Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Update #7 - So far behind

Drawn Together by Z.A. Maxfield Published by Loose Id.

I really enjoy this author and its an auto-buy for me. Thumbs up, great story and though a little packed at the end as some noted, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

I Do, by Barbara Sheridan & Anne Cain published by Elora's Cave

I was lucky enough to win this short in a promo on Slash and Burn. It was 50 pages and was a good read. There may be a sequel which will be interesting. I thought the main characters moved pretty fast (within 5 days he's going to retire from the police force and move to Hong Kong with his son's BIL, but hey, they only had 50 pages.) I enjoyed it though and would definitely check out where it goes next.

Allergies by TA Chase Published by Amber Quill Press

Loved it. This is another auto-buy author for me. Great book and I know its connected to Nick of Time that is coming soon. Can't wait for more of this world.

Edward Unconditionally by Lynn Lorenz Published by Loose Id

Another auto-buy. Ack, seems like I have a lot of those but it just seems like they all came out with books at the same time. I couldn't help it. Also this was the first author I ever read an m/m book so she holds a special place for me. As for this book? Loved it too. It was so great to see the other characters come into it from the first two books in the series and I totally loved Edwards Grandma.

This is my "first ever read author" (I think - close anyway) for the challange.

Making Waves by Pepper Espinoza Published by Amber Quill Press

This is the first book I've read by this author (not sure why) but it was highly recommended on Reviews by Jessewave so I got it and I was happy I did. It was a good story, I liked the characters and I will definitely try some other works by this author.

Hellbourne Lost and Found by Amber Kell Published by

I started reading this author recently in the alphabet series which I kind of enjoy and am sucked in despite the issues I had with it. Oh no, sucked in again. This is a fae/devil cross (his Dad is Lucifer) and a vampire and his werewolf ex. My biggest issue? As I'm reading along it suddenly ends with him walking off with his new vampire servant. WTF? Where is the ending? What's going on? So I'm assuming there is more to this but I LOVED the main character's attitude which is summed up by these few quotes:

"Luc hoped to work on a few of the big sins tonight, starting on lust. Maybe moving through greed, gluttony and ending in sloth.

Yep, it was important for a man to have goals."

"Sometimes it was fun to make crap up. Luc added a little fear in his voice just for kicks."

Secret Desires; Forbidden Desires; and Hidden Desires by Stormy Glenn Published by Siren Publishing

These three are part of a series called the Tri-Omega Mates and Menage Amour. They were all m/m/m with the premise being that the Tri-Omega requires two mates and has to be bitten regularly by both or he dies in about a week. So it starts with a tri-omega coming to a ranch where there is a pack of gay outcasts (in this world gay werewolves are a no-no). Of course they don't KNOW he's a tri and what that means but eventually it all gets figured out. In book two one of them goes on a wander on his motorcycle after the tri-omega almost dies and he meets his "mate" who doesn't know he's a werewolf. They find his mate is the alpha of another pack so they move in with him. And then third is a young wolf that was rescued by the first pack as a teen and FINALLY gets his mate to claim him at about 19 and then they realize he's a tri-omega and they have to find his mate or he'll die. They go to a shifter vacation resort where surpise they find the second mate.

Overall I liked them okay, but there was some stuff that was kind of unrealistic. There was a virgin human who within 48 hours decides that he'll gladly have sex with another guy and hey, he'd love to see his mate get it on with the new guy too. Maybe I'm naive, but I think he would be a bit more freaked out and reticent, not jumping in with both feet. They were okay reads though, just kind of a toss away. Read it, enjoy it, likely never go back to it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Update #6

Adder by Ally Blue published by Samhain Publishing

Typical Ally Blue, smoking hot lovin', likable characters this time set in the indie music scene in the SE US. I enjoyed it very much as I do most of Ally's books.

This is my "new release" for the challenge.

Bourbon Affair by Eliza Gayle published by All Romance e-books

This is a short only 20 pages or so about a witch and a bar tender who have been dancing around each other for awhile. They finally get together for a hot magical night and then it slips out that the sequel involves a chick. Ewww. I won't be checking any further even though I enjoyed the little short.

Ghost of a Chance by T.A. Chase published by Loose-Id.

Like Ally Blue, TA Chase is an autobuy for me. A very sweet story about lost love found again involving elves, ghosts and St. Patrick's Day. I liked the characters and it was an enjoyable read.

Parking Lot Hero by J.M. Snyder published by All Romance e-books.

This was a free short (20 pages) about a couple, one of whom has super powers. They go to the grocery store to buy Superbowl snacks and some punks on motorcycles start terrorizing people in the parking lot including their elderly landlady so he takes them out. Cute story, not sure if its part of a bigger story about the couple or not.

Shape of Heart by Kimberly Gardner published by Aspen Mountain Press

A sweet story about Zach who's partner died two years ago (they never say why which kind of annoyed me) and his partner hires a young guy to take over the coffee bar in their bookstore/coffee bar. That was his ex's job so he has issues with this younger guy who even reminds him of his dead lover there, but of course he's attracted and it doesn't take long for them to get together. Then it turns out the new guy is on the run from a stalker and used to be a pro chef and even had a cookbook. Once he confesses his secret it just kind of cuts to the end and summarizes a year later that the stalkers locked up and they have a HEA. I liked the characters though and anything that involves food gets bonus points from me. I enjoyed it a lot.

Tee'd Off by JM Snyder published by Amber Quill Press

This is told in present tense which I've never read before so it threw me off but once I got used to it it was okay. There were some things that could have been better explored and I thought the main character Greg was kind of naive thinking that just saying sorry made it okay that he walked out on the other guy right at THE moment, but overall I liked the characters and wanted them to get together. A nice little story (only about 50 pages) that could have benefitted from being longer I think. Still an okay read with some golfy stuff in it if that's your thing.

This is my "new to you author" for the challenge.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Update #5

Time to catch up.

Hard Fall by James Buchanan published by MLR Press

I was very leery about reading this because of he religion theme (even though its not a "religious" book). There was a big discussion on Wave's blog about this book because I was asking lots of questions and was angsty and not sure as I've had DNF books with a religion theme. When the main character gives into the religion and dumps the BF because he's feeling too guilty, etc. I just can't deal (even if there is a HEA later) and I was afraid for this book but the final results. GREAT BOOK!!!! It was not at all what I feared. Yeah, he felt some guilt but he didn't let it get in the way of rational thought and he was able to balance it in his own mind, the church's position on homosexuality and his own life as a gay man. Oh yeah and freaking hot. So I am so glad I asked questions and took a chance. The joy of review sites.

Sutcliffe Cove by Ariel Tachna and Madeleine Urban published by

I love Madeleine Urban's book and this is no exception. The descriptions of horseback riding (lessons) are amazing thanks to Ariel Tachna and the story is just nice and makes you feel good. There is no big crisis, no stalker, no big misunderstanding that splits them up. They have some communication issues to work through and it takes them 5 months to get together and they become best friends first which I think is really realistic as the one guy was with someone else. You just feel good after you read it. Very likable characters.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Update #4

Denying Dare and Enticing Elliott by Amber Kell, published by Literary Road

This is the continuation of the series.

In Denying Dare, Dare is a were-tiger who wants Stephen (best friend of Anthony) but Stephen is determined to find a wolf mate and avoids Dare (the bar tender) because he feels some kind of attraction. Anthony steps in with some cat nip and Dare's tiger goes berserk and literally drags Stephen up to his apartment where Stephen finally admits that Dare is his mate. Stephen and Dare are kidnapped by the mutant wolves and that story progresses. They are rescued of course.

In Enticing Elliott, Elliott is a werewolf who is the new employee of Anthony who makes him come to the club. There he meets Parker who was his mate in another life. Parker lives off-site and takes Elliott home when the mutants attack he escapes with Elliott and blows up his home. Seems Parker likes a little BDSM and introduces Elliott who seems fine with it. They suspect and inside traitor since they found Parker's house.

I'm looking forward to more because I want to know what the scoop is with the mutants. There were some serious editing issues in these two. Places where significant words were missing or they referred to Parker as Dillon in a couple of paragraphs. So that should be tightened up but I'll still buy any more to follow the arc.

Then I read Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy published by Dream Spinner Press.

This is a long one, 376 pages and worth every second of the time. It takes place over a period of two years and is a story of a closeted Australia Rules Football player and his relationship with an out director of a film festival. Lots of the typical stuff of hiding a relationship when one of the couple is VERY famous in sports circles and the stress of that and it was does to them as a couple. Of course eventually the player is outed and then there is a whole nother set of problems such as the unfamous member of the couple suddenly facing the papparazzi and discrimination for being gay. Two VERY appealing characters. I loved how snarky Simon was and that Declan also thought it was funny. I almost cried at the big conflict at the end. :-) But it definitely had a HEA. Certainly not one of the more explicit m/m books I've read, no graphic descriptions of the sex, but it was such an amazing story you didn't miss any of the details. So gigantic thumbs up for this one.

This is my "sports theme" read for the challenge.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Update #3

Attracting Anthony, Baiting Ben, Courting Calvin by Amber Kell - published by Literary Road Press

These are the first three in a series about the characters that surround a paranormal bar in the Northwest US run by an Alpha Werewolf. I assume it will go the whole alphabet. This series was recommended by Kris and I owe her one. They are short, around 40 pages, but its the story of each couple and I see in book three its starting to develop and overarching story arc that I assume will continue to develop during each book.

A - is about the alpha/bar owner Silver and his architect mystery paranormal lover Anthony. I say mystery because its not until book 2 or 3 you find out what he is really, but his mother was a wood witch, his father's parentage is confirmed later.

B - is about Ben a half-breed werewolf who moves from Alaska and finds his mate Thomas, only to have his childhood love (and mate?) Dillon show up. Three times the fun. Seems Ben isn't half human as he was told but half Fae.

C - is about Calvin, a human woodworker doing some work on Anthony's paranormal hotel who's sister is kidnapped and he's told to kidnap Anthony in exchange. He meets up with vampire Alesandro who's consulting on the hotel and Alesandro helps him out. You find out more about Anthony and the overarching plot in this book.

Its started out okay, but the further in you get the more you want to know. I liked all the main characters, you want them to have their HEA and its not overly angsty but as I said I'm intersted to find out how the big picture plays out. D and E are out there so I'm going to get those ASAP.

I'm counting this as my first in a series selection.

Long Distance by Stevie Woods - Published by Phaze Books

This was a super short (8 pages I think). It was a recount of phone sex between two lovers separated for work. It was fine, not much you can do with 8 pages, or maybe it was 5 after the title and stuff. It was free, you can't go wrong with a free story. I will not count this as one of my reads since its so short.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Update #2

Thankfully off my self-induced book hiatus I spent some money today. Yippee. Okay, I hope short stories count for this.

This was a freebie from allromanceebooks.com

Tom or an Improbable Tale by Ruth Sims. Its published by Lethe Press.

This is a short story, only 20 pages. Its told as if someone is telling you the story that their friend told them. I find that a bit awkward but its not too bad and its pretty funny at the start. Its basically a cat who spends 6 months of the year as a cat and 6 months as a boy. He ends up living with a closeted gay lawyer with a mad scientist friend who can do surgery to make him a man forever. He's really innocent and gay lawyer introduces him to gay sex (all off screen) but the guy misses being a cat too. So does he get the cat/boy to undergo surgery or let him go back to being a cat? That is the question.

It was okay, kind of cute and for free can't complain. I would read something else by this author as long as it wasn't the same POV because I don't really care for that.

This also fulfills my "shapeshifter not wolf" goal.