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Currently Browsing: m/m romance
Apr
8

Review: Touch & Geaux by Abigail Roux

Review: Touch & Geaux by Abigail Roux Touch & Geaux Author: Abigail Roux  Release Date: April 8, 2013 Publisher: Riptide Publishing, LLC Cut & Run Book 7 ISBN: #978-1937551872 Genre: Romantic Suspense, GLBT, m/m romance Format(s): Paperback (288 pgs), e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book:       After having their faces plastered across the news during a high-profile case, FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have become more useful to the Bureau posing for photo ops than working undercover. Just as Zane is beginning to consider retirement a viable option, Ty receives a distress call from a friend, leading them to a city rife with echoes from the past.        New Orleans wears its history on its streets, and it’s the one place Ty’s face could get him killed. Surrounded by trouble as soon as they land, Ty and Zane are swiftly confronted with a past from which Ty can’t hide—one with a surprising connection to Zane’s.        As threats close in from all directions, both men must come to terms with the lives they’ve led and the lies they’ve told. They soon discover that not all their secrets are out yet, and nothing lasts forever.  What B is talking about:       It takes a very special series to engender true loyalty, never mind complete dedication, among its readers, but the Cut & Run series by Abigail Roux has done just that. Following the lives and relationship of FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett, two characters that become more endearing, frustrating, and challenging with every novel, it is a series that consistently hits nearly every note just right. With the newest addition to the series, Touch & Geaux, this is more undeniably true than ever before.       In many ways that the previous novels only hinted at, Touch & Geaux is a kind of reckoning for Ty and Zane and presents them with what is certainly the most difficult test they have faced together thus far. Ty’s past, in particular, and the repercussions of his actions, makes the journey they set out on an especially brutal one. While we’ve had glimpses into Zane’s history, and how it’s shaped the man he’s become, Ty’s adult life has largely been a mystery until now. The entire story is a lesson in truth as well as faith, and serves as a reminder that anyone who’s set on too high a pedestal...
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Mar
29

Review: Lover At Last by JR Ward

Review: Lover At Last by JR Ward Lover At Last Author: JR Ward  Release Date: March 26, 2013 Publisher: NAL Black Dagger Brotherhood #11 ISBN: #978-0451239358 Genre: Paranormal Romance, m/m romance Format(s): Hardcover (608 pgs), e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book:      Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another….      Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.      Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions… but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together… finally become one. What I’m talking about:      Like almost every other fan of JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, I have been waiting for this story since Blay and Qhuinn shared their first (extremely passionate) kiss in the sixth book, Lover Enshrined (June 2008). I am happy to report that for me, Lover At Last met my expectations and is a wonderful addition to this long-running series.      There is a lot that happens during Lover At Last, and I’m not going to try to give a play-by-play summary, but rather hit a few of the high points. Overall, I felt the writing was tight and the flow of the book much better than those in recent history. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I actually enjoyed every section and subplot, and I didn’t skip over any parts. All of the pieces created a richer story that I simply adored.      First and foremost, this is the story of the love...
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Feb
12

Review: With Abandon by JL Langley

Review: With Abandon by JL Langley With Abandon Author: JL Langley  Release Date: March 22, 2011 Publisher: Samhain Publishing With or Without #4 Genre: Paranormal Romance, GLBT, m/m romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book: Love was never part of his plan…until it pounced. As heir to an old and proud heritage, Aubrey Reynolds works and lives for his family, his employees and his pack. Agreeing to watch after a visiting werewolf is no big deal—until he discovers the newcomer is his mate. His very male mate…which is a very big deal, indeed. Revealing his sexuality was never part of Aubrey’s well-ordered life plan. Much as he loved caring for his eight younger brothers, Matt Mahihkan knows it’s time to grab the opportunity to attend college in Atlanta. Realizing Aubrey is his mate should have been a delightful experience…except Aubrey treats him more like a dirty little secret than a lover. Yet Matt is a patient man. Aubrey can’t stay in the closet forever. Can he? In time, they settle into a comfortable, if complicated, routine. Until a rogue werewolf with an axe to grind forces Aubrey to add to the wedge of secrets driving him and Matt apart, leaving Matt exposed to danger… and Aubrey forced to choose between love and duty. What I’m talking about: When Matt Mahihkan decided to leave his eight brothers, friends and home in New Mexico to move to Atlanta to attend college, his friend Keaton put Matt in touch with his brother, Aubrey. The pair connected instantly via texts and soon Matt was off to live with Aubrey in Georgia. When he lands at the airport, Aubrey’s fiancee, Tara (former Miss Georgia) picks him up and Matt’s senses tell him Tara is his mate. Confused and a bit troubled, Matt worries how to break it to his new friend Aubrey that his fiancee is Matt’s mate. That is until Matt meets Aubrey and realizes that it was his scent on Tara which triggered the mating reaction. Soon Matt and Aubrey are fighting the strong pull to be with one another – but for different reasons. Matt wants to take things slow, never having been with another before. Aubrey wants to hide his homosexuality for fear that it will disappoint his family and ruin his business. Oh how I’ve missed these sexy male shifters of Ms. Langley’s With or Without series. Although this book can be enjoyed as a stand alone, for those...
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Feb
1

Review: Don’t by Jack L. Pyke

Review: Don’t by Jack L. Pyke Don’t Author: Jack L. Pyke  Release Date: Dec. 13, 2012 Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing Genre: Gay/ Romance/ Suspense/ BDSM – m/m Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book: “Don’t… open me.” Three simple words that tease Jack, taking him places from his dark past. For Jack, BDSM is a way to resist his worst impulses. Yet, the stranger calling himself The Unknown seeks to use that to seduce him. As Jack slips further down into the abyss, two men hold the power to save him. Will it be Gray, the Master who knows Jack’s every secret? Or Jan, the first man to give Jack a reason to hope? With deadly ghosts coming out to play, Jack may lose everything, even his life. What B is talking about: Warnings: “apparent” rape, knife/blood play, psychological manipulation. I’ll begin by saying that the author is correct when she warns that this story is not for the faint of heart. Although I don’t generally consider myself as such, I do not like nonconsensual sex in the stories I read. Rape is a bad thing as far as I’m concerned, and even “rape fantasy” within the story is usually enough to cause me to abandon the book immediately. Which is what nearly happened with Don’t. There is a rape scene, and a brutal one, about a third of the way through. Jack, the main character, is drugged and bound, restrained, and raped or otherwise assaulted more than once, before the reality of the “scene” is revealed. In a “Gotcha!” moment that never entirely dispels the hurt done by the scene itself, the author reveals that what transpired was actually part of a much more complicated scenario in which the main character has participated with full knowledge and consent. While the rest of the novel lost some of its edgy sexiness (at least for me) because of the brutality involved, what the scene did accomplish was establish with startling efficiency just how far Jack is both expected and willing to go.  Jack’s involvement in the scene was summed up well by this quote: Jack thrives on sexual stimulation. It’s helped him manage what he constantly fears will rear its head again. He thought he’d been coping well over the years, we all did. That’s why we both sanctioned this psych-play scene. He wanted to test his resolve, face it. Having said that, with a little extra time to think about the story, I’ve reevaluated...
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Dec
24

Quickie Review: Adore by Ann Mayburn

Quickie Review: Adore by Ann Mayburn Adore Author: Ann Mayburn  Release Date: Nov. 20, 2012 Publisher: Decadent Sam & Cody #3 Genre: GLBT, m/m, Contemporary Romance, Novella, holiday Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Sam and Cody have settled into married life, live in their dream house, and are more in love than ever. There is just one thing missing from their lives to make their home complete. A baby to share their love with. Adoption is hard enough, but the struggles and hardship of trying to adopt as a gay couple may be too much for the men to handle. When a series of setbacks leave both men with broken hearts and wounded souls, it will take a Christmas miracle to give Sam and Cody the strength to give adoption one more try. What B is talking about:       Four years into their marriage, Cody McPherson and Sam Dunham have decided that their little family needs just one more thing to be absolutely perfect: a baby to share their loving home. But when the birth mother of their son changes her mind at the last minute, everything they hold dear is threatened as the grief and prejudice they face as a homosexual couple trying to adopt nearly tears them apart. Fortunately, things often happen for a reason, and Cody and Sam discover that one closed door could lead them to more happiness then they’d ever dared to hope for.       I thought this was a very sweet story that makes some exceptionally valid points about the intolerance still faced by homosexuals in our society. Cody and Sam are capable, understanding, loving men who would be great fathers, if only they received the same consideration in the system as heterosexual couples. I was very happy for them in the end, though, and agree with them that things turned out better than they could have imagined. Of course, one of my favorite things about Ms. Mayburn’s stories are the scorching hot sex scenes she writes for her characters, and Sam and Cody get their share. These two are not only great guys, but they’re really, really hot. Adore is sweet, sexy goodness all around, and I’ll be rereading it again very soon. B’s Rating: Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)     Purchase Info: Adore (Story 3) Reviews in the Series: Want (Story 1)  ...
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Nov
29

Quickie Review: Friends with Benefits by Jennifer Labelle

Quickie Review: Friends with Benefits by Jennifer Labelle Friends With Benefits Author: Jennifer Labelle  Release Date: Oct. 3, 2012 Publisher: Decadent Pub. Decadent’s Edge Series Genre: M/M, GLBT, novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Collin Harrison is loving life as a bachelor, but can’t convince his meddling mother to back off. She’s constantly in his business and keeps trying to set him up on blind dates, when all he wants is friendship and a good time. To make matters worse he’s been confused ever since his new neighbor entered his life. An instant rapport between the two men sparks a desire neither are sure about pursuing. Until one night after a hockey game his mother pushes him too far and he decides it’s time to enact, landing him in the arms of another man for the first time. Devin Hardy is no stranger to fulfilling his most intimate desires. He’s got open minded friends, a great libido, and fond feelings for a neighbor he’s not sure is interested. Until one night they both take the leap, turning their friendship status into one with scorching hot benefits. What I’m talking about: Friends With Benefits is one of Decadent’s Edge series stories, and as far as I can tell, unrelated to another story. The Edge series are short stories (less than novella length), which focus on a small segment of a budding romance. The vignettes always center on a sexual encounter, but typically leave the reader with the feeling something more is going to occur after the end of the story.   Friends with Benefits is one such story, told from the point-of-view of Collin, an almost 30 year old man who secretly lusts for his male neighbor. Collin has never been with a man but cannot stop thinking about Devin, so much that it’s impacted his social life. After finally getting up the courage to say something, Collin lets known his feelings. Thankfully, Devin is willing and more than experienced and prepared for them both.  This vignette is sexy and erotic, without any hint of a romance. Friends with Benefits is all about making a sexual fantasy come true, and ending up with a friend with benefits. The dialogue isn’t flowery or romantic, which fits the situation. The guys are just that – guys, and they are excited to experience shared carnal pleasure. It’s sex and move on, with the opening for more fun down the road.  If you are looking for a romance, the story...
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Aug
27

Review: The CEO and the Cowboy by Starla Kaye

Review: The CEO and the Cowboy by Starla Kaye The CEO and the Cowboy Author: Starla Kaye  Release Date: July 9, 2012 Publisher: Decadent Publishing ISBN: #978-1613333327 Genre: m/m Romance – light BDSM Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: The whole thing about relationships and feelings confuses the heck out of Calhoun. He’s a simple cowboy and he’d been planning to marry a long-time friend for a while. When he finally realizes it doesn’t feel right, he lets her go. He probably shouldn’t have gone to her wedding to another man, but she wanted him there. But that’s when he really gets confused. His eye is drawn to a seriously hot businessman…and that sure does unnerve him…and yet…. Emotionally burned by the last man he thought he’d loved, Daniel isn’t anxious to replace him. But there is something about the proud, bedroom-eyed cowboy who shows up at his friend’s wedding. The CEO isn’t even sure if the cowboy’s gay, although the heat firing between them makes him wonder… What he does know is that he plans to find out. What B is talking about: Calhoun Cordell is a successful rancher who works hard, lives honestly, and doesn’t back down from a challenge. So when an uneasy introduction at his former girlfriend’s wedding turns everything he thinks he knows about himself upside down, he’s determined to figure out why.  Daniel Patterson doesn’t understand why he can’t take his eyes off the seemingly straight cowboy talking to his best friend’s new bride, especially so soon after being hurt in his previous relationship. Still, he can’t resist trying to get to know the handsome stranger better when the opportunity presents itself.  The CEO and the Cowboy is a quick, steamy look at a new romantic beginning, and hopefully a “happily ever after,” for its main characters. The brief backstory and lack of details in Cal and Daniel’s tale were somewhat limiting, but the direct nature of their first night together was exactly what I’d anticipated. Although The CEO and the Cowboy doesn’t lack for highly erotic depictions of the sexual relationship between the two main characters, the characters’ personalities were missing a certain vibrancy, making it more difficult for me to get wrapped up in their story. Calhoun, in particular, seems to be inconsistent in both his confidence and voice, and both characters’ speech borders on being too simple in places, which conflicted with the image of the successful, grown men presented at the beginning of the story.  The...
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Aug
21

Review: Stars & Stripes by Abigail Roux

Review: Stars & Stripes by Abigail Roux Stars & Stripes Author: Abigail Roux  Release Date: Aug. 13, 2012 Publisher: Riptide Cut & Run #6 ISBN: #978-1937551582 Genre: Romantic Suspense, GLBT – m/m Format(s): Paperback (292 pgs), e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book:       Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have managed the impossible: a few months of peace and quiet. After nearly a year of personal and professional turmoil, they’re living together conflict-free, their work is going smoothly, and they’re both happy, healthy, and home every night before dark. But anyone who knows them knows that can’t possibly last.        When an emergency call from home upsets the balance of their carefully arranged world, Ty and Zane must juggle family drama with a perplexing crime to save a helpless victim before time runs out.        From the mountains of West Virginia to a remote Texas horse ranch harboring more than just livestock and childhood memories, Ty and Zane must face their fears—and their families—to overcome an unlikely enemy and bring peace back into their newly shared world. What B is talking about:       For several months of relative calm and stability, Ty and Zane have finally been able to enjoy being together. Aside from the constant need to hide their relationship from their coworkers and families, things are going better than ever. But, as living magnets for chaos, it’s a sure bet that such bliss couldn’t last for long.       Stars & Stripes covers a lot of ground, both figuratively as well as geographically. From the mountains of West Virginia to the Hill Country of Texas, Ms. Roux puts her heroes to the test, and proves once again that she is adept at multitasking; writing not only an endearing romance, but a compelling whodunit, as well. Subtle where it counts, and funny in the most unexpected places, this story expands on the solid foundation that’s been built by the previous novels in the series, while giving the two main characters a chance to evolve along with the relationship they’ve been working for.       I was very happy to see Ty’s family again, even though I have serious issues with Ty’s father, as was certainly intended. Every family is different, and things turned out well, but I couldn’t help feeling a strong connection to Zane and his desire for retribution during one particular scene. However, meeting Zane’s family was...
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Aug
14

Review: Cut & Run Series #1-5 by Abigail Roux

Review: Cut & Run Series #1-5 by Abigail Roux Cut & Run A Series by Abigail Roux and Madeline Urban The Cut & Run series is one of the best I’ve ever had the privilege to read, regardless of genre. The main characters are smartly written, the suspense is never overplayed, and each subsequent challenge faced has left me determined, if not desperate, to stay with them through to the end. It is a rare thing for a story’s characters to feel so alive on the page as well as in my mind, but this series neatly succeeds at both. With a delicate intimacy between the two men that is kept to being a facet of their relationship, rather than its sole focus, the series avoids any gratuitous lessening of the novels themselves. Ty and Zane have a permanent place in my heart, and I’m looking forward to reading Stars & Stripes with an anticipation I have felt for very few stories in a long time. Cut & Run Book 1 Release Date: September 29, 2008       Assigned to work together due to a combination of their unique skills as well as an inability to play well with others, Special Agents Zane Garrett and Ty Grady would almost rather shoot each other than the serial killer who continues to elude them. But when they become targets themselves, they must find a way to get ahead of a hunter who plays to the rules they know, even as the undeniable heat between them threatens everything they’re fighting for.       This is the first novel in the excellent Cut & Run series. Ms. Roux and Ms. Urban have not only written an engaging, suspenseful story that cost me more than one night’s sleep, but Ty and Zane are utterly engrossing characters who won me over from the very beginning. They are smart, conflicted heroes who are so achingly perfect together that I couldn’t put their story down. A fascinating mystery as well as an enthralling romance, this story delivers solidly in both genres, and left me wanting more. Cut & Run is an exceptional beginning to a wonderful series, and I’m happy to be on board for as long as the series lasts. 5 stars: Personal favorite – a must read (A+) Sticks & Stones Book 2 Release Date: January 25, 2010       They’ve survived a serial killer, secret missions, and undercover assignments among the dregs of Miami, but taking a vacation might just prove...
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May
28

Review: Accidentally Beautiful by Deanna Wadsworth

Review: Accidentally Beautiful by Deanna Wadsworth Accidentally Beautiful Author: Deanna Wadsworth  Release Date: March 5, 2012 Publisher: Decadent Publishing 1 Night Stand Series ISBN: #978-1613332399 Genre: Erotic Romance/GLBT Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Martin Baird is perfectly content in his safe, predictable job as head concierge for Castillo Resorts, but when a handsome stranger whisks him away for a night of tropical escapades—first visiting an isolated gay bar then to a secluded beach where erotic delights await—Martin’s world is thrown upside down. He’s never met a man like Garret Fisher, but it seems he has been waiting for a night like this all his life. Could something truly beautiful come out of this accidental meeting? Or was it really not an accident at all? What B is talking about: One of the things that makes the 1 Night Stand Series so good is that, with different authors contributing different stories, there’s truly something for everyone. Some of the stories combine the romance between the key characters with a bigger plot, the new relationships providing an advantage in the ongoing struggle. In Accidentally Beautiful, however, the attraction between Martin and Garret is the crux of the story. Both men are searching for something, and Madam Eve, as usual, knows exactly what they need, even more so than they do themselves. The Castillo Resort has been the backdrop for some of my favorite 1 Night Stand tales, so I anticipated another good read as soon as I recognized the familiar setting. I was not disappointed. Accidentally Beautiful has an added twist in that one of the men doesn’t even know he’s been set up on a date. It’s a device that’s been used before in the series, but I still think it played out especially sweetly here.  Garret and Martin are an excellent match for one another, Garret’s dominant tendencies attracting Martin’s submissive streak perfectly. Although Martin’s journey in Accidentally Beautiful is more of an epiphany, both men learn more about themselves than they expected to, and surprisingly discover something precious they’ll fight to keep.  Even within a series devoted to erotic explorations, these two are downright hot together. Wadsworth crafts some wonderfully explicit scenes, each rich in detail, yet still manages to keep the language naughtily romantic. Garret may be in charge, but the care he takes with Martin is endearing. Martin is a sweetheart, and the emotions he goes through as he realizes what he truly needs makes him one of my...
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