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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's Hammer Time

Wow, is it Sunday already? Time is flying by. Has been a quiet weekend. My kid is feeling better and "bored". I have a mountain of laundry to do and probably need to buy some groceries at some point today. We'll see. Hope everyone else is having a good weekend.

I have never really gotten into the Hammer world but read a few shorts that included characters and got interested. So I read Push which made me curious about Marcus so I read Bent. They are looooong. So that's about all I've read for the last few days.

Push by Sean Michael (303 pages)
Torquere Press

Retired soldier and dom Gordon is at the club when he sees retired cop/now PI Frank visiting with Oliver and Jack. Everyone tells him Frank's not into the lifestyle but Gordon is intrigued and asks him out. They start dating and eventually Gordon pushes Frank closer and closer to the D/s BDSM life. This was interesting in that Frank gets meningitis and loses most of his hearing and a lot of heavy issues are dealt with. Frank nearly died on the job before he retired and his partner was killed by a serial killer, he doesn't take care of himself, dealing with a handicap, plus his feeling that everyone at the club are freaks. I did enjoy watching the slow progression of the relationship and it didn't go from "I don't do that" to "Whip me" in a week. Not sure it would ever get there. The only think I find with these novels is head hopping. Sometimes it would take me a few lines/paragraphs to figure out who was talking and thinking what. Of course there is tons of sex but because it doesn't get kinkier till closer to the end, I didn't find myself skimming in this case.

Bent by Sean Michael (389 pages)
Torquere Press

So I got curious about Marcus from what I read about him in Push and I'd read a short recently with Marcus and Jim so thought I'd check it out. Marcus sees surly Jim in the bookstore and "knows" he's the one, even though Jim is not in the lifestyle at all. However he basically overwhelms him and before Jim knows what hit him he's moved in with Marcus and discovers that he's totally into spanking and pain. Marcus comes across as the totally smug dom who knows what the other person needs, and while it turns out he's right and he does care, I found him a bit eye roll worthy. I liked Jim, he'd had a rough life after being accused of raping a student and even though he was found innocent he's still being harassed by the sorority she belonged to with threatening letters. This was one aspect of the story I found interesting and Marcus was pushing Jim to see another lawyer and then ... the whole concept just dropped off the table and there was no resolution. I kept waiting for it to be dealt with. Again with the head hopping which I found a bit more confusing in this one, and I started skimming the sex scenes because every time was the same, you're stressed, I'll paddle your butt and fuck you better. Oh, you're stressed? Let me ... over and over. I get it. That's what he needs, lets move on shall we? So I didn't like this as much as Push since it seemed to set up some of the conflict and then just let it die away although I liked Jim.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday already?

Wow this week has flown by. Work has been busy although after two of us spent hours crunching statistics by hand we found out another division could just run a spreadsheet to give us what we wanted. Sigh. Oh well, at least I know my numbers are accurate though. I kind of got back in the reading groove this week, which is always a good thing. Our cold snap of -39 wind chills is over thank god. I'm so out of practice with that -40 stuff that I grew up with. Hope everyone has a good rest of the week.

precious_boy by KZ Snow (134 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

When Jon sees a super cute, super young, guy doing on-line porn he thinks he looks familiar. He arranges to meet with the young man who also works as a prostitute, and his suspicions are confirmed. Ethan is his ex-lover's son who he hasn't seen since he was ten. He decides to take it upon himself to convince Ethan to give up his life of porn and prostitution and involved his ex in the plan, although Ethan's father is less than enthusiastic. Ethan confesses to having a crush on Jon way back, and despite his better judgment Jon is attracted to Ethan even though he's not yet 18, Jon is 10 years older and Ethan has a pimp/boyfriend who has big plans for him. I really enjoyed this and KZ had an interesting post on her blog today about people's differing reactions to the book. It was interesting to read what worked or didn't work for others. I had no problem with the age difference and there are many books with bigger gaps than that. I know lots of people hated that Jon and his ex got back together for the time it takes to have an orgasm, and I was kind of shaking my head at Jon and how blind he was, but it didn't bother me. But I know some people have very strong ideas about a "romance" and what it can or can not include. I find I'm much more fluid than I would have suspected when I rejoined the romance world. Then there was Jon's mother who I thought was amazing. Being Canadian her whole rant about legal ages for things really struck a chord. :-) I would have loved for Jon to sleep with him before he was 18 just to make a point, but yeah yeah, publisher guidelines, I know, call me a rebel. So this was the book that pulled me back into the reading game and I was certainly captivated from the start and really, amazing cover. ;-)

Snow Ho by Ethan Day (106 pages)
MLR Press

Boone had been looking forward to the ski trip with his boyfriend, who phoned him after he arrived and dumped him. Arrghh. However he decides to stay anyway and ends up in bed with hot man of flesh Wade. He doesn't like Wade much at first, but seems unable to stay away. Turns out Wade is much more popular than Boone had any clue and the fact that he's the town's Golden Boy makes for an interesting dating experience. This is chock full of Ethan Day's humour. Boone is a mile-a-minute talker with a smart ass comment for every occasion (in part that he uses as a shield against getting too close) and he's not about to change himself even for a famous boyfriend. I also liked that there was no declaration of true love and Boone wanted to take time to see if they had something. I haven't read the sequel yet but I'm looking forward to it.

Offside Pass by Stephani Hecht (90 pages)
eXtasy Books

Saul just talked himself into the job as sports reporter for a small newspaper and is covering the local hockey team. The talk of the town are three brothers who have managed to get themselves kicked out of the NHL due to their behaviour and are now at the bottom of the barrel. Saul is determined to find out what the real story is behind their decline and targets Devon, one of the openly gay brothers. Thanks to the press contributing to their downfall, Devon is hostile to say the least, however Saul perseveres. He even tracks down their older meth addict brother and gets the real story about their family, but by then he likes Devon so much he refuses to reveal it. His ambitious colleague is not so upstanding and Saul has to convince her to keep it quiet. There aren't many hockey stories out there, so this was a nice change and I liked Saul and Devon together. My only thought was that Saul didn't really "know" Devon when he made the decision to protect him, but on the whole I enjoyed this fun read and my heart broke for poor younger brother Trey when the truth came out. Hopefully he'll get his HEA soon. Another nice story that especially fans of the author and hockey will enjoy.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Random Thoughts

Actually getting back in the reading groove, but a few things have been floating in my head that I'd just throw out there for discussion.

At some point I signed an on-line petition at change.org. I don't remember for what but now I get regular e-mails from them about different human rights issues, not only GLBT but women's issues as well and they often want you to go and sign an on-line petition in support of X.

My thought is great, easy for me to show my support, but seriously, does that newspaper in Dallas that refuses to print the gay couples wedding announcement really give a damn if 2 million people sign a petition? It's not like we are their target audience. I'm never going to buy an ad in their paper anyway. Does the Ohio government care that someone from Canada or Europe or South America signs a petition demanding equal marriage rights? We can't vote and really, politicians only care about who can keep them in power. I have no power there so does it matter? I'm not sure if it does or not but I just have a feeling it makes us feel better but the people in question only care how many people in Dallas or Ohio will act, not the rest of the world. Your thoughts welcome.

On the other hand, what if I died this afternoon? Would I be turning over in my grave when my family cleaned out my stuff? No, I don't have a cardboard box full of toys, but what about stuff on the computer? I know if someone in my family died I'd have to go through their computer and find the websites that need to have things canceled, what about that porn site membership that Kassa made me buy so I could watch porn star boyfriends have sex? Someone has to cancel that. Really, I'd rather it be my teenager than my mom. The kid likely wouldn't be surprised, otherwise we might have to have a double funeral. How do people deal with that? Just figure you're dead you can't be embarrassed?

Is this not the cutest commercial ever? Thanks to Mikey at Cocky & Rude who posted it. Made me smile.

The end. Just weird stuff in my head this weekend. Back to the office for 5 days this week. Ugh. Not fun.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Well, I haven't been here in forever have I?

Ugh. I've been such a slacker. Well, to be honest I was kind of busy with the other blog all week and our VERY successful Petit Morts week. I hope everyone had fun. Seemed like it. I'll be contacting the chocolate winners tomorrow for addresses.

I have also been in a reading slump. I've flicked through my TBR and it's like, no, no, meh, maybe?, no, not interested, too long, too ... I have skimmed/reread almost my entire Lynn Lorenz collection and seem to be starting on James Buchanan. Sigh. Not that either is a BAD thing, but it's like I just don't want to tackle having to "meet" new people. I don't have to concentrate if I go back to old books, I know who everyone is, how they'll act, what they'll do. Double ugh. Maybe today? I hope.

Well, the only think I seem to have read lately is the anthology below. So maybe talking about his book will get me started again.

Pour Some Sugar On It edited by M. Rhode (172 pages)
Torquere Press

What's our recipe for something sweet? Just take a group of Torquere authors, add hot men, throw on the sugar, and shake. Pour Some Sugar On It does just that, bringing you sweet tales of lust and love, all with a dash of sugar. From werewolves with sweet tooths to candymakers and their confectionery assistants, we've got chocolate lovers and honey abusers, berry farmers and ice cream aficionados, and they've all got one thing in common -- they're hot and they're sweet.

That is the blurb so you can see the point. There are 10 stories ranging in length from about 10 pages to 31, so a bit of a range. I'll just quickly go through a few and may spend time on my favourites.

Sweet Tooth by Julia Talbot - This is a continuation of You Don't Need a Doctor from the Healing Hearts anthology. It shows Andy and Shiloh a year later preparing for their anniversary and Andy's decision to have some fun with chocolate and strawberries in bed rather than go out. There's a lot of humour in these stories and it was fun to see the guys after further down the road.

Going to Eleven by Lee Benoit - Chip sees a cute berry farmer at the farmer's market but is in a relationship, boyfriend #9. But not for long. He runs into Bartholomew again when he's with boyfriend #10. When that goes bust he finally tries to convince Bartholomew to be his next boyfriend. But he's not interested in being a number. It takes Chip a while to catch on and Bartholomew has never even had a #1, but they were a cute couple.

One Foxy Man by Misa Izanaki - This is the story of how Aoi and Itzuki met in the Body Shop world. It likely won't mean as much who are not already familiar with the couple (who are actually in a menage at this point - this is going back in time). I love these stories though.

A Prince Among Princes by G.R. Richards - At the annual convention of the Association of Gay Princes, Julian usually ends up with a waiter or two but when he meets a Prince he never saw before, he's fascinated and decides to spend time with Chase instead, later finding out how far Chase went to have a chance with him. I could just imagine all these gay princes, dressed like out of Disney swishing around the convention. A cute concept.

Drink Deep From the Cup of Victory by Gabriel West - I read this one last because a) it's kind of historical fantasy and b) it was the longest. I wasn't sure at first but as I got into it I was totally hooked. It's set in an ancient time of warriors (think the Trojans, or ancient Rome, it's not really clear) and Leandros has led his men to a successful victory and has retired to his tent with his chariot driver Aeton who is also his lover. This short covers so much and I think so well, Aeton was rescued by Leandros after being raped and he still deals with the fall-out of that event and what he can and can't do in bed and how Leandros deals with it so sensitively, it deals with their necessity to have wives/heirs and how much they hate even thinking about each other with a woman and what they have to do to perform. It's very lyrical and romantic and the love between the two is just immense and comes through. Oh honey is involved as well. :-) This one really touched me, even now thinking about it after I get a bit teary. (sap that I am) I'd say the anthology is worth it for this story alone.

Best Birthday Ever by Heidi Champa - Marcus agreed to let his friend have a birthday party for him even though he's mourning his break-up of 3 months. However when he sees David the caterer he's intrigued. And David promises the birthday cake called "Better than Sex". Later Marcus makes David prove it. A cute little story and hey, a man who can bake a chocolate cake is all kinds of win in my books.

Favorite Dish by Cari Z - Alex is a chef whose lover James is out of town for business for three weeks. To kill time and distract himself Alex cooks/bakes up a storm for everyone around him. Lots of descriptions of wonderful pies and wonderful food. James then manages to sneak home a couple of days early where they have a wonderful reunion. I'm not sure if this is an existing couple but I'd love to know how older lawyer James and younger chef Alex got together.

The Candyman Can by Rob Rosen - Chad's driving down to his nephew's bithday and stops impulsively at a candy store on the way to pick up some treats. When he meets candy shop owner Glenn, all thoughts of kids' candy fly out the window. He hangs around until the shop closes and he and Glenn use candy in ways that would make Willy Wonka cringe. Just a hot steamy little piece with a suggestion of more in the future.

Banana Ice Cream by Emily Moreton - Mal and Owen are long-time lovers who run a surf school and Mal is a surfer. Mal was away for a competition and Owen is stressed about work stuff and Mal "forces" him to get in the car to go for banana ice-cream. Really he has booked them a cottage on the beach for a few days to completely relax and unwind and there is ice-cream in the hot tub, although it's not banana. :-) A nice story of Mal recognizing Owen's stress and making and effort to see that his man gets a break. You could tell they had been together a long time and knew each other well.

Chocolate Dreams by Kiernan Kelly - Alexander is a chocolatier extraordinaire and he knows it. He prefers to run a small shop where he can do what he wants but he has hissy fits on a regular basis and burns through apprentices. Thomas is a mechanic, but he's desperate for a job even though he knows nothing about chocolate. Turns out he's the only one not freaked out by Alexander's tantrums which annoys Alexander to no end. Eventually kinky things with chocolate happen in the kitchen early one morning with a bit of a battle over who is the alpha male.

Brownies: A Hammer Story by Sean Michael - I don't follow the Hammer stories as a rule so this will be of more interest to those who know the characters. Subs Tanny and Jim spend the day making brownies and a mess. When their masters come home, Tanny pushes his until he's taken to the bathroom for a little punishment. Jim is freaked out and thinks Marcus is angry at him. I don't know the story here but Jim and Marcus are not obviously into the hard-core stuff which freaks Jim out and there is a very romantic/sexy time on the couch as Marcus convinces Jim he's not angry with him. As I said, those who know these characters will enjoy it more.

So on the whole all of the stories are cute and sweet in different ways. I did notice some editing errors, a few more spelling mistakes than I usually find, but not excessively so as to detract from the overall reading. But as I said, I think it is worth it alone for Gabriel West's story and for those who follow series like The Body Shop or the Hammer books it's nice to visit old characters we enjoy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's Petit Morts Week at Brief Encounters

This week, Jan. 17-21 is Petit Morts week on the other blog I share with Jenre. We have chocolate give-aways if you comment on one of the posts, there are fun chocolate facts and recipes, interviews (of my own unique sort) with the authors of the last set in the series and of course we actually reviewed the books too. :-) So please stop by everyday for something new and fun and if you haven't read these books yet you really must. Clicking on the JCP Books logo above will take to you the site where you can buy them, clicking on the Breif Encountes banner will take you to all the fun on the other website. Look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stop by and visit me at Clare London's today

I'm guest posting at Clare's today as part of her birthday month celebration. Stop by and join me for a discussion about favourite vacation destinations. Just click on the banner below and it will take you to the post.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday, Finally.

While I should be thrilled it's Friday, I'm just kind of blah. I've been feeling anxious about work this week and for no real reason that I can discern. Sometimes life is not logical. I took today off. My head has been buzzing and I just couldn't face going in. I have also been having trouble sleeping and last night I was so cold my teeth her chattering. I tried blow drying my socks and putting them on to warm my feet which were like ice. When that didn't work I ran hot water in the tub and tried that. I even tried to convince the cat she should lay next to me (which is no easy feat).

Ugh. I was also in a mood because while usually us parents read while our kids are in riding lessons (it's really quite amusing to see three parents sitting with noses in a book), last night this friend of one of the other girls came and she spent the whole lesson talking this mother REALLY loudly and about stuff that was way TMI. 60 min. of non-stop commentary about everything from seeing her father's penis when she was two to the love-life of her friend. I was seriously considering going to sit in my car and burn gas to stay warm. Muttering "shut up shut up shut up" under my breath didn't seem to be helping. So my week has sucked basically. LOL It has to get better right?

The Red Thread of Forever Love by Nicole Kimberling (96 pages)
Loose Id

Hank is a Canadian in Japan working on a book on Japanese folklore. Unfortunately he's picked up a rather amorous demon he calls Fingers. Fingers is constantly trying to molest him and he's not sure if he should tell his translator Tachibana or not, or if he'll think he's weird. Meanwhile you find out that Tachibana's attraction to men causes Fingers to manifest. Over the Christmas holiday they head out of the city to research some stories and things escalate until Tachibana can no longer keep his secret and to save Hank's life he has to reveal that he's the source of the yokai. This was a very very funny book and of course there are lots of references to Canada and Canadian culture so I loved it. Fingers was funny and reminded me of a youngster who just wanted someone to love them, although when push came to shove he could be brave. Tachibana was also a great character, his thought process was interesting. The whole Japanese thing of being something on the surface and something else underneath really came through. I loved how you got to know both of them even though it only took place over a few days. I highly recommend this when you are looking for something light and something set in somewhere NOT North America. The little Japanese touches were nice to read. I think my favourite line was when Fingers is trying to convince Hank he can be with him forever.
“Caldwell-sensei, will you marry me? I will come to Canada and join the RCMP. Together we will fight crime and drink Crown Royal whiskey and eat maple syrup on our pancakes every day.”
I nearly died laughing because I swear that's what Japanese think of Canada. Although maybe they throw in Anne of Green Gables too. :-) After I calmed down from my hissy at the riding school, I stayed up too late reading this. I tried to read it there, but it wasn't fair to the book or me to attempt it with the non-stop monologue beside me.

Of One Mind by Elizabeth Brooks (108 pages)
Torquere Press

I picked this up because it's the prequel of sorts to Of Sound Mind which was part of the Charity Sip blitz. In the future, once you hit majority, you go to the priests and register to find your mate. Once you are found and connect you are bonded for life and if one dies, the other dies. However Jereth doesn't like the idea and is trying to find his mate the old fashioned way. He's sure she's out there. However he's now 35 and finally decided to try the priests. Meanwhile Caris lives with his abusive brother in the poorest scariest part of town. With the help of his lover he's managed to save enough money to register and prays that his mate will save him. When Jereth finds Caris is his mate, he's sure it's a mistake, he doesn't want a man. Caris is crushed and badly beaten by his brother. Jereth goes to apologise and finds Caris badly injured and rescues him. However he refuses to just mate, he wants to "fall in love" the old fashioned way. Caris is not happy with his but agrees to play along. I loved Caris and I have a soft spot for the abused poor waif however I wanted to slap Jereth more than once. He had his reasons and fears for not mating, but he was also just stubborn. He was so frustrating but it all works out of course. :-) The world was interesting, more or less like ours but with this mate system which sometimes seems like it would be a lovely idea, except for the dying part. I really enjoyed it.

I'll Run Away for the Holidays by Stephani Hecht (83 pages)
Amber Allure

Scott agrees to drive from Florida to Michigan to spend Christmas with his friend Madison's family. He's not thrilled when he realizes her younger brother Anson is riding with them. Anson came on to him 3 years ago when he was only 18 and Scott 23 and he rejected him. He sees Anson as his friend's bratty brother. However Anson has grown up and seems to delight in goading Scott. Finally to prove he's not the stick in the mud Anson claims, they end up in Anson's hotel room and Scott realizes that Anson's not a kid anymore but a man he kind of likes. When they get home they are faced with alcoholic Aunt Nora making inappropriate comments, Anson's mother who's still pissed that Scott ran over their turtle three years ago, tension between Anson and his Dad and a grandfather who's moved in. There's lots of Christmas drama and when Scott is afraid to open up to Anson he feels rejected and takes off but gets some great advice from Gramps. I know I complained about the "too perfect" family before and this one is more to my liking. They aren't completely dysfunctional, there is love and acceptance, but it's not a Folger's commercial either. Maybe it's a bit over the top, but I found this kind of family more real and appealing than one which I could never live up to. I liked how Scott was forced to adjust his thinking about Anson and get past that image he had in his head from three years ago. It was a cute read, with some touches of humour and some sweet touching parts too. A really nice read which although it's set at Christmas it was fine to read after the fact.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nothing, nothing, nothing ... but a rainbow of cookies

So I have not been reading as much as I usually am or maybe I'm reading different stuff. With two blogs now my books tend to be quite delineated between the shorts and the medium/longs. I just haven't seemed as into it either so you are getting some cookies and housekeeping today. Notice the cookies are in a rainbow formation? Huh? Huh? Pretty snazzy huh?

I've been very busy on the other blog. Next week Brief Encounters is having a very special week. We are going to have some non-book give-aways, random fun posts, author interviews (of a sort), oh yeah and those pesky review things we have to do. :-) So the announcement will be on the weekend and the fun starts next Monday so hope you'll stop by and say hi.

On a more serious note. The floods in Australia are just awful. It doesn't seem to be getting any better. Sean Kennedy posted some links on his Live Journal page where you can contribute financially if you would like to help the cause. He has a general link and one specifically for helping animals, but any amount will be appreciated I'm sure. I did notice for the RSPCA one you need an Australian postal code but I just "borrowed" one and then it will accept your donation.

I know the weather has also been crazy down in the southern US with snow and ice and freezing rain in places that are certainly not accustomed to it. So I hope everyone stays safe and warm and doesn't risk going out if you can at all avoid it until your roads are a bit clearer.

On an up-note, my kidlet had her first ever interview today. It was only for a volunteer position in a seniors home doing odd jobs, but she "got" the position and will be starting after her school musical is over as she's pretty much busy 4-5 days a week after school with that until April. Kids here need a certain number of volunteer hours to graduate so she'll easily get those with this position and it will be good experience to show up on time and do an assigned task.

So have a wonderful Wednesday, and may thing start to improve SOON for all who need a break for whatever reason.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mixing My Holidays

Yay, the weekend. I'm so glad it was a 4 day week. Not really looking forward to 5 days next week. So I've kind of been busy doing some other stuff and haven't read that much, but I seem to be mixing my holidays here although stores are all about that with Valentines chocolates on the shelf next to Christmas ones on New Year's Eve. Ugh.

Christmas Bells by Andi Deacon (37 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

The Bell family is the perfect American family, the kind you see in Folgers coffee commercials. Jon is pleasantly surprised when his younger brother Eric brings home a friend, however Erik warns him off, saying Kim's family has shunned him and he's "fragile". But Kim seems to be coming on to Jon and he's trying to stay clear making for some awkwardness. His sister and mother try to push them together and finally on Christmas Eve Kim makes a move. To be honest, these "perfect" families annoy me and his confusion over what the hell is mother and sister were hinting at wasn't a mars/venus thing, because I didn't have a clue what the hell they were yammering about either. I liked Jon and I liked Kim but maybe the introvert in me was stressed by proxy by the kind of Christmas they had. Holy overload. I would have been curled up in a ball in the corner rocking. For people who love that quintessential American ideal of a Norman Rockwell family Christmas this will be perfect.

Taste Test: Shot Through the Heart by Lenore Black, DC Juris, JL Merrow (65 pages)
Torquere Press

On to Valentine's Day. I didn't realize these were Valentine's stories when I started, but that's okay, they were all very sweet and romantic.

Better than Cupcakes by Lenore Black - Mitch is working his boring security job with colleague Augie. Augie's a bit of a weird duck, no one wants to work with him but Mitch doesn't mind. On V-day after Augie says something flattering Mitch starts to think about him 'that way' and invites him over for a drink after work. After sharing some of their more disastrous V-days along with some tequila shots they end up in bed. This is just a very nice story of two guys, neither of whom is rich and perfect realizing maybe there's a future.

Cupid Knows by DJ Juris - This is the story of how the guys in The Best Kind of Prize met. Jack always remembered a guy he'd hugged spontaneously when their team won 3 years ago. On V-day he sees him in the bank and reintroduces himself. Before he knows it they've gone out for lunch and to a horror movie marathon and then back to Alan's place for dinner. Alan is perfect, they like the same thing and seem perfectly matched, however when it's time to get nekkid Allan admits he was badly burned in a fire and expects to be rejected for his scars. There is apparently another book that falls in between this one and the Christmas story which has not yet been published which will hopefully explain how they go from first night together to living together established couple.

Dead Shot by JL Merrow - Okay, this one isn't V-Day. Peter takes his 10 year old nephew to the park to give his mother a break as he's a handful. He makes him an impromptu bow and arrow and the kid shoots a guy in the butt. Ooops. However Edward is very gracious and even ends up going for a drink with them. Peter's nephew has no qualms about asking if Edward likes to kiss boys and informing him that Peter is single. They make a date for that night, however they both have some confessions to make before the night is over. The kid was quite amusing and I just thank the stars everyday I don't have an ADHD kid. Exhausting. It's a cute story.

Reindeer Games by Jet Mykles (79 pages)
Loose Id

Lon fancies himself in love with reindeer shifter Rom. He's perfect in his eyes but he doesn't want casual sex like most elves are into, he wants a relationship and is determined to make Rom notice him. Despite expressions of interest from other reindeer Wod, he rejects his advances and Wod promises to help him win over Rom, his best friend. However when the moment actually comes, Lon's suddenly not so sure that Rom is the right one after all and in it turns out Rom is trying to set him up with Wod. This was a very cute read. Lon is totally nervous and freaked out by his crush on Rom but he was determined he was in love and Wod was willing to put aside his own attraction to Lon to help him get the man he wanted. My only complaint was I found the names difficult to keep track of because they were all Consonant-O-Consonant. If someone had a name of more than 3 letters without an o in the middle it would have helped, but that's a small complaint. It's a very light hearted and different look at how things work at the North Pole and explains the whole deliver presents in one night thing. :-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Holy Hump Day

I could get used to this second day of work being Wednesday. Although it throws me off. But I'll survive I'm sure. :-) Some things I've read lately. Woohoo, go me. (My linkability button is not working on this stupid computer but I'll fix it this evening for the publisher info.)

A Trouble Halved by Andy Eisenberg (71 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

Allen is a senior in high school and pissed he has to go and spend a week at his Grandparents for Christmas. He ends up chatting by chance with the rich star of the football team who mentions he’s going to be up in the same area. Allen outs himself and is surprised to find that Greg is also gay and interested. They arrange to spend some time together at his Grandparents' and due to a storm Greg stays over. They also arrange for him to stay for the following week as his parents have to work. This is a sweet story of two young guys just working on their first relationship. Allen is afraid to come out although his Grandmother and brother says it’s no secret. Finally on NYE, he makes the move by kissing Greg in front of his family, even though they’d have to be blind not to catch on. It’s a bit of escapism, Greg claims his family and team mates are fine with it, everyone in Allen’s family seems fine with it and the life on the farm with a big family seems very ideal, but if that kind of happy place doesn’t bother you it was a cute story about two young guys. One thing I’ll note, and I know this is publisher requirements usually, great pains are taken to note that both boys are already 18. I don’t want to read a story about a 34 year old and a 16 year old, but to me, when two guys are 16 or 17, it makes sense that they are likely sexually involved in some way. Also in Canada “legal” is 16 (and many places in the US it’s less than 18) so I always find that a bit of an artificial number and when special mention is made it tends to make me roll my eyes.

An Act of Generosity by Sharon Maria Bidwell (86 pages)
Changeling Press

Robert confronts his foster brother’s old girlfriend who is trying to extort money from him in the guise of helping her son James. He agrees and gives her money but says no more. A few years later he’s interviewing for a personal assistant when 21 year old Lee applies for the job. He’s instantly attracted and even though he knows Lee fudged on his application he hires him and things are going well, although Lee lives 90 min. from the office. As Robert has a large house, his partner convinces him to let Lee live with him. Of course they end up in a relationship and things are going really well several months later when Lee starts to withdraw and he has a confession to make. His name is not Lee, it’s James and he intended to thank Robert for helping him get out (he took some of the money and found his bio-father) but once he started working for him he just didn’t. The story passes through a lot of time, it’s a few months before they hook up and maybe six months later before the confession. There’s not much conflict, just will Robert be able to live with the lies and that’s all solved within 20 min. I liked both characters well enough but didn’t love either of them. Not for any particular reason, they just seemed a bit bland (and normal perhaps LOL). Also nothing much happens, they go to work, they talk, they eventually have sex, they go to work. It’s certainly not bad, just didn’t grab me.

Oasis by AJ Llewellyn (143 pages)
Silver Publishing

Elias lives with roommate Josh, a porn videographer. Elias has had a rough year, his best friend who he fathered a child with is withholding visitation, his BF left him and he gained a lot of weight. He has since lost the weight and Josh convinces him to go to Leather Pride in Palm Springs, all the sex you can handle. They aren’t there 5 min. until Josh is caught up in a threesome with twins. Elias isn’t sure why, but he feels weird about that, he then gets himself caught up in a fivesome (is that a word) with Josh the twins and a marine and again, feels a bit weirded out after the fact. He runs into real-life porn star Samuel Colt and has a fun time and tries to hook up a threesome with him and Josh but now Josh is getting squicked out that Elias is having sex with someone else and FINALLY they clue in that they actually love each other. If you like your sex ONLY between the two main love interests this is not the book for you. There’s sex between everyone pretty much, although once they confess their love they decide to remain exclusive (except for anniversary sex with the porn star). There are descriptions of porn shoots and all manner of combinations. Despite what could seem to be a sex overload, I didn’t find it so. I liked Elias a lot as a character, his love for his son and apathy about life with all his stress. I also enjoyed seeing Josh, a guy who floats through life with all good things falling at his feet, kind of having to wake up and smell the coffee. The author is personal friends with Samuel Colt, and I assume he has a pretty good insider view of the gay porn world, so if you want to get a less glamorized glimpse it will be interesting and if you don’t mind lots of sex with lots of different people. Well, in your books, not that I’m judging mind you, whatever floats your boat. ;-)

Jesse by Jan Irving (183 pages)
Loose Id

Kyle and Mac were raising Mac’s younger brothers Jesse (17) and David (12) when Mac was killed in an accident on their ranch. However the kid’s drunken abusive father shows up and takes the kids back. A few years later, Jesse finally gets custody of David and shows up looking for help. Kyle welcomes them with open arms, but Jesse has a plan, he’s been in love with Kyle since a kid and he’s determined to have him. There is also a psychic connection that Kyle and Jesse share where they can hear each other speak. Kyle is freaked out at first, Jesse is 20, he’s 45 and his lover’s brother, but Jesse is determined and while Kyle is sure he’s vanilla, Jesse is determined to take him to the far side of kink and once they get started Kyle is totally on-board. Meanwhile someone is sabotaging the ranch and David is acting weird. Usually I get squicked by the relationship between family members (as in the brother of the dead, not twins, that’s a whole other story), but for some reason I didn’t find it too weird, maybe because I never got a sense of Mac and that it was a great romance between him and Kyle. Jesse’s dominance came through in the writing and I was kind of surprised that Kyle jumped so quickly on the butt-plug-with-a-tail/role playing bandwagon; however Jesse was a force of nature. I’m not sure the paranormal aspect was really necessary, I suppose it was supposed to show their connection was greater than with Mac, but I think it could have been easily left aside and still worked well. It was an okay read with some steamy sex scenes involving role play.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Things that amuse me, annoy me and my funny friends

I have been doing some reading but today is ironing day. Ugh. I've been putting it off for too long and the pile is slightly frightening. I'm getting there though.

This commercial makes me smile every time it's on TV. The guy in the light blue shirt kills me.

Then I saw this commercial today and I just had to shake my head. The companies who prey on the fear of germs and the threat to our life they apparently pose seems completely at odds with the "we must recycle" messages that are put out there. Makes me crazy how lazy people are. Rather than wash the towels thus making them germ free, we'll just use paper towels and fill up the landfill. But hey, I'll never have a germ on me.

Actually I found this parody making my point exactly when I was looking for the video.

And to finish on an up-note now that I've gotten that off my chest. :-) My friends at Cocky & Rude started a broken telephone type game with some of us who hang out. Mikey started with a sentence, then someone draws a picture depicting that sentence, then the next person makes up a sentence based on the picture and on and on until you hit the end and you see if you are close to the original. Our second one just went up today and it's hilarious. My daughter is part of this, she's the one noted as "the kid". I was so impressed with her drawing. She said she gave dictionary.com a work-out since I can barely understand David's sentence myself but she did an amazing job. They are so funny. Hopefully we'll be starting round 3 soon. I'm also going to be doing the Biggest Cock and Rudest Loser contest there. I guess I won't win the first one, but it's basically a weight loss thing we're doing in teams. So hopefully I won't let my partner down. Wed. is our first weigh in and then we are off. Ack! Nothing like a little public humiliation to keep me on track. Anyway, stop by and check out our goofy story. You can click on the logo below to get there.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Finishing 2010 on a high note

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's Eve no matter how you spent it. We didn't do anything. I spent the evening trying to catch up on some reviews and figure out what I'd read and what I needed to review where. I nearly missed midnight. Good thing House Hunters International ended at midnight. LOL

January is time for me to start coming up with some weird statistic to follow. I've decided that I will record what the first sexual contact is between the main couple/trip/quad, etc. is. This does not include kissing but what is the first orgasm for one of the characters. I'm curious if blow jobs and hand jobs do typically precede penetrative sex. My life is hard I know. :-)

So I ended the year with three very good books which always bodes well for the coming year. Or so I tell myself. :-)

Christmas With Danny Fit by Amy Lane (85 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

Kit is a 30 years old overweight virgin lives at home with his mother, however when he hires sexy admin assistant Jesse, who's taken to befriending Kit and taking care of him, it's the impetus Kit needs to make some changes. He starts an exercise routine with video fitness guru Danny Fit, buys a house and moves out and surprisingly figures out that Jesse wants to date him despite the fact he's much younger, sexier and thinner and Kit is self-conscious. What can I say, this book just hit all the right buttons for me and I loved it. Kit's worry about his body and not being perfect are I think something most of us "real" people deal with and while Jesse was young and gorgeous, he wasn't perfect, he carried his scars from childhood and he was immature and jealous, even of a TV personality. Kit surprised even himself at how he dealt with a relationship considering he'd been pretty much asexual for years. I have to say that I was prepared to hate Kit's mother. This is a classic interaction after he moves out and tells her he's gay:
“You got a faggoty boyfriend yet?”
“Got a hope for one.”
“Just don’t do no ass-fucking while I’m there."

At first your mouth is hanging open in shock at her rudeness, and yet she's trying in her way to accept his new life. She could have shunned him completely, but she offered to come and see his cat and she thought they'd what? Have sex in the middle of the living room with her there? LOL I have to say this is definitely one of my faves of the DSP holiday pack this year.

Vanilla: The Dominant Ingredient by Andy Slayde and Ali Wilde (103 pages)
Torquere Press

Ajay runs from the dom who bought him for the night badly injured. He's rescued by Malcolm who recognizes the signs of BDSM and calls his brother Cameron to help. When Cam realizes what happened he offers Ajay a job in the kitchen of a club he frequents and a place to live, no strings. However Ajay wants strings, he needs a Dom and wants to be Cam's sub and sets about proving that he would be perfect however Cam is having none of it as he feels Ajay is too young and he's been burned in the past. There is a side-story of Cam's friend Riley who's learning to be a Dom and this story links in with Mist Gray, I'm really hoping we get to see Riley and Avery's story, even though I know it ends sadly eventually. I really liked this one a lot. I loved how Ajay knew he needed a dom, he needed someone to tell him what to do, to keep him grounded and secure, he was seeking that and knew he couldn't live with Cam forever just floating along doing whatever he wanted, it didn't work for him. I also loved Riley and even the club owner Russell was a hoot.
"Come, mon petit. Your destiny awaits."
"You're so dramatic," Ajay murmured.
"I know, cheri. Isn't it fabulous?"

He's not even French. LOL This was definitely a great read for me and I need to thank Ali and Andy who offered this book up at Wave's Christmas give-away and I was very lucky to have won it. Thanks guys, it was a perfect gift. :-)

What Child Is This by ZA Maxfield (109 pages)
Loose Id

Le sigh, a Crossing Borders revist. Yay. As you can see on my banner (or maybe not because I'm going to change it soon) Crossing Borders was one of my first ever m/m books and still a favourite. Anyway, it's a few years later and Michael decides that Tristan needs to get away and relax so makes arrangements for them to spend Christmas at a ritzy hotel alone and let Tristan surf and decompress. It's all going great until 3 of the kids from Apple House go missing. Parallel to the Tristan/Michael story is Prim and Jack, two residents at the house. They happen across an abandoned baby and Prim had such a bad experience in foster care, he convinces Jack they have to care for the baby until Michael gets back. Meanwhile Michael and Tristan rush back to try and find them. Once the police find the boys with the baby and everyone is fine, Michael has to reassess his commitment to Apple House which has taken over his life and the baby brings up feelings in Tristan he didn't expect about having a family. It was great to see the guys again and I'm hoping Prim and Jack get their story some day and while it would have been nice to focus 100% on Michael and Tristan, I still enjoyed seeing them again.