Sunday, September 30, 2012

What's Happening This Week!

Hello, everyone hope you had a wonderful week. Mine has been sorta sucky and this week isn't looking so hot right now. I do believe I am getting the flu so yes "Sucky".

For all of you who missed my announcement, you cant check out the post titled Taking A Chill Pill. I am going on a little hiatus to gather myself and comeback bigger and better than ever. So look out for it.


Here's whats causing a pants losing this week...


Monday

  • The Flesh Cartel Blog Tour: Interview & Giveaway with Heidi & Rachel about their explosive new serial
  • Review: for Men Like Us by Brita Addams


Tuesday
  • Review: The Prince of Winds by Tali Spencer (Reviewed by Fehu)
  • Review: The Island by Lisa Henry (Reviewed by Buggy)



 Wednesday
  • J.P Barnaby Guest Post: Aaron Blog Tour
  • Review: Sight Unseen by Hunter Raines



Thursday
  • Review: Saving Sean by Con Riley (Reviewed by Hannah)
  • Review: Love In Plain Sight by Susan Laine 


Friday
  • Review: A Most Unusual Courtship by Nancy M. Griffis (Reviewed by Fehu)
  • Review: The Wishing Book of Barnaby Sloan by Jenna Jones (Reviewed by Fehu)
  • Review: The Flesh Cartel: #1 Capture by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau


~Schedule subject to change~

Torquere Submission

Torquere Press, the first GLBT Romance epublisher, is open to GLBT romance submissions in all categories. Click here for current open anthology and special calls.
Torquere Press focuses on GLBT romance, exclusively. We publish all the sub-genres of romance -- paranormal, contemporary, western, suspense, etc.. We do require a happy ending, whether that ending is happily ever after or happy for now.
We publish lengths from 3000 words and up. Our pricing structure is based solely on word count.
All submissions to Torquere Press must adhere to the following guidelines or they will be discarded unread.
All submissions must contain gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered characters. While works do not need to be graphic, they must contain romance and focus on the interaction between characters. Acceptance preference will be given to stories with fully realized romances and a high level of sensuality.
All manuscripts must be submitted to submissions@torquerepress.com as an attachment in either .doc, .txt, or .rtf format.
Length standards:
  • Novel - 45,000 words and up
  • Novella - 20-45,000 words
  • Novelette - 10-20,000 words
  • Short Stories - Under 10,000 words
All submissions must
  • be spell checked and edited for grammar.
  • be single spaced with a space in between paragraphs. Indents at the beginning of paragraphs are not necessary. Any submissions with severe formatting problems (ie: blocks of text with no paragraph breaks, illegible fonts) will not be read.
  • labeled in subject line of email as a submission, and include the anthology name if applicable
  • include a word count and a brief synopsis of the work.
  • all spelling should be in American English
  • include a short bio of the author along with the author's contact information. Authors may use a pseudonym for their work, but we will need full legal names and contact information for contracts. All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.
We are primarily looking for homoerotic stories in all genres. We are not looking for sex without characterization. Plotty, sensual character-driven novels are our focus. We are currently actively seeking menage stories (m/m/f) and sensual, sexy gay novels (m/m).
We will not accept stories with pedophilia; incest or those containing rape for titillation or other gratuitous violence. We will not accept stories with bestiality (relationships with animals occurring in natural life not including shapeshifters). We will also reject stories that are clearly a copyright infringement, including any that have been converted from fan fiction or that are based on TV shows, movies, or literary characters. We do accept simultaneous submissions, however we require you to update us if there is any interest in your submission from another publisher or if it is accepted elsewhere. We do accept multiple submissions.
We are not currently seeking m/f/f romance.
Unsolicited manuscripts are accepted at any time. Please remember, however, that current projects take precedence, and while we will acknowledge all submissions in a timely manner, it may take some time for one of our editors to review your work. Please allow 3-8 weeks for a response.. All accepted works will need to be provided to us as an electronic file, and please note we are now using electronic contracts.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Taking A Chill Pill!!!


It is with a heavy heart that I write this, but I am leaving.... Ha-ha totally kidding. I am just here to announce that I will be taking some time off reviewing, because I feel the need for a break. No, nobody pissed me off, and I am not angry about whatever crazy is happening in the book world. I just really need to take a break, and go read all the books on my TBR (ok maybe a few of them).

Also, I will be cracking down boot camp style on my oldest son. He is having some difficulty in school and I am going to try to implement some new routines in hopes that it will get him to focus. Being my first-born, I have spoiled him tremendously and now he is so stubborn that he drives people bonkers. I have to crackdown while it’s still early.

My last review will be sometime in the middle of October around the 12th. So at this time, I will not be accepting individual review requests and I apologize. If you have a late November early December release them maybe we can talk. Fehu, Buggy, and Hannah will still be reviewing so there is that to look forward to. I plan to return for December 1st to start spreading Christmas joy so I will not be gone forever.

All post and giveaways will go as scheduled for those that I have committed to, so do not panic. I am still down for posting; I might even post pretty pics of my food creations (no promises). All scheduled post will go as planned!

I apologize for how sudden this is, but do not fret my pets >.< I will be back.

Thank You!!
DarienMoya


Friday, September 28, 2012

The Hand-me-down by Zahra Owens

The Hand-me-down by Zahra Owens
Deamspinner Press
Novel: 250pgs
DNF

Blurb:
When a volcano erupts in Iceland and leaves globetrotting headhunter Jez Robinson stranded in Barcelona, he isn’t sure what to do. He has a hard time sitting still, so deciding to make the best of his situation, he pays a visit to his old friend Nick Stone, a retired porn star he shares a history with. Only the visit doesn’t go anything like Jez expected.

First Nick introduces Jamie, his much younger lover, a man so painfully shy he can’t even bring himself to talk to strangers. The love he and Nick share is plain to Jez, but also puzzling, because Nick was never the monogamous type. Then Nick tells Jez he’s dying and wants Jez to look after Jamie.

In his whole life, Jez has never committed to so much as a house plant, so at first he refuses. But Nick and Jamie are insistent, and soon Jamie worms his way into Jez’s graces and his bed, determined to do the convincing Jez’s heart needs.


Thoughts:
I rarely DNF a book because I am one those people who stick with a book until its finish. In regards to this book, I had to quit because if I had continued I would have wrote a one not so good review.  Here is why it didn't work for me.

I was really excited about reading this one, because the premise sounded so interesting. When Jez is stranded in Barcelona, he reconnects with an old friend who also came with benefits. Back in the day, Nick was the biggest porn star and one of Jez's closest friends but then suddenly he fell of the grid. Seems Nick has settled down with his beautiful young lover Jaime. Jez later finds out Nick is dying, and his request is for him to care for Jaime because he doesn’t know how to function on his own.

I won’t give much away because this is not a review but I stopped reading because of all the unsafe sex and the complete lack of respect for the character Jez. I know it could be considered angst and probably add something to the storyline, but Jaime lacks remorse and shrugs his shoulder for everything (for big very unsafe things). Maybe I should have been sympathetic to his plight but since the entire story is told from Jez's pov (talking directly to the reader); all my feelings for Jaime are bad ones.

So at around 65% I called it quits, I just no longer cared. It seemed like maybe things were going to start looking up, but by then it was just too late. This could just be all me, because people seem to like this one a lot.  Just wasn't for me in the end.

Upside- It was nice to read about older characters and all the wonderful food Jaime makes.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review: Finding Zach by Rowan Speedwell

Reviewed by Hannah
Finding Zach (Finding Zach #1) by Rowan Speedwell
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 264pgs
5 Pants Off

Blurb:
For five years, Zach Tyler, son of one of the worlds richest software moguls, was held hostage, tortured, and abused. When he is rescued at last from the Venezuelan jungle, he is physically and psychologically shattered, but he slowly begins to rebuild the life he should have had before an innocent kiss sent him into hell. His childhood best friend David has lived those years with overwhelming guilt and grief. 

Every relationship David has tried has fallen apart because of his feelings for a boy he thought dead. When Zach is rescued, David is overjoyedand then crushed when Zach shuts him out. Two years later, David returns home, and he and Zach must come to terms with the rift between them, what they feel for each other, and what their future could hold. But Zach has secrets, and one of them might well destroy their fragile love.

Review:
This is a story of great pain and great love. The two are always inexplicably linked, but in this story it is more than that, you are following two characters that need to overcome such physical and emotional scars that love isn't enough to heal them.

Zach and David, their story is one that will have you feeling like you have read whole chapters without taking a breath, or feeling a heartbeat. Their need to be together is almost overpowering, but not enough to win out against all the damage life has inflicted on this pair.

When Zach returns from the Jungle after unimaginable tortures, with pain searing so deep from the memories he can’t shake, it seems almost impossible that this book could become anything other than heart-breaking. However, Speedwell knows how to open up her book to show the reader that, when it comes to love, there is always a glimmer of hope, and that hope comes in the form of David.

Although the there is strong emphasis on the love affair for Zach and David in this book, it is their friendship that provides the deepest examples of unconditional love. During the darkest moments for Zach, as you see his character try to overcome the nightmares of how horrifying scars were inflicted upon his body, and you see him resolve himself to never again being able to regain normality, it is David who reminds Zach, and the reader, of the lightness that is still there in Zach’s heart, a lightness that only a best friend can bring out, and it is those moments that provide the purest examples of love in this book, the love of two best friends, the love that only soul mates can have as they weather whatever life throws at them.

This book will take you on a harrowing journey as these boys emotionally try to find each other again, after years of being separated under the worst possible circumstance. As these boys, that were once childhood friends, have grown into men apart from each other, they both wonder if it is even possible to rebuild the love they once held, between guilt and trauma its seems almost impossible, but as anyone who is lucky enough to find their soul mate in a best friend will know, distance will never be enough to extinguish the connection two people have.

This book is moving, painful, heart-warming, heart-breaking and beautiful. As you follow Zach along his long journey to regain the life taken from him, and you listen to David as he tries to figure out how to help his best friend and the love of his life, you pray that they can find their way. This book is special, it goes past that of one of lovers finding their forever, it is a book of family, and warmth, and one that you will enjoy through all the tears and pain, as, even though the circumstances are extreme, you relate to what it is like to find that one person who makes you whole, whether that be a friend or lover, and you refuse to let them go.

This book grabbed me by the heart and wouldn’t let go, and I’m glad it didn’t. This is a beautiful story of finding courage in pain, and a book that I think everyone should read, not just M/M romance fans.

5 Pants Off

Guest Post & Giveaway: The Yin to his Yang by Josephine Myles & JL Merrow

I am so excited to have Josephine Myles and JL Merrow on the blog today. You can check out my reviews for their latest releases, The Hot Floor and Pressure Head.


Hot Pressure Blog Tour banner
Why opposites attract.


Josephine Myles: I remember once reading a blog post where the author complained about there being too many opposites attract romances out there, and how it wasn’t realistic as successful couples in real life tend to have more in common than that.

 I’ll admit that blogger probably had a valid point, but let’s face it, whose real life relationship would provide enough sexy conflict to fill the pages of a romance novel? No, there’s no need to answer that in detail ;)

 I’m a huge fan of the opposites attract romance, because to me it’s a strong foundation for a character-driven story. If you have big conflicts of personality and lifestyle (and they have to be big, not merely cosmetic) then you have huge amounts to work with. You can just put your two characters in a situation, sit back and watch the sparks fly. Of course, you do have to cross your fingers and hope they’ll be sexy sparks rather than the third degree burns kind.

 What about you, Jamie? Do you think pairing opposites is too contrived? Too much like something that happens in a book rather than real life? And if so, is there anything wrong with that?



JL Merrow (Jamie): I think like most things in life, what it comes down to is this: everyone’s different. Yes, there are couples who seem more like clones - but there are also those who find love by complementing each other, rather than by having absolutely everything in common. And I know which I’d rather read about! A pet hate of mine is romances where I have to struggle to remember which guy is which. I’d much rather see two very different guys work to find the common ground they can meet on.

 Even if I didn’t believe opposites attract in real life, I’d still like to read about them. Although obviously there has to be believability, I don’t accept that books have to be exactly like real life. Think about all the conversations you might have in a day - then imagine writing them, word for word, in a book. If you’re anything like me, they’d likely be full of repetition, mis-hearings, and honestly, not that riveting to a reader. The primary purpose of writing is to entertain, and it can’t do that by being boring.


I think my favourite mis-matched couple of yours is the one from Boats in the Night: Giles and Smutty. Uptight alcoholic posh boy v. teetotal hippy firedancer. Do you have a favourite fictional odd couple yourself? (and no, it doesn’t have to be one of mine!)

 Jo: But what if my favourites are your characters?! I adore the pairing of large, tattooed and uneducated Al with diminutive professor Larry in Muscling Through--you couldn’t find two more different men, yet they work together so well! I’m also a huge fan of K.A. Mitchell’s mismatched couples, and out of her back catalogue, I would probably vote for Mason and Jon in Life Over Easy.


I have to admit, my whole character planning process revolves around finding opposing characteristics for my two leads, as well as a few areas where they will mesh perfectly. This method proved to be a real challenge when planning The Hot Floor, as how do you create three sets of opposites? I originally intended Josh to be a much more confident, tarty kind of fella, but the moment I started writing I realised that he wasn’t that way at all--that was Rai. Or at least, that was how Rai appears to be, when you don’t know him all that well.

I also had fun creating opposing physical characteristics: tall, skinny and blond Josh; lithe, compact and Asian Rai; and enormous, muscular, bald Evan. You really couldn’t mix those three up! Just as you don’t want your two leads to be too similar in character, it’s confusing if they look alike too.

What about Tom and Phil in Pressure Head: were their opposing characteristics a result of planning or simply the characters forcing you to write them that way?



Jamie: As you can guess, the guys in Muscling Through were deliberately opposites, but it wasn’t quite the same thing with Pressure Head. Tom, my narrator, was pretty much his charming, cheeky self from the word go; Phil needed a few rough edges knocked off him, but is still basically the same character I envisaged right at the start. He’s more reserved than Tom, and finds their shared past harder to let go of, but in some ways he sees things more clearly than Tom does.

So although they’re not quite opposites in the way Al and Larry are, there are still a lot of differences between Tom and Phil - and you know what? Those are my favourite bits!


And how about the readers? Do you like to read about the attraction of opposites? Have you met any real-life examples?



Hot Pressure Blog Tour banner



Comment to win! Jo and Jamie are both offering a choice of a book from their backlist to one lucky commenter on this post, and all commenters will also be entered into a draw for the grand prize (details here), to be announced on 8th October.

  About the books: 

Pressure Head
Some secrets are better left hidden. When Tom, a plumber with a talent for finding hidden things, is called in to help the police locate the body of a missing woman, he unexpectedly encounters a familiar face. Phil, Tom’s old school crush, now a private investigator working the same case.

Tom’s attraction to the big, blond investigator hasn’t changed—in fact, he’s even more desirable all grown up. But is Phil’s interest genuine, or does he only want to use Tom’s talent? Meanwhile, the evidence around the woman’s murder piles up...while the murderer’s trigger finger is getting increasingly twitchy.







The Hot Floor cover
The Hot Floor
Two plus one equals scorching hot fun. Every time Josh overhears his sexy downstairs neighbors, Rai and Evan, having loud and obviously kinky sex, Josh is overwhelmed with lust…and a longing for a fraction of the love he’s never managed to find. On the night a naked Josh falls—quite literally—into the middle one of Rai and Evan’s marathon sex sessions, the force of their mutual attraction takes control. But just as Josh dares to hope, he senses a change. Leaving him to wonder if the winds of love are about to blow his way at last…or if history is about to repeat itself.




About the authors:
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour.

 Find JL Merrow online at: www.jlmerrow.com/

 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.

 For more information about Jo’s published stories, regular blog posts and saucy free reads, visit JosephineMyles.com

Yin Yang picture courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review: The Hot Floor by Josephine Myles

The Hot Floor by Josephine Myles
Samhain Publishing
Novel: 62,000wrds
4.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
Two plus one equals scorching hot fun.

Dumped by his boyfriend and reduced to living in a grotty bedsit, Josh Carpenter has gotten used to expecting the worst. Now he lives only for his job as a glassblower…and occasional glimpses of his sexy downstairs neighbors, Rai Nakamura and Evan Truman.

Every time he overhears the diminutive academic and the hunky plumber having loud and obviously kinky sex, Josh is overwhelmed with lust…and a longing for a fraction of what they have.

To his amazement, Rai and Evan find his embarrassing tendency to blush utterly charming, and the three men grow closer over the course of the long, hot summer. Despite Rai’s charming flirtation and Evan’s smoldering gaze, Josh is determined never to break his new friends’ loving bonds.

On the night a naked Josh falls—quite literally—into the middle of one of Rai and Evan’s marathon sex sessions, the force of their mutual attraction takes control. But just as Josh dares to hope, he senses a change. Leaving him to wonder if the winds of love are about to blow his way at last…or if history is about to repeat itself.

Warning: Contains one well-endowed stud with a sexy accent, one improbably toppy bottom boy with an unfortunate owl obsession, and one blushing naïf who can’t believe his luck. Also, the occasional indulgence in mathematical spanking and some shameless armpit sex.


Review:
There’s nothing that gets me more excited than a ménage, and when you throw a Japanese character into it O_O well… I just about lose my mind. The Hot Floor felt like it was written for me cus it embodies all the things I love to read. I am pretty much easy to please, but I do know what I want to read about in order to make a trias relationship work. I think the author did a really good and I can believe in their HEA.

Whenever Josh hangs out with his quirky friend in her apartment, he always gets an earful from the floor above. Denise's very sexy neighbours Rai Nakumura (cus I gotta put in his whole name) and Evan kinky love fest is enough to give Josh a heart attack, but somehow he finds himself lusting after the men. He thinks about what it would be like to get all down and dirty with them, but Josh knows all it will ever come to be is fantasy. First, he's too shy and blushes at the mere mention of sex, and his last boyfriend who dumped him told him he sucked in bed. So he really does not have the confidence to strike up a conversation with them.  When Evan and Rai approach him, Josh is shell-shocked. It comes as a surprise when a friendship begins to develop between the men, friendship with an underlying of “I wanna rip our freaking clothes off”.

When Josh literally comes crashing into Rai and Evan's life he fins himself wrapped up in between two men experiencing the most amazing sex of his life. With sex comes doubt and Josh fears driving a wedge between the men, and losing the two men who comes to be his closest friends. Seems it won't be a onetime deal, but Josh still fears the unexpected. What if the flame goes out and suddenly he's being kicked to curb, and Rai/Evan move on to their very established relationship.

The author did some wonderful things making the sex apart of the foundation of their relationship. The friendship part of the story provided a building block to long lasting but it's with all the loving that I think Josh was able to get it. Nothing was ever perfect from the get go, and all the troubles that they encountered really provided a realistic feel and made their relationship all the more believable.

Josh is like the ying to their yang, he's like the personality trait that Ran and Evan are missing. Rai the flamboyant sexphine, Evan the big manly cuddle bear, and Josh shy and undemanding. He is the balance they never even knew they needed. So when it comes to what’s going on in the bedroom, shit is explosive. My pants have disappeared and I am waiting for them to return cus I must do a bit of grocery shopping.

I only had one thing that bothered me, and that’s when Josh was preparing a gift for Evan and Rai. As a glassblower, Josh gets to make beautiful things so I was excited to read about him presenting his gifts to the boys. I didn't get it, and I felt like it would have been a beautiful scene so I was all let down. Though one of the gifts eventually gets buried balls deep in him >.<

Yes, I liked the crap out of it, and loved how their relationship was presented. The ending felt a bit rushed to me (but that could be cus I wanted more). I am down for a Jo Myles ménage any day, she can keep writing about Asian characters I am always down for that. Loved It!!


4.5 Pants Off

Review: Pressure Head by J.L Merrow

Pressure Head by JL Merrow
Samhain Publishing
Novel: 279pgs
4 Pants Off

Blurb:

To most of the world, Tom Paretski is just a plumber with a cheeky attitude and a dodgy hip, souvenir of a schoolboy accident. The local police keep his number on file for a different reason—his sixth sense for finding hidden things.

When he’s called in to help locate the body of a missing woman up on Nomansland Common, he unexpectedly encounters someone who resurrects a host of complicated emotions. Phil Morrison, Tom’s old school crush, now a private investigator working the same case. And the former bully partly responsible for Tom’s injury.

The shocks keep coming. Phil is now openly gay, and shows unmistakable signs of interest. Tom’s attraction to the big, blond investigator hasn’t changed—in fact, he’s even more desirable all grown up. But is Phil’s interest genuine, or does he only want to use Tom’s talent?

As the pile of complicated evidence surrounding the woman’s murder grows higher, so does the heat between Tom and Phil. But opening himself to this degree exposes Tom’s heart in a way he’s not sure he’s ready for…while the murderer’s trigger finger is getting increasingly twitchy.

Warning: Contains a flirtatious plumber with hidden talents, a cashmere-clad private investigator with hidden depths, and an English village chock full of colourful characters with plenty to hide.


Review:
Firstly, let’s start out by talking about that amazing cover. I just love it so much, it is just so light and fun just like the book. J.L Merrow is a master at making me laugh, and falling head over heels for her characters. She has taken a spot as one of my fave authors, my go to when I want a fun read with a side of hot loving.

Tom Paretski isn't your ordinary plumber he also has a talent for finding hidden things, stuff hidden out of guilt or hiding a dirty secret. The talent first made an appearance when he was a young boy and found the body of a little girl, not the most ideal experience for a young boy but it is a gift that comes in handy. So, when the cops can’t find something they call in Tom. He finds himself searching for a missing woman and the outcome isn’t a pleasant one. Now it seems his town has a got a killer on their hands, and to make things a little worse for him. He runs into his high school crush and bully. Phil is still as gorgeous as ever but seeing him, the past comes rearing its ugly head.

Now Phil has need of Tom's little finders’ keepers’ skill, and the men begin an investigation of their own. It’s a surprise they got anything done, when they fight like cats and dogs, and constantly butt heads. Underneath all their bitching, the sexual tension was crackling and I kept thinking "so when are you guys gonna get naked already?"

Seriously, this book is a lot of fun. The murder-mystery was done well and kept me guessing up to the end. The highlight of the story is the town folks; I kept anticipating who would be next on Phil and Tom's list of suspects. The slow developing relationship between Phil and Tom was nice to read about, but I found myself getting frustrated with both their attitudes. I understood that they had old hurts to get pass, but man did they take their time >.<

Overall, I really liked it and enjoyed the variety in characters a lot. J.L has a gift in introducing new characters and having them play some part whether it is small or important, (that’s no small feat). So yes, please do check this one out, lots of mystery (I kept it all mysterious), surprises, and most of all fun.


4 Pants Off

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: Dirty Secret by Rhys Ford

Dirty Secret (A Cole McGinnis Mystery #2) by Rhys Ford
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 234pgs
4.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
Loving Kim Jae-Min isn’t always easy: Jae is gun-shy about being openly homosexual. Ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis doesn’t know any other way to be. Still, he understands where Jae is coming from. Traditional Korean men aren’t gay—at least not usually where people can see them.

But Cole can’t spend too much time unraveling his boyfriend’s issues. He has a job to do. When a singer named Scarlet asks him to help find Park Dae-Hoon, a gay Korean man who disappeared nearly two decades ago, Cole finds himself submerged in the tangled world of rich Korean families, where obligation and politics mean sacrificing happiness to preserve corporate empires. Soon the bodies start piling up without rhyme or reason. With every step Cole takes toward locating Park Dae-Hoon, another person meets their demise—and someone Cole loves could be next on the murderer’s list.


Review:
Thank you Rhys Ford for surpassing my expectations and making me happy. Let’s be frank, sometimes sequels can be a let down and though I was excited out of pants to read Dirty Secret I wasn't anticipating gold. Well folks I got platinum, I never thought I would like this book so much and I enjoyed it a lot more than the first. It was like sitting down to a kick ass episode of Cole McGinnis P.I. Sometimes even the most awesome has faults and so I do have a few things that bothered me.

Dirty Secret begins with a bang just like the first book Dirty Kiss, where Cole finds himself on one of his unusual cases. Think sex shop and instead of "Dick in a box", it's dick in a bottle. It’s a good thing he has his beautiful Korean lover Jae-Min to feed him and give him endless amount of cuddles, but it seems his cuddles are gonna have to wait. When the beautiful Scarlet, sexy Filipino man/woman shows up on his doorstep with a case to find a missing person Cole knows things are about to go south. Because being tangled up in Korean business either leads to him getting shot or people dying.

Gay and being Korean does not mix well and Cole is seeing it firsthand with his investigation. It’s also something he is experiencing on a personal level with Jae-Min because good Korean boys must get married, make the babies, and make their families happy. Now Cole is digging up old dirt and opening old wounds and that isn't going over well with the prestigious families. When bodies start dropping like flies, Cole knows he should walk away but he cant help wanting to find the truth even if it might cost him the ones he loves the most.

There is so much to enjoy in this book, with its constant action and bombs of surprise. I laughed so much and cried as mush equally. Cole's estranged parents make an appearance and man... was it sucky. They really brought the hatred and my heart broke so much for him, which really made me realize how much I am wary of Jae-Min for him. Yes, he is this beautiful Korean and that is my ultimate bias but I feel like Cole is living his truth and its not easy and he deserves someone who is living equally as honest. It’s a complicated relationship and I am looking forward to where the author is taking them. Their future might be unclear but they still know how to set the sheets on fire and cause a pants losing, "Wowza" they were hot.

My overall peeve is that I don't think the story came together well. It went all over the place by the end, and then the conclusion just felt "Meh". I kept wondering, "So the point of this was?" Would have been better if someone was trying to keep the truth from coming out instead of a looney with a gun (because really he was just a loony with a gun).

Overall, I really enjoyed the story and am looking forward to the next book in a pants-less state. I really am hoping Jae-Min proves something in the future cus right now I just view him as the glorified pretty boy who is still just there (I want him to shine). Cole is still the best and one of my fave characters ever, he's really made of awesome. I believe fans of the first book will enjoy Dirty Secret and then faint at the end of it. I have a sneaking suspicion that instead of Chaebols, Cole will be taking up with the Yakuza it only seems fair that he handles his Japanese side.

SideNote- The next book should be titled Dirty Pants y/y (ok that would be too much)

SideNote2- I think this book should come with a glossary for all the Korean words. Because not everyone will be a pro like moi >.<

4.5 Pants Off

Review: To Touch the Stars by Jeremy Pack

Reviewed by Fehu
To Touch the Stars by Jeremy Pack
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 350pgs
5 Pants Off

Blurb:
For happenstance news correspondent Tait Williams and newly minted astronaut Nicholas Sullivan, 1966 is a year of beginnings. Idealistic Tait dreams of changing the world with his pen, and Nick has his sights set on the moon. With the Apollo program in full swing, Nick is on the fast track to his dreams—even as Tait’s hopes of covering the Vietnam war are sidelined by a cause he doesn't believe in: a correspondent assignment with NASA. It is here, in the golden age of the US space program, that the hearts of two men collide, setting them on a path of discovery spanning two decades.

From war-torn Cambodia to the decadence and heartbreak of the early 1980s, Nick and Tait come together time and again only to be ripped apart by social conventions and their own ambitions. As they strive to realize dreams that remain elusively beyond their grasp, through each other and the extraordinary people that touch their lives, they will come to understand that the things that matter most—the brightest stars of all—have been within their reach all along.


Review:
To some part, I loved this story but I was left feeling sad and had moments where I just wish things did not have to happen. Also one of the solutions how Tait and Nick could have a baby, I think that was too convenient and since this happen to get one of my favourite characters out of the picture, I wasn’t happy, at all.

Tait is an aspiring young journalist, who wants to stand up for others while he cannot stand up for himself. He lost his parents and concentrates on writing about issues that he considers important; he wants to make a difference. Through chance, he was selected to do a special series about the NASA program and one of the aspiring astronauts Nick Sullivan. Nick was the second lead character but I did not warm up to him the same way as I did to Tait. I understand that he was under some pressure but if he truly loved Tait, I really don’t know why he married Eleanor. She was the worst person to marry and he paid the price but I truly didn’t understand why he didn’t fight for Tait, didn’t go after him. He told Tait that he believed everything is possible but then gave up, on his dream on his love. I was disappointed in Nick and wanted to tell him to grow some balls, Alex had bigger ones, that for sure.

Tait is honest and somewhat naive but sweet. He could not bring himself to reduce heating costs in winter, because of his fish; he would rather reduce his own food money (sweet). He is idealistic and wants to write and inform about the human suffering, he is not interested in the fame and money but really cares and it shows in his work. Tait is no hero in the conventional sense, with his shyness and gentle manners but he has some hidden strength and fire that serve him well. It’s with him that we travel to Vietnam and Cambodia to see the war scenes and the human toll. The description of these places and his experiences was vivid; I could see the bustle of the markets, the jungle and the people. I felt for the people, for Tait’s loss, and his silent courage.

Tait, well it’s his story and it is told masterfully, writing, storytelling, storyline, characters are beautifully done. I read the first book by this author and liked it a lot for a debut novel and this one is even better, considering the time period, Vietnam War and the 70s and 80s are not my favourite period to read about involving a gay relationship, but I loved this book.

One of my favourite character was the camerawoman Alex, she was brave, determined, cursing fighting and in your face, but she was also caring and had an integrity I had to admire. She was someone I would love to know and be friends with, someone to admire.

Then there was Eleanor, I could have liked Eleanor, with her degree in political science and her aspirations but she was a character that nearly ruined the book for me. After all is said and done Nick might have forgiven her, but I do not understand why. She was a manipulative, ruined his life, career, and nearly cost him the love of his life. Of course, nothing is all black and white and there were moments where one could feel sorry for her, the important word is could. Eleanor might have had her reasons but Alex loved Tait and did not ruin his life but helped him and was at his side, supported him and was happy for him. When he found Nick, she did not try to manipulate her way into a marriage; it was not who she was. She remained true to herself in a time where this was not easy.

So there I was, loving Alex and Tait, disappointed in Nick and strongly disliking Eleanor. Tait and Alex realized their dreams, fought for them, got hurt, experience loss but really did make a difference in the lives of people. I found myself wishing Tait would find someone else to stand beside him, someone strong enough to be at his side and to fight for him and not afraid to share his life with him.

I really hope to see more work by this author. I wish it could be made into a movie. Five pants because I loved the book, but I was not happy with how it ended.

5 Pants Off

Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: Above All by Jane Elliot

Above All by Jane Elliot
Manifold Press
Novel
4 Pants Off

Blurb:
When volatile genius Dr Jasper Swinton accidentally hits a homeless man with his car one night in a seedy part of town, he finds himself taking responsibility for the man’s recovery in a very personal way. Before long, Brian has become such an integral part of his life that Jasper doesn’t know how he’ll ever begin to manage without him – until the day comes when he has to …







Review:
What a surprise and unexpected amount of awesome this book was. It has been awhile since I read an offering from Manifold Press, and now I will be looking into them more often. Above All, will make you smile for the unusual romance, and crazy fun characters.

Jasper is super genius, but based on what often comes out of his mouth you wouldn’t know it. He has a prickly temperament, works too much, and it comes as a surprise that he has friends. When his mouth gets him into trouble and fired from his job, he finds himself taking a little R&R and ends up in some dodgy part of town. It's there he has an accident and hits a homeless man, Jasper wants to take the man to the hospital but the man refuses to go. Jasper then takes matters into his own hands and brings the man to a doctor friend. After all, he's the reason for the man injuries.

After a dishonourable discharge, Brian hit rock bottom, and now he's a homeless veteran suffering from all manners of emotional issues. Life has taught him not to trust easily because it only brings heartache. Until he finds himself up-close and personal with a car, and the driver to become a constant staple in his less than stellar life. Dr Jasper Swinton comes swooping in, taking care of him, feeding him, and giving him a sense of home he hasn’t had in a long time. But kindness always comes with a price tag right? Jasper has to want something from him.

The relationship that develops between men is a beautiful friendship, and fun filled moments. It was hard for them to get to point A and on to point B but darn was it fun to read. Their personalities are so different so they compliment each other well. A romantic relationship develops very later on in the book, so this story is definitely not about the sex. It’s about the unexpected and the good that can come from life and people.

I really like Jane Elliot’s writing, its fun and gets the serious stuff across but does it in a light way. Jasper really steals the show in the book, he's so crazy jealous and gets off on revenge (I want him as a friend). He is always up to something wicked and totally hilarious. If you want a light fun read, then Above All is a book to check out I am just so happy I took the chance and read it.

4 Pants Off

Review: Inherit The Sky & Chase the Stars by Ariel Tachna

Reviewed by Hannah
Inherit The Sky (Lang Downs #1) by Ariel Tachna
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 206pgs
4 Pants Off

Blurb:
Caine Neiheisel is stuck in a dead-end job at the end of a dead-end relationship when the chance of a lifetime falls in his lap. His mother inherits her uncle's sheep station in New South Wales, Australia, and Caine sees it as the opportunity to start over, out on the range where his stutter won't hold him back and his willingness to work will surely make up for his lack of knowledge.

Unfortunately, Macklin Armstrong, the foreman of Lang Downs who should be Caine's biggest ally, alternates between being cool and downright dismissive, and the other hands are more amused by Caine's American accent than they are moved by his plight... until they find out he's gay and their amusement turns to scorn. It will take all of Caine's determination-and an act of cruel sabotage by a hostile neighbor-to bring the men of Lang Downs together and give Caine and Macklin a chance at love.

Review:
This book is beautiful. Tachna has crafted an enchanting story in the shape of Macklin and Caine’s relationship.

Macklin and Caine are two truly endearing characters. They are portrayed with subtle complexities that keep you reading a tale that may at first appear to hold no interest to you. The ins and outs of sheep farming is not something I would describe myself as having an interest in, but that takes nothing away from this book. Tachna uses her two leading men to entice you into their world on the ranch and you begin to develop a genuine interest in their way of life, even in places where the detail into organic lamb raising probably goes beyond what you need to know.

The development of the character Caine is one that progresses gradually and believably as he grows from uneasy city boy, out of his depth on the ranch, to respected and trust worthy ‘boss’. At the age of 32, Caine is hardly a character that you would expect to show youthful traits of vulnerability and self-doubt, but this character is written in a way that perfectly balances out his relationship with Macklin. Whilst Caine is endearing to the reader as he tries to negotiate his way through learning the ways of the land in the middle of the outback and tries to adjust to the rules of his new surroundings, having moved from the liberal ‘gaybourhood’ of Philadelphia, to the rather more reserved and judgemental circle of ‘Jackeroos’ in Australia, his confidence in his sexuality and relationships balances out Macklin’s insecurities about being a gay man, in an open relationship, in a crowd that may not accept him.

The fact that Macklin is almost 10 years older than Caine makes his insecurities even more enchanting to the reader as you watch this pair try and find their way through each other’s uncertainties to a way to co-exist as a couple whilst holding their authority on the ranch as the ‘Boss’ and the Foreman.

This story is beautifully written as you take Macklin and Caine into your heart as you try to understand their reasons for fighting with the other to find the right path for their love. Macklin in particular leaves a warm glow as he charms you with such nervousness and vulnerability, rebelling against the normal stereotype of the confident older man. Although his control in the bedroom leads to some sexy encounters, it never distracts the reader from his true nature, which is one of shyness and uncertainty about how to love Caine the way he deserves, whilst balancing his need to be respected by his ranch mates. Macklin is definitely a character with the power to make you weak at the knees.

As Caine tries to tread carefully through his relationship with Macklin, trying to open up his gorgeous older man to the joys of a relationship, instead of just cheap thrills and quick sex, you see more of the strong and headstrong nature that leads him through the other part of his story, taking his place as head of the ranch, battling through the anxiety of not having the knowledge needed to effectively command his ‘men’ and facing bigotry and resistance and he tries to cut his own path to success.

The only thing that stops me giving this book 5 out of 5 is the fact I wanted more. This book could have benefited from some chapters told from Macklin’s view point. Although Tachna uses Caine to explain the reasoning for Macklins behaviour, it’s not the same as truly getting into a characters head.

That said however, every aspect of this book holds your attention, whether it’s the heart-warming love between the two leading men (even when they don’t trust their own feelings), the beautiful tale of Caine trying to find his place in the world and meaning in his life, or the really hot sex. This book is a truly enjoyable read.

4 Pants Off



Chase The Stars (Lang Downs #2) by Ariel Tachna
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 250pgs
5 Pants Off

Blurb:
Twenty-year-old Chris Simms is barely keeping his head above water. After losing his mother and his home, he struggles to provide for himself and his brother. When homophobes attack him, he thinks his life is over, but then he’s rescued by jackaroos from a nearby sheep station. He's as stunned to be offered a job there as he is to discover both the station owner and foreman are gay.

For Chris, Lang Downs is a dream—one that only gets better when Chris realizes the jackaroo he's crushing on, Jesse Harris, is gay and amenable to a fling. Everything goes well until Chris realizes he’s falling for Jesse a lot harder than allowed by their deal.

Jesse is a drifter who moves from station to station, never looking for anything permanent. Convinced Chris is too young and fragile for a real relationship, he sets rules to keep things casual. Watching the station owner and his foreman together makes Jesse wonder if there are benefits to settling down, but when he realizes how Chris feels about him, he panics. He and Chris will have to decide if a try for happiness is worth the risk before the end of the season tears them apart.

Review:
How people are born into this world with such gifts as to write a book like this I don’t know, but I am grateful they are.

After reading ‘Inherit the Sky’ I opened this book unsure of what to expect. Having loved the previous book so much I was sceptical that a sequel, one based on new characters no less, could live up to the beauty of the first. How wrong I was to doubt Tachna’s talents.

This book matches ‘Inherit the Sky’ in every way, in its beauty, in its enchanting storytelling and in its endearing characters, except this book manages to tug at your heart even more as Tachna opens up all the characters, by giving you snapshots from each individuals point of view, something that was missing from the first book, and something that pushes this story to the 5 out of 5 rating.

You can enjoy this book whole heartedly having not read the first instalment. Tachna makes sure to include enough of the back story that you don’t miss anything, but in a way that has enough subtly, that a reader coming off of ‘Inherit the Sky’ feels no repetitiveness from the characters. I was thoroughly elated to see Macklin and Caine’s story continue and progress throughout this book. I had concerns their story would be left behind to open up for the new characters, but I needn’t have worried. This book has been crafted beautifully to satisfy the burning want you will have coming off of the previous book, to know how Macklin and Caine’s love has weathered, but to also completely envelop you in the lives of the new characters, Jesse and Chris.

Jesse and Chris are most accurately described as the new generation on the station. Not due to their age (Jesse is 28 and has been around the block a few times when it comes to sheep farming) no, they are the new generation when it comes to their love story. They mirror Macklin and Caine for the rough path they have to take to find happiness, but have their own struggles to make them independent from Macklin and Caines story. That said however, the love in this book is more than just the love between Jesse and Chris, or Macklin/Caine. It took me a long time to pinpoint why I found this book so beautiful and captivating, and then I put my finger on it, it’s the sense of family.

You could be forgiven for feeling de je vu at the story of Jesse and Chris, as they seem to reflect the difficulties of Macklin and Caine in the previous book, however this is beautifully avoided by Tachna, as she allows for the two generations to open up each other’s stories, to allow the reader to see each couple grow and guide each other, and it is that love, the love outside of the individual couple, the love of a wider family on this station, the comradely, the protectiveness, that makes this story so heart-warming.

The characters around Jesse and Chris are so easily taken into your heart as they guide the young couple. It warms your heart as you notice the subtle gestures that show the other men on the station are learning to push past their own comfort barrier to see the happiness of these ‘young’ men, even when Jesse and Chris seem to be incapable of finding out for themselves what the other needs.
You are equally captivated by the older generations love as you are the younger. You read eagerly as they both find themselves fighting different insecurities, and you breathe an equal sigh of relief when Macklin faces his fears as you do when Jesse faces his.

This book becomes something more than the first, as you are allowed more of an insight into the personal motives of each character, and you learn more about their own fears, as they each get their chance to speak. You get to see how the characters you loved from the first book have grown into an almost unshakable force, outside of the couple, into the wider relationship of a group of Jackeroos on the station. The love of an adoptive family warms the page just as much as the love between the two couples does.

This is another masterpiece by Tachna, a beautiful story that focuses on all examples of love and what it can take for a person to feel secure. Even in the intimate moments of ‘love making’ between the couples, the reader is not distracted by what would appear to be ‘hot sex’, instead you focus on the emotion behind each act, elevating this book beyond one of lust, to one of romance, compassion and love.

5 Pants Off

Excerpt & Giveaway: Silver Lining by Chris T. Kat

Silver Lining by Chris T. Kat
Dreamspinner Press
Novella: 73pgs

Blurb:
Riley doesn’t understand why his relationship with Scott went downhill overnight. For weeks, he’s been trying to get the other man to talk to him, but Scott is distant—most of the time he just ignores Riley completely. It isn’t until a mutual acquaintance arrives at their home that Riley understands the pressure Scott has been under—and the danger they’re both in.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.





Excerpt
Chapter 1
Nothing was right between Scott and me anymore. Nothing. I lived in a nightmare, with no exit in sight, with no clue why my whole world had collapsed around me.

Everything was fine between us until I suddenly received the silent treatment. From one day to the next, Scott stopped touching me, stopped talking to me. He never listened to anything I said, just stalked off. Nothing I did could placate him, absolutely nothing.

Even the slightest touch made him jerk away whatever body part I dared to touch. His dark-blue eyes blazed at me, the furious expression on his face sending shivers up and down my spine. Never in our entire time as a couple had he looked at me this way. It was almost… hostile.

It broke my heart, literally. I felt it shattering into tiny little pieces, every shred of it piercing through me, making it difficult to breathe, to think, to be.

Somehow, I managed. Though it became harder every time he pulled away from me. The more he withdrew from me, the more I clung, or tried to cling. I can’t say I grew indifferent to his rejection, but I lived with it.

His sadness added to my concern. Scott came home and went straight to the sofa in the living room, where he spent hours staring into nothingness. It scared the living hell out of me.

This wasn’t the Scott I knew. The Scott I knew and loved would never ignore me, nor would he ever let a fight get out of hand. In the beginning of our relationship I had been, uh, a tad on the campy side. Whenever something hit me the wrong way, I stomped or flounced off, expecting Scott to follow me and beg me for forgiveness. He never did.

He did, however, tell me to grow up and come back to him when I was ready for a serious relationship. I wasn’t impressed and vowed never to talk to him again.

I avoided him as much as possible, an achievement in itself since we shared a dorm room. My avoidance lasted two days, then he caught me by surprise. He waited for me behind the door, pulled me in a tight embrace, and carried me over to his bed. There, he dropped me and lowered himself on top of me. “We do not run out on each other, Riley, is that clear?”

I shoved against his chest with both hands, enraged and indignant, but he didn’t budge an inch. Leisurely, he grasped both my wrists in one hand and put them above my head. The first time he did this, I struggled madly, only to end up crying that I didn’t want him to leave me while at the same time battling against the horrible feeling of embarrassment.

“I’m not going to leave you and the same goes for you. You’re it for me.”

He said it with so much conviction, so much compassion, that I burst into tears. Scott was all I’d ever wanted. He was fun to be around, had an easygoing attitude, and it didn’t hurt that he had a body to die for. I never got what he saw in me. I was a whole head shorter than him, skinny, and never found the time to get a haircut, which naturally led to my curls growing into a barely tamable mane.

“You can’t say something like that,” I whined. “We’re only nineteen. All nineteen-year-olds promise each other to stay together forever. It never works.”

“That’s not true and even if it were, then we’ll be the exception to the rule.”

“You can’t just—”

He silenced me with a kiss. He deepened the kiss and the whole incident ended in us doing more fun stuff. I still flipped from time to time, but after a few months I stopped running. Scott told me he was proud of me when I stayed for the first time. I jumped him for that, muttering, “I don’t get why you put up with me.”

“I have a thing for drama queens,” he deadpanned.

For a fleeting second his comment hurt, then I discovered the mischievous twinkle in his eyes. “Asshole.”

He grinned at me before he lavished my asshole with attention.

I got better at the not-flipping thing, though I never got the hang of the not-being-jealous thing. To be fair, Scott never gave me a reason to be jealous. It was merely the way other guys or girls looked at him, the open hunger in their eyes. The man was mine and mine alone. I never failed to make this clear to whoever dared to sidle up too close to him.

“Ri, cut it out, it’s not a pretty sight,” Scott always said in those moments.

I made a show of batting my lashes at him, all fake innocence. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Scotty. Aren’t you the one who always tells me I’m the prettiest thing you ever saw?”

“You’re a scamp.”

I gasped in shock, put my hands above my heart, and widened my eyes before I gazed up at him. “Me?

You’re wounding me.”

“I am? Hmm, would it help if I tell you that you’re the prettiest scamp I’ve ever seen?”

“I don’t know, big guy, I really don’t know.”

Scott pulled me into his arms, kissed me thoroughly, and asked, “You made up your mind now?”

“Yeah, I’m keeping you even if you suck at giving compliments.”

That was how we worked. Scott was the calm one, grounding me, loving me in a way I never fathomed anyone would. If anything, we grew closer over the years. We forged a bond that nothing could ever destroy. Or so I thought.



  • Must be 18yrs or older
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

What's Happening This Week!!

Hello. I hope you guys had a fabulous week once again. There is a lot of awesome coming this, giveaways and mostly every book this week is a 4 Pants Off or more. It has been some good readings of late. So stop by, say hi, and try to get your win on.





Here's what's causing a pants losing this week...


Monday

  • Excerpt & Giveaway with Chris T. Kat
  • Review: Inherit the Sky by Ariel Tachna (Reviewed by Hannah)
  • Review: Chase the Stars by Ariel Tachna (Reviewed by Hannah)
  • Review: Above All by Jane Elliot (Surprise Hit)

Tuesday
  • Review:To Touch the Stars by Jeremy Pack (Reviewed by Fehu)
  • Review: Dirty Secret by Rhys Ford (Oh My Effing Word)

Wednesday
  • Review: Pressure Head by J.L Merrow
  • Review: The Hot Floor by Josephine Myles

Thursday
  • Guest Post & Giveaway: The Hot Pressure Blog Tour
  • Review: Finding Zach by Rowena Speedwell (Reviewed by Hannah)

Friday
  • Review: The Hand Me Down by Zahra Owens
*Schedule subject to change*

~Enjoy Your Week Everyone~

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review: Stone Rose by Megan Derr

Stone Rose (The Lost Gods #3) by Megan Derr
Less Than Three Press
Novel: 77,000 words
5 Pants Off

Blurb:
Nine gods ruled the world until the ultimate betrayal resulted in their destruction. Now, the world is dying and only by restoring the Lost Gods can it be saved.

The Kingdom of Piedre has been torn apart by feuding since the Basilisk was found dead. The Brotherhood of the Black Rose seeks to ensure the Basilisk is destroyed forever, while the Order of the White Rose searches desperately for a way to restore him.

The latest mortal incarnation of the Lost God of Death is Prince Culebra, the Basilisk Prince. Plagued by assassins, one lover dead and the other gone, Culebra spends his days in despair, painfully aware that his predecessors died only one of two ways: murder or suicide.


Review:
I once again don’t have the words to describe the amazingness of this series and the excellence of this book. Megan Derr has again created a wonderful book filled with adventure, hot loving, and some of the most amazing characters I have ever read. There is never a dull moment and before you know it, the book will be over far sooner than you wanted it to.

Prince Culebra lives a lonely existence, as the reincarnation of the Basilisk god; he is both feared and revered. He is also blind, his eyes hid behind bandages because for him to see the world many will have to die. In all factuality, he has a kill stare. There always are assassins out to get him and they have failed miserable because how can you mess with someone who has an affinity for snakes. Let’s, just say that Culebra is one protected prince. Doesn’t mean he’s unreachable it just means it takes the best to finally get to him.

The story then moves by introducing us to many characters whose life somehow intertwine. I think this is the where the authors skill lies. She can wield an intricate story line that always manages to come together with a bang. I really do not want to give anything away because the fun lies in finding out everything about this series, and with each book a bigger piece of the puzzle finally comes together but there are still always smaller pieces missing (leads to anticipation for the next book).

As I said, a very character driven series, and this one had some of the most exciting characters yet. I really am in love with everyone, even the slithering scaly beauties. A female lead has a strong presence in the book, which I am just jumping out of my pants for. I am very happy about the ménage relationship because it works and makes me happy, and I am completely bias to it. This leads me to the loving. The sex scenes are never explicit, and there aren’t that many but don’t worry you wont miss them *gasp* did I just write that.

I know this wont really count as a review, but I am singing Stone Rose praises so... it definitely means you need to check this serious out. Every book plays like a movie in my head, and I am just in love with the The Lost Gods world. Another wonderful story by the very fabulous Megan Derr.

5 Pants Off

Friday, September 21, 2012

Review: Love, Hypothetically by Anne Tenino

Love, Hypothetically (Theta Alpha Gamma) by Anne Tenino
Riptide Publishing
Novella: 120pgs
4.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
Paul's been called many things—graduate student, humanities tutor, jock-hater, even broke—but "forgiving" isn't one of them. When the new women's softball coach at Calapooya college specifically requests Paul to tutor his athletes, Paul's forced to put aside his strict "no athletes" policy for the sake of his paycheck.

Enter Trevor Gardiner, former Major League Baseball player and Paul’s high school boyfriend. Yeah, that one—the guy who sacrificed Paul for the safety of his closet and his future career. But Trevor’s come out and retired from baseball, and now he’s looking for forgiveness and a second chance.

There’s no earthly reason Paul should give him one, but he keeps letting the man state his case. And touch him. And take him sailing. The waters are far from smooth, though, and Paul says awful things to Trevor he isn’t sure he means. Now Paul has to decide: apologize and forgive Trevor for everything, or chalk it up as revenge and move on.


Review:
Frat, Boy, and Toppy left me in stitches, and after the scene with the hairbrush, I wondered how Anne Tenino would top that. Love, Hypothetically is just as funny, sexy, and offers up the same amount of emotional story. Yes, it’s funny as feck but its darn god sweet, it made me all gooey inside and I devoured the whole book in about two hours. Paul was introduced in book one of the series and I am not gonna pretend. He was a colossal asshole, and he is still an asshole but of the most awesome kind.

Paul uses words to cut a person down to size; he's cynical and a bit dark. He also has this unusual hate for all things jock. He don’t want one, he don’t like them around, and mostly he doesn’t trust them. You see his hatred is a personal one, and his hurt is transferred to anyone who wears a jock strap and put their feet in runners. When the man who created his jock phobia comes, walking back in his life Paul hides behinds his sharp tongue and I don't give an eff attitude. How do you move on from your first love outing you and offering you up to the sharks. You do not. So nine years later Paul cannot forgive Trevor. Even if it is love, it’s hypothetical after all.

Can I just say that I am head over heels in love with Paul. He is so much fun and genuine in his bitterness. I never once found him annoying and understood his apprehension in jumping into a relationship with Trevor. Some say leave the past behind, but sometimes the past can shape a persons future. This rings true of Paul, he doesn’t have a trustful bone in his body and even keeps his friends from getting too close. Trevor is your typical male character; he's sweet, sexy, and is going a bit bald (wait, that isn’t typical at all). Together both he and Paul provide an entertaining and sexy read.

Love, Hypothetically is a quick fun filled read, and it felt like visiting old friends. It’s been awhile since I laughed with such joy from reading a book, and gems like these don’t come along often. I recommend you read this book for the high entertainment value and the stellar writing. I wish I had more eyes so I could read more Anne Tenino, obviously someone decided only two is enough, pffft. Recommended!!!

4.5 Pants Off


I don't recommend often but when I do, it's an Anne Tenino.

Review: The British Devil by Greg Hogben

Reviewed by Hannah
The British Devil by Greg Hogben
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 290pgs
5 Pants Off

Blurb:
British national Greg Stephens knew there would be challenges in his new relationship with handsome American Navy officer Danny Taylor: long distance; Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; the Defense of Marriage Act; US immigration….

But he didn’t anticipate his greatest obstacle: Danny’s born-again Christian mother, Vivien. A secretary in a small-town Southern Baptist church in Texas, she bristles at Greg’s secular beliefs. Through passive-aggressive manipulation, subtle deceit, or outright battle, Vivien resolves to banish Greg and return Danny to the fold, come hell or high water. Greg’s hold on Danny’s heart is pitted against Vivien’s crusade for Danny’s soul.

All the while, Greg devotes himself to keeping Danny happy while negotiating the cultural differences of his life in America. Danny’s new career as a lawyer takes them from his native Texas to New York. But with Vivien testing Greg’s stiff upper lip at every turn, something has to give.

The British Devil is a semiautobiographical novel exploring culture, religion, and love in a bi-national relationship.


Review:
This semi-autobiographical novel by Hogben is such a refreshing addition to the M/M genre (plus my personal collection).

This story has the foundations of many M/M romance novels; there is rejection, conflict, love and the ever over-bearing presence of the Christian faith. However what ‘The British Devil’ brings to the table is the ever loved English wit (yes I’m English, yes I’m bias, lets all move on and enjoy the book shall we). Hogben’s writing is sharp and funny throughout this book making it a truly enjoyable read, one that I tore through in a mere four hours.

The story of Greg and Danny is something of an underdog tale, the underdog being their relationship and the chance for a happy ever after. If it is isn’t enough that they are kept apart by the Atlantic ocean they have a right wing, bible bashing, Southern Baptist nut of a mother getting in their way.

Greg and Danny meet on a Military site and their ‘lust’ for each other is almost instant. The way that Hogben has written this book allows the reader to get right into their relationship. You are brought into their lives six months in, and then with some clever narration you are taken through the passages of how their love developed and you are lead along the bitter path they have to travel to get to their increasingly unattainable happy ending.

This had the undertones of what could be a truly heartbreaking story of rejection, however this particular tale of the Christian faith getting in the way of a ‘gay romance’ is slightly different, and Hogben writes it in such a way, that even the moments of highest tension are soon released with quick wit and humour making it a light relief after so many M/M that leave your heart barely beating.

Danny’s mother has never rejected him for being gay, but as you come to see, that doesn’t stop his mother resenting Greg for taking her son right down to ‘Hell’.

It is the interactions between Greg and Vivien, Danny’s strict Baptist mother, that provide so much of the quick wit in this book, the sparks really fly whenever these two characters meet on the page. The best way I can describe this book is it has charisma. Greg’s quick responses to his over-baring ‘mother-in-law’ will have you cracking up whilst also trying to figure out if Danny and him can ever overcome such intolerance.

This book is filled with loud and loveable side characters that provide so much of its appeal, as Greg’s friends fill the pages with comical antidotes that bring welcome relief from all the tension created by the underlying worry that the happiness can’t last for Greg.

This book isn’t filled with sex (I know, BOO!) but in its place you have pure chemistry between Danny and Greg. These characters are a true example of love and companionship as they interact with adorable mocking and tenderness…and lust. It is a relationship that the reader can invest in and picture a future for them, which keeps you desperately reading as you pray this GOD FORSAKEN women will be taken down.

Greg Hogben has written a truly great book. One that you will enjoy over and over again as you read through a relationship that faces the common pitfalls of trying to protect each other, doing the right thing, putting the other person before yourself and above all, finding a way to make love work in a world that doesn’t always give you a chance.

Read, laugh, and enjoy.

~you may want to hold onto the fact this is semiautobiographical as you read through some of this story…bloody hell.~


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