Monthly Archives: February 2015

Book Tour & Giveaway: The Devil Will Do by Heidi Cullinan

TDWD blog tour horizontal_edited-1

Today I’m excited to review The Devil Will Do by Heidi Cullinan as part of the book’s release tour.  Be sure to check out a giveaway being offered by the author at the end of this post!

In a land unforgiving of indulgent, dangerous sex, merchantman Eryn does his best to keep his desires in the dark…until the plight of a beautiful prince leads him out of the shadows and into adventures both sensual and terrible.

Capture, curse, and torture litter Eryn’s road to true love, along with carnal delights beyond his most wicked imaginings. His strengths and limitations are exposed—and the hard truth, that nothing holds him back more than the monster of self-loathing in his heart. Prince Wyn might be everything he’s dreamed of in a man—and master—but before Eryn can accept the exquisitely wicked affections of his one true love, he must first save himself…from himself.

This novella was originally published under the title Sweet Son and has been significantly revised.

TheDevilWIllDo_cvrTitle: The Devil Will Do
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Published: February 4, 2015
Pages: 154
Publisher: Wilde City
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

[Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]

Eryn knows he is not worthy of love. He lives a life of “perversion” and people like him can’t ever be happy. It isn’t just that he desires other men, it’s how he desires them: rough, domineering, and even a bit degrading. But when he meets Prince Wyn–who is in a far off land and might be in danger–in a dream, he sets out on an adventure that he hopes might end in the love he desires, even if he still doesn’t believe he deserves it. What follows is a journey of personal challenges and self-discovery that might just help him see that “[e]veryone has worth.”

The idea of reading a BDSM fantasy tale is one that honestly sort of surprised me–it’s not something I think I would normally pick up. But I’m honestly glad I read this one. The fantastic setting is wonderfully constructed with all the trappings of a fairy tale (though definitely racier than anything you read in your youth). There’s royalty, magic, a witch, a demon, and a curse which must be broken. And some real heat to go with it.

I will say the content here is not for everyone. This definitely pushes some people would see as boundaries. There are dubious consent (and perhaps less-than-dubious consent) elements, bondage scenes, and ‘public’ humiliation.

Giveaway!

Enter here for a chance to win 3 books in ebook or paperback format, courtesy of Heidi Culiinan.

Gambling Men: The Novel by Amy Lane

13594871Title: Gambling Men: The Novel
Author: Amy Lane
Published: May 7, 2012
Pages: 220
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Quent and Jason are business partners who have been friends since their freshman year of college. Everything they’ve done has been based on Jason’s outlook that life is poker and he lives it like he’s in one constant game. But when one night they give in to passion, can they beat the odds and ensure their friendship-turned-romance is based on a winning hand.

I struggled with this one a bit. I know the poker metaphor is a large part of this book, but I feel like it overshadowed things quite a bit. I also felt like Jason’s personality was off-putting and a bit inconsistent at times–especially in terms of him being in control and possessive vs. indecisive with no real rhyme or reason that I could discern. Ultimately, though, it is a nice little romance and I did enjoy the dynamic between the two of them.

Jumping In by Cardeno C.

23782977Title: Jumping In (Alphas, Book 6)
Author: Cardeno C.
Published: February 6, 2015
Pages: 58
Publisher: OmniLit / All Romance eBooks
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]

Clint Rivera returns from a camping trip to find things worse than when he left. His closeted ex is now getting married (and, of all things, has invited him to the engagement party). He’s being evicted, his dogs have destroyed his furniture, his refrigerator is broken, and he’s out of beer. But no doubt there would be free alcohol at the engagement party, so he takes his chances on going. While his presence may not be expected by the one who invited him, he quickly finds someone else was hoping he would show up–someone who has been waiting for a while.

This is a jam-packed short, but it works. It doesn’t feel rushed or like anything is skimmed over, even though there is a large amount of backstory that needs to be revealed in addition to the action of the story itself. The dynamics between the characters are heavy and really just ooze off the page. I will say, though, that there were aspects of Hawk’s character and actions that came across as a bit creepy. In the end, it’s a nice steamy read for those who are looking for something to fill that need.

From the Ashes by Daisy Harris

17560419Title: From the Ashes (Fire and Rain, Book 1)
Author: Daisy Harris
Published: August 13, 2013
Pages: 259
Publisher: Daisy Harris
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

When Jesse’s apartment burns down, he’s at a loss.  As a busy college student working his way through school and a dog to care for, he has nowhere to turn.  But Tomas, one of the firemen who responded to the scene, offers him a place to stay.  Tomas is definitely one of those sexy firemen you might see in a calendar, but Jesse figures that doesn’t matter much since Tomas is clearly straight and only making the offer because he’s a decent guy.  But once Jesse moves in,with Tomas’s family literally in their backyard, he finds there might be more to Tomas than he saw at first–and he just might learn some things about himself, too.

This was such a ridiculously cute story, I don’t even know where to begin.  I know on its face the concept could come across a bit cliche, but it didn’t read that way at all to me as I was turning the pages (and honestly I did have a hard time putting this one down).  As a Seattle-ite, it was great to see the way Daisy Harris was able to capture the spirit of the city as the backdrop to this story which drew me even further into the world of Tomas and Jesse.

I can’t wait to pick up the next installment in this series!

The Diary of Dakota Hammell by Kody Boye

10791470Title: The Diary of Dakota Hammell
Author: Kody Boye
Published: February 20, 2011
Pages: 102
Publisher: Kody Boye
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

When Dakota Hammell, a teenage runaway who is attacked in an alley and left to die, is found by a psychologist who invites him to live at his house while he recuperates, he’s not quite sure what to think. Even more curious is the deal he makes: Dakota can live there as long as he needs on the condition that he write in a journal every day. This novel is the journal that Dakota keeps and documents not only what happens as he works toward physical, emotional, and mental recovery but also his past as he slowly opens up about what happened to him.

This was some really great storytelling. I really could have believed that Dakota was a real young man who wrote this diary himself. The story progresses naturally and it’s easy to see the way Dakota develops throughout the book. The only think that I didn’t really care for was the way the book ended, though that’s largely because I want so much to know what happens next…

Love Means… No Fear by Andrew Grey

9709849Title: Love Means… No Fear (Farm, Book 4)
Author: Andrew Grey
Published: December 27, 2010
Pages: 210
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

After being the victim of an attack that leaves him in pain and with mobility issues, Raine goes to the ranch owned by his friends Geoff and Eli to complete his recovery. While Raine is there, Eli’s brother Jonah shows up to spend some time during his Rumspringa. Despite Raine’s first impression of Jonah, he can’t help finding himself drawn to him. But can Raine, an out gay man from the city, truly win over Jonah, a sheltered young man from an Amish community who is still learning about the outside world? And even if he can, is it worth it when Jonah is likely to just go back to his community at the end of the year and Raine is headed back to Chicago?

While I felt like the last two installments in this series had some rather stark similarities, this one seems a bit fresher. Granted, there is the theme returning from the first book as one of the main characters is coming from an Amish community and is faced with learning about the outside world and himself, as well as decisions about where he wants to end up in the end. But the characters here are very different, as are their circumstances. I also feel like this installment included a bit more bedroom scenes that previous books – the plot to sex ratio is heavier to the latter when compared to the early parts of the series.

Overall, Andrew Grey continues to add to the world he’s created, slowly introducing more wonderful characters into the mix.

Each to Each by Seanan McGuire

Title: Each to Each
Author: Seanan McGuire
Published: June 2014
Pages: ~17
Publisher: Lightspeed Magazine (part of Women Destroy Science Fiction! issue)
Direct Link: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Seanan McGuire is a master of world-building as demonstrated in this short but incredibly engaging story.  Set in a future where the navy is made up entirely of genetically modified women made to be more like mermaids, no part of it seems out of place or farfetched, and the reader can very easily place oneself into this world.  The character of the narrator has a strong, clear, and unique voice and everything just flows well.  I hesitate to delve too much more into the details at the risk of spoiling too much (always a much higher risk when dealing with shorter fiction).  I definitely recommend this – the only drawback I found is that I got so immersed in this world and this story, I want more…

Dark Space by Lisa Henry

16174363Title: Dark Space (Dark Space, Book 1)
Author: Lisa Henry
Published: December 4, 2012
Pages: 216
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

Brady Garrett is a recruit on a space station doing his duty to defend Earth. And he’s focused on finishing out his service and getting back home to his family. But when Cameron Rushton, a pilot who was kidnapped by an alien race four years ago, mysteriously returns, Brady finds himself called to the aid of the medical team. When his revival is botched, Brady finds himself tied to Cameron to keep him going.

Space stories are often hit or miss for me, but this one really ended up on the hit side. It was very easy to get immersed into this world and the characterization of and tension between Brady and Cameron was very well done.

Content warning: sexual abuse, dubious consent, rape, stockholm syndrome (this one bothered me a bit, to be honest)

Glitterland by Alexis Hall

17727137Title: Glitterland (Glitterland, Book 1)
Author: Alexis Hall
Published: August 24, 2013
Pages: 248
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Ash Winters has experienced some real ups and downs in his life. The author of best-selling novels, he now finds himself often struggling to deal with his depression and prefers to keep himself isolated from the rest of the world. But when he is dragged to a stag party and meets Darian Taylor, an energetic and outgoing aspiring model who almost seems to live in a completely different world, things change. There’s an attraction there, but it means Ash has to be willing to trust Darian and also trust himself. And that’s something he just might not be able to do.

If you’re looking for a fun romantic read, this is it. These two guys just crawl off the page and into your life and it’s simply a great experience. Alexis Hall has done amazing job with this one. The character of Darian is so incredibly well-written that if someone told me this was an account of a true story, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. (Even when Darian annoyed me, I was still smiling through it.)

Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux

5199022Title: Cut & Run (Cut & Run, Book 1)
Author: Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Published: September 1, 2008
Pages: 348
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are FBI special agents assigned to the case of a serial killer in New York City. They’re not happy to be partnered with each other and the tension is very real. But before they know it, the murderer’s sights wind up focused on the two of them and they find they might have to rely on each other more than either would like to catch the culprit and to survive.

This was a well-written story. The blurb uses the word cliché and it’s definitely an accurate one. I was able to look past that and enjoy the characters and the plot that lies underneath it. The characters are frustrating at times, but they do play off of each other well. I’ve seen a great deal of buzz around this series, which is what led me to read this one in the first place. I’m not sure it lives up to all of the hype, but it’s worth a read and I’d recommend it.