Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

308 pages
Publisher: Vintage


One hot August day a family drives to a mountain clearing to collect birch wood. Jenny, the mother, is in charge of lopping any small limbs off the logs with a hatchet. Wade, the father, does the stacking. The two daughters, June and May, aged nine and six, drink lemonade, swat away horseflies, bicker, and sing snatches of songs as they while away the time.

But then something unimaginably shocking happens, an act so extreme it will scatter the family in every different direction.

In a story told from multiple perspectives and in razor-sharp prose, we gradually learn more about this act, and the way its violence, love and memory reverberate through the life of every character in Idaho.


I’m not entirely sure what to say about this book except maybe that it once again confirms that I’m not really clever enough for the sort of literary works that win major prizes (The International Dublin Literary Award in this case). Having said that, this story was a delightful and relatively easy read, something which I can’t say for all recognized literary ‘master-pieces”. But a story needs more than just being readable in order to be a great read. And this story, for me, lacked some of that ‘something more’.

The start of this book, and the shocking events that form the centre of everything that happens, read like something that would be developed. I expected some sort of twist, a shocking revelation, or even a miraculous turn-around. And (I realise this may constitute a spoiler) I was deeply disappointed that face-value was basically all there was to that horrific event.

The ‘revelation’ at the end, if you can call it that, is a bit of a conceit, as in that it comes to a character who wasn’t there, doesn’t know all the facts, and therefore can’t be sure of the truth of what they appear to know; a character, furthermore, who may well feel guilty about where they ended up in life and may be projecting that guilt further than it should go. I’m not sure about the answer, because it’s not actually in the book.

The ending itself is somewhat of a non-event. It brings together what for me were the two main characters of this story, but only for a day and it doesn’t answer any of the questions the start of the story created.

But, having said all of the above, I have to admit that this was an easy book to read. The story captivated me, as did the characters, maybe because of how ordinary they were, despite that one shocking moment. Although I have to admit that at least some of my motivation while turning the pages was the expectation of and hope for if not a twist in the tale than at least enlightenment about the why.

On the other hand, I can’t say I’m devastated about not having received more clarification either. Because there is some charm in playing the ‘I wonder’ and ‘what-if’ games after finishing a book.

To summarize, Idaho is a very well written and captivating study of various fascinating characters. It’s definitely not a book for those who demand clear answers and closed endings. But it will probably prove to have been a wonderful choice for a bookclub discussion.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Noah’s Bane by Wulf Francu Godgluck

Lormount City #1
193 pages

Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Available to read in KU


Finding his very own Daddy is harder than finding Prince Charming.

Noah Lavoie isn't anyone special, an average guy working as a veterinarian with a few kinks and fetishes. For too many years he explored the BDSM lifestyle, but consistently felt something remained missing. In a world of black and white, Noah struggles to understand where to find the gray.

A mysterious contract.
No strings attached.
Never to know the Dominant’s identity.
Noah clings onto his only hope, a man he can call Daddy.

Cold, ruthless, charismatic. Bane Rozek believes himself impenetrable. He built his empire, fabricated from lies, blackmail, and extortion. Dark secrets he holds in his palm could cripple the most powerful of people and organizations. It's all a lie, a simple illusion to hide his truth.

He did it all, built his fortress and claimed his power and sovereignty, for her. But Bane knows Death’s chaste kiss intimately. What Bane wants is a connection.

This time on his terms…
An innocent boy offering the purest submission.
A contract holding them both at a distance.
A boy that tugs fiercely at Bane’s dark heart.
If only Bane could believe himself worthy to be the Daddy Noah proclaims to love.


Well what do you know? One moment you're new to the Daddy/boy dynamic, the next you've read two books about it in quick succession. 😍 Not that I'm complaining.

Hot (very), kinky (very), violent (very) and yet at times so tender it bordered on sweet, Noah's Bane was everything I hoped for and so much more than I expected.

Nothing in this story is quite as it seems. Noah isn’t quite as needy and submissive as he appears at first, although he thrives on submitting to his Daddy. While it is impossible to either ignore or deny Bane’s ruthless, aggressive, and often cold demeanor, he’s more than just the product of his violent past and present. As for their story…just when you think you know what’s happening and that things might settle…twist.

Noah, we get to know very well from the start. Bane, on the other hand comes in bits and pieces. As Noah unravels his Daddy, more of the whole person emerges. As a result, a good chunk of Bane’s back story isn’t revealed until…well, the back of the story. It worked just beautifully for me because it meant that I could see Bane in all his glory, shortly before he got the ending he and Noah so richly deserved.

Beautifully written in flowing language, Noah’s Bane is filled with deep feelings, heartfelt emotions, and glorious descriptions.

Yes, this is kink. Yes, this is erotica. And it is both those things at its best and delivered in a most engrossing and vivid portrayal.

Friday, 6 September 2019


Hot free LGBTQ romance from top authors! 

Explore new stories, discover new favorites, try new authors.

40+ Top LGBTQ Romance Authors in new Prolific Works Giveaway

If you love gay romance, you’ve come to the right place! 

What kind of stories? All the good stuff! Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Sizzling, Sweet, Comedy, Kink, Shifter, MPREG, Suspense, Action/Adventure and more—it’s all in the “LGBT Romance—From Some of the Registered GRL Retreat 2019 Authors” Prolific Works giveaway FREE during September and October. Over 50 scrumptious short stories, novellas, books, and previews/excerpts, from some of the bestselling authors in the genre.

Authors who are part of the Prolific Works giveaway include: Arshad Ahsanuddin, Amy Aislin, May Archer, Kasia Bacon, Beth Bolden, Morgan Brice, Sam Burns, J. Scott Coatsworth, K. Evan Coles, Luna David, Hank Edwards, Jen FitzGerald, Michelle Frost, Kaje Harper, Lorelei M. Hart, Susi Hawke, Andi James, Jacki James, D.J. Jamison, Elle Keaton, K-lee Klein, Trina Lane, Josh Lanyon, Lucy Lennox, Sharita Lira, Patricia Logan, Maz Maddox, B.L. Maxwell, Erin McLellan, Lynn Michaels, K.M. Neuhold, Jackie North, Jodi Payne, Pandora Pine, Liv Rancourt, Drea Roman, E.J. Russell, Taylor Ryan, Piper Scott, Kayleigh Sky, Spencer Spears, Felice Stevens, Victoria Sue, Allison Temple, Brigham Vaughn, Silvia Violet, Lila Wilde, Alice Winters, Ashe Winters, S.C. Wynne, S.J. York.

These stories are written by some of the Featured and Registered authors attending the Gay Romantic Lit. (GRL) Retreat, the must-attend event for people who create and celebrate LGBTQ romance. 

The giveaway runs from September 1 to October 31. And it’s all FREE!

“Prolific Works has a big romance audience, so this is a great giveaway for readers who won’t be at the GRL Retreat to find new favorites and new authors,” says MM romance author Morgan Brice, who coordinated the Prolific Works giveaway. “We also wanted people who are coming to GRL to have the chance to enjoy stories by favorite authors and maybe discover new authors prior to the retreat, so they could have fun meeting the authors and talking about the books at the event.”


While all of the authors with stories in the giveaway will be attending the GRL Retreat 2019 as Featured or Registered Authors, there are additional authors who were unable to participate. For a full list of GRL 2019 authors, please check The author list above was compiled on 8/27. Unforeseen events may cause changes. See the Prolific Works giveaway for the final list of giveaway authors. 


Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Him Improvement by Tanya Chris - Blog Tour

Book Title: Him Improvement

Author: Tanya Chris

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: September 3, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: enemies to lovers, opposites attract, millionaire, age gap

Themes: gentrification, compromise

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 60 000 words/ 161 pages


The course of true love runs through every neighborhood….

Only one thing stands between Gregory MacPherson II and his dream revitalization project for the gritty neighborhood of Ball’s End: a rinky-dink, run-down used bookstore called Hailey’s Comic. But when master negotiator Mac shows up to make a deal with the owner, he comes face-to-face with quirky, colorful Hailey—unexpectedly good-humored about Mac’s attempted eviction and, also unexpectedly, a hot guy.

Hailey won’t give up his lease, no matter how much money Mac offers. When it comes to consummating their mutual attraction, though, he’s a lot more flexible. Soon Mac has as hard a time prying himself out of Hailey’s bed as he does prying Hailey out of the building. But Hailey doubts Mac’s plans serve Ball’s End’s best interests, and he insists Mac give him a chance to prove his case. If they’re going to build a happy ever after, one of them will have to be remade….



Chapter One

GREGORY MacPherson II didn’t have the time or the patience to make a personal trip to a bookstore, but here he was. Alone.

No patrons roamed the narrow aisles formed by overstuffed bookshelves. No clerk waited at the vintagecash register sitting on top of a linoleum-covered counter barely capable of holding its weight. No one rushed to greet him from behind the tawdry multicolored curtain hanging at the back of the store.

From where he stood only a few feet inside the doorway, leery of allowing anything in the dusty hodgepodge to brush against his suit, he could see straight down the center aisle all the way to the back of the store. It was a thirty- foot-by-sixty-foot shoebox, longer than it was wide, oneof four retail spaces on the ground floor of the six-story brick building and the only one still open. Which was why Gregory MacPherson II, commonly referred to as Mac, had personally dragged himself down here.

How the place could stay in business without any workers, never mind customers, was a mystery he didn’t intend to solve. He was there to shut the place down, not rescue it, though in the few short minutes he’d been exposed to Hailey’s Comic, he could already list a half-dozen ways to improve its profitability.

That sign out front, for instance. It was a purple whirlwind of planets, well done if you were going for an acid-trip vibe, but the name implied there’d be comics, and the sign implied there’d be comets. Or drugs. And from what he could see, there were neither. If an establishment wanted to bring in customers, it needed to make clear theservices it provided and establish confidence that it wouldprovide them well.

Then there was the matter of actually waiting on the customers you did bring in. A bell had tinkled as he’d entered, but apparently only for its own enjoyment.

“Hello?” He raised his voice to a level that couldn’t be ignored and had a brief moment to wonder if he really was completely alone before a head and a hand appeared around the edge of the curtain.

“Mercy, you scared me,” the head said. It belonged to a young man and had a mop of brown hair piled on top of it, a few shades lighter than Mac’s own reddish brown.“Sorry, I didn’t hear the bell. Give me a minute. I’m sort of in flagrante delicto.” The head disappeared.

“In flagrante delicto doesn’t mean naked, you know,” Mac told the air where the head had been. “It means you were caught doing something you shouldn’t have been.Something sexual.”

“Now, now. It’s never wrong to masturbate. There.” The head reappeared, this time attached to a body that gave Mac a startlingly clear vision of how it would look masturbating. The man was stringy, taller than Mac’s six- foot frame, but lean and underdeveloped—the body of aperson who spent a lot of time reading. Or jerking off.

“What can I help you with?” He was in his mid-twenties, so perhaps ten years younger than Mac, dressed in jeans laddered with intentional rips, each the same two inches wide, running down his thighs like claw marks. His face was clean-shaven, fresh with his youth, and Mac wondered how his skin would react to having Mac’s tightly trimmed beard rubbed all over it.

“You’re free to browse around, even if I’m not out here.”

Mac added lax security to the mental list he was pointlessly compiling. “I need to speak to the owner.”

Hailey Green, owner of Hailey’s Comic, was the only thing standing in the way of his plans to revitalize this misbegotten section of Ballhaven, which plan started with this very brick building and would ultimately lead to Ball’s End—as everyone called it; he’d have to do something about the branding—becoming the newest hot spot for millennials to eat, drink, shop, and live. Urban revitalization was Mac’s business, and Hailey Green was Mac’s problem.

“Still me,” the man said, tilting his head to the side asif to take in Mac’s appearance more carefully.

Mac hadn’t changed clothes before driving down to Ball’s End, though he could’ve guessed the place would bedirty. He’d been reading a report on the effort to clear 502 Main Street of its tenants and had made an abrupt decisionto come down and take care of ridding the building of its final holdout himself.


Him Improvement is a most charming story from start to finish. Right from the moment Mac (or Greg, as Hailey calls him) and Hailey fall into insta-lust—only moments before Mac falls into insta-love—this is a story about two men who couldn’t be more different finding a way to be together that works for both of them.

The one thing that is perfectly clear from that first encounter is that sexually, Hailey and Mac couldn’t be more compatible. It’s just in every other aspect of their lives and personalities that they are opposites. And I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of Mac’s quest to initially try and pretend to be and subsequently turn himself into the man he thinks Hailey needs and deserves.

Of course, what Mac wants and what Mac can actually pull off turn out to be two very different things. After all, as a developer he has his company and investors to take into account. And while Hailey’s ideas and ideals may well be admirable, they aren’t always practical, and almost never profitable. I have to admit that I love the solution the story eventually came up with even if I have my doubts as to how realistic it was. I totally buy that Mac was ‘converted’ by that stage of the story. I had a bit more trouble getting my head around his best friend and lawyer also making the switch.

I would have loved it if I had also been able to read from Hailey’s perspective because I constantly found myself wondering why he was interested in someone like Mac – apart from a strong physical attraction. I get the opposites attract lure, but I’m not sure why anyone would be so benevolent towards anybody who is out to rob them of their livelihood and doesn’t understand their motivation when it comes to helping others at all. As much as I don’t like conflict in my romances, I think it would have helped if Hailey had got angry at least once, because Mac certainly gave him reasons to be upset. Seen just through Mac’s eyes and described only in Mac’s words, Hailey was just too good to be true. Although, given how hard Mac falls, maybe we should forgive him those rose-tinted glasses.

Maybe the problem is that I didn’t really warm to Mac until maybe the last 15% of the story. I couldn’t escape the feeling that rather than changing as a result of seeing Hailey’s way of life and appreciating his values, Mac changed out of selfish reasons, because there was very little he wouldn’t do if it meant he could stay with Hailey and deepen their relationship. Because, no matter how I feel about developers (and I’m not a huge fan in general), you can’t deny that Mac goes from being prepared to screw over the little man to being willing to drop his friends, family, and other investors in it without experiencing significant guilt. But, at the same time it’s impossible to deny that by the end of the book, Mac is willing and trying…trying to understand Hailey and what motivates him, and trying to do better.

Having said all that, if you read this book as a modern, not-Christmassy, play on A Christmas Carol, as the book itself does once or twice, Him Improvement was a gentle, sexy, and mostly angst-free read with a fairy-tale feel, which is pretty much how I prefer my romances.

Him Improvement is definitely not a book for those who thrive on angst. If, on the other hand, you enjoy stories in which love literally overcomes all, you’re going to adore this book.

Which leaves me with just one question: Will Declan get his own book and man?

About the Author

Tanya Chris writes feminist-friendly romance in a variety of sub-genres and pairings--most especially M/M. Born on the West Coast and raised on the East Coast, she's fact-based but thirsty for justice, and her books often include an examination of a current social issue, even when they're set in the past. As a lifelong genre-hopping reader herself, she admires character-driven work with a message, regardless of the form it takes. 

Tanya is an avid rock climber, a long-distance runner, and a participant in her local community theater where she has tackled most roles, including playwright, actor, director, producer, and stage manager. Her travels, both for climbing trips and for cultural exploration, have brought her to places as fascinating as Egypt and as beautiful as the Dolomites, though there's no place like home. 

Tanya is best known to readers for having written Aftercare and to writers for the quote "Writer culture is researching what degree is needed to be a paleontologist so your shapeshifting vampire dinosaur erotica will be authentic." Her website features dozens of free stories, including the aforementioned (and highly authentic) shapeshifting vampire dinosaur erotica. 


Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of two ebooks from Tanya's backlist


Sunday, 1 September 2019

Kel’s Keeper by K.C. Wells

Release Date: September 1st 2019
 240 Pages

Available wide for September, then on Kindle Unlimited from October 1st.


When Kel Taylor’s life changes irrevocably, he finds himself alone in the world. He might have rebelled a little against his parents, but that didn’t mean he was ready to lose them. Unable to cope with his grief and feelings of guilt, he turns to booze, but before he hits rock bottom, someone dives into the murky waters to save him.

Luc Bryant watched Kel grow from the little kid whose football broke a pane in his greenhouse, into the sexy young man who sent heat racing through him. That was when Luc stopped watching and distanced himself, because he didn’t want to be that kind of a man. And that’s how things continued, until he saw to what depths the boy had sunk. Luc will be damned if he’ll let Kel kill himself. What Kel needs is a friend, and Luc’s shoulders are plenty big enough to bear his burdens.

Kel doesn’t need a friend. He needs a pair of strong arms to hold him, a broad chest to curl up against, someone to listen to him, someone who cares for him… and a whole lot more.
What he needs is a Daddy.
He just doesn't know it yet.

A stand alone book that contains an age gap relationship between a sexy daddy and a virgin.


Kel…and his Keeper…sighs. Oh my.

But, before I go on with my, probably somewhat gushing, review, I have to state that as far as I can remember this is the first book I read featuring a Daddy-Boy dynamic. I have on the other hand read and loved quite a few age-gap stories. So while I may not be able to ‘judge’ how well this book works as ‘daddy-kink’, I can honestly say that it is a masterful example of what a May to December (with added, extra-special flavor) romance can be.

You see, Kel’s Keeper is, first and foremost, a wonderful slow-burn and extremely sexy love story about a young man, Kel, overcoming grief and learning to accept, love, and embrace who he really is with the aid of an amazing, totally gush-worthy, older man.

Kel has been raised in a very strict religious household and has no doubt that his parents won’t be able to accept that he’s gay. As a result, Kel has hidden a large part of himself from the world at large, from his parents, and, in so far as he could, from himself ever since the day he saw their neighbor, Luc, through fresh, adolescent eyes and couldn’t deny the attraction.

Luc has kept his distance from Kel ever since he grew from the child living next door into a very attractive young man. Luc is no fool. He knows the community he lives in isn’t tolerant and that Kel’s parents are pretty much at the forefront of that intolerance. Staying firmly in the background was far safer than running the risk of anyone discovering the attraction Luc can’t deny.

Everything changes when Kel’s parents die and Kel falls apart. As much as Luc still doesn’t want to put Kel in an awkward situation, he just isn’t the kinda man who can stand back and watch somebody he cares about go to pieces.

And thus begins the beautiful, touching, heartwarming, and, eventually, incredibly sexy tale of Kel’s awakening. This story describes Kel’s journey from firmly closeted to happy and more than willing to fully embrace everything he is. And, like every journey, Kel and Luc reach their ultimate destination after a series of sub-stations along the way.

I absolutely adored Kel’s growth in this book. He slowly blossoms on the pages as he, with Luc’s, at times reluctant, guidance, discovers who he really is and what he likes, wants, and needs. You see, Luc in this book is Kel’s ‘daddy’ (or, as the titles says ‘Keeper’) long before the dynamic is mentioned, never mind introduced into their relationship. For the largest part of the book Luc focusses on Kel’s needs only, burying his own, determined to not influence Kel’s decision making in any way, shape, or form, determined to support him no matter what he decides to do the next…even if that decision ends up breaking Luc’s heart.

Kel’s voyage of discovery, his journey toward who he really is, is beautifully portrayed. The process is unrushed, organic, deeply touching and, on frequent occasions, deliciously sexy. After all, Kel is a young man and once he discovers the pleasure of intimacy and the ectasy of sex, there’s no stopping him. Just as well then, that Luc, while almost twice Kel’s age, has no problem keeping up.

It is safe to say that Luc cares for, you could say ‘keeps’ Kel, from the very start. While the ‘daddy’ aspect is touched upon at various times during the story, it isn’t until the very end that Kel has grown enough to fully understand what it means and has gotten to know himself well enough to embrace it as something he needs in his life…with Luc. Their path toward that point is a thing of beauty that took my breath away more than once.

Once again I highly recommend a gorgeous, emotional, and highly erotic story very well told by K.C. Wells.