Novelette

/Novelette

Review: Everyone’s a Casualty by Jaidon Wells

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Title: Everyone's a Casualty
Author: Jaidon Wells
Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Fantasy & Sci-Fi
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novelette
Heat Rating2 Stars
Book Rating2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

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


Blurb:

Joel is more in love with a fantasy world, and one of his own characters, than he is with his own life. He spends his days slipping between reality and the world on the other side of his bedroom door, drifting from day to day with no sense of direction.

But something is haunting the world he’s created, and when it slips out into the real world Joel must choose: surrender the world he loves, or tear it down.


Review:

This little fantasy – and I mean 39 pages little – is really out there but what a great premise! Being so out there it’s a difficult story to review, I’m sure my review will end up being just as confusing as the story.

This reminded me of Narnia, instead of a magical wardrobe there is a magical room behind one of the doors in Joel’s apartment that took Joel – the main character – into a magical world. During the day the mild mannered Joel works at a record store but in his spare time he’s a writer, the writer that has written that magical story behind that door in his apartment.

This story starts out gangbusters but as the story progresses it gets more and more confusing. Like the character in Everyone’s a Casualty I got lost between what was reality and what was fantasy. Unfortunately near the end the story goes off the rails completely and it totally lost me but I see a great deal of potential with this premise. With a bit of fleshing out, some work on the pacing and of course adding more to the story this could be a great read.

October 27th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Greenleaf’s Blessing by M. King

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Title: Greenleaf's Blessing
Author: M. King
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Fantasy & Sci-Fi
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novelette
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

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


Blurb:

In a world where the old ways walk uneasily alongside the new, orphan Rhynn is apprenticed to old Master Wemmick, his village’s Herb Mage. He is tasked with learning the potent craft that blends herb lore and magic, but which also marks him as a pariah. After an unexpected encounter drives away the one person Rhynn considered a friend, he flees into the ancient heart of the forest… only to meet the wood’s guardian spirit, who awakens the dormant power within him.


Review:

Greenleaf’s Blessing is a very short fantasy that read more like a sample than an actual novelette. There just wasn’t enough for me to get attached to any of the characters or get immersed in the plot but I did see potential in this story. The little I learned of Rhynn and Vareth I liked but I needed a lot more. The dream like sequence where Rhynn is in the forest was erotic and sweet but I’m not really sure where that came from or where it was supposed to go. There was something missing and it left me a bit confused. I liked the writing style and I really liked how different this short is from anything I’ve read. There were just a few too many holes for me to feel anything more than like but I would love to see this story expanded on, I’m intrigued.

October 5th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Entwined by Liberty Lace

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Title: Entwined
Author: Liberty Lace
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novelette
Heat Rating4 Stars
Book Rating3 Stars (3 / 5)

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


Blurb:

There’s something that twins Tobias and Thomas Whitmore never intended to tell their family—the fact that they’re gay and in love with each other, and have been for as long as they can remember. But these two brothers are about to discover that secrets run in their family. For on a weekend in Montauk to celebrate their grandmother’s 80th birthday, one spilled secret leads to another, and before long, the tragedies of the past, the uncertainties of the present, and the uncharted path of the future will collide… and change this family forever.


Review:

This is a very short, sweet and romantic read. The chemistry between the main characters is off the charts and their relationship – while not conventional – will make your heart beat just that little bit faster, at least it did mine. Secrets abound in this story and watching them unravel brought a tear to my eye.

I feel in love with Tobias and Thomas and their family, especially their feisty grandmother, that woman is a jewel. If only all families can work out their issues like the Whitmore family.

The writing is excellent and the story is engaging but one thing that stops this short story from getting more stars is its length. Reading this is like reading a sample or snippet of a much larger story. I want to know more of what came before and what happens after this story ended.

I stepped out of my comfort zone again to read this short and in all honestly I would have rather it wasn’t a twincest story but that’s a personal issue. For those that enjoy to read this sub-genre, Entwined is a story you should pick up.

September 10th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Touched Starved by Samantha Lau

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Title: Touch Starved
Author: Samantha Lau
Cover Artist: Samantha Lau
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Jay
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay & Questioning
Length: Novelette
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating3.75 Stars (3.75 / 5)

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


Blurb:

Recently removed from the life he knew, from his family, and from the land that saw his birth, Rajnish Nayar finds himself lonely. On this new country, on his birthday, what could have been a fatal accident helps him rediscover himself, and perhaps, find a second chance at love.

Erotica writer Stephen Kouris has trouble keeping friends. He has even more troubles keeping lovers, even though all he wants is someone to be by his side always. When he meets exotic Rajnish Nayar, his interest is immediately piqued. Could this shy man be the one? And could he get him to admit his feelings, despite the cultural differences?


Review:

Rajnish’s birthday is today, he is turning 43 years old, is Indian, is divorced from his arranged heterosexual marriage, is shy, and has a teenage son. He left his homeland to be in the US while his son attends college. Raj has few friends and finds himself lonely in the states.

Raj literally runs into the drunken M/M writer Stephen who is in his late thirties. Stephen is instantly attracted to Raj and wishes to form a friendship with the man. Raj and Stephen take their time and becomes friends before lovers. Stephen is patient with Raj as he works through accepting his son’s homosexuality along with his own. They spend time together learning about each other and becoming friends.

The level of drama and angst here is minor giving us a sweet romance that builds between the main characters at a slow and steady pace. The intimate scenes were well written with care given to Raj’s inexperience. There are some unanswered questions that niggled me while I was reading but I have come to expect that from a short story.

Overall Touch Starved is a sweet romance where the writing is simple, well done, and the story flows nicely. The characters were well defined and you can’t help encouraging Raj and Stephen along. The friends first was pleasant and fit well with Raj’s personality. At only 44 pages long you can’t go wrong giving this story a try.

August 21st, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: The Secrets of a Twin by Liberty Lace

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Title: The Secrets of a Twin (Forbidden Glades, )
Author: Liberty Lace
Cover Artist: N/A
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novelette
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating3 Stars (3 / 5)

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


Blurb:

Tristan Rose has never seen eye-to-eye with his twin brother Thaddeus. Growing up together, the pair thrived on being the bane of each other’s existence. Estranged for the past ten years, Tristan and Thad both knew that only a tragedy would reunite them. And so, when news comes of their parents’ deaths in a light plane crash in Bermuda, destiny forces the twins back into each other’s lives.

However, what was supposed to be a brief reunion to bury their parents, becomes a trial that will test their tolerance and willingness to compromise when the twins discover their parents’ last wish is for Tristan and Thad to make peace with each other and live together for the duration of one year in the guesthouse of Forbidden Glades, the family’s plantation mansion deep in the heart of Louisiana.

And while Tristan is initially willing to live in the same house as his twin… discovering Thad’s secrets and long-hidden desires is something that will unravel everything Tristan has ever known, not only about Thad… but about himself.

As the long, hot year begins to unfold, the breeze of the bayous will blow back the Spanish moss like curtains to reveal a love so dangerous, so scandalous, so taboo, it could only belong in Forbidden Glades.


Review:

Like the blurb says this is a story about a set of identical twins Tristan and Thaddeus Rose that didn’t like each other very much growing up. They were at each other’s throats daily, the two couldn’t be in the same room together without bickering. After their parents die in a plane crash they find themselves back in their childhood home honoring their parent’s last wishes that they live together for one year or the estate will go to the family housekeeper Mrs. Ivy. Well things really heat up from there.

I thought the writing of this very short story was well done. Tristan and Thad are a couple of really sexy young men with the perfect amount of sweet and a tiny bit of vulnerability. A perfect couple in every way just the type I love reading about. What was hard for me was getting past the two of them being identical twins. I knew this was a twincest story going in, which is something I don’t read, as a matter of fact I try not to read any stories which involve incest but I wanted to move out of my comfort zone and give it a go. I am glad I did, it’s a good story and for those that love twincest stories I’m sure you’ll love it.

The reason for giving it a 3 star rating and not something higher doesn’t have anything to do with the story content at all. It got the highest rating I can give a short story that I liked but thought there needed to make it not feel like I’m just reading a sample of a larger story. This is the first in a series so I’m sure if the story continues in the same vein as this one there will eventually be a complete story.

July 29th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: The Cellar (Opposites, #2.5) by T.M. Smith

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Title: The Cellar (Opposites, #2.5)
Author: T.M. Smith
Cover Artist: N/A
Publisher: TTC Publishing
Reviewer: Sean
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novelette
Heat Rating5 Stars
Book Rating4 Stars (4 / 5)

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


Blurb:

It’s time to learn the truth about what happened that day in The Cellar.

Taryn and Thanos are the formidable Ambassadors of House Orion. Taryn was born into power, bred from birth to lead the people of Greece along with his sister Theresa, Thanos was never a part of his mother’s plan. The son of a fisherman was not a suitable match for the son of Greece as far as their mother was concerned, but Taryn always takes what he wants.

The Cellar is the story of how these two men met and fell in love, and what lengths Taryn went to, to ensure he kept his man. This novella also contains a more detailed accounting of what happened the night Raven and Tanis went for a walk on the beach, and the adult version of Mistletoe and Mayhem that was initially released as a free short through goodreads.

The Cellar is the second novella in the Opposites series, the series should be read in order.

** Warning, Opposites is an Adult Dystopian majorly M/M series that contains explicit sexual content and relationships between gay, straight and lesbian couples. However, The Cellar is strictly a M/M novella **


Review:

<em>The Cellar</em> was just like <em>The Library</em>, which was filled with hot steamy scenes, but it did explained me how Taryn and Thanos was able to get married even when Taryn’s mother didn’t accept Thanos because he was a son of fisherman. There was no power in Thanos’s family either. That was where cellar happened that changed Taryn’s mother. It was a good and quick read. I enjoyed it better than <em>The Library</em>, though.

May 26th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: The Library (Opposites, #1.5) by T.M. Smith

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Title: The Library (Opposites, #1.5)

Author: T.M. Smith

Cover Artist: N/A

Publisher: TTC Publishing

Reviewer: Sean

Genre: Contemporary

Type: Romance

Pairing: Gay

Length: Novelette

Heat Rating5 Stars

Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

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


Blurb:

Three gay couples run amuck in this short story where clothing, beds, even four walls are all optional!

Want to know what happened that night in the library?
Cirian and Rian had a fight in the library and Rian ends up naked on the desk, on his back, at Cirian’s mercy.

Want to know how far things went with ice cream?
A romantic evening by the fire feeding his husband ice cream leads to a lot more than heavy petting for Aiyan and Kaden.

Want to know what was going on when those birds fled?
Travelling hundreds of miles, battling the rebels and then travelling back to House Gaeland will take it out of you. But when Tanis wants something, he takes it. Raven is about to be bent over a tree!

A Note from the Author: I’ve taken three scenes from Opposites that were cut short and elaborated on the shenanigans that ensued. I also focused more in the beginning on the relationship between Cirian and Rian, to give readers a chance to know them and their inner workings better.

**Warning, The Library is a novella set in the same world as Opposites. It’s an adult dystopian M/M novella that includes consenting and explicit sexual relationships between gay couples**


Review:

I find this book to be an okay read. It was full of erotic scenes. “Porn without Plot” in some way but it was enough to give me a better picture of how their relationship happened. I was able to enjoyed each couple’s hot scenes when I was in the right mood. Think of this book as a “Scenes that were cut from the first book” or “Bonus read” as long as you read the first book before starting this one. Nevertheless, the author wrote a brilliant erotic scene 🙂

May 26th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Reunited by Victoria Zagar

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Title: Reunited
Author: Victoria Zagar
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Reviewer: Jay
Genre: Paranormal
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novelette
Heat Rating4 Stars
Book Rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

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


Blurb:

Peter had thought that Oliver was gone forever, but fate offers him one last chance to reunite with the man he loved and lost.

Peter’s undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Dazed and confused, he finds himself at a community center he once frequented a long time ago. Going inside, he meets his old friend Oliver. There’s one problem—Oliver’s been dead for twenty-two years, lost to the ravages of AIDS in 1992. Suddenly the impossible has become possible, giving Peter a second chance with a man he had thought lost to him forever.

Peter finally admits his feelings for Oliver, long hidden beneath layers of denial and grief. Oliver owns up to the reckless mistakes he made in life, the drugs and casual sex that led to his untimely demise. Unfurling the mysteries of how they have come to be reunited, Peter and Oliver embark on a weird and wonderful journey through their past and present lives, embracing the whirlwind romance they could only dream of when Oliver lay dying.


Review:

Peter lost the love of his love 22 years ago in 1992 when Oliver succumbed to HIV and AIDS. When Oliver answered Peter’s ad for a housemate they appeared to have nothing in common. Peter was a straight laced accountant and Oliver was a bad boy having had brushes with the law. When the HIV diagnosis came Oliver was abandoned by everyone but Peter who cared and fell for Oliver during his remaining days. After the loss of Oliver, Peter hit rock bottom and was forced into living on the streets. Peter got is his life back on track taking a job at a Marks and Spencer retail store. Here Peter met his wife and over time fathered a daughter, but his first love never left his heart and mind.

Peter gets a second chance with Oliver after he himself succumbs to illness. Here in an alternate reality Oliver has been waiting for Peter all this time. It is here that these two men are able to address the things they left unsaid and the feelings they held bottled up inside. It is also here that Peter is able to let go of his life, move on, and where Peter and his daughter are allowed to say goodbye.

In a short story Victoria Zagar has given us a glimpse into her artistic view of an afterlife. The story is about a second chance for these two men in a realm that allows them to be happy without fear and prejudice. She has given us a lighthearted story where two men seize the second chance they are given for an eternity of love. So if you are ready for a light short read that gives you a HEA, I guess it really is forever in this case, then don’t let Reunited pass you by.

April 13th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Living in Sin by Anastasia Vitsky

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Title: Living in Sin
Author: Anastasia Vitsky
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Reviewer: Jay
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Lesbian
Length: Novelette
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating3 Stars (3 / 5)

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


Blurb:

Sick of playing “roommate” for the sake of her girlfriend’s religious, tight-knit family, Audra issues an ultimatum: Tell your family, or I move out. After all, Audra’s family supports her and loves Ciara as a second daughter. Why would Ciara’s family be any different? Audra’s tired of hiding the reality of their lives. She puts Ciara first, so why can’t Ciara do the same?

Caught between her family and her girlfriend, Ciara resents being forced to choose. She tries to keep the peace by accepting her aunt’s endless blind dates and comforting her mother, who cares for Ciara’s dying grandmother. How can Ciara shatter her family by forcing the truth on them? How can she face life without Audra if she does not?

Agonized and at her wit’s end, Ciara receives an unexpected spirit visit that asks her hard questions. Does love require self-sacrifice? How much can she give up without losing herself?


Review:

Living in Sin gives us Audra and Ciara as girlfriends currently living together. Audra is out and proud with her family, wants Ciara to be the same, and has grown tired of hiding. Ciara comes from an extremely religious family that is currently dealing with the demise of Ciara’s grandmother due to Alzheimer’s. Ciara is torn when Audra issues an ultimatum to tell her family about her or she is done with the relationship. This kind of turns you off of Audra while at the same time you can completely understand her positon.

Ciara family is important to her and during one visit and a lucid moment on her Grandmothers part you get a glimmer of hope that Ciara’s family will be accepting. During that encounter Ciara receives a purple stone from her grandmother and that night she dreams of “the one that got away” from her grandmother. The dream sequence has Ciara agreeing to come out to her family. As the events unfold they somehow strengthen the bond between Ciara and Audra.

In the end the story was just that a story that I read that didn’t leave me with much of any emotion. I think if the ending were revised to provide some closure to their struggle and gave the reader something to hang onto this would have been a really good story. The writing was good and the characters defined. It fell short on plot especially near the ending for me. I guess I wanted acceptance for Ciara and would have settled for rejection, neither of which occurred.

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

Review: The Adventures of Monkey Girl and Tiger Kite by Kai Schalk

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Title: The Adventures of Monkey Girl and Tiger Kite
Author: Kai Schalk
Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Non-Romance
Pairing: Lesbian
Length: Novelette
Heat Rating1 Stars
Book Rating3 Stars (3 / 5)

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


Blurb:

High school would be a lot easier to deal with if Sunny Wong did not have to balance schoolwork with superhero shenanigans. But superhero she is, gifted the powers of Chinese folk hero Monkey, and when zombies start appearing it’s up to her and her sidekick, Delia, to figure out who’s responsible for raising the dead and why…


Review:

This is a cute little novelette about Super Heroes and Zombies. I really liked the premise it’s a good one; someone is raising the undead and Sunny with her friend Delia take on the challenge of finding out who is doing it. I also really liked Sunny’s character she kicks butt and she has a fun and snarky personality. Although Delia is Sunny’s best friend and her secret crush Delia has very little to do with the story.

There was a lot going on, perhaps too much, causing the story to feel rushed and not exactly what I was expecting. I wasn’t expecting a romance but I did think there would be more to Sunny and Delia’s relationship or non-relationship. When Sunny gets up the courage to tell Delia about her crush on her Delia all but ignores it. It left me with questions that never got answered. Did Delia deliberately ignore Sunny and if so why? Is that just Delia’s personality, kind of nonchalant and not too serious or did it Sunny’s feelings frighten her? With Delia not being in the story very much it was next to impossible to get into her head.

Perfect set-up if there are plans for a sequel and if there is then YAY! I did enjoy reading it but as a stand-a-lone too much is unanswered or missing to feel really complete.

March 31st, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments