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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Back to the Salt Mines

Last week was a short week for me. A stressful week as well with lots of work stuff happening at the last minute. I did get to see the Mexican President Calderon speak at our Parliament Thursday which was cool but otherwise it was long days and early morning. I know today is a holiday in the US so hope everyone there is enjoying the day off. Not sure what will happen at work this week but it's bound to be less frenzied, and probably bordering on boring.

Vamp Camp by Wynn Wagner (135 pages)

This has a much cuter goth boy on the cover of the paper version. Mårten is an American naval officer who is captured by the Germans in WWI. He is raped and turned into a vampire by one of the guards who dumps him in the with only the most basic of information. He manages to get by and meets Menz, another vampire who takes him to his estate where he learns about being a vampire from Menz and manages to fall in love with Oberon, one of the multitude of twink donors he keeps. The guard who turned him against his will manages to elude execution and is out to get Mårten and Menz as well. This is book one and is told as if Mårten knows he's telling you the story, he's got a wry voice, and there is lots of random hot smexin' amongst the donors and vamps and you get to know about the vamp council and how their culture works. I enjoyed it as it doesn't take itself too seriously and is just fun and sexy. However I had a very difficult time purchasing a pdf version, perhaps in part due to the site and I found a fair number of spelling errors through the book, but not enough to really detract from the overall story. I'll definitely be checking out the next one.

Only in his Heart by Shawn Lane (78 pages)

This is book 3 in the series which brings us to Barnaby's older doctor brother Calvin and Nathan's step-brother Matt a nurse. Matt is pretty new to the city and sees a hot guy in the cafeteria but gets the cold shoulder. Seems Calvin has a reputation of being an ice-princess. When Matt expresses interest in Calvin, his colleagues bet him $400 he can't get him into bed. Despite Matt being everything Calvin finds repugnant (earrings, rides a motorcycle) he is strangely attracted and gives into Matt's pressure without much fight. Then of course the bet comes back to bite Matt in the ass. I could see the bet problem coming a mile away and they move REALLY fast with Matt becoming totally enamoured almost immediately, however he admits it's fast and I can deal with that kind of thing when one or both of the characters are a bit baffled by their speed instead of just thinking it's normal. It was a hot sexy read and I liked Calvin much better in this one, I guess because you get to see behind his facade which came off as total asshole in Barnaby's book. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Sunday

So last night I invited a couple of my daughter's friends over to celebrate her birthday. It was a surprise for her. She said she had fun. Once they arrived I headed upstairs to my room and they fooled around watching stuff on the computer and giggling. We had cake a bit later. This is the cake I got a bee in my bonnet about when we talked cakes at KB's place. I decided to go with a black and white theme. I dyed plain white cake mix black for two layers and then bought fondant icing and made some black. I was going to go with a tribal pattern but it doesn't cut as easily as they show on TV so I made these stretched flowers (amoebas?) which worked. I bought a black and white balloon bouquet and some streamers and the girls came dressed in black and white. A good time was had by all. I should invite someone over more often because I was up at 6:30 cleaning my house like a mad woman. I was in bed at 10:30 and didn't hear the last kid leave. I slept until 10:00 this morning. Whew. I wouldn't have been so tired if I'd spent more time doing what I was supposed to be doing and not reading but .... Where's he fun in that?

MIA Case Files: Wolfsbane by KC Burn (175 pages)

Lachlan and his partner work for a secret government agency that goes around finding portals to other dimensions and closing them. Lachlan is ex-military and has some kind of extra-sensory perception that helps him find these portals. They are in a small town investigating when he almost runs over a guy on a skateboard. He's instantly attracted but in all his 28 years he's never been willing to risk his career to be with someone. Adam is a Ph.D. student who had to drop out when his parents both got advanced Alzheimer's. He now works at the coffee shop to pay for around the clock nursing. Lachlan's partner recruits Adam to help them despite Lachlan's freaking out. Eventually he can't resist and he and Adam get together, with Lachlan admitting he's a virgin. When Adam suggests a longer term relationship Lachlan says no because he doesn't know about Adam's reasons for not having a "real" job and figures he's just a slacker. Oh yeah, and seems werewolves are what the open portal has set free, one of whom has an obsession with Adam and is determined to change him. I did enjoy this but I thought it a bit weird that neither Adam nor anyone in town mentioned the sick parents, although everyone kept giving these cryptic comments about Adam. I did like Adam a lot, he was coping with ailing parents and having to give up school and live in a town where everyone shunned him (more or less). Lachlan was your typical uptight military who was totally thrown by being attracted so strongly to Adam but when he let his guard down was enjoyable. I was a bit confused at first by what they were looking for or what kind of "danger" these portals posed but that sort of comes to you as they go and they have to reveal more to Adam as he gets more involved. Since it says this is case 1 I'm curious to see what case 2 will be and if it sticks with Lachlan and Adam or if Lachlan's partner will be the focus of the next or how it will work. I enjoyed reading this one and stayed up way too late doing so (see exhausted point above).

Betweentimes by Jordan Castillo Price (11 pages)

Jon is upset a business deal didn't go through at work when his sexy free-spirit neighbor Owen decides to take him out for dinner at the local Mexican place. After consuming a few fast paced margaritas Owen dips under the long table cloth just as the service staff arrive being told that it's Jon's birthday, complete with sparkler topped cupcake. Jon is trying to act casual as Owen gets busy. It was just a little scene of two guys who seem to be opposites finding maybe they have more in common than they thought and typical of JCP's writing quality. I won this on Jordan's site, so thanks Jordan it was a fun read. I'll never look at those singing waiters the same again.

Heaven Sent shorts by Jet Mykles (8-17 pages)

These are basically 4 little sex scenes set around each set of guys at different times of the year:

Pretty Red Ribbon - Tyler comes home to find Johnny has wrapped up a special gift for him in red ribbon.
Rites of Spring - Luc comes home to their new house to find Reese drawing out in the garden on the first day of spring and smexin' ensues.
Feisty Little Firecracker - Brent races home (see a theme here) to their new home on the lake and knows Hell is going to be pissed he's late for the fireworks. He's "punished" after begging forgiveness accompanied by lights in the sky.
Sly Spectral Trick - Darien comes home with the pumpkins to find Chris being weird and writing on the windows in mud to ward off ghosts. He gets kind of freaked and then a ghost seems to attack Chris. He's NOT impressed when he finds out it's a Halloween trick.

They are okay, they really add nothing to the story except to show that they all now live together and have gorgeous houses and are still hot for each other.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Kiddo!

I can't believe it's been 15 years. Wow, how time flies. She didn't want to arrive and was 10 days late but has now become paranoid about being punctual. :-) So that's a good thing. Everyone always says "the teen years are awful" but I have to say the years between 9 and 12 were far worse than anything I've experienced in the last few years. Maybe I'm lucky, maybe I did something right, I'm not sure, but I think she's pretty great kid who is making it through the teen years just fine. And of course I love her to bits and am so proud of her.

Some of you may know that riding is her thing. She would spend everyday on a horse if she could. Of course living in the city that's not really feasible and we used to live quite far from the riding school but are closer now. On the weekend she took part in a fun show at the school. She was in three events and got 5th, 4th and 1st for her category. She nearly fainted when she got the first in their little jumping category. She's not a serious competitor and doesn't want to be but she was pretty proud she did so well as her category had adults as well as kids. The picture doesn't have her 1st place ribbon as the post office (Grrrr, Canada Post) lost one of the boxes of ribbons so by the time they got to her category they'd run out but hopefully it will be waiting for her tomorrow.

Anyway, I hope have a super day Sweetheart! She goes to her Dad's on Fridays so I am going to pick her up for lunch today and we're going to go to one of our favourite breakfast places. Her school starts so early she gets lunch at 10:45. Kind of weird, but a great time for brunch. Then we'll probably celebrate some more on Saturday with cake of course. Must have cake. :-)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Marry, F*ck or Kill

I got nuthin' today because it's so damn hot I can't even focus on reading. It's supposed to be cooler today so I'm hoping that perks me up. Anyway, I'm stealing this concept from my friend Jere at Blind Prophecy. Now that he's (almost) getting a break from law school he has brought back the ever popular "Marry, F*ck, or Kill" game. I will give you three guys (I may put some fictional ones in there some day but I'll start with real today) and you have to say which one you'd marry, which one you'd get kinky with and which one by default you'd have killed. Of course we wouldn't REALLY have him killed, maybe just banished to Omaha or Kabul.

Usually he tries to keep it within a theme and I'll try to do the same. I tried to think of some guys who would be familiar to most no matter where you live globally and thought I'd go with James Bond. So which of these guys would you Marry, F*ck or Kill IN THEIR PRIME. So as if they were still the age/condition they were when they were playing James Bond, not necessarily today.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guest Blogging at Babbling about Books, and More Today

Today I'm posting about cake at KB's place Babbling About Books, and More - of course I'm not babbling about books at all. Ooops. Anyway, stop by and lets dish about cake. Yummmm.

See you there. :-)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Short week for me - Did some reading on the weekend

Monday was our holiday in Canada. (Victoria Day, or the May 2-4 weekend because you buy and drink a 2-4 of beer. Which I didn't thank you very much.) It was a perfect day Monday. My daughter had her riding show (and did really well - I'll post about that later) and I got a bit burned. I was only out from 11:30 - 1:30, but standing in the middle of a field in the sun was enough. It's going to be HOT for us the next few days. Ugh. I do not have central air so my house is not great. Luckily it's still cooling off at night so it's not too bad. I'll have to get the window unit in my bedroom which helps. So having an extra day off, even with the trip to Montreal Sunday means I got a fair bit of reading done.

Mobry’s Dick by KZ Snow (165 pages)

This starts with a prologue at turn of the century where gay magician Alain Mobry is doing one of his shows. He’s renowned for automaton machines, the clockwork mechanical tricks. He’s crushing on another magician known as “The Turk” who sort of shows interest but also shuns him leaving Mobry confused. Then in present day Cam is hanging out at a flea market and runs into hot guy Paul who’s looking for a specific object. Cam actually finds it and buys it and Paul tells him it’s one of Mobry’s gadgets, a "dick". Cam’s not sure he’s gay, in fact is trying to be straight but Paul makes him question that. He later finds out Paul may not be who or what he thought and he has to cope with that, while figuring out the mystery of the dick and dealing with the results of Paul pissing off his ex who wants the gadget. I won’t say too much more and I’m not a huge fan of historicals but I thought there was just enough in this for me not to lose interest. Once it gets to a certain point in history, it focuses on the present day which I appreciated and while I’m not sure I loved what Cam got up to after he decided he’s gay (the romantic in me) I’m pretty sure it made complete sense realistically. The mystery of the dick, what happened to Mobry and whether Cam and Paul would finally get their act together kept me reading. It was a great read with a touch of everything, drama, mystery, humour, hot smexin’. :-)

I just realized that we are soon going to have to start indicating WHICH turn of the century. Not 2000, but 1900.

Witness by LA Gilbert (around 200 pages I think)

Ben is a cop who is just coasting along. On a call he meets Reece, a bike messenger but he’s too unsure to take the opening when Reese gives it to him. Then he runs over Reece’s bike and takes the opportunity to buy him a new one and ask him out. When Reece is attacked and his bike stolen Ben takes him home to help him get over his injuries. They start to grow closer as Reece heals and they get to know each other, however Reece has some secrets and emotional baggage he’s going to have to deal with if this is going to be long term. If you are in the mood for something light and not too angsty it’s a perfect read. There is no stalker, no major crisis, no big misunderstanding (thank god), just two guys struggling along the way I think most people do. Sometimes I really like that kind of lightness and no big drama and it worked for me on that level. Reece and Ben are both likable guys, they have normal friends, and jobs that suck sometimes and dreams just like regular people. I enjoyed it anyway, but those who like heavier plot driven stories likely may find it a bit fluffy.

Winner Takes All by Jenny Urban & Elizabeth Silver (100 pages)

Matt and Dom are friends. Thanks to the downturn in the economy Matt’s construction business is on the brink of going under. He is straight but lately after drinking too much he and Dom have been sharing some hand jobs and Dom would like more but figures crushing on a straight guy is bad. When Dom finds out they are going for a hostile take-over of Matt’s company he makes him a bet, if he can’t get the company back on it’s feet in a month, Dom gets Matt sexually for a week and vice versa if he does. Matt at first resists but figures if he can save the jobs of his employees he’ll take it. Meanwhile they continue to see each other and Matt starts to question how straight he is as Dom steps up the moves and pushes Matt further and further. Uh, mixed feelings. It was okay, but I found they talked non-stop during sex and Matt was the ultimate pushy bottom, he was always calling Dom names and telling him to get on with it and it was definitely not lovey dovey. I guess it suited their personalities but I was kind of with Dom and his idea of getting a freaking gag for Matt. On the whole it was a decent read without too much angst or conflict.

One odd note, I found these guys never took off their ties. They’d be home for a couple of hours and still be wearing a shirt and tie. They’d go to the bar to watch basketball after work and still be wearing their tie. Where I come from a tie is like pantyhose, the first thing you take off if you don’t need to wear it. A few times I though, “Why is he still wearing a tie?” Minor point of course, but it stood out for me. Maybe I’m just too casual.

Curious? by lots of people (300 pages)

This is an anthology which is supposedly for the woman who’s a bit curious about m/m and wants to try it out. It’s fine for die-hard fans as well. I read it pretty much all in one go, more or less. One unusual aspect is a short by Amy Lane which has chapters interspersed throughout the book. I’m not sure that worked for me because I had a couple of days between when I started and when I got back to it and it took me awhile to remember what the heck had happened in the previous chapter. It works fine if you read it all in one sitting but if you are reading it over a period of days it is easy to forget. And interesting concept though, I’ll give it that.

Favourites? Hmmm. To be honest I don’t seem to have any that really stand out. I mean they were all “good”, none that I thought “Well, that was crap” but I’m not sure any where like “Greatest thing I ever read”. I will say We are Stardust by M. Jules Aedin set during Woodstock in the 60’s was interesting as the setting was very unusual. There were a couple that involved horses which always suckers me in, Snowman by Isabelle Rowan and In His Eyes by Bethany Brown. I also found The Neighbors by Janey Chapel intriguing, a voyeuristic woman watches her new gay neighbors getting funky. An interesting twist.

Some have next to no sex, some have lots of sex, nothing too extremely kinky but it’s a nice mix. It would be a good start for someone who wants to test the waters, plus you get to try some great authors like Sean Kennedy, Chrissy Munder, Cat Ford, GS Wiley along with those I mentioned, plus others. I enjoyed it and was able to read it straight through and not find it repetitive because the subject matter was so broad.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cirque du Soleil Totem - Montreal

Sunday my daughter and I went to Montreal to see the Cirque du Soleil show Totem. I am a Cirque fan and should probably make it my goal to see all of their shows around the world. :-) That would be a fun challenge.

I love seeing the shows in Montreal (or traveling shows in general) because you get the tent experience. And in Montreal it's down in the Old Port and out on one of the quays so is very cool to be right on the St. Laurence river. Plus that part of Montreal is beautiful. And packed. Ack. Traffic was insane but we finally found a parking lot that had tons of space only about 5 blocks down on the water.

Even though most circus tents are hotter than hell, the Cirque tents are air conditioned (we were actually cold). It was a gorgeous day. In the 80's, hundreds and hundreds of people out walking and looking at the little shops selling stuff, eating ice-cream, renting bikes. It was fun to people watch. Because my daughter had a riding less on the morning we didn't have that much time to hang around before the show but we've been to Montreal many times so it's not that big of a deal. It's only 2 hours from home so we can go any time.

The show? Amazing. I think better than the last one I saw, which I can't remember which one it was. LOL But I was really impressed. I thought I got second price level seats (still over $100 each - and worth every stinking penny) but we were in row 2. We were less than 6 feet from the stage. You could see the performers eye color when they came to the edge (which they do often). We were kind of off to the side so they probably were second level pricing but wow, it was great. I'm just going to give you the trailer here which covers most of the acts. There were way more shirtless boys. Rowr. And because these guys are athletes really of the highest form, the muscles. Well, good think it was air conditioned. :-) The strength and agility and their ability to make it look so damn easy just dazzles me. The one woman on the rings in pink had better abs than most of the guys on the covers of m/m books. Kristen and I just looked at each other like "Wow". LOL

It's hard to say which was my favourite. The guys on the high bars in the beginning were amazing, the guys and the girl on the ring, the roller skating Native Americans (I was sure her head was going to smack on the stage or they'd go shooting right off the drum), the Aboriginal hoop dancer was amazing, I've seen my share of hoop dancers but he took it to a whole new level. The Chinese girls catching metal bowls on their heads WHILE riding a unicycle were great, the clowns, the guys on the bendy boards and on the tall pole, all amazing. As I said, it's one of the better shows I've seen in a while.

All Cirque shows tell a story, a story that helps if you are on acid to understand. LOL This was the tale of mankind and I think I kind of got it. It starts out with lizard people (and a human disco ball who descends from the ceiling), then there is the Aboriginals, cave men, apes, modern day and even covers aliens from the future. So it's a broad vague story that you see, but you just kind of go with the flow and don't try to think too linearly or have it make total sense.

The only thing we bought was a water bottle. You can't buy just a bottle of water cause they are all about recycling but you get a metal insulated water bottle with water in it for $5.50. Expensive as hell but I was thirsty. LOL After the show about 7:30 we were starved so we went across the street to a pedestrian mall area with tons of restaurants and the buskers were out in full force. From our window in one of the pubs we saw this guy. He must have had 200 people standing around watching him. He was juggling fire and knives on the top of a ladder ... in a kilt. :-)

So after we ate, we fought the traffic to get out and got home around 11:00. A great time we had, with a super show and if any of you ever get the chance to see a show you really should at least once. I see Totem is going to Amsterdam but you can check out their website to see where all their shows are.

Have to run to my daughter's riding show. May post a couple of Montreal pics later. Have a great day everyone.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Blahs

It's not that the books are blah, they aren't, quite good in fact but I'm blah. Mostly work related which Friday morning had me in a high state. We'll see if they are prepared to address my concerns Tuesday (long weekend for us) or if I'm going to have to make my point AGAIN.

We are going to Montreal to see Cirque du Soleil tomorrow and my daughter is in a riding show on Monday which I'll go and see her part of (she'll probably hang out all day doing horsey stuff), and today is try and find her a white polo shirt for said show, pick up her new riding boots, a few other errands, etc. It's supposed to be decent weather all weekend.

So I got some reading done, with my electronics crisis and my major attack of the blahs, not as much as I had hoped or would have liked but what can you do? Maybe Monday.

Necking by lots of people (300 pages)
These are all m/m/m and despite people telling me to spread it out ... well, over 3 days is spreading it out for me. It was fine that way. I can't review all 15 or so here but I'll take note of some that I particularly enjoyed. They are a mix of bringing a guy home from the bar for a one-off (sometimes as a regular part of a relationship or as a truly one time event) and those in which the third is brought into the relationship permanently. I like both types and enjoyed a mix. They are mostly contemporary but there is one Sci-Fi outer space one and another that is a quasi-historical paranormal I'll talk about.

The Filling by JL Merrow - A funny story about Ivo who is terrified to go to the dentist. He brings his boyfriend Colin along to hold his hand. Ted is a very sexy gay dentist and while he's doing the exam Colin keeps up a running commentary of sexual inuendo that is hilarious. They run into Ted in the bar and go home with him and give Ivo something else to relate to a dentist chair than pain. Not really sure it's much beyond fun for the three but it was very amusing.

Unwrapped: The Birthday Gift by Josephine Myles - For his 25th birthday Dave decides he wants to have a threesome. At the bar they meet Pedro, a visiting American (they are in England) and they take him home. What I liked about this was Dave freaks because you find out Mark his BF had been in a threesome with Dave and his girlfriend which fell apart because he was attracted to Mark and he's afraid it will happen. They talk it out and after Pedro is very up front about his relationship with his partner back in the US and their feelings about sex and relationships not being mutually exclusive. So I thought that was a bit different than just jumping in with both feet.

Snowbound by Jana Denardo - If you've ever seen that old Star Trek episode where Kirk and Spock end up on a plant that is like the 1930's Chicago, but different, this is what this reminded me of. Caleb, Temple and Agni are demon hunters in 1931. They are in Philadelphia and get snow bound and have to hole up at a safe house. Temple comes on to Caleb who is sort of in a relationship with his partner Agni but Agni says go for it. After they fight off some snow demons and Temple almost dies they decide to all get together. It was kind of neat because of the time period combined with the demon hunting. It was a different twist which I enjoyed.

Perform for Me by Lori Toland - Corey goes to a sex club regularly and watches a Dom and sub do their thing, gets turned on and goes home to ravish Justin. One night Justin suggests that Corey join in the fun at the club. Justin does but then freaks out a bit after and Justin has to calm him down and they discuss a threesome together. I really liked the twist on this and Corey having to deal with his kink for watching vs being on display and his relationship with Justin and Justin's kinks. I quite enjoyed it.

An American in Seville by Lenor Black - Tony is on a business trip in Seville, Spain with his boss and another suck-up coworker. His life is one big blah. His wife left him a year ago, he doesn't really like his job in Ohio, his boss is a typical rude American abroad who thinks everything is inferior to the old U. S. of A. Their last night in town they have to go to a flamenco show and Tony is fascinated by the dancer. He needs to get away from his annoying boss and slips outside where he find the dancer Alejandro and guitarist Javier. They talk for a minute and the guys invite him back to their place. At first he's not sure and then figures what the hell. He's nervous and scared but is tired of being afraid and stuck. It's not HEA but it wakes him up and makes him realize his ex was right, he has stagnated and this is the kick start he needs to move his life forward. I really enjoyed how Tony looked at himself and you could feel his apathy as he followed his boss around and just went with the flow.

Actually none of them were duds although the one with the guy called Skunk kind of irked me because I just can't get into stories with people with stupid nicknames. There were a couple in present tense which I also find hard to get into and with a short story it takes me till nearly the end until it flows in my head. It's almost like my mind tries to convert it to past tense and is struggling with what my eyes are seeing. LOL Not bad stories, but I obviously can't connect as well when I'm fighting to stay in the tense. I liked the ones that were a bit different, had a little twist or told the story from a different perspective, but as I said, they were all pretty good and for fans of m/m/m I think it will be an enjoyable read.

Where the Moon Touches by Kiernan Kelly (19 pages)
Val is a werewolf who has to get married next full moon. He knows he's gay but if he refuses (they are berothed at birth) his family will kill him and if he ever cheats his wife will kill him. He decides to get laid as many times as possible before that happens in a few days. He goes to a gay bar where he sees a blonde and immediately knows it's his mate. Christo is freaked as he's sure Val is there to kill him, he ran away from his family because he refused to get married and they swore out a contract on his life. They go to the beach to have a little fun and Val decides that they will go on the run together because there is no way he can marry a woman now that he's found his mate. A bit of slightly different twist on the gay werewolf theme and some of Kiernan's trademark low-key humour. It was okay, just a few hours in their lives.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wow, I'm slacking off.

I haven't gotten much reading done. Dealing with having to buy a new TV kind of distracted me. (If any more of my electronic gadgets crap out you'll hear me screaming no matter where you live. 3 in 7 days is my limit.) I got it hooked up last night and we actually have both picture AND sound. Go me! Unfortunately the remote to control the sound and to change the channels are different. I'm hoping my cable company can tell me how to program the remote for the cable box to work with the TV otherwise I guess we'll adjust. And no psychadelic circle of color in the middle. I'm going to see if anyone wants it for free, maybe they can fix it or use the parts, keeps me from having to take it to the recycle depot (which I don't even know where it is).

So here's a couple of videos. In honour of my most favouritest company ever, Aussie Bum and the hot weather we have this week which would be beach weather if the water were not barely above freezing.

And of course some cookies for the day (these can all be found at my tumblr). That should keep you busy until I can get some reading done.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Monday Update

Another week. Ho hum. Nothing exciting planned for this week but next Monday is a holiday for us in Canada. I have a dentist appointment this morning. Ugh. I hate the dentist. Who likes it I wonder? That's it. Hope everyone has a great week.

State of Mind by Libby Drew (270 pages)

Grier works for a mysterious group called The Organization, which uses people with mental powers to "save the world". After a job goes way wrong and many people are killed, he abandons his job and goes on the run knowing he was set up and something ugly is happening. Alec is a young favourite of the Director who is sent to track Grier down and bring him in. Once he finds Grier, he starts to wonder if what he's been told is true. Grier tells him what is going on and then they set out on a quest to find the truth involving a friend of Grier's whose father is a big crime boss and an enemy of the Organization. It's a bit complicated with several characters involved but it definitely sucked me in and kept me reading. It seemed like Alec believed Grier pretty fast but I guess since they can read other people's minds they can tell if you are telling the truth. They don't get together until near the end, but I was so caught up in the intrigue I was good with that. :-) I'm sure there are lots of plot holes but with the psychic angle I just let them go.

Icing on the Cake by Shayla Kersten (65 pages)

Jeff is convinced to get the wedding cake for his best friend's wedding in 3 days. She sends him to Ollie, he can hardly focus on cake he's so enamoured with tattooed pierced Ollie. They end up together but Jeff is a bit freaked as Ollie's bedroom is a "dungeon" and Jeff NEVER gives up control. He's all about his career and staying in control. However Ollie convinces him that maybe he needs to try a different way, rather than never being with the same guy twice. It's a cute little story, only takes place over 3 days so they both admit it's just starting, not true love. I could understand Jeff's need for control given his past and he needed someone equally strong to get him to relax for a minute. Definitely worth a read.

Fighting Dragons by TA Chase (91 pages)

This is a continuation of the Dragons series and is Bailey and David's story. Everyone knows that David and Bailey are attracted but nothing ever happens. Bailey figures it's because of his injuries he sustained in Iraq, he shakes and has trouble with his balance. Mordred who wants everyone happy arranges for a love spell on St. Patrick's Day. They have 24 hours of amazing sex and you find out that David's politician father has big plans for him in parliament and he's never not done what his father wants save for joining the military. After Bailey confesses his love he tells David he has to choose, try and win his father's approval or Bailey. There is lots of Mordred and George and Kael and Hugh so it's kind of fun to see them all together and to get a look inside Bailey and David's heads. It's typical TA, an nice easy read which was I needed at the time.

Pool Boy Seduction by Amanda Young (10 pages)

Martin, in his late 30's comes home from a rough week at work to find his neighbor's 21 year old son in his pool. Todd offered to clean the pool and mow the yard for the summer and Martin gave him use of the pool. He goes out to hang out with him and well, the pool boy fantasy kicks in for real. That's about it, just a little sexy interlude, nothing profound.

A Bodacious ... Blogging Award

Sweetheart Tracy at Tracy's Place tagged me for this one.

Here's how it works:
  1. Leave a comment on the post you were nominated on.
  2. Then copy and paste the post and add it to your own blog. Make a list of the last 5 books you read and pass the award on to 5 other bloggers.
  3. Please also identify the blog from which you got the award and don't forget to tell them they have a blog award!
I'm going to skip tagging anyone, but thanks again Tracy. I need to look at this because yes .... my TV just died. Well, it's working but there is a giant circle of psychedelic colors in the middle. It was fine at 1:00. At 7:30 - poof. Good-bye more money. This is #3 so it better be it. I'm combining this into a review post. Cheating.

Rescue by Sean Michael (15 pages)

Dixon is a fireman who goes to his neighborhood bar to unwind after work. A young guy is there, kind of strung out and it turns out his house was the one that burned down that morning when Dix was there. He chats with the kid for a bit and invites him back to his place to do the "prove your alive after a disaster" thing. So Rob comes back, they have sex and Dix is all smug about rescuing another one. The end. It was okay but definitely more erotica than romance as there's no real indication it will go beyond this one time, but I suppose it could. It's okay, typical Sean Michael.

Your Forever by Jenna Jones (78 pages)

Del is best man for his friend Jeff's wedding. Jeff's half-brother has no where to stay so Del offers his couch. Theo is much younger than Jeff and they have a distant relationship. They pick him up and he and Del hit it off right away and end up in bed together. Seems Theo isn't quite as Jeff described him and he wants to try a relationship with Del, but he lives in Texas and Del in California. Del is the kind of guy who just writes things off right away rather than see what will happen. After some angst and getting his ass kicked by his ex for yet again pushing someone away, he agrees to try. I found Del a bit of a PITA with the pushing away but on the whole it was a good little story. I would have liked to have seen more of Theo and Jeff as Jeff got to know who he really was an adult rather than the flaky kid he remembered.

Timing by Mary Calmes (260 pages)

Stef is heading to Texas to be his best friends man-of-honour. He has never gotten along with her brother Rand and while she said he wouldn't be there, of course he is. They've hated each other for years, ever since the first day they met and Rand called him a fag. They agree to call a truce for the wedding and then Rand starts acting weird and freaking Stef out by being all touchy-feely. Eventually he finally confesses he's been crushing on Stef and they get together while trying to get things ready for the wedding and deal with a meeting Stef was asked to do while he's in Texas. Then there's a murder, a drunk cousin, 60 year olds having sex (off page), and enough booze to drown a small country. Stef is "perfect", he's gorgeous, funny, able to charm anyone, the most amazing friends, tough, strong, can fight, etc. Okay, granted his relationship skills on the whole suck but otherwise he's a dream come true who even lets chicks rub all over his abs and body. LOL But despite this and the fact that Rand's behaviour would have had my head spinning I liked them both. I thought the whole subplot with the murder could have likely been skipped and Rand's sister was needy and kind of whiny (I don't have much patience for Bridezillas), but on the whole this is a read for when you don't take it all too seriously. Just go with he flow and enjoy.

Man and Wolf by Kate Roman (225 pages)

Rob brings his poisoned dog into vet Jamie's clinic. He's totally panicked but then vanishes before he can see if she's okay. Jamie is totally smitten and eventually tracks him down. They start dating and it's hot and heavy when Jamie finds out that Rob was part of a military experiment to turn kids into werewolves. During an accident in training Rob was able to get away and has been on the run for 6 years and it's the kind of werewolf where he turns against his control on the full moon (the night he brought his dog in) or when he's under stress. There's a whole subplot of an animal control guy who is sure Jaime is breeding wolves for some weird reason. I kept expecting the military guys to show up and them to have to go on the run, but they didn't. I wasn't sure if I was disappointed it didn't happen that way or happy it didn't go the traditional route. Gee, you can't please me huh? LOL This is definitely insta-love but it's the mates things so I can live with it and Jamie and Rob have tons of hot sex, there was the mandatory nosey friends, but the dogs were really cute. It's a bit of a twist on the werewolf thing which is different. It was okay but I did seem to have trouble focusing on it. Not sure why.

Nine Tenths of the Law by LA Witt (150 pages)

Zach's out for drinks with his boyfriend of 6 months Jake when Nathan arrives. Seems Nathan has been Jake's boyfriend of 4 years. Ack. Zach is stunned and upset and after leaving Jake offers to take Nathan for a beer. That night they have angry revenge sex but Zach figures it's a one-time thing. A couple of weeks later Nathan shows up at his movie theatre and they decide to have a no strings thing because two exes dating would be weird and wrong. (Although I don't see why.) Nathan has serious trust issues and before long Jake is trying to cause trouble between them and feeding Nathan's issues which makes Zach crazy until finally he calls it quits and they have to figure out if they can make it work or if it's too much. Actually I understood Nathan's issues and Zach just figured since he hadn't given him a reason not to he should trust him. I wasn't sure that was realistic given Nathan's past and Zach's idea of using BDSM to induce trust didn't work for me. Trusting someone not to physically harm you in bed is not the same as trusting them not to cheat on you. Their intense physical attraction certainly came through and it was interesting reading about Zach's movie theatre and the challenges of running a business. I enjoyed it but a few times I thought they focused too much on why dating was a bad idea when I thought it was no big deal.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Christmas in May

I shouldn't be allowed to go on shopping jags without someone to hold my hand and make sure I don't go off on a tangent, like buying a whole bunch of Christmas stories in the spring (for 50% off though). Oh well, there's always room for Christmas shorts.

Just My Luck by Cassandra Gold (15 pages)
Grad student/book store employee Greg's car won't start on Christmas Eve after work. He's rescued by hunky coffee shop owner Seth who offers to drive him home. Greg has been crushing on Seth and is nervous now that he's actually got his attention. When they get to Greg's place, a fire caused the electrical system to go out so everyone has to leave the apartment building. He has no where to go and tries to turn Seth down but finally agrees to go and stay at his place until he can move home. Once they get there, Seth admits he's been eyeing up Greg but wasn't sure if he should make a move. Over some hot cocoa and homemade Christmas cookies Greg makes it clear that a move is welcome and ... well, maybe his luck changed and bad things don't come in three. Lordy, I hope so. That means my microwave won't blow up next. LOL A cute little story.
Tinsel by Rob Rosen (15 pages)

Tinsel is working the yo-yo line at Santa's workshop but not feeling it. When suddenly Santa's bad boy nephew Yule ends up working next to him and he's fascinated. On their break, Yule takes Tinsel out back for a smoke (elves don't smoke, gamble, cuss or have sex - but Yule does). They're having a nice little session of 69 when the alarm goes off. Comet is missing!!! *gasp* All the elves are tasked to get out there and find him or no Christmas. Yule manages to team up with Tinsel and off they go into the woods. They find a cave, start a fire and Yule brought some essential supplies. Lube and a dildo. The supplies yield a fine result and they even manage to find and rescue Comet. It's a funny little twist on Santa's elves although I kept having Keebler Elf images which made it hard to think sexy thoughts about them.
A New Kind of Feast by Lorne Rodman (18 pages)

Paul has no where to go on Christmas since his family rejected him so is at the grocery store late looking for Christmas dinner. He manages to grab the last frozen turkey dinner when firefighter Bill shows up looking for his own frozen dinner. He had to work and his family went to Mexico. After chatting they decide to team up and make their own Christmas feast, featuring just about everything they can think of as they fill the cart including 3 boxes of cherry chocolate (men after my own heart), hams, yams, caramels, apples, Tang and Ruffles potato chips. They go to Paul's where they prepare their Christmas Eve feast and settle down to watch some things blow up on TV and get cozy. It was a cute little story about two guys having fun shopping and buying crap they normally wouldn't then finding out they actually like each other decide to spend the holiday together.
So they were all cute little stories, but I'm glad Christmas isn't for another 7 or so months.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Angelic Friday Part 4 (the final edition)

So I finished the last three stories. They were quite different than the others. I have to say in general I enjoyed this anthology. There were a few stories I didn't connect with but that's to be expected. I was actually surprised that they were able to have as many stories as there were outside of the guardian angel coming down to earth and then staying after falling in love with their charge. I thought it ended well for me.

The Tenth Avatar by Roland Graeme (27 pages)
Santangelo by Zahra Owens (28 pages)
The Archangel of Castro by Diana Copland (20 pages)

The Tenth Avatar - Arun moved from India to the US in part to more fully explore being gay. He sees a hot blond a the bar and his friend encourages him to make a move. He sort of does but the guy is leaving so they just exchange a few words. Arun inherited some money and a statue from his uncle in India and when the delivery of the statue arrives it's delivered by the hot guy from the bar, Jack. They start dating and Arun starts focusing more on his faith as the statue was of the avatar Kalki (or Calico as Jack calls him). I quite enjoyed this story as Jack asked Arun about his faith and Indian culture. It didn't have an overt angel theme but kind of left Kalki's influence on their relationship open to interpretation.

Santangelo - Mike is rescued from a gay bashing by Gabe, a former Dr. who stitches him up at the hospital. He tells Mike is daughter has a terminal genetic illness and he spends time with her. Mike is attracted and starts hanging out with them even though Gabe gives him the stay away vibe. Finally Mike finds out why he's staying clear, he's HIV positive and hasn't been with anyone since his diagnosis. Mike, who is usually a love-em-and-leave-em kind of guy finds he's not scared off by the diagnosis or the prospect of caring for a terminally ill child. I liked this one as well, as you don't see HIV stories often and I thought it was handled well and the only angel connection was Gabriel and Michael's names.

The Archangel of Castro - Nick owns a diner in the Castro and he is known for taking care of kids who are trying to find their way, help them get on their feet. Brian, a young Mormon man came to him about 8 months ago ill and in trouble. He nursed him back to health and kept him as a room mate. He is madly in love but Brian is 25 (he's 42) and gorgeous (he's average). Gabriel is a local character who runs around in cut-offs, angel wings and a Christmas tinsel halo. One night after sending Brian off on a date Gabriel gives Nick shit for being so blind and or not believing he's worthy of love. He says things that make Nick wonder about him as he seems to know things no one else would. When Brian comes home early Nick finally pulls his head out of his ass and takes the offered love. It was a cute story, but I'm a sucker or the good Samaritan story line and Gabriel in his wild outfit was amusing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


So last weekend I washed my phone. Arrgghhh! I was thinking about upgrading and getting my daughter a new one for her birthday in a couple of weeks but that forced the issue. Finally got a new one last night, we're good to go. Not quite what I wanted but better than I had.

This morning I'm on my netbook at home doing my "think" before I leave for work. Get home, open it up and it won't start. Argggghhhh! I thought it was the screen only but when I put in a memory stick the light didn't come on so I don't know what the issue is. It was working fine at 8:00, 5:30 - pphhhhtttttthh Nuthin. *sob* I knew it was going to have to be replaced soon, I was having trouble with the keyboard, but again, I wasn't ready to do it TODAY! I wanted to look around and decide what to get. Yes, we have another computer, but we haven't shared said computer in 18 months. And all of my books, pictures, etc. are on the netbook. Luckily carbonite worked for me on that computer so it should be easy to download everything onto a new one but .... I hope I can get this one fixed and we'll at least be able to use it for a spare. Sigh.

Anyway, the whole point is I don't have much access to a computer, my work is insane so I'm not sure I'll be able to get many posts done from there so things might be a bit thin on the ground around here for a few days until I can get up and running with a new computer for me. Send me good price vibes is you can. What next? My TV will explode? Yikes, I hope I haven't jinxed myself.

Here's a cookie or two to make me feel better.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Zeland Day

So since my shopping binge some people have been wondering what my theme will be in my next reading jag. Ta da!!! New Zealand. Didn't plan it that way but whatever. It's a great theme. What you need to know about New Zealand: it's down south near Australia. It's smallish, has two main islands and about 3.5 million people. The Maori are the native people to New Zealand. It is part of the commonwealth, the capital is Wellington, and some very obscure pointless facts:
  • Less than 5% of the population of New Zealand is human - the rest are animals (there are nine sheep to every human in New Zealand)

  • New Zealand has more bookshops per head of population than any other country; one for every 7,500 people (compared with one for every 19,000 in England and one for every 50,000 in the USA)

  • Each year some 400 significant earthquakes are recorded in New Zealand, of which roughly 100 are likely to be felt without instruments, but aren't of sufficient importance to warrant public notice.

  • "Lord of the Rings" was filmed entirely in New Zealand.

Go visit, I hear it's lovely. I know there are some great bloggers from there, that should be encouragement enough. On with the show.

Angelfish by M. King (82 pages)
Kelly has been away at college in England and has been told it's time to come home to New Zealand and take up his position in the family cracker company. He hates his life there, his cold distant parents who want to control him, he's in the closet, hates his company's products, life sucks but he is too chicken to say anything and goes along, attending charity dinners, golfing and pretending to care. He meets gardener Craig and is smitten by him and his angelfish tattoo. That day he starts to freak out and this fish starts coming to life and taunting him about his life. He thinks he's going nuts and the fish basically keep showing up as he starts hitting the gay clubs and avoiding Craig at all cost while continuing to deny what he wants. Eventually Craig and him get together and he has to figure out what he wants. I'm so glad they said he was in therapy because this guy was totally nutso, and not because of the fish thing. LOL He started out someone I really liked, the book was humorous, the descriptions of Christchurch are amazing, it's like being there, but he just degenerated into the ass who seemed to be totally out of it half the time, couldn't think straight, had the talking fish thing going on, was turning mean, just jerky. He just started to redeem himself at the end of the story where even he admits it might not be true love forever but he's going to try it out. So I'm a bit conflicted. Did I enjoy it? On the whole yes, but did I love Kelly? Not so much, he was basically a spineless wimp who continued to act 12, sneaking out to clubs, going along with everything his parents wanted, turning nasty, while listening to an imaginary fish. (Get thee on Prozac.) For the setting alone it's worth a read and it is a good book, it just left me kind of .... unsettled. Not a bad thing perhaps to stir up a reader from time to time. I thought the author must be from the area but it says she's British, but she's either been there, is a hell of a researcher or it's all completely made up, but I believed the descriptions.

Mark's Toy Box by Laine Williams (34 pages)
Nurse Mark and Policeman Keith have been living together for awhile. Mark (an acknowledged sub) has hooked up with some dominant assholes in the past and been abused but Keith is wonderful. He treats Mark like gold and is big enough and dominant enough to please Mark and while he'd like more, he would never push Keith who is in his first gay relationship. Mark has a toy box with some stuff from his past relationships that he plays with when Keith isn't home. One day he's wearing a corset, tall black boots and is prancing around when Keith comes home early. Mark is terrified Keith will be freaked out and leave him but Keith gets totally into it and handcuffs Mark and does the nasty cop routine which has Mark in heaven. Keith later agrees to try some of the toys and gets Mark to admit that he'd like a bit more of the rough stuff. This was the first story published a couple of years before the 3 below which is a continuation of their relationship. This was a smoking little story as Keith gets into the roll play and Mark is loving every minute of it while at the same time terrified that kind gentle straight arrow Keith will freak out about all the bondage crap and toys he's got in the trunk. I would have loved to read a story about how Keith and Mark hook-up as this is Keith's first relationship with a guy so I'm not sure if it was GFY or just finally out of the closet. Set in NZ of course although that doesn't really play a roll in the story.

Lessons in Mastery 1, 2, 3 by Laine Williams (25 29 & 48 pages)

Under Control: Mark is having a rough day at the hospital where he had to deal with someone who was badly abused by their partner under the guise of consent (BDSM). He's very upset about it and later that night the guy is back, even more badly injured and this time in intensive care. Later at home Keith asks him to top. He's been hinting at this but Mark is terrified due to a bad experience and not wanting to be the one in "control". His father badly abused him as a child and he has to figure out that having power doesn't mean abuse and that he has more control that he believes in their relationship. It was very touching to see Mark dealing with the abuse and really letting Keith in and trying to understand that not all people with power abuse it and that he had his own power he wasn't even aware of.

Under Restraint: After realizing that Mark is really into BDSM, wanting to please him and give him what he needs, he arranges for Mark's birthday to go to a professional Dom where he can dominate Mark under the guidance of Master Joseph because he's just learning. Mark is a little stunned but immediately falls into the submissive role and things go really well although the whole time Keith is a little freaked. He doesn't understand why Mark needs or can enjoy this especially given his abusive past and he is confused and terrified by the fact that hurting Mark turned him on so much.It was interesting to see Keith trying to understand the whole dynamic of their relationship and Mark not even really able to explain why it works for him. Perhaps it's a bit more sex based story than the first because it's more a long sex scene with some relationship stuff around the actual scene.

Under Fire: Things are going well, the guys get their D/s on once in a while at Master Joseph's but Keith comes home after a bust gone bad. One cop died and his partner is badly injured. He feels responsible and soon spirals into depression and alcohol abuse. Mark tries to be supportive but he fears for their relationship, his own job is on the line because he's so caught up in Keith's spiral he's screwing up on the job and could kill someone. He finally confronts Keith about the drinking and Keith very nearly hits him, but stops and takes off. He finally agrees to get help and they have to rebuild their relationship which takes weeks and weeks as Keith goes to counselling to cope with his guilt over the both incidents. My heart broke for Mark in this one. He tried so hard to give Keith what he needed to heal but he was so far into his depression and a beer bottle he couldn't accept it, and when Keith turned on him it was so sad. It seemed pretty accurate (to my knowledge) of how it can be for cops in that situation. The author didn't gloss over it and just have him go to therapy one day and come home happy, it was really hard for them for months, not days, but they loved each other and had to fight to make it work and that came through.

All in all I loved this series. I fell in love with book 1 way back in the day when Jen recommended it and I finally got the other two (and then saw Mark's Toy Box) in the ARe sale. It deals with some serious themes, domestic abuse, understanding D/s, and dealing with depression and alcoholism, but is done with such sympathetic characters you just want to see them work it all out and be happy.