Protector of the Alpha:Shifting Needs Book 1 by Parker Williams


Author Bio:

Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that comes with melding lives together.
Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Parker held his job for nearly 28 years before he decided to retire and try new things. He enjoys his new life as a stay-at-home author and also working on Pride-Promotions, an LGBT author promotion service.
Author Contact:
Connect with Parker on:
Twitter: @ParkerWAuthor
Or you can visit his website:
Publisher: Self-published
Cover Artist: Laura Harner


Adopted at an early age by a wealthy family, Jake Davis’s life appears easy. Even in college, he is blessed with good grades and an apparently clear path to a pro football career. Good thing his best friend keeps hanging around to keep his head from getting too swollen.
Zakiya Incekara has always been…odd. Being fluent in six languages and having a flair for international cooking should open the world to him, but those skills leave him isolated.
When Jake sees Zak for the first time, with water beading down his slender form, something inside him shifts, and it hungers for Zak. To have him. To claim him. And Jake knows that whatever it is, it won’t be denied.


Jake’s hand was rough, his skin dry. Zak loved how his fingers gripped tightly, but not so much that it hurt. Jake said nothing as they walked along the streets of the campus. There were few people around, but Zak did not care if everyone was watching them. He was confused as to his attraction to Jake, but it was something he could not deny.
The soft jazz music poured from the door of the pub when Jake pulled it open. Jake’s hand on his lower back urged him inside. Zak sniffed appreciatively at the scent of Cajun spices, no doubt from the blackened catfish special. His stomach protested, and he heard Jake snicker, but he could not seem to raise the ire he should. Jake escorted him to a booth and allowed Zak to sit back against the brushed leather.
“Two dinner specials coming up,” Jake said brightly.
Zak gazed at Jake’s hulking form as it moved away, marveling at the sinewy grace as he dodged patrons and servers. It was odd. He had never met anyone like Jake. He doubted there was anyone like Jake. He felt comfortable in his presence. Jake’s size did not intimidate him. In fact, that made him all the sexier. But his eyes were what made Zak melt into a puddle of goo. The way they twinkled in the dimmest of light. When Jake so much as glanced at him, Zak felt he was the sole thing Jake saw.
Jake turned from the bar, and Zak watched as the bright smile turn into a sneer. He dropped the tray, the catfish crashing to the floor, before he stalked to where Zak sat. Jake grabbed a man, probably about forty, by his throat and pushed him against the wall.
“You don’t so much as breathe near him,” Jake snarled.
The man looked cool as he smiled and croaked out. “You are everything I had heard you would be, and more, my lord.”

Pages: 237 pages

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The Nothingness of Ben Audiobook by Brad Boney Narrated by Charlie David

Dreamspinner Presents:



Ben Walsh is well on his way to becoming one of Manhattan’s top litigators, with a gorgeous boyfriend and friends on the A-list. His life is perfect until he gets a phone call that brings it all crashing down: a car accident takes his parents, and now he must return to Austin to raise three teenage brothers he barely knows.

During the funeral, Ben meets Travis Atwood, the redneck neighbor with a huge heart. Their relationship initially runs hot and cold, from contentious to flirtatious, but when the weight of responsibility starts wearing on Ben, he turns to Travis, and the pressure shapes their friendship into something that feels a lot like love. Ben thinks he’s found a way to have his old life, his new life, and Travis too, but love isn’t always easy. Will he learn to recognize that sometimes the worst thing imaginable can lead him to the place he was meant to be?

My Review

Ben lives in New York at the start of the story, he’s friends with the influential and looking to rise quickly in the world of lawyers. His parents die suddenly and leave him his younger brothers to raise – back in Texas. He’s sure the thing to do is move everyone back to NYC , there isn’t anything keeping him in Texas and many reasons to leave the dust behind. Until…

Travis has been friends with the Walshes for a while now and is especially close to their sons. He plays an influential role in helping Ben reconnect with his brothers and somehow, along the way, finds himself being attracted to a man (Ben) for the first time in his life.

The attraction is mutual, though the path to love is far from easy. First there are the brothers – they don’t trust Ben and don’t know how he’s going to fit in their lives again. Then there’s the fact that Travis has some pretty hefty hurdles to overcome concerning his own sexuality. Finally, once Ben and Travis are together and the boys have come around, there is the problem of location. Namely, Ben can’t see himself in Texas and no one else can see themselves in NYC – especially not Travis, who really is a good ol’ boy at heart.

After some much needed time apart, the advice from friends and some unexpected visits from beyond the grave, Travis and Ben re-prioritize and we get our HEA.

I have to admit, I didn’t like this book nearly as much when I first read it as I do now that I have read the subsequent sequels. Without giving away too much, just let me say that Travis and Ben have much more to their relationship than we see here and the payoff is really, really worth it.

This is essentially a GFY story for Travis and a sort of coming of age story for Ben in that he has a lot of growing up to do, despite his years. The book is heavy on dialog and the romance, the sex is subtle, slow building, but very sweet. Again, with a re-read after knowing more about the characters from the next books, the subtleties are really showcased as quiet clues to a much bigger, more amazing story that you will want to re-read this book just to catch them.

I highly recommend this book and the subsequent books that follow.

I give it 4.5 of 5 hearts


Charlie David is one of my favorite m/m narrators. He does a really fantastic job with the southern drawls and is very easy to listen to. The sound quality is excellent and I think that I enjoyed listening to the audiobook even more than reading it, due to the quality of the narration.

I give it 4.5 of 5 hearts.

Overall, 4.5 of 5 hearts.

The Eskimo Slugger by Brad Boney









Dreamspinner Presents:


It’s the summer of 1983, and Trent Days is Major League Baseball’s rookie sensation. Born in Alaska to an Inupiat mother, the press have dubbed him the Eskimo Slugger, but a midseason collision at home plate temporarily halts his meteoric rise to the top.

Sent back to Austin to recuperate, Trent visits his favorite record store, Inner Sanctum, where he meets amiable law student Brendan Baxter. A skip in the vinyl of New Order’s “Blue Monday” drives Trent back to Brendan, and their romance takes them into uncharted territory.

As Trent’s feelings move from casual to serious, he’s faced with an impossible dilemma. Does he abandon any hope of a future with Brendan and return to the shadows and secrets of professional sports? Or does he embrace the possibility of real love and leave baseball behind him forever? As he struggles with his decision, Trent embarks on a journey of self-discovery—to figure out who he really is and what matters most.

My review

Trent is a baseball player from Alaska, thus the name Eskimo Slugger. He’s at the top of his game when he gets injured and ends up spending two weeks in Austin, TX. There he meets Brendan, a law student/record store clerk. They start as friends but once Brendan tentatively asks Trent “Is this a date?” the two acknowledge the deeper aspect of their blossoming relationship. The two immediately set sparks off one another, though neither has ever had a gay relationship before.

With some pretty funny forays into gay sex, the two explore each other and a relatively unexplored aspect to their personalities. For Brendan, being gay is something he’s pondered but been afraid of, but with the right incentive he embraces the idea and eventually decides to incorporate into his life fully and without secrecy.

For Trent, being gay means possibly (probably) the end of his career, certainly the end of his life as it stands currently, and though he’s always known he was gay, he has never let himself entertain the idea that he could actually live as a gay man.

Brendan enlists the help of Stanton and Hutch (from The Return) as “gay mentors” and together, with Bill Walsh (from The Nothingness of Ben) the group bonds, smoke a lot of weed and begin to form relationships that even death won’t end.

Ultimately, Trent has to make the biggest decision of his life: Choose baseball or choose Brendan. Perhaps the two can be together, but probably it’s one or the other.


By now you should have read the first two books (The Nothingness of Ben and The Return). If you haven’t – go! What are you waiting for? Technically this could be a standalone, I guess, but it won’t make a heck of a lot of sense and will leave you very unsatisfied.

If you have read the other books you know that the end of this book is really the beginning of TNOB. That, Brad Boney, is an amazing feat! Mr. Boney has managed to create this beautiful circular set of books that literally bleeds one into the other so that (as a reader) you want to just keep going round and round the merry-go-round.

I found myself referencing both of the earlier books time and again with the “treasures” that were revealed throughout this book. Without completely giving away all the secrets just know that the MCs of all three books are inter-related in various ways and little bits of their stories, past and present are slipped in throughout the story.

In The Return it was all about music – fast paced facts and quips, with Slugger it’s baseball. For me, the music was more interesting, but if you are a baseball fan this will really hit home. (See what I did there?)

I didn’t like the love story as much in Slugger as in The Return or TNOB, probably because it happens so quickly. I just never felt the emotion – especially from Brendan. Trent was invested, you get that feeling so strongly. Brendan was too standoffish for me and it made me a little sad. But… since I know what I know about how things end… he’s forgiven ☺.

I really, really enjoyed these books and was sad to see it end. I can’t say for sure, but I think that if I were to recommend a reading order I would say start with The Return, then Slugger then finish with TNOB. There may be something “missing” with that order, but I think, ultimately, it will be so much more satisfying. Or… do as the author may have intended and read it : TNOB, Return, Slugger, TNOB… and so on and so on…

Just a fantastic book all around, 5 of 5 hearts and for the series 6 of 5!


The Return Audiobook by Brad Boney Narrated by Charlie David











Dreamspinner Presents:


Music. Topher Manning rarely thinks about anything else, but his day job as a mechanic doesn’t exactly mesh with his rock star ambitions. Unless he can find a way to unlock all the songs in his head, his band will soon be on the fast track to obscurity.

Then the South by Southwest music festival and a broken-down car drop New York critic Stanton Porter into his life. Stanton offers Topher a ticket to the Bruce Springsteen concert, where a hesitant kiss and phantom vibrations from Topher’s cell phone kick off a love story that promises to transcend ordinary possibility.

My Review

This is two stories which intertwine into one.

First, Topher Manning is a mechanic by day and musician by night. He works at the same garage as Travis (from The Nothingness of Ben). One day he’s at work when a guy with car problems strolls in with a spare ticket to the Bruce Springsteen concert – one of Topher’s all time favorite bands. The guy, Stanton Porter, offers Topher the chance of a lifetime (floor seats at the concert in exchange for a ride) and they go together to enjoy the show.

The two have both nothing and everything in common. Stanton is 50 something, from New York, a music critic with an Ivy League education and an amazing affinity for all things music, especially pop-music. Topher is a country boy, 26, no college whatsoever, plays music in a rock-n-roll band, and an affinity for all things music, especially pop-music.

They essentially click, and though Topher has never had a “gay” thought in the world, he finds himself compelled to kiss Stanton in the middle of “Thunder Road”. This spurs the beginning of a strange and sometimes bewildering romance between the two that seems to cross state lines, age lines and time lines.

The second story is also about Stanton, but a 24 year-old Stanton, who falls in love with Hutch. Hutch is a trust-fund child who has been mostly “disowned” for being gay and a musician by his upper-crust family. He and Stanton fall almost instantly in love and they too share a love of music, though both have the education and a group of close knit friends in common.

Every other chapter switches between the older and the younger Stanton’s love stories. Needless to say there are some major tie-ins and co-incidences that are mind-boggling, and in a way it is both an epic tragedy and an amazing love-story rolled into one.

I can’t really explain much more about this story without giving too much away – and that would spoil the surprises. However, know this: there are some “paranormal” or “otherworldly” elements to this story like there was in The Nothingness of Ben which will have you riveted to your seat. Though the flash-backs (Hutch’s story) are amazingly difficult to read, they are also so touching and heart-warming that you won’t want to skip or even skim them.

Because the current story includes so many characters we’ve seen before, I recommend reading all three books to truly appreciate this story. I’d recommend either this order: TNOB, Return, Slugger, TNOB OR Return, Slugger, Ben.

Both Hutch’s and Topher’s stories are stories about living your dream and fighting for what you want. Stanton remains the constant. Though he, too, has to face demons and confront homophobic parents and in-laws, he serves as the anchor for both men.

Hutch’s story takes place in the early 1980s, when the AIDS epidemic was just beginning to take victim after victim, so it’s also a lesson in history. A glimpse at what it might have been like to live through the early days of AIDS. It’s so very hard to read, but also so important to understanding just how far we’ve come since then.

The secondary characters are so vivid and important in this book that at times they seem to take over the story. However, this does in no way detract from the main story line and only adds to the main story.

Origninally, when I had read The Nothingness of Ben, I was underwhelmed. I liked it (see my review on this site) but didn’t love it. Then when I got the chance to review The Eskimo Slugger I noted that it was a part three of the series, so I bought The Return to “catch up”. WOW! Was I ever glad for that. The Return is easily the best of the three books. It is also the longest (twice as long as the other two) and it’s hard for me to say, but I almost think it would be best read first, even though some things may show up out of sequence.

Now, after having read all three, I had to go back to re-read Ben and boy what a difference that makes. It’s still the weakest of the three but I have a new appreciation for it and love it a whole lot more.

When I got to the point in Return where I kind of figured things out, I got mad and had to set the book aside. After all, I wanted Topher for Stanton and was not pleased at all to hear about Hutch. However, the story line itself is so intriguing, the writing is so amazing, that I persisted. When I saw that it had an audiobook version out as well, I started listening as a way to help me get more involved in the story. That (explained here in a bit) sealed the deal and I absolutely fell in love.

For anyone with a fondness of music, you will find this book amazing, Brad has filled it with music trivia.

I highly recommend this book and give it 6 of 5 hearts.


First let me say that I am a Charlie David fan. I have always enjoyed his narrations, I like his voice, find his performances engaging and appealing and always a dependable choice for a narrator.

This narration is hands down his best work (as far as I have observed). He does absolutely AMAZING things with the many, many characters. He has subtle accents, moments of intense emotion, moments of giddiness and drunkenness, AND he can sing! He sings two songs in this narration and they are fabulous!

It is obvious to me that when you combine an author with the talent that Brad Boney has with the right narrator, magic ensues. This is one of the cases where I can’t emphasize enough that this book should absolutely be listened to. It was an experience far, far above the normal and I was completely entranced.

I give the audiobook a 6 of 5 hearts.

Overall 6 of 5 hearts – this book was both heartbreaking and heart-warming that I couldn’t stop and listened to all 11 plus hours over one very long, long night and the book hangover I got was totally, absolutely worth it.


The Bells of Times Square by Amy Lane

Riptide Publishing Presents:



Every New Year’s Eve since 1946, Nate Meyer has ventured alone to Times Square to listen for the ghostly church bells he and his long-lost wartime lover vowed to hear together. This year, however, his grandson Blaine is pushing Nate through the Manhattan streets, revealing his secrets to his silent, stroke-stricken grandfather.

When Blaine introduces his boyfriend to his beloved grandfather, he has no idea that Nate holds a similar secret. As they endure the chilly death of the old year, Nate is drawn back in memory to a much earlier time . . . and to Walter.

Long before, in a peace carefully crafted in the heart of wartime tumult, Nate and Walter forged a loving home in the midst of violence and chaos. But nothing in war is permanent, and now all Nate has is memories of a man his family never knew existed. And a hope that he’ll finally hear the church bells that will unite everybody—including the lovers who hid the best and most sacred parts of their hearts.

My Review
First, we start off the book knowing it’s a tragedy. Nate is in a wheelchair with his gay grandson waiting for the bells to sound on New Year’s Eve. We know Walter is not part of his life and that Nate has been “waiting” to meet up with him every year by listening for the bells – a pre-arranged meeting time for the lovers. Most of the rest of the book is the back-story for this.

Nate joins the war effort as a “spy” photographer. He definitely leans towards liking men versus women, but has in no way acknowledged that fact and in these times and with his faith, Jewish, it isn’t something he really contemplates as something he can act upon.

He’s on a reconnaissance mission over France when his plane crashes. He is rescued by an American Army soldier who has escaped a POW camp and been living “off the grid” in a summer cottage for the past several months. It becomes clear that Nate is infatuated with Walter right off and he suspects Walter is at least acquainted with that “persuasion” and possibly feels similarly for Nate.

But, this is war time. Though the two get to spend an entire month helping Nate to recover from his wounds, the time can’t go on indefinitely. At some point Nate wants to leave the cabin and find his way back to his platoon, if for no other reason than he thinks he might have some valuable intel stored on his film from the failed mission. Walter is not really so keen on the idea of leaving the cabin… ever.

When their little cabin is found and being used by an SS officer and his lover, both Walter and Nate realize the time to leave is upon them. They prepare as best they can to leave, but time is precious and it has run out.
Fortunately, there are allies in the woods who help Walter and Nate escape the cabin and try to help them re-join their commands.

At this point – well – some important stuff happens that I don’t want to spoil – so I won’t go into the details – but you’ll need the Kleenex- buy the Family Size.

Nate is left alone and adrift back in the states and he has to make something of his life despite all that he’s lost. He manages to find joy where he can and, as we knew from the beginning of the story, builds a family and a life for himself.

I won’t tell you about the ending – just know your heart will smile while you cry.


Only Amy would think to publish a tragic love story about World War II over the holidays. Sheesh. We are already primed for emotion around the end of the year and that’s when this will be published. So just suck it up, know you’re going to be doing the ugly cry and enjoy the ride.

One thing I have to say is this: Amy made me understand WHY it had to be like this. Walter is a defeatist character. He really and truly cannot see a future in which happiness plays a role. Nate tries desperately to convince him (and himself?) that such a world is possible. He even has examples from his own life of two “bachelors” living together, “such a shame they never married”, so he feels it is a real possibility for him and Walter. But Walter has no such experiences and his life has never been anything but brief diversions from misery.

Of course Amy has had characters like Walter in the past – Sonny from Racing the Sun comes to mind – and he WAS able to be made to believe in a future with happiness, so part of me still wants to rant and rave …But part of me really appreciates the tragedy of the story and the strength of Nate’s love… his internal conversations with Walter over the years, his visits to his grave… his photography. There was such touching devotion that, really, may not have even withstood the test of time, given society during those years. Their love remained pure because it was so short.

Now, saying that, I don’t want her to get any funny ideas that she should become the next Nicholas Sparks and start righting loads of gay romantic tragedy… I like the HEA, thankyouverymuch!

So pull up your big girl panties and prepare for a beautiful emotional ride… you won’t be sorry you bought the ticket.

I give it 5 of 5 hearts – I loved it!


Bones (Gothika #2) by Eli Easton, Jamie Fessenden, Kim Fielding and BJ Thomas

Dreamspinner presents:



Vodou. Obeah. Santeria. These religions seem mysterious and dark to the uninitiated, but the truth is often very different. Still, while they hold the potential for great power, they can be dangerous to those who don’t take appropriate precautions. Interfering with the spirits is best left to those who know what they’re doing, for when the proper respect isn’t shown, trouble can follow. In these four novellas, steamy nights of possession and exotic ritual will trigger forbidden passion and love. You cannot hide your desires from the loa, or from the maddening spell of the drums. Four acclaimed m/m authors imagine homoerotic love under the spell of Voodoo.

The Dance by Kim Fielding
After being surrounded by deaths and near-deaths, introverted chemist Bram Tillman wishes he could undo the past year. Then beautiful Daniel Royer shows up with a warning about more danger ahead—and a promise to use vodou to help Bram discover what’s trying to kill him. But while Bram’s attraction to Daniel grows, vodou spirits change Bram in unexpected ways.




Bram has lost his lover in the last year and with him, much of his joy in life. In addition to that, he’s the victim of a random attack that puts him in the hospital. Next come a series of near death experiences no one can explain… except for Daniel, the brother of the man that put Bram in the hospital.

Daniel’s answer: voodoo. Bram, a man of science is not swayed by this argument but he is entranced by Daniel.

When things continue to get strange he turns to Daniel for help, and together they put an end to the strangeness and find love.


This is the best of the bunch. Very sensual, you can almost hear the French, smell the rum, and taste the sweat. It’s a great short story in that it absolutely fulfills it’s obligations of the five elements of a story: great characters, an interesting setting, a fully developed plot with tense conflict and a very satisfying resolution.

5 / 5 hearts



“The Bird” by Eli Easton
Colin Hastings is sent to Jamaica in 1870 to save his father’s sugar cane plantation. If he succeeds, he can marry his fiancée back in London and take his place in proper English society. But Colin finds more than he bargained for on the island. His curiosity about Obeah, the native folk magic, leads him to agree to a dangerous ritual where he is offered his heart’s most secret desire—one he’s kept deeply buried all his life. What happens when a proper English gentleman has his true sensual nature revealed and freed by the Obeah spirits?



Colin doesn’t know it, but he’s in love with his best friend. In 1870, you don’t admit that to just anyone, even yourself. It takes a voodoo ceremony for him to make this realization and then he has to convince his friend to take a risk, if that weren’t enough.

Following a close second as best of the bunch, this was another great short story that fulfilled its obligations in a few pages. Very well crafted. It’s historical and educational without being pedantic. The writing is very dark and evocative and quite unlike the previous books/stories I’ve read by Eli Easton.

She always produces an amazing story and this is no different.

4.5/5 hearts



Uninvited by B.G. Thomas
When a hot tip leads Kansas City reporter Taylor Dunton to a series of grisly murders, his investigation points to Myles Parry and his vodou shop. Myles wants nothing more than to practice his religion in peace, and he hopes Taylor can help him show the community they have nothing to fear. The problem is all the clues point to Myles as the suspect and only Taylor can help him prove his innocence. However, this case has also caught the attention of the vodou spirits of the Lwa… and they’ve taken an interest in Taylor as well.


Taylor wants to move up in the journalism world. He gets a hot tip from a friend on the force that leads him to a voodoo shop for answers. There he meets a practitioner (of voodoo) who teaches him the truth behind the myth and together they solve the mystery and fall in love.

This was an interesting story, not unlike The Dance, filled with information and a unique look at what religion is. Though I didn’t feel the love as much as I did in the first two stories (it was insta love without a lot to back it up) I enjoyed the writing and ending was excellent.

4/5 hearts



“The Book of St. Cyprian” by Jamie Fessenden
When Alejandro Valera finds a book of black magic in New Orleans, he ships it to his friend Matthew in New Hampshire so he can read it when he gets home. Unfortunately, Matthew’s dog, Spartacus, gets to the package first, and Alejandro returns to find Matthew locked out of his apartment by the suddenly vicious pit bull. The boys call on all the magic they know to free Spartacus from the evil spirit, but they might need to accept that they’re in over their heads.


Alejandro finds an old book on magic and sends it home to his childhood best friend, Matthew, for safekeeping. Something escapes from the book and possesses Matthew’s dog.

Together Alejandro and Matthew must use the magic they learned from Alejandro’s Abuela to rid the dog of the spirit. Oh, and along the way they admit that they have always loved one another in a more-than-friends way.

This was the weakest of the lot. The love story took a decided back seat to the voodoo and felt a little out of place. Perhaps if this had been longer the romance could have been developed and given a proper resolution, but the ending was a big disappointment and left me unsatisfied.

2.5/5 hearts


Blue Days by Mary Calmes

Dreamspinner Presents

Optimized-Blue days


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?

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.


The Art of Breathing Audiobook by TJ Klune Narrated by Sean Crisden


Dreamspinner Presents:

Tyson Thompson graduated high school at sixteen and left the town of Seafare, Oregon, bound for what he assumed would be bigger and better things. He soon found out the real world has teeth, and he returns to the coast with four years of failure, addiction, and a diagnosis of panic disorder trailing behind him. His brother, Bear, and his brother’s husband, Otter, believe coming home is exactly what Tyson needs to find himself again. Surrounded by family in the Green Monstrosity, Tyson attempts to put the pieces of his broken life back together.

But shortly after he arrives home, Tyson comes face to face with inevitability in the form of his childhood friend and first love, Dominic Miller, who he hasn’t seen since the day he left Seafare. As their paths cross, old wounds reopen, new secrets are revealed, and Tyson discovers there is more to his own story than he was told all those years ago.

In a sea of familiar faces, new friends, and the memories of a mother’s devastating choice, Tyson will learn that in order to have any hope for a future, he must fight the ghosts of his past.

My Review


Here’s a brief run-down of the story:

Ty has fallen for Dom, Dom ends up getting married and having a baby. Ty gets freaked the eff out and runs away to school where he gets addicted to anti-anxiety drugs. Ty makes a friend/boyfriend but it’s not “all that”. Ty gets off drugs. Ty goes on a trip to the Southwest. Ty reconnects with Dom. Crazy stuff happens in the last few pages showing us what will likely show up in the next installment.

It took me forever to write this review – so long in fact, the audiobook came out! So…I decided to combine the two, save everyone some time.

I think the main reason it took so long to write this is my ambivalence towards the book.

Things that I loved: It was great seeing everyone again. I love these characters. They make me laugh and cry and howl. They are so very entertaining. I had longed to see Ty and Dom together and was so satisfied when they finally do hook up. TJ is a hysterical writer and I am always entertained by his writing. The forward movement of the story looks fantastic and I can’t wait to see Bear and Otter as parents again! Hopefully we will get to see more of Ty and Dom as an established couple in the next book.

What I didn’t love: So much of the story was NOT about Ty and Dom together. The story felt fractured into these widely divergent pieces. There was the “remember when”, “the reunion”, “the trip to meet Sandy”, “lots of lots of Ty angst” and only a teeny tiny smidge of “Ty and Dom the couple”. I wanted that, the couple part. I yearned for it. And they were almost never together on page.

What I both loved and hated:
Bear’s ramblings: He’s funny and I love where his mind goes, but sometimes he took the light away from Ty and Dom.

Dom: He changed. I really felt like the sweet, never going to leave Ty-guy, did. He left Ty. That was really hard to swallow. And I don’t know that I felt like that change was ever really fully justified. On the other hand, new-Dom was a more complex character and I really appreciated that he actually seems like a grown-up with grown-up concerns and priorities in a land of perpetual “Young Adults” like Bear and Creed.

The Cross Over: I both loved and hated the cross over with “Tell Me It’s Real”. It felt superfluous. Sure, I LOVED that book and thought all the interactions between the characters were funny. But necessary? No. Not really.

Kori/Core: As the best friend cum boyfriend s/he did fulfill an important roll, but again, sometimes I felt like this was more about Ty and Kori than Dom. Kori got more pages (it felt) than Dom.

I think that, at this point, some of the ramblings and meanderings that have become sort of the hallmark to TJ’s writing could really use a more forceful editing. He clearly has talent, creativity and an amazing sense of humor, but I wish that this book could have been more focused and more tightly drawn to show Dom and Ty more and the others, less. (Even though they’re funny, they took away from the story. IMHO)

So, though I hate to do it, I’d give this a 3 of 5 hearts. I liked it (at times I loved it) but when I look back at what I wish the story was and what I got, I’m disappointed. It won’t stop me from being a fan and from devouring the next book, but I am hopeful there will be some positive changes.


I love Sean Crisden. I think he does a terrific job and I really liked his Dom voice. He also did great work with Sandy and though I wouldn’t have thought of Vince as a kind of stoner, it worked. Ty was appropriately whiny and Otter rumbly. I think I enjoyed listening to this more than reading it because Sean gives the characters even more color and charm. Of course it’s hella long, 15 hours, so pace yourself, but it’s worth it! 4.5 of 5 hearts.


Overall 4 of 5 hearts.


Rack & Ruin by Charlie Cochet

Optimized-Rack and Ruin











Dreamspinner Presents:


New York City’s streets are more dangerous than ever with the leaderless Order of Adrasteia and the Ikelos Coalition, a newly immerged Therian group, at war. Innocent civilians are caught in the crossfire and although the THIRDS round up more and more members of the Order in the hopes of keeping the volatile group from reorganizing, the members of the Coalition continue to escape and wreak havoc in the name of vigilante justice.

Worse yet, someone inside the THIRDS has been feeding the Coalition information. It’s up to Destructive Delta to draw out the mole and put an end to the war before anyone else gets hurt. But to get the job done, the team will have to work through the aftereffects of the Therian Youth Center bombing. A skirmish with Coalition members leads Agent Dexter J. Daley to a shocking discovery and suddenly it becomes clear that the random violence isn’t so random. There’s more going on than Dex and Sloane originally believed, and their fiery partnership is put to the test. As the case takes an explosive turn, Dex and Sloane are in danger of losing more than their relationship.

Morgan’s Review
Chaos in THIRDS land.

The Coalition has a mole from inside THIRDS and some Therian is killing humans. And if that isn’t enough, things inside THIRDS are in chaos as well.

Dex and Sloane are navigating their budding relationship. Sloane is trying to get the rest of his team to pull it together and leave personal business at home. Dex is trying to help Cael with his feelings for Ash. Letty and Rosa are … okay, they’re fine. Taylor is sexually harassing EVERYONE. The new guy Levi might be hooking up with Lou, and Dex has to plan for his pre-birthday-party-party. It’s a lot to deal with.

In this installment we get to see a lot of Sloane and Dex and most of it is really, deliciously, ooey and gooey. Sloane even purrs! (Wait til you read that part – so fantastic!) They seem solidly on the forward track until… well… Sloane runs … again. Dex inadvertently moves the relationship forward and Sloane isn’t prepared for it, so Sloane takes off for a bit, but eventually, with the help of Ash (of all Therians) figures out what a good thing he has in Dex.

The sex is super hot and Dex and Sloane as a couple are hilarious. (My favorite is the closet scene: “This isn’t what it looks like. I dropped some change, it rolled under the closet door, and when I went to pick it up, my clothes fell off. True story.”)

Ash has something going on in his life that is making him distance himself from Cael and Cael is heartbroken and making potentially fatal mistakes as a result.

When the dust settles and the bad guy (for the moment) is disposed of, we’re left with a cliff hanger. We’re going to have to wait til next YEAR to see what happens – that Charlie Cochet, she’s naughty!

Now, we can all probably guess the outcome, but in addition to the main worry, we also have to worry about Cael and Ash – will Ash ever figure things out and get it together enough to be with Cael?

And, really, what is going on with Calvin and Hobbs? Inquiring minds want to know.

Overall, this was a wonderful third installment to the THIRDS series and I really enjoyed it. There was lots of Therian shifting which I like, Sloane acting like a happy kitty, which I liked and some tricky spy stuff, which I like.

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



Quiddity Flight-A.J. Llewellyn

Publisher:  Amber Quill Press, LLC/Amber Allure (LGBT)

Retired LAPD detective Quiddity Flight yearns for action, adventure, and good old-fashioned romance. He’s about to get it all…and it might just be the death of him. Just as Quiddity accepts an insurance-fraud case, looking into the lifestyle and allegedly fake injury of multi-millionaire soccer player João del Sol, he finds that del Sol is deeply attracted to him.

But Quiddity has bigger problems on his hands. Del Sol is the best thing that’s come his way in a very long time, yet somebody apparently has it in for the sexy-but-slightly-grizzled, silver-fox cop. Missing posters start popping up around town offering a reward for information on his disappearance. Except he hasn’t disappeared. Then, new posters begin offering higher rewards for information about his murder. Except Quiddity Flight is still very much alive, and he’s not gonna sit around waiting to read his own obituary…

I really like reading this author’s work. Her quirky titles and characters never fail to capture my attention. What I particularly like about this book and this character was the fact that he was a more mature man, a silver fox, if you will. It’s refreshing to read about a sexy, mature man in his 50s. Many would look at this age and dismiss them as being old men, but that is further from the truth. Men in their 50s and beyond are rather sexy. The characters in this book were really fleshed out and well written, the pace just right. I truly enjoy her writing style. She didn’t drag out the mystery or tease you with the romance and sex. This book is short, but Llewellyn manages to pack quite a bit of substance in this book. I would absolutely love to stop in and see how João and Quid are doing, maybe see them featured in another one of Llewellyn’s wonderful stories.



Amber Allure