Monday, 30 March 2020

Third One (Those Other Books #3) by Roe Horvat

Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Available in Kindle Unlimited


It could have been just an innocent crush. Something guiltless and fleeting. But Luke spends every day with Marcus; they talk, touch and dance together, they create and perform together. They know each other inside out. As a consequence, Luke has been in love with his very much taken choreographer for years. Seeing Marcus and his partner Liam together has become increasingly painful, and Luke needs to leave. His dancing career is nearing an end anyway. He will start university, reinvent himself, forget Marcus and find happiness elsewhere.

Except Marcus loves him back. And Liam knows. Liam’s dark eyes and his imposing silhouette begin haunting Luke’s dreams. Drowning in both lust and sadness, Luke is swept into a passionate triangle with two men who couldn’t be more different. Suddenly, instead of fear or caution, there’s just a mind-numbing desire for more.


“This is how I look when I’m happy.” – Luke

Third One is the third book (but fourth story) in the Those Other Books series. In my review of One In Between I wrote: “I do hope there will be a Liam, Marcus and Luke story.” And what do you know? Not only did I get my wish, but the story I wished for surpassed all my (very high) hopes and expectations.

Like all of Roe’s characters Liam, Marcus, and Luke feel deeply, love fervently, and enjoy sex/make love with a burning passion. This author always takes his readers deep into his main characters. Not a thought is hidden or vague, every feeling is described in terms that awaken the same emotions in the reader. It’s impossible not to feel Marcus’s need, Luke’s desperation, or Liam’s occasional (and uncharacteristic) doubt. The language allows the reader to emerge themselves in the story, lose themselves there, and find some much needed and deeply appreciated relief from the real world.

Few authors I know write sex with as much depth, feeling, and eroticism as Roe Horvat. The words ‘this story made my Kindle steam’ are a cliché and yet, that’s the only way I can describe it.  Every touch, and the reaction it elicits, is vivid to the point where the reader can almost experience them personally. There is no shame, sex is never dirty. Quite the opposite in fact. Touch, penetration, claiming, surrendering, are so much more than a hot act on these pages. They describe the growing feelings between these three men with maybe more clarity than their thoughts and words do. In each other, in their shared passion and release they find each other as well as themselves and it’s a beautiful sight.

Not that this novella is ‘just’ a sex-filled romp. Becoming a throple is always going to be more complicated than two people coming together. When two of the three have been an established and happy couple for a decade before their third enters the relationship, it only makes things more fraught. And yet, while there certainly was some concern on Luke’s part about being the ‘odd one out’, when these three men come together it heralds the end of their angst rather than the start. Not that all concerns instantly vanished, as if by the magic of peen’, but once these men open up to each other (in more ways than one) and start talking, the stomach-churning disquiet, eased both for the characters and for me. And the moment Luke fully realizes he’s found happiness had tears stinging my eyes.

I could go on…and on…and on… But, in the end all that matters is that with Third One, Roe Horvat once again delivered a beautifully written story about men finding their perfect happy-ever-after. The fact that he also managed to push me out of my reading funk is a very welcome bonus. Not for the first time I highly recommend this book by a wonderful and favourite author.

“It all began and ended with Liam. Without Liam, his love for Marcus made no sense. By giving himself to Liam, he was redeemed.” – Luke

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

More Than This by Alexa Milne

73 Pages
Pride Publishing
Release Date: 17 March, 2020


Sometimes life gives you more than this.
Two years after whistle-blowing on irregularities in the company she worked for in the US, businesswoman Veronica Smith runs into Cassandra Forster, the woman with whom she had an intense affair back in New York.
Cass pushed all Ronnie’s buttons as well as her boundaries, and the relationship was becoming something more before Ronnie left without an explanation. When they pick up where they left off, Ronnie finds she still wants more…but does Cass feel the same?
Cass wants an explanation. Being with Ronnie had begun to mean more than great sex, but then Ronnie left her high and dry. Cass’ feelings haven’t changed, but can she trust Ronnie enough not to hurt her again? Can she trust herself to let someone into her life?
Over a weekend and a wedding, the two women finally talk and discover they have more in common than the ability to meet each other’s desires. But can they take this second chance life has given them to have more than this?


More Than This is a wonderful ‘second-chance-at-love’ story. There really wasn’t anything about this novella I didn’t thoroughly enjoy or love. The story starts strong and very sexy, and continues that way until the very last page.

I loved that this wasn’t an angst-ridden story in which the two characters have to overcome their past in order to secure their present and happy ever after. Two years earlier, neither Cass nor Ronnie thought they were in or looking for a relationship and while Ronnie's sudden and unexplained disappearance left some unanswered questions, it didn’t cause (unnecessary) soul searching or recriminations. And what’s not to love about a story featuring two strong, independent, and self-sufficient women who come to the conclusion that together they are more than they could ever be on their own?

I loved the shifting power dynamic between these two women, and the ease with which they both accept their own and each other’s needs and desires. Ronnie enjoys a bit of pain with her sex, and sometimes craves to give up control to Cass, but she has no problem taking the upper hand either. It makes for fascinating and very sexy encounters.

I’m in awe at how much (back) story the author managed to give me in less than 20k words, especially since there are no info dumps to be found at all. The story moves smoothly, revealing both the past and the present in a relaxed and very easy to digest manner. The reader is told exactly enough to be able to get to know and love the main characters, to understand their motivation, and to experience their feelings. I would go so far as to say there’s not a single wasted word in this novella.

This is a romance so I’m sure you can guess how this story ends. The occasion and setting where Cass and Ronnie declare their feelings are both inspired and magical.

To summarise: I adored this story. I read it in one sitting and while the length of this story is perfect, I was sorry to say goodbye to Cass and Ronnie. Should they ever get a sequel, I will be among the first to read it.

Monday, 2 March 2020

The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles

Publisher: KJC Books
232 pages
Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Swordfights, lust, betrayal, murder: just another day for a henchman.

Jasper Detchard is a disgraced British officer, now selling his blade to the highest bidder. Currently that's Michael Elphberg, half-brother to the King of Ruritania. Michael wants the throne for himself, and Jasper is one of the scoundrels he hires to help him take it. But when Michael makes his move, things don’t go entirely to plan—and the penalty for treason is death.

Rupert of Hentzau is Michael's newest addition to his sinister band of henchmen. Charming, lethal, and intolerably handsome, Rupert is out for his own ends—which seem to include getting Jasper into bed. But Jasper needs to work out what Rupert’s really up to amid a maelstrom of plots, swordfights, scheming, impersonation, desire, betrayal, and murder.

Nobody can be trusted. Everyone has a secret. And love is the worst mistake you can make.

A retelling of the swashbuckling classic The Prisoner of Zenda from a very different point of view.


The Henchmen of Zenda was the most fun I had reading this year so far. This is a delightful tale of dastardly Daring Do’s, of secrets and betrayal, adventure, sexy times, and danger. And it’s all told by Jasper Detchard, who does his best to come across as cynical and aloof but can’t quite hide the fact that beneath the bluster hides a big heart.

I’ve never read The Prisoner of Zenda (although now I’ll probably have to get the book), but I’m not sure that mattered. I had no problem losing myself in this story, these characters, and this world. There really isn’t a boring moment in this story and the surprises come hard and fast. The villains are exceedingly (borderline over the top) bad and evil which makes reading about their demise all the more fantastic. I wouldn’t necessarily call their counterparts upstanding citizens. In fact, Jasper and his sex-interest Rupert have quite a few villainy traits of their own, but both of them happen to find themselves on the side of what’s right (or should that be ‘less wrong’) in this case and it’s impossible not to think that they’re comfortable there.

Sharp conversations between the principle characters fixed a smile on my face. The vivid descriptions of everything ranging from features, landscapes, to sword fights, brought the story to light, and numerous twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat. This is the sort of adventure story you should only start if you have a long stretch of reading time available. Because once you start The Henchmen of Zenda it is next to impossible to put the book down before you reach the final paragraph.

I neglected KJ Charles recently, and I have no idea why. It is an oversight I intend to fix over the next few months. Of course, the advantage of ‘forgetting’ about a great writer for a while is that there’s a good selection of new to me titles just waiting for me to find them.