Art and Love OUTSIDE THE LINES–Review and Giveaway

Hi there! I’m sharing another SMOKING HOT December review with a M/M+F romance from Anna Zabo. OUTSIDE THE LINES is one of the latest books in the Bluewater Bay series. It’s actually book 20, but totally enjoyable on it’s own. I’ve not read anything from Anna Zabo before, but I’ll be on the lookout for more. This story features a gay man who falls for the husband in a open, poly couple, and isn’t sure if he’s prepared for more.

Scroll down for my review and to catch the $25 GC giveaway link!
About the book:
Miniature artist Ian Meyers has one week to rebuild his damaged set. Needing help, he goes to End o’ Earth, the local comic and gaming shop. Owner Simon Derry pushes all of Ian’s buttons, and he also has steady hands and the skills Ian needs.

Before they can even grab a beer, Ian meets Lydia Derry, Simon’s wife. If Ian had any interest in women, he’d suggest a threesome, but then Simon explains that he and Lydia are polyamorous, and if Ian wants Simon, neither of them will complain. If anything, Lydia encourages the relationship.

Ian’s all in, and it’s fantastic working with Simon to piece together his set and then take each other apart at night. His friendship with Lydia grows too. The only problem is, the more time he spends with Simon, the more he wants everything Simon already has with Lydia: A house. A cat. A commitment. So Ian runs, and shatters the trust he has with them both—right when they need him the most. Piecing their relationships back together might prove harder than a smashed set.

My Review:
Ian Meyers builds sets, props and miniatures for Wolf’s Landing, and one of the key pieces–a model-miniature Sacred Grove was ready for the pyrotechnics…until a clumsy stuntman crashed into it. Now, Ian has a week to rebuild the model, and he’s low on supplies. So, he (reluctantly) heads into Bluewater Bay and End o’ Earth comics, which holds models and supplies for gamers in stock. Ian has kept a wide berth from the comics shop because it’s hard to keep his distance from townies and tourists, and there’s been some issues in the past. Also, the local Wolf’s Landing licensed shop Howling Moon is right next door, and that’s a place all the cast and crew avoids.

That said, he’s desperate, and once he steps foot inside End o’Earth Ian’s desperation takes a more personal turn. He’s deeply attracted to the owner and model painter, Simon Derry. Ian charms Simon, who’s willing to provide the space and supplies Ian needs, but they both feel the heat building between them. And, it’s a stunning disaster when Ian meets Simon’s beautiful and talented wife, Lydia. He’s frustrated that Simon was flirting with him, and thinking they both were on the same page, but Ian’s charmed by Lydia, and guilty that he wishes Simon was single. Simon’s a sweet man, and loves Lydia with his whole heart, but…they’re poly, and he’s always missed having a man pleasure him. They’ve been together ten years, and Lydia knows this is an issue. She encourages Ian to share her husband, and Ian doesn’t need a second invitation.

Ian and Simon work together on rebuilding the set, and they spend nights together burning up the sheets. Lydia’s happy to be a bystander who watches their love grow, but Ian’s sure he’s just a side piece…a fling for this swinging couple. Meantime, Simon’s fallen hard, and wants to bring Ian into their relationship permanently. Lack of communication causes some problems, and they have to be fully honest in order to keep their fledgling love growing. There’s lots of cameos from the cast and crew of the show, and I liked how they brought everyone into this book. Simon and Lydia are starry-eyed, seeing the actors and all, and Ian’s reminded about how he was so affected on his first meetings. I liked all the sweet and tender moments.

For people who like menage, this doesn’t really feel like that, because Ian and Lydia aren’t sexually intimate, but they do develop an emotional connection. This is reinforced when Lydia has a professional crisis and needs a solid shoulder to cry on. Ian has the connections to make it right, but he follows Lydia’s advice to not rock the boat. Simon’s not so docile about it, however, and it leads to deeper connections for all of them, both personally and professionally. For Simon and Ian expect hawt sexytimes that include some light elements of bondage, dominance and submission. The resolution is totally sweet and yummy.

Interested? You can find OUTSIDE THE LINES on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo. I read a review copy provided by NetGalley.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this link to comment on the giveaway tour over at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for a chance to win a $25 Riptide GC.
Good luck, and keep reading my friends.

About the Author:
Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. They live and work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think.

Anna grew up in the wilds of suburban Philadelphia before returning to their ancestral homelands in Western Pennsylvania. As a child they were heartily disappointed to discover that they couldn’t grow up to be what they wanted (a boy, a cat, a dragon), so they settled on being themself whenever possible, which may be a combination of a boy, a cat, and a dragon. Or perhaps a girl, a knight, and a writer. Depends on whom you ask. They do have a penchant for colorful ties and may be hording a small collection of cufflinks.They can be easily plied with coffee.

Anna has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, where they fell in with a roving band of romance writers and never looked back. They also have a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Catch up with Ann on twitter.

Out Today! THEIRS TO TAKE–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release day review and giveaway for a BDSM erotic romance from Laura Kaye! THEIRS TO TAKE is a menage romance featuring two Masters who search for a woman to satisfy them both. O.O It’s the third novel in her Blasphemy series, which got a great start with the erotic novella HARD TO SERVE and the first novel, BOUND TO SUBMIT and secondly MASTERING HER SENSES. I really enjoyed this erotic new read!

Catch an excerpt, my review and enter the books and swag giveaway below.
About the book:
From the ruins of an abandoned church comes Baltimore’s hottest and most exclusive BDSM club. Twelve Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy.

She’s the fantasy they’ve always wanted to share…
Best friends Jonathan Allen and Cruz Ramos share almost everything—a history in the Navy, their sailboat building and restoration business, and the desire to dominate a woman together, which they do at Baltimore’s exclusive club, Blasphemy. Now if they could find someone who wants to play for keeps…

All Hartley Farren has in the world is the charter sailing business she inherited from her beloved father. So when a storm damages her boat, she throws herself on the mercy of business acquaintances to do the repairs—stat. She never expected to find herself desiring the sexy, hard-bodied builders, but being around Jonathan and Cruz reminds Hartley of how much she longs for connection. If only she could decide which man she wants to pursue more…

As their attraction flashes hot, Jonathan and Cruz determine to have Hartley for their own. But the men’s erotic world is new and overwhelming, and Hartley’s unsure if she could really submit to being both of theirs to take…forever.

How about a yummy taste?

“Are they like you?” Hartley asked her friend, Scarlett, who’d recently joined the club called Blasphemy that she’d learned Jonathan and Cruz owned.

“A submissive, you mean?” When Hartley nodded, Scarlett said, “No. They’re Dominants. They like to control the scenes and their partners’ pleasure. Master Jonathan and Master Cruz are alphas through and through.” Scarlett gave her a teasing smirk.

“Master…” Hartley murmured, trying out the word. Aided by her friend’s commentary, her brain offered up all kinds of unhelpful imaginings. Her, on her knees, Jonathan standing over her. Or would it be Cruz? Being pulled over one of their laps, her ass in the air, hands stroking her. But whose hand? Gah. This was a full-on trip to crazytown. “Um, okay.”

Just then, the waiter arrived with their appetizer, but Hartley was too gobsmacked to think about food. As Scarlett forked a piece of mozzarella onto her plate, she looked like the cat that ate the canary. “There’s more.”

“How can there be more?” She almost didn’t want to know. No, scratch that, she really wanted to know. “What kind of more?”

“Take another sip,” Scarlett said, chuckling and tapping at the rim of her wine glass.

Hartley didn’t resist. She took a big drink, her heart racing, her head spinning, just a little, because she’d skipped breakfast this morning.

“Hartley, Jonathan and Cruz do scenes together.”

“Oh.” Her shoulders fell. “So they’re a couple?” Man, that was…kinda disappointing. She totally got it, though. They were beautiful men. Best friends. Had served in the military together and now were business partners. It made sense that they could be together romantically. But, damn, she’d read that flirtation all wrong, hadn’t she?

And hell if that disappointment she was feeling didn’t reveal a thing or two…

Scarlett shook her head. “No, well, maybe. I don’t know. There’s some speculation around the club that there might be something romantic between them. But what I mean is, they do scenes together. Both of them with the same submissive. At one time. You know, like, ménage à trois.”

It was a good thing Hartley had just swallowed, because otherwise she might’ve done a cartoon-like spit take. Heat roared through her body. Because those imaginings she’d just done…that question she’d just asked herself about which one would be starring in those fantasies with her…now she had her answer. They might not make her choose.

“That is the…hottest, craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my whole life,” Hartley managed, her brain possibly shorting out at the thought. Both of them. Together. At the same time. Jonathan’s golden-boy good looks. Cruz’s dark, intensity. At. The. Same. Time.

My Review:
Hartley Farren is a emotionally devastated when her catamaran is damaged following a hurricane. She’d done all she could to batten it all down, but another boat broke free of its moorings and crashed into the hull. The extensive damage is going to be expensive and time-consuming to repair, and insurance won’t pay for her lost charters.

Jonathan Allen meets Hartley at the harbor master’s office. He sees her frustration over the delays in even getting an estimate on the repair, so he volunteers to take a look. Jonathan and his long-time friend, Cruz Ramos, own a repair and restoration business that rather new in the area. They are also Master Dominants at the BDSM club, Blasphemy, and they have a kink for sharing their women.

Cruz knows the look he’ll see on Jonathan’s face when he’s called for an impromptu inspection of Hartley’s boat. Jonathan always did love to rescue a lady–and Cruz fair aches to have that look of interest directed at himself…even if he can’t voice that desire to his best friend. Coming out as bi would cause his parents to shun him, and might make Jonathan pull away too. If the only way Cruz can be intimate with Jonathan is through Hartley, well, he’d take that option anytime, anyplace.

In order to make Hartley’s schedule deadline Jonathan and Cruz take on the job immediately, and pour in extra hours on the repair. Hartley’s got nothing else to do, and she’s attracted to both men–and thoroughly grateful for their willingness to help her–so she spends long hours in the cramped confines of the boat sweating out the work. And, teasing them, and being teased in return. Through a mutual friend Hartley learns about Jonathan and Cruz’s sexual kink, and she’s not averse. In fact, once they make their desire to take her between them known, she’s down for it. They don’t let fun get in the way of work, however there’s a christening of the repaired boat that might melt the touched up paint… O.O

The story is told from alternating points of view, with all three sharing the page. Its an erotic read, but a quick one; I wished to have a little more time with all the characters, and not just between the sheets, though that was some fun sexytimes. This is a MMF read, so expect Jonathan and Cruz to have some close encounters of the male kind with Hartley’s full consent and avid interest. It all goes pretty quickly, and a little more hesitation or scenes that involved Cruz’s struggle would have nicely rounded things out. We do get a little bit of Blasphemy here, and a set-up for another erotic romance–a tie-in to anther author’s (Jennifer Probst’s Steele Brothers) series, if that floats your catamaran.

For me, I liked it bunches, and if my only complaint is “I Want More!” well, that’s hardly a knock. Definitely a book that can be enjoyed one-handed. 😉

Interested? You can find THEIRS TO TAKE on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…

12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

“A searingly sexy story with some of the hottest scenes I’ve read in a long, long time. Laura Kaye shows her mastery of the BDSM world. I’m eagerly anticipating more in this bold new series!”
~ Cherise Sinclair, NYT Bestselling Author of the Masters of the Shadowlands Series

“Smoldering and sexy, Laura Kaye’s Blasphemy series is everything I look for in a romance. Haunted heroes and strong heroines populate this one of a kind club and I can’t wait to see the big bad Doms fall one by one.”
~ Lexi Blake, NYT Bestselling Author of the Masters and Mercenaries Series

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a gift box filled with the first three books in the series and book swag.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Laura Kaye - author picAbout the Author:
Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Catch up with Laura on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or her newsletter.

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Historically Sexy HIS HAND-ME-DOWN COUNTESS–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand “spanking” new historical BDSM mystery/romance from Sorcha Mowbray. HIS HAND-ME-DOWN COUNTESS is the first book in a new Lustful Lords series and features an unexpected earl and the danger he faces, as well as his late-brother’s fiance, whom he is expected to marry–now that he’s inherited the title.

About the book:
His brother’s untimely death leaves him with an Earldom and a fiancée. Too bad he wants neither of them…
Theodora Lawton has no need of a husband. As an independent woman, she wants to own property, make investments and be the master of her destiny. Unfortunately, her father signed her life away in a marriage contract to the future Earl of Stonemere. But then the cad upped and died, leaving her fate in the hands of his brother, one of the renowned Lustful Lords.

Achilles Denton, the Earl of Stonemere, is far more prepared to be a soldier than a peer. Deeply scarred by his last tour of duty, he knows he will never be a proper, upstanding pillar of the empire. Balanced on the edge of madness, he finds respite by keeping a tight rein on his life, both in and out of the bedroom. His brother’s death has left him with responsibilities he never wanted and isn’t prepared to handle in the respectable manner expected of a peer.

Further complicating his new life is an unwanted fiancée who comes with his equally unwanted title. Saddled with a hand-me-down countess, he soon discovers the woman is a force unto herself. As he grapples with the burden of his new responsibilities, he discovers someone wants him dead. The question is, can he stay alive long enough to figure out who’s trying to kill him while he tries to tame his headstrong wife?

How about a little taste?

London, May 1860

Stone heard the butler intone his name and title loudly enough for all of London to hear, let alone the population of the Devonses’ ballroom. Had anyone suggested three years ago he would bear the family title, Earl of Stonemere, never mind be contemplating his future nuptials, he would certainly have laughed. True, he never actually laughed anymore, but he certainly would have found such a claim incredulous.

It was no longer an amusing matter.

Having survived the receiving line, he eased through the crowded ballroom. Every few feet, he stopped to speak with one acquaintance or another. Not so long ago, these same people would have been running for the hills and hiding their daughters. But fate, a fickle mistress to say the least, had other plans.

Moving with a quickness born of desperation, he barely acknowledged the next three men as the heat from the crowd paired with the stench of perfumes and body odor to choke him. After his service in India, crowded entertainments such as a ball had grown difficult to endure. The press of bodies and the loud murmur of conversation punctuated by the occasional shrill laugh smothered him, too similar to the roar of battle and the cries of the dying.

Moving past a swarm of silk skirts, he spotted a dark, hidden alcove, an oasis from the overwhelming onslaught, both real and imagined. If he could shut it down quickly enough, he wouldn’t embarrass himself. If he failed, all of London would learn just how broken he was.

He was an earl. Not a soldier. Never again a soldier.

Once the cool darkness enveloped him, he opened his mouth and drew a breath. His pounding pulse eased as the vise around his chest released and his damp skin dried. After another quarter hour spent tucked away, he believed he could manage the crowd long enough to find his betrothed.

As any good officer would, he had a strategy. Find her, claim his dances, and then await each one either on the balcony or on the dance floor, if required. Even the cardrooms at these soirees bordered on disabling.

He reached for the drapes to his hideaway, but hesitated as two women tittered in the immediate vicinity.

“Why, Gladys, I heard his name announced earlier. I’m certain Matilda invited Stonemere despite all the gossip.”

“I simply cannot imagine what she was thinking,” the one called Gladys said.

“Can’t you? Having one of the Lustful Lords in attendance at your ball? I daresay everyone who is anyone will wish to be able to say they were here. It’s all so deliciously scandalous and yet possible now the unmitigated rake is off the market.” Gladys’s friend sighed with a bit more drama than anyone in their right mind or otherwise would deem necessary.

“Well, one should hope that man can contain himself what with all these poor young virgins parading around. It would serve Matilda right if he debauched each and every one of them while here under her auspices.”

“Oh, do be sensible, Gladys. He could perhaps ruin four or five in one night, but all of them?”

Past ready to find his fiancée and escape his hidey-hole, he stepped out next to the ladies in question, turned to them, and bowed over each of their hands. The shock on their faces far outweighed any notion of good manners on his part. “Why, ladies, you both give me far more credit than I deserve. Even in my heyday of debauchery, I could only service three ladies in a single evening.”

As the two ladies sputtered, he departed their corner. The temptation to turn and wink at the gossipers won out, which caused another round of tittering and sputtering from behind him. Of course, he was well aware of what proper Society called himself and his friends. But the Marquess of Flintshire, Earl of Brougham, Baron Lincolnshire, and Viscount Wolfington—as well as himself—held little regard for polite society. Each of them had learned the hard way that they had no place amongst their peers.

My Review:
This is not a tame historical. If you want that, I have lots to recommend. This, instead, is a lusty, sexy read with a pair of seemingly mismatched lovers who find quite some common ground in the bedchamber–and out of it.

It’s 1860s London, and the newly minted Earl of Stonemere, Achilles Denton (called Stone for the entirety of the book), is loathe to assume his inherited title and responsibilities. He’s a war veteran who suffers night terrors, and also the leader of a social group known as the Lustful Lords–Stone and his four chums who enjoy a good kinky orgy at The Market, a brothel. Stone doesn’t want to give up his carefree ways, but his mother insists that he take a wife and produce an heir. As he’s got no designs on anyone, he decides to marry his late-brother’s fiance, Lady Theodora Lawton, who seems demure and retiring, despite her age advanced age…of twenty-one.

Theo is nothing like what Stone would want, or so he thinks. A fiery spitfire of a woman who could match his lusty ways is nothing that he could have expected considering her excellent manners and superior breeding. ‘Theo’ is, in fact, superiorly headstrong, and doesn’t want a man meddling in her affairs–and she has affairs. She owns both a china factory and an orphanage which she purchased and manages with her own funds. And, she doesn’t want some overbearing man coming in and taking over, ruining her projects. Theo mourned the loss of her fiance, because they were good friends and she sensed he’d allow her leave to live her life as she saw fit, but Stone is another matter entirely. His reputation as a randy rake piques her interest, and the activities of her marriage bed bears no resemblance to the quiet compliance her mother advised. When Stone goes off “on business” two days into their honeymoon, Theo’s sure it’s because he’s after a lover and she’s not equal to the task of bedpartner. So she seeks assistance from the madame who rund The Market to school her in ways to seduce her husband properly.

Oh Theo! Stone is onto her, and it’s a fun bit of a romp that ends with Theo receiving her first, of many, spankings as Stone schools her himself, and quite lustfully. Expect a light bit of BDSM as Stone and Theo work the kinks into their marriage. The book begins with an orgy in The Market and includes public indecency, the (im)proper defiling of a countess, and loads and loads of…sated, happy endings. There’s a side plot of who keeps trying (and failing!) to kill Stone as he’s off on his daily errands. Being knocked into cart paths, and attacked by hooligans, Stone’s life is in certain jeopardy–and it’s down to Theo to make sure her lustful husband lives to greet their firstborn.

The tone of the book is erotic from the outset, and it’s a fun, sexy read. In many ways it’s an historical rom-com which includes elements of BDSM and some suspense. There’s no doubt I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, and I expect it will steam up my ereader in quite the same delicious fashion.

Interested? You can find HIS HAND-ME-DOWN COUNTESS on Goodreads, Amazon (US, UK, CA and AU) Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo and GooglePlay.

About the Author:
Sorcha Mowbray is a mild mannered office worker by day…okay, so she is actually a mouthy, opinionated, take charge kind of gal who bosses everyone around; but she definitely works in an office. At night she writes romance so hot she sets the sheets on fire! Just ask her slightly singed husband.

She is a longtime lover of historical romance, having grown up reading Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. Then she discovered Thea Devine and Susan Johnson. Holy cow! Heroes and heroines could do THAT? From there, things devolved into trying her hand at writing a little smexy. Needless to say, she liked it and she hopes you do too!

For more information about Sorcha, please visit her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads. Join Sorcha’s newsletter to be the first to hear about upcoming releases. She’s loves hearing from her readers.

Recognizing Truth ONE LIFE TO LOSE–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a M/M/M menage thriller romance from Kris Ripper. ONE LIFE TO LOSE is the fourth book in the author’s Queers of La Vista series, and brings the murder mystery introduced in GAYS OF OUR LIVES, THE BUTCH AND THE BEAUTIFUL and really discussed in THE QUEER AND THE RESTLESS to it’s ultimate conclusion. The featured characters are a shy, antisocial movie house owner and the committed younger couple who want him as a partner.

one-life-to-loseAbout the book:
Cameron Rheingold is the kind of guy who takes a book to a bar. He’s a loner by nature, but he has to engage with the community to keep his movie theater business afloat. When two young men stay after a Cary Grant film showing to chat, Cameron thinks he might have made some new friends—but their interest is more than friendly.

Josh is charismatic, and every smile is a little bit seductive. Keith is sweet and kind, with a core of steel Cameron can sense even when Keith’s on his knees. Cameron is willing to be the couple’s kinky third, but that’s it. He refuses to risk complicating things with his growing devotion, even if being with Josh and Keith feels more right than anything else ever has.

When the three of them are attacked by the killer roaming La Vista, Cameron must decide what’s more important: pretending the assault never happened and he’s the same loner he used to be, or coming clean to Josh and Keith about how much he loves them, even if they can never return his feelings.

My Review:
This is the fourth book in a series and best enjoyed when read in order due to continuing characters and a murder-mystery plotline.

Cameron Rheingold is a single gay man operating his family legacy, the Rhein Theater, one of those lovely throw-back moviehouses of yore. He grew up in the theater, helping at the ticket booth, and concessions, and being a part of the mix. His parents and grandparents are long gone, and he’s not about to let their theater fade away; it’s his touchstone. As a way to build interest, he decides to offer a series of Cary Grant showings on Saturday evenings–which feature the movie, a brief lecture and refreshments.

This is where he meets Josh and Keith. These young men are opening an LGBT drop-in center, to help the queer youth of La Vista find shelter from life’s problems. They have starry eyes and big hearted dreams, and well, they want Cameron to become involved. It’s not what Cam thinks, however. They are attracted to him, and in their D/s life together, they want a third–to help discipline Josh the way he desires.

It throws staid Cam into a bit of shock. He doesn’t consider himself to be a sexy man, and his nature is to walk away rather than charge forward, but there’s something so magnetic about Josh and Keith–and they are so loving to both each other and himself, that Cam finds their offer to be irresistible. Unfortunately, this draws the attention of the La Vista Killer–for reasons I don’t want to spoil. This serial killer has been murdering outre members for the queer community for the past eight months, and there are no leads. One of Cam’s few friends has recently been murdered, and it’s not long before Cam finds himself in the killer’s path.

Thing is, this experience–surviving the attack–should bond Cam, Josh and Keith together. And, it doesn’t. Not at first. The investigation is rough, and it seems both Cam or Josh might be under suspicion due to Keith’s BDSM “injuries,” and Cam can’t find any peace at night away from his lovers. He feels especially guilty that they got drawn into the attack, and won’t go to Josh and Keith’s home for fear of leading another predator in their path. His isolation is complete, and heartbreaking. But, love does find a way. Cam figured he was just the “side bit” to their love–until Josh and Keith make it very clear that he’s a part of them, one they are unwilling to live without.

I really dug the full-circle nature of this one, how the killer is brought out, how he stalks his victims, how Cam suffers PTSD in the wake of the attack. It’s very thorough as a thriller. Cam and his boys, Josh and Keith, are a loving trio, yet I got how Cam was so afraid of loving and losing that he always kept his emotional distance. I can imagine being the third to enter a menage would incur that level of self-scrutiny. The sexytimes aren’t terribly steamy, and the BDSM is brief, more discussion than page-time activity, but there’s a sweetness to this trio that’s really engaging. I always love when a loner finds love; that’s one of my big thrills. The way the Cary Grant movies were part of the drama was also cool, and having a movie house in my town, I loved that retro-made-hip aspect, too.

As a series, we’ve been through a lot of variations of the queer community, and I’ve found it sensitive and interesting. The killer isn’t someone I’d have expected, and his viewpoint is one I’ve not encountered much, but I do get glimpses of it now and again in the media. It startled me, but that’s okay; I like being surprised. Good thing Cam, Josh and Keith made it through, because I was fearing a complete melt-down tragedy for a few moments there…

That said, this ends with a satisfying happy ending, and I look forward to the next book.

Interested? You can find ONE LIFE TO LOSE on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and has no pronoun preference, but the z-based pronouns are freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

Catch up with Kris on zir website, Goodreads, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Getting It Right READING THE SIGNS–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for newly released M/M sports romance from Keira Andrews. I’ve always admired Ms. Andrews’ contemporary romances, be they Amish (A FORBIDDEN RUMSPRINGA) or disaster-related (BEYOND THE SEA), but I really fell hard for the yummy older/younger, slightly kinky, love affair that bloomed between pitcher and catcher in READING THE SIGNS.

signsAbout the book:
This hot-headed rookie needs discipline—on and off the field.
Pitcher Nico Agresta is desperate to live up to his family’s baseball legacy. Since he was a teenager crushing on his big brother’s teammate, he’s known he can’t act on his desires. His father’s made it clear there should be no queers on the field, but if Nico can win Rookie of the Year like his dad and brother did, maybe he can prove he’s worthy after all.

At 34, veteran catcher Jake Fitzgerald just wants to finish out his contract and retire. His team doesn’t have a prayer of making the playoffs, but who needs the stress? Jake lost his passion for the game—and life—after driving away the man he loved, and he swore he’d never risk his heart again.

Then he’s traded to a team that wants a vet behind the plate to tame their new star pitcher. Jake is shocked to find the gangly kid he once knew has grown into a gorgeous young man. But tightly wound Nico’s having trouble controlling his temper in his quest for perfection, and Jake needs to teach him patience and restraint on the mound.

When their push and pull explodes into the bedroom, Nico and Jake will both learn how much they’ll risk for love.

This gay sports romance features men who have been repressing their feelings far too long, light BDSM, an age difference, sweaty locker rooms, and a happy ending.

My Review:
I absolutely loved this delicious, slightly kinky, M/M baseball romance.

Jake Fitzgerald is a seasoned veteran catcher in the big leagues, and he’s got a comfortable life playing for a team that’s never in contention come October. While closeted, Jake has a casual arrangement with a married couple who enjoy a third now and again. He never has to worry about the only man he ever loved, his ex-best friend Brandon, who was long ago traded to Toronto. He doesn’t have to worry at all, really. His mother has long encouraged him to come out and find a suitable life partner, but Jake doesn’t want to get hurt, not like when Brandon found the love of his life and married her. Jake wants to go through the motions of life, hiding his heart and his true self from the limelight until he retires in a couple seasons.

Until he’s traded to Ottawa. To a young expansion team hungry to make the playoffs and needing a cool head behind the plate to guide their hot-shot pitchers, especially Nico Agresta.

Nico is a rookie, having a stellar season on the mound, except for his temper. Once he loses control, even for a moment, he piles all his mistakes into an unscalable mountain. And, his casually homophobic father never lets up on Nico. A retired Hall of Famer, Al Agresta is ready with six comments on how Nico can improve his performance the second Nico steps off the mound. Nico’s quietly grateful that he plays in Ottawa, and not Chicago like his elder brother, just so he gets a break from their father’s scrutiny. Not that Nico ever stops berating himself. For not being straight, or for being the reason his mother died. He’s only more unsettled when Jake joins the team and begins working with him regularly. Jake was Nico’s first crush–years ago Jake and Nico’s brother played together, and Jake spent many a Sunday dinner at their house. It was natural for Jake to take Nico under his wing and help him with his fastball. Now, Nico’s ashamed of all the fantasies he’d built around Jake as a horny teen–and he’s mortified to find himself only more attracted as a grown, and sexually unsatisfied, man. He’s been with lots of women, hoping to find one that would spark more than just a perfunctory release, but one smile from Jake has him panting. He can’t escape his lust–which turns Nioc’s anxiety setting up to 20.

Jake and Nico reconnect, and Jake can’t help finding this all-grown version of Nico completely enticing. That he’s a brat in the clubhouse isn’t appealing however, and one incendiary moment burns both of their better sense to ashes. Nico’s attitude needs immediate correction, and Jake’s dominant hackles have been raised. The rest is whoa.

They know they can’t mess around near the team, but the peace Nico gains when Jake takes control is more than he can give up. Expect a little bit of kink. Spanking, dominating, a little bondage. Reminded me of BULL DURHAM, how Annie gets Nuke to think of other things on the mound so he can just throw the ball. Jake doesn’t make him “respect the streak” or anything. They develop a closeness that neither man had ever experienced before, even if it’s all behind closed doors. Even if it means Jake putting up with Al’s homophobic tripe at a home-cooked dinner when Ottawa comes to Chi-Town.

I absolutely loved the slow burn, and multi-layered characters. Al’s not a bad guy–he’s antiquated and old school, think Yogi Berra with a chip on his shoulder. But, when he learns the truth of Nico and his sexuality, Al reconsiders. Al measures his words, and the impact they had on his youngest child. Al…changes. It’s not miraculous, but there is improvement. And, when news breaks regarding Nico and Jake, well, Nico has his dad’s love and fierce protection in a way he’d never dreamed possible. People talk about mama bears–Al Agresta is freaking grizzly. I also loved how Jake came to terms with his past mistakes, and mends the friendships he’d wounded in silence, and intent. I also really liked how his attitude changed regarding baseball. He started out jaded and willing to coast, but the season in Ottawa sparked his love of the game again.

I loved the book, because it felt real and wild. I do hope the MLB would support it’s out players in the way Nico and Jake were, and fans would be as spectacular IRL as in fiction.

Interested? You can find READING THE SIGNS on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, AllRomance, and Smashwords.

Keira AndrewsAbout the Author:
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

You can catch up with Keira on her website, Facebook, twitter, and Goodreads.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Living An Undefined Life: GAYS OF OUR LIVES–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release day review for a new contemporary M/M romance form Kris Ripper. GAYS OF OUR LIVES is the first in a new series of contemporary LGBTQ romances that are built soap-opera-style around the queer community in La Vista, California. I really enjoyed it.

Gays of Our LivesAbout the book:
Emerson Robinette only leaves his apartment to get laid and go to work. Having MS—and trying to pretend he doesn’t—makes everything more complicated, especially his fantasies of coming on strong and holding a guy down. Finding a partner who’ll explore that with him isn’t Emerson’s idea of a realistic goal.

Until a chance meeting with a hipster on a bus makes him reconsider. Obie is happy, open-hearted, and warm; what’s more, he gets his kicks being physically dominated, spanked, and teased until he’s begging. It would be perfect, except for one thing: Emerson isn’t made for happiness, and he doesn’t see how a guy like Obie would settle for a cynic like him.

But as far as Obie’s concerned, the only thing keeping them apart is Emerson. Can Emerson handle a boyfriend who’s more invested in his future than he is? Emerson’s barely convinced he has a future. But when Obie’s smiling at him, anything seems possible.

My Review:
Emerson is a 28 year old man who learned he had MS (multiple sclerosis) just under a year ago. He’s not at all happy. Nope. He has no family connections, one solid friend, and one close acquaintance. He teaches English language classes and GED-prep classes at a community center, in addition to some other administrative tasks. The random pain and general fatigue of MS, in Emerson’s experience, has soured much of everything for him. Even sex, because he’d love to be the dominant lover he admires from porn. But, he’s wasting away and barely able to keep himself upright, most days. So how can he manhandle a lover into submission, huh?

It’s not super trendy to be the bitter cripple, but sometimes I can’t help it. I hate this. I hate that I can’t trust my body. I hate that there’s no cure. I hate that some people with MS seem totally fine, like you can’t tell their body is betraying them, and I’m this skinny prick who can’t even get sucked off in a bathroom without falling apart.
I didn’t bang my head into the wall. Self-pity is so much prettier when you don’t have blood running down your face.

Emerson meets Obie on his bus to work. The attraction is instant, and infuriating. Obie’s a hipster and still over-friendly. He wants Emerson, and that only gets stronger when he recognizes Emerson’s got a kinky streak. I must say, Obie is a treasure. His positivity rattles Emerson, sets him emotionally off-balance time and again. Where Emerson would like to curl up in a ball, Obie’s determined to pull him out of himself. That was so endearing. And, I loved Emerson’s response to Obie–most of the time.

Then he was kissing me, and yeah, give me fucking more of that. I bit lightly on his lower lip and he grabbed my waist.
Not so much, son. I shifted my weight and turned both of us, leading with my right leg, until I could press him against the door.
He groaned. And, god, he had a sexy groan.

I get having a chronic illness. I get being depressed about it. Emerson wallows, and I got that, too. I dug how Obie turned his world around, made Emerson realize that, yeah, MS sucks, but it doesn’t have to define you. They have some pretty intense sexytimes, where Emerson turns Obie inside out, in ways he hadn’t quite envisioned, but still were thoroughly satisfying. Obie’s a real creative sort–and I don’t exclusively mean in the bedroom. His attention and his compassion give Emerson the license to confide, to depend upon another person in ways he hasn’t done since being a young child. See, Emerson is wound so tight, he’s trapped in a shroud of self-sufficiency, and I absolutely related to his inability to ask for help. Having a steady partner, like Obie, opens Emerson so that he reaches out for more help when its needed–and he even offers help to others, notably Obie’s psuedo-sister, the very pregnant, not-so-happy, Mildred. Mildred is an emotional mirror of Emerson, and they bond over their collective misery.

The book moved in ways I enjoyed, especially as I hadn’t predicted them. I pretty much lost my heart to Obie, much the same as Emerson, and I was so glad that they had an HEA. It also looks as if Emerson has found himself more than a boyfriend, he’s constructed a new family that accepts him as he is, even if he isn’t rainbows and sunshine and never will be.

Interested? You can find GAYS OF OUR LIVES on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

There’s a Riptide-organized blog tour featuring excerpts and insights–and you can enter to win by commenting on the listed blogs. Kris is offering a book from zir backlist as the prize. So, check it out!

About the Author:
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and has no pronoun preference, but the z-based pronouns are freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

Catch up with Kris on zir website, Goodreads, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Needing To Be ROPED IN–A Review

Hi there. Today I’m sharing a review for a sexy cowboy M/M romance novella from LA Witt and Marie Sexton. ROPED IN is an enemies-to-lovers story that pits a skittish closeted cowboy against an eager animal rights activist. Expect skilled roping, of the submissive kind….

Roped InAbout the book:
Graham and his roping partner, Jackson, have been friends since they were boys. They’ve ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. He’s also tired of being in love with Jackson, and nothing’s been the same between them since their disastrous drunken encounter the year before.

Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. But he’s also a know-it-all, animal-loving vegan, bent on saving the world one cow at a time. They have next to nothing in common, but Graham can’t stop thinking about what might happen if they can stop butting heads long enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, no matter how attracted Graham is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off. But Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.

All they need is a bit of rope.
(Note: This is a re-edited second edition of a previously published title.)

My Review:
I really enjoyed this enemies-to-lovers M/M romance.

Graham is a cowboy, or horseman, through and through. He owns his own horse ranch and training stable and competes in team roping rodeo events with his childhood best friend, Jackson. He’s long harbored a crush for Jackson, but he’s been surrounded by super-macho cowboys his whole life, and Jackson–despite one botched, drunken experience nearly a year ago–is staunchly hetero. Plus, there’s tons of homophobia in their circle. Graham is unwilling to come out, but–at 30 years of age–he’s tired of being alone. One major obstacle for him to overcome is his fear of intimacy. Methinks it’s some inbred self-loathing homophobia that keeps Graham from sealing the deal, but he’s never been able to have sex. He’s stricken by a panic attack anytime he gets close to a man–which is why his tryst with Jackson was aborted.

While out at an event, Graham is so upset by the animal rights protesters that are (loudly) picketing the rodeo and spooking his horse, he lights into one of the protesters, Kaz. And, bam! He’s never been attracted to smallish, academic-type men, but something about Kaz strikes an unexpected spark. Kaz later takes Graham up on his offer to meet at a local bar to actually discuss the issues the protesters have with the rodeo. This meeting is enlightening.

Kaz is a grad student learning all about non-profit management. He’s sickened by the inhumane activity of sport rodeo–particularly calf-roping. He agrees to meet Graham and is surprised it’s not a set-up for his own bashing. He hadn’t expected Graham would find him attractive. Graham’s anxiety intrudes, however, and it’s Kaz who takes Graham in hand, er, in rope. Yep, it seems Kaz likes a bit of kink, and Graham thrives under bondage and submission.

This isn’t all sweaty sexytimes, but, there’s lots of those packed into this short novel/novella. No, Graham has some reckoning to make with Jackson–who, man, I can’t give it away, but DANG! It’s so bittersweet!!! I need there to be some resolution to that situation.

Naturally, while Graham and Kaz are of single purpose in the bedroom, they are still divided on the rodeo issue. And, when Graham recognizes Kaz’s unwillingness to budge, he doesn’t bother to tell him when his own feelings change. It looks like Graham might be a forever single, but Kaz reaches out in a moment of equine need–and a new partnership is forged. One in which both Graham and Kaz can equally participate. I really loved how Kaz had to trust Graham’s knowledge and experience regarding the ethical–if sometimes dubious-appearing–treatment of horses. It was a moment of acknowledgement that Graham had doubted ever arriving. (Disclaimer, I’m not necessarily sympathetic to the Animal Rights Movement, so I really identified with Graham in these scenes.)

I so liked how these guys filled a need in the other, and expect that they will make it, though I really would have liked a longer story so I could see how they did fare after their reunion.

Also, I need Jackson’s story. So, uh, let me know when it’s written, k? K.

Interested? You can find ROPED IN on Goodreads, Riptide Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Authors:
Lauren Gallagher is an abnormal romance writer who has recently been exiled from the glittering utopia of Omaha, Nebraska, to an undisclosed location in South America. Along with her husband, a harem of concubines, and a phosphorescent porcupine, she remains, as always, in hiding from the Polynesian Mafia. For the moment, she seems to have eluded her nemesis, M/M romance author L.A. Witt, but figures L.A. will eventually become bored with the wilds of Spain and come looking for her. And when that time comes, Lauren will be ready. Assuming L.A. doesn’t have her hands full keeping track of Lori A. Witt and Ann Gallagher, which she probably will.

Visit her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Visit Marie’s website, follow her on twitter, friend her on Facebook, or join her for Coffee and Porn in the Morning.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!