Wednesday, 25 February 2015

LIGHTS! CAMERA! CUPID! By L.A. Witt, Amy Lane, S.E. Jakes, Anne Tenino
& Z.A. Maxfield

Pages: 266
Date: February 25, 2015
Details: a Bluewater Bay Valentine’s Collection
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

Cupid is visiting Bluewater Bay, and he’s leaving chaos in his wake.

Nothing’s been the same in this sleepy little logging town since Hollywood came to shoot the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing—especially Valentine’s Day.

In L.A. Witt’s 
Just Another Day, beloved actors Levi Pritchard and Carter Samuels have an announcement for their fans, while in Z.A. Maxfield’s I’ll Be There, actor Spencer Kepler and his boyfriend Nash Holly brave a blizzard and a fan convention to spend their first February the 14th together.

Of course, it’s not just TV stars celebrating the day. In Anne Tenino’s
Helping Hand, an aspiring artist eager to escape Bluewater Bay decides he just might have a reason to stay: lust-inspiring logger Gabriel Savage. In S.E. Jakes’s No Easy Way, a local teacher reconnects with an old lover working security on the film set. And in Amy Lane’s Nascha, a Bluewater Bay elder recalls how his own unconventional family used to celebrate the holiday.

Real life may be nothing like TV, but when Cupid comes to town, there’s plenty of romance and drama to go around.

My thoughts:

This was a wonderful anthology. It’s not very often I read a collection of stories and can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed every single one, but I can today. Even the fact that some of these stories are sequels to novels I haven’t read yet, didn’t lessen my enjoyment. If I had to pick favourites I’d have to name Nascha by Amy Lane and I’ll Be There by Z.A. Maxfield but the other three stories are close seconds.

Below are my, very short, thoughts about each individual story:

This is clearly the continuation of a love story I haven’t read yet, one which I should make a point of reading soon if this short is anything to go by. Mind you, not being familiar with the characters didn’t make me enjoy the story any less. I enjoyed every minute of Carter and Levi’s fight over celebrating Valentine’s Day, their making up and the announcement they made to the world. L.A. Witt always tells a good story very well. This story may be titled ‘Just Another Day’, it is definitely not ‘Just Another Short’.

NASCHA by Amy Lane
Oh my. This was wonderful; totally heartbreaking and uplifting simultaneously. Bad things happening to good people and just when you think it surely is way too late for a happy ending... Amy Lane, I’m in awe.

I liked this story of two men finding each other after spending six years apart. If I had an issue with No Easy Way it is that it could so very easily have been a full novel. The problem isn’t that I missed vital information while reading this story but more that I wanted more detail about the men’s past, present and future. On the other hand, SE Jakes’ writing is smooth and seductive and, as a result, a pleasure to read.

HELPING HAND by Anne Tenino
A wonderful story about a young man who feels like an outsider in Bluewater Bay and his family and can’t wait to escape to college until an unexpected encounter with the man he’s lusted after for years and a surprise revelation by his father make him realise he does, after all belong. Charming and uplifting.

I’LL BE THERE by Z.A. Maxfield
A sweet, funny and thrilling story about Nash’s quest to get to his lover through snowmagaddon, while Spencer has to face his fears without the help of the man he loves and needs. I alternated between smiling as the geeks, led by Nash's brother, tried to find a way through the snow for Nash, and sympathising with Spencer as he came face to face with his biggest fear and regret. In short, this was wonderful. I’ll leave you with a beautiful quote from this story.

You have a way of hearing what people aren’t saying. You listen with your heart.”

Monday, 23 February 2015

BLOWING IT by Kate Aaron

BLOWING IT by Kate Aaron
Pages: 310
Date: Feb 23, 2015
Details: copy received from Author

The blurb:

“Owen Barnes never expected writing to make him rich, much less with a YA novel written for a bet. Being nominated for the Carnegie Medal, the most prestigious award a children’s author can win, is a dream come true. But Owen’s newfound fame comes at a price, and not just changing his surname to Black.

Gruff, gentle building surveyor Magnus Cassidy is the first man to catch Owen’s interest in almost two years. Owen’s agent, Max, might be trying to control his image, but Magnus sees the real Owen: the eyeliner, drainpipe jeans, and sexy underwear, not the Young Conservative in a tweed jacket Max is turning him into.

When a photo of Owen and Magnus appears online, just weeks before the Carnegie ceremony, Max starts damage limitation. Out and proud since he was fourteen, Owen isn’t going back into the closet without a fight, and he refuses to let his agent erase Magnus from his life. Encouraged by his friends, Owen lashes out, not realising his behaviour could hurt the man he’s doing it all for. Can Owen find a way to reconcile his public and private lives, or has he already blown it?

Contents: passive tops and slutty bottoms, bitchy best friends, bad jokes, sexy underwear, an excess of beards, and a smattering of angst. May contain nuts.”

My thoughts:

“...that’s what love is. It’s giving someone the power to hurt you and believing they won’t.”

There’s something magical about Kate Aaron’s writing. When I read the Free Men trilogy a few months ago I fell in love with Kate’s words, her characters and her descriptions of the world they live in. Since Free Men is a fantasy while Blowing it is a contemporary romance, there are an endless amount of differences between the stories. There are powerful similarities as well though. Both books contain characters so clearly drawn you can see and hear them. The descriptions in both books are so well worded the surroundings are easy to picture. And both stories draw you in from the first paragraph and refuse to let you go again until you’ve read the last word.

I love that Kate Aaron isn’t afraid to write flawed characters. It is because neither Owen nor Magnus is perfect they work so well. They were real and beautiful, smart and silly, stubborn and forgiving, understanding and unreasonable and totally recognisable because of it.

Although this story does contain its share of angst, this is for the most part a light-hearted, sweet and at times very funny story, yet it deals with a serious subject. How sad is it that we live in a world where people are made to hide who they are because being true to themselves might mean the end of their career. And that is NOT a fictional problem and it is not only a reality for people in the public eye. Only the other day a lesbian teacher entered a competition to win a dream wedding here in Ireland and felt the need to pixilate her image on her video entry.

Kate Aaron spins a web with her words and getting caught in it is a pure pleasure.

I leave you with the following quote, just because I love it.

“People think writing is a wishy-washy sort of occupation, not realising manuscripts have to be bullied into shape, whole chapters cut or rewritten, characters’ motivations tweaked or twisted or, in some cases, completely slashed and burned.”

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Passing Through by Jay Northcote: All you need to know

Book Info:

Title: Passing Through
Author: Jay Northcote
Genre: contemporary m/m romance
Length: 43,000 words approx
Release date: Friday 20th Feb 2015
Publisher: Jay Northcote
Buy links:


Don’t waste a chance at happiness…

Leo is a lonely workaholic with no time for romance in his life. His job in London takes all his energy and commitment. When he goes to Cornwall to stay with his terminally ill uncle, Edwin, love is the last thing Leo expects to find.

Tris lives in a cottage on Edwin’s land. Gay, but still half in the closet, he and Leo bond over their affection for Edwin, and the pull of attraction between them proves too strong to ignore. In Tris’s arms, in the wilds of Cornwall, Leo finds a peace he’d forgotten existed.

On his return to London, Leo finds himself grieving for more than just the loss of his uncle. When some unexpected news gives Leo the chance to return to Cornwall, he’s afraid it will be too late to rekindle things with Tris. But having learned much from his stay with his uncle, Leo doesn’t want to look back and wish he’d done things differently.

It’s time to seize the day—if it’s not already too late.


On the beach they crunched along the shingle to the edge of the rocks, then turned to look out over the sea. It was almost completely dark now, and the moon was rising, casting streaks of bright silver on the oil-black water.

They stood in silence, watching and listening to the crash of the waves. Leo’s heart felt suddenly too large for his chest. He was overwhelmed by the beauty of the place, a place that had barely changed since his childhood. The sea came and went with the tides, the sands shifted, but the rocks were constant. Yet here Leo was, an adult now rather than a boy, and his uncle reduced to an echo of the man Leo remembered—physically, at least. Unexpected tears prickled the backs of Leo’s eyes as a rush of emotion so strong that it made him draw in a sharp breath assaulted him. He swallowed hard, forcing the feelings back down.

Out of his peripheral vision,he saw Tris turn towards him, but Leo carried on gazing out at the gentle, rolling movement of the sea. Tris shifted his feet in the sand, bringing him closer. The warm skin of his arm brushed Leo’s, and Leo ached for more contact. He needed human warmth and touch to chase away the cold emptiness in his heart.

Author Bio:

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

My thoughts:

As some of you may have noticed, I’m a fan of Jay Northcote’s writing. While I haven’t read all her books yet, I haven’t come across one that disappointed me so far. Among all those stories I loved, Passing Through is my favourite. It is also the most emotional and probably personal of Jay’s books so far.

The blurb tells you everything you need to know before you start this book so I’ll limit myself to telling you what I loved about it.

I was impressed with the way Jay Northcote dealt with terminal illness and loss. The emotions Leo experiences were vivid and recognisable without being overly sentimental. This story didn’t try to be a tear jerker, although it did manage to leave me with watery eyes on one or two occasions.

The developing relationship between Tris and Leo was sweet. Both of them have issues but they do not take centre stage. First and foremost the two men enjoyed their time together, their growing feelings taking both of them by surprise. Their emotions felt real and touched me. I think their separation when it came hurt me as much as it did them and I was grateful the author didn’t turn it into a protracted drama.

This is a story with one or two messages for the readers; messages which reverberated with me. I firmly believe that we all should follow our hearts at least as much as our heads when we make important decisions, no matter how scary that may be. I also fully support Edwin in his choices, although I won’t say anything else about that.

Leo, Tris and Edwin wormed their way into my heart the moment they appeared on the page and will more than likely spend quite some time there. I believed in these men, their lives and their decisions. I enjoyed every single minute I spent with them, even the painful moments.

The intimacy between Leo and Tris was as touching as it was sexy. I loved the small touches as much as I did their sexy times. To make a longish review short; Passing Through is a touching, beautiful, well written and sexy story that will make you think about your life and how you live it without ever lecturing you. Passing Through was a wonderful reading experience for me.

Monday, 16 February 2015

STRICTLY PERSONAL by K.C. Wells: Release Day Review

Pages: 77
Date: February 16, 2015
Details:  No 3.5 Personal
             Copy received from Author

The blurb:

Colin has a romantic, long Valentine’s Day weekend planned for Ed. A visit to Manchester’s Canal Street, a really nice hotel, complete with four poster bed, and an intimate meal in a restaurant.

Unfortunately, things don’t go quite according to plan, and when one of them ends up in a police cell, Colin’s plans have to take a back seat.

Blake Davis can’t stay out of it once he hears what’s happened and turns up to lend a hand, and then it seems all of Ed’s fears about Friday the thirteenth being unlucky are about to be realized.

This was definitely not what Colin had in mind….

My thoughts:

I have a confession to make first. This is my first book in the ‘Personal’ series. I know I shouldn't read books out of order but when I saw the blurb for Strictly Personal, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to read the story. I mean, what’s not to love about two hot men on a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend.

I knew I’d be reading about characters that had been well established in an earlier story and was prepared to feel at least a little bit lost in this book. Much to my delight I didn’t. Colin and Ed were real and fully fleshed characters for me from the very first page and I got more attached to them as the story progressed.

These two men are hot together and so clearly love each other it was a joy to spend time with them. I felt bad for them when disaster struck and delighted with them when everything turned out just perfect despite the set-backs. The balance between humour, heat, charming and angst was just about perfect for this reader.

Of course now that I’ve fallen for Ed, Colin, Blake and Will I’ll have to go back and read the three previous titles as well. Given that K.C. Wells always tells a hot and gripping story, that won’t be a hardship.

Buy link:

Sunday, 15 February 2015

NO PLACE THAT FAR by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

NO PLACE THAT FAR by L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov
Pages: 215
Date: February 12, 2015
Grade: 4
Details: no. 5 The Distance Between Us
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“Still finding his footing after a long-overdue divorce, Marcus is looking forward to some mind-numbing drinking while ogling the grooms at Chris and Julien’s wedding. He never expected his attention to be diverted by the gorgeous best man.

One of Julien’s French Foreign Legion buddies, Timur doesn’t speak much English, but language is no barrier to Marcus understanding exactly what the huge Tartar wants—a one-night stand.

Except that one night turns into two, three, then more, which puts Marcus on edge. After Timur is done house-sitting for the honeymooning couple, he’s headed back to the Legion for another five years. Like it or not, once Timur gets on that plane, the fling is over.

Unfortunately, Marcus forgot to tell his heart not to fall in love. And this time, if history repeats and he makes another wrong decision, he may never see his tattooed Legionnaire lover again.

Warning: Contains a soldier who makes up for his lack of English by using his hands to read his lover’s body; a chef-turned-bartender who no longer believes in love; a length of paracord that probably wasn’t meant to be used this way; and a couple of newlyweds who are game for some four-way play.”

My thoughts:

I’m running out of even remotely original things to say about the books L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov write together (or individually for that matter). Whatever magic it is they create while co-writing, it works for me. Every. Single. Time.

No Place That Far was no exception to that rule. It’s a wonderful romance with just the right balance between fun, hot, and angst. If there was anything I missed in this story it was something that didn’t occur because it didn’t fit. Dialogue in Witt-Voinov stories invariably sparkles. In this book there was far less of that. Not because the authors have suddenly lost their magic (I doubt that could ever happen) but because one of the characters – Timur – just doesn’t speak enough English to make verbal ping-pong a realistic story element. In fact, I admire the authors for everything they could convey without being able to use dialogue. Having said that, I did miss those sparkling conversations I’ve adored in other books.

And then for the plot detail I know some readers are going to have a problem with; the foursome. Far from bothering me I thought it was beautiful, very hot and extremely well done. It was great to spend more time with Chris and Julien and the four men together had me mesmerized.

I still haven’t read all the books in this series and I’m sorta glad about that. Over the next few months I’ll be able to buy, read and enjoy the titles I’ve missed so far. I can’t think of many ways to better spend my time.

Filthy Marcellos: Lucian by Bethany-Kris

Today I'm delighted to welcome Bethany Kris and her latest release, Filthy Marcellos: Lucian to my blog. Read on for all the filthy and juicy details:

Filthy Marcellos: Lucian
Book One in the Filthy Marcellos Trilogy
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Organized Crime, Suspense
Length: 98k, full length
Release Date: February 2nd, 2015


Lucian Marcello is aware of the expectations following him as the oldest son of one of North America’s most infamous Cosa Nostra Dons. Family in his world is more than blood and sharing a last name. It’s the honor, respect, business, and the life. Being a Capo is just a stepping stone until it’s time for him to take on the role of underboss but a chance meeting with her could be the one thing he’d risk it all for.

She is exactly what he didn’t know he was looking for.

Jordyn Reese spends her time trying to stay under the radar of a man who wouldn’t think twice about killing her. Unwillingly affiliated with a dangerous MC gang, her life is dominated by the men surrounding her and her future rests solely in how useful she can be for them. The last thing she needs is some Mafioso gaining her more unwanted attention from the club.

He is everything she should stay away from but can’t.

Notoriously violent when it comes to getting what he wants, Lucian will stop at nothing to make the target on Jordyn’s back disappear. But sometimes the worst threats are the ones you can’t see until it’s too late. The truth behind Lucian’s history is about to take center stage in more ways than one, and it’ll either save him … or kill him.

This world leaves everyone a little filthy.

Buy Links:

Book Teaser

Book Excerpt

Out of the corners of his eyes, Lucian did see part of her bare shoulder and the black curls hiding her face, though. It wasn’t so much the amount of flesh she was showing as it was the peeks of what looked like a cherry blossom tattoo crawling over her shoulder and dipping down her back where it disappeared from his sight.
“Hello, guys. I’m Jordyn. I’ll be serving you tonight, or something close to it. What’ll it be?”
The sultry tone of her voice was something Lucian and his body noticed the moment she spoke. It was almost like a mixture of innocence and experience, if that were possible. She didn’t sound entirely bored, but she didn’t sound like she was in it to win it with her job, either.
Dante looked to his father, his earlier comment about not consuming the drinks being silently said again. Antony must have took note.
“A bottle of Jack, unopened. Four—” Antony stopped up short, his lips tugging down into a frown as he passed a glance towards Gio. The youngest brother certainly didn’t need to be drinking tonight. “Make that three glasses. We’ll pour.”
Leaning forward was the worst mistake Lucian made since waking up that day. He certainly hadn’t expected to see her again. At least not in a place like this. She was on his mind all damned week, those eyes of hers, cream-like flesh, and a mouth that just at the sight alone, make his own water.
What’d she call herself? Jordyn, was it?
Shit was right—he was in so much of it.
Suddenly, Lucian was not in the zone like he needed to be.
He was so incredibly fucked.
Also, Lucian realized he was right about his first assumption when he thought she had ink under her dress that day at the confessional box. Cherry blossoms started somewhere beneath the lace and leather bottoms she wore and trailed up over her side, before crossing over her left breast which was also covered by nothing but a lace and leather brassiere, and then curved over her shoulder.
There was another tattoo, too, but in the darkness, Lucian couldn’t read the scripted words.
Strangely, the immediate rush of possessiveness that flooded his veins surprised him. She was still so beautiful, like crazy. The more skin his gaze crawled over, the tighter his pants became. Lucian caught himself wondering what those blossoms would taste like under his tongue.
Yeah, he was not where he needed to be. This unknown woman knocked him off kilter and she probably didn’t even know it. What was wrong with him?
Unfortunately, his father seemed to realize his son’s abrupt change in posture and mood. “Lucian?”
At the sound of his name, the girl’s—Jordyn, he reminded himself—eyes flashed to meet his in the corner, those dark lashes of hers blinking rapidly like she also didn’t believe what she was seeing. Lucian swallowed the thickness building in his throat. Thankfully, Jordyn didn’t act like they had ever met or seen one another before. She simply went on doing her own business.
“Unopened bottle of Jack and three glasses. Anything else?” she asked, avoiding Lucian’s piercing gaze.
“Yes,” Antony said, still watching Lucian closely. “The owner is Ron Daney, correct?”
Jordyn stood a little stiffer, her shoulders squaring. “I beg your pardon?”
“The owner is Ron Daney, Vice President of the Brooklyn chapter of The Sons of Hell,” Lucian said gruffly, trying to swallow back the huskiness forming. “We’re not ATF or the feds, let’s just be clear on that, sweetheart. Ron, he’s in tonight, yes?”
Jordyn nodded warily. “Always is.”
“Good,” Antony replied with a grin. “Send him a drink, whatever he likes. Do be sure to tell him it’s from a guest. Antony Marcello and his crew. Do not mistake my name when you tell him. Be sure to point me out so he sees me. Understood?”
“Got it.”
 With that, the woman Lucian simply needed to glance at to turn his skin ablaze and his heart stuttering, was walking away.
She didn’t look back.

 Books in the Series

Filthy Marcellos: 

La Cosa Nostra is not just a choice of regime and routine, it’s a culture. Born as mafia royalty, the Marcello brothers were raised ingrained with the beliefs and rules of what it meant to be a Mafioso prince. It is for life. Their status is considered a given right. They will always be these people. They will always be Marcellos.

Coming Soon
Giovanni, Book Two

Dante, Book Three

Giovanni, Book Two

Dante, Book Three

Author Bio

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something ... when she can find the time.

Find her on Facebook, Twitter, her blog, Pinterest, Goodreads, or Amazon.

Sunday, 1 February 2015


Pages: 69
Date: 31/01/2015
Grade: 4
Details: No. 1 Memories
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

J.J. has always hated the holidays. Presents, decorations, the traditional family Christmas…It’s all his colleagues in the staffroom can talk about. J.J. avoids these conversations like the plague. He’d do anything to keep his co-workers from seeing the real J.J, the gay man who doesn’t want to be noticed. When he slips up and reveals that he is all alone with no plans for Christmas, the well-meaning ladies of his high school want to take him in for the holidays. 

Oh hell….

Enter Coach Adam Sutton who comes to his rescue—and now J.J. is trapped by this hulk of a man who won’t take no for an answer. And he would have to be someone J.J finds attractive, wouldn’t he? Too bad he’s straight and J.J’s not about to step out of the shadows and make a move on him. He likes his arms where they are, thank you very much.

But Adam has a secret, one which is going to turn J.J’s world upside-down. Adam wants to give J.J. a Christmas to remember, but as it turns out, both men’s lives are never going to be the same again…

My thoughts:

There’s something about Max Vos’s writing, his characters and his way of telling a story that hits a nerve with me. I couldn’t for the life of me tell you exactly what that something is, but it strikes a chord.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with J.J. and Adam. J.J.’s journey from dislike, through begrudging friendliness, to attraction and more was beguiling. Adam was just adorable. In my mind’s eye his this big, huge, powerful teddy bear of a man. I couldn’t stop grinning every time he was mentioned.

This story contains minimal angst. There is some since J.J. is rather determined to keep his orientation under wraps, but once Adam makes his move, the soul-searching is almost completely gone.

Adam’s family were a breath of fresh air. I get why a lot of stories include disapproving and hostile families – unfortunately they are a reality all too many queer people have to deal with – but I like seeing the other side of the coin portrayed as well.

The sex in this book is as raw as it is beautiful. These men come together with every fibre of their being and the reader is lucky and privileged to be allowed to indulge their voyeuristic tendencies.

I’m glad I discovered Max Vos’ words recently and can’t wait to continue with these ‘Memories’ stories.