Monthly Archives: October 2014

Title: Another Dumb Jock
Author: Jeff Erno
Publication Date: January 16, 2012

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
An interesting continuation of Jeff Erno’s Dumb Jock focuses on Jeff & Brett’s son, Adam. Adam gets into some trouble at school and is struggling in a few of his classes, so Jeff gets their son a tutor, Trevor. Trevor is confidently out, something Adam may have a problem with since he’s made it a point of letting people know that just because his dads are gay, it doesn’t mean he is, too. But spending time with Trevor rouses some curiosities for Adam that he might finally feel compelled to act on.

I honestly think I liked this one better than the first. I admit it was a bit awkward at first when I realized it was focusing on the son of the main couple from the previous book, but looking past that, it is actually a pretty great story of teenage love and what it means to care about someone. The detractor here is the way it all wrapped up – way too conveniently, to be honest – but otherwise it’s a good read that, again, avoids some of the big cliches of a high school m/m geek-jock romance.

Title: Discreet Young Gentleman
Author: M.J. Pearson
Publication Date: October 1, 2006

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
Dean Smith, Earl of Carwick, is all set to get married when he is tricked into being found in the company of Rob, a known male prostitute. His engagement cancelled, Dean sets out on a journey to Bath to try to set the record straight, Rob at his side to help determine who set him up. But spending time with Rob stirs up some curiosities in Dean causing him to struggle with how he really feels and who he really is.

I absolutely loved this. I enjoyed the previous M.J. Pearson story I’d read, The Price of Temptation, so I came in expecting a good historical m/m romance – and that’s certainly what I got. Pearson has a talent for writing the angst people go through when they’re struggling with whether to act on their desires and it shines in this book, too. I’ve another book by her that I can’t wait to dive into.

Title: Bound by Deception
Author: Ava March
Publication Date: September 16, 2008

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
A decent and enjoyable read. I found it a bit challenging to really connect with the characters and it was slightly confusing when one of them was suddenly referred to by a different name at times with no real explanation. I am interested to see where things go for these guys going forward, though, and I expect things will get better after they’ve resolved everything that happens in this book.

Title: I Am The Highway
Author: Jason Huffman-Black
Publication Date: July 2011

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
Short, quick read. Well-written and enjoyable overall. It’s not really my cup of tea, personally, but I can see why people enjoy it – especially those with a penchant for older/younger, leather, and BDSM.

Title: Breaking Cover
Author: Kaje Harper
Publication Date: July 22, 2011

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
It’s great to see what is happening next for Tony and Mac. I really found myself starting to like them in the first book in this series. Of course, I’m not at all surprised to see them wrapped right up in trouble again, though.

The tone of this book, the characters and their interactions, and the word in which they live had a seamless consistency with the first book – something I haven’t always seen in series. Even though it’s been a while since I read the first book, I was able to jump back in and re-immerse myself rather easily.

My only complaints would be that this one probably goes on a bit longer than necessary and that too many things happened that just seemed overly convenient for the story. This happened a bit in the first book, but they were close enough to feeling natural that it didn’t throw me too much. I started to feel otherwise here, and am hoping I’m on the wrong path and it’s not where the rest of the series is headed.

Title: Abel (It Can’t Be You)
Author: C.J. Bishop
Publication Date: January 23, 2014

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
Abel is a dancer at a male strip club who is injured by an over-zealous creep of a customer and ends up in the ER where he meets Dr. Grant. For Dr. Grant it’s lust-at-first-sight and he can’t shake his desire to be with Abel no matter how hard he tries. But can he get through Abel’s rough exterior that seems to push everyone away. And when Abel’s sister gets sick, can he find a way to comfort the young man that doesn’t just make things worse.

Content warning off the bat – descriptions and depictions of past sexual abuse/rape.

There’s something about this story and the characters of Abel and his sister that really drew me in and made me want to like it. I think there’s a lot of potential with the characters, but overall this first installment of the series didn’t really hook me as much as I think it could have. The insta-love here on Dr. Grant’s part is nearly jarring – he sees him once and doesn’t just want to get intimate with him, he suddenly wants to mate with him for life? That’s a bit too much. And I’m still not sure how I feel about the way things seem to conveniently and unrealistically line up at the end to provide the major twist that comes out. That said, reviews seem to indicate the next couple of books in the series are better than the first, so I’ll probably give the second a shot just because I’m hoping for something better for these characters who do have a lot of potential for a great story.

Title: The Adorned
Author: John Tristan
Publication Date: August 12, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
Wow, my friends. This is a 4.5 star book that only misses the 5 stars because I’m so stingy with giving those out.

When Etan’s father dies, leaving him with nothing, he has no idea what to expect from what he knows will no doubt be a grim future. But after he encounters a bondsman who thinks he might make a good new Adorned – people who serve as a living canvas to display the art of the master tattoo artists – his whole world is changed. And it might just change again when he finds himself beginning to fall for his new master.

Dystopia, fantasy, nobility, romance, danger – John Tristan has created an incredible world here. His engaging writing – all done in first person, which is not always an easy feat – creates a world from which I find myself only wanting to know more.

Title: Fire in the Blood
Author: Erin M. Evans
Publication Date: October 14, 2014

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review: Farideh was probably one of my favorite characters that I was introduced to in The Sundering series and The Adversary was certainly one of my favorite books. So of course I simply jumped at the opportunity to do an advance read of Fire in the Blood, the next installment in Farideh’s story.

Blurb:

SCRIBE- award-winning author, Erin M. Evans, continues the riveting tale of her Sundering character, Farideh, as she becomes embroiled in a Forgotten Realms-flavored game of thrones.

In a direct follow-up to the third book in the Sundering series, The Adversary, young warlock Farideh falls into the midst of a battle for the throne of Cormyr. As the war brought on by the Sundering rages across Faerûn, princes and princesses, wizards and rogues scheme to capture the seat of power of the Land of the Purple Dragon—with Farideh and her allies caught squarely in the middle. 

Don’t be fooled by the scant details given in the book’s description. There is so much more here than one might see on the surface. Love, war, high fantasy, magic, demons, betrayal – it’s all part of Farideh’s story and more. What I think I particularly enjoyed about this installment is getting to see Farideh’s interactions with others. There was more of that in this book than in the previous one and it demonstrated the level of depth that Evans has created for these characters and this world. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more about Farideh in the future.

My one frustration was the way Farideh’s story turns, for a moment, to a focus on romantic relationships. Granted, they are a part of everyone’s existence, but the way a man can suddenly turn her off course and overwhelm her just seemed so contrary to the strong and independent personality that characterizes Farideh all throughout The Adversary. In the end, I think she comes back out on top, but it was surprising to see and had me worried for a few moments while I was reading.

(eGalley provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Title: Interlude with Tattoos
Author: K.J. Charles
Publication Date: December 10, 2013

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
Having read the two books in this series, I’m very much a fan of Stephen and Lucien. It was interesting to go back and read this (which takes place between the two books) after having read the second book – it isn’t really plot-essential but is a nice little set of moments between the two of them. I ate it all up and am so looking forward to the third book coming out in January.

Title: The Locker Room
Author: Amy Lane
Publication Date: April 22, 2011

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
Long. Very long. Almost too long to tell this particular story.

Amy Lane packs quite a story into this book. We see Chris and Xander over a very long journey – both in terms of the number of yeas and the number of things that happen. It was easy to connect to these characters and the dynamic between the two of them is great.

There are points where things seem to drag a bit. There are also points where they jump around so much that I wasn’t sure that we’d transitioned to a new scene until something didn’t make sense anymore. And it was slightly frustrating to go on this whole journey and be left with that ending, but I can totally understand why it was left that way…