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Review: Not Safe For Work by Ingela Bohm

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Title: Not Safe For Work
Author: Ingela Bohm
Cover Artist: Ingela Bohm
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay, Questioning, & Undecided
Length: Novel
Heat Rating5 Stars
Book Rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

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


Blurb:

It’s Jakob’s birthday, and boy is he getting a surprise. His friend Leo has written a sexy blog about the two of them — all untrue, of course. Or is it? Identity hijacked, fake love life laid out for the world to see, Jakob is devastated. He should deny it all, but he can’t stop reading. Soon, he’ll have to confront Leo, but he’s afraid — can there be a tiny grain of truth in those stories?


Review:

OMG!!! ….I know, not really the right way to start a review but……OMG! THIS BOOK! I don’t even know where to start or what to say about it. I guess I’ll start with…. I LOVE THIS STORY! So much so that it’s now on my top 5 favorites list of m/m reads, as a matter of fact this one deserves to be on my top 5 list of all-time great reads!

Not Safe for Work is a very complicated story. One that I couldn’t put down and didn’t want to end. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read before. This story is part fantasy, part mystery, part romance with some very erotic scenes. It’s so suspenseful it had me on the edge of my seat right up to the end. Someone is writing and blogging for all the world to see private moments of the MC’s lives but is it real or made up and if its real how do they know what they know?

Not only did Ingela Bohm do a fantastic job writing a story that made me think every step of the way but she also wrote some pretty amazing characters in Leo and Jakob. I felt their pain and their brief moments of euphoria and even though there were things about them that should have made it impossible for them to be together I so badly wanted these best friends to become lovers forever.

Bravo Ingela, for a job well done!

I highly recommend this amazing story.

July 24th, 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: Ari by Cheryl Headford

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Title: Ari
Author: Cheryl Headford
Cover Artist: Carrie Francis and Jay's Cover Design
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Reviewer: Sean
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Intersex, Pansexual, Trans*, & Undecided
Length: Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

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


Blurb:

After having known each other online for some time, writers, Benji and Ari meet at a convention.

Their attraction is both immediate and mutual.

But all is not straightforward—Ari is intersex and Benji transgender.

Together they embark on a journey.

A journey that unites families, and heals old wounds.

But not everyone is happy with the blossoming love between these two unique and special individuals.

Will an act of aggression crush the flower before it can bloom?


Review:

Ari was an expanded version of a short story that was part of Wayawrd Ink Publishing’s Stranded anthology. It was also my favorite short in that anthology. When I found out it had been expanded into a novel-length, I was so thrilled and couldn’t wait to start reading more stories about Benji and Ari.

It was way better than the original version because I’ve got to connect with all of the characters in the novel more than I had from the original one. The length of the story helped big time. This time it showed me more story how both Benji and Ari identified themselves. Ari already knew himself a long time ago. Ari happened to be an intersex person, but he didn’t let that define him either. He could be whomever he wanted to. There was so much more about him that I’ve learned more after finishing the novel.

Benji was one confused person. He grew up unable to understand himself. After meeting Ari, he finally was able to accept and love himself for who he want to be. He more than identified him as a man. When it came to picking who he’d sleep with, he realized it didn’t matter to him. Based on my opinion, I believed Benji identified him as a transgender pansexual male. After all, what was behind the underwear didn’t matter to him.

Marc was a hilarious young man and he played a huge role as Benji’s young brother. To see the type of relationship he had with Ari and his family was the best moment out of the novel.

As I reached the near-end of the novel, I was almost to the point where I’d cry at work! Cheryl, Cheryl, you are so cruel! I didn’t expect to see that type of plot in the novel.

All in all, I loved the book and fully intended to buy a paperback of it. It’s a book I hold dearly in my heart. I hope that there will be more about them. I wholeheartedly highly recommended you to get the book and read! Especially if you enjoyed the short version of Ari.

June 30th, 2015|Categories: Review|1 Comment

Review: Try (Temptation, #1) (Audiobook) by Ella Frank

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Amazon

Title: Try (Temptation, #1)
Author: Ella Frank
Narrator: Shannon Gunn
Cover Artist: N/A
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Jay
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Bisexual, Gay, Questioning, & Undecided
Length: Long Novel (13 Hours and 21 Minutes)
Heat Rating5 Stars
Book Rating4 Stars (4 / 5)

 


Blurb:

Try – verb: To make an attempt or effort to do something or in this case…someone.

Sex. Logan Mitchell loves it, and ever since he realized his raw sexual appeal at a young age, he has had no problem using it to his advantage. Men and women alike fall into his bed – after all, Logan is not one to discriminate. He lives by one motto – if something interests you, why not just take a chance and try?

And he wants to try Tate Morrison.

Just coming out of a four-year marriage with an ex-wife from hell, a relationship is the last thing on Tate’s mind. He’s starting fresh and trying to get back on his feet with a new job at an upscale bar in downtown Chicago.

The only problem is, Tate has caught the unwavering and unwelcome attention of Mr. Logan Mitchell – a regular at the bar and a man who always gets what he wants.

Night after night Tate fends off the persistent advances of the undeniably charismatic man, but after an explosive moment in the bar, all bets are off as he finds his body stirring with a different desire than his mind.

As arrogance, stubbornness and sexual tension sizzles between the two, it threatens to change the very course of their lives.

Logan doesn’t do relationships. Tate doesn’t do men. But what would happen if they both just gave in and…tried?


Review:

Logan Mitchell is a player and it doesn’t matter if the object of his affection is male or female he goes for what he wants. He owns a law firm with his brother Cole and has all the comforts in life. He often hangs out at After Hours, the bar around the corner from the office. He is extremely comfortable with himself but never lets himself get close to anyone that is until Tate.

Tate Morrison has just gotten out of a marriage from hell. He is a simple man, rides a motorcycle, and has always considered himself straight. He has taken a bartending job at After Hours and is friendly and flirty with Logan. The tips are good and hey why not, but other feelings begin to work their way into him. 

Tate plays hard to get with Logan and Logan is always up for the challenge of getting what he wants. Logan soon discovers that his typical actions don’t have the same impact on Tate which causing Logan to pursue Tate harder. Their initial connection is really about sex but as time goes by there is defiantly more there. It was intriguing because even when Logan and Tate argue there is a definite passion between them. There comes a point when Tate really needs Logan and what does he do? Well he shows how arrogant and selfish he can really be – the jerk!

Am I glad I gave Try by Ella Frank a try? Absolutely, I like the characters and found myself connecting with them. Was the sex overdone? Yeah it was, should have left some of that out and provided more substance to the plot especially since Logan and Tate are really interesting guys. You can’t knock the chemistry between them and the passion and hot sex they shared. For Ella Frank’s first attempt at M/M she did a decent job, I just wished there was more depth to Logan and Tate.

Oh I should mention that there is a bit of M/F action with the pages of this story so you are forewarned.

This review is based on the audio book version:
Narrator: Shannon Gunn
Length: 13 hours & 21 minutes
Narration: I enjoyed Shannon Gunn’s narration of Try. His voice was pleasant to listen to and he expertly conveyed consistency, emotion, and the attitudes with each of the characters. Shannon is definitely one of my favorite narrators.

October 9th, 2014|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: The Picture of Cool by Laurie Boris

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Title: The Picture of Cool
Author: Laurie Boris
Cover Artist: Paul Blumstein
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Kevin
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Bisexual, Gay, Queer, Questioning, & Undecided
Length: Novelette
Heat Rating2 Stars
Book Rating4 Stars (4 / 5)

 


Blurb:

Television producer Charlie Trager spends his days working with beautiful women on a daytime talk show. But underneath his cool façade, there’s a hollow spot in his heart, waiting for the right man to ease his loneliness. Then he meets the show’s next guest, a handsome young politician with a bad case of nerves—and a secret that could turn both their lives upside down.


Review:

The Picture of Cool is a short and the intro of a series. I was going to complain about the sudden ending, but once I went back and learned it was only part one of more, I calmed my “bad ending” rage. I’ll like to start with the cover, I actually liked it. It has a very “90’s era, hotshot in the big city vibe”. As for the story, it’s a gay romance and comes off like a sex in the city episode minus all the shoe shopping. The main characters in this story, Charlie and Adam, actually spend a lot of time working, watching movies, or playing basketball. YES, gay men play sports people. All the side characters filled their role as the witty friend and we even got to go to a gay wedding, how modern of the author. Charlie meets Adam, Charlie and Adam fall for each other, Adam’s a lot more complex…as in he has a wife and some babies to feed. The writing is good; I think the plot needs a bit more to make it stand out. They both have amazing jobs, so I would try adding some more workplace drama to add something different to go along with the romantics. 

July 25th, 2014|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: The Battle for Jericho (Audiobook Version) by Gene Gant

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Title: The Battle for Jericho
Author: Gene Gant
Narrator: Paul Morey
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Jay
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay, Heterosexual, Questioning, & Undecided
Length: Novel (7 Hours and 48 Minutes)
Heat Rating2 Stars
Book Rating4 Stars (4 / 5)

 


Blurb:

A battle is brewing in the conservative little town of Webster’s Glen. Gay activist Dylan Cussler stirs up the establishment when he moves in with his boyfriend and sues the state over its gay adoption ban. Sixteen-year-old Jericho Jiles and his best friend, Mac Travis, decide to do their bit to convince Dylan and his boyfriend to leave town. But when Dylan turns up before they can finish trashing his house, Jericho panics, leaving Dylan unconscious and wounded. 

Drowning in guilt, Jericho returns to Dylan’s home to make amends. He is surprised when Dylan forgives him and opens his eyes to the world around him. Soon Jericho comes to a life-changing realization: he is attracted to boys as well as girls. That’s a problem, considering Jericho has a girlfriend and very strict, very religious parents. Accepting his sexuality means he must question not only his identity and his place in the world but his relationship with his girlfriend, his parents, and with God. 

And so begins the battle for Jericho’s soul.


Review:

The Battle for Jericho is about Jericho Jiles’ battle with his sexuality in a well done coming of age and coming out story. Jerry is from a conservative small town and has been raised by devoutly Christian parents. He has always felt the pull towards guys as well as girls but being gay goes against all his beliefs and teachings. There is a lot of religion in this story which creates some hateful situations that adds to Jerry’s struggle or possibly helps him with the struggle. 

Jerry appears to have it all… Loving parents, a beautiful girlfriend, and an awesome best friend Mac Travis. When Dylan Cussler moves into town with his partner and fights for gay adoption the town is thrown into upheaval. Jerry and Mac decide to try their hand at getting Dylan and his partner to leave town. When things don’t go as planned, Jerry’s self-awareness begins to surface. 

Jerry’s friend Hutch is gay and a victim of his parent’s religious beliefs. When Jerry discovers he has feelings for Hutch his internal struggle creates guilt and doubt for him. He begins to ask questions confiding in Dylan for assistance. Dylan provides Jerry guidance and shares his beliefs but encourages Jerry to give himself time to come to his own understanding about who he is. 

All I can say is read or listen to this story. The story is written from Jericho’s perspective and is for the young adult audience. There is no graphic sex but more of a fade to black depiction that is tender and sweet. Jerry is an amazing young man with a generous heart. He feels an attraction to both sexes and has to work through those feelings and come to an understanding about himself. The story presents the opposing sides realistically as is it does with Jerry’s own battle. 

This review is based on the audio book version:
Narrator: Paul Morey
Length: 7 hours & 48 minutes
Narration: Paul Morey’s narration made the story enjoyable and set a good pace. He gives realistic voice to Jerry and the other characters in the story.

July 4th, 2014|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: The Beast Without by Christian Baines

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Title: The Beast Without
Author: Christian Baines
Cover Artist: Ivan Bliznetsov, David P Reiter, and Jom Photo
Publisher: Glass House Books
Reviewer: Sean
Genre: Paranormal
Type: Non-Romance
Pairing: Gay & Undecided
Length: Novel 
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 


Blurb:

Reylan is everything a Sydney vampire aspires to be: wealthy, handsome and independent, carefully feeding off companions plucked from the gay bars of Oxford Street.

When one of those companions is killed by Jorgas, a hot-headed young werewolf prowling his streets, Reylan reluctantly puts his cherished lifestyle of blood and boys on hold to help a mysterious alliance of supernatural beings track down the beast. It can’t be that hard … not when Jorgas keeps coming after him.

But there’s more to this werewolf than a body count and a bad attitude. As their relationship grows deeper and more twisted, Reylan tastes Jorgas’ blood, reawakening desires the vampire had thought long dead. And what evolves between them may be far more dangerous than some rival predator in the dark…


Review:

Reylan is a fantastic vampire character and he lures an innocence young man for a quick bite, but something has happened. A werewolf who despite gay men attacks them and killed Reylan’ companion. The world changed completely for Reylan as he discovers there is more to learn for the werewolf and a lot of secrets has been recovered by his best friend. He’s in for a long, scary, crazy ride! 

I loved the book until the ending. It was an original vampire book. It was different from other vampire books I’d read in the past. The author did fantastic job using first person point of view (POV). He made Reylan very real person in the book. It made me feel like I was Reylan from the beginning to the ending. I really hope the author will continue write Reylan’s story. 

As I looked up the book’s publisher and saw how it was priced. I had to be worry if I was the author because in my honest opinion, I think the price was too high. There are thousands (maybe hundreds rather than thousands) of novel-length books were priced half or more less than what The Beast Withoutpriced at. Again, it was just my personal opinion. 

The price wouldn’t ruin the review and that wasn’t slightly one reason why the half star was taken off. So, I am going to do my best to explain in the rest of my review. 🙂

What I liked about the book…

Pretty much everything! It had so many originality to it and I was connected to the main character so easily. The voice the author chose to use for the characters were done wonderful. The author made me feel like I was part of the book acting as Reylan. It was that cool and good. As I read on, I didn’t even notice the length of the book. The read was good enough to make me ignore the length and hoping it wouldn’t end just yet. I absolutely love the brat-ness of Jorgas. He was such a hard-head, but for all of the good reasons. Not just that, the author manage to make me missed who was the murder until the near-ending. It took me by surprise. Not a lot of books done that to me. I applaud for the author’s success! The horror of the book was awesome. I loved every second of it. It wasn’t a common love relationship vampire thing, but a true horror that made you read careful and hope specific characters would be okay.

What I didn’t like…

The ending. It ended abruptly. More questions popped up in my head that hadn’t been answered. There were so much story to it. So much background I needed to understand about Blood Shade, Werewolves, and Shapers. Of course, I wanted more. I really do hope the author wouldn’t stop writing this world. 

Overall…

I loved it. Except the ending. I highly, I mean extremely highly recommended you to pick it up and see the world the author built. I know the price is steep, but I honestly believe it’d worth the buck.

April 30th, 2014|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Deep Dish by Marc Harshbarger

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Title: Deep Dish
Author: Marc Harshbarger
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Reviewer: Jay
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Queer, Questioning, Undecided, Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, & Heterosexual
Length: Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating3.75 Stars (3.75 / 5)

 


Blurb:

When teenager Cary Davenport agrees to take his mother’s poodle for a walk late one summer night, he never expects to end up gazing upon the gorgeous Chandler Haze (the star quarterback of the Winnetka Wildcats, homecoming king and an object of desire for many), who suddenly appears from Lake Michigan to stand glistening in all his naked glory on the beach.

And with this opening scene, we are transported back to that groovy yesteryear of 1975 to meet various families, friends and other strangers, whose lives become dramatically intertwined as they dance to The Hustle, worship Mary Richards, wear mood rings and own pet rocks during their search for love and happiness—or at the very least a one-night stand of incredible sex.

This is the world of Deep Dish, a dark comic soap opera where sordid secrets are kept by almost everyone.


Review:

Deep Dish by Marc Harshbarger is reminiscent of the night time soaps Dynasty, Dallas, and Knots Landing with the spin of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. The story has it all: cheating wives & husbands, scheming villains & villainesses, righteous women, oblivious hunks, inebriated men and women, jealously, fabulous drag Queens, and a bit of incest. It is full of secrets, deceit, lies, love and hate. The spin of course is which of these characters are gay, questioning, or actually straight. Well as it turns out a good number of the 40+ characters are. Some openly, some closeted, and some just discovering it. Everywhere we turn there is sexual tension and drama.

The story set in the mid 1970’s centers around the marriage of Helen Davenport and Howard Haze. Well things go seriously out of control from the start. The sexscapades, raunchy humor, twists and turns all make this a roller-coaster ride of fun. All the guys seem to have abnormally large appendages and most are not shy about giving you a peek (or feel). Even while in a coma the sheet is tented like the big top at a circus.

It is hard to say who the main characters were since there were so many characters. I myself focused on Chandler Haze and Matt Mahoney’s story but there are so many other outstanding characters as well. The story keeps switching between the different story lines with a header telling you where you are now. See… just like watching one of nighttime soaps. The story all happens in the course of a few days with parallel plots occurring. The biggest issue I had was keeping track of who’s who. There is a cast of characters in the front of the print copy but the page is blank in the ebook version. So being google capable I am I found the cast of characters to help me out. 

If you are looking for a sexually infused romp through yesteryear then gab a copy and enjoy. The characters are multi-dimensional and expertly written. However, while the story flows quickly it reads different than usual and the story just like those on TV leaves you hanging. I almost gave up on this story and I am so glad I hung in there. I am now hooked and anxiously looking forward to reading deeper dish the continuation.

April 28th, 2014|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Road to Revenge by Mell Eight

Road to Revenge by Mell Eight
Title: Road to Revenge
Author: Mell Eight
Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Type: Non-Romance
Pairing: Undecided
Length: Novel
Heat Rating:
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

Rafi only wanted to spend a relaxing day in Tel Aviv with his lover, Mihi. When a bomb goes off outside the restaurant where they stopped for lunch, killing several people and leaving Mihi in critical condition, Rafi vows to catch the culprits and make them pay. Set on revenge, Rafi accepts an assignment to infiltrate a group of humanitarians to figure out which of them was responsible—and to stop whatever they’re planning next.

Review:

I’m not sure how to review this book. While I really enjoyed reading it I know it’s not a story that everyone will like. It’s not a romance but a well written gay fiction which does have a same sex married couple that love each other in it. There is mystery, suspense and intrigue set in a place that sees violence and hatred almost on a daily basis.

Rafi and Mihi are in a Market Place restaurant when there is a terrorist attack just outside the restaurant. Moments before the explosion Rafi leaves to use the restroom and Mihi gets critically injured in the explosion. Rafi is unharmed and vows to find out who was responsible for hurting Mihi and killing innocent people. It’s hinted that what Rafi and Mihi do for a living in the States makes him the perfect person to go undercover to track the culprits. I wish more information was given about their history and what exactly they did for a living in the States that gives them such intimate knowledge of terrorists and the like. While revenge is foremost on Rafi’s mind he is able to keep that part of himself under control enough to get the job done.

I liked the first person POV in this story it really made me feel involved and not knowing very much of the area that this story takes place the authors descriptions and knowledge made it feel real. Even though this story isn’t a romance the love and devotion that Rafi and Mihi feel for one another shines through and some of my favorite parts are the ones where Rafi is visiting Mihi in the hospital.

I wish more readers would take the time to read Gay Fiction there are a lot of great stories and authors writing those stories out there. I recommend this book to anyone that wants to try something new.

August 21st, 2013|Categories: Review|0 Comments