Tag Archives: homophobia

Gaining Trust (Kiss of Leather) Morticia Knight

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Gaining Trust

SERIES: Kiss of Leather

AUTHOR: Morticia Knight

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: January 24, 2017

BLURB: Chuck isn’t sure what he needs and Master Jordan can’t wait to show him.

Stone’s shy junior investigator, Chuck, can no longer deny his interest in the BDSM lifestyle. The beautiful connections and raw emotions he’s witnessed between so many of the Doms and subs at Kiss of Leather, leave him yearning for something he’d never dared hope he could have: unconditional love and care from a man. He isn’t sure if he can take the chance of having a real relationship when he’s not out to his meddling parents yet, but the sexy Master Jordan, Gavin’s friend and the owner of Club Consequence, makes him want to take that chance.

Master Jordan has been biding his time until he can get next to the super-fine Chuck. Gavin warned him that Chuck wasn’t in the lifestyle, but there’s something special about him that Jordan can’t deny. When they’re finally alone, the chemistry is off the charts and Jordan can tell it won’t take much to bring Chuck willingly into the world of BDSM.

An unexpected development in the case of Corey’s kidnappers shocks them all, but not as much as what happens with Chuck’s family. Jordan teaches Chuck that secrets hold power over the person keeping them, and that gaining trust can only be achieved through complete honesty.

REVIEW: This is the 5th book in this series and one that I was looking forward to. This story features Stone’s assistant, Chuck, and Gavin’s friend, Jordan, the owner of another BSDM club, Club Consequence.

I was intrigued from the moment these two were mentioned and featured briefly in the previous books so I was very pleased to see that the author has decided to give them their own story.

As with all of her characters, the ones in this series are very well written. Knight’s attention to detail in her work is meticulous. She has a great talent for maintaining her characters and their storylines. The transitions from one book in her series to the next are always smooth without any breaks or holes in the plots.

Her depictions of the subs and their Doms are awesome. The subs aren’t simpering, child-like, effeminate twinks. There’s nothing wrong with a man being effeminate or a twink but I absolutely detest when simpering and child- like is thrown in. She strikes the perfect balance between these men being strong and independent but are strong and confident enough to submit to their Doms.

I loved Jordan and Chuck’s characters. Chuck’s character was shy and sweet, strong and fierce and due to his upbringing, a little ‘buttoned up’. He was introduced to the BSDM lifestyle because of the case he and Stone are investigating but he’s drawn to it because of the deep love and respect that he observes between the men he’s befriended. He meets Jordan while working undercover at Jordan’s club. I also loved how Chuck didn’t allow the stench of his family’s bigotry to touch him. He’s a loving and kind gentlemen that treats people with respect. He also had a lot of backbone. This is what fascinated me about him. He was shy and sweet but also very tough. I love how the author wrote him breaking away from his family. She did it with little fanfare and didn’t dwell on it afterwards. She understood that everything else took a back seat to Chuck and Jordan’s budding romantic relationship.

I also adore the way Jordan’s character was written. Now that I think about it, I appreciate how this author portrays her characters of color in ALL of her stories. As a reader of color, I can honestly say that Knight has done a wonderful job of this. There have been quite a few authors in the MM genre, on many occasions, who had been dragged for filth by readers in general, readers of color specifically over their ridiculous and often times insidious stereotyping of their characters of color. Some on more than one occasion. I’ve never encountered that problem with any of this author’s work. The skin color of a particular character is only used to describe physical appearances. Again, as a reader of color who likes to read LGBT themes books, I really appreciate this.

As I was saying before, Jordan’s character was also well written. He was a Dom but his style was a little different than the others. His was a gentler approach. This didn’t make him any less of a Dom but I think that he adjusted his approach a bit for Chuck because he knew that Chuck was new to the lifestyle as he didn’t want to scare him off.

The storylines, character development and plots are wonderful and engaging. The books aren’t too long but just long enough to satisfy you. There are no unnecessary cliff hangers that leave you hanging either. This book, this series is definitely well worth the time to get in to.

 

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon:

 

Pride Publishing

 

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The Secrets In My Scowl by A.E. Via

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: The Secrets in My Scowl

SERIES:

AUTHOR: A.E. Via

PUBLISHER: Via Star Wings Books

RELEASE DATE: October 28 , 2016

BLURB: Sparks ignite and tempers flare when a sexy, optimistic wedding planner, moves his business in across the hall from a jilted, divorce lawyer’s practice.

Look smart ass. This is the last time I’m going to remind you about breaking sections of the lease. If there’s a next time, I won’t stop until you and your frilly, white wedding shit is thrown out of here. Do you got it?!”

Wylde looked in Jacob’s pained eyes and answered in his deep voice. “Yeah, counselor. I got it.”

From high school, up until he became a successful attorney Jacob Snowden was convinced that love had it out for him. “Everyone left,” were the words he lived by. His mother, his high school sweetheart, his father, and his fiancé, all left Jacob just when he felt it was safe to let down his guard. Not any longer. Jacob was a determined man, set at keeping people at a distance. If his six foot one, military-made body didn’t scare people off, his permanent scowl surely did. At almost forty, Jacob’s social life was non-existent, but he told himself his work fulfilled him. He helped people get out of their loveless marriages. Jacob Snowden was one of the best divorce lawyers on the east coast and was damn proud of it. So, imagine his disdain when a wedding planner moves into the suite directly adjacent to his… an insanely masculine, male wedding planner.

Wylde Sterling had made quite a name for himself in his hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, working for a wedding planner that catered to the elite. He was known for his charm and impeccable taste. Yep, he was incredible at giving couples the wedding of their dreams. But he wanted nothing more than to plan his own. After striking out in love more times than he cared to admit, Wylde decided to start his own business in a new city, hoping Richmond would give him a fresh start. Things started out wonderfully – until he started to piss off the angry divorce attorney next door.

Wylde could see past Jacob’s mean scowl, knowing there was a reason for it. It was the man’s defense mechanism, his means of keeping people away. Everything in Wylde told him to stay away, but he believed Jacob just needed to meet a man who had been hurt as badly as he had.

Standalone gay romance that ends in an HEA and no cliffhanger.

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REVIEW: I loved everything about this book and these characters. As usual, this author manages to tell an amazing story that captures and captivates you cover to cover, from the first word written to the last.

Jacob’s character was interesting. I was fascinated to read how good his childhood and family life was up until the point where his mother abandoned the family. There is this drastic shift for the worse in his life for both him and his father. Theirs was a story that made me the saddest.

The events of his childhood shaped every decision he’s made in his adult life. It’s made him harden his shell but underneath that shell was a man who had been deeply hurt and betrayed in life. All anyone ever saw was the shell he presented; many not interested in or afraid to see past his angry shell.

Wylde’s character was quite interesting: here you have this beautifully masculine man in a career where many would expect the stereotypical flamboyant gay man to have. In this book, as in all of her others, she flips the script and made it completely the opposite. That’s what I like about this author. She has this wonderful talent for writing her gay male characters as just regular guys which is exactly what they are; her characters are relatable. I know that when I pick up her work it will be sans the troubling stereotypes that seems to be the trend in many of the books in this genre. And as always, her characters are mature men, men in their mid to late 30s and older so the reader can further relate to the characters.

This book, like her others, was extremely written. This is an author that has really mastered her craft; her work is of the highest quality.

The only holes that I found in the book was the fact that Jacob was referred at one point in the book as a soldier instead of sailor. Another small issue was the timeline. I don’t know about the timeline but I am going to assume that it was a bit before the repeal of DADT so it wasn’t really made clear how Jacob was able to propose or how he was going to pull off and get away with marrying another man. Another issue I had is the circumstances behind the mother’s abandonment of her family. The only thing that made the reasoning not feel real was the length of time. The time threw it all off for me. That situation should’ve been, I felt, resolved within five years or less. Realistically it probably would’ve been because here it is almost two decades later that she still in the picture which begs the question as to why she left in the first place if it took almost two decades to resolve itself. Either that or there could’ve been another reason as to why she left. The reason for her leaving and the time it took for the situation to progress to the stage that it did didn’t make sense.  It just would’ve been more believable had things progressed much faster for her than it did and he found out on the back end.

Although noticeable, the above stated did in no way deflect from the overall enjoyment I experienced reading this story.

This heartbreak written within this book will have you on the edge of tears and just when you think you’re going to cry your eyes over how much hurt Jacob is experiencing, a scene is written in that will have you laughing yourself into stitches.

I absolutely adore this book and I highly recommend it.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️Amazing⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Giveaway

 

Author A.E. Via
“Only Thing Sexier than One Man, Is Two of Them Together”
Author Official Website:

http://authoraevia.com/
Via Star Wings Books Publishing: http://authoraevia.com/starwing.html

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/A.-E.-Via/e/B00GMNMS4U
A.E. Blog: http://authoraevia.com/blogfann.html

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoraevia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

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Living Promises Audiobook (Keeping Promise Rock book 3) by Amy Lane Narrated by Paul Morey

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3370

LivingPromisesAudMEDBlurb

Six years ago, Jeff Beachum comforted a frightened teenager outside an HIV treatment clinic, and Collin Waters has remembered his kindness ever since. Now, after six years of crushing on the kind, brown-eyed sweetheart of his dreams, Collin is feeling adult and together enough to make his move. Too bad fate, which has never been kind to Jeff, has something else in mind.
Jeff’s life had fallen completely apart before that long-ago day, and it isn’t much better now. Jeff has toughened up, become self-reliant, been the funny guy his friends turn to, the one who gives advice and comfort when needed. But every phantom from Jeff’s past is about to come out to haunt him, and the family Jeff has staked his future on isn’t in such great shape either. Collin is more than a starry-eyed kid, and it’s a good thing, because Jeff’s going to need all the help he can get. No one knows better than Jeff that life can be too short to turn your back on honest love, and that living happily is the best promise of all.

Review

This is book three in Amy’s Promise series and it is one of the roughest (IMHO) to read. Right from the start she pulls our heartstrings with the tale of Jeff’s ex, the man who gave Jeff HIV then essentially kills himself rather than deal with the consequences of the disease and his homophobic family.

Then there’s Collin. Young, dumb and full of … exuberance… and not wearing a condom while doing it. He, too contracts HIV and is touched by the caring he receives at the hands of Jeff at the crisis center.

Years later the two meet again and Collin is determined to have Jeff as his own.

Jeff, however, hasn’t really put himself out there and certainly not for a “boy” several years his junior.

The push/pull of attraction goes on for quite awhile but Collin is perseverant and eventually he gets his man.

Meanwhile – lots of things are happening at the Pulpit… Crick is Crick and Deacon is Deacon and Mickey and Shane are adorable and snarky and at their best…

Martin, Jeff’s ex Kevin’s brother comes to town looking for answers and meets Shane and Mickey and learns to love something he was taught to hate.

**

First let me say that I loved all the books in this series. LOVED. THEM. But, this was the weakest in my opinion. (Still awesome, amazing, wonderful, brilliant…) I loved seeing the folks at the Pulpit but sometimes wanted to see more of Jeff and Collin. I never connected with them as a couple as strongly as I did the others and I think one reason why is the lack of page time for them developing their relationship as compared to Crick, Deacon, Mickey, Shane or even Benny and Drew!

I loved the Martin/Kevin storyline though it tore me up… so much.

This was an amazing (and difficult) book and I highly recommend it. It is NOT a standalone.

Audio

Paul Morey did a great, great, great job of giving Jeff a swishy but not over the top voice. I wish he’d made Collin’s voice a little bit more differentiated, but I appreciate the challenge of giving so many “main characters” unique voices. I loved his Kevin/Martin voices and really enjoyed this narration.

5 of 5 hearts

5

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Enforcing Emory by Mickie B Ashling

Dreamspinner Presents: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6419

EnforcingEmoryBlurb

Olympic figure skater Emory Lowe falls in lust the moment he lays eyes on his new neighbor, hockey player Nikolai Vetrov. On the surface, Nik is a typical badass enforcer, intimidating and dangerous, on and off the ice. The only son of Ukrainian immigrants, Nik has been groomed from childhood to fulfill his father’s dreams of seeing him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Igor guides his son toward that goal with a controlling—and abusive—hand, steering him clear of anyone who might ruin his chances.

Although Emory is the US National Figure Skating champion, he’s in-your-face gay, and his audacious persona rubs Nik and his family the wrong way. Raised by supportive and loving parents, Emory is Nik’s polar opposite in every way but one—his desire to succeed. Underneath the fluff and glitter beats the heart of a fierce competitor, and this side of Emory’s personality begins to close the distance between the two athletes.

While the attraction is one-sided in the beginning, Nik finds himself responding to Emory’s flirting. But before the incongruous pair have a chance at any sort of relationship, they must survive the pressures of career, separation, and most importantly, Igor’s ruthless homophobia

Review

Emory and Nik meet when Nik moves into the neighborhood. Emory is a teenager living at home and training for the Olympics. Nik is a professional hockey player in the minor leagues (or whatever word they use in hockey).

Emory is 18 and Nik 20. Both still live with their parents. Both fathers are bigoted – though Emory’s dad gets over it and Nik’s dad is psychotic. Nik is engaged to a woman and in denial of his sexuality (and a gay-virgin!) and Emory is super-flamboyant to the extreme and NOT a virgin.

The boys feel instant attraction and though it is fairly dangerous for Nik , they begin a relationship. There is a lot of drama about the families and their approval. Danger surrounding Emory’s Olympic games and his risk as a homosexual in a homophobic country. Danger surrounding Nik’s career (hockey) and his coming out to his father. Lots of steamy sex. Some very sweet and tender moments between the boys. And a nice if unrealistic ending that will make you smile.

The storyline of this novel is unique in that the relationship develops fairly quickly so most of the struggle is the couple working out how they can be together given the obstacles they face.

I enjoyed Nik and Emory but the fathers felt a little too much like caricatures to feel real. Though I enjoyed the resolution it felt a bit rushed at the end and a little too “easy”.

All in all it was a good book and I enjoyed it.

4 of 5 hearts

4

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Life, Some Assembly Required (The Rebuilding Year book 2) by Kaje Harper

Samhain Publishing Presents https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5461/life-some-assembly-required

life-some-assembly-requiredBlurb

The Rebuilding Year, Book 2
After spending the first part of his life chasing pretty girls, love has finally come to Ryan in the form of John, a tall, lanky, red-headed landscape architect with wide shoulders and a five-o’clock shadow.
For the first time in his life, love feels easy. Hell, he even ran into a burning building for John and his son, and he’d do it again if he had to. But telling his father and brothers “I’m gay. I’ve met a man”? That’s a bumpy ride he’s not looking forward to.
For John, loving Ryan is as natural as breathing. Now if only the rest of his life would fall into place. Dealing with his teen son is complicated enough, but with his ex-wife causing trouble and his daughter wanting to move in, John’s house—and his relationship with Ryan—threaten to split at the seams.
Would one month without a new surprise knocking him upside the heart be asking too much? If the sound of Fate’s laughter is any indication, the answer must be yes…
Product Warnings
Contains two formerly straight guys learning to navigate the gay-guy waters, sometimes without a paddle. Plus six kinds of family ensuring nothing comes easy.

Review

First, this is the sequel to The Rebuilding Year, and you must have read it before for this lovely novel to mean anything to you.

We left off with Ryan just telling his dad he’d met a man… This is the story of how to build a life with someone AFTER the initial blush of romance.

And that’s just it – it takes work, assembly. John and Ryan have to work at their relationship. They have to battle John’s crazy (seriously crazy) ex-wife Cynthia for John’s kids and their sanity. They have to battle Ryan’s homophobic brother and his Dad’s less than warm welcome. Ryan has to continually battle his pain.

What they don’t do is battle each other. That was a really nice touch. Sometimes – in sequels – the couple separates and we have to fight to bring them back together again, almost like a new story. In this case John and Ryan’s love for each other is strong and pervasive. The world throws them curve balls and they work as a team to hit them out of the park.

I loved the emerging personalities in John’s kids. Torrie is a force to be reckoned with and I loved her teen-age angst and thought it felt very authentic.

This wasn’t as “hot” as The Rebuilding Year – not that there isn’t plenty of great sex – there is – but the sexual tension was less and the book focused more on the emotional growth of the relationship at the same time the couple “experiments” with their newfound sex life.

The Rebuilding Year is one of my all time favorite books and it set an extremely high bar. I loved catching up with the guys and learning more about their lives. Kaje Harper is an amazing writer and she crafted another excellent story here. For me, it wasn’t quite as amazing as it’s predecessor, but it was still wonderful and a must read for her fans and fans of the first book.

 

This book will be released June 9th!

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Moment of Clarity (Moments in time book 3) by Karen Stivali

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6283
MomentofClarityBlurb

Spending the summer together on Fire Island brought Collin and Tanner closer than ever, but back in their conservative college town, challenges confront them at every turn.

As they search for their new normal in their old environment, Collin’s brother Sean surprises them with help when they need it most. But when word about their relationship gets out, trouble erupts with friends and family. When Collin’s relationship with Tanner becomes an issue in his brother’s custody battle and Tanner struggles with his feelings for a heartbroken Wendy, Collin wonders if everyone he cares about would be better off without him in the picture.

In order to save them both, Tanner must make it clear to Collin that their love for each other is all that matters

Review
(Spoilers- be forewarned.)

 

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Oh! The Drama! For such a short book, this is chock full of angst and drama.

So we left our boys in the gym, temporarily homeless after a flood put their dorm room off limits for repairs. This made them sad and horny.
They get together with Sean, and as he leaves the house to them for a bit of alone time, the estranged wife surprises them and shouts horrible things at them. This leaves them sad and horny.

But – that’s not enough, she uses this information – Sean’s association with a gay brother to try to keep Sean from his kids. This makes the boys sad and horny.

Though they manage to get some time together it’s never enough until finally they area able to move back into their own room. Finally they relieve some of their tension, but they have an audience, their “friend” Tim, who figures out there were no women in the room when he heard the sex sounds. He shouts ugly things and outs them on campus, making both guys, but especially Tanner scared, nervous and angry at the reception they get. This makes them sad and horny.

Luckily there’s Wendy, Tanner’s friend and ex-lover who was sad and horny so she and Tanner almost hook up. This shakes Collin, along with the thing with Sean and Tim, so much that he decides to LEAVE Tanner. You guessed it. Sad. Horny.

But where does he go? Tanner’s mom? Strange choice? Maybe. But she’s always supported him and he doesn’t have anywhere to turn. She houses him, but of course rats him out to Tanner who in turn comes for him and tells him he’s an idiot. And they make up. Not sad. Still horny.

We end on a fairly HEA note… the future only defined a few months later, but the boys seem to be making their way in the world, together.

**

Though this may seem like I didn’t like the story, it’s not true. I mostly did. I love the chemistry between the boys and really like them as a couple. I did get tired of the drama and it seemed like there could have been more organic and emotionally satisfying hurdles for our boys to handle. (IE just being an actual couple, coming out bravely, dealing with the family itself without the extreme courtroom drama.) I was especially confused as to why Collin would think leaving made any sense and why Tanner’s mom was a good choice of refuge. Unless he wanted to be caught and was just show-boating… but that didn’t feel like the Collin we knew…

Anyhow, if you’ve read the first two you will want to read this last installment for closure if nothing else.

Karen is still an excellent writer and her smexy times are top-notch!

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5