Fever Pitch (Love Lessons #2) by Heidi Cullinan

Samhain Publishing Presents https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5166/fever-pitch


feverpitchBook Two of the Love Lessons Series

Sometimes you have to play love by ear.

Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.
Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end.

Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella



That’s what I said when I found out Love Lesson’s was to finally have it’s sequel!

I knew it had been planned for a long time and was super excited to finally read it! Let me tell you that I was NOT disappointed!

This is another long book of the new adult variety, in keeping with the Love Lesson’s theme. Fever Pitch takes place at another university in the mid-west, small and liberal arts oriented – but no gay swans, mores the pity.

Aaron and Giles actually attended high school together their senior year. It is in their last days there that Aaron begins to give in to his cravings for male romance and Giles is happy to help him explore this side of his personality. Unfortunately, both boys are really quite scarred from past experiences and the relationship is over before it really begins, leaving Aaron tentatively in lust/love and Giles really pissed off.

Aaron follow Giles to St Timothy’s University, mostly in stalker fashion, and over the course of many months they eventually forge a friendship through their mutual love for music.

During this bonding process we get to see our friends Walter and Kelly again – woot! Walter ends up helping Aaron deal with his new feelings and helps him to “get his man”.

Once the boys get together the drama doesn’t stop. There are other crazy parents involved and other sad gay boys to be saved. We see parents who can help save lives and those who set out to ruin them. There is lots and lots of music being played, composed and sung. And finally there is a wedding. Sigh. Walter and Kelly get married in what has to be my all time favorite gay wedding to date.

I just loved these two books so much! This second book is even stronger than the first. The side issues are more serious and the tragedies more tragic. If I’m being honest… the sex is hotter too, but don’t tell that to Walter or Kelly.

I loved how the book furthers the lives of people we met in book one, but if you didn’t read the first book, no worries, this stands on its own quite nicely.

Again Heidi has given us a love story interwoven with some serious, coming of age issues and the result is a rich tale, full of well developed characters and satisfying story lines.

I highly recommend this book and give it a 5 out of 5 hearts.



Unfortunate Son (Shae Connor) Blog Tour with Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway

Today we’re welcoming Shae Connor to the blog. She shares her thoughts on the setting for Unfortunate Son, a delicious excerpt, and there’s a giveaway! Thanks for stopping by, Shae!_CoverArtUnfortunateSon

Five years ago, Evan Day lost his lover in the Afghan sand, and in the fallout, he lost his military career and his family. With help from friends, he reinvented himself as porn star Trevor Hardball, but his scars are hidden, not healed. When Riley Yeats falls into Evan’s lap in a bar, he awakens a part of Evan he’d thought was dead and gone. Evan’s fascinated by the blond and twinky Riley, even though he’s the opposite of Evan’s usual type.

Then Evan’s family reappears his life, and Evan soon learns Riley has his own family-inflicted wounds—ones that make it hard for him to be there for Evan. A disastrous confrontation between Evan and his parents leaves Evan’s mother injured and Evan overcome by anger and fear. Losing his tenuous hold on his emotional control, Evan makes one bad decision after another, but maybe his final fall will be the wake-up call Evan needs to set things right—with his parents, and with Riley.​

Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5929
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Unfortunate-Son-Sons-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RYG89TW/
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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23782907-unfortunate-son?

Atlanta as Setting in Unfortunate Son
By Shae Connor
When I started writing Unfortunate Son (lo, these many years ago), I knew the setting was never in question. The bulk of the action would take place right where the story was originally conceived: in Atlanta’s Midtown district, and specifically in the heart of the “Gayborhood,” which is anchored at the intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Road, just down from the edge of Piedmont Park. It’s an area I’m very familiar with, and I knew it wouldn’t take much effort to make its character shine through.
Midtown stretches between Atlanta’s historic downtown and the flashier, richer neighborhood to the north called Buckhead. The area’s crown jewel is Piedmont Park, which is to Atlanta what Central Park is to Manhattan: a huge, open, green space in the midst of an urban location. Piedmont Park is home to the annual Atlanta Pride Festival, in addition to dozens of other local events, and it’s surrounded by both residential and business areas, most of those populated by members of the gay community. Restaurants, bars, clubs, and stores of all types cater to young urban professionals, many of them gay men.
I’ve spent a lot of time with friends in Midtown the past few years, and while most of the businesses named in Unfortunate Son are fictitious, nearly all of them are based on real locations. Piedmont Lofts, where Riley lives, sits in a real building at the edge of Piedmont Park, though it doesn’t actually house lofts like Riley’s. Piedmont Diner, where Evan and Riley have brunch with Evan’s best friends, Cory and Jimmy, similarly doesn’t exist, but it’s an amalgam of several similar restaurants in the neighborhood. And Panther, the dance club the guys visit, is very loosely based on an Atlanta club that I’ve been to, though mostly in the general vibe, rather than any specifics of layout or even clientele.
One business in Unfortunate Son that’s almost exactly like its real-life counterparts is Bernhardt’s, which plays host to Cory’s performance as drag queen Coco Lamé, a member of the Stilettos drag troupe. The real bar, Burkhart’s, is a frequent hangout for me and quite a few of my friends. Burkhart’s hosts regular drag shows and until recently was home to weekly performances by the Armorettes, also known as the Infamous Camp Drag Queens of the South, the troupe on which the Stilettos were based. Most of the time, though, Burkhart’s is a relatively quiet, pub-like location that serves great steak dinners and has an awesome, friendly staff. In fact, Burkhart’s is hosting a release party for the book, and they’ve been awesome.
For today, I’m offering up an excerpt that gives a peek at Bernhardt’s and the Stilettos. At this point in the story, Riley’s friend Mikey has just moved to Atlanta, and they’ve joined Evan to see Cory (Coco) perform. (You’ll get more of Mikey, Cory, and Jimmy in Wayward Son, which will be out in a few months.)

Another performer finished her Lady Gaga lip-synch with a flourish, and the crowd erupted into cheers as she collected the last of her tips and waved her way offstage. The emcees reemerged and launched back into their trademark banter, laced with suggestive comments and pop culture references. Evan pulled his phone out of his pocket to check the time. With only fifteen minutes left in the advertised performance window, Cory should be up next.
Sure enough, the bearded emcee in the pink dress—cupid’s bow lips painted to match—smiled and spoke louder. “And now, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado—”
“Ado, ado, to you and you and you-ooo!” the other emcee singsonged, earning a laugh from the crowd and a backhanded slap to the stomach from her cohort.
“…without further interruption from the peanut gallery, the Stilettos are proud to present, in her debut headlining performance—the fabulous Miss Coco Lamé!”
The music started back up, lights flashed, and then out came Coco in all her flashy glory. She wore a gold sequined vest with matching fringe over a white, midriff-baring top, though as she moved, Evan could see that the midriff was actually covered with flesh-colored spandex. Her cowgirl-style hat, tight skirt, and boots shimmered with black glitter, and on one hip, she carried what appeared to be a holster trimmed in even more shiny gold.
Evan was too busy trying not to laugh at the overkill to notice the music, but when Riley lifted a carefully groomed eyebrow and leaned closer, Evan leaned in to catch his comment.
“I wouldn’t have figured Cory—excuse me, Coco—for a Pointer Sisters fan.”
Sure enough, Coco launched into an energetic rendition of “I’m So Excited.” She shimmied, she twisted, she pointed and flirted, and the crowd went crazy for it all. Hands waved money at her in all directions, and Coco collected it with hands, cleavage, and that holster, its presence clearly meant for more than just show.
Coco came closer to their end of the bar, and Evan shared a smile with her as she took the fiver he held out and leaned in to give him a kiss on his cheek. She took Riley’s tip the same way, and then turned to Mikey, who stood as if in shock, staring.
Riley’s eyebrow rose again. “Mikey, honey, you’re supposed to tip the nice lady now,” he admonished.
Mikey snapped back to attention, a blush rising high on his cheeks as he held out his offering. Coco slithered closer, taking Mikey’s wrist and giving an assist for him to deposit the cash directly into her cleavage. Maintaining her grip on Mikey, she pulled him in close for a gentle kiss on the mouth, leaving behind a swipe of bright red lipstick to go with the now deep red of his cheeks. She gave him a final lingering glance and a wink and went back to working the rest of the crowd.
Evan couldn’t help smirking at Mikey, who just stared after Coco, dumbstruck. He leaned closer to Riley. “I think your boy might have a little bit of a crush.”
Riley laughed softly. “I can’t imagine where you could have gotten that idea.”



Author bio:

_AuthorPhotoSheaConnorShae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. She’s conned several companies into publishing her work and adds a new notch on her bedpost each time another story is unleashed onto an unsuspecting universe.

A member of the Romance Writers of America and the Rainbow Writers chapter, Shae was first published in 2010 and has a lineup of short stories, novellas, and novels available from Dreamspinner Press, Wilde City Press, MLR Press, and Amber Allure.

Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, and reading voraciously, and she’s an annual volunteer for the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon. You can find her hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can email her at [email protected] or visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com.


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Recipe for Magic by Agatha Bird

Dreamspinner presents: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5898

recipe magicBlurb

Connor Roth is a fire mage who’s going places. He’s powerful, popular, and he has a plan. But his plan for fame and glory is disrupted when the Oracle sticks him with Landyn Glendower for Senior Trial. This is an act unprecedented in their school’s history. Landyn is a water mage, and everyone knows mages with opposing elements can’t work magic together.

Connor is left with a choice: work alone and fail or swallow his pride and work with Landyn to find a way to combine their magic in a display the Archmages will never forget—if they don’t get kicked out of school in the process.


So, I’m sure I won’t be the only one to see a little Harry Potter in this story…

Connor is the “hot shot” son of a famous sorcerer who has to prove to the school his prowess in a grand tournament at the end of the year. He is paired with Landyn, someone with opposing magic skills, a loner, and a dark horse.
At first both Connor and Landyn are miserable with the pairing (for differing reasons) and are certain they will fail. Connor’s fair weather friends abandon him and Connor’s hubris rubs Landyn wrong over and over. When Connor finally breaks down and admit he needs Landyn’s help, the tides begin to turn. And… over time the boys learn that opposite magic might just be the perfect “recipe” for winning and the old adage about attraction… yeah that’s true too.


This is a short story and YA so not my favorite things right off the bat. But… it’s about magic and young love and a possible GFY so…totally redeemed!

It was wonderful! The set up for Connor to look like a jerk then turn around and be a sweetheart was perfect. Landyn was snarky and bittersweet the entire time. The enemies-to-“lovers” was very well played and there was just enough sexual tension to keep the pages smoldering.

I really enjoyed the world Agatha Bird created and hope we see more of it. I would especially love to see a longer, more fully played out story where our boys are over eighteen… if you catch my drift 😉

4.5 of 5 hearts



Blue Days Audiobook by Mary Calmes Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Presented by Dreamspinner Press http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6050

blue days audioBlurb

Falling for a coworker is rarely a good idea, especially for a man getting a last chance at salvaging his career. But from the moment Dwyer Knolls sees the beautiful but socially awkward Takeo Hiroyuki, he seems destined to make bad decisions.

Takeo’s life is a string of failed attempts to please his traditional Japanese father. Unfortunately, succeeding in business turns out to be just as difficult for Takeo as changing from gay to straight. In fact, the only thing Takeo seems to truly excel at is taking notice of Dwyer Knolls.

When Dwyer and Takeo head to Mangrove, Florida on a real estate buying trip, their tentative friendship combusts and becomes much more. Is their sudden connection real enough to bank their futures on, or should they chalk the whole thing up to the daze inspired by the blue ocean breeze?

Marieke’s Review of the book can be read here: https://kimichanexperience.com/blue-days-by-mary-calmes/

My Review:

Dwyer is stuck in a job that he may or may not be great at, but that may not be important because he may or may not hate it, anyway. One thing he knows for sure, his new co-worker turned boss makes going to work every day a dream come true.

Takeo is Japanese to the nth degree. He takes everything literally, rarely understands social cues, knows he hates his job, knows he hates his dad, but doesn’t know that the man of his dreams harbors an attraction for him, as well.

Things at the company go steadily down hill, everyone wondering when their axe is going to fall, leaving them without a job. Dwyer is never worried. Why? Well, he just doesn’t worry. Takeo isn’t worried. Why? Well, his dad owns the company.

However, things are about to get really shaken up when Dwyer and Takeo take a business trip to Florida for damage control on a deal gone sideways. Neither man realizes it, but their lives will change from that moment forward, in ways neither saw coming.


Oh Mary. I just love, love, love your books. Takeo is so damn cute! So bumbling and stuffy. The perfect mate for Dwyer, who falls asleep in meetings and makes doodles to pass the time. Of course, everyone loves Dwyer. He can literally do no wrong. And of course, nobody, and I mean nobody, likes Takeo. Except for Dwyer.

The secondary characters are also wonderfully created. From Mak, who secretly wants to run a nightclub. To Gretchen, whose husband proposed to her at a picnic table by the ocean.

Mary never disappoints. The sex is super-hot. The love is a slow burn, but so tender and touching, you just know they’re going to last forever.

And then you get the cross-over! We get to hear about, briefly, Aaron Sutter and Duncan Steil. I won’t spoil the surprise but it’s as lovely as it was expected.

I highly recommend this book (and all of Mary’s books) 5 of 5 hearts.


Greg Tremblay is one of my very favorite narrators and he does a super awesome job here. His version of Takeo is perfect! I just love how “straight man” he is played – by the books, literal, conservative and then how utterly delicious it is when he lets go and shows his true emotions. Greg does an amazing job with the emotion, letting us feel like we’re there and really getting in to the story.
5 of 5 hearts for the narration as well



The Elevator Mechanic (Workplace Encounters #1) by Serena Yates

Dreamspinner Presents  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5966

elevator mechanicBlurb

Quiet elevator installer Joe Taylor craves more stability in his career, but not in his personal life. Casual sex suits him, and when he meets fitness center owner Bill Evans at a mall where they are both working, they agree on no-strings-attached weekend hookups. Both men have fought hard to escape their pasts and are afraid to commit, so the agreement works well for them—at first. But when the sex gets hotter by the weekend and a deeper connection forms, Joe and Bill wonder if a relationship is feasible, especially since Joe’s work makes it impossible for him to settle down. Joe must consider his changing priorities and decide if he can take a risk on something beyond the physical.


Joe has a low self-esteem and not much experience being a gay man. He’s had some bar encounters but no real relationships. He works construction installing elevators and escalators for a diabolical boss who only wants to cut corners.

Bill is a personal trainer who is opening up a new gym (in the mall Joe is currently working on) and also has a low self-esteem. Bill doesn’t want a relationship because he’s too busy trying to prove himself with his new gym.

Bill meets Joe at a club and the two hit it off right away and agree to a no-strings affair for the duration of Joe’s time spent building the mall. But… Joe gets injured and Bill rides to the rescue to help him recover and to get what’s coming to him in terms of compensation from his evil boss (who fires Joe for being injured).


I didn’t love this story. First, though it’s a pretty solid HFN, it isn’t a solid HEA and I like those better.

Second, the writing isn’t great. It’s a bit sophomoric and not very polished. (Though the editing is good and there aren’t a lot of glaring grammar mistakes or typos.)

Third, I didn’t quite understand the general motivation of either MC. Sometimes they did things that didn’t make sense (like Joe not fighting for his rights when his boss fires him in a ridiculously obvious illegal move or when both men agree to move in with one another after only knowing each other for a very short time).

Fourth, I didn’t find the sex particularly hot or exciting.

So… I was glad these two sad and lonely guys found each other (that made me very happy) and it looks like they’ll probably work out in the long run (I would have liked to see more evidence of this – maybe the “L” word here and there), but I didn’t find this story to be that enthralling or wonderful.

Overall I give it 3 of 5 hearts for having some sweet moments and nice editing.



Home the hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield

homehardwayDare Buckley has come home—or at least, he’s come back to Palladian, the small town he left as a teenager. After a major lapse in judgment forced him to resign from the Seattle PD, Palladian is the only place that’ll hire him. There’s one benefit to hitting rock bottom, though: the chance to investigate the mystery of his father’s suicide.

Dare also gets to reacquaint himself with Finn Fowler, whose childhood hero worship ended in uncomfortable silence when Dare moved away. But Finn isn’t the same little kid Dare once protected. He’s grown into an attractive, enigmatic stranger who neither wants nor needs what Dare has to offer.

In fact, Dare soon realizes that Finn’s keeping secrets—his own and the town’s. And he doesn’t seem to care that Dare needs answers. The atmosphere in Palladian, like its namesake river, appears placid, but dark currents churn underneath. When danger closes in, Dare must pit his ingenuity against his heart, and find his way home the hard way.

Kimi’s review:

This was one of those books whose pieces simply fell together into one cohesive whole, making a picture you didn’t expect but are utterly in love with. Dare moved away from Palladium as a teen following his father’s suicide. Once grown up, became a police officer with the Seattle P.D. After falling from grace, he returns to Palladium to lick his wounds and start over, working for the sheriff’s department. It’s not an easy thing, as there are those who think he’s gotten the job they believed they should have been promoted to, people feeling awkward over the cloud the family left town over, and other small town issues. Dare doesn’t care as much about that as one might expect because he’s determined to ferret out the truth of his father’s suicide while he’s there.

He runs into walls that surprise him, not the least one being whatever Finn seems to be keeping from him. Finn isn’t the same kid who had a case of hero worship back in the day, but someone is still most definitely bullying him. It’s not all empty threats either, as mysterious events unfold tat could have lethal consequences. Mix in the sexual tension between Dare and Finn, add in a bit of fairly light BDSM play, and you have a cop who’s heart is smitten and hopes like hell that he can figure out just what is really going on with Finn and the town of Palladium. When the truth leads back to a long ago night and Finn’s own deceased mother, who’d been known as the town whore, secrets are revealed that rock the town and Dare to their core. I know I certainly was taken by surprised as hadn’t seen that coming. Recommended.

Buy from ARe  Amazon Riptide 

Rating: 4.5


KC Wells A Bond of Three Tour





“We are alone,” Sorran said after a few minutes. “Tell me of the cashor. You have intrigued me.”
Tanish thought for a moment how best to begin. “It is worn by the Seruani.” Sorran’s furrowed brow told him what he needed to know. He sighed. “The Seruani are those men and women who provide a special service. They instruct us in the pleasures of the flesh. A husband whose wife no longer wishes to share her bed with him, those who have lost their partners, youths who seek their first experience to be with someone knowledgeable—all these people can pay for their services.”
Sorran’s forehead smoothed out. “Ah, I understand. We have such people in Vencor.” That frown was back suddenly. “But I am still confused. Why would someone not pay us heed if we wear the cashor?”
Tanish stared at him. “Because Seruani are considered the lowest of the low. When a youth is taken to be trained as a Seruan, he or she loses all contact with his or her family. If a Seruan was to be seen in the street by a family member, they would not be acknowledged. In truth, they would be shunned.”
Sorran pulled at Forena’s reins, bringing the stallion to a dead stop.
Tanish halted Nerita and twisted in his saddle to regard Sorran. “What is the matter?”
Sorran shook his head, his expression pained. “In Vancor, such people are revered. They are viewed as mystical.”
Tanish was astonished. “But why?” He could not believe such a difference in attitude could exist.
Sorran tilted his head. “My teachers tell me that when two people make love, their joy can be such that they almost touch the heavens. Surely one who can help you reach such levels is a person to be cherished, valued, revered.”
His description brought tears to Tanish’s eyes. To think that but for an accident of geography, Feyar could have been born into a land where his gifts would have had worth, where he would have been treasured. Tanish bowed his head, eyes closed, overwhelmed with emotion.
A soft hand came to rest on his arm. “What ails you, Tanish?” Sorran’s voice was low and lilting, his concern audible.
Tanish opened his eyes and gave Sorran a feeble smile. “For many years I have wept at the thought of those chosen to be Seruani, shunned by their families and society. I have wished for change.”
Sorran smiled, his dark eyes flashing. “But you are to be king one day, just as I will be. A king wields so much power.” He leaned closer, his gaze fixed on Tanish. “If a king does not like a law, he has the power to change it.”
Tanish shook his head. “To do so would be to insult those who drew up the laws in the first place.”
Sorran quirked his eyebrows. “Who created those laws? And when?”
“I do not know. It has always been so.” Tanish had reflected upon that many times.
Sorran frowned. “That does not mean it must remain so. And laws can be changed a little at a time. Take small steps, but always be sure of your goal.” He patted Tanish’s arm. “Win the people’s hearts first, and then lead them where you will go. If you act justly, your motives clear, they will follow you.”
Sorran’s earnest expression seemed older than his years. Tanish gazed at the prince in wonder. Sorran’s words resonated deep within him, sparking a flame of hope—and something else. For the first time in a long while, Tanish felt at peace with his destiny.

Pages or Words: 264 pages


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49 – Favorite of your books? Oh my. Nope.

50 – Favorite of your characters? Uh uh. Can’t answer that either.

51 – Harry Potter or Twilight? Twilight

Author Bio:
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C.Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.
K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings – writing about men in love was even hotter…
K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career.
The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
Where to find K.C. Wells:
K.C. can be reached via email ([email protected]), on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/KCWellsWorld), on Twitter (@IslandTalesPres or through comments at the K.C.Wells website (http://www.kcwellsworld.com ) K.C. loves to hear from readers.

The Flesh Cartel (complete series) by Rachel Haimowitz and Heidi Belleau

cover52093-mediumSublime service, made to order.

The Flesh Cartel: an international, multi-billion-dollar black market that trades in lost souls. Or more specifically, their bodies. The Cartel trainers are masters at breaking a human mind. Fortunately for their ultra-rich clients, they’re just as skilled at putting people back together again—as perfect pets, well-trained and eager to please.

Two orphaned brothers caught by the Cartel learn just how far the human spirit can bend—and how badly it can break. But with support from each other and a determined FBI agent, they may also learn how to live—and love—once again.


This is a serialized story now available in five novels in print and ebook.

Reader discretion advised. This title contains the following sensitive themes: explicit violence, forced incest, non-consent, dubious consent, drug use, kidnapping/abduction, self-harm.

Kimi’s review:

Holy shit. To say this wa not an easy read would perhaps be the understatement of the century. It’s not a romance, so put that idea right out of your head. It’s a taut psychosexual thriller that takes you on a bareknuckle ride through Hell and gone. I won’t say back, because there is no coming back from something like this. There is an out and forward, but no way back.

Big brother Mat has sacrificed a lot in order to make a home with his brother and put him through university. Doug, or Dougie as Mat still calls him, is close to completing his PH.d in psychology. Unfortunately, Doug has caught the eye of some unsavoury types who decide to take him as he fits the profile for being some one they can disappear easily enough- orphaned, alone except for a brother who’s an MMA fighter on a downward spiral, barely keeping their heads above water, and very, very attractive. When an exceedingly rich man puts in a request for a certain body type and look, wheels are set into motion to make his disappearance one that doesn’t raise any suspicion. Unfortunately for Mat, he comes home a bit earlier than they had anticipated and finds he too is grabbed.

What follows is a regime of sexual and mental abuse designed to break the men’s minds and spirits, with a lot of what happens being helped along by other victims of the cartel. Nor are they the only victims currently being broken and sold, which they discover to their horror, as both male and female victims are heard in the cells and seen in various locations at the facility. Auctioned off as a pair at an auction that quite frankly made my hair stand on end, they are bought by a trainer. Nicolei is a consummate professional in training sex slaves. It’d be easy to hate him as we watch the mind games he plays with Mat and Dougie, but rather than give us a completely unlikable villain, the authors gave us a complex man who has genuine regrets and affection for his charges. It’s quite a conundrum, made all the more tragic when it all starts to come apart for the cartel. I couldn’t bring myself to feel affection for him, but my heart did break for him and for his right hand man. In another life, given very different circumstances, their lives would have been very different instead of being warped beyond all reason.

The story doesn’t end when the brothers are at last sold by Nicolei to their master either. FBI agent Nate Johnson has been a long time fan of  Mat, and he has been following his instincts that something doesn’t add up with the MMA fighter and his PH.d candidate brother’s disappearance. he’s like a dog with a bone, and he doesn’t stop until he has the answers he’s looking for. Of course, the truth is much, much bigger than he’d ever dreamed, and it makes for an explosive  climax  when law enforcement pulls off their operation. Following up on what happens afterwards was a rare treat, but it was not a ready made HEA. Nate and Mat connect on a personal level, which was indeed very romantic, but Dougie was straight and his head is having a hard time separating out sex and affection and feelings of well-being. Given that his mind and body have been conditioned to associate sex with a male master as “happiness”, he’s in a bad place. The authors manage to showcase how his sexual traumas cause this, and his finding his way out of it, without demonising the LGBT community.

It’s a very well written series, but one I could only read in VERY small doses and with a lot of happy in-between as it is simply so vividly depicted that it crawled right under my skin and wormed itself into my brain. The abusive pseudo BDSM (it’s NOT BDSM of course, despite the twisted lies the masters tell themselves, it’s abuse) in particular is brutal, and of course anything but safe, sane, and consensual, so readers should be warned that a rather strong stomach for those scenes alone is required.

This title can be purchased as a serial or as a series with three seasons (volumes) from Riptide.

Rating: 5


A Bond of Three by KC Wells

Dreamspinner presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5962hw

bond threeBlurb

In the kingdom of Teruna, the red-cloaked Seruani teach the Terunans the art of love. Taken from their homes at seventeen to be trained, they are shunned as outcasts by society and considered the lowest of the low. So when Prince Tanish falls in love with the Seruan Feyar, the man who took his virginity and the only one to share his bed, he is not about to declare that love. No one can ever know, because the consequences would be too painful to consider for both of them.

When the king of Vancor visits Teruna, he promises that his son, Prince Sorran, will marry Prince Tanish to solidify the alliance between the two kingdoms, with the proviso that the virginal Sorran is instructed in the art of pleasing his husband-to-be. When Tanish’s father chooses Feyar to be this instructor, the lovers decide Prince Sorran must be taught that this is to be a marriage in name only….

A resentful prince, unwilling to share his lover.

A resentful Seruan, unwilling to share his prince.

And the shy prince whose very nature sparks changes in the lives of all those around them.

Teruna is about to change forever.

This is a fantasy world called Teruna, with royalty who are trained in lovemaking by Seruani. The Seruani are reviled by society (now) but used to be treated as honored citizens. Feyar is the Seruan of the Prince Tanish. They are in love.

Tanish is betrothed to Prince Sorran for political reasons. Feyar and Tanish vow to hate Sorran and continue their affair despite the engagement.

When Prince Sorran arrives we find out he’s a virgin and that Feyar is assigned to teach Sorran how to make love to Tanish! When Feyar meets Sorran he realizes he can’t hate Sorran and instead Feyar and Tanish end up falling in love with Sorran.

The three men vow to live as lovers but Sorran cannot do it while Feyar is still being treated as scum, so he acts to help change the way the Seruani are treated.

There is also some drama with other potential lovers, the King and an invading army.

Phew! That’s a lot of stuff for a relatively short story, but it’s really well done. On the one hand all the new words and funny names were a bit bulky and got frustrating at times…but I really liked the bit of supernatural magicky stuff that was included and I really liked the many hot sex scenes. (yowza!) I felt that the triad relationship was fairly believable, though I do think Feyar and Tanish accepted the new guy a bit too easily… but the magic elements make that more believable as well.

Overall I enjoyed this book a lot. I loved the message and thought the triad was great.

PS I love the cover with my cocky boys Levi and Duncan!

4 of 5 hearts



Who Knows the Storm by Tere Michaels

Dreamspinner presents: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5543

who knows stormBlurb

In a dystopian near future, New York City has become the epicenter of decadence—gambling, the flesh trade, a playground for the wealthy. And underneath? Crime, fueled by “Dead Bolt,” a destructive designer drug. This New City is where Nox Boyet leads a double life. At night, he is the Vigilante, struggling to keep the streets safe for citizens abandoned by the corrupt government and police. During the day, he works in construction and does his best to raise his adopted teenaged son, Sam.

A mysterious letter addressed to Sam brings Nox in direct contact with “model” Cade Creel, a high-end prostitute working at the Iron Butterfly Casino. Suspicion gives way to an intense attraction as dark figures from Nox’s past and the mysterious peddlers of Dead Bolt begin to descend—and put all their lives in danger. When things spin out of control, Cade is the only person Nox can trust to help him save Sam.

Nox is a vigilante in dystopian New York after a massive flood has left the big Apple in ruins. He has a “son” that he cares about above all else and a desire for justice.

Cade is a “model”/rent boy who ends up bringing a letter to Nox’s son, Sam, and getting involved with Sam and Nox trying to keep Sam safe but things aren’t always as they seem.

The end is sort of a cliff hanger – so be warned – that hopefully leads us to the next book.
It took me forever to get through this book because I love Tere Michaels but I’m just not a big fan of the dystopian future storyline. So take this review with a grain of salt and here are my impressions:

1) Tere Michaels is a great writer who writes fantastic, gritty, sensual characters with a lot of depth
2) Even her secondary characters are fully developed and engaging
3) The smexy times in this story are hot – another of Michael’s skills
4) This is a little different than the previous books I’ve read by her in that it is more dark and lies more heavily on the non-romance/thriller portion of the story
5) Sometimes the story was twisty, turny and confusing to me, but it leaves a lot of potential for future segments in the series

So – I give this 4 of 5 hearts for writing, characterization and creativity but 2.5 of 5 hearts for overall romance and lack of good “feels”, averaged to 3.25 hearts.