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.


Tequila Mockingbird Audiobook by Rhys Ford Narrated by Tristan James

Dreamspinner presents:



Lieutenant Connor Morgan of SFPD’s SWAT division wasn’t looking for love. Especially not in a man. His life plan didn’t include one Forest Ackerman, a brown-eyed, blond drummer who’s as sexy as he is trouble. His family depends on him to be like his father, a solid pillar of strength who’ll one day lead the Morgan clan.

No, Connor has everything worked out—a career in law enforcement, a nice house, and a family. Instead, he finds a murdered man while on a drug raid and loses his heart comforting the man’s adopted son. It wasn’t like he’d never thought about men — it’s just loving one doesn’t fit into his plans.

Forest Ackerman certainly doesn’t need to be lusting after a straight cop, even if Connor Morgan is everywhere he looks, especially after Frank’s death. He’s just talked himself out of lusting for the brawny cop when his coffee shop becomes a war zone and Connor Morgan steps in to save him.

Whoever killed his father seems intent on Forest joining him in the afterlife. As the killer moves closer to achieving his goal, Forest tangles with Connor Morgan and is left wondering what he’ll lose first—his life or his heart

Moragn’s Review

Connor is the oldest Morgan, he’s a tough cop and he’s straight. Right?

Forest is another tortured artist, a drummer, who ends up falling for this straight cop, despite his best intentions. And people are out to kill him. Don’t forget that part.

Connor has to come to grips with his feelings and goes to his dad – the best dad that was ever invented (IMHO) – and finds out that love is love and he should go out and get his man. And take care of the bad guys – don’t forget that part.

Forest finds out that Connor has feelings for him and not only that, gets him access to the newly forming band made up of super-stars Damien and Miki from Sinner’s Gin. And he has to stay alive – don’t forget that part.

This is a fantastic addition to the Sinner’s Gin series. I love how the new band keeps growing and the Morgans keep getting more deeply involved with each new member introduced. I love how the Morgan patriarchs help to heal these “boys” and give them the family they so richly deserve.

I can’t wait for the audio version of this to come out! Connor’s voice on the previous two audio books was super-sexy and I’m betting an entire book of him will be drool-worthy.

I also just loved the time Forest spent with Damien and Miki. I really feel like the formation of the band is almost more of the story than the individual love stories, it’s so heart wrenching and powerful. It almost steals the show, but not quite. Why? Super-hot sex scenes. Damn. Rhys Ford can sure write sex scenes. I just love the sensuality she infuses into each one. So deliciously hot.

I am excited for the next installment – I just know Quinn is going to be a riot!

I highly recommend this book, the entire series, the audio versions and anything Rhys Ford has written.

Ok – I’m a fan, so shoot me!

6 out of 5 hearts



Tristan James does the Sinners series and his Irish Cop Voice is to-die-for. Somehow he makes Donal different from Kane different from Connor and let me tell you, Bridg – the mom – is THE BEST! She is absolutely hysterical when she tells Forest she’ll take out his mom with a knife if he wants.

Though you it’s hard to do much better than a Rhys Ford book, listening to the series with Tristan James does just that. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – I just love his voice and he makes listening to the story even more interesting by infusing emotion, character development and timing.

I highly recommend this book on audio and give it 6 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

Grif’s Toy (Tease and Denial Book 1) by Joseph Lance Tonlet

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00069]Grif believes he’ll live his life as a virgin. After all, who would want him? How could anyone find him, a guy who came with less than man-sized equipment, worthy of their love?

What he hadn’t counted on were the two amazing men who would change his life. After entering college, he meets Tate, his fun-loving, wealthy roommate. While years later, with Tate now just a memory, Wes, a handsome, rugged ex-marine who runs his own security firm enters his life.

Both men force him to see his value, despite his size and insecurities.

My review:

From the moment that the story opened with Grif and his boyfriend Wes meeting for a dinner at a swank restaurant, I knew this was not going to be a run of the mill love story. It snared me from the start and while Grif is into humiliation which isn’t my thing, I simply had to pick the book up again and again after pausing long enough to grab a cup of fortifying tea.

Make no mistake about it, Wes has a bit of a sadist in him while Grif loves to be humiliated during mutually agreed upon scenes. It’s a dynamic that works for them both and actually cements their bond deeper as they both feel urges to depart from their more typical love life.

Tonlet starts us off by throwing the reader into the deep end and then giving us a set of flashbacks as to how the two men came to meet and enter into their current relationship dynamic. We also get to meet a much younger Grif who discovers that the dream life he’d envisioned for high school was not going to be as he and his family discover Wes has a physical  anomaly.

His relationship with best friend and college roommate Tate is as gay for you as it gets behind closed doors, and it is also heartbreaking in all the ways it could not be. Despite their rigidly set personal parameters, it was liberating for both young men though and extremely sensual, allowing both men to explore sides of themselves they’d never expected to discover, and not just sexually.

His relationship with Wes is also revealed to be not quite what one at first thinks, as their first meeting and early relationship shows. Wes is a deeply passionate man who greatly respects Grif and truly adores  all of him, but deep inside he has the urge to indulge in a dark kink. Luckily, it coincides with Grif’s desire, and the two have a system worked out. If neither consents, it’s business as usual. Indeed, most of the discomfort I initially felt was not due to the expression of their particular kink, but the very intimate way the two men are depicted as well as my personal surprise at just how H.O.T. their “chocolate” scenes were..

Never before have I encountered a character who breathed from the page so vividly with his inner psyche so exposed, so that I wasn’t merely observing the scene with him, but it almost felt like I was participating. Yeah, I had a lot of fortifying tea.  I did have to be careful to not spit it out though as quite often I’d sit down and sip my beverage only to be read some banter between the two men that made me want to giggle.

It’s as real as relationships get. With mutual respect, deep affection, heavy on mutual trust, and a genuine sense of joy. None of the characters are reduced to archetypes, the dominant Wes can be submissive as well in his own way, while Grif definitely has his dominant side. When the sexual roles are reversed, it made for a smoking read that nearly overheated my Kindle battery.

If this is book one, I can’t wait to see how Tonlet challenges me with book 2. Bring it on.

Rating: 4.5

Buy: Amazon US  Amazon UK   ARe  Smashwords


One Thing Leads to Another Tour

Dion Bellamy is twenty-seven and studying social work at the University of Chicago. He has lived with Kenji Okamura, a construction worker, for a year and a half. Dion loves Kenji and passionately hopes Kenji feels the same, but he has never said the three big words. Then Grayson Sinclair, Dion’s schoolmate and a vivacious, oversexed playboy, comes between them.

One step at a time, barely aware where his steps are leading, Dion descends the slippery slope into a life of depravity. First, Grayson ensures Kenji is out of the way. Then he entices Dion to go clubbing with him, gets Dion drunk and high, and then takes him to a sex club, where he films Dion giving blow jobs to multiple men. He threatens to put the video online unless Dion signs a contract to work as a prostitute. Though he hardly understands how he reached this point, Dion must now figure out how to escape his fate and save himself.

“God,” Dion screamed, throwing his hands in the air in disgust. He and Kenji glared like dogs circling each other before attacking. Finally Dion broke the tension. “I need some air,” he said, then spun on a heel and strode to the bedroom. Kenji sat still as stone, listening to Dion slamming drawers as he found clothes suitable for going out.

How did this happen? I wanted to come clean. I thought if we talked about it—

After quickly dressing, Dion stormed to the front door.

“Where are you going?”

“Out,” Dion said without looking at Kenji. “Does that meet with your approval?”

“Dion, don’t be—”

The sound of the door slamming rang in Kenji’s ears. Footsteps fell hard and fast down the stairs. When they stopped, he looked away from the door. He closed his eyes at the muffled sound of another door slamming hard two floors below. When he opened his eyes a few minutes later, he looked down, surprised to see dots of blood on the seat of the recliner. He opened his hands and saw that his fingernails had broken the skin of his palms.

Author Bio:

I’m a southern boy. Well, “boy” may be a stretch. I’m sixty-one this year, but I still feel like I’m twenty-two and act like I’m nine-and-a-half. Grew up in north Alabama, smack-dab in the middle of the Bible belt.
I discovered I was attracted to boys at age fourteen. Twenty minutes after that, I found out that being gay was the unforgivable sin, not blaspheming the Holy Spirit, as my little Baptist church had taught me. So, as so many like me have always done, I hid from everyone, including and especially myself.
At age forty-nine I came out to myself, my wife, and my three wonderful children. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the best thing that ever happened to me.
I started writing shortly after discovering anime. There’s this thing called “fandoms,” you see—well, I know you probably know about that. I grew my skills slowly, feeding on the dribbles of praise and criticism my mailing lists provided. In 2011 I decided to try my hand at original fiction and found I have a talent for telling stories that touch people’s hearts and make them laugh. For me there’s no greater high in all the world. The next year I somehow screwed up the courage to submit to a publisher and was given a thumbs up. Now I’m happily sharing my tales with those who care to read them.
My day job is editing and engraving sacred music for a mainline publisher in Chicago, where I live with an antisocial cat who refuses to be named. I enjoy fine wines, jazz, and the darkest chocolate I can get my hands on.
I write in a variety of genres, from gay romance and erotica to science fiction and mainstream thrillers, each category under a different pseudonym. Jude Dunn is the one I use for gay romance. My work is sometimes subtle, sometimes fiery, but always brimming with characters who tackle their challenges with an unwavering love of life.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy your time here.
Author Contact:
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
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