of the Ganymede Quartet (A Most Personal Property & A Proper Lover) by Darrah Glass
Slavefic from the Gilded Age with glorious writing. Glorious.

To all of you… 

Have the happiest of new year. May 2015 be your brightest yet.

To the Unicorn Mafia, I love you all.
Thank you so much for inviting me to join BMBR. It's made 2014 a memorable year indeed.

Be well.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Down and Dirty by Rhys Ford

WOOOOOOOOT!  Rhys Ford is in the house!!!  She's here to talk about... about... oh my gawd I'm so excited... 



To celebrate the release of my new book, Down and Dirty, I’m inviting you to follow along with blog tour serial of a Cole McGinnis case, Dirty Minds! Enter to win a giveaway at every site!

From the moment former LAPD detective Bobby Dawson spots Ichiro Tokugawa, he knows the man is trouble. And not just because the much younger Japanese inker is hot, complicated, and pushes every one of Bobby’s buttons. No, Ichi is trouble because he’s Cole McGinnis’s younger brother and off-limits in every possible way. And Bobby knows that even before Cole threatens to kill him for looking Ichi’s way. But despite his gut telling him Ichi is bad news, Bobby can’t stop looking… or wanting.

Ichi was never one to play by the rules. Growing up in Japan as his father’s heir, he’d been bound by every rule imaginable until he had enough and walked away from everything to become his own man. Los Angeles was supposed to be a brief pitstop before he moved on, but after connecting with his American half-brothers, it looks like a good city to call home for a while—if it weren’t for Bobby Dawson.

Bobby is definitely a love-them-and-leave-them type, a philosophy Ichi whole-heartedly agrees with. Family was as much of a relationship as Ichi was looking for, but something about the gruff and handsome Bobby Dawson that makes Ichi want more.

Much, much more.

Rhys Ford’s Down and Dirty Giveaway
$20 Gift Certificate to the e-tailer of your choice If the blog uses a widget, enter there. If not, comment below. Winner to be chosen randomly. 

And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for...
Dirty Minds Part Two

I do not recommend landing in the middle of a busy Los Angeles street. If I’d had my preferences, I’d have wished the assholes in the minivan drove just one more fucking block and turned up Park View instead of Alvarado. At least that way, I would have had a fighting chance of skidding across fewer lanes or maybe even a wild right-hand bounce off of the asphalt and into a greensward.

Instead, I got a quick glimpse of Dr. Pacheco’s faded billboard plastered on the Wilshire-Alvarado Swap Meet building then all I saw was gritty, brown-cloud Los Angeles sky.

I also got a very hard, fast introduction to the excellent roadwork laid down by LA’s street crews.

Through a sheer miracle of luck, stupidity or a chance red light, the street was empty of vehicles. Unfortunately, that also meant there was nothing like a parked or idling car to stop me .

Despite the road crew’s best efforts to provide a smooth driving experience, there were definitely bumps in the road. I skidded and rolled over three-ish lanes of black top.My shoulder struck one and I tucked in to protect my face and hands. The black tuxedo jacket I’d just picked up from the cleaners took the brunt of the street’s rough surface. Anything left intact was then abraded and ripped apart as I rolled up the sloping curb. A tall palm growing on the edge of the park’s walk caught me before I could tumble into the obviously dangerous soft lawn and I came to a full stop, partially wrapped around the palm’s wide trunk.

I lay there gasping, turtled in a clump of long grasses someone’d thought to put around the palm’s base. I’d probably have to send that person a thank you card because the grasses were soft and cradled me while I did a quick limb check. A chatter of alarmed Spanish broke through my inventory of aches and pains then a very worried looking blond woman in an EMT uniform slid into my view of fronds and sky, her eyes a nearly impossible green I’d come to associate with wasabi peas.

“Sir, can you feel your legs?” She crouched next to me, running her hands over my legs. Attractive in that suntanned, healthy So-Cal kind of way, her golden ponytail bounced up and down through the hole in her ball cap but unsurprisingly, she did nothing for me.

Except find the scraped up spot on my knee.

“Okay, that’s missing skin,” I hissed. I tried sitting up. She protested but I insisted, moving her hand away as she tried to push me back down.

“No use. Unless his head’s cracked open and his brains are spilling out, he’s going to try to stand up. Might as well let him.” Bobby came into view, peering down at me with a judgmental scowl. “What the fucking hell were you thinking? Who the fuck in their right mind jumps on top of a moving van? Who cares if they’re stealing the damned wedding gifts? Just let the shit go.”

“Can’t… couldn’t,” I grumbled, taking his hand so I could get up out of the bushes. “Because those assholes didn’t just steal a fucking toaster. They took the grooms’ cat.”

Want to read more?  Check out these other awesome blog stops:

Down and Dirty Blog Tour
Dec 30 Part One — 3Chicks after dark
Dec 31 Part Two — Boy Meets Boy Reviews
Jan 1 Part Three — Joyfully Jay
Jan 2 Part Four — LoveBytes
Part Five — On Top Down Under
Jan 3 Part Six — Prism Alliance
Jan 4 Part Seven — It’s About The Book
Part Eight — The Blogger Girls
Jan 5 Part Nine — Sinfully Sexy
Jan 6 Part Ten — NDulgent Bloggers
Jan 7 Part Eleven — The Novel Approach
Jan 8 Part Twelve — Under the Covers Blog

Purchase Down and Dirty at Dreamspinner Press
Or Amazon

About Rhys Ford

Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

My Blog:

And at the Starbucks down the street. No really, they’re 24/7. And a drive-thru. It’s like heaven. My books can be purchased, folded and first chapters read at Dreamspinner Press.

Review: Angel in a Bookshop by RJ Scott

What happens when a broken man has to trust in the impossible?

Chapter One is an antique book shop and is the last tangible thing Joshua Blakeman and his mum have left of his father. Nestled in a quiet square a few steps from London's St Paul’s Cathedral, it is boarded up with whitewashed windows and no new stock. The place is a sad reminder of loss and it has to go, but destroying a business that has been in his family for generations is not a role Josh is looking forward to.

Michael is the owner of Arts Desire, the shop next door. With his rainbow pride mugs and his sunny outlook, he is the complete opposite of what Josh thinks he needs in his life.

But, when Josh and Michael become friends, Josh learns that finding true love starts with making big decisions—and that everyone deserves their own Christmas miracle sometimes.

Christmas reads - oh my heart, Christmas reads. As much part of my essential seasonal package as chocolate, family, hallmark films and Christmas jumpers. There is nothing like a dash of romance and sprinkling of snow in a story to give me the warm and fuzzies - and in a little magic and the fuzzies just get fuzzier.

Angel in a Book Shop is a beautiful winter story. It is the kind of book that gives me a mellow after glow of happiness once I've read it. Joshua is at the lowest possible ebb in his life. The death of his father, betrayal of his boyfriend resulting in the loss of his job and the manipulation of his uncle have left him in a place where he is barely coping with life. The last thing he needs really is to enter the shut up bookshop that had been his dad's life. The desire to stay well away warred with the need to not let it go to rack and ruin and the latter won. Just.

Michael has lived many, many lifetimes. He has met with many, many souls and changed the life direction of those lucky enough to interact with him. He moves on and those he has met before become a blur, another part of one whole that makes up his life.   Then he meets Josh - and from the start he knows that this 'job' is different. As well as helping Josh he finds he has his own, life-altering, choices to make.

In RJ Scott's enjoyable style this story unfolds. Choices and actions, decisions and doubts. It's not handed to us readers on a platter, but the silver lining definitely shines in this cloud. I really enjoyed this read, and I think anyone who has a love of Christmas stories will. It's well worth a read.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: When Love Flue In by Lillian Francis

A soot-haired chimney sweep, an exploding flue and an uncooked turkey. It’s an unholy trinity that may make all of Dominic’s Christmas wishes come true.

Dominic is celebrating his first Christmas since his divorce, and although he’s spending it on his own, he’s determined to have a traditional Christmas morning, including a roaring fire. Unfortunately, Dominic’s chimney is blocked, which is why Reagan, a soot-haired chimney sweep, is head and shoulders up Dominic’s flue. Dominic is just lucky the man had a cancellation on Christmas Eve.

Unable to take his eyes off Reagan’s low-slung jeans and enticing ass while he sets about the hearth with rods and brushes, Dominic knows five years is a long time to be obsessed with the man who sweeps his chimney every Christmas. This year there’s nothing to stop Dominic from acting on his desires—except his own insecurities.

An exploding flue provides the opportunity for more than just polite conversation and could be the catalyst for a perfect Christmas. But Dominic will need to stop hiding who he really is before a special sweep can light a fire in his heart.

Publisher's Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.

When a cutie patootie Christmas story came in with a request to be reviewed, in the spirit of Christmas harmony, Ann and I decided to review it together. We're both Christmas sluts, loving the ever living joy outta all Christmas jizz stories and so we shared the love for this one. Here's what we thought:

Peachy, Present Maker and Gift Giver Extraordinaire

Lori is so rights. Unapologetic Christmas sluts? Yep, that's us. I don't have the jumper collection she does, I couldn't rock them like my Lorikins, but you wave some Jingle Jizzmas in our general directions and we are on it like glitter on a unicorn.

This story was basically written for us. It's set in England, at Christmastime. There's a chimney sweep and an adorably punny title. I loved it. The beginning is bittersweet. These two don't know one another, they just have assumptions and a heavy dose of mutual attraction. Dominic broke my heart, I was just so sad for the guy. Kudos to him for acting on his attraction and taking charge of what his heart wanted. I loved that Reagan was wary but willing, it made their time read like more than just a potential one off.

The story really ramped up for me (and for Dominic and Reagan) when it came to "the moment". Holy jingle balls, talk about some well written sexual tension. That's is one of the sweetest/hottest first time scenes that I've read and it was perfect for these two.

The sweetness continues and I loved how when these two opened up, they did it unapologetically and without reservation. It made my heart grow three sizes.

Lorix Christmas Jumper Lover:

One sexy chimney sweep - tick,
One newly divorced, freshly out of the closet home owner - tick,
One cold and snowy winter - tick,
One 'meddling' mum - tick.....
Pretty much everything you need for a wonderful Christmas story. I have a weakness for Christmas stories set in England (mainly because they feel so reminiscent for me) and this was exactly the kind of story I stuff down quicker than chocolates Christmas morning. It made me gooey inside and left me sighing happily at the end. A really lovely little read. Oh, yeah - and I too have a very sexy chimney sweep, and his brother, my coal-man is also rather yummy. Nothing like a bit of eye candy when the cold season sets in.... But shhh...don't tell my husband I said that.....

Merry Christmas everyone!

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review (or two)**

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Fan Girl Review: The Red King by Rosemary O'Malley

A man abused and discarded is left to rebuild himself with naught but vengeance in his heart. A youth cruelly torn from all he knew and loved is cast adrift with no hope for the future. What will happen when Fate thrusts them together?

He is known as Ruaidhri and his extraordinary strengths and stamina are said to be born of the Devil. His ferocity is matched solely by his ruthlessness. For seven years, he has sailed his ship the Taibhse with one goal in mind: to avenge the years of torment he suffered at the hands of a depraved Danish lord. He has one final plan to succeed, but he searches yet for the implement.

His family destroyed by violence and his body enslaved to a brutal master, Andrew’s future promises only misery. He is saved from this desolate fate by a pirate captain with fiery hair and an ultimatum; help him achieve his revenge and go free, or be sent to a horrific, painful death. As Andrew struggles with the choice of slave or assassin, he finds that all is not as it seems aboard the corsair’s ship.

Pain is tempered by pleasure and loss consumed by love in the flames stoked by

…The Red King.

Warning: this is an erotic m/m romance intended for mature audiences. It contains explicit sexual situations, frank language, torture, and non-graphic descriptions of abuse of a minor. 

 Arg!! *waves sword and tweaks fake beard*

Before I begin, let me warn ye...there's both sweetness and darkness in this epic treat by Rosemary O'Malley. Declarations of love are made and licentious acts are made (even of the minor M/F variety - tis brief). There be mentions of child abuse and scenes of rape/torture/abuse, so if ye be soft of stomach, please exit via the plank! Tis not the story for ye!

Yawr har har!!!!

Rosemary O'Malley's debut novel tis an epic historical pirate tale that travels through and land on a quest for revenge. The sweet sea of love, the crashing tide of learning the depth's of oneself and murky waters of angst are all traveled with a fine tuned hand in this humble temporary pirate's opinion.

A fine tale with blood, guts, piss, vinegar, seduction, hurt, comfort, woe, damage, shit, lion sex (yes there be actual mating in the wild), battle, pillaging, true love and even a eunuch! Tis a pirate's tale split into two POV, young Scotsman Andrew, the young orphan raised by priests who's been captured and Rorik aka Rory aka Ruaidhri (pronounced Rou-ar-ree) aka the Red King!

Aye, the Irish, ginger haired young captain of the ship Taibhse is hell bent on thwarting the evil bastard Dane, Maarten, Rory's ex-master. Rory's childhood was a painful one, aye, one full or sorrow and pain. His crew helps rescues the seemingly timid, virgin Andrew who is not wordly but has a calming quality that calms people, pulls people to him. Could be a religious or a philosophical undertone, depends on who is reading this, ya savvy? I enjoy Andrew and his nuances/intricacies. A bashful, fainting flower, he is not. And he proves himself wondrously. More on him soon, aye?

I shall break down the things I enjoyed:

The story-A swashbuckler's delight

- Tis a long, well crafted one spanning sea and land, settings of Africa and Europe. I give it 4 stars some parts may seem drawn out but tis necessary for the entire portrait the author paints, ya ken?

The Red King-This ginger lover's wet dream found in a pirate

- The slave who turns into a master of his own rights, he is, he is! He's second to my #1 love of Captain Jack Sparrow. He's a mix of dark and light though his light was never recognized until he learned to see himself and his self worth through Andrew's eyes. Oh please, Ruaidhri is naughty and has tales to tell but when he falls...he falls hard and loves even harder. He defies so many things to hold onto that bit of happiness.

Even a little bit of:

I rooted for him to persevere and crush any insubordination. I was not disappointed in the Red King. He deserves the title. He has my 5 Stars.

Andrew-The little engine that could!
- Have I mentioned that though my little wolf, Andrew did not enter the story as a warrior he leaves as the bravest of the brave? I'm sure if Davy Jones himself came upon, little Andrew, he would smite with a few words and nary a weapon. He's martyr-ish but for this story it works. He gets 10 out of 5 stars!

The sacrifices made and angsty road traveled by Andrew...I love him even the more. The little non priest has teeth, he does. Grrr!!

“I am not your dove," he ground out, barely loud enough to hear. "I am a wolf.”

Do not underestimate him, arg!

The Secondary Characters J'adore a French pimp named Etienne and many more

- Etienne, the brawny, sweet giant of Malik and wordsmith that be Fleming any many others more (Privateer Ortega, brave Laurent...crewman Yousef) There was an ease with each character, I wanted to know their back story, I wanted to fight and laugh with them, live in their world.

Especially brothel owner and masterful pimp Etienne...

Aye, the mayhem he would cause would be divine and I ken he's deviousness. All secondary characters get 5 stars but Etienne, he shall get 6 or it'd be a sword to the gullet of naysayers! Argh!

Maarten -He's the villainous hostess with the mostest

- 5 stars- vile, repulsive, murdering, disgusting, evil, mad, fucking bonkers pedophile rapist and somehow I kept picturing Maarten like this, just a younger version:

(Yes, Vigo from Ghostbusters 2 as the blonde Dane villain) Do not think I don't ken the dark, mateys...I do. Maarten goes balls to the wall in the darkest of evils, tis makes him a better villain, it does.

Alas he was with us for a small time, though his grey shroud choked the first half before his appearance around 65%. He gets 5 Stars! I hate him and curse him down to Davy Jones' locker but I appreciate his evil for the purpose of the story.

Surprisingly, the story navigates itself towards the sweet promise of happieth of ever after...but there are some pain filled bumps along the way but worth it.

So how many stars to give thee, "The Red King"? Let me average out me stars...

More than 5, arg! For the purpose of this wizardry known as goodreads the highest I can gives is FIVE Stars!

So, I loved this book. Definitely in me top favorites for the year. So much so if everyone else dogs it:

All the way to me pirate lovin' soul, ya savvy?

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Review: Base Over Apex by Kim Dare

Please note: This story was previously published under the title Call Me, Sir, Boy! This version has been tweaked and re-edited to become part of the Kinky Cupid series.

It’s Valentine’s at the Spread Eagle leather club, but the only sub Jack’s even spoken to belongs to his best friend, Marcus—and all Bret did was con him into taking a stupid bet. It is not going to be a good Valentine’s night…

The moment Jack sees Ricky walking naked through the bar, he wants him. When Ricky kneels at his feet and offers him the keys to his restraints, it’s obvious that his interest is returned. It might just be the best Valentine’s Jack’s ever had…

Ricky is sweet, and eager to please, and obviously new to leather. He’s the kind of guy who actually makes Jack wonder if “something at first-sight” might really be possible. But, when it suddenly becomes apparent that everything is not what it seems, the only thing Jack knows for sure is that this Valentine’s night is going to get very, very complicated.

Kim Dare strikes again with an incomparable case of mistaken identity only a brat like Bret  (from Once a Brat) could've pulled off. Bret's heart was in the right place for his friend Ricky whose gotten himself into a bad situation. Ricky's found an online "dom" that wants to meet for the first time at The Spread Eagle. Jack's surprised to find the irresistible and naked sub but for his cuffs heading towards him, though not enough to turn him away. Naturally, Bret was right and they connect. Is there anything worse than a bratty sub being right?

Once online dom a.k.a. Mr. Carter shows up Ricky has a choice to make. God, online dom is a douche and a half. So, really, it's no contest between him and Jack Bowen. Like taking candy from a baby. Not… that I would do that. Who does that anyway? That's just mean. 

Base Over Apex was extremely satisfying for just three short chapters. I even got a little chastity kink dangled in front of me. You know how I feel about that. *growls* I like this series. I'm stoked to read about McCormack. His beefy, growliness combined with being pierced and tattooed could send me into convulsions. I can't wait!

p.s. That cover is perfect. Purrr-fect.

A copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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