Long Novel

/Long Novel

Review: Foolish Encounters: A Rainbow Gold Anthology

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Title: Foolish Encounters: A Rainbow Gold Anthology
Author: Tali Spencer, Tinnean, Elin Gregory, JC Wallace, Amy Lane, Angel Martinez, and Freddy Mackay
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Fantasy & Sci-Fi
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

An accident, a chance encounter, a thought blurted out, a boat blown off course, a change in direction that suddenly runs into the line of fire – the smallest misstep can change everything. These foolish encounters are the moments around which lives pivot and sometimes spin out of control. Join us for tales of imprudent choices and bad decisions that can lead just as easily to hilarity as they can to tragedy.


Review:

Like most anthologies some of these stories worked and a few didn’t. Overall it is a good bunch of short stories, something fun to pick up when you’re just looking for something quick to read that’s out of the norm.

A Message from the Home Office by Angel Martinez

I really liked this one. It’s a sci-fi alien shifter story that made me chuckle. Sissal, a cobra shifter and Rcrred (Richard) a dik dik shifter are great characters and I absolutely loved the two of them together. I enjoyed this story the most it was cute, sweet and funny and I would really have loved for there to be more.

Shredding the Heart by JC Wallace

This is one of the two stories in the anthology that is a contemporary romance. Nicholas is a skateboarder and Quinn is a Financial Adviser two completely opposite men that find themselves attracted to each other. I loved their romance, it was one of those sweet slow burn things unfortunately the ending was just a bit too sappy for me. It was cute though.

The Lunar Imperative by Elin Gregory

This story took me back into the sci-fi world but I couldn’t get into this one at all. For most of the story I was confused and by the time I kind of figured out what was going on and who was who the story was over. I think there was too much of everything in too small a space.

Blue and Green Persuasion by Tinnean

Another story in the sci-fi world and for the most part I loved this one! With Blue and Green Persuasion I got a good amount of history that helped me understand why the characters were in the situation they were in. It’s very different from any sci-fi story I have ever read and I laughed a lot but I was disappointed when it ended and a bit disappointed with how it ends. It didn’t feel quite complete, I’m hoping to see this one in a longer version at some point.

Well Hello, Eight Eyes by Tali Spencer

Spider shifters? Ewwww….but who knew they could be so cute? Well one of them anyway. Main character Tanner goes out on his boat and gets caught in a storm and thrown overboard. He thinks it’s the end but he wakes up on an Island he’s never heard of with people who won’t tell him much of anything. I liked this story! It’s cute, sweet and fun, I’d love for more of this one.

The Fenestra Penetration by Amy Lane

By Amy Lane….need I say more? This is the other contemporary romance in the anthology and I loved this one. The characters are great, the story is steamy and it’s just that tiny bit quirky but that made it all the more fun to read. There is a satisfying happy for now ending but I’d love for these guys to get there happily ever after.

The Nut Job by Freddy Mackay

This story takes place in the same world as Angel Martinez’s story A Message from the Home Office. While I liked that story a lot this one lost me. I couldn’t connect to the main characters or their plight. Maybe it was just too out there for me or maybe because I’d read so many other shorts in between I got confused. I wonder if I would have liked this one more if I had of read it immediately after reading A Message from the Home Office. The story idea sounds great it just didn’t work for me.

October 30th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Blue Paramour by Louise Ligon & Hunter Maine

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Title: Blue Paramour (The Blue Ridge Saga, #)
Author: Louise Ligon & Hunter Maine
Cover Artist: Najla Gamberd
Publisher: Voir Media Group
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay & Heterosexual
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating5 Stars
Book Rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

When Brayden, a devastatingly handsome heir to a prominent Southern family, is caught in a compromising position with his handsome male lover, Jackson, life as he knows it comes crashing down. Exiled from the only home he’s ever known and separated from his love, Brayden is ordered to live in Boston where he is expected to become a true man and a proper successor.

But life will show him that things don’t always go as planned…

When Brayden encounters the mysterious and powerful, Vincent Gallaud, he instead embarks on an unforgettable adventure with his newfound king in the tantalizing world of New York City, forsaking everything he has ever known. Taking him on an unexpected journey that teaches him lessons Daddy would never approve.

Back home, Jackson has no choice but to consent to marry Brayden’s greatest adversary and twin sister, Annabelle Steed. Consumed with greed and longing for revenge, Annabelle will stop at nothing to destroy Brayden’s life and rob him of his birthright, Blue Ridge.


Review:

If it were possible to give more than 5 stars this book would be one of the very few deserving of that!!!! There aren’t words to adequately describe how this story made me feel and how much I loved it. It is set in a time when the North and the South were divided on the issue of slavery and when a man caught loving another man would get you hanged.

Blue Paramour is not your typical historical romance and it took me completely by surprise. I was expecting a sweet, flowery easy to read gay romance and what I got was a gritty, angst filled drama about deception, jealousy and hatred. It’s so much more than any gay romance out there and I’m hard pressed to call it that. Yes, there is romance, actually more than one, but they are so far from the easy romance I’m used to reading, it will gut you….it did me. This is one of those few stories that had me crying buckets, one of those stories that made me want to throw my kindle in frustration for the hardships the main characters had to endure but I kept reading because through all the hardship and the angst is a really great story and some beautiful scenes. The guys are amazing and I have to say the sex is hot!

I thought the writing was incredible and the characters were perfect, even the ones I hated. The story grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I was hooked from page one and read far into the night, I just couldn’t put it down. Even if you aren’t a fan of historical romance I think you’ll love this one. I have one pet peeve when it comes to books in a series and that’s when the story ends with a cliff-hanger like this one does. Normally those stories will lose stars from me but I was just so blown away by this particular story, it deserved every star and then some. The next book in the Saga can’t come soon enough for me!

*Note* A heads up to those readers that really dislike anything m/f in their gay romance. Blue Paramour has an m/f sex scene in it but it’s crucial to the story. I just wanted to mention it so there are no surprises.

I highly recommend this story!

October 2nd, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Shadows Fall by J.K. Hogan

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Title: Shadows Fall
Author: J.K. Hogan
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Paranormal
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

For him, the whole world is a graveyard…

A gift—or curse—gives Titus McGinty the unwanted ability to talk to ghosts. When he starts seeing the same few apparitions repeatedly, appearing with similar gruesome injuries, he begins to wonder what they want from him.

Detective Charlie Hale has a serial killer on his hands. On the loose for weeks, the Queen City Slayer has left the police nothing to go on, no forensic evidence other than what he wants found. The city is running out of time.

The crisis brings Titus and Charlie together—Titus stumbles upon a body and finds himself a suspect. Their budding romance is tested as they are sucked into a web of underground laboratories, restive spirits, and religious fanaticism. They’ll have to work together to find the identity of the killer before he takes his next victim…Titus.


Review:

Shadows Fall is a supernatural story with a very hot, in the closet police detective, Charlie Hale and an out and proud Coffee shop owner named Titus McGinty, oh and Titus sees dead people. There’s a serial killer on the loose and Charlie is determined to catch him with Titus’s help. Unfortunately for Titus in order to help Charlie he’s going to have to let his guard down and allow the victims to talk to him. He asks his gypsy grandmother to show him how to focus and not get bombarded or overwhelmed with all the voices.

I really loved reading this story. The main characters are great, the mystery is suspenseful and well-paced and I thought the chemistry between Titus and Charlie was good – not great but really good – I would have liked for there to have been more to the romance. Hopefully if there is a sequel – and I’m hoping there will be – that a bit more time is spent on Charlie and Titus’s relationship.

Even though I’d solved who the serial killer was fairly early on I thought Shadow Falls was a really great read, one that I couldn’t put down and would love to see more of.

I highly recommend it to anyone that loves to read a good paranormal mystery/suspense story with great characters.

August 19th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Guitars and Cages by Layla Dorine

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Title: Guitars and Cages
Author: Layla Dorine
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publisher
Reviewer: Sean
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Non-Romance
Pairing: Bisexual & Questioning
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating2 Stars
Book Rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

Asher Logan is a bartender and a pretty wicked guitar player, when he isn’t wrecking his hands fighting in a cage. With a past he keeps hoping to outrun, Asher’s been on a downward spiral for longer than he can remember. When his sister-in-law leaves Rory, his eight-year-old nephew, in his care, Asher is forced into two things he’s never been good at: sobriety and responsibility. As he struggles to care for Rory, his own life begins to unravel.

When Asher’s brother, Alex, turns up, presenting as a girl and announcing her new name is Alexia, it further complicates matters, as does the arrival of his new neighbor, Conner. Both, in their own way, compel Asher to look at his own closely-guarded views on sexuality.

When the siblings’ older brother, Cole, reacts violently to Alexia, Asher is placed squarely in the middle of a family conflict which compels him to confront who he pretends to be versus who he really is.

Asher must choose who to trust and who to finally walk away from.


Review:

This is going to be hard to review because I loved the book so much! It was truly an emotional read. I nearly cried while I was reading the novel at work. It really focused on Asher Logan’s personal growth. This book was about 140k words or 475 pages and not even once I felt it was too long. It was just perfect. A perfect way to feel emotionally connected to Asher’s hard life. The opening hooked me in just like that. “Sixty-Three Seconds” was what the opening was all about. There were many things that could have happen in just 64 seconds. That was a minute and three seconds.

HOW LONG does it take to unravel a life? A second? An hour? A minute? A year? In my case it took sixty-three seconds. That’s .0175 percent of an hour, or 63,000 milliseconds, or the time it takes to chug a beer and light a cigarette. Hell, there’s a ton of things I can do in sixty-three seconds; I should know, I’ve kept track of them all. In sixty-three seconds I can open a car door with a coat hanger or make a peanut-butter sandwich. Sixty-three seconds is 11.22 percent of The Doors’ classic The End. It’s the time it used to take to walk from the door of my apartment to the door of my favorite whore. Sixty-three seconds is also how long it took my eldest brother to die after we were left no choice but to pull the plug on him.

That was the very first paragraph of the long novel and I knew I couldn’t stop. I was in for a long crazy roller coaster ride. The first paragraph didn’t lie about that. It really took me into Asher’s mind and see what he’d seen. It took me less than twenty-four hours in total to finish the novel. Nearly causing me to not do my work and read book instead. But thankfully, there wasn’t anything to do at work when I was reading so it was an opportunity for me to not waste, but keep on seeing what Asher had seen.

When his brother showed up looking smoking hot that made Asher thinking, “Man, I’d hit that,” but it turned out to be his brother that had underwent a change from male to female. Those scenes were just one of many scenes that caused a big change in Asher’s life. He spent his entire life running away when things had gotten too hard for him to deal. Especially when his sister-in-law dumped her son to Asher’s doorstep and expected him to watch his nephew. I adored Rory more than anything. He was an amazing boy for an 8-years old. Full of curiosity and in some way, he reminded me of myself since I grew up being smart-mouth.

When Asher heard a mewing down in the alley and the things he done for the injured cat made me love Asher much more. He had the most gently heart that no one got to see except the readers and me. We knew Asher was capable of being an awesome man. But as I finished the novel, I understood why Asher took so long to realize he was a good guy. You will have to read the book to see what had woken him and made him change for a better person.

Morgan was my love and hate relationship character. It was more love than hate, though. It was the reaction he had when he found out more secrets that got me so upset, but I understood why he reacted that way. Cole, I had a hard time liking him. He was really a jerk. As you can see in the blurb—When the siblings’ older brother, Cole, reacts violently to Alexia, Asher is placed squarely in the middle of a family conflict which compels him to confront who he pretends to be versus who he really is. It made Asher much more confused about himself and how he could choose to be sided with, although he didn’t want to. Man, you just have to read the book to see how much Asher had suffered.

I have say enough about the book and beg you to check this book out. It was so good. I haven’t read anything as emotional as this book in a while. It was a book I’d considered a treasure. It won’t be easy to not feel anything when you read the book as well. Your emotion may be all over the place. But I am satisfied with the ending.

July 16th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Just Playing by Ingela Bohm

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Title: Just Playing (Pax Cymrica: The True History, )
Author: Ingela Bohm
Cover Artist: Ingela Bohm
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay & Undecided
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review  


Blurb:

Michael and Jamie seem fated to make music together. But the thrill of playing soon turns into something more, something neither of the young men can handle. Unable to just stay friends, their only option may be to avoid each other completely. But when things start moving for Jamie’s band, a decision has to be made: either this is goodbye, or they risk everything and let Michael join.


Review:

ANGST, ANGST, ANGST, galore! My heart hurt reading this story but I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this for anything! Ingela Bohm’s characters – Jamie and Michael – felt so real and their story broke my heart. Just when it looked like the two were about to become a couple something happened to tear them apart. The mom in me wanted desperately to reach out and hold them and tell them everything was going to be alright, but alas it’s just a story with characters birthed by a very talented author.

The story takes place in the mid-seventies, a time when coming out wasn’t an option if you valued your safety. Unlike present times, when young men found themselves in love in Jamie and Michael’s era they had to deal with it in secret always staying in that proverbial closet. With Jamie and Michael it was clear from the start the Michael was gay and soon after meeting Jamie he was falling in love. He tried to keep it “just friends” but when you’re in love with your best friend that’s difficult to do. Jamie on the other hand took a lot longer to realize he was gay and for a good portion of the book he lives in denial. With the brief encounters Jamie shared with Michael he was always able to explain away – at least in Jamie’s mind – the attraction he felt for Michael but that confused and hurt Michael. Just when things are finally looking up for the couple something happens that makes their world crash around them.

Just Playing is one of those stories that will stay with me for a long time. It’s hard to explain the roller coaster of emotions this story put me through. I loved Jamie and Michael and I loved their story, thankfully it’s not over I’ll be seeing them again in The Road Taken the second book in the series.

As much as I loved this story I have to take off a half star for the few times I had difficulty telling whose head I was in and had to re-read those parts. Luckily it only happened at the beginning of the story, after that things moved along perfectly.

I highly recommend this book for lovers of angst and anyone that wants to know what it’s like to love someone of the same sex in a time when you know it could be extremely dangerous if you do.

July 8th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Rival Poet (Shakespeare, #2) by Ingela Bohm

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Title: Rival Poet (Shakespeare, )
Author: Ingela Bohm
Cover Artist: Ingela Bohm
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

Swinging London, late 1580’s. Into this land of milk and honey comes Will Shaksper, a naive young man with a perfect memory, a deformed hand and a satchel full of poems. Eager to prove himself among the big boys, he submits his work to his childhood enemy turned printer and befriends the up-and-coming actor Richard Burbage. But he can barely wield a quill, and the competition is daunting. So what makes him think he can challenge the cut-throat dogs of London theatre with his grammar school education and his starry-eyed optimism? It all seems hopeless – until he meets Kit. Charismatic and dangerous, this veritable wunderkind of verse takes an unexpected interest in the newcomer. Before long, a dazzled Will lets himself be led down a path he never thought to tread.


Review:

I love historical romance and when I read one that is different from any other I’ve ever read I get excited. Rival Poet is just that kind of historical romance. It’s a story with familiar names and places but completely fictional characters and events. The romance is a nice slow burn with a lot of angst and a bit of mystery, it’s a story that spans decades.

The characters are well developed and very likable. I fell in love with Will and Kit their chemistry was evident from their first meeting. I actually really liked all the characters in this story even Will’s school mate Dick – whose name is appropriate – what would a story be without one rotten apple in the bunch.

This story moves along at a good pace nowhere did it lag or bore me. I can’t think of one thing I didn’t like or thought should have been dealt with differently but there is one thing that some readers may look at unfavorably. I won’t say what that thing is even in a spoiler you’ll know it when you read it just keep in mind the era in which this story takes place things were so different then.

Author Ingela Bohm’s descriptive words and wonderful characters had the story playing out in my mind while I read it, those kind of stories are the ones that stay with me and they don’t come along every day.

An historical novel isn’t for everyone but for those that love them and are looking for something just a little bit different Rival Poet is that novel. This is the second in the series but it works well as a stand-alone.

July 2nd, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: The Ravens Crossing Book Two by Three Authors

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Title: The Raven Crossing Book Two (The Raven Crossing, )
Author: Amanda Corlies, Andi Lea, and West Thornhill
Cover Artist: Andi Lea
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Sean
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, & Heterosexual
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating2 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

This is the second book in The Ravens Crossing series.
Previous book: The Raven Crossing: Book One
Next book: The Raven Crossing: Book Two

The Ravens Crossing is a serialized LGBTQ and straight ally young adult series. It is a paranormal/science fiction/fantasy adventure. TRC is written by three authors sharing a world. Books One, Two, and Three follow the adventures of thirteen high school friends. This volume contains Season Two stories in the order they were originally published at the companion website www.theravenscrossing.org.

***

Welcome back to Wildwood, where keeping secrets has become a way of life. Because being a Gaea is nothing if not complicated. But, when thirteen high school seniors come into their full powers as Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Time Gaeas, they begin to uncover a depth of deception surrounding them that may tear some of them apart. The secrets revealed will shake them to their very foundations, and just when these friends need to trust each other the most, they will end up keeping secrets from each other.

With Gaea abilities that range from astral projection to firestarting to time travel and a whole lot in between, the Thirteen must learn to protect themselves. They should be focused on college acceptance letters, but planning for their future involves Armors teaching them martial arts and swordplay. Instead of learning from a history text, they are learning the intricacies of time travel from a legendary eccentric named Amyntas. With each discovery, from Gaea genetics to ancient prophecies, to what it means to become bonded as a Tempus and Solus, the stakes get higher. Because Frederick Demetrius, Donna Holden, and a mysterious man named Jiro seem fixated on Wildwood. They want something from the Thirteen, and they don’t mind taking out anyone who stands in their way.


Review:

It took me over a year to finish the book. All in all, it’s a good book, but it was too long for my taste. There are a lot of scenes that can be easily cut off from the book and shorten it a bit. For example, one scene was repeated a few times from different POV and I got tired of reading the similar scene. I loved the characters the authors created for this world. They have gone through tough times, especially for their ages. As soon as the book ended, it left me with nothing to be honest. I thought they’d encountered something crazy with Frederick, Donna, and Jiro, but I guess I’ll need to check the third book out when I can. It’s longer than book three, so I’ll still get it and read as often as I can until I finish the book. I know it wasn’t the best review I’ve yet to write. The book basically left me exhausted and speechless. If you have plenty of time, the series is worth a checking out. The abilities the characters had were brilliant and I loved the type of powers the authors created for them.

June 17th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: The Homeport Journals by A.C. Burch

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Title: The Homeport Journals
Author: A.C. Burch
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Reviewer: Jay
Genre: Contemporary and Paranormal
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

Fleeing New York City and an abusive partner, would-be writer Marc Nugent finds work at HomePort, the Provincetown mansion of Lola Staunton, a fabulously wealthy recluse. Aided by an attractive-but-unattainable artist and an all-too-available cross-dresser, Marc investigates accusations of rape and murder that have estranged Lola from a childhood friend for more than sixty years. Past and present converge when a long-lost journal reveals tales of infidelity, adultery, and passion that mirror the life Marc has recently abandoned. When his ex-lover arrives in search of revenge, Marc must confront his past, his notions of family, and his capacity for love.


Review:

The Homeport Journals by A.C. Burch is one of those that sneaks up on you before you know it. At first I was unsure how I was going to feel about this story. I was plodding along thinking that there was something I liked but wasn’t quite hooked. Before I knew what hit me I was thinking one more chapter to see what happens next and I was finished.

The story begins with Marc Nugent running away from his boyfriend and at first we can only surmise the true reason why. Once the reason is revealed you understand Marc and his actions better. Not to revel anything, but his ex-Brandon is a mess bordering on being a pyscho. Marc leaves NYC and heads blindly to Provincetown, Massachusetts. Once in P-Town while pondering his fate over a cup of hot chocolate he witnesses an elderly woman, Dorrie, struggling to carry her groceries in the rain. True to his nature Marc assists Dorrie and encounters his first new friend in P-Town.

Dorrie, sensing a good soul and person in need hooks Marc up with Lola Staunton, her once best friend, suggesting that Marc would be perfect for the gardener’s job. Lola is wealthy and employs the lost and needy presumably for help around her estate, but more realistically for the company of an old recluse. Here Marc meets Helena Handbasket the drag queen housekeeper, Cole the repairman – artist, and Marvin whose role is mysterious. There are others along the way including Dorrie’s friends and the cook. This unlikely combination of people form a tightknit family.

There are several intertwining plots including Brandon seeking out Marc, the rift between Dorrie and Lola, the mystery behind the deceased Captain Staunton journals, Cole’s history, Helena’s story, and a budding, albeit at a glacial pace, romance between Marc and Cole. All this combined to create an enjoyable story that can be difficult to follow at times with the primary theme being about discovery and bringing closure for the multitude of characters.

The Homeport Journals was pleasurable and well worth the time spent within its pages. The story included romance, mystery/suspense/thriller components, paranormal activity, mild eroticism, and what can only be characterized and drama/saga. The story is well written and the combination of current day and past are expertly woven together. The ending ties everything up for a HEA feeling. I definitely recommend this book just be prepared for something different and unique. It will challenge you as the reader while captivating you along the way.

June 3rd, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Harry’s Great Trek by Roger Kean

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Title: Harry's Great Trek (The Empire, )
Author: Roger M. Kean
Cover Artist: Oliver Frey
Publisher: Reckless Books
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

What do you do when the person you have loved in secret since your schooldays finds happiness with another, leaving your heart bereft and your future a bleak, lonely prospect?

For Harry Smythe-Vane, junior officer serving in the British army at the end of the failed campaign to rescue Gordon of Khartoum from the Mahdist siege of 1885, finding childhood friends Richard and Edward united in love spells the end of a dream he knows was doomed from the start—more so, a dream condemned by society at large: the love of two men for each other.

Harry must now pluck up the courage to pursue an uncertain quest for an elusive new soulmate—his great trek to attain fulfillment.

From dangerous missions on India’s wild North-West Frontier to the deserts of Sudan, Harry forges a career and experiences fleeting friendships, but when a spell of leave takes him to London his heart is struck. He meets his almost-forgotten godson Jolyon Langrish-Smith, a troubled teenager in Oscar Wilde’s louche circle. It’s an encounter that pitches Harry headlong on a turbulent journey of emotional involvement, of hurt and joy.

Painting a vivid panorama of the British Empire at its height, with its multi-faceted but rigid society hovering on the brink of change, Harry’s Great Trek is an epic saga of love and war—alive with an engaging cast of the humble and the famous, the honorable and the scoundrels—which climaxes in 1900 amid the carnage of the Boer War. There Harry’s future is decided as one quest ends and a new journey begins…

Harry’s Great Trek concludes the “Empire Trilogy” which also comprised of A Life Apart and Gregory’s Story.


Review:

I’ve been waiting for Harry’s story ever since I was introduced to him in A Life Apart. There was just something about Harry that captured my heart. I’m not sure if it was because he suffered from unrequited love and was never able to find another to replace his one true love or because Harry seemed to flounder and I’m drawn to those characters. It’s funny, he’s not a main character in A Life Apart and I really didn’t get to know a lot about him but I couldn’t get him out of my mind. He didn’t get his HEA in A Life Apart or in Gregory’s Story, book 2 of The Empire Series and I really thought he deserved to have one of his own.

Harry’s Great Trek isn’t just a story about the love of two men in a time when it was forbidden but a story about friendship, duty and sacrifice. It follows British Army Officer Harry Smythe-Vane and his company from one mission to another trekking their way through places that very few if any westerners have traveled mapping new lands. Engaging tribes that are primitive but no less dangerous, Harry and his crew align themselves with some and fight others.

Between missions Harry returns to London navigating society and its own pitfalls. Harry finds himself rubbing elbows with Winston Churchill – who accompanies Harry on later missions – and partying with Oscar Wilde who lives a secret life that eventually lands him in prison. It’s at a party with Oscar Wilde that Harry encounters his godson Jolyon whom he hasn’t seen for many years. Jolyon has grown into one of the most beautiful men Harry has ever seen and he’s instantly smitten but Jolyon resists Harry’s charms favoring the wilder side of London society and people. Eventually Harry wears Jolyon down and the two start a heart-warming romance. Wishing to be by Harry’s side Jolyon trains to be a munition and bomb expert then joins Harry’s company to travel to far off places.

Harry’s Great Trek took me to places I’d never be able to go except in my mind and Roger Kean’s narrative paints a vivid picture that makes it easy to imagine being there. I laughed, I cried, I cringed and I was put through a whole gamut of emotions with this story. There are times when the drama makes me want to hide my face behind my hands – an encounter with a particular tribe being a bit brutal and frightening, but it’s important to the growth of Harry and Jolyon’s relationship.

It’s a long story close to 500 pages but every word of this story makes it what it is: a wonderful adventure and a beautiful love story. I got my HEA or should I say Harry got his HEA and I’m forever grateful to author Roger Kean for giving me such an amazing story, with wonderful characters…but mostly for making Harry come to life.

One last note: 5 Stars for the cover art work by Oliver Frey

April 14th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: God Cursed (Cursed, #1) by Olivia Helling

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Title: God Cursed (Cursed, )
Author: Olivia Helling
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Fantasy & Sci-Fi
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review  


Blurb:

“I should have run faster.”

Warning: God Cursed is not for the faint of heart. The ending will leave you crying, and rape is featured and explicit (but not gratuitous).

After a life devoted to his god, Seraphin plunged into hell when Alexis turned him into a vampire against his will. Denied a righteous death at his god’s disciples’ hands, his suffering at Alexis’ hands is his only comfort.

But then Adrian’s Blessed Child pops out of the canal and into his lap. Kayto, a naive but lascivious divine catboy, refuses to leave Seraphin alone to save his soul. He mistakenly believes Seraphin can be good, even though all vampires must be evil.

As much as Seraphin finds himself drawn to him, he’ll do anything to protect Kayto from his taint — even kill for him. But how can he protect Kayto, when he couldn’t even protect himself?


Review:

OMG!!! How do I write this review? When Olivia Helling says, “Warning: God Cursed is not for the faint of heart. The ending will leave you crying, and rape is featured and explicit (but not gratuitous).” , She wasn’t kidding! God Cursed isn’t for the faint of heart, the ending did leave me crying, I’m still crying and I finished reading the story this morning. I had to wait to write my review to get my emotions under control, but I can see that’s going to take a while for that to happen – if ever. I can’t think about this story without tears. As for the explicit rape, I’m either a hardened reader or it wasn’t as bad as she thought because honestly I’m not exactly sure which scene she meant. Not that there is more than one rape scene – there isn’t – but I’ve read some pretty hairy rape scenes in M/M and this one is really tame compared to those.

God Cursed is a historical and somewhat steampunk paranormal. The story is dark with Vampires and Hunters that aren’t sexy or dream worthy. It’s violent and bloody just what I expect from dark Vampire stories but don’t let that put you off. This is an excellent story with some really light, beautiful moments between Kayto and Seraphin. These moments made me laugh my head off and fall in love first with Kayto – Katyo is now on my “best character ever” list – and eventually with Seraphin. If I were asked if this was a romance I’d have to say yes and no. It’s not the kind of romance I see in most M/M stories but it’s definitely a love story.

Tissues are a must for the ending. My heart is broken and I’m not sure I can ever forgive Olivia Helling for that! I’ve got my fingers crossed she fixes this in the next installment of the series or…..I’m going to be crying for a long time.

Olivia, I grudgingly thank you for writing this story because I really did love it but yeah, forgiving you for breaking my heart and making me cry may take some time.

I highly recommend God Cursed!

April 7th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments