Approaching fifty, Graham is tired of the gay club scene. He dreams of a venue where he won’t be judged on his age and looks. He and his friend Mike decide to fill the gap in the market by opening the Midnight Lounge, a gay-friendly piano bar in the heart of London’s Soho. After several unsuccessful auditions, Graham finds the perfect pianist for the bar. Adam Turner is young, handsome, and talented, and there’s a spark of attraction between him and Graham, but Graham’s split with his ex has left him feeling old and unattractive. He believes Adam is just stringing him along—a belief that seems validated when Adam kisses him, then claims he’s made a big mistake. Adam wants Graham, but first he’ll have to prove to Graham that age is no barrier to finding love. Review
It’s always hard to review short stories because they have to do so much in so few words. I know that, in the past, Dreamspinner has had very strict word limits, which can make this even more difficult. In this case, I think the author spent too much time developing the life that Graham was living post-rejection (he and his buddy design and open a Piano Bar) and way too little time with the interactions between Graham and Adam.
There is some nice sexual tension, a brief moment of connection then angst, then immediate reconciliation which felt really rushed and insincere.
If the story could have been a touch longer or edited more finely to allow for more interaction between the MCs I would have given this a higher rating as the writing and character development were top notch.
During Pride week in Montreal, Wolfe learns the board is threatening to shut down the YBR queer community center. He can’t let this happen, not while he’s the director and responsible for everyone there. They tell him he’s just a kid, too young to handle these responsibilities, but Wolfe is determined to prove to everyone, including the rich family he left behind, that he’s strong enough to do the job, even if it leaves him with little time for love.
But then devastatingly handsome Gaspard walks up to the YBR stand on Pride community day. Freshly divorced and father to two grown children, Gaspard is finally out of the closet as bisexual, and single for the first time in thirty years. Gaspard falls for Wolfe in a way he’s not prepared for. But as relationships unravel, Gaspard resists his passion for a man young enough to be his son.
Wolfe has spent his life fighting for what he wants. And what he wants is Gaspard.
This is a unique book in that there is very little sex, the main characters are almost overwhelmed by the secondary characters and though the romance is a central theme the book is really about growth and personal realtionships (not just romantic).
To me this book felt like a YA book about Wolfe and his growth in his family and getting over his past. I think it could have been labeled YA instead of contemporary … not sure if that’s appropriate either… it’s a unique book and hard to pigeon hole.
I didn’t understand the epilogue and the rest of the book was not really to my taste. I like a more centrally focused, erotic, romantic “romance” and this was MORE than that, but not what I was looking for.
Jamie Kincade’s world is turned upside down when Sebastian, a young man who doesn’t speak and who shares the ability to see ghosts that Jamie’s had since childhood, enters his life. Jamie finds Sebastian fascinating on multiple levels, and is determined to help him learn to speak again. But he can barely keep his thoughts – or hands – off Sebastian, who wants him and makes no attempt to hide it.
The age difference between them – Sebastian is almost 15 years Jamie’s junior – is a problem for Jamie, but Jamie’s reluctance isn’t the only thing keeping them from focusing on the potential they might have as a couple. The collection of ghosts Jamie has been living with in relative harmony for more than a decade has no intention of leaving Sebastian alone now that he’s here. Their desperate attempts to get Sebastian’s attention are a distraction Jamie would be grateful for if they didn’t upset Sebastian so much. Jamie is torn between wanting to send Sebastian away for his own good and wanting to drag him off to bed, and with Sebastian tempting him both deliberately and subconsciously, it can’t be long before Jamie’s self-control snaps…
Jamie has a house full of ghosts he can see but nothing else. One night he finds a real human, a man, Sebastian, out huddled from the rain in his garden shed. Turns out Sebastian can not only see the ghosts but he can hear and speak to them, too. When he can speak, that is.
Sebastian has been mute since his parents died in a fire years ago and has also been on the run since then, having no other family that he knows of. He wanders into Jamie’s shed one night and finds more than just shelter.
Together they learn more about ghosts and their “abilities” than they’d ever want to know and also find love.
From page one this story gripped me and kept me turning pages. It is very well written, captivating and interesting.
Though the romance is a fairly easy going May/December story, the addition of the ghost story and the mystery hiding in Sebastian’s life make this an interesting and fast-paced story.
I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
The year is 1987. The boys wear pink Izod shirts, the girls wear big hair, everyone has a stash box, and AIDS is just an ugly rumor rumbling like a thunderstorm from the cities. A teenage runaway wanders the side of the road, a heartbeat away from despair, and is rescued by a long-haired angel on a Harley. But that’s just the beginning of their story. Josiah Daniels wanted peace and quiet and a simple life, and he had it until he rescued Casey from hunger, cold, and exhaustion. Suddenly Joe’s life is anything but simple as he and his new charge navigate a world that is changing more rapidly than the people in it. Joe wants to raise Casey to a happy and productive adulthood, and he does. But even as an adult, Casey can’t conceive of a happy life without Joe. The trouble is getting Joe to accept that the boy he nurtured is suddenly the man who wants him. Their relationship can either die or change with the world around them. As they make a home, negotiate the new rules of growing up, and swerve around the pitfalls of modern life, Casey learns that adulthood is more than sex, Joe learns that there is no compromise in happy ever after, and they’re both forced to realize that the one thing a man shouldn’t be is alone.
Casey gets kicked out of his house for being gay. He ends up being a “rent boy” briefly, and the punching bag of some truckers as he hitches out of town. Just when he’s thinking about giving up he meets Joe.
Joe is a Quaker, a nurse, a biker, a bear, bi-sexual, hippie… you name it, he’s probably done it. He is easy going, big hearted and lovely. He sees Casey on the side of the road and has to – HAS TO – help him.
At first Casey is leery – he’s been burned before by men, then he realizes how truly good Joe is and then he is determined to seduce him. The only problem is he’s 16 and Joe is at least a decade older and no way is Joe going to act on anything Casey is offering.
The years go by and Joe essentially raises Casey from a precocious 16 year old to a sassy 21 year old – managing to get him through high school, first love and into college. When Casey makes one final play for Joe that ends up in a huge fight, he takes off – leaving Joe lonely and decimated.
When Casey’s father dies, Joe helps him attend the funeral and they finally admit what they mean to one another.
But – both Joe and his family know that Casey can’t give him what he most wants in life – a baby. Add to this a judgemental sister and a significant age gap and we still have some hurdles to face.
However, in the end, with miracles abounding Casey and Joe put together a family and manage to be the most rock solid team you could ever dream about.
Oh man. I love – love – love- this book. Joe is one of my favorite “Amy” characters. He is so steady but funny. Down to earth and sweet. Casey is equally awesome – sassy and sarcastic – always pushing buttons and never afraid to ask for what he wants.
There is some angst – it’s an Amy book for Pete’s sake – but by and large most of this book is two men building a relationship and a family and making their own pathway in life.
It was beautiful and touching and sweet and sentimental and yet the sex scenes are some of Amy’s best work!
The narrator did an AMAZING job. He makes Joe a bit growly and Casey a bit snarky and just lets you sink right in to the wonderful story Amy has given us.
I can’t recommend this highly enough – I’ve already listened to it three times – it’s just so good!
Hi, I’m Topher Carlisle: twenty-one, pretty, and fabulous. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. But let’s get real. Walking the fake-it-til-you-make-it road to independence and self-respect isn’t easy. Especially since my mom’s a deadbeat alcoholic, and most of my family expects me to turn out just as worthless. Oh, and I’m close to losing my college swimming scholarship, so let’s add “dropout” to the list.
My BFF has invited me to stay at her beach house on the shore of Lake Michigan. That’ll give me one summer to make money and figure out what I want to do with my life. So of course I decide to have an affair with my BFF’s married, closeted dad. Because that always works out.
Now I’m homeless, friendless, jobless. Worthless. Just like my family expects, right? Except there’s this great guy, Jace, who sees it differently. He’s got it all together in ways I can only dream of—he’s hot, creative, insightful, understanding. He seems to think I don’t give myself enough credit. And if I don’t watch out, I may start to believe him.
(From previous site)
This book exemplifies for me the reason why m/m is such a powerful subgenre. Amelia has written two very flawed MCs and yet their love story is both powerful and sweet. She touches on some very timely subjects: the nature of what qualifies as abuse, the boundaries and taboos of sexual desire, racial equality, societal “norms”… But she is neither preachy nor overbearing.
There are times you hurt as you turn the page, watching Topher place himself in bad situation after bad situation, but the pay out is so worth it. You can see growth, love, and understanding. No – it’s not all peaches and cream, but when is life, ever?
Another beautiful thing Amelia has done is to give us two MCs who BOTH have flaws, and yes, it is a Rescue Me story, but in the end both characters are “rescued”, and neither is helpless.
I found her exploration of Topher’s sexuality particularly well done. You would expect that an out and proud man would “know” himself pretty well, but as she shows us, that isn’t always the case and we internalize so much from our environment without really asking ourselves if this is ME or THEM. Very well done.
Amelia is a fantastic writer whose characters drive this story through aching pain and delicious happiness. She has great editing and a smooth, writing style that is evocative and decadent without crossing over into purple prose.
It felt real, and believable, and still so sweet. Some of this is the first person usage, which I really like. It felt intimate and I like that – especially in an angsty book. Though I would have loved more from Jace’s POV or even Brendan’s you definitely know what they are thinking and it doesn’t detract from the story.
This is the first in a series and the first I have read of this author. I look forward to more.
Luke Scherer has turned bad romance into an art. When he catches his latest deadbeat boyfriend selling Luke’s belongings – and his own body – to cover his debts, Luke decides he needs a vacation. He just doesn’t expect his Napa Valley retreat to be a step into his past.
Eight years ago Mal Kuijpers was grieving his wife while his vineyard floundered. Hiring Luke for the summer put the business back on track and a smile back on Mal’s face.
Nineteen-year-old Luke had just gotten out from under his father’s thumb and started saving for his education, his last screw-you to his old man. Then he made the mistake of falling for his boss, his dad caught up with him, and Luke panicked-and fled.
Now they have another chance. Mal has his own share of closet skeletons, including a family he doesn’t talk to and a dead wife he sometimes does, and he’s gone without romance for years. He works hard to convince Luke he’s worth more than a casual fling and asks for nothing in return, but Luke needs a relationship of equals. If Mal can believe in himself and Luke can believe in love, two hot summers might yield a lifelong reward.
Luke is sent to Mal’s vineyard when his latest boyfriend is found selling Luke’s stuff and his own body! Mal was in Luke’s life years ago when Luke was young and running away from Luke’s abusive father. Mal, at that time, was a recent widow and considered himself too old and too sad to get involved with Luke at that time.
Now – Luke is feeling too cautious and insecure to want to jump right into another relationship, but Mal is ready and isn’t shy about letting that be known.
There are other roadblocks: Luke lives in LA, Mal in Napa. Luke is just now starting to really see his life on track and doesn’t see how moving to the country can help his fledgling architecture career. Not to mention that Mal was married to a woman for years. Luke doesn’t want to be an experiment.
However high the hurdles, these guys do manage to work through them all and we get a very HEA.
This is the first book I’ve read by herself, but I’ve really enjoyed her collaborations.
I think that if I had been reading this book it would have been a bit easier to appreciate the “flashback” style she used (at the end of each chapter is a snippet from the past to give us the back story of Luke and Mal). As a listener it was a bit disconcerting to be wrenched from a scene and thrust into the past… but it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.
I really like Mal as a character. He was seasoned but still had an air of innocence to him that was refreshing. He didn’t play games and that was nice. I did think that it was odd that the couple would “fool around” without having sex for as long as they did, but I loved the relationship building that occurred.
The secondary characters were rich accompaniment to the main characters and I thought they added nicely to the overall book.
John Solo did a GREAT job with this narration. Mal’s voice is growly and divine! He didn’t make Luke over the top but was definitely a different character than Mal. I thought he handled the women’s voices well and overall I really enjoyed listening to this story.
After ten years as an active duty Marine, Captain Eric Ramos is rejoining civilian life. His first job is chauffeuring, assisting, and generally keeping track of NBA young gun Tyler Haley. Tyler’s had a rough few months, and his team owner is convinced he needs some hand-holding if he’s going to keep delivering wins for the St. Louis Fire Foxes.
Instead of the arrogant, over-privileged athlete Eric expected, Tyler is a big, blond, lonely twenty-three-year-old who needs more than just an employee to keep him in line. While taking care of Tyler, Eric changes from employee to friend, to something more. And when Eric realizes that something is burning the kid up from the inside out, he’s determined to find a way to help him before Tyler’s carefully constructed façade turns to ash.
Tyler is a very, very young star basketball player who was recruited out of HIGH SCHOOL to play pro ball. He’s scared. He’s conflicted. He’s also gay.
Eric was hired because he’s gay. Tyler’s manager wants Tyler safe and so far all the staff either uses Tyler for his connections, his money, or his access to sex. Eric is seen as being immune to all that based on his past history and his indifference to the female form.
Eric is immediately attracted, both physically and emotionally to Tyler. He sees Tyler as a kid brother at first: needy, shy, naïve, innocent. When Eric begins to suspect Tyler might swing his way he’s conflicted about those feelings. He doesn’t want to take advantage of the guy but he’s also developed some serious feelings for him that go more than skin deep.
Tyler has had some super-bad experiences in h is past that make his life rituals important, and one night the team loses it’s winning streak, forcing Tyler to do something he hates, but feels is necessary to bring the team back to winning. It’s superstitious and awful, and it almost breaks him.
Luckily Eric is there to pick up the pieces and together they finally admit their attraction and begin to act upon it.
If you had asked me to rate this story at about the 50% mark I’d have given it 5 hearts, easily. It is so amazingly engaging. Dawn Douglas has created the perfect innocent paired with the toughest Alpha male and the sexual tension between them was both believable and hot. The separation between them was authentic and you questioned Tyler’s sexuality right along with Eric throughout most of the book. (Is he gay and closeted? Is he in denial? is he gay for Eric?… it was hard to tell!) The basketball stuff was a little unbelievable, but interesting and acted as a nice background for the romance to develop against.
I absolutely detested Tyler’s past (as I was supposed to) and felt wretched for how it affected him. I so wanted Eric to help him move through his fear and pain and know what real love is.
Without spoiling things for you, they do get together… in the last few paragraphs of the book. All that sexual tension is released with a few groping sessions and lots of tears and no resolution, let me say it again, absolutely NO resolution. Eric does not get to help Tyler get through this, we can hope he might one day, but we are left without only hope.
The book/story just ends. POW.
I was flummoxed! Then pissed!
The story was so, so good and then it just ended… like the bell rang and the author had to turn her paper in at the end of class.
Since I was listening to the audio book I had to check to make sure I had the full story and that there wasn’t some technical error.
What I found was that, no, this is the entirety of the story, but that the ebook had this included as an epilogue/author’s note:
“I LOVE short stories. Not that novels aren’t wonderful, but there’s something special about being able to say everything you need to in a limited number of pages. And my favorite short story, bar none, is Frank R. Stockton’s The Lady, or the Tiger?
If you ask me when I’m irritated with my husband, stuck in traffic, or generally having a bad day, I’m pretty sure a tiger came out of the door to the right at the end of the story. When I’m in a better mood, a lady came out of the door, and the hero rode off into the sunset with his prize. I like the fact that the ambiguity of a short story leaves room for imagination.
In this novella, Tyler has some very serious history to address. Instead of turning what I had always intended to be a novella into a novel and exploring psychological issues that are far above my pay grade, leaving these particular characters with some ambiguity, with a happily for now, felt like the right thing to do.
That said, I’m the author, right? I created them, which means I’m allowed to suspend reality if I want to…
So in my mind, the real end to Tyler and Ram’s story goes something like this:
Tyler and Ram both found excellent counselors. The Fire Foxes won four successive NBA Championships. Tyler came out. The universe said, “Huh,” and moved on with life. Ram got his master’s degree from Wash U, went into politics, and changed the world. They got married, adopted baseball crazy twin boys, and were frequent guests on “Real Time with Bill Mahr.” And they lived happily ever after for the rest of their days.
So, yeah. The author tells us that since this is her story she can end it however she wants and that in her mind the couple ends up with a HEA but she doesn’t owe her audience the actual WRITING of the HEA.
Without this author’s note, I would barely call it a HFN (Happy for now).
Needless to say, this did not sit well with me and it definitely affected my rating of the book.
I had really loved this story up until the (NOT) ending and was so, so disappointed at where it left off.
Randy Fuller is not my favorite narrator, but he does a fairly nice job with the narration. I enjoyed his voice choice for Eric, but felt that Tyler sounded a bit too old and not enough different from Eric.
All in all I can’t really recommend this book or audiobook because I wouldn’t want to inflict the frustration I felt on anyone else.
I give it a 2.5 of 5 hearts simply because Randy did a nice job and the writing was good up until the end, but the overall story/enjoyment really wasn’t there and I wouldn’t recommend it at all.
Ellis Broad never imagined he would end up a single father before he turned twenty-nine. Then again, most of his expectations for the future evaporated when his husband of three years filed for divorce, leaving Ellis as their six-month-old son Harrison’s only parent. After the divorce Ellis hides, working from home on his small graphic design business so he can be a full-time dad. He succeeds until Zane Hadlin stumbles into his life.
Zane is everything Ellis desires and everything he fears at the same time. A former gang member from the wrong side of the tracks, Zane turned his life around after his older brother was killed in a shooting. Now an artist, Zane shows Ellis a path back into the world and all he’s been missing out on.
The only problem is, Ellis’s ex-husband hasn’t quite gone for good, and his digging into Zane’s past could drag up secrets no one is prepared to deal with.
(Book reviewed previously on this site.)
Ellis is one of the first gay men in New York to get married when the state approves same-sex marriage. He’s also one of the first gay men to get divorced. Shortly after he and his ex, have a son, Harrison, they split, leaving Ellis to raise his biological son by himself.
Zane is a former gang member turned art student who meets Ellis through mutual friends. Though he is haunted by traumas in his past, in his heart he yearns for stability and family.
Ellis and Zane have great chemistry right from the start. But, Ellis is wary of involvement so quickly after becoming divorced and Zane is fearful of exposing Harrison to his dangerous past.
This is sweet book by Anna Martin covers some interesting “ground breaking” topics like gay marriage, divorce, and parenthood. The relationship between Zane and Ellis is sexy and touching, but the relationship between Harrison and Zane is truly heart-warming.
I really enjoyed this book. A little bit of angst. A little bit of realism. A little bit sexy. A lot of warmth and tenderness.
(Anna is the same author who brought us Tatoos and Teacups, another wonderful read.)
RL Davis is a new narrator to me. I thought he did a nice job. There was some voice inflections (I really liked his New York accent!) and good handling of the emotions. All in all he really added to my enjoyment of this story.
When Curt Townsend, a successful young DC lawyer, attends his first gay wedding, he doesn’t expect anything more than a great evening out spent celebrating two lucky guys willing to commit to each other. He certainly doesn’t anticipate meeting someone like Jack Farinelli. Fourteen years Curt’s senior, Jack owns two businesses: a gay bar and a motorcycle shop. He’s gorgeous and self-assured, but Curt is positive they have nothing in common.
Jack is comfortable in his own skin. He’s attracted to Curt’s quick wit and easy manner but most of all to their unexpected mutual love of baseball. As they forge a friendship based on their shared enthusiasm for the sport, they begin a journey that reveals how their differences might be the catalyst behind a growing attraction. Both men have experienced their shares of pain, but they realize they need to set aside the past and learn to trust in the future if they are to have one together.
This is book three in the series. We met Curt in book one, he was Matt’s roomie. Now he is a lawyer and that’s about it.
Jack is an older man, he owns a Leather Bar, he drives a motorcycle, he smokes, he has tattoos… in other words he is everything Curt is not.
At first they become friends, but they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. Curt’s low self-esteem keeps him from thinking this is a “relationship” and Jack has buckets of personal issues that keep him from getting involved too deeply.
Because Curt thinks he and Jack are only “friends” he agrees to go out with Paul. Of course it makes Jack jealous, but not enough to really push them forward, relationship-wise.
Eventually there is a confrontation and they end up with a HFN, probable HEA.
This was by far the weakest of the series. There were a couple of things that made me review this lower than books 1 and 2.
First, the ending. Let’s just say it’s too fast and not believable.
Second, Paul. Why was he in this story? His role didn’t make sense. Why would Curt jump into bed with Jack then move at glacial speeds with Paul? If he really thought there was a relationship to be had with Paul, he needed to stop sleeping with Jack. If he thought Paul wasn’t going to match up to Jack, he needed to drop Paul. It made me like him less as a character/person.
Third, chemistry. They could have had should have been this ultra-hot, bad-boy, opposite-attracts sort of thing going, but it never flared for me. I didn’t quite understand the motivations and actions so I didn’t feel the same wonderful “feels” I did for Matt and Aaron or even Jay and Peter.
So, for me, this story did not trip my switches as much as the previous books did, though the writing was still very good.
Again, Tyler Stevens does a great job with the narration. I love his narration and thought Jack was super sexy! He definitely adds to the experience.
When Liam’s best friend has to leave town on business, he asks for a favor—be an emergency contact for his cousin who is new in town. Liam doesn’t think twice before he accepts. He’s great with numbers and confidently plays the odds, because nobody ever uses those emergency contacts, right? Wrong. The very next Sunday, cousin Garrett shows up at Liam’s apartment, fresh-faced, devastatingly gorgeous, and nothing like Liam had dismissively assumed.
Garrett arrived in New York City hoping to make it in the modeling world, and Liam isn’t sure what to do with him. While he eventually warms to welcome the distraction, he’s not prepared to have his steady, predictable world overturned. Liam is sure Garrett will soon tire of him and find someone closer in age and less eager for the quiet, settled life Liam prefers. But Garrett is too sweet-natured and naïve to recognize Liam’s dismissal, and he’s not as shallow as Liam presumes.
Although Garrett sees a future for the two of them, Liam manages to push him away. It is only then Liam sees the Garrett-shaped hole in his life.
Liam is an old man in a young, hot body. He doesn’t do the club scene anymore and he’s set in his ways. His buddy sees the opportunity to play matchmaker and sets Liam up with his younger, also hot (model hot) cousin, Garrett.
Garrett is from Iowa, new to New York, here for a modeling job for extra cash between stints at college. He meets Liam pretty much on day one in the city and the two instantly hit it off.
Though Liam and Garrett are pretty immediately a couple, some questions remain. Can Liam open up and form a long term relationship? Is Garrett prepared to live in New York forever? Can Liam share Garrett with the admiring public now that his modeling career has taken off? Is Garrett too young for Liam and too young for a permanent relationship?
Things get dicey when Liam gives up hope and takes a job in Seattle, abruptly abandoning Garrett, but true love prevails and we end up with a solid HEA in the end.
I loved the promise of this story and was captivated by the first chapter. Liam is sort of a curmudgeonly character, set in his ways, quiet, always doing a puzzle, very in-his-own-head type of guy. Garrett is Pollyanna – very open, sunny and a great foil to Liam.
I got a bit nervous when the couple became a couple within the first chapters. There wasn’t a lot of build up to them becoming lovers and the anticipation that can bring was definitely missed.
As the story progressed it became more about the established couple dealing with Garrett’s fame and Liam’s insecurities. Because of this, it was not exactly the story I was anticipating by reading the blurb. It was almost more of an established couple book, and as the book references, a “Dreamgirls” type story, where Liam has to deal with Garrett’s fame more than I was expecting.
On the one hand I really appreciated the care and skill the author took with her writing. It is clear that she chose her words carefully. However, I sometimes had trouble with the flow and struggled to stay fully engaged. One thing that kept throwing me out of the story was the dialog. I thought that Liam sounded like an old man, and that fit his character. But so did Garrett … and everyone else. The language used felt very formal and high-brow and though it’s a stereotype, I just never saw the Iowan in Garrett. His character just never rang true.
Because the simmer of anticipation was blown out so early in the story, I found myself slogging through the remaining angst of the story with a minimum of interest. Neither MC had a past to get over, hurt to heal, former lovers to remember… the story felt a bit flat. And though I really liked the MCs, toward the end I just wasn’t that invested in their HEA.