I was shocked when I saw when the last post was. I've really been in a reread slump and not getting down to work and reading the new books I have. Not sure why. Ennui? (which is a superb word)
My Vampire and I by JP Bowie
This was my "pick it for me" read at Good Reads. Hmmm. Okay, Roger meets Marcus (a vampire) at his birthday party and is instantly smitten. Seems they've been destined to be together since centuries before Roger was even born. There is some bad vamps after Marcus and Roger so that adds an element of fear and Marcus tries to explain how the vampire thing works to Roger who's totally in love. I didn't really like Roger that much. I got the impression he was really immature (I think he was 24 or 25) and although he was strutting around in a gold speedo as a costume at his party everyone talked about him like he didn't have much dating experience and he was half the time arrogant and "don't I look hot" and half the time "oh my god why would you want to be with me". So it wasn't bad but I didn't love them as characters. Also I found the time thing wacky as it seemed to be taking place in present day but then at the end they are 50 years into their relationship so was it like a flashback and they now live in 2060? I was kind of meh about it.
Best Vacation that Never Was by Lynn Lorenz (? pages)
The night before his big cruise with friends where he plans on landing his latest fuck buddy as a boyfriend, Troy's apartment burns to the ground with him almost along with it. Jason is the fire fighter who plucks Troy off the side of a burning building and finds himself attracted for no good reason. He goes to check on Troy at the hospital and finds he has no where to go so offers to let him stay at his place until his friends get back and he finds a new place. Of course things heat up and there's a whole D/s thing going on (but its minor) and they fall hard and fast. Now I'm not a fan of insta-love and I didn't get that impression here. Yes, it was fast but they both knew and couldn't believe it was happening and kept telling themselves it was stupid and some angst could have been avoided if they'd talked but I think if I found myself in their position and felt that I was "in love" with someone after three days I'd keep my mouth shut too because I'd be sure they'd think I was a stalker/weirdo or something. I love Jason's character, how he was so enthusiastic and just had a zest for life and kind of dragged Troy along with him who was 5 years older but seemed to act "old". They were a good match and I really enjoyed it as a fun enjoyable read.
Taste Test: Blind Dates by Lee Benoit, Alex Marcus-Jacob, Jodi Payne (? pages)
Three shorts about blind dates. The first Jeremy goes out with Ben who orders his meal for him and seems to be kind of arrogant and Ben admits it. But he saves them from being mugged in the parking lot which Jeremy find hot so they go home together and ... I thought it was kind of a quick turn around from "you annoy me" to "you make me hot" but whatever. The second, Mark is convinced to host his coworker/friend's cousin Sam for dinner. He assumes Sam is a girl and is "straight". The friend (with friend's like that who needs enemies) did it as a joke because Sam is a boy, a gay boy. But they have dinner and get along and Mark confesses he's always been curious so hey, lets try. He takes to it like a duck to water. The third one, I couldn't get into and skimmed it. Ab meets homeless guy Mole after a crappy blind date. He's a photographer who gets fixated on Ab and filming him and they get together and I think he agrees to hop a freight train with him at the end. Ewww. The guy lived in the park for god's sake and likely hadn't showered in months. It just didn't work for me. One out of three I really liked. Eh.
Taste Test: Pushy Little Bottoms by BA Collins, Taylor Lochland and Jodi Payne
Three more shorts about guys who top from the bottom if you will. The first is a long term couple where one is getting bored and gets a video and a few toys to spice it up. It was good. The second is an Asian massage therapy student who is being chased by bashers. He's rescued by a guy from a biker gang who gets a massage and more. Seems Asian guy is really into being smacked around, tied up, whipped, etc. and more or less bullies the biker into doing it. A straight biker no less who jumps into gay sex with both feet. Ummm. Right. Didn't work for me. The last one was a little short about a conservative guy and his more out partner who manages to push his buttons and get him to snap in public but in the bedroom has total control over the relationship from the bottom. It was cute and hot. So I really liked two, the middle one not so much but I don't get that whole "whip me, slap me, make it hurt" thing, so besides the fact that the straight biker suddenly decided to take it up the butt on a whim, it didn't appeal.
Notturno by Z.A. Maxfield
Adin collects rare old erotica and found a great journal of two Italian guys. He's knocked out on the plane (after having sex in a bathroom and being bitten) and his briefcase stolen. Ah ha. But he's smarter than he looks and the journal wasn't in the briefcase. So the vampire starts pursuing him for the journal which was his story about him and his one true love. Its is stolen by someone else who plans to sell it to the highest bidder, another vampire who wants it and hates the first who's name escapes me. Of course Adin gets sucked into this and is attacked by bad vampires and very nearly bites the dust but is saved by his best friend's lover who happens to be a vampire cop. And the vampire doesn't want to admit that he loves Adin because he is still hooked on his old lover of the journal. Its a pretty complicated story with lots of intrigue and who's a good guy and who's a bad guy and are they all just misunderstood. But on the whole I enjoyed it. I liked Adin and vamp boy. I could look up his name but ...
The Secret Tunnel by James Lear
This is the follow-up to The Back Passage. Mitch is heading to London from Edinburgh for Boy's baby's christening. Victor (who has been living with Mitch for 2 years) can't go so Mitch is on the train with a bunch of gay men and manages to find a travellng companion in the form of a little Belgian. There are movie stars, murder, political intrigue and sex clubs in London. I didn't like it as much and I found the story at the end extremely complicated and difficult to follow the why of who done it. I also have to confess that while in The BP Mitch was fucking everything that moved even though he had a crush on Boy it didn't bother me. There was no relationship. But now he's been living with Victor for 2 years and even Mitch kind of admitted that he was cheating and it just seemed to make me like him less. Yeah, he and Victor played with others, but always together and he admitted he loved Victor so him fucking everyone along the way kind of bothered me. If Victor had been with him I would have liked it better, three-ways all around (or more). Anyway, it was still good in that outrageous Agatha Christie way, but not as fun as #1.
Cherry by lots of people
An anthology of shorts about the first time. First time EVER for sex, first time with someone, first time gay sex, not necessarily just sex itself. On the whole I enjoyed them all, some more than others of course but I don't think there were any I disliked. Some of my favourites were:
No One's Cherry by Julia Talbot. Crispin was married and is now divorced after admitting he's gay but hasn't actually kissed anyone or done anything because he doesn't like twinks. His friend introduces him to another manly guy at a party and although it's off to a rough start with an argument with his friend, he's not a gay sex virgin for long. I like Cris and Glenn.
First Foot, Right of the Line by Kiernan Kelly. FB and Matt have been together for 2 years and married for 6 months and FB still hasn't met Matt's family and doesn't want to. For no good reason but he's freaked and basically forced to. It's going okay until Matt's SIL goes into labour at the dinner table and everyone rushes her off to the hospital leaving FB and Matt to watch the two younger kids. I thought FB's freak out when the one kid has to poop was hilarious but he starts to think that maybe rug rats aren't so bad. Yes yes, your teeth will rot out its go sweet at the end but big guys and babies are just too damn adorable for me not to love it.
Nice Girls Do by Mallory Path. Alan and Taz grew up together (Taz's father works for Alan's family) and they are 18 and Alan confesses he doesn't even know how to kiss a girl. Taz offers to let him practice on him and talks about "a nice girl would do X" and it goes on and on with talking about what the girl would do as Taz does it. It sounds hokey but it becomes clear after a while that they are just using that as a cover to outright asking each other for what they want. It was sweet and well done.
Different Strengths by JL Merrow. Michael is roped into going to a strip club with a client even though he's finding the bartender way hotter than any chick on the stage. He slips outside and the bartender follows. He agrees to go home with him and things are heating up when he suddenly finds out he knew the bartender from high school and he was involved in some nasty stuff that happened to Michael then. Can he forgive and get laid? I really liked this story because I loved Michael's voice. The way he talked to himself made me smile and chuckle many times. He didn't take himself too seriously and his running commentary was just plain funny. I also liked how he dealt with the revelation that the god in front of him was associated with some really bad shit. It just really appealed and I liked the writing a lot.