Heat Under Fire by Andrew Grey
Justin Briggs is a police officer in Carlisle, PA, his home town. He is the new officer on the force and therefore and so right now he is on the speed traffic patrol. He has known for a very long time he is gay, but he can’t seem to talk to a guy he really likes. He gets tongue-tied and a very dry mouth whenever he tries, unless it is for work or he is agitated or angry.
Rockland (Rock) Sparks is an EMT in town, a very large male; he is also gay and likes Justin a lot. But he can’t seem to get Justin to talk to him at all and he is getting fed up with what he is seeing as someone who he thinks is prejudiced or just doesn’t like him being so rude.
One day while chasing a speeder, Justin witnesses a bus crashing into a bridge railing and hanging part on and off. He responds and calls for back up. While working, he and Rock talk just fine, then when the emergency is over and the last child handed off to their parents and Rock tries to ask Justin out, Justin can’t say anything so he leaves and goes home; Rock is tired of this silent treatment and go after him. It ends in a kiss on the street.
The next time they work together, Rock gets Justin mad and he is able to talk to him, until he is over come with smoke from the fire he is working when the spoke changes. He ends up in the hospital from poison in the fumes. Rock comes to visit him and is there when Justin’s mother shows up. She is not pleased to see them together, especially when Rock kisses her son as he leaves.
After Justin is released and home he finds out why he has always had that reaction to men he liked. It causes a rift between him and his family and an argument with Rock.
Then when again chasing a speeder, Justin sees the speeder cause an accident and when he gets up on the accident he sees Rock’s convertible. He visits Rock in the hospital, even though he is now on night shift.
A wonderful 5 star read by Mr. Grey is, again, not afraid to tackle the hard questions of family manipulation and in denial, or a man shaking off the bonds that had held him captive for so long. These two men are very real and believable, they touch your heart and I want to know more about them. We also get to see old friends from the Carlisle fire department. I loved this story and can’t wait for more from this wonderful little town.
MagicStorm: Heat of a Vampire bk 4 by Amber Kallyn
Brandon Wolfgar is a thousand year old Viking vampire beholden to the Vampire King Jordan in Moss Creek, Arizona. He is the elder of twins and therefore is supposed to protect his brother. Eric is lying in a coma, locked in his own nightmares from a thousand years ago. So when Jordan orders him to go to Phoenix because the cult killings have started up again he is not pleased. But he goes, for he has never told Jordan ‘no’.
Detective Celeste Wilder is in charge of the new cult killings, she has three bodies and no leads. Her captain is certain that the perpetrator of the old killings is dead, and this is a new killer. She goes out to a scene on night and is saved from three guys that might have been the killers by Brandon, when they exhibit exceptional talents in fighting. She is not pleased to have to thank him, and she is not sure that he is not involved somehow. So when she gets to work the next morning, she is not happy to discover that she has to take on a special partner to finish the investigation with, and that is the guy from the ally the night before.
Brandon doesn’t like the feelings protective and otherwise, which this little human female stirs up in him. He wants this case solved so he can get back to his brother. As he works with Celeste, his feelings for her continue to grow as he shows her the other side of the world, vampires, werewolves, banshees, shaman’s and other things that go bump in the night and she stays strong and accepts it all. No one, nothing, has ever threatened his control since he had been turned, but he feels the edges thinning around this woman.
Celeste is a strong woman, police detective, daughter and big sister. All this stuff she is learning from Brandon is freaking her out, but she refuses to show any weakness, to him, her co-workers, her boss or the bad guys. She is not sure what is going on with this big Viking Vampire that defies all the legends that say they can’t go out in the daylight, and that they are evil as he time and again protects her and puts himself between her and danger. I loved how she wasn’t so mad about the bite when he unexpectedly bit her, but that he didn’t ask first. She is spunky and takes nothing from nobody, including a hunky, sexy Viking Vampire partner.
As these two face down a Dark Wizard from Brandon’s past, who is threatening Celeste’s sister in the now, they must find a way to use everything they have to take him down. With brief appearances from Shane, Sheriff of Moss Creek, and Jordan, we know we are visiting old friends, and making new ones. The sexual tension between Brandon and Celeste, burn up the pages in this story. Their story is very real in this world, and Brandon is a hero to die for. Celeste is a heroine that takes no numbers as she takes down the bad guys. Family is the most important thing to both of them, she understands he needs with Eric and he understands her desire and need to save Shana, her younger sister.
I loved these two; their story was fast moving and forwarded the series along in a wonderfully hot way. I rate this book at five stars, and am eagerly awaiting the next one. Ms. Kallyn created another wonderful story filled with action, heat, danger and love.
By D. C. McMillen
The Wedding is the new book out by D.C. McMillan. I read it, and it is delightful! Everything we have come to expect from D. C. It is a funny, sexy, and quick read.
Remember Karen and Allen from The Rental? They are back, and just as sexy as ever. Allen is going to be back in town, a friend is getting married and he needs a sexy and attractive date. With a little persuasion Karen agrees to be his date.
Let’s just say that confident Allen comes back at the wedding, and Karen makes use of the man she loves to have hot sex with, to upset his ex-wife as the she and Allen wonders out to the wooded area behind the reception.
This was a five star read and loved it completely. A must pick up if you like sexy couples and inappropriate sex that is just down right dirty and fun. Well done, Ms. McMillan.
. Lover At Last: A Black Dagger Brotherhood Novel
By J. R. Ward
Oh, this book was a long time coming and very much anticipated by this reader. Qhuinn and Blaylock have gone through so much together since they were children and especially in the years since the series started. Their story demanded to be told by the very circumstance of the story line. And it didn’t disappoint.
Let me say I did enjoy the book, it was full of Ms. Ward’s dark humor and the Brother’s heavy sarcasm and fun filled picking on each other. This was a very long book with a lot going on; so much that it took away from the main story. I don’t want to get into a real long detailed review because of spoilers that might come out, so I will just give a summary of the main characters and story lines. I will also pose of few of the questions that I was left with. Now
Layla shone through out this whole book. Whether she was dealing with the pregnancy, standing up to Phury about Qhuinn and the pregnancy (which was just an awesome scene as she growls with such menace that it made the Brother step back and Doc Jane quip ‘That is why they call the female the more dangerous of the species.’ The scene made me laugh till I cried.), or while dealing with the fact she has fallen in love with an enemy of the King and the Brotherhood. She is a true Choosen and a lady. I loved watching her grow into the full Female she was meant to be. That is what I see the Choosen doing -growing up and into the full Females they are meant to be since Phury brought them over from the other side. I did cry with her when she realized she was in love with the one male she couldn’t have, though I do want him dead before he can fully bond with her and hurt her, because by his very nature he can do nothing else.
Qhuinn still had so much growing up to do and a lot of baggage to dig through and unpack before he could be the Male of Worth that Blaylock needed and deserved. One thing that Qhuinn did right throughout the whole book was stand beside, in front of and with Layla for the pregnancy. Through it all he was there, willing – even expecting – Phury’s anger at finding out about it, or making Havers treat Layla like a full Female of Worth after he had berated her when she had first come in for treatment without either Phury or Qhuinn. (I admit I am with Layla at being just evil enough to enjoy the scene where Qhuinn had his dagger to Havers’ neck, making him apologize and give her the information she needed. Havers still isn’t one of my favorite characters and I still want to know what is going on with the artificial blood he was working on in books one and two.)
Blaylock, our red haired warrior. There were times when I wanted to slap him upside the head while he was with Qhuinn without telling him he had broken up with Saxton. Through the whole book he is taking his pleasure and letting Qhuinn think it is something else, and that he was still involved with the other Male. I can understand why he didn’t just open his heart and allow Qhuinn free reign after all Qhuinn had done in the past, and still had to admit to himself. But those little omits on his part still kind of upset me personally.
The love scenes between the two of them were HOT, and I know I am probably being picky, but in the scenes in the previous books between the males and their females, the males had been so considerate about making sure she was ready for him. I can’t see Qhuinn or Blaylock caring for each other any less as lovers. I know it is set in a fantasy world, but still a little foreplay would have been nice between them.
Xcor. What to say about the evil male that is trying to take Wrath’s throne? On his first plan to take the mansion by storm and capture a bonded female causing the Brothers to lay down their arms in surrender – I wanted to see him try and to grab Payne or Xhex, one of those warriors getting that close to him. Bye-bye Xcor. If they grabbed Doc Jayne, ‘Oops, did I just go transparent and give my mate a chance at you?’ Oh, I would have loved to read that scene, but he has decided to go a legal route for now and see what happens there. I have to admit it does set things up for the basis of the next book that I hear is coming out.
Assail. I do not like this new drug dealer in Caldwell. He is no Rhevenge that’s for sure. After his actions both personal and professional in this book I cannot wait for his death. Let’s just say that and be done with this character. A male who does cocaine to avoid having to feed; this is not a good business practice. Along with selling product to your enemy so he can make money to gain more arms to end your race, again not the best business practice. Whether you want to stay out of the war and politics of the vampire race or not you are signing your own death warrant.
Trez becomes a major player in this story, we finally find out his and iAm’s last name, more about their culture and why he is the way he is in this book. They end up in the mansion for their protection and extra protection for the First Family.
Now Qhuinn did get one thing in this book that I have been waiting for since the boys moved into the mansion, John Matthew’s no longer has a bodyguard, the tattoo on Qhuinn’s face has been changed, but I want to know what happened to the chain necklace he wore as a sign of his station. He finally has the family he always dreamed of having.
The epilog is must read part of this story, it is worth the time to read all the rest; it was the romantic climax the rest of the story had been building to.
Now for the questions this story left me with: A member of the glymera is found that was thought killed in the raids, there were three other containers next to the one he was found in, but they never looked in those, they never went back – not that was in the story anyway – and I need to know what was in there! And why would Lash keep him alive and torture him for torturing his family when Lash was as evil as they come and made a point of torturing this of this male’s family before and after Lash’s transformation? This tidbit is found out during a throwaway conversation between the two after he is rescued. How many more books are we going to have to wait for these answers? And will we even remember the questions when the answers come?
Over all, while I did the find the story cluttered and wandering at times, I found enough enjoyment in the characters interactions and with Ms. Ward’s writing style to give this book a rating of 4.5 stars. It was nice being back in Caldwell and in the mansion with the Brotherhood and their family. And yes, there was a set up for the next book about Wrath and the throne. I think we went through another Fore-lesser, but I am having a hard time keeping track of them since Lash. And the set up for at least four if not five more males to have their stories told. A must pick up if you enjoy this series.
I know in some areas I was oblique, but I didn’t want to give any spoilers and to be more specific would have given major spoilers. I hope someone finds thins helpful.
I am going to actually use my blog today for something other than book reviews. I have an issue with some of the books that I have read over the last decade or so, both in self publishing and mainstream publishing.
When did it become okay to just say the hero was an Alpha Male? The first time I ran across that description of a hero it through me for a loop. I felt I was missing so much of the man. For everything that he did that didn’t agree with what the heroine wanted or thought she needed she just thought ‘he is an alpha male I need to find a way around him.’ The writer never went into any explanation of what he was doing, going through, thinking of or feeling. She didn’t explain his stance, facial expressions, the words he used or anything else just kept saying ‘he is an alpha male.’ I have other writers that do the same thing, maybe not to the extent that she did it, but I find the term being used more and more to give the first description of the hero. Some authors will give their description of the hero and sum it up by saying ‘a complete Alpha Male.’ Again, I shouldn’t have to be told that he is an Alpha Male; if your description is good enough I should draw that conclusion on my own. His actions, deeds, words and stance should tell me this.
Am I wrong in this? Is this a new author’s shorthand that I missed the memo on? I thought ‘showing not telling’ was still the number one rule of writing? Am I a throwback to a different kind of writer, one that paints such vivid pictures with a few words that words like that weren’t needed? I mean I didn’t know what an Alpha Male was until I got older, I just knew the type of guy I liked in my novels, not in real life all the time, but definitely in my novels. I had never seen Alpha Male or Beta Male or anything like that in print in a novel until that one back in 2003, was I reading the wrong books? Was I caught somewhere in a different type of novel or different time and type of writing? Am I the only one that feels this way? What are your thoughts? Alpha male or not? Should our authors have to tell us he is an Alpha Male? Should our heroines be thinking ‘Oh, this is an Alpha Male.’? Or .Oh, he is driving me crazy with is heavy handed domineering ways.’? Please share your thoughts with me.
Oh, yeah…. love the day everybody is Irish!
By the Creek by Geoff Laughton (aka Andrew Grey) In this coming of age novel about two young men trying to cross boundaries and find their own sexuality and the meaning of the love, it is a wonderful journey that new author Geoff Laughton takes us on with these two young men.
David Harper is just starting the summer break between tenth and eleventh, it should be a joyous time, except his mother and he are moving. Over an hour away from his new friends, into the country miles from town and since he is new in town and away from town he will have no way to get a job to get a car so he can get to town. His mother is trying hard to tell him how this is such a better position she has gotten promoted to and how nice the community is, there is an Amish community just across the road from them and they have a very good bakery and are wonderful carpenters. David is not sold on the new move.
That summer he meets Benjamin, a boy about his own age from the Amish community. They develop a friendship as they meet by the swimming hole behind his house. Benjamin knows he is not supposed to be friends with the English boy, David, but he likes him and they talk about a wide verity of things. David encourages Benjamin to think for himself, to learn and make his own decisions on how his life should be.
As winter closes in they don’t get to see each other because of the snow and the distance between their worlds, even though they are just across the street from each other. One day Benjamin knocks on the door asking for David’s help, his father collapsed while they were getting fire wood. David helped get his father to the local hospital. Afterward Benjamin’s father allows their friendship.
The next summer their friendship changes as they admit their deepening feelings for each other. This year David is a senior in high school and thinking about college. Benjamin should be thinking about his Ramspringa, the time in an Amish teens life when they go out into the English world for a year to see if they want to formally be baptized into the community or leave the community for good, except his father is already arranging a young woman for him to start courting, and talking to him about getting baptized into the community without going on a Ramspringa at all.
Can these two young men find their way through these difficult years? Can they find a way climb the walls of economic, religious, and social differences that are far wider separators than the two lane road that separates their physical homes? What will their families say and do if and when they come out to them?
Geoff Laughton is one of the main characters in Andrew Grey’s Love Means (or Farm) series. This book was written under his name, for his son Jakey and his partner Eli. This is a great book, a five star read. Truly, Mr. Grey’s style of combining emotion and mental growth, this book wasn’t a roller coaster of emotions, but we got to see how these young men grew form boys into their individual manhood. Each had to take their own path, and for David that could hard in letting Benjamin take his own path because while it may wind its way back to meet with his, it took him away from him for while. I loved this book, as a young adult novel I find it very well written while keeping the romance very much alive.
Casting: Prequel for Mine Series by Liz Borino.
For those of us who have followed Steve and Zack on their wonderful journey together in Hollywood, this story has seemed like a long time coming. It started with Action, then got deeper with Cut Away finally giving us a glimpse of their happy ever after in It’s a Wrap, now we take a step back to the beginning of their relationship. This story follows Steve and Zack as they meet for the first time and fall in love.
The production company holds a press party for Ben’s Life to get the buzz about the show up as they start the auditions, Rich Glenn is there with Steve Michaels the two them have known each other since collage. Rich is the first to notice Zack Greene as he steps in the venue. He decides to go make a move on Zack after the group of females move away. Steve tells him it probably is not the best idea, they didn’t even know if Zack was gay or not. Rich said Zack just hadn’t met the right guy. Steve prepared himself to clean up after Rich because he really wanted Zack for the show. It took everything Steve had not to claim Zack that first night, but there was something about him that Steve wanted for himself, not just for one night or two, but forever.
After a couple days of seeing each other on and off Steve is thinking things like Zack is his, he loves Zack and is wondering where their relationship is going. So, so get Zack out of his mind he goes to the local BDSM club, The Dungeon and agrees with his old lover to share a scene. But he can’t get Zack out of his mind so he bows out of the scene and goes to get Zack. He takes him home with him for a week.
During that week, they come up with a contract for their relationship with rules and consequences after Steve explains to Zack what type of relationship he is looking for.
Things are going good for the two of them for almost a month, Steve convinces the production company VP that Zack is the guy for Ben’s Life over Rich’s objections, but when he doesn’t hear from Zack that day he goes to his apartment to see how Zack’s cold is doing only to find him not sick with a cold but laid flat with the flu. He takes Zack home to nurse him back to health. After three days Zack is feeling better and cements his love with Steve by telling him he’ll accept the collar.
This story of how our two guys got together is delightfully romantic, and stirring in the fact that both men has things they had to overcome to become one and they worked on it together and made their love flourish. Ms. Borino has listened to her readers to give us the story of how Steve and Zack first met, with all the little comments made through the series we really wanted to know! And boy, did Ms. Borino listen to us and deliver on her promise. A five star read and a wonderful ending to this series. This also gives a little back story on the Rich/Steve/Zack dynamics that played out if Action. You must read this series if you like gay erotica, and this book is a definite must read when starting the series. Thank you very much, Ms. Borino for giving us this wonderful world to play in for a while.