Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: Packing Heat by Kele Moon

Guest Review by Buggy
Packing Heat by Kele Moon
Loose-Id
Short Novella: 92pgs
Rating: 4/5

Blurb:
Dark and brooding firefighter Brad Archer has spent months denying his attraction to his roommate, Police Officer Gavin Connolly. Gavin is just the kind of guy he likes, tall, tough and buff enough to actually handle Brad’s big size and rough nature.

To hide his real feelings Brad holds the handsome, seemingly straight cop at arms length until a shooting at work leaves Gavin a little too vulnerable to ignore. What starts out as a simple attempt to comfort his roommate blows up into something wild, sexual and wholly unexpected when Gavin wants more from Brad than a strong, firefighter’s shoulder to lean.

The sexual magnetism drawing the two of them together forces secrets to be revealed and though the sex is mind-blowing it may not be worth weathering the storms their relationship could stir up. In order to protect him Brad realizes he loves Gavin enough to let him go. The problem is—The stubborn cop may not let him.


Review:
Well this was a fine little erotic romance. My first Kele Moon story but definitely not my last, there’s just so much to like here. Well written with memorable characters, smoking hot love scenes, just the right amount of dirty talk to make it interesting and for a novella enough plot and back story to hold it together and really give you a feel for the characters other then just who likes to bottom. I also tend to like my M/M with manly men and Packing Heat gave me that and how, with two very alpha, very masculine, very sexy men in uniform.

Actually for such a smut filled short story I was surprised by the depth of character we got. Brad’s horrific outing as a teenager, fear of commitment and unique sexual hang-ups were definitely a bonus and Gavin’s admission of “The older he got the more he leaned toward the gay side of bisexual” just made me realize that dating is fucking confusing no matter what your orientation.

Police officer Gavin Connolly is shitfaced. A recent shooting at work has left him with some unexpected leave and now he’s got too much time to think. Too much time to worry about the kid he shot and way too much time to ponder how sexy he finds his roommate. Yeah Brad, his openly gay, gorgeous, firefighter roommate. He’s had a thing for Brad for years. I mean its why he moved in with him in the first place except Brad has never shown the slightest bit of interest. Tonight’s going to be different though, Gavin’s had just the right amount of too much too drink and is also just stressed enough that he’s stopped caring about the consequences. Tonight he’s going to act on the sexual tension that’s been building for months. Sure he may get rejected but he might also get what he’s been dreaming about too.
 
Brad Archer can’t believe that his seemingly straight roommate has just launched himself onto his lips and into his lap. Now he remembers why he keeps his distance from Gavin the guys too fucking handsome for his own good. But his patience only goes so far and months of watching Gavin strut around in a towel have taken him too the limit, if that’s how Gavin wants to play so be it.
 

"You want it from a man? You’re gonna get it the way I like it. Let go of your dick or go find yourself a girlfriend.”
  Yeah this is one hot and naughty little read. There isn’t time for any real story development instead we focus more on what happens after the roomies take their relationship to the next level. Gavin just assumes there’s a future for them and is more then willing to come out. Brad on the other hand has some series issues from his past to deal with and only sees this as a fling especially since Brad is Bi. My favourite scene would have to be when Gavin handcuffs Brad to the bed and forces him to give up control and trust him. It’s kinda heartbreaking actually but also sexy as hell.
 
The I love you’s are fast in coming but still plausible and the epilogue; getting to see their HEA at work in the future was just the icing on the cake. Cheers. 


4 Pants Off

Pearl by Kelly Rand

Pearl by Kelly Rand
Storm Moon Press
Short Story: 24pgs
Rating: 4/5

Blurb:
Edith sleepwalks through a life so normal as to be boring. She lives with her mother, works a mundane job to support them, and makes no waves among the ladies of her sleepy 1920's Canadian town. Secretly, though, she watches the flappers and so-called "loose women" with envy, dreaming of what glamorous lives they must have. And that's before Clark walks into her life.

Clark embodies the world that Edith wishes she could be a part of. He's slick and dangerous and sexy in a way Edith has never experienced. So when Clark offers her a window into his world, she dives through without thinking. On the other side, though, her black and white world explodes into shades of gray, challenging Edith in ways she never imagined.


Review:
This won’t be a long review because Pearl isn’t a very long story, and I wish with all of me that it was longer. There is a beautiful story to be told about Pearl, because I want to know the girl she was, and how he became the man called Clark.

Edith is watching life go by; she would like to be a participant of it but lacks the courage to do so. It’s a life of chores, church going, and the constant bickering of women gossiping. Edith wishes to be like the flappers, with their short hair, short skirts, and cigarettes in hand. To be one of the ‘loose women’ is what Edith wants but fears she will never have.

Then there was Clark, he’s everything Edith wants. With his mysterious aura, and sexy good looks and he’s invited her into his world. Will Edith be able to accept the things Clark is offering, and live the life she has always dreamed.

The writing really captures your attention in a few pages, and Clark will have you wanting to know him. What’s rather important is that we know of Pearl, but he never becomes Pearl as you continue to read. That comes through with Edith descriptions and feelings for the beautiful man. I can picture the 1920’s so clear in my mind, the brink of prohibition and the dangers surrounding it and Clark involved in it all.

There’s something important in this story, just beneath the surface that Clark can easily go back to living as a woman if circumstances demand it, but would that make him any less of a man? It gave me something to think about and I ponder… Overall, really enjoyed this story and wish it were longer. Clark is engraved in my mind, and I look forward to see what else Kelly Rand will offer us.

SideNote- Love that freaking cover. LOVE!

4 Pants Off




Sunday, April 29, 2012

No Pants Day!

Thanks to Chris from Stumbling Over Chaos for bringing this to my attention. As you all know, I am a master of pants losing and color me surprised when I was told there is a No Pants Day O_O this is like some epic shit. I know I talk a lot about pants losing but seriously I usually do not wear pants when I'm home (TMI) I know. Those closest to me are very surprised when they come over and I am wearing pants, they usually associate it with that I'm having the cable guy over or something is seriously wrong (the bastards). So No Pants Day is like the brightest of holidays, cus pants are uncomfortable and why should you wear them all the time?

I even said it to my son, and he replied "why does it matter mommy? You never wear pants anyways". It matters my child, its an uprising for no pants and I want to see people without pants, because it would make my heart feel super happy.

Friday May 4th
*On this remarkable day I will be hosting a Giveaway and I want you to stop by. If you would like to be a sponsor of this most awesmazing giveaway? Please do send me an email, so we can have everyone taking off their pants in excitement.*

What's Happening This Week!



Howdy folks, hope you had a splendid week. Pants Off had an excellent last week with awesome posts, giveaways, and the most traffic its has ever seen. I'm talking like over 2thousand hits in like a few days. It was crazy! So thank you guys for visiting, makes my heart feel super happy.

This week is also a busy one, with lots of author stops, reviews, and more... Also Buggy's first review will be going live, my guest reviewer extrordinaire. There's still time to enter the Josephine Myles blog tour giveaway, you can check the post here. Might see me playing around with my blogger template a bit, so do not be alarmed. So without further rambling, here's what's causing a pants losing this week.

Monday: Review- Pearl by Kelly Rand (really enjoyed this short and wished it was longer)
  • Guest Review: Packing Heat by Kele Moon (Buggy)
Tuesday: Guest Post by Kate McMurray (with link to a giveaway of her hot baseball new release)
  • Guest Post for Pearl by Kelly Rand
Wednesday: Review- Dirty Kiss by Rhys Ford (I loved this one)
  • Review- Learning from Isaac by Dev Bentham (Cute story)
Thursday: Guest Post by Piper Vaughn & M.J O'Shea

Friday: Review- Incognito by Miho Li 
  • Giveaway for No Pants Day (seriously it's freaking a real thing)


*That's it for this week folks! Hope you have a great week with lots of pants losing. Keep it sexy, keep it safe, and have lots of fun.*

Friday, April 27, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Gay Superhero Comics by Josephine Myles

I am soooo excited to have Josephine Myles on the blog today, she is no stranger to Pants Off and it's always a delight to have her here. She is here today talking about her new awesmazing release Handle With Care, which I reviewed previously. Lets give a warm welcome to the fabulous Miss Myles!

Gay superhero comics

I’ve always been drawn to comics—proof I am indeed a geek at heart. However, until I started researching for Handle with Care, I had no idea there was a thriving homoerotic comic book industry out there, and one that had nothing to do with Japanese yaoi manga.

For those of you not in the know, yaoi (or Boy’s Love) comics are written by and for a predominantly female audience and have their own code of conventions, including a highly stylised relationship between seme and uke – literally translated as attacker and receiver. While there are forms of gay manga out there that feature a range of body types and relationships, traditional yaoi is likely to feature lean, adolescent heroes, with the more masculine looking character topping the more feminised one.



I know there are many yaoi fans out there, but I’m not especially drawn to the artwork or stories I’ve sampled so far—I’m very happy to hear your recommendations, though! The yaoi I’ve read just didn’t have the subversive humour and punchy artwork of my all-time favourite graphic novels, such as Jamie Hewlett’s Tank Girl and Garth Ennis’ Preacher.

When I was coming up with the character of skatepunk delivery boy Ollie in Handle with Care, I knew I wanted him to be an idealist and a dreamer. I just needed to find a way of illustrating this. Inspiration came when leafing through Cali Boys, a book of gay comic book artwork by Joe Phillips. His pictures of attractive young men getting it on had certain similarities to the yaoi tradition, but with a distinctly American flavour. Further online investigation revealed that Phillips has illustrated for various mainstream comic book franchises, including Marvel’s X-Men series.




X-Men ended up having a special place in Handle with Care, as being one of the things Ollie and Ben first bond over. Ollie spots a life-size cardboard cut out of Nightcrawler in Ben’s hallway, and offers to lend Ben his X-Men comics. There were several reasons I chose X-Men rather than some other comic book superhero series. Most importantly, in 2009 Marvel made history for publishing the first mainstream comic to feature two established male heroes kissing on page (Rictor and Shatterstar in X-Factor #45). I also knew that because of the movies, X-Men would be easily recognised by the reader. Finally, I chose Nightcrawler to be Ben’s hallway key holder not only because he’s my favourite character in the films, but because he was played by Alan Cumming—an openly bisexual actor.

Ollie eventually developed into an aspiring illustrator himself, penning pornographic superhero pictures. I was heavily influenced by the artist Patrick Fillion, whose incredibly well-endowed heroes caught my eye. It was really difficult to find any “safe” pictures to illustrate this post, as Fillion revels in explicit detail. Do check out his work if you have any interest in finding out the sort of thing I had in mind for Ollie’s artwork!


There is a huge amount of gay comic book artwork out there, and when funds allow, I hope to be able to build myself up a collection to rival Ben’s DVD stash. For now, though, I’ll be choosing my purchases carefully and taking recommendations for books that combine a strong storyline with great artwork.

What about all of you out there? Do you enjoy comics, or have you never been able to see the appeal? Care to share why?


Handle with Care by Josephine Myles – the blog tour

To celebrate the release of my second novel, Handle with Care, I’m on a two week blog tour. A grand prize will be awarded to a randomly chosen commenter during the tour: an exclusive Handle with Care mug (which I’m happy to post worldwide), and a $25 voucher to spend at All Romance eBooks (or alternative ebook retailer of your choice). I’ll make the prize draw on Wednesday 9th May at 9am (GMT), and will announce the winner on my blog. Visit the tour itinerary for a list of all the stops, and comment on each to increase your chances of winning!

http://josephinemyles.com/published-stories/handle-with-care/the-blog-tour/


Blurb:

The best things in life aren’t free…they’re freely given.

Ben Lethbridge doesn’t have many vices left. After raising his little sister to adulthood, he wasted no time making up for the youth he lost to responsible parenting. Two years of partying it up—and ignoring his diabetes—has left him tethered to a home dialysis regimen.

He can do his job from his flat, fortunately, but most of his favourite things are forbidden. Except for DVD porn…and fantasizing over Ollie, the gorgeous, purple-haired skateboarder who delivers it.

Their banter is the highlight of Ben’s lonely day, but his illness-ravaged body is the cruel reality that prevents him from believing they’ll do anything more than flirt. Not to mention the age gap. Still, Ben figures there’s no harm in sprucing himself up a bit.

Then one day, a package accidentally splits open, revealing Ben’s dirty little secret…and an unexpected connection that leaves him wondering if he’s been reading Ollie wrong all this time. There’s only one way to find out: risk showing Ollie every last scar. And hope “far from perfect” is good enough for a chance at love.

Warning: Contains superhero porn comics and a cute, accident-prone delivery guy with colour-changing hair. Readers may experience coffee cravings, an unexpected liking for bad mullets, and the urge to wrap Ollie up and take him home.

Kindle US: http://www.amazon.com/Handle-with-Care-ebook/dp/B0073WI0ZU/ 
Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Handle-with-Care-ebook/dp/B0073WI0ZU/ 
Samhain: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/handle-with-care-p-6754.html

Author Bio:

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo’s website: http://josephinemyles.com/ 
Email: josephine_myles@yahoo.co.uk 
Blog: http://josephinemyles.com/blog/ 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/josephine.myles 
Twitter: @JosephineMyles



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Handle With Care by Josephine Myles

Handle With Care by Josephine Myles
Samhain Publishing
Novel: 191pgs
Rating: 4.5/5

Blurb:
The best things in life aren’t free…they’re freely given.

Ben Lethbridge doesn’t have many vices left. After raising his little sister to adulthood, he wasted no time making up for the youth he lost to responsible parenting. Two years of partying it up—and ignoring his diabetes—has left him tethered to a home dialysis regimen.

He can do his job from his flat, fortunately, but most of his favourite things are forbidden. Except for DVD porn…and fantasizing over Ollie, the gorgeous, purple-haired skateboarder who delivers it.

Their banter is the highlight of Ben’s lonely day, but his illness-ravaged body is the cruel reality that prevents him from believing they’ll do anything more than flirt. Not to mention the age gap. Still, Ben figures there’s no harm in sprucing himself up a bit.

Then one day, a package accidentally splits open, revealing Ben’s dirty little secret…and an unexpected connection that leaves him wondering if he’s been reading Ollie wrong all this time. There’s only one way to find out: risk showing Ollie every last scar. And hope “far from perfect” is good enough for a chance at love. 


Review:
If you know me, you know I love pretty men and beautiful boys. I like them a lot! I also love people, all types of people and I’ve been told by many a friends that I love a lot. So when I read M/M romance, I love all pretty men and the beautiful cocks and all that, but sometimes I just wanna read about love. I read it in Handle With Care, love in it’s purest form that just makes you want to smile and say thanks for writing this.

Ben is ill, and not the flu type of ill but the serious my body needs help to function ill. After taking on the responsibility of raising his younger sister in his teen years, when he was finally able to party on down he went a little crazy. Ben has always known he’s diabetic but that’s didn’t matter when he was getting high, getting drunk, and fucking anything that moved. Well his hard lifestyle caught up to him, with kidney failure and now having to live his life on dialysis. He’s living a half of a life, finding his kicks in porn and the sexy young guy who delivers them. Ben knows nothing can come from lusting after his delivery boy, he’s a broken man with a broken body and what hot young thing would want him?

Ollie the delivery guy is flirting the crap out of Ben, but he doesn’t seem to be getting it or he just can’t believe it. What would this beautiful young man want with a middle-aged sick guy? It’s a series of hot and cold, vicissitudes, and trying to build a relationship in the middle of chaos and crisis.

I really liked Ben he touched me. He felt so real with dealing with his illness and even the events that led up to him becoming being ill just felt like ‘Yeh, that could happen’. He was kind of on the outside looking in, seeing all the bad, and the tubes. With Ollie, he went on the inside and started looking out and up, and realized he has so much to offer.

Ollie was super sweet and fun and just brought the happy. Love his ever-changing hair, and how he loves unconditionally. I am not really a fan of his attitude most of the time, how he is quick to anger and jumps to conclusions. I am also somewhat irked that he was bothered by Ben being hit on by his ex =__= was he jealous for Ben or was he jealous of Ben? That’s still kind of playing in my mind, it bothers me but I still love him.

Overall, I really loved this book! I appreciated that Ben illness wasn’t just glossed over, it was apart of the story and not in a ‘cry me a river’ sort of way, but a real honest portrayal of a man with an illness and how it affects his relationship with the people that matter to him. It’s a real character driven story, and the supporting characters are excellent and provide such a wonderful foundation for our main characters to shine. Awesmazing book from the author once again.

SideNote-
I am irked by Ollie’s past boyfriend making a sleazy appearance. IRKED!!! Also, love the cover could look at it all day.


4 1/2 Pants Off




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Amy Lane (Country Mouse Blog Tour)


I am all kinds of happy in my pants to welcome Amy Lane to Pants Off, in celebration of her joint release Country Mouse with Aleksandr Voinov. I really liked Country Mouse, and you can read my review here. Amy has also brought a great giveaway and you can check the end of this post for the details.


The Joys of Travelling on a Budget
By: Amy Lane 

I forget why this suddenly became so important right before I entered the credentialing program and after I obtained my Bachelor’s degree, but suddenly it was.  Mate and I had been married for a year, and his dad had bailed on the wedding because he didn’t want to make waves with Mate’s mom, and suddenly it was terribly, painfully important for us to visit Mate’s father.  

Mate’s father lived in Delaware at the time.  We live in California.  

We were waiting tables and working in the kitchen at T.G.I. Fridays (yes, it was the late 80’s, why do you ask?) and our income was barely enough to pay my tuition.  The Internet was unheard of, which was a shame, because if anyone needed cheap airline tickets to the east coast, it was us.  We went Greyhound instead. 

Ah, the joys travelling on the bus during the burgeoning age of crack, meth, police corruption and child abuse.  A friend of ours who had grown up in the Texas projects offered us a gun.  Several times.  He just didn’t want us to go through the bus station at Chicago without one.  He seemed to feel it was important, but we declined.  

Our luggage went under the bus, and we brought two small packs, each one contained a wallet, a change of clothes, two pairs of underwear, tapes for the Walkman, a book and a beach towel.  (If only I had known how to knit back then.  I would have finished that trip with at least three pairs of socks.) The beach towels were the best things ever.  Blankets, pillows, things to wipe our hands on—they saved our necks almost as much as the music, especially when the air conditioning broke on the bus between Kansas and Chicago, when the bus was so full it was standing room only.  Hey—something was needed to sop up the sweat. 
  
Anyway, it was dismal.  We lived on vending machines, diet coke and water.  Children were free as long as they sat on their parents’ laps, so parents would board the bus with five kids and not a book or a toy in sight.  They’d bribe their kids with chocolate to stay quiet and then lose their temper when the kids lost their minds on the next three-hour stretch between stops.  Mate and I talked, played games, immersed ourselves in music and books, and generally tried to be happy because we were together. 
  
We were happy we were together.
   
We saw the Purple Mountains Majesty as the bus was climbing the Sierra Nevada, and Amber Waves of Grain as we were crossing Kansas without air conditioning.  I stayed up one night as Mate slept next to me, somewhere in Nebraska, and watched as a violet sky spat heat lightning at a plain that went on to infinity.  We made it through the crowded confines of the Chicago bus station without getting shot—and with a thorough education in how to purchase and disburse illegal substances, should that ever become something we had an interest in.  We saw a transvestite and his girlfriend cuddling sleepily as they caught the morning bus from Pittsburgh to Wilmington, perhaps two places I’d never suspect to see a transvestite, but they seemed happy nonetheless. 

When we were in Pittsburgh, I couldn’t stand it anymore.  I took my pink bandana (which was not a standard gang color, and this was really important in 1990, trust me!) a handful of Boraxo (remember that?  Powdered bleach cleanser that we used to wash our hands?) and a pop-bottle full of water and tried to bathe my pits and my creases in the metal stall of a wooden-floored bathroom while impatient women hammered on the door. While I was in there, Mate called his father from a pay phone and said we were getting close to Wilmington so his dad could pick us up.
   
“Where’s Amy?” his father’s wife asked.
  
“In the bathroom, trying to bathe,” Mate answered. 
  
Mate’s stepmother is from Wales.  She was not aware of the bathroom situation of a bus stop bathroom in Pittsburgh.  “Oh,” she said.  “Isn’t it wonderful that they have facilities like that here?” 

“No,” Mate said.  “No, they really don’t.” 

We arrived in Wilmington exhausted and stinky and desperate for a shower.  My luggage had not made one of our bus transfers.  I got my shower, but I emerged to greet my in-laws wearing my husband’s underwear, his tie-waisted parachute pants with the logo for the Rolling Stones dabbed all over in fluorescent ink, and his largest T-shirt.  Even at my thinnest I, uhm, have a couple of assets that Mate does not.  I, uhm, crossed my arms a lot.   

What followed was a lot of fun!  My luggage eventually arrived, and we had nine days to visit and explore.  We managed to get lost in Baltimore and if you ever saw Homicide: Life on the Streets, you know you did NOT want to take the wrong bus in Baltimore in 1990.  Yup.  Did that.  Lived to tell about it.  (I suggest if you’re ever on a bus in Baltimore, you pay attention to where you need to get off so that you might not experience any undue anxiety in the physical safety department, but I understand Baltimore has gotten a little less scary-nighttime-television-esque since 1990.  I’m saying prayers.) 

So anyway—that was what travelling meant to Mate and I when we were fresh out of college.  It was shoestring living, bathing in the bathroom stall, going through the Chicago bus station without a gun.  It was seat of our pants and a whole lot of faith, common sense, and a belief that we could laugh about almost anything as long as we could walk away from it intact.   
It worked for us.  It gave us one hell of a story.  It was something you do when you’re young and brave.  

It was that sort of attitude that I wanted to give Owen in Country Mouse.  I wanted him to be a little anxious and a little brave, and a lot willing to be impressed by this new and exciting place he’s found himself in.  With that in mind, when he meets Malcolm, he’s ready to be impressed but not run over, enchanted but not taken advantage of, thrilled by something new, but only on his own terms.   

Malcolm does a bang-up job of giving Owen exactly what he needs—but first he has to adjust his thinking.  Just like my in-laws had to accept that the loud-mouthed woman wearing the Rolling Stones pants might actually have something to offer my beloved Mate, Malcolm had to accept that Owen really had enough spine to be someone who matters.  And just like I had to let my in-laws take me to the mall and buy me some clothes (and holy blessed Jebus a frickin bra!), Owen needed to allow Malcolm to take the lead and offer him some blessings from a home that Malcolm loved. 
  
Travelling when you’re young and inexperienced is fun, flighty, and frightening—but it’s also something you put in your back pocket, that doesn’t weigh a thing, and that you can pull out and examine for the rest of your life.   

Hopefully the souvenir that Owen gets in Country Mouse is something he deems worth keeping.  


Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head. She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies. She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.

You can find Amy at:
Her website: Green's Hill 
Her blog: Yarning to Write 
Twitter: amymaclane 
Facebook: Amy Lane


Country Mouse: Owen may be a bit of a country mouse, but he’s loving his vacation in London. After a long day playing tourist, he’s on the hunt for some cheap beer and a good burger. Instead he finds a man hunting him, an arrogant prick with only one thing on the brain: the kind of meat that doesn’t come on a bun. 

Eighty-hour weeks at a trading desk don’t leave Malcolm Kavanagh much time for meaningful relationships. Besides, in his world, everything’s a competition—even sex. When his newest one-night-sub fails to show, Malcolm sets his sights on the pretty young Yank on the bar stool beside him. 

Owen’s all for an adventure with a native, but he’s not the pushover Malcolm thinks he is, and Malcolm’s not as shallow as he tries to be. They both soon learn that nothing's too intimate to share with a stranger, and the strangest things happen when two people share the most important pieces of their hearts. 

*Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov are releasing Country Mouse this week, available from Riptide Books.  If you’d like to win a piece of yummy Country Mouse swag, simply comment on this post and I’ll pick a random commenter to win!*


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Country Mouse by Aleksandr Voinov & Amy Lane

Country Mouse by Amy Lane & Aleksandr Voinov
Riptide Publishing
Short Novella: 79pgs
Rating: 4/5

Blurb:
Owen may be a bit of a country mouse, but he’s loving his vacation in London. After a long day playing tourist, he’s on the hunt for some cheap beer and a good burger. Instead he finds a man hunting him, an arrogant prick with only one thing on the brain: the kind of meat that doesn’t come on a bun.

Eighty-hour weeks at a trading desk don’t leave Malcolm Kavanagh much time for meaningful relationships. Besides, in his world, everything’s a competition—even sex. When his newest one-night-sub fails to show, Malcolm sets his sights on the pretty young Yank on the bar stool beside him.

Owen’s all for an adventure with a native, but he’s not the pushover Malcolm thinks he is, and Malcolm’s not as shallow as he tries to be. They both soon learn that nothing's too intimate to share with a stranger, and the strangest things happen when two people share the most important pieces of their hearts.


Review: 
So some crazy shit happened! Amy Lane and Aleks Voinov wrote a book together. I know what you’re thinking ‘OMFG! Am I gonna die of angst? Will someone be dying, getting raped? Will I be crying; will I throw my e-reader?’ The answer is no folks, you will be freaking smiling and losing your pants all over the place. I can see your shocked faces, the WTF faces, of are we talking about the same Amy Lane and Mr Voinov. It’s them alright, and it comes through in the writing.

Owen is vacationing in Europe, and currently checking out the sites London has to offer. His tour guide, also his ex-girlfriend hooked up with an old flame and Owen has to entertain himself in a city he doesn’t know. He finds himself in a seedy bar, with questionable looking beverages and drinking glasses. Owen says what the heck, might as well just kick it, until the over confident man approaches him and offers him a drink. Owen is unsure if he’s feeling the sexy stranger, but what the hell he’s on vacation.

Malcolm has just been stood up by his sub, when he spots the ‘Yank’ and he’s just looking to get off. He thinks he can top the crap out of Owen cus he has that look, but clearly Malcolm called this one wrong. Owen is so much more than he anticipated, and is bringing out a side in him that he prefers to keep hidden.

The guys hook up, and let me just say hells never been hotter, or sugar any sweeter. Malcolm and Owen pull out surprises and you can see what character belonged to which author.  It’s surprising that the author, who gave us Talker, presented us Owen. Or the man who wrote Silvio blessed us with Malcolm. Though not the same level of memorability, but fuck they are just so much fun. I am talking about going all Julie Andrews with “the hills are alive with the sound of music” birds chirping and just feeling so good you can’t help but smiling.

I have to say that Malcolm is my fave because he pretends to be all toppy and ‘I am an island’ but he just wants to be lurved. Plus, I love a man in glasses it's my very own Krytonite. Owen is so cute, and he might be country but he throws down like a big city boy. We can’t forget that London sets the tone for these guys to fall for each other. The description of all that awesome would have me salivating over my sexy tour guide. And they say Paris is the city of love, obviously they never toured the streets of London.

Overall, I really enjoyed Country Mouse! It made me smile, and lose my pants all in the same bloody paragraph. Owen and Malcolm truly are a delight and I would love to read about them again.

Real Talk:
I am just loving this dynamic duo and I hope they have something for us in the future. If they decide to write the angst, and bring the sad and tortured. I am not worried, I have a defibrillator on hand and I’m not afraid to use it.  


4 Pants Off


Monday, April 23, 2012

The Ronin and the Fox by Cornelia Grey

The Ronin and the Fox by Cornelia Grey
Storm Moon Press
Short Novella: 84pgs
Rating: 4/5

Blurb:
In feudal Japan, Kaede Hajime lives as a vagabond ronin, a samurai without a lord. As he spends the night at a village's inn, the innkeeper begs him to help stop a mischievous kitsune, a fox spirit, plaguing their village. But when he captures the spirit--in the form of a hauntingly beautiful man--Hajime learns that the kitsune has troubles of his own. The pearl that contains the fox's soul has been stolen, leaving him a slave to the new owner, who is forcing him to attack the village.

Hajime agrees to help the fox retrieve the jewel, but living with a fox spirit isn't easy, and the budding trust between them is constantly tested. Kitsune are tricksters above all, and Hajime must decide how much of the story the fox tells him is truth. What's worse, an old comrade of Hajime's is in town, bringing with him the sour memories of Hajime's time as a samurai. Hajime must find a way to locate the thief and steal back the jewel before the thief turns the kitsune's considerable power against him.


Review:
I am so delighted by this story you have no freaking idea. At first, it was somewhat slow for me, but then I pushed on and in no time I couldn’t stop reading. It was entertaining, sexy as feck, and filled with exciting Japanese folklore. I love this story!

Hajime is a ronin, once a samurai but has lost the favour of his lord. While passing through a village an innkeeper recognizes him as a samurai and asks for his help in the capture of a Fox Spirit. Hajime is reluctant to lend help, but he doesn’t want to disappoint the beaming innkeeper.

A fox spirit is known for being mischievous; their crimes can be completely innocent or very dangerous. Well the fox spirit is creating all kinds of trouble in the village, and the people want it gone. Hajime sets out to capture the troublemaker, but he gets a lot more than he bargained for. They never said it would be impossibly hard to resist the sexy little fox.

I loved Katsura the fox; he’s exactly how I would be picture a fox. All cunning, stealth, and with the sexy thrown in. He’s a tricky little bugger but man is he fun. I loved the relationship between him and Hajime, it’s a match made in feudal Japan.

I am happy the author shied away from being completely accurate with histories and such. That would have just bored the feck out of me. I think it was meant to be about opposites attracting, and what’s more opposite than a samurai and a fox. I enjoyed reading this fun little tale, it made me smile.

I have serious feelings for Katsura; he’s a sexy little fox. Fox spirits aren’t a thing of yaoi alone, they just work better in there because we like when pretty men have sex with men with tails *teehee*. The Ronin and the Fox is a fun tale that will leave you begging for a longer stay in Hajime and Katsura's world.

SideNote- The cover is gorgeous and check out that fox, it depicts an actual scene from the book.

4 Pants Off




Sunday, April 22, 2012

What's Happening This Week!

Hey everyone, we meet again. Another week is upon us, the weather is getting all pretty and summery. It seems that with the nice weather Pants Off is getting busier. Its gonna be a funtastic batch of upcoming events that will make everyone super happy. I am super happy!

This week we have some awesmazing authors stopping by with prizes to be had. I hope you stop by and join me and see whats causing a pants losing this week.

Monday: Review- The Ronin and the Fox by Cornelia Grey *I freaking loved this. So fun and originally exciting*

Tuesday: Review- Country Mouse by Amy Lane & Aleksandr Voinov *Well Hell, I think my heart gave out while reading this book*

Wednesday: Amy Lane is stopping by as a part of the Country Mouse blog tour. *Be sure to pop in, there's a great giveaway to be had*

Thursday: Review- Handle with Care by Josephine Myles. *I just love Jo's books*

Friday: Josephine Myles is stopping by as a part of her blog tour for the release of Handle With Care. *Another great giveaway to be had* 


That's it for this week folks! Keep it sexy and don't forget to lose your pants. Enjoy your week!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Under the Gun by Michael Mandrake

Under the Gun by Michael Mandrake
No Boundaries Press
Short Novella: 56pgs
Rating: 3/5

Blurb:
Camdyn Hardy is a former cop who has his own private investigator business. Due to a misunderstanding from a client, he gets into an argument with his lover Tay. Right after, they breakup Camdyn is left alone to think about his future as a PI and his love life.

Malik Day was recently discharged under the DADT policy and is looking to get his life on track The main reason he joined was because he dreamed of being a ranking officer. Now that it’s been taken away, he desires to start his life anew and find someone to share it with.

After two weeks the men meet at a shooting range and find out they have a lot in common. Once they engage in a one on one match, they proceed to a bar to have drinks and get to know one another better. They both discover their affinity for guns as well as Camdyn’s need for a new partner at Camdyn & Associates. Malik is intrigued but afraid to ask him and decides to wait till they are closer. Camdyn is excited about this prospect as well but waits for Malik to say the word. Finally, in an erotic encounter, true feelings are revealed. 


Short Review:
Malik was discharged from the army under DADT policy after defending a fellow officer being beaten for being gay. He’s lost the chance to do what he truly loves and he’s stuck at home with his bible thumping parents. Out of job with no prospects popping up, Malik is feeling down in the dumps. Until he meets a sexy blond at a shooting range and suddenly things are looking up.

Camdyn just lost his partner in both business and love and he’s feeling down. With a successful PI firm, he searching for love and he thinks he might have found in the sexy black man at the shooting range. Skeptical to dive into anything serious, Camdyn is still willing to see if Malik has what he’s been looking for.

I have a few peeves with this one but also some good feelings. I was really annoyed by Camdyn’s dialogue, the whole ‘I’m cool talk’ didn’t really fit him as a character and I found myself dreading when I got to his pov. I did enjoy the struggle both men faced in the developing relationship; they both avoided jumping forward for good reasons. If it was an insta jump and shacking up, I would not have appreciated it as a reader.

Overall, it was an ok read but I found it hard to really connect to the characters *could be because of the length* Big shout out for it being an interracial romance, I always appreciate reading one. Plus the gun play added a little spice and variety. Would love to see how Camdyn and Malik’s relationship develops in the future.


3 Pants Off



 



Guest Post & Giveaway with Michael Mandrake

I have Sharita Lira aka Michael Mandrake on the blog today, sharing a very exciting post. Help me in welcoming Sharita to Pants Off.

Why I Love Writing M/M

Sharita Lira 

Greetings readers! My post is a bit of an update from the first few posts I made about the same subject. Since I’ve been around the past year I’ve learned a lot and I wanted to restate the reasons I love it!

In the beginning, it was about it being taboo, it made me hot, etc but now, it’s more about the fact I love writing romance. I discover with every story I write, I’m putting a little bit of myself in every character, whether it’s my snarky side, my long winded, my love for the overdramatic. Notice I said, overdramatic, doesn’t make me a drama queen! *snicker* I do love the tension but occasionally, I love a story without all the heartache. I like the fluff as my favorite fellow writer put it.

Ever since I was a teen, I loved reading stories about romance and two people falling for one another. It started with the cutesy Harlequins or my grandma’s Barbara Cortland novels and then I wanted to know more about the steamy with Fern Michaels and Jackie Collins. In many people’s eyes, those writers put together smut but hey, it had a romantic element, or tried to. *grins* The bottom line is, it opened the door for what we know now as erotic romance.

Then I started getting into Anne Rice and much later, Zane, who writes erotica as well. The common thread? In those stories there was something about two people connecting, finding a common ground, and maybe love somewhere along the way. Perhaps it wasn’t clearly stated, but reading between the lines, you saw something in those characters that made you enjoy that book.

And so, that spurred me into wanting to write my own but it wasn’t until I gained the confidence through encouragement from friends and the fanfic community did I get the courage to publish. It took me a while but here I am. Now, just like the writers before me, I enjoy writing about two people connecting. Most of the time, I just like them to be two men. Other than the genitalia, what’s the big difference? Men have feelings, desires; they have their ultimate partner just like women do. They have hang-ups, fears, some express their feelings openly, some do not. Why should writing m/m be singled out?

Sure, a lot of men might fit what society calls a “real man” but in Shar’s world, the characters may not always fit that mold. They’re unique, most of the time imperfect, not always what America considers as everyday males. They debunk stereotypes, cross over boundaries, they’re human to me and they connect. I love that the most and as much as I am a feminist, I love writing about the opposite sex.

So my ideas are better defined. Yeah it still makes me hot, I love the taboo, but most important, I just love writing romance and the fact that it’s between two men, shouldn’t be a big deal. It is after all about human interaction. I enjoy it, and God willing, I’ll continue to do to for years to come.

Thanks for listening

This book blurb and excerpt is by my most successful pseudo, Michael Mandrake 



Booktrailer

Buylink 


After losing his lover to mental disorder, Dr. Hayden Curry throws himself into work, silently wishing he could experience something extraordinary in love. He finds his match in David, a creature Hayden revives after discovering him and hauling him back to his lab. Upon awakening, David asks Dr. Hayden’s help in discovering more about himself. Hayden agrees but senses secrets in David. Will he get to the bottom of things and be able to continue the special relationship he and David have, or will the secrets that come forward tear them apart?


Before I went to my haven, I glanced outside my window. Outside, the rainfall reduced to a drizzle, coupled by slow moving clouds over the moonlight. The trees blew after only a few gusts of winds, ripped the leaves off and made quite a mess on the grass underneath.
      These would be the nights I would cherish with him most. After relishing in the afterglows of new inventions and glasses of wine, there were mind blowing affections to follow.
      Such a good lover… 
      Once I got to my place of work, I immediately began searching for the vials I had for the latest concoction. When I did not see them, I lost my head rather quickly.
      “Where on God’s green earth,” I screamed and walked from one end of my laboratory to the other. "Where are those samples I just had? Libertina!"
     Immediately, the pale and slim maiden with dark hair ran to my aid.
     "Yes sir, have you lost something again, sir?"
     "I have Libertina. The tubes I examined the night before. They seemed to…oh."
     Within moments, my dearest uncovered the missing necessities I searched for, right underneath my novel, The Bounded Scientist.
      I shrunk back and smiled wryly. "Thank you Libertina, ahem, that will be all my sweet."
      "Yes sir, if there is anything you need, I'll be tending to your clothes, sir." Quickly, she curtsied and scurried off, closing the door behind her.
       Ah, what a fine young maiden I have. If I were more attracted to the ladies, then I might give her go, but only gentlemen tickled my fancy these days.
       I could not be that upset even in this pitiful state. Not that many people understood me when they came to know me. Throughout the years, many thought they should have thrown me in the local mental ward because of the ideas I'd had.
      Nevertheless, my determination and visions had made me one of the most recognizable names in London, apart from the fact I inherited my father's large fortune.
      Still, even with all the money and notoriety, I had always felt something was missing from my life. I longed for something new to happen. Whether it was a new discovery or invention it had to be different from what I had already seen.
      I looked at the experiment I had been working on for seemingly weeks in disgust. Things hadn’t been the same anyway since Lawrence departed but I was determined to move on with my life’s work despite what happened to him. I had to hold on to the hope he would return.
      After around the fifteenth trial of not receiving my desired result, I retreated to my bedroom to sleep. Unlike times before, I decided not to read before bed but instead lay there until my eyes got too heavy.
      I hoped the nightmares would not start again since after they occurred I stayed awake staring at the ceilings of my room, often needing a drink of the alcoholic variety to put me to rest. I felt myself becoming rather dependent on the beverages. Certainly, doing this sort of thing would cloud my senses and not allow me to function properly. Many men of science I knew had become like this and I refused to become one of them.
      I’ll never.
      I always reassured myself that I wouldn’t continue to down this dangerous path, however, everyday, being alone with only yourself to talk with could be a detriment to one’s mental state.
      Although fully capable of doing everyday things, I’d come to accept that I was different. After all, for one, I wasn’t attracted to women. Two, I enjoyed reading more than being outside playing in games.
      In fact my mom would frequently say that she wished I’d be like “normal” boys and go play ball instead of reading. This from the same woman who didn’t know how to read until after she birthed me. With the help of my caregiver, I taught myself how to read the written word thus showed my mum in the process. Still, even afterwards, she didn’t consider it as an important skill. “I’ve always had people to do things like read for me,” she said, giving illiteracy credence. Totally absurd but true.
      If I wasn’t able to read and learn I might die. 
      Such is true of me, Doctor Hayden Curry. I preferred to have my mind stimulated before anything else. This isn’t saying that I didn’t enjoy the sins of the flesh because I did, but, books were like gold to me, more important than any penny I owned. I’d inherited most of it which allowed me to live the lavish lifestyle and work on experiments instead of seeing patients to cure their ailments. I wasn’t interested in short term solutions anyway. I wanted results that could change the world and mankind forever.




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