Tag Archives: published: 2012-03

A Helping of Love by Andrew Grey

A Helping of Love

A Helping of Love by Andrew Grey

Series: Of Love, Book 3
Published by: Dreamspinner Press on March 15, 2012
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Peter Christopoulos had it all. He was attractive and athletic, with the possibility of being an Olympian one day. But since his accident three years ago, he’s had to adjust to a completely different life. And while being in a wheelchair isn’t so bad on its own, it’s hard for Peter when no one seems to look past the chair to see him. Even so, he’s managed to become a successful salesman in the restaurant supply industry. And it’s on a job that he meets Russ Baker, an attractive chef who gets Peter going.

Russ is in a relationship, which leaves Peter disappointed at first. After seeing Russ and his boyfriend interact one day, however, the disappointment turns to concern. And Peter is there for Russ when he finally gets up the courage to leave his abusive relationship. Peter’s support touches Russ, and he decides to give Peter a chance and see where things go. Around the same time, Peter learns he has a half-sister that he’s never met and that his mother was never able to track down. As they both navigate their new emotional realities, Peter and Russ need to decide together what it all means for the two of them.

One of the nice things about this series is that you get to see the characters from past installments. It helps to underscore that this all taking place in the same world, even though the books focus on one couple at a time. The connections provide a solid backdrop for the story without having to explain who the side characters are in any in-depth way.

My only issue with this book is how quickly Russ rushes into the relationship with Peter. Granted, it’s not an impossible sort of thing. It just struck me that he doesn’t really take any time to get over his trauma. And then things just seem to settle in an odd sort of way.

But the way Russ’s friends gather to help and support him is inspiring…

A Hard Winter Rain by John Inman

A Hard Winter Rain

A Hard Winter Rain by John Inman

Published by: Dreamspinner Press on March 4, 2012
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Sean Andros is a street hustler. He’s good at what he does, and it pays well, but it’s not what he’d planned for his life. Having run from his conservative religious family in Indiana, it’s what he fell into when he arrived in San Diego. But he takes some solace in that he’s bringing pleasure to his clients.

When one of Sean’s clients is murdered, he panics. Not least because the murderer is still in the apartment. Fearing for his life, he runs to a nearby bar, looking for help even if he doesn’t know what shape it might take. He just knows he needs to get away.

Harry Connors has been interested in Sean since his friends gifted Sean to him for his birthday. There’s something about him that Harry just can’t shake. But he knows he should. The age difference is one thing. What Sean does for a living is another. But Harry knows what he wants. So when a disheveled Sean comes into his bar one night in need of help, Harry jumps at the chance.

But the danger is very real. An unexpected demon from Sean’s past has found its way to San Diego and no one is safe…

This one is a bit intense. Certainly more intense than I’d expected from the description. And it’s full of twists that kept me glued to the page.

I did feel like Sean and Harry went from zero to sixty a bit quickly. But I do recognize they had some history and the circumstances probably pushed things to the extreme. It just took a little time to wrap my head around it.

Recommended read, with content warning caveats.

Content warnings: sexual assault, violence, incest

Thief by Ava March

Thief

Thief by Ava March

Series: Brook Street, Book 1
Published by: Carina Press on March 19, 2012
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

Lord Benjamin Parker thinks he might prefer the company of men. He can only think because he’s never actually experienced it. But he’s learned there’s a place he can go to pick up a guy. And he tells himself he will give it one chance. Much to his surprise, he picks up the gorgeous Cavin Fox. He soon finds that one night with Cavin is not enough. He needs and wants more.

For Cavin, this is like any other night. He’ll his mark, flirt with him, and get him alone. He’ll spend the night with him, but then make off with his cash before the sun comes up. And that’s his plan when he first meets Benjamin. But there’s something about this gentleman that Cavin didn’t expect. And he finds that robbing him just doesn’t feel right.

To make matters worse for Cavin, circumstances bring him face-to-face with Benjamin again. The goal is to never run into a mark again. And even though Benjamin doesn’t know what Cavin’s plan was, it’s still a risk and it’s uncomfortable. Benjamin makes it clear he wants to pursue something more with Cavin. Cavin’s not exactly opposed to the idea, but he knows it can’t be. There’s no way Benjamin could accept Cavin if he knew what he did for a living. And there’s the issue of trying to escape the leader of Cavin’s gang. The chances that things will work out for them are slim. But they met in a gambling establishment, so neither is averse to games of chance…

Regency gay romance? Sign me up. And these two guys…I just can’t get enough. Their interactions, their feelings for each other, and their…well..private moments are so well written. I felt immersed in the story on every page. I definitely give this a solid recommendation!

Thief on the Carina Press website

Sinders and Ash by Tara Lane

Sinders and Ash

Book Info

Title: Sinders and Ash (The Pennymaker Tales, Book 1)
Author: Tara Lain
Published: March 31, 2012 (Re-released October 14, 2015)
Pages: 167
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

Mark “Sinders” Sintorella is a housekeeper at an upscale resort, responsible for many of the more involved cleaning tasks: fireplaces, chimneys, and the like. But he secretly aspires to be a fashion designer, making dresses in his room during the little spare time he can find. Things at the resort turn on their head when Ashford Armitage, son of the fifth richest man in America and a very attractive and eligible bachelor, arrives for stay. It’s no secret that Ashford is looking for a wife; he needs to get married to keep his inheritance. Mark is immediately smitten, though he knows he’d never stand a chance. But around the same time, a mysterious guest–one Carstairs Pennymaker–shows up and takes an interest in Mark and his fashion career, having him masquerade as a woman in his own designs to impress some investor friends. But Mark’s designs are stunning and he quickly gets noticed, even by a few unexpected people…

Adaptation is an art, and it’s something that I think few people do extremely well. But Tara Lain’s clever adaptation of the classic Cinderella fairy tale is extremely original, with just enough nods to the original to know what’s being referenced without feeling like one has read this story before. There are a couple of points where I feel like the plot hits a lull here–hence not giving a higher rating–but I really enjoyed this and recommend it to people who are looking for a fun and entertaining but sweet romance with a hint of fantasy and a nod back to one of the all-time classic fairy tales.

Title: Frat Boy and Toppy
Author: Anne Tenino
Publication Date: March 26, 2012

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
I don’t know that I enjoyed this one as much as other people have. Part of it, though, I’ll admit is that I was kind of going through a phase where I’d read so many insta-love stories before this one that I’m sure seeing ‘YET ANOTHER’ impacted my overall views on this one. I also felt like the story dragged in a few parts and could have moved along a bit more quickly.

That said, I did find myself somewhat liking and connecting with most of the characters and think it would probably be of interest to m/m fans, especially those who like stories in a college setting or with a bit of a teacher-student vibe.