Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Fem by Seth King

288 pages
Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Also available to read in Kindle Unlimited


Peter Martin is living two lives inside one body. 

Although he is openly gay, a lifetime of taunting from his family and community for being “too feminine” has still left him clad in false armor, portraying a character that is entirely fake, but keeps him safe from ridicule all the same. Stand tall, speak deeply, keep a strong handshake, never draw attention, never be “too gay.” But deep in his wildest dreams, Peter is a fabulous, flamboyant diva – he is just terrified of what it would mean for his life if he ever let his true rainbow colors shine through. 

Until he meets Andre Munoz. 

Andre is a traditionally masculine gay man who happens to love men like Peter, and who treasures Peter for everything he ever hated and concealed about himself. Andre is also into the “lace lifestyle,” a mysterious underground world of men who reject society’s rules and engage in sex while wearing gender-bending looks involving lingerie, fishnets, heels, and more. Peter is instantly hooked – on Andre, and on the lingerie. 

Peter and Andre soon fall electrically in love, and their increasingly mind-blowing – and boundary-pushing – sex sessions come with an unexpected side effect. For the first time, Peter is embracing, exploring, and even accepting his own femininity. Glowing with all this newfound confidence, Peter soon gets a wild idea: after years of being half-alive, why not finally unleash his truest self and launch the side career of his dreams as a drag queen? 

But Peter’s family is still his family, and his town is still his town. Will Andre prove to be his ultimate savior, or the catalyst of the biggest mistake of his life? 


“Maybe the person we know least of all is the one in the mirror.”

As far as the story line in this stunning book is concerned, I can’t add a whole lot to the blurb, which describes Peter’s journey perfectly.

I do, however, have a few things I want to say about the story, because to me it was far more than the sum of the parts as described above.

As I said in the first line of my review, this is a stunning book, and I mean that both in a lyrical and in the literal sense of the word. On more than one occasion while reading this story I was literally stunned. Sometimes it was the quality of an insight, sometimes the way something had been phrased, and at other times it was the strength of the emotions Peter’s story brought up in me.

While Fem most definitely is a romantic novel, to me the romance almost took second place to everything else that was happening with and to Peter. For me the main story was Peter’s journey of discovery, his awakening, his finding of himself.

And it is a glorious, although not always straightforward, journey. Peter has a lot of past hurt to overcome. The world he grew up him has taught him his true self isn’t good ‘manly’ enough, so he hides who he really is and ‘mans up’ (God, I hate that term), because he’s learned at an early age that:

“So this doesn’t have to do with how I look. It has to do with me personally. Not how I look. How I am.”

Enter Andre who, unlike men Peter has previously met, likes Peter exactly as he is. Andre who, in fact, can’t wait to help Peter discover everything he’s fled from in the past. What follows is almost a re-birth as Peter slowly allows himself to be true to himself, first in the privacy of his own house and later, very slowly, also when he’s out and about.

There are no miracle revelations in this story, thankfully. The beauty of this book lies in the slow but unstoppable progress Peter makes. With Peter the reader moves from past pain and fears through cautious hope to a full and glorious belief in all that he is and, most importantly, that he’s not just good enough but magnificent.

Before you think this is a book filled with ‘just’ soul-searching, allow me to reassure you. Whereas Peter’s development is the core of this touching tale, there are numerous moments of light and humorous relief, not in a small part thanks to a cast of wonderful secondary characters such as Pixie (they/them). And Peter’s mommy is a wonderful example of characters being anything but one dimensional.

I’m not sure my review is doing this book and all the emotions I experienced while reading it, justice. Suffice to say this was a touching, thought-provoking, and ultimately heart-warming story that will stay with me because it was very well told and felt incredibly personal to the author, as if I had been given the key to his heart. Thank you Seth King.

“That’s what the best books do: they heal things in you that you didn’t even know were broken.”

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Nothing Ventured by Jay Northcote - Review Tour

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design


Mud, sweat, and reluctant romance. Can Aiden and Matt sort out their feelings before race day?

When Aiden agrees to run the Mad Mucker—a twelve-mile muddy slog over an obstacle course—he’s expecting it to be a bit of a laugh. The training will be tough, but Aiden could use the motivation to regain some fitness.

Matt is the sexy cousin of one of Aiden’s coworkers and a last-minute addition to the team. When he agrees to train with Aiden, Aiden suddenly finds the prospect of regular workouts a lot more appealing.

Soon attraction flares, and they embark on an intense physical relationship. Matt doesn’t want to fall in love with a man, and Aiden doesn’t want to fall in love at all, but despite their insistence on no strings, they grow closer. As the day of the race approaches, time is running out for them to work out how they feel about each other.


I reviewed Nothing Ventured when it first released in November 2014 and you can read it here: Review.

What's more, my (old) review includes a link to an excerpt from the book.

Author Bio

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

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Monday, 15 July 2019

One In Between by Roe Horvat

Those Other Stories #2.5
38 pages
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Also available to read in Kindle Unlimited


It’s been more than a year since Adam first stayed over in Christoffer’s home. Their home. In the safety of Christoffer’s love, Adam has gained strength and confidence. So when Christoffer’s friend Tyler crosses the line, flirting outrageously and forcing his shameless self onto them—even into Adam’s dreams—Adam can easily handle him. To Christoffer’s great amusement, Tyler’s mind gets blown.

One in Between features characters from Those Other Books. It explores the development of Adam and Christoffer’s sexual relationship.


“In Adam’s mind, it was the total submission he craved, the most he could offer, the farthest he could go.”

One In Between is a wonderful, short, intermezzo set after the events in Adam Only but before those in The Other Book. And it’s nothing short of inspired, breath taking, and ridiculously hot.

Few characters I’ve read are as beautiful as Adam during sex. The way he feels, surrenders, gives his all is mesmerizing. In fact, as much as I loved the sex scenes, what I really adored about this story is how it showed how much Adam has grown and the confidence he’s gained now he safely and firmly belongs to and is with Christoffer.

But, I’m inclined to think this scene was also the turning point for Tyler. I like to think that it was seeing Adam and Christoffer together and the total trust between them that started Tyler on the road toward wanting more than hot encounters.

In this book however, you could almost describe Tyler as Adam’s sex toy, under Christoffer’s direction. And, as I may have mentioned before, the encounter is out of this world hot.

“Tyler was invited because Christoffer wanted to fulfil every single one of his beloved boy’s fantasies. Adam was his priority and Tyler was going to respect it.

Before I conclude this review, I want to add that I admire Roe Horvat. He has an amazing ability to bring characters to life with what feels like very few words. His characters grow and fully reveal themselves even when more than half the story is a sex scene. And they have depth, and crawl into your head and heart, making you yearn for more.

Talking about more, I do hope there will be a Liam, Marcus and Luke story.

Long story short: One In Between is proof that a love story can be erotic and that the label ‘erotica’ doesn’t necessarily mean lack of romance. This book is deliciously sexy and thoroughly romantic. True love doesn’t come much more beautiful than this.

Click on the titles for my review of those ‘other’ earlier books:

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Made in Lisbon by Ana Newfolk - Blog tour

Book Title: Made in Lisbon (Made In Series Book 5)

Author: Ana Newfolk

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Rhys Athanasiadis-Lawrence, Ethereal Ealain

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: May-December

Themes: Hurt/comfort

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 60 000 words



Three years after his husband’s death, Vitor is still grieving. Too young to be alone and too old to start again, he feels stuck. Accepting a new job in Lisbon is just what he needs, but it also means going back to the city that sealed his fate nearly thirty years ago.

Between looking for his missing brother and running an LGBTQ Youth Center, Tiago doesn’t have time for dating or commitment. When his best friend asks him to find a family member that ran away years ago, Tiago welcomes the distraction.

A past full of secrets.

An anonymous kiss that turns their world upside down.

When past and present clash, will the two men put everything aside and give themselves a chance at happiness? Or are the things keeping them apart stronger than their feelings?

Made In Lisbon is a 60k word May-December MM romance with hurt/comfort themes, lots of steam and a HEA.

Made In Lisbon can be read as a standalone but will be better enjoyed as part of the Made In Series as characters and stories from previous books appear in this story.

Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited


Excerpt from Vítor’s POV

The doorbell rang right on time.

"Hey, sweets, how are you doing?" Luís asked before enveloping me in one of his big bear hugs. I allowed myself to melt into it before I answered.

"I'm okay."

I’d met Luís on the same night I'd met Rodrigo at a student party. I'd been talking to Luís and had thought he was cute, but Rodrigo stole my heart from the first moment our eyes met. When Dri had stolen me away at the party I'd thought I'd never see Luís again, but when we'd bumped into each other at the university campus a few days later, we went out for coffee and ended up becoming good friends.

"Are you really okay?" He put a hand on my chin to tilt my head up so I could look him in the eye.

"I was going through Dri's shirts earlier and it brought back some memories. Hey, I don't suppose you want his shirts? You're the same size." Despite asking the question I was relieved when Luís said he didn't feel right taking the shirts, and besides, he didn't have any use for them since he was an artist and spent more time covered in paint than in nice clothes.

"So, where's this dinner then? I've not eaten since breakfast in anticipation. And since the others aren't here, I expect a mega portion."

I smiled and guided him to the kitchen.

This house was Rodrigo's indulgence. When he'd asked me to marry him, even before it was legal for two men to marry in Portugal, he'd promised he'd design the best house in the country. I never needed something so big, but the kitchen was the one part of the house I was grateful I'd allowed him to indulge in the design.

The food was perfect as always, then again, cooking this meal most Sundays for nearly thirty years, I could almost do it wearing a blindfold.

We ate mostly in silence, which was welcome because I was feeling out of sorts. I also wondered what was in Luís' mind. In the nearly thirty years I'd known him I'd never seen him go longer than a few minutes without talking. Even when we were younger, he'd always been the one who would bring someone into the conversation by asking the right questions and making them feel like they were the only person in the room.

That was how he'd got me talking that night in the bar, until a single look from Rodrigo had made me feel like he and I were the only people on the planet.

The thought made me shiver. Luís looked at me but didn't say anything.

Since it was just the two of us, I hadn't bothered making dessert, but I had made an effort to get Luís' favorite pastries.

"Have I ever told you how much I love you?" Luís said before stealing one of the mini palmiers part dipped in chocolate with a sprinkle of coconut.

"Several times."

We took our coffees and a plate with the tiny pastries and sat in the living room facing the garden.

"What's going on?" Luís asked before I had a chance to take a sip from my coffee.

"What do you mean?"

"Something's not right."

I took a deep sigh. What could I tell him? That I felt like part of me had died with my husband and the other part was slowly dying because my son wouldn't talk to me? That I hated going to work because the desk next to mine was empty? Was three years too long to still be missing him? Or not long enough?

"Talk to me, sweets," Luís said, putting his hand on my cheek and rubbing his thumb gently over my skin. I always loved how tactile Luís was, almost like touching people was part of his language.

"I don't know what to say. I feel lost without Dri and Mateus won't talk to me. I don't know how to handle it all on my own."

About the Author 

Ana Newfolk was born in Portugal but has lived in the United Kingdom for so long, even her friends sometimes doubt if she really is Portuguese. 

After getting hooked on reading gay romance, Ana decided to follow her lifelong dream of becoming an author.

These days you can find her in front of her laptop bringing her stories to life, or in the kitchen perfecting her recipe for the famous Portuguese custard tarts.

Author Links: Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | BookBub


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