Grand Adventures Audiobook by SA McAuley

Dreamspinner Presents

GrandAdventuresAUDMed 2Blurb for the Anthology

On September 1, 2011, TJ Klune wrote, “…it’s not about the ending, it’s about the journey…” in a review of Eric Arvin’s Woke Up in a Strange Place. With those words, two men began a journey of love and invited us to ride along. TJ and Eric have shared so much with us: their wonderful books, their smiles, their humor, their lives, and their inspiring devotion to each other. In December of 2013, their journey took a detour when Eric was taken to the emergency room. He survived the surgery to remove a cavernous hemangioma from his brain stem, but the challenges TJ and Eric face are far from over.

The authors in this anthology donated their talent as a way to support Eric’s continued recovery, to help bring strength to TJ, and to show both of them just how much love surrounds them. Grand Adventures is a diverse range of stories about the journey of love. We’re going on some grand adventures for a great cause. Thank you for joining us.

One hundred percent of the income from this volume goes directly to TJ and Eric.


Teeny Tiny Blurbs:
(Audio chapters)

3-Prologue by Brandon Witt, Narrator Andrew McFerrin
Touching explanation of the book, the situation with TJ and Eric and blessings for the future.

4-An Unexpected Thing by John Amory, Narrator Peter B Brooke
Established lovers travel to Seattle and find unexpected kindness.

5-The Twinkie Ignition by J.E. Birkm, Narrator Nick J Russo
A super cute story about a guy who never had a birthday party and how his amazing friends give him one – after they set fire to a bunch of Twinkies!

6-Simple Desires by Tempeste O’Riley, Narrator Aaron Pickering
This is based on her previous stories, but is a stand alone.

7-What You Will by Tinnean, Narrator John Solo
Another snippet from the author’s previous works.

8-Air (Roads #1.75 million) by Garrett Leigh, Narrator Finn Sterlin
A trip with Ash and Joe to the park.

9-Object of Care by Zahra Owens, Narrator Andrew McFerrin
Flynn and Gabel and a kitten.

10-Water Under the Bridge by Mia Kerick, Narrator Nick J Russo
A sweet story about two young lovers and a bridge.

11-From Fantasy to Friends by CR Guiliano, Narrator Aaron Pickering
A man goes back to college and re-visits a fantasy about a straight professor who turns out to be gay.

12-That Place Across the Hall by C.C. Dado, Narrator John Solo
A really cute short story about a guy who falls in love with his neighbor.

Josh has a (typical-for-him) one-night-stand-guy in his apartment when someone (his June Cleaver-eque) neighbor bangs on his door to invite him to a party for one of the other tenants. John isn’t a joiner. He has tattoos. He sleeps around. He doesn’t do relationships.

Brandon is all about relationships and has “fancied” John since day one.

The brief meet and greet at the party leads to a complete change in John’s thinking and Brandon manages to capture the heart of the lone wolf.

13-Mistaken MD by Phoenix Emrys, Narrator Peter B Brooke
Two people meet over a stethoscope.

14-When Friendship Becomes More by Sophie Bonaste, Narrator Nick J Russo
Two friends find love on a camping trip.

15-The Exhibition by Andrea Speed, Narrator Finn Sterlin
A short story from the Infected series Roan and Dylan.

16-Holding Court by Cardeno C, Narrator Peter B Brooke
An older guy has a one night stand and years later finds out there are still fires burning between the two lovers.

17-Cops and Comix by Rhys Ford, Narrator John Solo
A cop falls in love with a nerdy comic store owner after discovering a dead body coming through the ceiling.

18-For Dear Life by Mary Calmes, Narrator Nick J Russo
A GFY short story of a divorced man and his best friend. (Warning some sad stuff too.)

19-Witness Protected by Dawn Kimberly Johnson, Narrator Finn Sterling
A US marshal falls in love with someone destined for the witness protection program.

20-Fall Train by Jaime Samms, Narrator Andrew McFerrin
Finding love on a train.

21-Stripped by Shae Connor, Narrator Peter B Brooke
Finding love on Valentine’s Day … in a strip club!

22-Stalking 101 by Moria McCain, Narrator Aaron Pickering
Cute story about finding a hot construction guy.

23-Under the Full Moon by Ellis Carrington, Narrator Andrew McFerrin
Love between a vampire and a werewolf who were never supposed to be together.

24-Isle of Waiting by Sue Brown, Narrator Finn Sterling
A short story with the characters from the series.

25-An Atheist and a Yoga Instructor Walk into a Bar by Rowan McAllister, Narrator John Solo
A funny blind date story.

26-Last First Kiss by LE Franks, Narrator Peter B Brooke
A hard story about love and loss.

27-The Jogger by KC Burn, Narrator Finn Sterling
Danger forces a shut-in out in the open and together they find love.

28-Kid Confusion by Madison Parker, Narrator Nick J Russo
Funny story about penises and TJ and Eric.

29-Tomorrow by John Goode, Narrator Andrew McFerrin
A short story about the importance of communication in a relationship.

30-A Gentle Shove of Human Kindness by Amy Lane, Narrator John Solo
Super sweet story of an angel playing cupid in a Starbucks.

This is a great book to listen to because each “chapter” is it’s own short story, perfect for when you only have a minute here or there and don’t want to get involved in a full length novel.

The narration is all the guys we’ve come to love from The Falcon Sound company who we’ve met reading our favorite books: Peter B Brooke, John Solo, Nick J Russo, Finn Sterling, Andrew McFerrin.

These are the authors we all love, some writing snippets from their series, some coming up with something completely new. Each story is complete in itself, and all very touching and well written.

I really loved these short stories and was amazed at how so few words can tell such big stories and move you so deeply.

Of course, it also helps that this book helps out two such amazing guys, TJ and Eric!

I highly recommend this book and it’s audio version.

(I purchased the book for review and received the audio from the publisher for an honest review.)

5 of 5 hearts



Phoenix by Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae Tour with Excerpt & Giveaway



Sometimes the end of everything…

Now happily married to writer and producer Paul Marion Keane, television star J. Alex Cook’s life has been a fairytale of success and romance for years. But when an unexpected tragedy throws his and Paul’s social circle into chaos, the alumni of hit TV show The Fourth Estate are forced to pick up the creative pieces left behind.

…is just the beginning

Confronted with his own mortality, Paul suggests he and Alex start a family. But figuring out what family means when your best friends’ polyamorous marriage may be melting down and you have Hollywood’s most malevolent fairy godmother to thank for your success is no easy proposition.

As Alex questions whether anyone in a profession full of make believe can truly have fame, fortune, kids, and the happily ever after of their dreams, he sets out to take control of his own life and discover that the best love stories never truly end.

Phoenix is Book 3 in the Love in Los Angeles series.



Alex’s eyes flutter shut when Paul slides his hands into his back pockets and pulls him closer. They’re not dancing so much as grinding together, but they’re hardly alone in that regard—at least they still have their shirts on, and if Alex is willing, Paul has absolutely zero desire to stop.

Paul can’t hear it, but he can feel the breath of a moan on his neck when Alex gets insistent about digging his fingers into Paul’s hair while he mouths at the skin above his collar. Six months apart, with only two weeks in the middle, was a very long time, and the time they’ve had since has barely been enough to get used to sharing space with each other again, much less fall back into their relationship with all their knowledge of each other’s bodies and hearts intact.

“This is possibly a stupid idea,” Alex murmurs at some point.
Paul isn’t sure how much time has elapsed since things crossed into slightly inappropriate but totally expected territory. “I don’t think you care.”

Sales Links:
About the authors:

Erin McRae is a queer writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She has a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University, and delights in applying her knowledge of international relations theory to her fiction and screen-based projects, because conflict drives narrative.

Racheline Maltese lives a big life from a small space. She flies planes, sails boats, and rides horses, but as a native New Yorker, has no idea how to drive a car. A long-time entertainment and media industry professional, she lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their two cats.

Together, they are co-authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry — Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015) — from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella series Love’s Labours, set in the theater world — Midsummer (May 2015), and Twelfth Night (Fall 2015), is from Dreamspinner Press. They also have a story in Best Gay Romance 2015 from Cleis Press and edited by Felice Picano. You can find them on the web at

Where to find the author:

Facebook Author Page:
Erin’s Twitter:
Racheline’s Twitter:

Other: Joint Blog:

Goodreads Link:
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BS Clay
Tour Dates & Stops: June 10, 2015
Parker Williams, BFD Book Blog, Bayou Book Junkie, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Kimi-Chan, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook, MM Good Book Reviews, Chris McHart, Inked Rainbow Reads, Mikky’s World of Books, Charley Descoteaux, Happily Ever Chapter, Carly’s Book Reviews, Havan Fellows, Cate Ashwood

Rafflecopter Prize: An e-copy of Starling, Book 1 of the Love in Los Angeles series
Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Coffee, Pop, and Bisexuality by Nicole McCormick

Daily Dose Short Story from Dreamspinner:
When a stranger runs into Douglas, makes him spill his coffee, and offers to buy him another one, Douglas thinks that’s all it will be. Even though the man is gorgeous. Even though his daughter has other plans. Turns out, the stranger, Anthony, has other plans as well, and Douglas soon agrees to go to a movie with Anthony. It’s absolutely not a date. Douglas has slept with men, sure, but he isn’t gay. Or bisexual. No matter what Anthony says.
However, a late night and a frank conversation with his daughter’s best friend leaves Douglas with a different opinion. Not that he plans on letting Anthony know he considers it a date. It’s too much fun to wind Anthony up. After one not-so-perfect date, Douglas thinks maybe if he keeps Anthony around, turning fifty won’t be so bad.


Doug has never dated a man, though he’s messed around with a couple in college. He’s divorced from a woman and about to become an empty-nester. One day, at a coffee shop, he literally runs into a guy and the attraction between the two men is encouraged by Doug’s 18 year old daughter.

Over a cup of coffee, Anthony, a much younger man than Doug, convinces Doug to at least try being friends and Doug agrees to a “friend date” of a movie.

Feeling awkward, he solicits advice from his daughter’s gay friend and decides to be open-minded about the date.

Things go well on the date and by the end Doug and Anthony are a couple.


I love short stories and what they can accomplish. This one tried to make a simple statement – keep an open-mind, you never know how your own prejudices can hamper you.

It was not a terribly convincing move from straight/exploring to openly dating and gay sex. I never really liked Doug, even his daughter calls him an asshole and he kinda is. Other than a basic physical attraction, I never saw what Anthony saw in him and so as a story I was never really “sold”.

I appreciated the moral and the writing itself was good, but I think I needed a bit more time with the characters to make this great leap.

2.5 of 5 hearts



Keeping Promise Rock Audiobook (Book one) by Amy Lane Narrated by Sean Crisden

Dreampsinner Presents


Carrick Francis has spent most of his life jumping into trouble with both feet. The only thing saving him from prison or worse is his absolute devotion to Deacon Winters. Deacon was Crick’s sanity and salvation during a miserable, abusive childhood, and Crick would do anything to stay with him forever. So when Deacon’s father dies, Crick puts his college plans on hold to help Deacon as Deacon has helped him.

Deacon’s greatest wish is to see Crick escape his memories and the town they grew up in so Crick can enjoy a shining future. But after two years of growing feelings and temptation, the painfully shy Deacon finally succumbs to Crick’s determined advances and admits he sees himself as part of Crick’s life.

It nearly destroys Deacon when he discovers Crick has been waiting for him to push him away, just like Crick’s family did in the past. When Crick’s knack for volatile decisions lands him far away from home, Deacon is left, shell-shocked and alone, struggling to reforge his heart in a world where love with Crick is a promise, but by no means a certainty.


Oh lordy. This is Amy at her angstiest. I think this had to be one of my first Amy Lane books ever and it was my first m/m audiobook. It is an absolutely amazing book and series by the very gifted Amy Lane “Queen of Angst”. And it’s long – but so worth it.

There are lots of people to keep track of, but they show up over and over, so it’s worth keeping track of them.

Carrick James “Crick” is the abused stepson of “Step-Bob” who escapes his house to find solace with the horses and men of “The Pulpit” – a horse ranch run by Parish Winters and his son, Deacon. Crick goes there starting as a young boy on the weekends and moves there as a teen when his family kicks him out for being gay.

Deacon is a shy, shy boy who has an interest in both boys and girls. He dates the pixie-like Amy for most of high school, making Crick (who has a massive crush on him) very jealous. Luckily Deacon sees the error in his ways and let’s Amy go so that she can find her own true love with Deacon’s very best friend in the world, John.

The first third of the book is this growth period of youth to young man, from crush to love. It ends with the culmination of that emotion and starts us on the second part of the book – where Crick loses his mind and signs up for the Army.

The second part of the book is Deacon and Crick separated by thousands of miles and in tons of emotional pain. There are several lessons learned during this period of separation and new life given and taken, new friendships forged and love being tested. Bernice “Bennie” – Crick’s sister – comes into Deacon’s life pregnant – the result of being roofied – and helps Deacon to resurface from his depression and helps him to find a reason to keep fighting.

Crick finally comes back to the pulpit but he’s been severely injured and the Pulpit is in dire financial straights ever since it came out that Deacon was “driving while gay” (something the conservative little town doesn’t tolerate).

The third part is Crick and Deacon reconnecting, figuring out how to keep the Pulpit financially solvent and the introduction of several of the characters we will see in future books.

Amy doesn’t pull her punches. It was absolutely brutal some of the things these boys endured while separated. You wanted to (no NEEDED to) punch Crick for being such an idiot at times and you wanted to wrap Deacon up in a hug and tell him it’d be all right.

I love, love, love these characters. Each and every one of them is fully developed and richly portrayed. The emotions are so authentic and the situations, though sometimes ugly and harsh, are deep and real and life-shaping.

For such a long book there is only a minimum of smexy times, but those times are very erotic and well done.

If you haven’t read this series you really should, but have some Kleenex handy and be prepared for an emotional roller-coaster.


Sean Crisden narrates only this first of the series and he does an amazing job. I don’t know how they go about selecting narrators – if anyone does I’d love to know! – but he wasn’t selected for the rest. I thought his Crick and Deacon were excellent, though I didn’t care for his Jeff.

Sean is always good at giving us well differentiated character voices and he really understands and does the emotions so well.

I highly recommend this book and the series.

6 of 5 hearts



Then The Stars Fall Audiobook by Brandon Witt Narrated by Andrew McFarrin

Dreamspinner Presents


The death of his wife four years earlier left Travis Bennett a shell of the man he used to be. With his dog by his side, Travis raises his three children, manages his business, and works as a ranch hand. But every day, every minute, is an aching emptiness.
Wesley Ryan has fond memories of the small Ozark town of El Dorado Springs. Seeing it as a safe place to put his failed relationships behind him, Wesley moves into his grandparents’ old home and takes over the local veterinary clinic. An early morning visit from Travis and his dog stirs feelings that Wesley seeks to push away – the last thing he needs is to fall for a man with baggage and three kids as part of the package.
Life, it seems, has other plans.

Book Review (Previously posted on this site.)

Wesley moves back to the small town of El Dorado after a break up, but there is no hiding he’s a city boy. He drives a yellow Miata convertible with a rainbow dog sticker and everyone in town knows just what that means. He is faced with prejudice and sometimes violence, but he stays in town to be close to a family that was once good to him.

Travis is heart broken, he just lost his wife to cancer, his dog is sick and he has 3 kids to raise. He doesn’t want to be attracted to the “swishy” Wesley, so he’s a jerk at first, but later, he begins to think Wesley might just be exactly what he needs to heal.

The town finds out about their romance and makes life rough for both the couple and their family. Prejudice like this just doesn’t die an easy death and they drive a wedge between Wesley and Travis that has to be overcome before they can really be together.

The kids in this story are great, and (blessedly) easy going about a new love interest for dad, even though it’s a man. Wendy, Travis’ sister is also amazing, and helps to keep things running smoothly when times get rough.

There is an amazingly happy ending after a lot of hard work and some devastation, and our pair finally settles in to life HEA.


This is an amazing book. It is sad, realistic, funny, sweet, tender and somewhat sexy. The love scenes are fade to black, and that may turn some people off, but the emotion is there and the love story is incredible.

I loved the setting and the pragmatism shown by the “country folk” and really appreciated the truly bi-sexual nature of Travis. He absolutely loved his wife and mourns her deeply. But… he is absolutely attracted to (and later in love with) Wesley and that is also part of who he is.

I highly recommend this book for the romance and the writing.

Andrew McFarrin really did an amazing job with this amazing story. He handles the emotion well, I loved the difference between Travis and Wesley – striking and perfect! – he handles the female and children’s voices well and overall really impressed me.

Overall 5 of 5 hearts



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

Dreamspinner Presents

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

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

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

(Spoilers- be forewarned.)



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

3.5 of 5 hearts


Forever for Now-Scotty Cade

Dreamspinner Press


Leeland Jeffers is a contented single man with a thriving career in Atlanta. He’s had a few unsuccessful relationships over the years, but no one has even come close to his first love, Harrison Rhinehart. They met in college when a mutual friend, Suzie Garrison, introduced Harry into their close-knit group. When the supposedly “straight” Harry made a move on Lee, the two men entered into a tumultuous secret love affair. In their senior year, the relationship finally ended when Harry informed Lee he was marrying Suzie.

Since graduation, the college friends have drifted apart. However, an unexpected invitation to a destination wedding seems set to reunite them all. Lee’s speculation on whether Harry and Suzie will make an appearance threatens to derail his attendance. But Lee decides the hell with it and makes plans to go, Harry Rhinehart or no Harry Rhinehart.


Kiwi’s Review:

There are several things you can always count on when you’re reading anything written by Scotty Cade. You’re going to get the beautiful covers, you’re going to get a book that is well written, well researched; the smooth flowing storyline, interesting characters, well written dialog, and editing that is on point.  And again, you’re going to read books featuring mature men and not ‘twinks’. What you get is a nice, contemporary read that is geared toward readers like me who are of a particular age who appreciate reading about two mature men in love and experiencing the ups and downs of a relationship. 

This one tells us about two men who like most of us, made mistakes when they were  in college. Here, you have Harry, a young man who wasn’t ready to own up to his sexuality, has a secret relationship with Lee but because he wasn’t ready to be himself ends up marrying a woman. Lee never really gets over in and I think that it affected his decisions as far as the type of relationships he wants and has. I feel that Lee put up this facade of being this slightly campy, funny, sassy type of man who enters into no strings sexual relationships with men from time to time. I think he does this because he really doesn’t want to invest his time and feelings into a relationship that he feels may not work and he wasn’t over Harry. Lee was Hurt and angry so he wasn’t going to admit his feelings for Harry. 

Meanwhile, Harry’s made a complete mess of his life. Harry’s bad decisions have led to him hurting first Lee, then his wife, and ultimately himself. Now that’s not to say that it was all Harry’s fault. Susie, Harry’s wife, has to take some responsibility for the mess of their marriage. I don’t understand how women marry a man who they know may be conflicted about their sexuality or gay but marry them or enter into relationships with them anyway thinking he will change, that they will  be the ones to change them or the man will change for them. I don’t know if it’s ego, desperation or a combination of the two that makes some women do that. Whatever the reason is they must bear some responsibility when the marriage going awry. Cade approached this issue with in a mature manner.  When Susie made the decision about her and Harry’s marriage she did so in a calmly when he could’ve written it in a way that made her look vindictive and petty. I really appreciate  how he refrained from doing that. He never demean or vilify the female characters in his books and I find that refreshing.

This story was a little shorter than I’m used to from this author but it worked well. The pace was fast but smooth. If you’re looking for a book or an author that specializes in writing books featuring grown and sexy man then you should definitely get this author a try. This novella is definitely worth picking up. 


Spring Break at Villa Hermes (Brandt and Donelly book 4)by Xavier Mayne

Dreamspinner Presents

Troopers Ethan Brandt and Gabriel Donnelly celebrate the one-year anniversary of their engagement by flying south for a week of calm relaxation at the Villa Hermes, a gay boutique hotel on the beach. But when the rest of the guests turn out to be college guys on spring break (unwittingly booked into a gay hotel by a passive-aggressive travel agent), their week turns out to be anything but calm.

Ted, one of the spring breakers, has harbored a crush on his roommate and best friend, Bark, since they met freshman year. Now, on their fourth and final spring break, Ted knows they must soon say good-bye. A lacrosse star and ladies’ man, Bark has no idea Ted has fallen for him—until a storm forces the entire group underground for twenty-four hours of stress and truth-telling. Bark doesn’t want to say good-bye to Ted at graduation either. He just didn’t know how to put his feelings into words or if he could face the consequences of speaking them. Brandt and Donnelly help the college guys through their crisis by showing them what love between best friends can grow into.


Ted and Bark are friends and roommates in their last year at the university. This is to the their last “hoorah” and Ted plans to say good-bye to the man who’s been his unrequited love interest for the last four years. But when a manipulative travel agency books Ted and his friends at the same gay resort as Brandt and Donelly a lot of things happen that change that plan.

This is an absolutely hysterical and lovely story. Ted’s friends are full of charismatic stories that get told one night as they all huddle against a storm.  Each striving to be their own man and to deal with their own sexuality in ways that none of the others ever guessed.

Xavier Mayne has given us more wonderful secondary characters with just as much flavor as Bryce and Nestor.  I also love that Xavier is not shy about letting the secondary characters sometimes steal some of the limelight.  In this case Ted and Bark’s story, though lovely and really sweet, has moments where it is eclipsed by the tale of the underwear model and the bear and a blossoming bi-sexual hippy.

I love that we continue to be awed by the love between Brandt and Donelly again – there are still layers to explore in their relationship- and it is always fun to check in on them as they get closer to marriage.

I have really enjoyed this series tremendously and I think that this comes in second as my favorite of the bunch.

I whole-heartedly recommend it and give it 5 of 5 hearts.



More Than Chemistry-Kate Sherwood

Dreamspinner Press

Jack Lawson grew up poor and can’t forget it. He’s a huge success in the business world, but it won’t be enough until the image of “poor little Jack” is completely wiped away. When Jack runs into his old friend, Noah Mercier, he decides that Noah’s sister, an up-and-coming movie star, would be the perfect evidence of glamorous success. If Jack can win Hayley, it will be clear to everyone, including himself, that he has truly arrived.

The problem with Jack’s grand plan is that he’s more attracted to Noah. Jack’s never worried about the gender of his conquests, but Noah just isn’t flashy enough for Jack’s scheme to set the world on fire… unless Jack realizes he has practically no control over deciding who he wants—and even less choice in who he needs. 


This was a nice little novella which gave us the story of billionaire businessman Jack who runs into a former high school classmate Noah during a meeting with the advertising company Noah works for.  This cute little romantic comedy that’s perfect for someone who may be in search of a light read. Jack’s character I felt was a bit odd it was just something off about him. Oh, it was nothing serious, it was just the fact that I had a hard time believing that he was this successful billionaire businessman. His personality was not a personality that I would think would fit a billionaire businessman type but that’s okay as it made the story a little more interesting. He had a great sense humor, which is good, but I felt that sometimes he was a little too funny for a businessman to be. I felt like it would’ve been hard to take him seriously because he was more funny than serious. I felt that he hid behind his humor a lot to hide his insecurity. This insecurity is residual from his childhood. He grew up poor so now he’s finally in a position where his dreams are finally realized. Even though he’s the successful powerful billionaire businessman intelligent handsome has everything going for him on the inside he still the poor and insecure teenager from high school who never felt that he was good enough. This is what drives him to make this ridiculous deal with Noah in reference to his sister who is on her way to becoming a celebrity.

Noah is shy and unassuming which causes people to overlook him at times and he doesn’t seem to mind because he really does not like the spotlight being shined on him. He needs Jack and there is a connection between the two but somehow or another Jack decides he has to have the sister to prove to himself more than anyone else that yeah, he’s finally a success because he was able to have a celebrity on his arm. A celebrity who would’ve been nothing more than a trophy because she was not who Jack wanted or needed to be with. 

This story was nice although I think it could’ve had a little more spice to it. I’m not saying full out sex scenes should’ve been written in,  just that it would’ve hurt to have had a little more spice or heat added to it. This know that it was more like a plain salad without the dressing: it’s cool,refreshing, and bland, but still tastes nice. 


Fairytales for Modern Queers by Emily Reed

Dreamspinner Presents: tales


Gay teenager Hart could finish his fairy tale for class if his horrible stepsiblings would stop harassing him. Talia’s depression is like a sleeping curse and may kill her if she doesn’t ask for help. Independent, overweight bisexual Sienna deals with her “nice guy” neighbor while visiting her grandmother. When a mysterious girl climbs up Rachael’s fire escape, Rachael might finally break free from her overprotective mother. Transgender Amelia is bullied regularly for her identity, but she’ll show everyone exactly who she is. Princess Rellyn must face down a dragon since she’s seventh in line and battle her father since she’s not a boy, and she’s not sure which one is scarier. An adventurous knight whisks away genderfluid Noll when all they want is a quiet life on their farm. Mermaid Astrid wants revenge on the man who betrayed her, but is confused by her attraction to the one sailor immune to her song. Asexual Myka might love Princess Lysandria, but Myka must learn to control her inner werewolf before the king marries her off to “cure” her. With the help of a witch, blacksmith’s apprentice Malcolm must find his missing prince.

You’ve never heard stories like these at bedtime


These are short – sometimes way too short – little LGBTQ takes on the old fairly tales.  In each there is a character or character that falls into that community who takes on a more modern/unique role.  Each story is a different set of people, using an old fairy tale as a template for a modern story.

The writing is good.  The idea is magnificent.  I really think that for the YA audience these will really ring true and find a home in the heart of the LGBTQ YA community.

However, for me, it felt like just as I was invested in the story – it ended.  So it was a little off-putting and frustrating.  I’d like to see these stories more fleshed out, I definitely think there is more that they have to offer.

I really liked that it wasn’t just gay or trans but a variety of gender roles/sexual orientations.  There really is something for everyone in this anthology.

Overall, I give it high points for the attempt with a little bit taken off for brevity.

If you are a YA fan I’d give this a try, it really is remarkable.

4 of 5 hearts