Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: Vampirism And You! by Missouri Dalton

Reviewed by Fehu
Vampirism and You! by Missouri Dalton
Prizm Books
Novel: 199pgs
3.75 Pants Off

Blurb:
Louis’ whole life was planned right to a bite on the neck at his seventeenth birthday. The British native has a whole lot of changes coming his way. There’s the cravings, the urges, the relocation to rural USA…it’s a lot for a teenager to handle. Throw in the possibility that he might not be as straight as he always thought and it’s a tangled mess as Louis tries to navigate his new life as a vampire.

Things aren’t going to be easy though, and his foster-vampire Duncan is determined to make Louis a fine upstanding example of vampirism—or else. Louis has his handbook though to explain well, some things. But not everything.

When a new vampire shows up in town, Louis thinks he’s finally found someone to confide in, except Eli has his own agenda and Louis is about to find out that being a vampire means more than drinking blood and causing mayhem—there are also dirty politics, dark secrets, and a whole lot of reading assignments.


Review:
Let's talk about book chemistry! With some stories I can get into the story from the first sentences and this was the case with this one, though I don't read a lot of vampire stories, Louis's bratty voice drew me in. I liked the references to modern shows and movies, like Twilight and Interview with a Vampire; they were all worked well into the story. So what is the story about?

The first person narrator is Louis, who has been rather less willingly turned into a vampire and now has to move away from his family, that is serving a vampire countess and move in with his new vampire guardian Duncan, to the USA. Now Louis have to learn how to be a proper vampire, there is a guide book (which is pretty funny) and adapt to a new live as a high school student, as if being a vampire wasn't enough of a challenge and his sadistic foster parent makes him participate in a drama club as a punishment, which wouldn't be so bad, if all his new classmates didn't smell like food to poor Louis. While Duncan is out of the house Louis meets Eli, another vampire and his blood brother, bitten by the same countess, who he later finds out is also a psycho killer, who doesn't stop from killing his own or drinking their blood unwillingly, even if that is forbidden. All is not well in the archaic vampire society and Louis and Duncan find out they are in the thick of things, they have strong allies but their enemy is the current Lord Dracula himself, if they want to have their revenge for the people they lost or change things in the vampire society, Louis will have to fight Dracula for his title.

I did mention that I did fall into the story quickly, the characters are well developed and I liked the sarcastic comments or the funny way the vampire guidebook was written (for the most part). The story is not fun and light like it appears in the beginning and it's not all about teenage angst or adapting to a new role/ way of life. There are some serious themes mentioned, like rape of a minor, which happened in the past, and is not graphic but it's still one of the darker parts of the story same as a mass murdering of humans, which is described, so this part of the book might not be for everyone’s taste.

Honestly I liked the first part, which was light-hearted quite a bit more and would have given the book a better rating had it stayed that way. The adventure and intrigue part progressed rather quickly and the arising challenges were solved too fast for my taste, especially after all the build up. I'm giving it more that 3 pants off for engaging characters, making me laugh and an interesting take on a vampire story.

Review: Until It's Time to Go by Connie Bailey

Until It's Time To Go by Connie Bailey
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 220pgs
3.25 Pants Off

Blurb:
When a tragedy derailed his life, screenwriter Isaac Zevin became a recluse. Between the cheesy straight-to-video action scripts and his drinking problem, he’s surprised to get a call from Tony Kendall, the award-winning director he was slated to work with just before he fell off the map. After some persuading, Isaac agrees to help Tony realize his modernized vision of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

On set, Isaac is horrified to find the lead role filled by heartthrob superstar Colby Lightner, an actor Isaac believes embodies everything that’s wrong with Hollywood. Colby, on the other hand, couldn't be happier to work with Isaac and resolves to make Isaac like him. As Isaac deals with his unwelcome attraction to Colby and the stress of writing a script during production, Laith, his troubled godson, shows up at his door looking for help. Isaac knows if he turns his back on the boy, he’ll never forgive himself. But how can he juggle his craft, his crush, and his godson’s problems when he can’t even take care of his cat?


Review:
Another book I was looking forward to reading, but it really didn't quite live up to its potential. Beginning with a prologue that had me rolling my eyes, because I wasn't feeling any of the so called grief the character was trying to express. It was the most unnecessary long prologue ever, and could have easily been wrapped up in a few paragraphs in the first chapter.

Isaac Zevin lost his partner a little over 10yrs ago, and from the moment he lost Steve he has gone into a downward spiral. He was right on the brink of his career as a talented Screen writer, but it all comes tumbling down. He left Hollywood behind in pursuit of odd jobs and drowning his sorrow in a bottle or two, with his cat as his only companion. For 10yrs he roamed with no purpose but he's decided to finally go home and write again. But staying out of the spotlight is hard for Isaac when he gets offered a job to write the script for a modern day Dorian Grey; it’s a job he just can't turn down. What it does mean is that his sourly ass has to deal with people, and Hollywood’s heartthrob Colby Lightner.

The book has fantastic writing, and Isaac is so snarky and witty that it’s very easy to like him. What made it fall short for me is that I felt like Isaac didn't evolve. He was just snarky all the freaking time, and it eventually took away from his progression when it came to relationships. Also the romance part didn't really do anything for me, and Colby didn't feel like he belonged with Isaac. I wasn't buying their relationship, which made Isaac's feelings very understandable. Another thing not needed was the epilogue, made the story drag and made me do eye roll numerous.

What I did enjoy was Isaac's relationship with his cat, and the cat's death was the saddest part of the story for me (not even Steven's death brought a tear). Another good thing was the relationship with his nephew Laith, which showed a compassionate side of Isaac, and brought light the effects of his drinking. I am surprised no one really voiced a concern about his drinking (like a strong concern) instead of nonchalantly pointing it out. He really had a problem, and I doubt he could have just quit cold turkey without some withdrawal symptoms.

The plot progression...well there wasn't really much. It’s like Isaac changed a little but then he didn't change at all. So yeh, my feelings are mixed on this one. The writing was good, and I really do like Isaac but I didn't enjoy Until It's Time to Go as much as I had hoped.

Should You Read It? This is a hard one to call, cus I am all over the place with my own feelings. If the blurb interests you, then you should probably check it out and also if you're fan of Connie Bailey.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Review: Poacher's Fall by J.L Merrow

Reviewed by Fehu
Poacher's Fall (Midwinter Manor #1) by J.L Merrow
Dreamspinner Press
Short Story: 65pgs
3 Pants Off

Blurb:
One snowy night just before Christmas, 1922, poacher Danny Costessey rounds off a night trapping rabbits by climbing a tree to fetch some mistletoe for his mother—only to fall and break his leg. Taken to the manor house to recover from his injuries, Danny meets the reclusive owner, Philip Luccombe. Village gossip has it Luccombe went mad during the war, but Danny soon realizes he’s simply still mourning his late lover. As friendship grows between them, Danny starts to fall for handsome, shy Philip.

Danny’s lively nature, roguish good looks, and ready laughter enchant Philip, and he finds himself being drawn out of his shell whether he will it or not. But when Danny tries to move beyond friendship, Philip panics—and his rejection threatens not only their happiness, but Danny’s health.



Short Review:

Lord Philip lost his lover not to war, but to a simple illness and now lives like a ghost in his own estate, grieving for his partner and the love they had, sure that he won’t find something similar again. Around Christmas a young man is found injured and Philip finds out that it is Danny the son of a man who worked for his father in the past and whose physical appearance Philip admired in his youth. Danny is up to his father line of work as a poacher and got injured because he wanted to do something nice for his mother and bring her a mistletoe. While Danny heals under Philips watch, both men discover that they do have something in common after all.

First of all I liked this story, BUT it's short and ends rather abruptly. Also the romance is fast paced, they meet and fall in love rather quickly, conflict, when arises is solved pretty fast as well which doesn't help to build suspense. Surprisingly Philip doesn't fear repercussions for his sexual orientation; usually there is some fear of discovery in historical romances. The characters are interesting, but not fully fleshed out; of course this is the first part of a story, so this may change. Still, for a grieving man Philip gave in rather quick to temptation, with very little regret, I thought that was rather easy for him as historical romance. Nevertheless, it would make a nice quick winter read.

3 Pants Off

Review: Plan B by SJD Peterson

Plan B by SJD Peterson
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 200pgs
2.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
Danny Marshal has always lived his life out loud, but his androgynous appearance is only a small part of who he is. One night at a frat party, Danny meets Lance Lenard, football jock and apparent straight guy. Lance is shocked when he's immediately attracted to Danny's feminine side. Danny is happy to be the subject of Lance's first man-on-man experiment—until Lance begins to struggle with the fact that despite his appearance, Danny is indeed a man.

Lance's whole life has been focused on his goal of playing in the NFL, and he knows those dreams will be smashed if anyone finds out about his little secret. Although Lance has come to hunger for Danny's touch, he's not willing to give Danny what he's grown to crave: a boyfriend who's proud to love him for every flamboyant and snarky cell in his body.

Life sends Danny and Lance in different directions, each of them focused on his respective Plan A. But the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.


Review:
All the ways I was excited to read this book, it even made unto my list of January pants droppers so expectation was high (ya think I would learn my lesson by now). I am a huge fan of androgynous characters who like to play with their look and this book looked like it had it spades. Well, it didn't go the way I expected and ended up getting all the bad feels.

Danny Marshal doesn't hide who he is, he likes to be pretty and man is he ever good at it. A little make-up here and some six inch heels and he looks spectacular. Off to be the wingman to his best-friend Bo at a college frat party, Danny would rather be elsewhere but what the hell's a best-friend for? Danny is happy that his friend has found a girl, and Katie seem very sweet but it’s her brother that get things stirring. When Lance asks Danny if he sucks dick, the night goes from bad to worst. Danny is pissed and just wants to head home, to forget what the dumb jock asshole said. It’s a good thing he never has to see Lance again? Or so he thinks.

When Danny runs into Lance again, he never expected him to be polite or to show some interest. Suddenly, their hanging out together, Lance is coming to his plays, and making an actual effort to be a good guy. While Danny fights his attraction, Lance admits he's also attracted to him when he dresses and looks feminine. Which leads to stolen kisses behind closed doors, and sneaking around and Danny wants more. He's lived out and proud his entire life and will not resort to hiding so Lance can keep his straight act up in public, it’s better to walk away no matter how much it might break his heart.

This book has all the things I love reading about but somehow this didn't work for me. With Danny being the first person narrator, I think this is where the story went wrong for me cus I feel like Danny had no story to tell. All I kept reading from him was how fabulous he is, and he could be out getting laid and what not. There were moments when I got real sincerity from him but it all got lost when he would say something obnoxious. He needed a moment to realize that it wasn't all about him, and that is why I did not enjoy him as a character.

Lance had the story to tell, but he just came off as the bad guy. He got no time to prove himself, and everything was done on Danny's time. He was more sincere in his feelings, even bordering on desperation but he remained like a speck in the life of the person who mattered. Where he wasn't willingly being a bastard, Danny did things out of selfishness trying to hurt Lance (gawd, he was petty). I think I told him to "suck it" a few times, and after awhile I just stopped caring and the story lost me. Since Danny was the main focus, and I don't like him (not even a little) Plan B was a disappointment. I don't even want to call it a romance, because I didn't feel it.

Should You Read It? This is one of those books that will vary depending on the reader. I once again could be the odd one because it has all the things I like reading about, a cross-dressing character with attitude, but I think over the entirety of the book that’s all it was. Danny lacked depth, and he really shouldn't have been the entire focus of the story. This is just all me though, because others seem to like this one a lot.

2.5 Pants Off

Excerpt & Giveaway: Too Good to be True? by Chris T. Kat


Sequel to Seizing It



Blurb:
Three months after Kit falls in love with Dale, his epilepsy takes a turn for the worse and his nightmares and flashbacks about his abusive ex intensify. His work at the veterinary clinic and as a freelance translator only adds to the stress. As Kit's life flies out of his control, his last tether of sanity frays as Dale grows frustrated with Kit's stubborn independence.


Dale wants to be Kit's rock—to step in to help—but the walls Kit builds may be too hard to break through.



Excerpt from Chapter Three: 


Two strong hands gripped my shoulders before I had a chance of stomping away. I groaned loudly. “Get the fuck—”

“It’ll be okay, I’m here.”

I was about to ask him what the hell he was talking about when my world suddenly tilted on its axis. I found myself on the floor on my side with a sofa cushion quickly placed under my head. My eyes widened when it dawned on me what was going to happen. A whimper escaped my mouth, followed by, “Not a seizure. I don’t want to—”

I broke off midsentence. My whole body spasmed and jerked, my last coherent thought being that this was going to be a big one.

I was right with my prediction. When I woke up shortly for the first time, the first thing I became aware of was the sharp smell of vomit. I coughed and choked, the nausea leaving me reeling from its intensity.

“Hey, welcome back,” Dale whispered in my ear.

“Sick,” I croaked, while willing my stomach to quit churning.

My body moved on its own, eliciting a surprised yelp from me. The movement stopped immediately, and Dale said, “I’m just moving you a bit so you’re not lying in your puke. I’ll get a washcloth. Don’t move, okay?”

Move? I couldn’t even pry my eyes open, which wasn’t that bad because I had at least a chance to keep the tears from running freely.

“Kit? Do you understand?”

“Yeah,” I mumbled.

One of Dale’s hands lifted my head while the other one pushed something aside. Something else was placed underneath my head, from a feel of it, another cushion. The first cushion had probably been soiled by me. Embarrassed, I sniffed.

“Don’t, kitten,” Dale said before he pressed his lips firmly against my right temple. Then he was gone.

I busied myself with struggling against new waves of nausea and holding back tears of utter humiliation.

“Kit,” Dale sighed when he came back.

He swiped a warm washcloth over my mouth and face, cleaning me up in his usual gentle manner.

Dale kissed my cheeks, no matter how hard I tried to pull my head away. How could he even stomach to be so close to me? My breath had to reek, and kissing this pathetic, sniffling mess on the floor surely couldn’t be high on his to-do list.

“Kit! Stop it! I’m not going anywhere. I love you. A seizure doesn’t change that.”

Sooner or later he would change his mind, I was sure of it. He was supposed to be my lover, not my caretaker.

“Kit, please calm down.”

That was easy for him to say. He wasn’t the one feeling sick like a dog and embarrassed beyond belief. There was also the fact that my body still felt weird, as if it wasn’t through with whatever it did when it decided to seize.

I became aware of my hands clenching to fists and my arm muscles contracting symmetrically. “No,” I whispered, “no, no, no.”

My muscles suddenly spasmed, and I heard myself panting and Dale exclaiming, “Oh hell!” before unconsciousness claimed me again.


Chris T. Kat
Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there's any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.


Links: 
Blog: http://christikat.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christi_kat
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/ChrisTKat/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChrisTKat/ 
DSP author page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=605 



Giveaway

  • Leave a comment along with email
  • Must be 18yrs or older
  • Winner has 48hrs to reply to my email or another winner will be chosen
  • Contest runs until March 3rd 11:59pm EST

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Awesome Giveaways!!!

Hey folks, hope Tuesday has been good to you. I am stopping by with a quick update for you so you can go win some awesome books (like tons and plenty).

First up is Joyfully Jay who is having a massive giveaway for their Jock Week. Over 64 prizes and one of them can be yours. Be sure to enter and get in on this massive giveaway.


Lily Velden is having a giveaway for her upcoming release Gay as Mardi Gras. Contest runs until March 5th 2013 (Be sure to comeback and check out Lily's Guest Post on March 8th only on POR).

The Novel Approach is having a giveaway of the third book in the Impulse series by Amelia C. Gormley. Be sure to comment to win, cus this series is amazeballs.



~Go Get Your Win On!!~

And the Winner is....




LIAM

(Winner of the Josephine Myles backlist eBook Giveaway)

&

Trix, who won the grandprize of the flogger


~winners chosen using random.org by the author~

Monday, February 25, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway: Prolific by Angelia Sparrow

There are three things typically said of me: I am unique. I am the Queen of Cross-genre. And I am prolific.


This year sees the release of my 12th and 13th novels, one of them being Barbarossa's Bitch. Not bad for eight years of work. There are over seventy short stories with my name on them as well.

So, I get people asking, "How do you do it?" I am approached by aspiring writers at conventions ALL the time. They all have great ideas. And they want to know how I went from having an idea to being a published author.

I tell them that I follow the advice of great writers.


"Write a story every day. Write it. Finish it." ~Ray Bradbury
Hmm. As much as I love Bradbury, I can't do it. That's more words than I can manage.
"Write 2000 words every day. Some days I am done and bout my errands by 10 AM. Some days, I am still at 1500 as Tabitha is calling me for supper." ~Stephen King
2000 is tough. That's more than NaNoWriMo, every month! But I've been giving it a try this year. I don't always manage it.


"Write. Put one word after another. Find the right word and put it down. Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it!" ~Neil Gaiman
That sounds doable.
"You can do anything for fifteen minutes." ~Flylady
You really can. I have written a fair few pieces 15 minutes at a time. I find the Dr. Wicked Write or Die site is brilliant for keeping me on task for those fifteen minutes. (It will erase your words if you pause for more than 10 seconds.) In fifteen minutes, I can write approximately 600 words. I am a slow typist. That's about a page and a half.

Victor Milan (author of about 50 novels), says "Commit to five words. Even if you can't face fifteen minutes or 2000 words, write five."

It works for some people. And on the days when I really can't face mortal combat with the keyboard, that is what I do. I usually end up with about forty, but I promise myself five.

But all this good advice boils down to one word: WRITE!

Don't dream it; be it. Don't just tell and retell your story in your head and with your mouth. Write it on paper.

Pardon me for one more quote, this one from Amadeus. When approached about the fact he hasn't written the promised piece, and rehersals start next week, he tells the theater owner that it's all in his head, the rest is just scribbling. "Write it down! It does no one any good in your head!" is the response. And that is my answer to the aspiring. :)

I write almost every day. There are times I am away from home, and can't write. Conventions, in particular, are not conducive to writing time. But when I am home, I eke out my writing time. And most of all, I listen to Neil: FINISH IT!

The secret to being prolific is not inspiration. It is not talent. It is dedication to the story you are telling.

Some stories feel like pulling teeth. There were times--during edits, especially--when this book, Barbarossa's Bitch, got the better of me and I stared at it for a day and wrote nothing. Having glared it into submission, I could then continue.

Some books take longer than others. Naomi and I started this piece about three years ago. We'd poke at it, let it alone, poke it again. And last spring, I said "Let's finish this." She said, "Sure," and we did.

Those three words "and we did" encompass hours on AIM, more hours bashing a keyboard, too many hours typing in one window with "Sons of Anarchy" running in a second (we both have fantastic Chibs crushes) and AIM in a third. And far too many repetitions of the playlist.

But we wrote. We put one word after another. We finished it.

I think the only difference between an aspiring writer and a prolific writer is sitting at the keyboard and typing.



Barbarossa's Bitch is currently available from Storm Moon Press in ebook format for $5.99.

Angelia Sparrow's work can be found at http://www.brooksandsparrow.com. She can also be found on LiveJournal (valarltd), Facebook (Author Angelia Sparrow), Google+ (Angelia Sparrow), Fetlife (valarltd), Twitter (@asparrow16), and Blogger.









GIVEAWAY!

This post is part of the blog tour for Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks' new book Barbarossa's Bitch. To celebrate this new release, they're holding a huge giveaway! You can enter by commenting with your e-mail address on this post or any other on their blog tour throughout this week. Commenting on multiple blogs means multiple entries, so follow along and keep commenting! Entries are open until Midnight EST on Saturday, March 2nd, 2013. There will be three winners. The Grand Prize is Angelia Sparrow's entire backlist (that's 12 novels and over 70 short stories). First runner up will get an ebook copy of Barbarossa's Bitch along with a $10 gift certificate to Angelia's Etsy shop, and the second runner up will get the ebook alone. Amazing prizes are a great way to sweeten the dark themes of this post-apocalyptic gay novel! Thanks for joining us on the blog tour and remember to comment to enter the giveaway!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

What's Happening This Week!!


Howdy folks, hope you all had a fab week once again? This week for me was a slow one, but I got some things done like registering my little one for school (I can't believe that both my boys will now be in school). Come next week both have separate doctor appointments, so its gonna be busy, busy. There's also much to come for this week on the blog also.

I am gearing up to do my first theme week in April, which will be all about the Geeks *squee*. I love me some sexy nerds and can't wait to spend an entire week on their awesome. So look forward to an official post about dates and what to expect. I am very excited!!!

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


Reviews:
Until It's Time To Go by Connie Bailey
Plan B by SJD Peterson
Vampirism & You by Missouri Dalton (Fehu)
Poacher's Fall by JL Merrow (Fehu)
Caribbean Blues by Ari McKay
Caller's Secret by Charlie Piersol





Guest Posts & Giveaway:
Angelia Sparrow (blog tour)
Excerpt & Giveaway with Chris T. Kat (Too Good To Be True?)




~Have A Great Week!~

Friday, February 22, 2013

You, Me, & Yaoi #9: Cage In the Finder by Ayano Yamane

by Ayano Yamane
4.5 Pants Off

Blurb: Akihito Takara thought he left the cutthroat dangers of the Underworld behind after barely escaping his last adventure alive. However, he soon finds himself reunited with the mysterious and powerful crime lord Asami, and he is once again thrust into an unseemly world of decadence and bloodshed. Will Takara be lucky enough to escape a deadly fate twice in a row, or are Asami's plans for him of a more amorous nature? Also includes an erotic bonus story and an exclusive interview with author Ayano Yamane!


4.5 Pants Off



Thoughts: Cage in the Finder picks up where the first volume left off, Akihito is still out and about causing trouble. When he is approached by a detective wanting his help on how to find the infamous Asami, Akihito plays fool. Yet the detective talks him into going to one of Asami’s high end club, and once again Aki finds trouble with his camera and he also finds Asami. And of course Asami can’t let him leave without a good seeing to.  This volume also shares light on the mysterious and beautiful Fei Long, who is like the freaking love of my life. In depths look into how he came to know Asami, and the betrayal he felt at his hands. Now all the puzzle pieces are finally connecting, and things are getting exciting.

I really enjoyed this one a lot more, and the plot seems to be getting more excited. A lot less focus on sex in this volume, more character development and relationships which I really enjoyed. The art is of course fantastic and Asami is like super sexy and I love that playful way he has with Akihito. I just can’t get enough of them! I love how surpised Aki always is when he’s having with Asami “OMG, he’s gonna enter me” he is just so silly.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of the volumes; because I can already see the drama unfolding and man do I want more Fei Long (nobody rocks all that hair like he does).


Get Interested!

Dead Yet?


Review: The Italian Connection Vol.1 by Alex A. Akira

The Italian Connection Vol.1 (Dojo Boys #4) by Alex A. Akira
Triple A Press
Novel: 213pgs
3.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
This swiftly paced 2 Volume romantic Yaoi love story tells the story of the multi-talented thief/dancer Philippe Michael Ponty. First introduced in Dojo Boys: Dragon & Crow Volume II, the now 22 year old platinum haired, petite Adonis struggles to make a home for himself in America.

Volume I finds Philip settling in Connecticut in disguise as he doesn't want to draw too much attention to his true line of work. Despite his caution, he meets and befriends a local rock musician Tommy Sear, who despairs of ever having his band make it.

Quickly smitten by the dark haired, shy Asian male that is Philip, Tommy seeks to make the young man his, but Philip doesn't believe in love, besides he has a very real problem, he can't seem to get the victim of his last burglary, green eyed, virile Italian male... out of his mind.
With Philip's encouragement, Tommy renews his efforts to get his band Sear a record deal. He makes a demo and shortly after a scout contacts him, from Italy no less.

The Italian scout is coming to America hear them play in the hopes of signing Sear to the much sought after label Romano Studios. But Tommy has a secret and he's afraid that without Philip's help, they may not get the deal.


Review:
So I went into reading this one without having read the first 3 volumes, and though there were characters I was unfamiliar with, the story was pretty easy to follow. The book begins with Philippe a lithe thief breaking into a home, research says no one should be home but his plans get thwarted when a beautiful man is asleep in a couch in the very room he needs to steal from. Philippe is attracted to him, and wish he could have seen the man under different circumstances but he's got a job to do. What he never expected was a confrontation with the sleeping man and a kiss that would come to change his life.

Julian Romano is in Italy for a little R&R after a very nasty break-up with his partner. He's hurting and was being a bit destructive, and as a part owner with his twin brother Gregori of Romano Records, he needs to have his wits about. What he never expected was to be robbed on his vacay, and to want the thief something fierce. Many months later he's still pheneing for his little thief, but alas real life calls and it’s time to head back home and get back to work.

The book is very fast paced, and I did enjoy pretty much all the characters but I had a few niggles. The constant knowing what every character is thinking was annoying, really killed the flow of reading. So I found myself not reading all those inner thoughts written in italics (it was like a character always having an aside). The flashbacks also felt very contrived and out of order, which once again messed with overall delivery (it probably cause some confusion for readers). While most things seem all over the place, the author manages to bring everything together, but still left me with questions and anticipating reading the next volume. Things is about to get serious.

The thing to remember is that this book is yaoi, from the very core of the plot to how the characters talk to each other. There is a lot of story happening, with many characters and eye rolling moments. The Italian Connection is a fun read, with likable characters, and pretty men all around. An insta love thing going on which works with the story line and Philip's past which is very questionable, will not be for all readers (underage talk of sex) something which is not unusual in yaoi so I wasn't bothered. Overall, I liked it and can't wait to read volume 2.

Should You Read It? If you are a fan of yaoi and enjoy reading about pretty men then this book is for you. The sex part of it is very tame, and mostly it’s all very character based. Needed to be bit cleaner in delivery, but I liked it nonetheless. Plus, that covers is all kinds of pretty!!

3.5 Pants Off

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway with Josephine Myles

"If it pleases you, Master." What makes a good submissive? - a guest post by Josephine Myles

Drake Jaden, bound
Eyes to the ground, Bitch!

 I'll admit it: there once was a time when I thought submissives were weak. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to be dominated by someone else, and in particular my feminist hackles were raised by the idea of women submitting to men. To me, it looked as if Dominants had it all: the control, the power and most of all, the pleasure.

However, over time and with increasing knowledge of what really happens in a D/s power exchange, I've come to realise that submission is not something for the weak-willed. Indeed, I have a great respect for the people who hand over control and power to someone else for a short while (or perhaps longer if you want to live it 24/7). It's not an easy thing to do and it takes great trust and honesty, along with a willingness to face your fears. Submissives aren't drippy walkovers, they're tough cookies.

The thing that came as a real shock, though, was the dawning realisation that when BDSM is working properly (safe, sane and consensual), it's actually the submissive who is the one getting the best deal. They're the ones being given pleasure (even if it sometimes looks like pain to an outsider). They're the ones who can lose themselves in the moment, truly alive in their bodies. And what's more, they're the ones who can end it all with a single word if they need to.

However, despite the hedonistic pleasures of submission, there are a few duties a good submissive should always bear in mind.

Honesty - because if there's one thing a dominant needs in order to plan properly, it's a comprehensive knowledge of what makes their submissive tick, both in terms of turn ons and turn offs.

Obeying orders - preferably quickly and without question... unless they happen to be teamed up with a Dominant who enjoys a Smart-Arsed-Masochist. I like to think Alasdair in Screwing the System is one of these Doms, and writing his interaction with Cosmo was always a huge amount of fun.

Accepting domination - (within pre-agreed limits) whether this means being tied up, hurt or used in all manner of degrading and delightful ways. Giant dildos optional.

Pleasing their Dominant - by maintaining good health and flexibility, and gaining new skills to please such as learning positions and mastering massage techniques. This might also include dressing in certain ways, and having body modifications like tattoos and piercings.

I have to admit, I still have a few difficulties wrapping my head around why somebody would want to go for a total power exchange relationship and live as a slave, 24/7, but I now know that by doing so, they're gaining great satisfaction and fulfilling a deep psychological need. I know I would never want to do anything like that myself, but I no longer find the idea creepy like I used to. I can see that rather than the owner getting all the benefits, they are in fact totally responsible for the well-being of their slave and that's a huge burden, not to be taken lightly.

Although it does mean you'd never have to do a chore you didn't want to do ever again. Right, I think I need a slave. Preferably one who enjoys vacuuming in the nude. Any takers? ;)

What do you think is the most important quality for a submissive to have? And if you had your own personal slave, what fiendish tasks would you set them?

Comment to win! Jo is offering a choice of a book from her backlist to one lucky commenter on this post, and all commenters throughout the blog tour will also be entered into a draw for the grand prize of a handmade suede flogger, to be announced on 25th February.

Also, watch out for the follow-up short story, Screw the Fags. To be available as a free download from Smashwords and All Romance eBooks this week!

Screwing the System

 He’s nobody’s bitch. Until he gets a ride on the bitch seat.


Forced to apply for a job he doesn’t want, Cosmo Rawlins has only one aim in mind: fail the interview and get back to making music. Except his attempt to shock the older, sharp-suited Alasdair Grant doesn’t have the desired effect.

 Instead of getting thrown out of the office by flaunting an interest in BDSM, Cosmo finds himself on his knees, apologizing to the sexy, good-looking Top.

 Alasdair has more important things on his mind than training a novice sub, especially a rebellious bad boy like Cosmo. But there’s something beneath the younger man’s defiant attitude that’s too intriguing to ignore.

 As Alasdair takes Cosmo in hand—and for a wild ride on his Harley—he becomes obsessed with bending the young rocker to his will, both in and out of bed. Until he goes one demand too far, and Cosmo is gone in a cloud of dust. Forcing Alasdair to admit that earning Cosmo’s loyalty—and love—will involve the toughest challenge he’s ever faced.

 Warning: This title contains an overbearing Top with a less-than-glamorous job, a rebellious brat who refuses to call him sir, and a total lack of high-end BDSM clubs or playrooms. Expect floggings over the kitchen table instead.

About the author:
 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

 Photo credit: istolethetv via photopin cc

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ARC Review: Velocity (Impulse #3) by Amelia C. Gormley

Velocity (Impulse #3) by Amelia C. Gormley
Self-Published
Novel: 210pgs
4+ Pants Off

Blurb:
REACHING OPTIMUM SPEED

For Detroit handyman Derrick Chance and his lover, Gavin Hayes, the holiday season is filled with the promise of new beginnings. Gavin’s officially moving in, and after the New Year, they’ll begin house hunting. But they both know all the talk of gift exchange, whose holiday ornaments go where, and what repairs and remodels will be needed to put Derrick’s house on the market is only a smoke screen.

Before the month is over, Gavin will have the final verdict on whether or not his dangerously delusional ex, Lukas, infected him with HIV. No matter how good Gavin’s chances appear with the three-month hurdle already passed, neither he nor Derrick knows what the future holds for them.

The holidays have always been a time of loss and mourning for Derrick, but now he has to stay strong as Gavin’s own fears and doubts assail him relentlessly. And when Lukas returns, unexpectedly penitent amid troubling revelations, Gavin has to ask himself whether he can offer Derrick the future he deserves, or whether these first few months of happiness are the best they will ever get.


Review:
In Velocity the final book in the series, Derrick and Gavin are pretty much living together. They both know they're in it for the long haul, but there are some things left to deal with, things that could drive a permanent wedge between the relationship they're trying to make work. From the beginning Gavin shared that he could be HIV positive, and though Derrick was honestly terrified he stuck around and remained a constant support. Now Gavin must face off with the man who started it all.

The entire Impulse series deals with a pretty heavy hitting issue, but it’s not an angst or sob fest. The story of the two men coming together is surprisingly sweet, and they really set fire to the pages. Where I felt the first two books focused primarily on Derrick, Velocity was Gavin's time to his face his worst demons and find solidity in his relationship with Derrick. It's the holidays, and with the looming test results Gavin is scared, and when the very man who might have infected him comes begging for help, he's unable to walk away. Suddenly, he's filled with doubts, but he is determined to get some answers regardless of whether he will like them or not.

Amelia Gormley has taken a serious topic, and presented it in a realistic manner. Gavin's fears are real, and his worry for involving Derrick is believable.  Though, the HIV thing could have been the entire focus, this book is really about Gavin standing up for himself and finding closure. Which thank the lord because he was becoming very frustrating. I really wanted to slap him upside his head, and Derrick’s passive attitude towards his stupidity irked me a lot. But I guess he really needed to figure this one out on his own, which making him getting a backbone at his disgusting ex all the more worthwhile.

Velocity, though tamer than book two is still a sexy fest. There are some hot scenes to melt the pants off your body. These characters have so much chemistry it’s freaking crazy. The very light D/s play really kicks it up the lovemaking a notch and have made me realize that I have a suspenders kink. I talk about sexy nerds, and Gavin is surely on that list.

The fact that these books are self-pubbed, and are so excellently written it should definitely be on everyone’s radar. The covers are gorgeous, the author's talent is legit, and the Impulse series is easily one of my faves. Gavin and Derrick are strong characters with a wonderful story that people should go out and discover for themselves. I can't recommend this enough!

Should You Read It? Seriously, you should go pick up all three books right now. Good point is that you don't have to wait and gobble up all three, and lose your pants all over the place. Amelia Gormley is an author to keep on radar, because I expect big awesmazing things to follow.

4 Pants Off
Review: Book #1 Inertia

Review: Tell Me It's Real by TJ Klune

Tell Me It's Real by TJ Klune
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 350pgs
5+++ Pants Off

Blurb:
Do you believe in love at first sight?

Paul Auster doesn't. Paul doesn't believe in much at all. He’s thirty, slightly overweight, and his best features are his acerbic wit and the color commentary he provides as life passes him by. His closest friends are a two-legged dog named Wheels and a quasibipolar drag queen named Helena Handbasket. He works a dead-end job in a soul-sucking cubicle, and if his grandmother's homophobic parrot insults him one more time, Paul is going to wring its stupid neck.

Enter Vince Taylor.

Vince is everything Paul isn’t: sexy, confident, and dumber than the proverbial box of rocks. And for some reason, Vince pursues Paul relentlessly. Vince must be messing with him, because there is no way Vince could want someone like Paul.

But when Paul hits Vince with his car—in a completely unintentional if-he-died-it'd-only-be-manslaughter kind of way—he's forced to see Vince in a whole new light. The only thing stopping Paul from believing in Vince is himself—and that is one obstacle Paul can’t quite seem to overcome. But when tragedy strikes Vince's family, Paul must put aside any notions he has about himself and stand next to the man who thinks he's perfect the way he is.


Review:
TJ Klune is awesome wrapped in crazy, regurgitated as spectacular. Tell Me It's Real will most definitely be in my fave books of 2013, I laughed, cried, I laughed while crying, and most of all I fell in love with all the characters.

From the book starts you just know that you are in for some greatness and some crazy. If you have read and loved the Bear, Otter, and Kid series, then you know TJ Klune is a downright genius with words and giving you the feels. Meet Paul Auster, he's a little on the chub side (just a little), he has a two legged dog called Wheels, and his best friend Sandy who has a drag queen alter ego called Helena. For Paul, life is pretty much a simple things. Yes, he could do with going out a bit more, and maybe a boyfriend would be nice but no one wants his stocky physique and his no brain to mouth filter. Why even bother when he's been dealt the same card all his life, overlooked for how he looks, and ignored by anyone he's been interested in. Things aren't all bad in his Paul's life, his family is crazy but they love and accept him for who he is, and maybe there is someone out there for him but he's not willing to take that chance and get hurt in the end.

Until, a night at the club watching his Helena perform turns into the first night that a sexy jock sends him a drink (this must be some sort of joke) and he then spits said drink in sexy jocks head. To make matters worse, it’s his birthday and that bitch Helena has called him up on stage (their friendship is officially dead) but he does get a nicer look at the jock, but seriously he can't really be interested in Paul. Then comes Vince, sexy jock and so head over heels for Paul that it will melt your heart. Paul thinks Vince interest must be a joke, but destiny gives him no choice but to face Vince’s interest head on, and that where things get interesting all kinds of fun.

Seriously, this book is made of awesmazing. As I said, I laughed (out loud scaring my kids and looking all types of crazy) and I continued to laugh till the very end of the book. Mr Klune took a classic trope, and elevated it to another level, causing feelings of happy. What also makes this book special is that both Paul and Vince are relatable characters (just a little less crazy when it comes to Paul or maybe if you're like me it’s the perfect amount). With all his inane chatter and goings on, you could easily put yourself in Paul's shoes (Unless shit has been perfect for you, your entire life then in that case move on ahead). These characters are imperfect, charming, and they will steal a whole lot of your heart.

Which brings me to the dialogue, there is some questionable content, but I am not easily offenced (once again this is my word). SEX FACE >_< pretty much made everything alright in my book. Yes, the editing could have been done with some cleaner delivery (but don't take my word for that, cus I suck at grammar and stuff) and I kept wondering about all the vagina talk but when it comes to the vagina I have something to say....

As a proud owner of a vagina, I kinda think they're pretty cool. Yes, sometimes it can do some questionable things and I often think to myself "what the heck are you up to now?" but it’s the giver of life. And if a human head weighs 8 pounds, then guess what people vaginas push out that type of weight and some. So are gay men really afraid of the vagina? If yes, then duded guess what you came out of one (unless you came from a c-section) so that means there will always be one with your name on it. So if by any chance you get called a vagina, remember this, they give life and that’s where all the magic happens (sometimes) and there aren’t that many flaps but plenty of holes.

Tell Me It's Real, is as real as it gets. Giving the underdogs a voice, because we're not all model thin, we don't always say and do the right things, and because what you have on the inside is what matters most. Nothing wrong with wanting you ten pack abs, or eating healthily or not eating healthily, but the very core of who you are is what prevails. Paul & Vince could easily be me or you.

Should You Read It? Are you even considering not to? Because if you are, I have two words for you SEX FACE >_< or maybe BLOWJOB FACE *O*  *o*  *0* cus dicks come in all sizes :D


5 Pants Off

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

And The Winner Is... Author Spotlight




SUE

(Winner of the Megan Derr Author Spotlight Giveaway)

*Winner chosen using random.org Thanks so much to those who commented*

Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: Too Stupid To Live by Anne Tenino

Too Stupid To Live (Romancelandia #1) by Anne Tenino
Riptide Publishing
Novel: 315
4.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
It isn't true love until someone gets hurt.

Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.

Until he meets Ian.

Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.

Until he meets Sam.

Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong . . . can they?


Review:
We first meet Sam in Whitetail Rock, as the best-friend of snarky and rude Nik, who landed his very own hot one true love. Sam knows there is no way he would ever find someone like Nik's boyfriend, because he just has too much going against him. He' way too tall, too freaking skinny, and all types of awkward there is just no way he'll land himself a hottie like the guys he likes to read from his romance novels. He does have hope though, hope that he will one day find his one true love, who will love him for all he is, all gangly limbs and geekdom.

While walking with his head in a book, Sam is almost run over by group of rugby playing men. Sam is helped by Ian a man who looks like a walking Highlander, all that’s missing is the kilt. For the first time in his life Sam decides to take a chance and ask someone out, but he's brutally shot down. Besides what was he thinking, trying to date out of his league? Because there is just no way would a man like Ian ever be interested in someone as plain as Sam. Or so he thinks. Ian finds himself thinking about the skinny kid, which is weird because he's really not his type. So maybe he shouldn't have been such a bastard when the kid asked him out, but what was he supposed to do. As a reformed man, he's done with casual hook-ups and is searching for someone to settle down with and clearly that kid wasn't it. Ian has his very own demons to deal with, and in his past he might not have been the most upstanding guy (a bit of a man whore really). Then there are also his personal troubles with his family, and Ian is looking like a modern hero in need of some assistance. It’s clear that Sam might be in for a world of hurt if he gets with Ian, but it’s always the wallflowers that land the rakes.

Things get complicated when Ian and Sam run into each other again, and Ian is actually the cousin of Nik's boyfriend Jurgen. Sam is warned off of pursuing anything with Ian because he's just no good (and clearly the setting up crazy things to come). If only Sam wasn't so crazy attracted, and Ian wasn't giving the come fuck me looks. He's gotta remember though, that idea is not the ideal for his one true love.

This book is classic contemporary feel good story, with lots of heart. Yes, there is the humour we have come to love and expect from Anne Tenino but it also offers up a realistic look on the fact that how you see yourself is sometimes how you get treated. Sam is a character that anyone can make a connection with, he's a bit misguided but he's also still hopeful. He's wary of starting a relationship with Ian, but his fear is understandable, he's worried about becoming that dreaded too stupid live to live character and for the most part he's already there. You know exactly the direction the story is going, but what it makes it unique is that the author pretty much tells it like it is from the book starts. It's an honest story, with a simple plot and it was delivered like a boss.

Let’s talk about sex baby, because this was some downright and dirty stuff. Sam and Ian, they boink a lot but never for a sec was I bored. Every sex scene was different, and really rocked my world. Tenino really knows how to write a sex scene, and I kinda want one of her crotched penis (or is that knitting?).

Should You Read It? You bet your sweet ass you should, because this author is awesome. Haven't read a book by her that I didn't love, and I am just looking forward to more of the Romancelandia world. A funny, beautiful, and sexy romance.

4.5 Pants Off

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What's Happening This Week!


Howdy my folks, hope you all had a splendid week? My kids are getting over the Chicken Pox, so everything is on the mend. I decided that on Friday to be a hero and take them to the mall O_o but it wasn't horrible, they played around in the Disney Store, went to the pet store, and minimal freakouts (I call that winning). So, it pretty much was a very slow week in my household.

Pants Off is still looking for new reviewers, so if you are interested drop me an email at pantsoffreviews@live.ca 


  • There is still time to win a book from Megan Derr's backlist, so be sure to enter the giveaway.


I am still looking for ideas for a theme week. I really like the "Hot For Teacher" idea, but I don't think there is that much books to have one. This one fully just came to me while writing up this post, Sexy Nerd/Geek theme week *fist pump*. Yep, I am really getting the feels for that one.

Here's What's Causing A Pants Losing This Week...

Reviews:
Tell Me It's Real by TJ Klune
Rainy Days by Victoria Zager
Velocity by Amelia C Gormley
Italian Connection Vol.1 by Alex A. Akira



Guest Post & Giveaway:
Josephine Myles Guest Post


Other Post:
You, Me, & Yaoi: Finder 2 (Cage in the Viewfinder) by Ayano Yamane



~Have A Great Week!~

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fanfiction Friday: Take #3


So I didn't do much fanfic reading for this week, I need to do some re-watching of shows to get all the feels. I did revisit some of my fave Twilight slash, Jacob/Edward getting it on must be what heavens like? I also read a bit of a Crazay Supernatural fic that was just so freaking weird I didn't even quite get what the hell I was reading. Trust me when I say it was crazy! I also read bit of HP fic too, love the whole enemies to lover and epic enemies are Harry/Draco plus this offered up a side of Mpreg ( I call that win).

Since I didn't read much fic, I had to go deep in the archives to pick out some of my faves. Happy Friday!!

Sterek (Teen Wolf Fandom)

Worlds That Turn On Their Own
3.75 Pants Off

Summary: When Stiles had left Beacon Hills, he'd done it with every intention of never coming back. Ten years later, he finds himself forced back to his hometown. Of course, it's not long before things are just as they had been before -- that is, falling headlong towards disaster, and this time, stopping it isn't really an option.

Thoughts: A cute fic, but not really that impressive. Stiles returns home after being gone for ten years, he has no choice to return cus his dad suffers a hear attack. He doesn't wanna see the pack but he can't be an asshole and not go take care of his father. A good job on character development, and nice pack feels.


Softer Than Silk, Stronger Than Iron
4.5 Pants Off

Summary: Stiles should have left them where he found them and called the wildlife department but with Stiles being Stiles, and his damn paternal instincts flaring up, of course he didn't. Instead he brought them to the Hale house. Hey, if hanging out with Werewolves could constantly get him into life threatening situations he should at least get something good out of it...like help raising the two little wolf cubs he's suddenly fallen in love with.

He doesn't even realize how much he's affecting Derek. Unfortunately for Derek, the rest of the pack does.

Thoughts: This one is epic, and the pack feels is off the chain. Stiles finds some wolf cubs and he starts giving Derek feels. Stiles discovers he's Derek's mate and all the crazy that comes with it. This offers up a solid Stiles and Derek, and man does it bring the sexy. Possible Mpreg ahead (so yeh it had me at hello)


JohnLock (Sherlock Fandom)


A Cure For Boredom
4 Pants Off

Summary: They'd never talked about sex in the year they'd known each other. Well, that wasn't quite correct: Sherlock had never said a word about sex; John had bemoaned his personal dearth of it on many occasions.

Thoughts: This fic is one in a million. Very sexy, kinky, and dirty. There is some F/M but John bending to Sherlock's will is just pure beauty to read about. Oh man I get the feels just thinking about it. This is why fanfic is awesome, they take characters you love and push them to another level.


The Fabric Of Life
4.75 Pants Off

Summary:None

Thoughts: What awesome is made of! This one is slow burn but so wonderfully written you will just gobble it up. Luckily for you don't have to wait for an update, I had to and it almost killed me. John thinks Sherlock is dead so he attends this group for people suffering from grief. It's sad and hits right in the feels, and even more so when Sherlock shows up alive and kicking. Shoot, I am gonna go reread this one.


Draco/Harry (Harry Potter Fandom)

The Silent World Within You
3.5 Pants Off

Summary: Harry only wanted Malfoy for one night, one birthday. It wasn’t meant to be anything more.

Thoughts: So not the best HP fic, but I still really liked it. Its an Mpreg so that alone is like an automatic win :D It's on here because I liked reading it.


Review: Frat House Troopers by Xavier Mayne

Frat House Troopers by Xavier Mayne
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 260pgs
3.75 Pants Off

Blurb:
State trooper Brandt’s new assignment to infiltrate a sex-cam operation puts him in a very uncomfortable position, especially since he’ll have to perform naked on camera for his audition. Fortunately his partner and best friend, Donnelly, has his back—whether that means helping Brandt shop gay boutiques for sexy underwear or offering J├Ąger and encouragement while he researches porn.

Despite his mortification, Brandt gives the audition his best “shot”—and becomes an overnight sensation. But to meet the man behind the operation, he'll have to give a repeat performance, this time live on webcam opposite the highest bidder. Donnelly makes sure to win that auction for his partner’s sake, but their plan has a flaw: faking it is not an option.

In the aftermath, Brandt is a humiliated mess trying desperately to come to terms with what he’s had to do for the job and his own mixed feelings. But Donnelly has been on a journey of discovery of his own. Suddenly everything the two men thought they knew about themselves and each other gets turned inside out. Meanwhile, they still have a case to solve… but it may not be the case they thought it was


Review:
I was really excited to read this one, and went into with a clear expectation. Let’s just say, that it’s completely different from what I was expecting, very goofy, a little bit sexy, and overall pointless (and I don't mean that in a bad way).

Brandt has to go undercover and he was picked for the job because of his assets. He's a pretty boy, and that will come in handy when he will have to pose as college student to bust a webcam porn ring for tax evasion. Brandt isn't confident he can do the job when he finds out he's gotta get naked on camera, and masturbate. This is just so way out of his comfort, and to make matters worse he's got to do this humiliating undercover thing with the help of his partner Donnelly. Brandt knows he will never live this UC job down.

So in order to land his fratty boy job, Brandt needs to look the part and Donnelly knows just to the place to take him. They end up a little boutique with the windstorm store clerk that is Bryce, who dresses Brandt in the gear that he needs to get notice. The plan is to go in as a construction worker, move through the house their remodeling and then move in gathering intel in his sexy new attire. Brandt gets lucky and becomes a guaranteed shoe in with the help of Nick a veteran Frat House jerk off pro. In no time Brandt is taking his clothes off for the camera, and finding out that he's natural when it comes to showing off his assets.

As I said, I really was expecting something different story. I am talking about gun fights, underage sex cartel, abuse of the frat boys (my mind got away from me) but it’s very uncomplicated plot. The only thing that was semi angsty was Brandt struggling with his feelings when it came to other men. The story mostly is very funny and over the top, but there were moments when it switched from goofy to get all serious with some type of lyrical prose that just didn't work. If the book is gonna be goofy, keep it goofy with moments of seriousness.

I got whiplash from all the names (like a serious amount of names), and some very unnecessary povs. Like so completely pointless, I'm still trying to figure out the purpose of them. Maybe they do have purpose but just wasn't presented right, instead of a big ole jump, should have given me a little nudge. Some of the secondary characters in this book is so awesome (ahem Bryce & Nestor) they provided great comic relief and so gay that I just love them.

The ending of the story was a letdown, and I feel very dissatisfied. Seriously, they should have just given me one shoot out (I don't even know if Brandt carried a gun) I'm guessing yes cus he's a State Trooper but it’s all up in the sky for me.

Overall, I enjoyed it but am still very disappointed. I think there are great themes in the story, but none are explored properly. Like the focus of sexuality, I understand it a bit, but not everyone will be a fan. GFY and best friend to lovers are always a fave trope of mine to read, but in this case not enough time was given for Brandt and Donnelly to really make their attraction believable. It felt like boom, one week of jacking off to your sex video so now let’s move in together. The idea behind the story was fun, but it just did not come together well.

Should You Read It? Honestly the story is a lot fun, but this one will likely be hit or miss for most readers. Upside, I will read another book by Xavier Mayne (maybe Bryce's book>.<) HINT!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review: Off With Their Heads by K.A Merikan

Off With Their Heads by K.A. Merikan
Self-Published
Short Story: 40pgs
3/3.5 Pants Off

Blurb:
It’s 1907, twenty years after the outbreak of a zombie Plague. For a young medicine student like Clint, the undead bodies provide an opportunity to study human physiology in the working. He is a good young man: tidy, well-mannered and hard working. Focused on his goal to become an excellent surgeon, Clint has a bright future ahead of him. If it weren’t for a shameful secret he’s forced to keep, his life would have been perfect.

Xavier, a peculiar foreigner he finds in the morgue late at night, claims to be an assistant to one of Clint's professors, but doesn’t know the first thing about the proper way to behead zombies. Xavier’s story has many loose ends, but something about him unlocks all the emotions Clint always kept bottled up inside. When he learns the truth about Xavier, Clint finds himself involved in a conspiracy that could destroy everything he’s worked so hard for. Frightened by the possible consequences, yet strangely fascinated by the eccentric, tattooed stranger, Clint follows him to places he would never dare explore on his own.


Review:
Clint is a medical student who works closely with zombies. They are provide a way to study the human body, and how it’s evolving. 20 years since the plagued hit and left millions of the undead walking around, Clint doesn't know what the plague was like, but he knows what life is like now, crowded and safely inside behind protective walls. When he runs into a professor assistant cutting off some heads, Clint offers his help because clearly the assistant is new to the removal of zombie heads. What's peculiar is that he says he needs ten heads, and that’s a hard job without some help.

It all becomes clear when Clint finds himself sneaking out with heads in a bag, and the beautiful thin stranger sharing his plot to make living art (well undead art). Running through back alleys, trying to stay clear of the cops, suddenly life for Clint has become a lot more interesting. If only Xavier wasn't so thin, different, and beautiful because trying to hide his body's reaction isn't easy.

The thing with short stories is that they end far too quickly for my liking. Off With Their Heads was getting into the meat, and then it just ended. So it’s very hard to rate and come up with my exact feelings. Firstly, I am very interested in the skinny Xavier, he's all artsy and rebel (also a bit silly). Clint is his complete opposite, sheltered, intellectual, and very innocent. They come together in a playful hot kinda way.

Not my first Zombie book by the authors, but this one failed to move me like the Scavengers stories. I am feeling all blah about it, so I don't know how to rate it. I didn't really like it, but I don't dislike it (at a crossroads). Hopefully there will be more of Clint and Xavier because the plan for the heads is just too big to be ignored.

SideNote- Cover is AWESMAZING!!

3.5 Pants Off

Review: After The End by Alex Kidwell

After the End by Alex Kidwell
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 200pgs
4 Pants Off

Blurb:
After Quinn O’Malley loses his partner of ten years, Aaron, to cancer, he withdraws from everything. In a single tragic moment, he goes from an artist with a loving partner and a future to an uninspired comic book store owner who barely exists. He hides behind a shield of grief, refusing to let Aaron go. He feels guilty for even trying to imagine a life apart from what he’d had.

The charming party planner Quinn’s best friend insists he meet on a blind date isn’t someone he’s ready for. Brady Banner walks into Quinn’s small frozen world and turns everything upside down. For years, Quinn has focused on endings, but as Brady begins to thaw his existence, Quinn realizes that one moment can do more than stop a life—it can also start a new one.


Review:
Quinn O'Malley is going on his first date in more than 2yrs since the death of his partner of more than ten years. Being set up on a blind date has Quinn in pure panic because he's just not ready to move on, but trying telling that to a best-friend that won't listen. When Brady shows up, he's gorgeous among other things and Quinn finds that he likes the man. Not in a ‘let’s jump into bed together’, but in a way he hasn't felt for someone in a long time. But with finally not feeling numb comes the guilt, that maybe he shouldn’t be out enjoying himself because it’s like shitting on the life he had with his partner Aaron, and removing all his memories.

The men begin a friendship of sorts filled with tender touches, cooking, and learning about each other. While Quinn enjoys those things in the now it’s the after that he can't quite deal with, when he's alone with his thoughts there is a flood gate of guilt, thoughts of Aaron, and cheating. The proverbial shit finally hits the fan when Quinn finally gets intimate with Brady, and true panic sets in. He locks himself away from his friends, and finally realizes that Aaron is dead and gone never to comeback no matter how much he misses him. Though he pulls a douche move on Brady, it’s that time of recollection that gives him a bit of courage to start moving on.

Initially I was annoyed with all the references to Aaron, and comparisons. But then I realized that they were partners for over ten years and he was huge staple in Quinn's life. Then I started thinking maybe he had some dependency issues because he seems like Quinn was barely functioning without him. There is no talk of age, but I'm guessing Quinn had to have been pretty young when he first met Aaron. Judging by his descriptions and feelings for Aaron, which is huge part of the book.

I really enjoyed the development of Brady and Quinn's relationship, the pace was very good and I was falling in love while they were falling in love. Quinn was skittish most of the time, but Brady with his gentle touches and easy smiles he really knew how to get past all that scared. The story pretty much kept on a straight road without any hills or bumps, a car accident to add a little something, but for me it came off as way for Quinn to prove himself (not a bad things but felt very obvious). Quinn and Brady aren't molten, but provide a nice slow burn.

Overall, it was a good read. Was hoping to love it more, but it still delivered a solid story. Over descriptive at times, and too much of Aaron sneaking in but I get it that this was a man dealing with a significant loss. I feel like this book is a realistic look at someone who lost a loved a one.

Should You Read It? If you're a fan of someone moving on after the loss of a partner, then you would like this book. It’s a story about a man who lost the love of his life and then goes on to find love again. Because after the end, the only thing left to do is start over. I most defi will be checking out other works by the author

SideNote- Another book with awesome food (love it).

4 Pants Off