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!

Heart and Soul: DAMNED IF YOU DO-A Review

Hi there! Today I want to share a review for a sweet supernatural M/M romance from Marie Sexton. You know I adored WINTER ORANGES, so I had to go back for another of her tales. DAMNED IF YOU DO is a story of a devil (or demon, whatevs) in danger of being demoted if he doesn’t harvest some souls. And, man it’s a problem when he falls for the guy whose soul he’s determined to collect.

Damned If You DoAbout the book:
The path to temptation is paved with a hellish amount of paperwork.
Soul acquisition is a drag, but if Abaddon doesn’t catch up on his quota, he could be demoted to scooping poop for the Hounds of Hell. With a deadline hanging over him, he heads for the Bible Belt, looking for the perfect combination of sweetness and challenge.

Seth is a blind musician, part of a traveling tent revival. He’s cute, mystically talented, and quotes the Bible at every turn. His soul is pure enough to fill Abaddon’s quota for months to come, and Abaddon is determined to claim it.

The problem? There’s the revival foreman who watches Abaddon’s every move. Then there’s the mystery of Seth’s many unusual talents. Lastly, there’s Abaddon himself. He’s beginning to like Seth a bit too much. Maybe Seth deserves something better than damnation.

But Hell’s agenda isn’t negotiable, and time is running out. If Abaddon doesn’t play his cards right, he could condemn both of them to the worst fate of all—an eternity apart.

Warning: Contains a Bible-quoting twink and an irreverent devil who’ll do anything to avoid going “back to the office”. Also, snakes. Lots and lots of snakes.

My Review:
Abaddon’s a mid-level devil who’s required to collect a certain quota of souls, but not all souls are equal. Like, corrupting one pure soul is worth more than a dozen athletes dying to Go Pro…for example. Abaddon really dislikes soul harvesting. He avoids it, at all cost, but he’s gotten a warning due to his lack of productivity and is due to be demoted if he doesn’t get one soul in the next month.

So, Abaddon searches high-and-low for a sterling soul, one that will push his quota far back. He locates one such soul, a shining beacon of a man, in Seth. Seth is the blind virtuoso who plays for a tent revival group which travels the southeastern US. He’s also more than just a man–as Abaddon soon learns.

Seth is 21, innocent, sweet and complete catnip for Abaddon. His soul-hunger is off the charts whenever he’s near Seth. Seth was an orphan, dropped at the doorstep of the revival, and adopted by the late revival master. He gets along with his surrogate family, and truly believes in the word of The Lord, but he wants a true love, and he’s both a virgin and gay. It’s interesting and cool that the revivalists are totally unaffected by that. The more time Abaddon spends in Seth’s presence, the more he begins to realize that Seth is mystical in a way that’s nearly unheard of. I don’t want to give too much away, but expect trials with snakes and faith healing that works.

In the meantime, Abaddon is plotting his harvest of Seth’s soul, and he’s also really wrecked over it. How can he condemn such a good man to an eternity in Hell? There are surely things Abaddon can trade Seth to make his human life more bearable, but will Seth accept them, knowing these gifts come from a Devil’s hand? As atonement, Abaddon plans to pull every string he can to ensure that he and Seth will be able to connect in Hell, and spend their eternity together. It’s still cold comfort for Abaddon…

It’s a quick read and an interesting story. I do love me a conflicted devil, and Abaddon is really a fun character to enjoy. The scenes in Hell are amusing and made me chuckle many a time. The unfolding romance was tender and touching, and I swooned for Seth just as hard as Abaddon did. I hadn’t quite predicted the full path of this book, which charmed me, as a reader. I loved the positive portrayal of the revivalists, and the stalwart and battle-ready chaperone that Seth and Abaddon had to avoid whenever they wanted some alone-time. There’s a heady build up of sexual tension, and a sweet love that’s on the page.

Interested? You can find DAMNED IF YOU DO on Goodreads, Samhain Books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and AllRomance. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

Marie SextonAbout the Author:
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 my friends, and keep reading!

Life and Love Beyond the WINTER ORANGES–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for WINTER ORANGES, a paranormal M/M Christmas romance from Marie Sexton. This is a tender romance between a “washed up” child star and the time-trapped man who “haunts” his guesthouse. Check out the cover below, and get a hint for the paranormal aspect which is handled amazingly!

It’s really such a lovely story, and has a great feel-good vibe to it. I highly recommend.

Please note that twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.

Winter OrangesAbout the book:
Jason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of LA, and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.

There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.

But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.

My Review:
This is a beautiful, Christmas, paranormal M/M romance.

Jason is a Hollywood-has-been, a former child star who’s become a B-list actor in slasher flicks, and he’s plain tired of it. The tabloids have been hounding him for years, capturing and exaggerating every foible of his life, so Jason’s moved out to rural Idaho to escape and regroup. He’s got one close friend (with benefits) Dylan, who Jason has secretly loved for the better part of ten years. Dylan’s bisexual, and not the monogamous type. He gives Jason what he can, which is never enough.

While moving in, Jason observes a stranger in his guest house. Believing it’s paparazzi, Jason calls the local sheriff, but no one is found. It is then that Jason realizes that he is the only person who can see the man looking back at him through the guest house window. A ghost then?

Not so much.

Ben, as Jason soon learns, was trapped in a snow globe by his sister, to avoid enlistment into the Confederate Army. Yup. Ben is 170 years old, and has spent 150 years trapped in the barren landscape of the scene in the globe. Jason is the first person he has spoken to since the Union deserter stole him from his family home in Tennessee.

This is a paranormal romance, and one must make some leaps of faith to love this story, but only in the scientific realm. The emotional landscape is richly textured, and the realities of Ben and Jason’s growing affection are well-sorted by the author. Over the course of two months, Jason and Ben become very close indeed, and it leads to big trouble.

Dylan is afraid that Jason’s losing his mind, and at times Jason agrees. One thing is for certain, Jason cannot imagine his life without Ben–and he doesn’t want to. Experimenting with their boundaries leads to health problems for Jason, however.

I will admit to sensing the exact path this story was going to take, and that’s totally fine because the journey was excellent. I didn’t want to miss a step, walking beside Ben and Jason on their snowy treks or movie theater escapades or dreamscapes. These are two guys who needed real love, true acceptance, and they gave and gave and gave of themselves–to each other. Jason could have easily thrown Dylan off his suspicions by simply giving in to his normal relations with Dylan, but once he had developed intimacy with Ben, he couldn’t accept Dylan’s less-than-ardent advances.

Throughout the book I has a sense of expectation, for both disaster and happiness, and both were satisfied. The climax is a bit of a thriller, and the epilogue made me chuckle. I wanted a little bit more sexytimes, but, hey, the book has tons of emotional moments, so my heart soared and plummeted along with Jason’s. I wished I had the chance to know Ben’s sister Sarah. She seems like a fantastic gal.

In all, this is a most enjoyable paranormal read, with a great small cast and a love that defied all boundaries.

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

Marie SextonAbout the Author:
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 my friends, and keep reading!