Thursday, January 29, 2015

5 Star Review: With or Without Him

Title: With or Without Him

Author: Barbara Elsborg

Publisher/GR Link: Samhain, GR

Genre: MM Contemporary

Vice: Prostitutes, Abuse, Rich men, Great secondaries

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

Lock this book up:  4.5 out of 5 keys.  Sex is HOT, plot driving, and fitting to the story.

Length: Novel

Satisfaction: HEA

Cover Impressions: Delish!

Best Line: "You came to mean more and more to me, and I could no sooner have turned away from you than stop the earth spinning. I thought, if this ends with me broken, so be it. But as every day passed, I thought: he won't break me, he loves me and one day, he'll tell me. But you didn't because you don't."

Synopsis"The most dangerous refuge could be his lover's arms. "

Everyone has at least one deep-seated fear. For Tyler, it's being in debt. He's so desperate to get out and stay out of it, he'll do almost anything-including selling his body at Saturday night sex parties.

But he refuses to open his mind to anyone, especially the men paying to use him however they want. The only time he's truly happy is during the week at college, when he can escape into his music.

The moment Haris sees Tyler playing piano at a concert, he falls hard, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to make the guy his. Even if it means-for the first time in his life-opening his wallet as wide and desperate as his heart.

20,000 to live with a good-looking guy for four months? How can Tyler resist the chance to ditch the sex party scene for good? But neither man realizes how much they're risking. And when outside forces close in, ready to destroy them, the trickiest part about the next four months could be just surviving.

Warning: Contains a "for hire" bad boy with a filthy mouth, an awkward guy with a penchant for BDSM, a hypochondriac butler who won't shut up, a dog called Alcide, and a lot of hot and dirty M/M sex.

Impressions: This was one of those please-let-the world-leave-me-alone-so-I-can-read kinda books.  I was lucky enough to be snowed in for a few days, so I got a few of those minutes when I could hide away and keep reading!  I felt totally engrossed by these guys, and I felt like I *needed* to keep reading so they could get their HEA!

I wasn't sure that I would really get Tyler's panic over debt, especially given that so many of us have it, but Ellsborg made his fear totally relatable and believable.  Tyler had been through so much and it was totally evident in his current behaviors and beliefs.  Haris was also a man with a past, though he initially seemed so much more in control.  In reality, he was damaged and maybe even more in need of love.  

The secondary characters were very engaging, in particular Winslow and Jeremy.  They played a crucial role, and moved the story along nicely.

The action was intense and believable, and kept me tapping away on my kindle.  The miscommunication between Haris and Tyler was hard to watch, but never became a ridiculous plot device.  Everything about this book was gripping, but the connection between these two was amazing and really kept me hooked.

Though you may suffer a book hangover at its conclusion, it is worth every sigh!  Check this book!  I know I will be going to Ellsborg's book list and making sure I don't miss any other great reads!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review: Enticing Hart

Title: Enticing Hart

Author: Mae Hancock

Publisher/GR Link: Loose Id, GR

Genre: MM Contemporary

Vice: Cowboys, coming out

Rating: 4 out of 5

Lock this book up : 4 out of 5 keys, sex is very hot and appropriate to the story

Length: Novel

Satisfaction: HEA, and looking forward to the stories to come

Cover Impressions: What's not to like?!  Hot cowboys and pleasant scenery. 

Best Line: "Oak clung to him and inhaled Hart's scent as he nuzzled his neck.  It was the safest place in the world."

SynopsisHart Emile is tired of cruising for guys, living a soulless existence. He needs a change; so when an acquaintance gives him the number of the gay friendly Red Fox Ranch that’s hiring for staff, he heads south.

Oak Redman is eighteen years old and desperate to explore his awakening sexuality. The moment Hart lays eyes on the handsome young rancher he’s smitten. Not only is Oak hot, spirited and very persistent, he is also the ranch boss’s son and strictly off limits. Hart tries to fight his feelings and to respect his boss and the family who quickly become dear to him, but after Oak's Grandma suggests he gets with Oak he can't deny himself the most exciting and enticing man he has ever met. 

Hart’s not the only man to have noticed how sweet and charming Oak Redman is. A family friend, Steve, is also anxious to have the affections of the young rancher. Can Hart work out Steve’s dark secrets before it’s too late and keep his job, his lover and his life?

Impressions: I liked this book, but it was a little iffy in the beginning.  I liked Hart, but I really did not connect with Oak at all.  He struck me as spoiled and selfish, and I was prepared to feel the same way throughout the book.  Fortunately, in a very short time I came to really like Oak, and to believe in the romance between Hart and him.  What bothered me about Oak faded into an understanding of his own lack of maturity, but coupled with his self awareness and willingness to change, my perspective on him changed as his character deepened.

This book was a fun, sexy Ranch romp, and it had the right blend of romance and intrigue that it kept my interest.  It was definitely hot, and the story, while high on plot drama, was fun and engaging.

One thing that set this apart was the character of Bey, and his struggles with OCD.  I found him to be complex and interesting, and I am hopeful that we will hear his story next.  (A little birdy hinted to me that that might be the case! Loose Id has contracted for the second book in the story, and if I tell you it has "Cotton" in the title, you'll understand my excitement!)

Bey was handled with compassion and realism, and what could have been a contrived plot device became something much more believable and integral to the coming stories.  

Definitely check this one out!  I know I will be checking for the next book, and awaiting more sexy times from this ranch!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Release Announcement: Enticing Hart!

Check out the great raffle being hosted in celebration of Enticing Hart!  A review is coming of this book, but in the meantime, check out the blurb and excerpt below!

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter will receive a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Hart Emile is tired of cruising for guys, living a soulless existence. He needs a change; so when an acquaintance gives him the number of the gay friendly Red Fox Ranch that’s hiring for staff, he heads south.

Oak Redman is eighteen years old and desperate to explore his awakening sexuality. The moment Hart lays eyes on the handsome young rancher he’s smitten. Not only is Oak hot, spirited and very persistent, he is also the ranch boss’s son and strictly off limits. Hart tries to fight his feelings and to respect his boss and the family who quickly become dear to him, but after Oak's Grandma suggests he gets with Oak he can't deny himself the most exciting and enticing man he has ever met.

Hart’s not the only man to have noticed how sweet and charming Oak Redman is. A family friend, Steve, is also anxious to have the affections of the young rancher. Can Hart work out Steve’s dark secrets before it’s too late and keep his job, his lover and his life?

Enjoy an excerpt:

The following morning, Bay took Hart into town to pick up supplies. The boss had shown a lot of hospitality to him since he’d arrived two days before, and Hart wanted to work hard and prove Bay’d made the right decision in employing him.

Dark sunglasses hid Bay’s eyes, but the look suited him. Hart guessed Bay must be about thirty-five, and then he added a few years to account for Oak’s age. The man didn’t appear gay, but none of the other cowboys on the ranch did either—not even Oak with his pretty, elfin face. Hart had always believed he could spot gay guys, but now he wasn’t so sure.

As they approached town, Bay turned the radio down. ”Understand you and Oak are planning a fishing trip next week.”

Caught off guard, Hart searched for words. “Yeah…we arranged to go huntin’ and fishing sometime. I didn’t know Oak planned on next week, but it’s fine if we can get the time off.” He cringed. He’d only been in the job five minutes, and now Bay knew he wanted time off.

“I need to make one thing clear to you before you go anywhere with my boy.”

Hart glanced at him with caution. “Okay.” He took a deep breath.

“Now, I don’t know anything about you or your sexuality, and I don’t want to know. Those things are your business. I will say this, though. My son…is not available.”

“I understand.”

“I hope you do, Hart. There are few things can make a man angry, and one of ’em’s messing with his family. Same goes for my daughter. She's not available either.”


“I’m not saying you can’t go fishin’ or nothing, and I know it’s Oak pushing me to give you time off and not the other way around, so I’m not worried about that. It’s fine if you want to be friends, but remember what I said.”

“Yes, sir. I understand.” Hart swallowed hard, feeling nauseated. He stared out of the window, having second thoughts about going because he didn’t trust himself. He’d intended to finish what Oak had started in the barn, but now? Hart didn’t want to put himself into a situation where something might go wrong—or right, as the case may be.

He’d thought about nothing but Oak since he’d first seen him on the porch, strong muscles moving with easy grace, and with each move Hart had felt the slamming in his chest. He wanted to trace each curve with his tongue and sate the urgent need to satisfy the young man. With his body as powerful and mature as his father, Oak didn’t seem like an eighteen-year old. Nevertheless, it didn’t make Hart feel any better about taking advantage.

The last thing he wanted was to see an angry Bay coming after him for messing with his son. It would be ungrateful and disrespectful to get involved with his boy. Hart had to try to think of a way to keep the two happy.

Hart loved being in Oak’s company—he was open, trusting, inquisitive, and intelligent—a real turn-on, but an obvious combination for trouble. Oak complemented Hart’s own quiet persona well. At least their friendship could continue.

He admired the actions Bay had taken to protect his kids. His own father had always been distant with him. On the other hand, at almost nineteen years old, Oak should be able to make his own mistakes. Would it be a mistake? The ranch was a workplace, and most employers discouraged relationships between employees.

“How’re you settling in?” Bay asked in a lighter tone.

About the Author:I enjoy writing both academic and fiction material. My research interests include focus on people who experience marginalization, both in historical societies and modern. Themes include disability, neurosis, homosexuality, addiction, mental illness, slavery and prostitution. The most important part of my work is creating multi-dimensional, believable characters that are able to build lasting romantic relationships against the odds. I want all my readers to laugh, cry and enjoy the erotic journey towards a happy ending.

Twitter: @Hancockfiction

Buy the book at Loose-ID

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal: Godsend, by Sloan Johnson

Title: Godsend
Author: Sloan Johnson
Genre: Adult, Gay Romance
Coming: February 2015
You can’t choose who you fall in love with. Despite knowing from a young age that he was gay, Scott Murphy couldn’t imagine life without Shelly. He threw away the labels and had eleven amazing years with her, but now, he feels even more lost trying to figure out how to move on after Shelly’s death. After nearly a year of watching Scott fade away, Shelly’s father forces him to start living again.

As much as Chris loathes the idea of attending a bereavement group week after week, it’s one of the only places he can go in this town, other than the bar, to not feel so alone. When there’s nothing to distract him or dull his senses, he spends too much time obsessing over how he should have been able to help his sister. When Scott shows up at his group session, Chris decides that maybe some good can come out of his sister’s death. 

There’s no denying that Chris is the first man to catch Scott’s attention in a long time, but how can he move on when just thinking of Shelly sends him to his dark place? 

The road to recovery won’t be an easy one, but Chris is determined to help Scott see that life is still worth living. But before Scott can allow himself to admit what he feels for Chris, he knows he has to reveal the full truth about Shelly’s death.
Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s life. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed mom with a mohawk and two kids. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself with a good book and forget she has somewhere to be.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Series Review: Sex in Seattle

 Title: Sex in Seattle Series:  The Trouble with Tony, The Enlightenment of Daniel, The Mating of Michael

Author: Eli Easton

Publisher/GR Link: Dreamspinner, GR

Genre: MM Contemporary

Vice: Cops, disabilities, healing
Rating: 5 for the series, (5 for Tony, 4 for Daniel and a 5+ for Michael!)

Lock this book up : 4 keys out of 5.  This book is HOT, but so sweet.  The sex totally fits in the story

Length: Novellas for the first two, novel for the second

Satisfaction: HEAs

Cover Impressions: I love them all, but especially the last one.
Best Line“I really, really like him. I mean, I like him more than it makes any sense to... Like my heart has already signed the contract and picked up the keys even though my brain is still going 'wait... what?” 

Synopsis: Book #1As part of the investigation into the murder of a young woman, Seattle P.I. Tony DeMarco poses as a patient of Dr. Jack Halloran, the therapist who treated the victim at a Seattle sex clinic. This isn’t the first time Tony has gone undercover, but it’s the first time he’s wanted to go under coverwith one of his suspects. He can’t help it—Jack Halloran is just the kind of steely-eyed hero Tony goes for. But he’ll have to prove Halloran’s innocence and keep the doctor from finding out about his ruse before he can play Romeo.

Dr. Halloran has his own issues, including a damaged right arm sustained in the line of duty as a combat surgeon in Iraq and the PTSD that followed. He’s confused to find himself attracted to a new patient, the big, funny Italian with the puppy-dog eyes, and Tony’s humor slips right past Jack’s defenses, making him feel things he thought long buried. But can the doctor and the P.I. find a path to romance despite the secrets between them?

Book #2Business tycoon Daniel Derenzo lives for his work until his dying father reminds him life is short. When Daniel starts to reevaluate his world he experiences a startling revelation—he’s attracted to his business partner and best friend, Nick, even though Daniel always believed himself to be straight. In typical type-A fashion, Daniel dissects his newfound desires with the help of the experts at the Expanded Horizons sex clinic. He goes after Nick with the fierce determination that’s won him many a business deal.

Nick Ross was in love with Daniel years ago, when they were roommates in college. But Daniel was straight and Nick patched his broken heart by marrying Marcia. Two kids and fourteen years later, they go through the motions of their marriage like ships passing in the night. But Nick’s kids mean the world to him, and he’s afraid he’ll never get joint custody if they divorced. If he can trust his heart to an awakening Daniel, they all might find their way to a happily ever after.

Book #3Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it's cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his spare time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.

James Gallway’s life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of eighteen, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by twenty-eight, he's lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can’t believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.

Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.

Impressions: First off, I don't know what took me so long to read these!!  I was hooked right way.  I love Eli Easton's work, and if you love this author's classics like Blame it on the Mistletoe or Superhero, then read these ASAP!

In the first book, it was impossible to not fall in love with Tony.  He is adorably geeky, and Jack is hot, smart, and oh-so flustered by Tony that you cannot help but cheer as they fall into each other's arms.  

In the second book, Daniel and Nick are so adorable as they fall in love, and so heartbreaking as they struggle to make it work.  

The third book, however, was a whole new ball game for me.  I've been crushing on Michael in the first two books, but in this one, I fell head over heels.  I think it was just a beautiful love story, and Michael's huge heart is the only thing I can imagine breaking down James' humongous, and hard earned, walls.  

Check these out ASAP if you have not.  Then again, I'm late to this party, so you may be rereading them or the 3rd time by now!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

5 Star Review: We Found Love

Title: We Found Love

Author: Kade Boehme

Publisher/GR Link: Dreamspinner, GR

Genre: Contemporary MM

Vice: Abuse, Mental Health, Loss, Healing

Rating: 5 stars

Lock this book up : 3.5 keys out of 5, sex is an important part of the story and supports the plot

Length: novel

Satisfaction: Well earned HEA/HFN - but very satisfied

Cover Impressions: I liked it.  The overall feel reflects the storyline well.

Best Line: "You need you."

Synopsis:It’s no surprise Riley Connors is dealing with issues. He was kidnapped as a young boy, and his parents abandoned him after his newsworthy return. He bounced from foster home to facility and back. Now an adult, ghosts from his past continue to haunt him. After a suicide attempt, he is locked away in Hartfield so that people can make him tune in to emotions he has tried to bury. 

Hunter Morgan had the kind of love that spans ages. But the stress of college and adulthood became too much to handle, and the love of Hunter’s life turned to drugs. After he overdoses, Hunter finds himself soaring out of control on the same miserable path. His brother finds him and calls an ambulance, and the sister Hunter would rather not have calls it a suicide attempt, landing Hunter in Hartfield. 
Finding love isn’t easy, but it can happen under the most dire circumstances. Together Hunter and Riley may be able to grow from their pain. But they will need to learn to live for themselves, letting love come second.

Impressions:  This book was something special.  I've read other work from this author, and I've always enjoyed them.  (Don't Trust the Cut, and The Keep Swimming Pair were 5 Star reads for me as well.)  This book, however, handled very complicated MC's with love and compassion, and more impressively, believability.  

I love tortured heroes, and I have a soft sport for MC's who have survived abuse or deep personal challenges.  I love watching them heal and find love and happiness, but often their stories are rushed, and their HEA seems forced.  I was so relieved and pleasantly surprised to see the compassion with which Boehme handled these two men.

Riley had had a very tough life, and it hasn't been getting much easier.  Though I wish I had even more of his back story, what we learned was heartbreaking.  Despite this, he has a sharp wit and a big coat of armor.  Riley seems to be on the edge of living the life of institutionalization while he yearns for a "normal" life that he has never had.  The introduction of Hunter into his life is the factor that sets him on the road to active healing, but he cannot be healed by Hunter, nor can Hunter be healed by Riley.

The quote that really stuck out to me was "You need you" and I think this is the magic of the book.  Love is important, but self healing needs to happen first.  The pacing of this love story was done perfectly.  I really believe that these men have made it past the biggest hurdles, and that they have the strength to continue their healing.  

This story was sweet, heartbreaking, and uplifting all at once.  Definitely check it out.  It is highly recommended!