Review: First Contact by Alex Gabriel

Going undercover in a gay BDSM club run by the mob isn’t Rick Delaney’s idea of a good time – but for all the wrong reasons. 

Sure, going undercover in a gay BDSM club run by the mob isn’t exactly an everyday assignment. Still, as a cop specializing in undercover work, Rick Delaney is used to tough gigs. The real issue is that Rick’s expected to go under with someone he barely knows. But Rick’s partner is suspended, and he doesn’t have a choice. 

Newly transferred detective Jon Messina’s short a partner, too, except that his was murdered by the mafia. Jon may seem breezy and lighthearted, but he has a score to settle. And to do so, he’s willing to do whatever it takes. 

Except that it may take more than either of them can afford. Because their cover as a dom and sub couple spins out of control the minute they set foot into mafia-controlled sex club Gomorrah. What should be mere pretense threatens to become desperately real. And if Rick can’t control his desires, he’s going to get them both killed. 

I realize that this may be a bit cliché coming from me so let me back this claim up with a little story. I'm reading this at work. It's short. I figure I can knock it out right quick and get back to whatever. I got so engrossed in their second scene together at Gomorrah that I actually forgot I was at work then someone knocked on my door. I was so fashizzled that it took me a minute to (a) process what it was they were saying to me and (b) try and school my features like I hadn't gotten caught reading porn. Thankfully, my office was a little dim so she couldn't tell I was flushed and I'm fairly certain my eyes were glassy.

That's what I mean by HOT, HOT, HOT! 

U period N period F period

What made it so hot was this author's prowess in the visually evocative department. In the beginning felt like it moved at a glacial pace due to all the description and I was thinking it would be maybe 3 hearts but around the 40-50% mark things shifted. Rick began describing how he saw Jon, how he looked beautiful and debauched after Rick had his way with him, biting him and clamping him, in his cock cage and all spread out before him, eyes full of lust and needing. You know how I feel about cages and needing.

The kink isn't heavy, mostly D/s and some light bondage but there is a possible trigger-sharing. It fit within the context of the scene and probably with their case, but it'll probably be off-putting for some. If you're avoiding this because of the mystery/cops/thriller aspect, don't. The case is thin and essentially just an excuse to put Jon and Rick into a BDSM club with a bunch of kinky mobsters and forge their relationship as partners with benefits. 

There were two things that I found odd and/or lacking which were the writing style at the beginning of the book is strange. It's almost third person omniscient or Rick's talking about himself in the third person, very jarring, but evolves into Rick's perspective. Also, I would've liked more backstory on both characters.


I needz.

Recommend to fans of kinky smut.

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

Find out more on Goodreads.

Review: Suburban Legend by BJ Sheppard

Halloween is coming, and as the parents of Damsel Creek celebrate the occasion in style, the teen population of the sleepy town are forced into caring for their youngest counterparts. As Aaron settles in to a night of babysitting at the house of the Chief of Police, he faces strange occurrences at every turn. With news of a killer on the loose, he tries to convince himself his mind is playing tricks on him, but when a series of menacing phone calls alert him that the threat is real, he has no other option than to fight. Can Aaron make it through the night as the target of a stalker who desires his death, or will Halloween be coming early this year?

Are you brave enough to read what happens when the line between real life and horror blurs?

A situation horror from the author of ‘The Rainbow Connection’ series and ‘That Day in Spring’.

Warning: scenes of violence, terror, and little to no romance. This is a tale of horror. Expect no love scenes.

Dammit BJ Sheppard.


Do you know how many hours of sleep you owe me?

I love you and hate you so much right now.

It was getting late when I started this one and I figured I’d just read a chapter or two. It’s been on my TBR for entirely too long and I was anxious to finally dive in. Fast forward to 1:30 am, the end of the book and the exclamation, “Dammit BJ Sheppard!”

Firstly, I LOVE horror. Books, movies, whatevs, bring it. Especially the ones that have a heavy dose of mindfuckery, I like that more than the guts and gore and a story with a good balance of the two is a win for me. That’s what Suburban Legend was. Remember that movie When A Stranger Calls? The original one, not the remake, it’s never the remake. The first half of Suburban Legend is highly reminiscent of Carol Kane getting THE phone calls. In this story though the babysitter is Aaron, a somewhat shy loner who is hoping to make some extra cash sitting for the Chief of Police’s son while he’s at work and the wife is out partying for Halloween. While the blurb is pretty clear there is no romance in the book, Aaron does have a boyfriend, Tommy, who is the absolute best and his presence in the story gave Aaron’s character more depth and the few interactions they had were “first love” adorable.

The Chief’s house is too big and too quiet and there is an ominous air even though so far, nothing has happened. Then the phone calls start. I’m actually not going to say much about the story specifically, because that would be a buzzkill and you have to read this kind of stuff first hand to get the full effect. There aren’t really huge surprises (plenty of shocks though) and the facts of the story are exactly what you expect from an urban legend. And we all know that some of the best classic horror stories start with urban legends.

This has all the things that make horror stories so fun and I did all the stupid shit expected from a fan. You see, I like to make horror stories interactive. Well, reactive at least as I’m the goon yelling at the fictional characters as if they can hear me and I truly believe my increasing levels of frustration and my raised heart rate will somehow affect the outcome of the story. It could happen.
  1. I questioned the authorities. Where were they? What was talking so long? Seriously, y’all have one job here and that is to protect my Aaron. Do your damn job! Right after I thought that Aaron says, “Where were the police? What was taking them so damn long?” Then there’s me, “That's what I said, I know right?!?!?!”
  2. I cursed and jumped every time the damn phone rang. Actually I cursed A LOT while reading, that was half the fun. But, every time the damn phone rang. Every. Damn. Time. Especially at 67%. Fucking phone.
  3. I said some version of “For the love of sweet grilled cheezus Aaron, do not: go in that room, up those stairs, through that door, down the hallway, etc., etc.” Followed closely by, “Dammit Aaron!” Then Aaron said, “I felt like I was in a horror movie, making that dumb decision every victim chooses . . . “ This book was totally playing horror story hijinks along with me.
While the first half was ominous and quiet mindfuckery the second half was all survival and fear.

“The kitchen was empty, save for myself and the terror that was do tangible it was like a partner to me, sitting beside me and sharing in my panic.”

It was non-stop and exhausting. Aaron is turning into such a badass though and I was rooting for him so hard. Every time he’d make a little headway something would go sideways and he’d be faced with another deadly obstacle. The evil goes deeper than the reader is originally led to believe and the mindfuckery is back in spades. The psychopath’s backstory is a heartbreaker and I was pissed that I felt a tiny nugget of sympathy for him. He was soooooo broken, but the real evil was so much bigger him.

There is no comfortable place to break while reading Suburban Legend, you have to power through because you can’t stop until you know ALL the things. At least I couldn’t/wouldn’t. There’s a tiny little note at the back that says more is coming. I certainly hope so! Because the ending was a classic, “FFS you have GOT to be kidding me!” ending that was awful and it was perfect.

Thank you BJ for writing such a great story. You have a beautifully evil dark side and I love it.

For more info on Suburban Legend, check it out on Goodreads or Booklikes!

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

Review: Takeover by Anna Zabo

Michael Sebastian thought Curacao would be the perfect place to have a little fun in the sun—and between the sheets. So far, no one has struck his interest, until Sam Anderson walks into the bar. With one look at his tense body and expensive suit, Michael knows that this is a man in need of release. And Michael is more than willing to lend a hand.

Shattered by the most intense sex he’s ever had, Sam has to face the facts—one night with a handsome, dominating stranger is all he gets before returning to the closet he’s been suffocating in for years. But when Sam starts his new job as the CEO of a failing technology company, he discovers that Michael is one of his new employees.

While Michael is desperate for another night with Sam, he knows he shouldn’t get involved with his boss, let alone another man who can’t accept who he is. But as they’re forced to work together to save the company, the desire sparking between them becomes impossible to ignore…

In a word-wordy.

This is my first experience with this author and overall I enjoyed it. Was it memorable? Probably not, though I would read something else by this author. Like that anthology that's forthcoming.

I like the premise of a one night stand that turns into something. Michael and Sam meet in a bar in Curaçao, have an intense experience, maybe wish it could be more but know it's only one night. Let me tell you that one night was a helluva way to start off this book!

Naturally, their paths cross again. 

Both Michael and Sam are surprised when Sam turns out to be Michael's new CEO and try to forge a platonic relationship but Pandora's box has been opened. This may be here nor there, but there was an awful lot of cock talk and not a lot of cock action which made them seem like two horny teens rather than two adults. I'd almost want to call this a slow burn were it not for their occasional sexcapades. There are many hurdles to overcome the first being Sam's sort of in the closet and Michael's last relationship crashed and burned because his lover was in the closet and Michael has vowed not to go there again. 

I had issues with Sam's rationale for not correcting his colleagues on his sexuality. I get being prudent rather than Liberaceing out in the boardroom, but it's a contemporary book, set in the US. The same country that allows same sex marriage in 36 states and Sam's convinced that he'll be ruined in the business industry if he came out? I have trouble believing that and what's more it was agonized over to broken record levels.

The inverse power dynamics is the second hurdle. Sam is a sexual submissive/masochist in the bedroom but in the boardroom he's CEO, a well respected CEO at that. Not that I have exacting standards when it comes to romance novels, but this dynamic is actually quite common in RL and I couldn't work out why it was such a sticking point for Sam. It's not as though he and Michael would be posting sex vids on pornhub or anything. Get over it. No one cares. Personally, I liked how needy Sam was and how he craved what Michael could give him. 

The third hurdle was they couldn't get out of their own way. Remember that scene in Cold Mountain? The rain scene with Renée Zellweger? "They made the weather then stand in the rain and say, 'shit, it's raining'!" They do that. It annoys me when people do that. Tons of words to accompany the rain making too. But, the upside was being shown them becoming friends, getting to know each other, building a relationship and how hot for each other they were even if it read a bit adolescent at times. 

The corporate maneuvering could've been toned down. There's only so much I need to know about mergers, acquisitions and routing technology in my romance novels and the end game on this front was anticlimactic anyway. 

So, it has good points and not so good points, but overall I enjoyed it.

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

Find out more on Goodreads.

Guest Review: Lucky Seven by E.L. Esch

Dante Mathers, college student, fifth year, has a track record for being dishonest with himself, and is about to undergo the biggest, scariest change of his life.

Dante's forced himself to go out with girls in the past and he does it again when he's approached by the beautiful Serena one day on campus, desperate to prove to himself that he's "normal." But when he loses a drinking contest and is dared to go to the next campus GLBT meeting by his best friend, he’s not sure how to handle it. Sure he could blow it off and say he went, but something nagging at the back of his mind compels him to go anyway. After all, he’s had problems with intimacy in the past and his first crush was a boy in high school. But is he really forcing himself to go, or is he finally starting to be honest with himself? No need to over think this, Dante tells himself. It'll be get in, get out. No need to talk to anyone. Easy, right?

But then he meets Sven. Sexy, toned, wearing a leather jacket with spiked up bleach-blond hair, Sven's bad-boy flare sticks out on campus and catches Dante's eye. But there's more to Sven than his punkish looks, and Dante's about to find out all the sultry little details.

Reviewed by Samantha

Despite the common opinion that college is the time to find yourself, Dante Mathers is in his fifth year and still hasn't seemed to figure it out. He's had one failed attempt with a female and nothing but a crush on a guy. His time is almost up, and yet he still has no idea who he is.

His best friend dares him to attend a LGBTQ meeting, and not one to back down, Dante goes. He's surprised at the people he meets there, but still reluctant to consider himself as anything other than... well, Dante.

From meeting a girl named Serena to finding a guy named Sven handsome, this may just be the year he finally discovers himself.

So my thoughts...

This was an easy, pretty low-angst read. It wasn't overly sweet or bitter in some ways that many books can be. It just was. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure that's a good thing. It didn't leave me with much of an impression. It felt pretty standard, not delving beneath the most basic level of emotions.

On the bright side, the author had a lot of great ideas. Maybe there were just too many that weren't properly executed. For instance, Sven's grandfather is very sick, and while we see some of this and it's affect on Sven, we really don't see much of it. It's just there, it happens, we know it. The end.

One of the biggest things that bothered me, more than anything else, was that both Sven and Dante were so uncertain of themselves. Their doubt continued to ooze throughout the book and it just annoyed the hell out of me. It was like they couldn't be good enough for themselves, so they needed to constantly fish to make sure they were good enough for each other. This may be insensitive, but I just wanted to see them at least gain some confidence. It was like the author would write that they did, and then they'd switch back to their uncertainty. And again, it wasn't fully explored beyond the very initial layer of feeling unsure about who they are or lacking confidence.

That being said, it wasn't a bad read, and I think the author has a lot of potential. It just was too plain and simple, bordering on boring at points. In the end, it wasn't memorable.

For more information on Goodreads or Booklikes!

Review: Healing by Grace R. Duncan

In a world that's gone to hell, will you let old fears keep you from the chance at more than just survival?

When Duncan stumbles into a pharmacy in search of something to fix his broken leg, he’s surprised to find someone else there. Like the rest of the post-pandemic world, it appeared empty. Instead, he discovers Mark, a former nurse who walked away from his profession after losing too many patients to the virus. Despite swearing he’d never practice medicine again, Mark patches Duncan up over Duncan's protests. He even finds an abandoned house in the tiny town, and they settle in until Duncan heals enough to look out for himself. Much to the chagrin of both, they find themselves caring for each other.

Duncan welcomes it, thrilled at finding someone he can trust. However, he’s well aware of the shadows in Mark’s eyes and understands Mark’s reticence as he learns the story. But as he’s starting to do things for himself again, Duncan realizes he doesn’t want Mark to leave. He’s not sure if can get Mark to let go of his fears so they can stay together and love. But Duncan’s damned sure going to try.

Duncan is rummaging through a pharmacy, looking for something for his injured leg, when he meets Mark. Both men have been surviving on their own since a virus hit and it was every man for himself.

They were wary of each other, as they should be, since people had been proven to be untrustworthy in this post-apocalyptic world. Despite the initial wariness, they find that they have the desire to trust each other.

This was an enjoyable novella, I only wish it were longer. I especially enjoyed the world created. There wasn't much detail on the pandemic and there wasn't interactions with other survivors, but I could still feel the devastation and loss from the virus.

I would have liked more from Mark and Duncan. The story was mostly focused on them. I was totally digging them together and their slow-burn relationship, but a more solid ending would have been perfect. It just kind of stopped, with only the hope of an HEA.

This was a surprisingly light and easy read, considering the setting. Although this is the second book in a series, I didn't feel lost having not read the first book. Even if post-apocalyptic isn't your thing, this novella is worth the read.
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more info on Goodreads!

Author of the Month: Interview with Kari Gregg

And she's our January author of the month! We read and book chatted, In The Red. We unicorns are very happy to have her here! Especially this unicorn (SheReadsALot). I've been a fan of the Gregg for years. There is just something about her characters that I truly dig. And she doesn't waste her time on filler which I respect. In fact, let me share my experience with the Gregg.

The Gregg is a ten foot cyborg from planet Fuckatron. And her stories are awesome, depraved tales when she turns on the fuck force. Not for everyone but it's like sonnets to me.

The Gregg experience: Pretend you're at home alone, and it's the middle of the night. You're thirsty. So as you make your way to get a glass of water, the ten foot cyborg busts through the wall, grabs you, bends you over the first available surface and emphatically describes obscene and lewd descriptions in your ear, while pressed against your back. You're feeling a wealth of emotions: fear, lust and surprise. The Gregg continues on, no matter how you feel, pressing harder, words are getting hotter, you're under the spell. And once the Gregg is finished, the Gregg leaves you in the same position and hightails it outta there. Now you're panting, maybe shaking and bewildered wondering WTF just happened?

Either you dig it or don't. But I can't stop coming back for more with the Gregg. ;D

We interviewed our January author of the month, asked her a couple of questions fans might be interested in knowing like the lengths she goes to understand her characters or the current free series she has going on. And maybe you're curious about sequels? Check it out!

BMBR: How in the world do you come up with your plots?

The Gregg: Plots? Oh. You mean I'm supposed to have those? LOL. Nah, seriously, I come up with an idea and then I put it away for a while. I revisit it occasionally, tweak it. Let it grow, add a bit here, take away some, blend it with that other idea way over there. When I'm done messing with it, most of the time that idea only superficially resembles whatever initially set me off.

BMBR: Is there a favorite genre or theme you like to write?

The Gregg: I'm not much of a contemporary gal. Most of my stuff is paranormal, scifi, and fantasy so I suppose I like to be taken somewhere beyond our ordinary world. I like my damaged heroes too, not because they are weak but because they are so very strong. When life knocks you on our ass and you get back up? That's strength.

Also, sex pollen. I have a horrible, dreadful weakness for sex pollen. >:D

BMBR: Favorite character(s) you've written?

The Gregg: I'll always have a special place in my heart for Micah and Eli, my heroes from the first m/m story I ever wrote, Spoils of War and its sequel, Plunder. I'm still in love with Noah and Wade from Pretty Poison. Brian from In the Red. He was so wonderfully fucked up, but the guy just never quit. Ever. I really admire that.

BMBR: What would be something we'd be surprised to know about you?

The Gregg: I'm taking aromatherapy classes. There's no national certification for that, LOL, but I'm in a NAHA approved Level II program, yeah. Hero of my current project is a massage and aromatherapist and there's a horrifying amount of disinformation -- dangerous disinformation -- on the vast interwebs about aromatherapy. I didn't want to get it wrong or write something that could hurt anyone, so...the class. The material isn't easy (I vastly underestimated my ability to recall chemistry and physiology), but vedy interesting nonetheless. I'm genuinely enjoying it and in a month or so, you may begin referring to me as the Empress of Woo Woo. I'll have earned it. ;-p

BMBR: Sequels? Will we ever get any from you? *coughs**In the Red**coughs*

The Gregg: I promised readers a prequel of IO (I, Omega) in 2015, but other than that, I'm focused on the current project. Beasty long story. Can't think beyond it. I must've been crazy, high, or both.

BMBR: You're not an author known to shy from kinkier and darker topics, is there something we shouldn't expect to read from you?

The Gregg: Hm. Let me think. No.


What can I say? Never came across a button I didn't want to push. (Please note I never claimed to be especially smart.)

BMBR: Your favorite go to author(s) or book(s)?

The Gregg: Oh, I've tons of author go-to's. Josh Lanyon, K.A. Mitchell, Ava March. Wait, can I amend the shouldn't-expect question to include historicals? Because as dearly as I love Ava March's stories, that is definitely and for sure not in my skills set. Adore reading historicals, but my trying to
write one would be a catastrophe.

BMBR: Any upcoming books or projects we can look forward to in 2015?

The Gregg: Tame a Wild Human is releasing with Riptide on January 19th. I'm also working on something very, very different called For Whom the Heart Stone Burns. I haven't created a hub page for it on my site yet, but soon. Until then, I've uploaded the first two chapters onto the blog on my home page. Heart Stone is a high fantasy novel plus consisting of 4 parts, or acts, and the plan is to post the first of those -- 6 chapters (or 31K) -- on holidays marching forward Christmas Day to Beltane on May 1st. Lots of magic. Casting grids, smudging, calling the elements, mythological
beasties that maybe aren't so mythological...and heart stones. What's it like to be one of the few who have no magical ability in a world where magical powers are bred into the bone? Becket Douglas is about to find out. And turn those casters on their heads while he's at it too. ;-)

We'd like to thank The Gregg for stopping by. Or should we say, Daisy Silky Cheeks, her new unicorn name.

Daisy is a very clever horse with deep, mysterious eyes. She has a mane as silky as a cat's tail, and she casts happiness spells.

Review: Love You Senseless (Men of London #1) by Susan Mac Nicol

One of London’s up-and-coming chefs, Eddie Tripp has just the right recipe to drive tragedy from the mind of Gideon Kent—and leave him senseless with desire. 


From Soho to Norwich, there’s no escaping love. 


An award-winning chef with his own restaurant and an inexhaustible passion, Gideon Kent once had everything. Then came tragedy. It stole more than Gideon’s home. He hasn’t cooked since.Until Eddie Tripp. Fun-loving and vivacious, the Norfolk redhead’s a real up-and-comer in Gideon’s kitchen—and other places. Slim where Gideon’s broad, easy-going where Gideon is growly, he and Gideon seem polar opposites, and yet Eddie conjures flavors that would tempt anyone with a taste for perfection. The sauce of love is already simmering, and this pair is about to dine on the most delicious dish they’ve ever prepared. Because Eddie’s been Gideon’s missing ingredient all along.

Let's just get this out of the way I LOVE LESLIE! There. I said it. Leslie and his Louboutins, pink tees and Papa Smurf slippers can get directly into my pocket. Leslie alone will propel me to continue with this series.

Alrighty. Now that that's out of the way let's talk about the rest.

We have two chefs, Gideon and Eddie, one of which is a ginger the other of which is named Gideon. Don't judge me I have a thing about that name. It's what made me choose this book. Well, that and the chefing. I'm kind of obsessed with chefs, cooking, watching cooking shows and have somewhere in the neighborhood of a bazillion cookbooks. Conservative estimate. The upside of my obsession is I feel like I have a good grasp of all things culinary including chef demeanors. 

Gideon fits the prototypical chef mold-tempermental, arrogant, and passionate. Gideon was an up-and-comer on the London culinary scene until a tragic accident took away his sense of smell and taste, a chef's lifeblood. He tries to cope with the tragedy very unsuccessfully and it boils over from time to time. He probably goes too far a couple of times but Eddie is a chef too and does an admirable job of putting Gideon in his place. Eddie as a character is pretty bland. He blushes a lot and is into Gideon. He's sweet and loyal to his friends. Other than that… *shrugs* There are two women who work with them in the restaurant that are so annoying. I wanted to staple things to them.

I was enjoying the story, their journey, thought there was adequate conflict between them, their sexy times were pretty hot and I liked the quirkiness of Eddie's roommates who will undoubtedly be featured in the rest of the series until the cousin kerfuffle. I don't know what the purpose of that was. I thought Gideon and Eddie had enough to contend with without adding outside drama. From that point on I felt like the story sort of skidded into the finale on cheese skates. 

Final note: it's unacceptable for an author to forget their MC's name. 

Recommend to culinary enthusiasts and those who enjoy hurt/comfort reads.

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

Find out more on Goodreads.

Review: Handsome Slave Seeks Horny Hero (Handsome Heroes #5) by James Cox

Ever is hot, Rykna is cold and they’re about to melt each other’s clothes off.

Rykna is a rare Verglas breed. He has icy skin when he’s horny and his sperm turns in to snow. He survived war and vicious slavery. Rykna is on a mission to find his family and finds his sister is being auctioned off to the winner of a space race. Now, all this handsome slave needs is a pilot.

Ever is in need of money in order to return home and far from his stalking ex. The only way to do that is join Mr. Tall, dark and angry in the space race. He’s a pilot and horny for the grumpy Rykna. Ever also has a problem with his hot skin, burning his clothes off being the main issue. Trying to fly through asteroids and weapons pointed at them would go a lot easier if his junk wasn’t hanging about for all to see.

Can these two work together to win the space race?

All hail THE COX and his cum of many colors (and textures and flavors and temperatures ).

Before we talk about the incredibly varied ways James Cox can present cum and peen, I have to digress a little. You know what sucks? When RL takes over and you don’t get to do the fun stuff you really want to do. I actually read this back in November as soon as it hit my inbox. That is what one does when THE COX hits ones inbox. So, I read and I highlighted and I loved. Then RL happened and NOTHING fun got done for like, two months. Then things started to chill, I looked at my review list, had a mild panic attack with regards to how far behind I was and dove in. I started the review for Handsome Slave Seeks Horny Heroes and saw how much I had highlighted and there was no way I could do HSSHH justice without a re-read. Believe me, it was no hardship, so I read it again. Now I can write a review that isn’t dependent on my faulty memory and speak with some sort of authority on the cum and peen.

I had a crush on Rykna after Handsome Men Blow. He obviously had more of a story to tell and I really just wanted him to be happy. After the life he led he deserved it. I loved his grumbly self and really wanted to see who James dreamed up for him. He had to be a tough cookie to break down Rykna’s walls and thaw his heart. <------- see what I did there? Rykna is a Verglas, meaning his body core temp is lower than other species and when he gets horny his skin gets all ice crystally and when he cums it turns to snow. Yeah, Rykna can make CumCones. HOW COOL IS THAT?

Rykna is searching for his sister Nyka. They may be the last of their species and he hasn’t seen her since they were separated as children when their world was invaded and they were forced into slavery. He’s been outfitted with a ship by King Malvern but he’s admittedly no pilot.

“I fought and fucked like a beast, but I didn’t fly well.”

I gotta respect a man who knows his strengths and weaknesses.

He gets a lead on his sister but in order to get to her he needs to win the Space Race of Heroes. In order to win the Space Race of Heroes he needs to find himself a pilot. He actually gets pretty lucky when a pilot finds him. Rykna isn’t thrilled but he’s no fool and recognizes that this is his one chance and he better get over his independent ways if he plans on saving his sis. I knew James had written the perfect match for Rykna when Ever was introduced. He’s a fiery ginger with attitude and snark to spare. The pilot thing helped too. The Space Race of Heroes throws these two together in a life or death competition and challenges are thrown at them constantly. It was really a fun and adventurous read. And hey, guess what? When Ever has to take off the pendant he wears constantly his high body temp burns his clothes clean off. HOW COOL IS THAT?

So, Ever is racing naked and it is torturing the absolute bejeezus out of Rykna. Being a slave for so many years, Rykna has been denied all the lovin’ and has a lot of making up to do. When the race ends, the adventure doesn’t and these two are starting to feel more than lust for each other. Rykna is nervous, he’s never had the luxury of feelings for another this way before and he’s afraid to want too much. My Ever did not disappoint and he doesn’t leave Rykna alone to continue the search for his sister, Ever is in this adventure for the long run. He’s really just so damn cute in his good hearted and cocky horniness. And his eagerness to help Rykna and make him happy made me happy.

The ending was pain free and resolved pretty quickly, but I was good with it. I came for some adventure but stayed for the horny.

I remember when James was writing this book. He did this super cool thing on FB where his fans would give him a name and he incorporated the name into the story. I had to get in on those shenanigans and gave him my clubhouse alias to use and HE DID!

Sidebar: One time we were chatting in the clubhouse about some really stupid shit which I’m sure was hilarious at the time and we were coming up with what name we would have if we had to go with the “just one name” thing and always talked about yourself in the third person. Mostly because that’s what badass people with one name do. Seriously, it was really funny at the time. Well, to me and JL at least. So, of course I became Jet because when your name is Jet, you do badass shit and badass shit happens to you. JL became Jem because she is, truly outrageous. :End Sidebar.

I’m reading along and BAM, there’s Jet and I was so right, he’s a badass! He’s “a big burly man with a long black beard”. Yep, that’s Jet alright. He outfits Rykna’s ship with weapons because he owes Ever a favor and if it were cool for a person with one name to squee, Jet would have to admit that Jet squeed like a preteen at a boy band concert when she read it.

Thanks James for giving us another fun ride with the Handsome Heroes and for letting your fans play along with you and your men. Gotta go, Jet’s off to the next one!

For more info on Handsome Slave Seeks Horny Hero check it out on Goodreads.

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

Review: Heat (Salisbury Stories, #1) by RJ Scott and Chris Quinton

Serving up passion, family, love and hate, with a side order of arson.

Lewis has lost nearly everything, and now it seems that Devon is here to take the last thing he has left - working in his beloved restaurant, Laurels. But when an arsonist threatens everything Lewis loves, he realises sometimes everyone has their ghosts, and he discovers an unexpected ally who is prepared to risk everything for him.

* * * * *

Set in the small cathedral city of Salisbury, Master Chef Lewis Mandineau no longer owns the Laurels, the restaurant that had been in his family for generations. Betrayed and robbed by an ex-lover, he's had to sell to Trelawney Enterprises, an American corporation. That isn't all Lewis has to contend with. Rachel, his beloved younger sister has been left severely hurt by the car crash that killed their parents, and taking care of her has to be his priority.

Enter Devon Trelawney III, sent to assess the viability of the restaurant and its staff. Devon knows all about family tradition. But he also knows sentiment has no place in business matters, and the Laurels' potential is swamped by the debts it has accrued. Devon is a hardheaded businessman, first and foremost, but Lewis and Rachel test his resolve in different ways. Soon Devon is forced to admit that what seems like an impossible love can sometimes become something very real.

First of all I owe a HUGE apology to RJ Scott and Chris Quinton. I read this book waaaaaaaaay back in October of last year and had fully convinced myself I had already reviewed it here. Then I realised i hadn't. And I loved it. LOVED it. It is one of those books that had me grinning from beginning to end. Now I've read...bear with me while I have a quick count up on Goodreads....whoa, I need an intervention...100 books since I read this one. That's right ONE HUNDRED.

And yet I can still remember it - and remember it with a smile because I really enjoyed it.

Lewis - the man who has lost everything, pretty much, is giving over control of his business. Except it's more than a business, it's his heart and soul. Devon, the arrogant American who has just bought the restaurant couldn't really care less about the heart of it, if the numbers don't add up then it needs to change.

I have to admit, from the start I was prepared to love Lewis and hate Devon. Was my alliance with the Brit because of his nationality (no, I promise) but because I'm a sad sap who love those who don't give up in the face of adversity. There was very little Lewis had left but he still held his head high and tried his best. Where many would say fuck it, he didn't. Not even when Devon came in throwing his weight about. Nasty individual.

Except he wasn't. Not really. He was just trying to prove himself as much as Lewis was. It made for an interesting partnership. It worked. It made my heart beat a bit faster. Because you know what - Lewis may not have been a damsel in distress, but it turned out Devon was a knight in shining armour. I feel all squishy inside thinking about them.

Salisbury is a beautiful place for this book to be set and I love how the city is a part of this story. The timeless cathedral city adds an atmosphere to this book, it sets a tone, a backdrop that gave this story more...more...

...just more.

I have to mention Rachel, Lewis's younger sister. I love the positivity portrayed in this disabled character. She is a strong person in her own right, not just there for a sympathy vote and I really enjoyed her role in the story.

An excellent story I would recommend to all.
A copy of this book was received for an honest (but thank god not timed) review.

For more information on Goodreads!

Review: Desert Heat by Lucy Felthouse

Their love is forbidden by rules, religion and risk. Yet still they can’t resist.

Captain Hugh Wilkes is on his last tour of duty in Afghanistan. The British Army is withdrawing, and Wilkes expects his posting to be event-free. That is, until he meets his Afghan interpreter, Rustam Balkhi, who awakens desires in Wilkes that he’d almost forgotten about, and that won’t be ignored.

Please note: this book was previously published as part of the Unconditional Surrender bundle.

I'm about to sound 16 different kinds of sexist. Apologies in advance for any butthurtedness I may cause.

This felt very m/f to me. Let me just clarify my position here. I've worked with soldiers. I have ex-military in my family. I've befriended active duty and veterans alike and the common denominator between them is they're all (to varying degrees) prickly hard-asses. They don't talk about their feelz unless there's some sort of dire consequence. In fact, let me tell you a story. A friend of mine's husband, a commissioned officer, had been on multiple tours to Iraq. At one point, the military made it "mandatory" that all returning service men and women have a psych eval. He didn't go. Ever. Neither did any of his friends/acquaintances/soldiers and that shit was MANDATORY. 

So the fact that the first time Wilkes and Balkhi take the fuck truck to Pound Town one of them brings up The L Word didn't strike me as very authentic. 

And the second time they're talking about their future? Together? After Wilkes has been mostly avoiding Balkhi since they got to the FOB? Maybe the falling into the love happened primarily off the page because it caught me off guard.

"I think I love you, Rustam Balkhi. Now please, make me come."

I'm not saying it couldn't happen I'm just saying I had a hard time believing a career soldier, a Captain no less, and a Muslim Afghani interpreter would be so forthcoming. I'm thinking their masking capabilities and stuffing their emotions would be highly attuned, so my suspend reality button didn't fully engage.

Anyway… the first 50% or so reads as a very dry account of military life on the FOB in contemporary Afghanistan in a fizzling war in a country still fraught with danger. Ms. Felthouse seems to have a firm grasp of military speak and the level of dexterity sometimes required interacting with a chain of command that showed but didn't make for an exciting read. 

The dialogue felt stilted more often than not and there was an excess of superfluous information that didn't serve a purpose. Case in point:

Reaching down, he grasped the base of the condom, holding it as Balkhi clambered off. Casting around for the wrapper, he removed the rubber and carefully stuffed it inside, then placed it on the sideboard, out of the way.

I didn't hate it and I would likely read something else from this author. I'm guessing she's fairly new to the m/m genre and I like where her head's at with choosing military MCs. That shows promise.

Recommend to military fans and those interested in dipping their toes into the m/m pond.

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

Find out more on Goodreads.

Review: Winter Hearts by Fyn Alexander

Luke Chandler says he wants nothing more than a quiet life on his land-claim in Dakota Territory. But what he also wants is a partner. The problem is, loving other men in 1881 means a lonely life for a man like Luke. As the son of a butcher from Boston, his desire for a loving domestic relationship seems nothing more than a dream, until one winter night, a snow storm blows a young man to his door in need of shelter. As the winter drags on, bringing with it a slow-burning love, his hopes begin to soar. Along with those hopes, his fears of the reactions of the people in the small town of De Smet grow.

Sam Smith is a romantic, but he also holds a strong family loyalty. He leaves Boston to get away from his parents’ expectations for a while, always knowing he must return at some point. The sweet young man does not anticipate meeting a rugged, honest man like Luke, who is desperate for love while at the same time afraid of the repercussions. The first time Luke holds him in his arms, Sam plans on making Luke his darling man.

My first Fyn Alexander and certainly will not be my last.

This author has built a house on my TBR mountain. The premises are SRAL appealing: large age gap, a young twink type and an older bear type, D/s and alludes to kinky sex. Why did I wait so long that her books can pay me mortgage for their residence in my TBR? I dunno. I get distracted.

I'm paying attention now.

I am not sure if I can call her writing formulaic (yet) but I am usually pretty good at sniffing those out. And this is a formula that works for me. Did the story read like a true historical romance? Eh, some parts did, some parts didn't. It kinda read like a contemporary to me, if you ignore the fact the character rode horses instead of driving cars. The tone and, sometimes, the dialogue read modern. I think readers who don't gravitate to the more traditional historical settings might like this book.

Sam Smith (which kinda weirded me out while reading the beginning because I kept thinking about the singer)  is a gay Harvard law student who left his Boston Brahmin (wealthy) lifestyle to be independent and farm on his own claim of land in the Dakota Territory (De Smet, SD). He wants to ignore his lavish lifestyle and homosexual partying ways much to his family's anger. Sam lied about his age, nearly freezes to death in a snow storm and meets a fellow gay Bostonian (Luke Chandler) in the town on De Smet in 1881 (what are the chances?) Luke is surly, older larger than Sam's 5'11", hairy and closeted. Luke has been spurned in the past for being who he was so he denies any temptation and represses, represses, represses.

We have one surly, bear type and a carefree, twink-like dandy trapped in shanty for a very long winter is a recipe for hot man loving right? Well...sorta in this book. The two got together fairly quickly, Sam of course has hearts and butterflies in his eyes. He loves his "darling man" and loves to cook, clean and nurture his bear any way he can. However, the sex scenes while hot, were a little inconsistent in the hotness factor, especially in the beginning. It was almost fade to black and little disappointing but it got better once the story hit its stride in the middle.I would describe the sex as spicy vanilla. Maybe light D/s undertones? I wouldn't have minded a scene but that just because I'm greedy

Predictable? A little.

Was the story entertaining? Most definitely.

The story started a little rough to me, then we get this instant connection between the main characters. I could see what the main conflict would be from the first chapter and it played out exactly how I imagined at the crux of the story.

But I found myself being drawn to Luke and Sam. I stopped caring about why a 19 year old would be so determined to serve a grumpy, 30 year old who had such a tough time returning his affection. But Luke loved his Sam, in his own fucked up way. They grew to be a great little couple with their little issues: Luke and his closet, Sam and his lying. They made it work with a cast of characters: the villain Morley and slutty bottom twink/dandy Courtland were the most memorable. The drama wasn't too over the top but sometimes I rolled my eyes. I mean could a guy really be so blase with their homosexuality in 1881 without more drastic repercussions? Sam...he was so open with his sexuality in a time where you'd be killed or lynched for openly admitting you were in love with the same sex. I could griped more about it but damn it I really liked (not loved) this story. *ponders* I think I expected a little more girt and realism. The epilogue was gratuitous sugar. I could have done with out it or maybe made it shorter.

I want to read contemporary Fyn Alexander to compare.

Overall, a decent story, with good characters. I was satisfied. Can't go wrong with a bear and his twink, no matter how you dress them.
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