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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Queen's Day to all the Dutch Girls

Today is a big celebration in the Netherlands, a day to celebrate the Queen, so in additional to a few boys in lovely Dutch orange, we have some hot Dutch models. You guys have some pretties to be sure. Have a fun day of celebrations or lounging around home, whichever works for you.

Also happy birthday to my Mom, although she doesn't know this blog exists so certainly won't see the wishes here. Let's hope I don't forget to phone her. Ack! We're both awful at that. 

Kim Uylenbroek

Dennis Vandeneijk

 Mark Vanderloo

The End.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Random Update #2

Yesterday I volunteered for a bit at my daughter's book sale at her school. I was sent home early because they had enough kids helping out but I had a good look at some of the books. Of course there weren't any m/m books although. I did find something called A Queer Kind of Love by George Baxt, it's supposed to be a mystery of some kind. For a buck you can't go wrong. Lots of rain here and there was thunder but obviously not as bad as in Alabama. I have friends there but luckily they were out of the path of the storms. I haven't heard the damage but I saw some pictures which were very scary.

Hope everyone is having a great week.

Firecracker by Jaye Valentine (28 pages)
Noble Romance

Isaac and Jeff pay some rather dangerous sex games. Isaac likes to have sex with strangers and Jeff, a cop, backs him up. It's a game to them and they know they love each other. After a shopping trip, Isaac decides to dress up like a woman and get "pimped out" by Jeff. Although Jeff changes the game a bit when he brings his old college friend Leo into it. Leo was one of the "strangers" that Isaac sucked off in an alley a bit ago. Leo will be the pimp, then Jeff will come in and "arrest" Isaac for prostitution. Things go well until the cops pull up and it's not Jeff, it's real cops and they take Isaac off somewhere with the threat that if he keeps them happy they'll let him go, then Jeff comes to the rescue as the whole thing is all a set-up. After some three-way sex with Leo back home, Isaac starts to question their games as he was really freaked and realized what "could" happen even if Jeff is looking out for him. This was very hot but I could see trouble on the horizon with Leo. They went from total strangers to inviting the same guy twice to play and ... I see things taking a negative turn. I think if it had been kept to total strangers I would have liked it better and I could have seen it being more their kink.

Rediscovery by Ariel Tachna (58 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

Michael is at a gay gamers convention and sees a hot leather vendor, however after a very scary experience at a BDSM club he doesn't want anything to do with doms and leather. However he sees Lee watching and playing with the kids of one of the women from the m/m romance booth next door and starts to wonder if maybe his image of all guys into leather being mean gruff doms is wrong. When he sees Lee waiting for a table for dinner, he invites him on impulse and gets to know him. After the show they go on a date and Lee explains his philosophy of life of really stopping and looking where you live, at the life around you rather than racing through which in turn makes Michael look at his own life. This is a slow sweet romance, with two guys getting to know each other. Michael is quite up front about why the leather bothers him, but Lee is vanilla and it's just how he makes his living and they work through Michael's fears and don't rush into anything. If you're looking for something without a lot of angst and drama it's a good choice for a soothing read.

The Charlie Factor by Diana DeRicci (178 pages)
Purple Sword

Charlie, a former firefighter, is recovering from nearly dying in a fire set by his ex. He needs to walk with a cane, is badly scarred, his leg damaged, and can never work again. To top it off, once his coworkers found out he was gay they pretty much shunned him. He's moved to the beach and one day Gregory's dog comes over to say hi. Charlie is stand-offish, but when Greg helps him avoid a sink-hole they become friends even though Greg is straight. Charlie is attracted for the first time since the accident, and Greg is starting to get freaked out as well because he's feeling things for a guy. When Greg goes home to California for Thanksgiving he talks to some of his gay friends and he admits he may be gay. When he goes back he's determined to make a move. Charlie's resistant at first and there is some mini-drama but they work things out, and it's going well until while out walking the dog, Charlie falls and then shuns Greg because he doesn't feel worthy. Greg decides to move back to California for a job, will there be any chance for them? It's nice to have a scarred hero, someone who's not perfect and Greg didn't care about the scars or disability. Of course Charlie was a total ass about the "I'm not good enough thing" and Greg's dad doesn't take to well to the "I'm gay" declaration, but his friends were great and Charlie's sister was good at kicking his ass. So it's a nice GFY with a handicapped hero.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Random Update #1

Well, I seem to have lost my way on the ABC challenge. I just can't find something that I WANT to read with the letters I need and that's part of my issue with challenges. I want to read what appeals to me at the time, not what I HAVE to read. So I'll read what I want and if it fits, it fits.

I did get a lot read over the Easter holiday. My daughter was away most of it so I had lots of time to just do what I wanted but I did manage to do a full clean on my main floor. Now my upstairs is waiting for me. Blah. Nice to have a short work week though. That works for me.

It can stop raining any time as well. It's going to rain ALL week. Why did all of our umbrellas disappear? Well, we have one and the kidlet needs to go to her volunteer place this afternoon so I let her have it since my jacket has a hood and hers doesn't, plus she has to walk further than I do. I should probably head to the dollar store and stock up.

Ermine & Bougainvillea by ID Locke (71 pages)
Torquere Press

Wynn is an ermine shifter who is being chased by homophobic coyotes. They toss him around a bit, but he manages to escape into a bush with thorns and collapses. He awakens to find a man, Etireh, who knows he's a shifter, and he soon realizes he's a dryad, a tree sprite. Amazingly he's able to enter the tree (vine really) that half-dryad Etireh lives in which freaks Etireh out. However he's gay as well and Wynn is cute soooo.... Eventually they get back together, and seem to be perfectly in synch in the bedroom. Etireh is a dom and Wynn is happy to be a sub (bedroom only), and seems that magical folk can play MUCH harder than with humans and both want that. Etireh also controls the vines in his tree and they are an extension of him. So if they touch Wynn, it's like him touching Wynn. And lets just say vines = kink, with a fair bit of pain and whipping tossed in for good measure. Although the vine sex might not be for everyone, it was very well done and I thought it was pretty hot and sexy. There is also a lot of humour, Wynn is a smart ass all the way and learning about the world of dryads and how it all works was interesting and while it's only 75 pages or so, it wasn't overwhelming, with enough time for the guys to get to know each other. There is a follow-up short to this I will be reviewing on BER in a week or so, but I would recommend this if you like something BDSMy, and something different with the vines. And look at the little eye on that cover. Staring at you, willing you to read this. :-)

Detour by Talia Carmichael (163 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

Robert is a chemistry professor and rushing to meet his friend for lunch he gets pulled over for running a red light, and as well has a flat tire. The cop helps him with the tire and gives him a warning and then lo and behold he runs into the cop at the restaurant later, but he's sure the guy is straight. They run into each other again when a lab is vandalized at the university, and Miguel invites him to a poker game. He's still sure he's straight. He ends up spending the next month hanging out with Miguel and still clueless, thinks he's straight until Miguel FINALLY breaks the news. They quickly move forward since they've practically been dating for a month although Robert didn't know it. *eye roll* There is some drama when one of the poker buddies and Miguel's coworkers is killed (which was very sad) and when Robert walks in on a robbery and is shot. I think this is a start of a series (based on the title) and there were tons of guys at the poker night and many of them are gay including a couple of Miguel's brothers, Robert's lab assistant and his best friend who just moved to California. So I see them getting their stories and I was quite curious about his friend's story as stuff was hinted at. If I had any complaint it was that everyone was so damn perfect and nice and went out of their way to help people, donating furniture to his impoverished lab assistant, helping his friend landscape. Not that I want people to be assholes, but it just seemed like everyone was so perfect. But I will definitely check out more in the series when they come to see what happens to everyone.

Two Man Advantage by Riley Shane (77 pages)

Nate is having a rough day. He's planned a get-away in the snow with his lover for their 2 year anniversary when he's dumped at the airport. He goes anyway only to find a naked hottie in the bed of the cabin he rented. Although the guy is hot, and even in a drunken stupor, grabs him and kisses him, Nate does NOT do casual sex and not on the day he's been dumped. Kyle is a former NHL hockey player whose career ended due to an injury several months ago, and he's licking his wounds and self-medicating. He also delights in making uptight Nate crazy, and convinces him to share the cabin. Nate is not thrilled but deals with it and his attraction to Kyle. Finally, after a day or so when Kyle walks in on him, he gives in, although he's oblivious to who Kyle is. They spend the rest of the week getting to know each other and Nate realizes he was in love with the idea of having a partner, not the guy himself and he helps Kyle realize that his life is not over because he can't play hockey. It runs pretty close to the insta-love line as declarations are made pretty fast, but on the whole it worked for me and I think the fact that Kyle liked to make Nate crazy just for the hell of it, and had a temper and it wasn't all rainbows and hearts made it work better. If you're in the mood for quickie feel-good story with a couple of likable guys, a good choice.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Mumbling ... Turn around and spread 'em.

Yep, it's law enforcement day. Le sigh. A man in uniform works for me, or half out of it. Ahem. I'm going to talk today about some of my favourite police officers in m/m romance. I'm going to try not to repeat myself as last week there were two or three cops who I could choose for here too, Brandon of James Buchanan's series and Vic and Jacob from the PsyCop series. But beyond those, I do have a penchant for law enforcement. I think part of that comes from my many years of reading police dramas and mysteries. I still love a good who done it, but now I like some romance mixed in to some degree. I hope you will share some of your favorite guys you'd be happy to "spread 'em" for decide to break the law.

Three of my favourite cops are the trio featured in the two Hell Cop anthologies. Each author writes a story of a cop and their partner and their adventures. I know I'm not in the majority, but my favourite of the three was Detective Jay Yervant, the permanently on-fire hottie who couldn't touch another human without burning them, until he met sexy innocent Brian, who'd never seen demons before moving to town and getting himself in a spot of trouble. I think I felt for Jay who couldn't touch anyone and desperately wished he could. But all three guys are great and the the crime aspect of each story is as important as the romance and all three authors, Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling and Ginn Hale are favourites of mine.

 Hank and Charlie from Shady Ridge and the Neon Sky by Chris Owen were a great couple. Two cops from a small town, one who never really expected to find a long-term partner work out their relationship while escaping to the gay bar a few hours away. I just liked both guys who were "normal" and it was kind of a slow romance without any great drama. They happen to be cops, but the crime drama was not the primary focus of this book.

Ungh. Nate and Caesar. Le sigh. As you can see on my banner up top, this one of the first m/m books I ever read and I had no clue what I was in for but I was totally hooked on James Buchanan from that point on. These two were smoking together and it had a real police story woven in including child abuse and corrupt cops and finding love between a cop and a career criminal. I "heard" that there is supposed to be a sequel to this story and I dream of the day it becomes a reality. :-) oh and Caesar's dog Poncho is as much of a character as the two guys and he's not ignored like so many dogs in fiction. They don't "forget" he exists when they go off somewhere. This is a frequent re-read for me.

Yep, look up, waaaaay up. Another first book for me was Crossing Borders by ZA Maxfield. I totally fell in love with Michael and Tristan. I know not everyone loves this book but it struck all the right buttons with me and remains one of my faves I know I can turn to when I need a comfort read. ZAM's sense of humour came through as it always does. This is another story where the fact that Michael is a police officer factors into their relationship development, but it's not a mystery book with a crime to be solved.

Oh Adam, I should hate your guts and yet ... Well, he's not really a cop anymore, now that he's a vampire. but he's a totally unrepentant ass. He's a dirty cop, he cheats on his boyfriend the way the rest of us chew gum, and now he's dead to top it off and involved in a vampire gang war. Why do I care about this guy? He does finally get this act together somewhat as the story goes on, but he's never going to be the hero in the white hat riding to the rescue. AM Riley did an amazing job making me not just care about, but actually like, a total jerk. Go figure. :-)

So tell me who some of your favourite law enforcement officers are out there in m/m land. Maybe I've read about them too, or maybe I'll find a new guy (or more) to add to my list. I certainly couldn't list EVERY story I've enjoyed with a police officer, but these are ones that have stuck out in my head.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

J .... Yay, I found a J book I wanted to read!

Woohoo. I'm getting there. Yes, I'm still overlapping but only 8 more to go.

 Jaynell's Wolf by Amber Kell (113 pages)
Silver Publishing

Jaynell's father has died and part of his last wishes was that Jaynell attend the wizard college even though at 24 he's older than most students. His first day, he runs into a werewolf, literally. Thomas tells him he's his mate, and even though wizards and wolves don't mix, he's determined they'll work it out. However he is willing to give Jay time to adjust to the concept, and much of the book is Jay getting used to just being on his own finally, dealing with the massive amounts of wizard power he has, and coping with life as an independent man of sorts. When his former tutor kills his house elves and threatens him to gain his power, he fully mates with Thomas to fight back. I noticed someone said this is like gay Harry Potter in university and it is in a way. There is the snotty guy, who thinks he's better, the smart friendly female student, good friends/roommates, the evil professor, house elves (gnomes). Avatars (aka more solid patronuses), but on the whole it's good fun and kind of takes a cheeky look at things with a fair amount of humour. Its the first in a series and I would definitely check out more. It's good when you need a light read with some familiar themes and likable, but stereotypical characters.

 Three Alarm Fire: EMS Heat 8 by Stephani Hecht (107 pages)
eXtasy Books

Dustin is Forrest's partner and friend. About a year ago or so, Dustin's boyfriend tried to kill him, ending with pushing him through a patio door and leaving him to bleed to death, while stealing his life savings and his mothers and running up credit cards. The guy then vanished. Vaughn, a firefighter sees Dustin at a community clean-up event but Dustin is still freaked by big guys and puts him off, however agrees to go for drinks at the bar later with everyone. Vaughn convinces him to go home but it doesn't quite work out. However when they finally hook up Vaughn convinces Dustin to press charges when the ex is caught and to move his Mom in with them (sep. apartment thank god). These books do have characters who seem to get over being severely scarred psychologically with the help of the right guy just being in their orbit and I though Dustin needed his ass kicked for not going to the cops. He's paying of $10K in credit card debt but doesn't tell the company what happened about identity theft or the cops. Hello, there are ways you don't have to pay that. It was still a sweet story with some funny stories about his work with Forrest.

With My Little Eye by Drew Zachary (71 pages)
Torquere Books

Private Investigator DB is back with Jesse his ghostly side-kick and lover. However Jesse has a habit of bringing home ghost cases which don't pay the rent and it's hard to explain to the police why he knows things. They are also fighting over Jesse wanting to consult someone about why sometimes they can touch during sex and sometimes not. When Jesse comes across the ghost of a young girl who was murdered in such a way it looks accidental, they enlist the help of a medium who can really see ghosts as well, to not only help with the sex problem but to use her as an excuse as to how they know about the crime and protect the little girl's friend who is also in danger. There is lots of fighting and hurt feelings as DB has never said I love you to anyone and he's not about to start now, especially in front of strangers. But more and more often they are able to make Jesse real so they can touch and it's really very sweet when they connect as real people and the wonder Jesse feels at being able to feel and taste DB for real. Of course DB still blows smoke rings just to bug Jesse and they argue over ghost cases, but it was a nice follow-up to Eye Spy. There are a couple of more stories to follow which I'll definitely be looking into.

Friday, April 22, 2011

X .... Okay, and some other letters too.

Okay, I essentially suck at this challenge but hey, I got one more letter. Go me. I needed to develop a freaking legend for the chalk board. Yellow - new one, Red - old one, Pink - second go on a letter, Blue - stutter on a letter. I thought I better catch up on what I've been reading because I've been reading things but not saying anything because they were repeat letters, so what the heck.

It's a four day weekend for me thanks to Easter. I'm hoping to do some major spring cleaning on my main floor anyway. Not sure I'll get the upstairs tackled, we'll see how motivated I am. Need to read some too of course. :-) Have a great Friday.

Gay Knights & Horny Heroes by Michael Gouda (95 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

This is a series of short stories or vignettes dealing with King Arthur's court and his knights. In this version they are all into boys and several knights get their romances told in each chapter, although some spill over into two and of course they are all intertwined. In this story, Arthur falls in love with Lancelot who came to deliver a message from the French king. He's oblivious to one of his knights jealousy, and while he is away warding off the Danes, Morgana helps the knight trick Lancelot into betraying Arthur and he leaves crushing Arthur. Now Arthur and his knights are facing an invasion by the French king who is being aided by Morgana and the betrayer. This was cute and sexy with semi-realistic touches, referring to bathing once a month and the use of clothing names that I really didn't understand, but I got the general idea. I just chose to ignore things like a lack of hygiene. LOL Some knights were fey and vain, others more regular guys seeking a companion like themselves, some questing for greatness and sworn to celibacy. If I had a complaint is that the ending is left very open to interpretation at the big battle scene where you know that several knights are killed, and perhaps even Arthur, and yet Merlyn sees them all together later. So I'm not really sure. I found it rather sad ending.

High Flow: EMS Heat 7 by Stephani Hecht (130 pages)
eXtasy Books

This takes the story from Flint down to Pontiac (up to?). The night he was celebrating his new job with his friends in Flint, Forrest is beaten, raped and nearly killed. However he has recovered, and is working his new job while trying to care for his father who was injured in a car accident, and his teenage brother. He meets new Dr. in town, Patrick, who is interested but Forrest is still freaked from his attack, and can't let anyone touch him. As well he's occupied with his father and dealing with his abusive druggie sister and her friends. Patrick however perseveres, even when he finds out why Forrest isn't interested, or says he's not. To Forrest's surprise, Patrick's touch doesn't seem to freak him out. When his father has a stroke and dies, he has no one to turn to when his sister threatens to have her cronies go after him and his younger brother, so he turns to Patrick who promises him as much time as he needs and a place to stay. It was a nice story although the aftermath of the horrible attack on Forrest is there in all it's glory, some people may find that discomforting, but I think it went a long way to explaining Forrest's issues, including a dysfunctional and abusive family. Maybe he got over it a little quickly, but still, a sweet story in the series that has taken things to a new city but with a common feel. No more nasty Nurse Gladys, whom I was kind of growing attached to. Go figure.

Xavier's Way by Diana DeRicci (94 pages)
Etopia Press

Jordan is a forensic accountant and is assigned a case by his brother. Xavier's business is nearly going under and he suspects his former finance may have been stealing money from the company but he has no proof. He needs Jordan to find the proof and he's on the verge of bankruptcy. Jordan is instantly attracted but since Xavier is obviously straight having been about to marry a woman he doesn't make a move. Xavier however is kind of freaked, not only his business going down the tubes but he's attracted to a man, something he'd firmly slammed in the closet. After working closely with Jordan he can't help but be attracted and when Jordan finally finds the proof, after a little talk with his gay best friend, Xavier agrees to try a relationship with Jordan. Then comes the issues. Xavier is still in the closet and is even freaked out at first that his gay friend knew he was with a guy, even though he'd talked to the friend about Jordan. Duh. It kind of ends with them agreeing to give it a go and Jordan being patient, but I foresee many a rocky moment for them as Xavier deals with being gay, telling his family, business associates, etc. I liked both guys though and Xavier's secretary was great and his friend and his partner were nice supporting characters. You never get to meet the bitch of an ex on-page, you just hear about her after the fact.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Totally random non-book post. Help me out here.

So we got these new little disposal units for "feminine hygiene products" in the bathrooms at work. So I've noticed the pictoral instructions and it's been bugging me...

First one:  Open the container put in your waste. Got it.

Second one: No using it as a toilet. Well, the opening on the container is probably smaller than a softball and since they are only found in the girls' bathroom where none of the us have a built-in directional urine disposal device, I'm thinking this is pretty unlikely to happen. And it's BESIDE the toilet. It's not like it's in the middle of the parking garage with no facilities in sight.

Third one: No needles. Okay, I'll admit that some days a shot of heroin is nice at work when things get a bit stressed, but I can see the danger to cleaning staff.

Forth one: Ummmm. No using it as a cape for bull fighting? Now doing your hand laundry in it? Don't throw up in it? Don't dispose of picnic blankets in it? What the hell is that little person doing? It's a bit hard to see but the little person is kind of bent over holding a large rectangular white object. I'm dying to know what it means. Or what it could mean in your imagination. (Or I suppose I could phone that 1-800 number and ask, but what fun would that be?)

THAT is my question of the day. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

C, See, Sea, Si ...

Okay, my alphabet challenge is completely off the rail and I've stalled out on C. LOL What can I say, it's a lovely round letter, similar to me. :-/

Spring just doesn't wanna come.  Ice pellets, freezing rain, snow in places. Craziness. So glad it's a 4 day week for me. And 4 days next week too. Double bonus. 4 day weekend.

Call and Answer by Val Kovalin (122 pages)
Amber Allure

Henri is a young Cajun who has just graduated and it's his last summer before university. He's found a black man who plays the guitar in a caretaker's cottage nearby, and eventually Gabriel calls him in where there is instant attraction. Gabriel soon reveals himself to be a shape-shifting alligator who needs Henri to be a conduit for the energy they build having sex. The twist to this, is it's happening in the mid-50's. Two men? Eek. A black man and a white man? Double Eek. What I loved though was Henri didn't care. He knew he was gay (and white obviously) and he wanted Gabriel and he was prepared to do what he had to do to be with him. There are some other underlying stories of conflict with a local family and how Henri releases the power but let me just say that I'm glad Val said this was only the first in a series because I would have been sending her a nasty e-mail if it had just ended there. :-) However I look forward to the couple moving forward and Henri becoming more mature and how they manage to function in the time-period they are in. I also loved Henri's family who while traditional, were more open than most people at that time period. I swear I could hear their voices too. Very distinctive speech patterns which lent a lot of atmosphere to the book.

Craven by Eden Cole (84 pages)
Risky Ink

Craven moved to LA ten years ago to pursue his music career. However it's just not going, and he's decided to pack it in and turns to his best friend, and sister's ex, Trevor for help. Trevor has always accepted him and supported him unlike his judgmental sister. Unfortunately his sister is living with Trevor now, but just as roommates. It's awkward, and Craven has always been in love with Trevor, but Trevor dates women. He helps Craven get a job at his office but then acts as his agent of sorts to get Craven a contract at a local club that eventually leads to part ownership. Trevor finally admits that he's always wanted Craven too, ever since he gave him a kiss ten years ago, however he doesn't seem prepared to come out and throws around comments about an open relationship which Craven can't handle (considering he's never even kissed anyone for the last ten years let alone had sex) so he leaves, and finally his sister comes off her high horse to help facilitate a reunion. The sister, given why she was rooming with Trevor had no room to talk, but managed to still judge, and Trevor was basically an oblivious idiot with his "open relationship" blather. I'm not sure I believed that someone in the music industry could avoid even being kissed for 10 years but ... It was an entertaining enough read and I do have a thing for tattoos and piercings.

Crunch Time by Andrew Grey (103 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

George is a teacher who's friend Lonnie (from the other books) asks him to help one of his clients, Darren, a football star whose blown his knee, prepare for a guest spot as a host on a sports show. Darren is typical of sports celebs who've been catered to their whole lives, and then George discovers he can't read which is going to make the job thing nearly impossible. Once he busts through Darren's bravado and gets him diagnosed as dyslexic, they work toward helping him adjust to life outside of football. Of course they start a relationship despite the natural insecurity about homophobia in football and even Darren's Dad who was all about his son being a man and playing sports. There are a few cameos by characters from the other books, mostly Lonnie and his rude and crude behaviour but his unfailing loyalty to his gay friends. A cute story that touched on a few subjects like pushing kids through school if they are sports stars, homophobia in sports and learning disabilities.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Mumbling - Series

There are two kinds of series in booklandia. Those that follow a single couple (talking romance here) through a series of adventures, and those that feature a community of characters, each book focusing on a different couple, but with characters from previous or future books playing secondary roles. For the purpose of this discussion today, I'm going to stick with the former; series that focus on one couple and their adventures toward a happily ever after.

Some people don't like series much because they hate having to wait for the next installment. More so with this type of series, because with the community style you can read them out of order and still usually "get it", and since each couple get their HEA in their book, there are no "cliff hangers". I know some readers like to save up and then read them all at once as another option. I don't mind a cliff hanger as a rule, even though I'm quite liable to whine about it here, it doesn't put me off buying the books as they arrive.

Now picking my favourite series is a bit like picking my favourite child. Luckily I only have one of those, not so with series. So if I missed anyone I apologise and I hope others chiming in with their favourites will mention those I don't. In no particular order:

First up, the Cambridge Fellows mystery books by Charlie Cochrane. I confess I have not read all eight of these yet. It's certainly not because I don't think they are worth a read, they definitely are, but I just haven't got there yet. So many books, so little time. But the adventures of academics Jonty and Orlando are great fun to follow as the amateur sleuths solve a number of crimes while dealing with their relationship in the early 20th century.

More mysteries come from Victor J. Banis with his Deadly series of books. Who can resist flamingly out cop Stanley and his macho straight(?) partner Tom as they solve crimes. Of course it gets really interesting once Stanley and Tom become a couple and head off on their own as private investigators. Another series I have not finished but it's on the list. Two to go.

I defy anyone not to fall in love with Nicky and Brandon in James Buchanan's series. In-the-closet cop Brandon and goth-boy Nicky are a perfect couple whose D/s games make for some smoking hot reading, along with some good crime solving. Even though I wanted to smack Brandon more than once for the way he treated Nicky, I was all smooshy and "awwwww" at the end. So it's good. :-)

Channeling Morpheus (5 shorts) and Sweet Oblivion (5 more shorts) by Jordan Castillo Price will have you totally hooked on vampires. Wild Bill and Michael are a perfect pair and if you like a touch of horror with your romance this is a great choice. I just adored them both and the last book had me on the edge of my seat ready to write JCP a nasty e-mail if it didn't end the way I wanted. She remained safe from my wrath. :-)

The Draegen Lords series by M.L. Rhodes is not yet finished. But really, magic, dragon shifters, evil sorcerers, demons and self-lubing penises, what more can you ask? There is one more book I believe, well, one at least, and I can't wait to see Keiran and Gaige kick some serious ass.

Last but not least the PsyCop series also by Jordan Castillo Price. When I discovered this series way back in the day (like a year ago LOL) I think I read 4 books in a weekend. I just went on a binge and was totally hooked. Cops Victor and Jacob solve crimes using Victor's psychic abilities to talk to ghosts and a large part of it is unravelling the mysteries of Victor's past along the way. Creepy, sexy, funny at times, a great series and of course I'm totally in love with spin-off character Crash. What can I say? Bad boys.

So there are some of my favourite series. Tell me about yours and any you think I've missed. I'm sure there are more that I've read and enjoyed but I tried to pick those that really stood out for me. I noticed many have the mystery/detective theme and I wonder if that makes these series possible as you can have the same couple dealing with personal issues but also with new mysteries/crimes whereas just personal issues doesn't always give much meat to a story over the long term. Unless of course it turns into a soap opera but that's not really my style.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I'm your biggest fan ...

Once again it is time for the fangirl blog crawl. Well, not limited to fangirls, fanboys can be included too. Kassa is once again organizing a blog crawl (like a pub crawl but with fewer hot male strippers and less alcohol) and she is gathering participants. Stop by her blog and send up a smoke signal (or leave a comment), and vote on the poll on the sidebar too.

You are not limited to m/m authors. They can be any genre, any author (dead or alive) who you would like to publicly thank on your blog for offering you hours of great entertainment and making your world a little better place. Kassa has the link to last year so you can see what was done. The event will take place in June and if you have some reason you can't do a certain day just let her know and she'll fix it all up for you. It's lots of fun and it was great to see all the authors who have touched the bloggers out there, and I found some new authors too which is always fun.

Hope to see you on the crawl in June.

We should all get this t-shirt. LOL

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sunny Citrusy Orange

I am in a reading slump. I'm not sure if I'm just over-tired or it's my inner two year old rearing it's ugly head. As soon as I try to do a challenge some part of me decides it doesn't want to read a book that starts with N. Or S. Or V. Bleh. So I'm not sure what my issue is but I've been going to bed too late and am looking forward to spending a totally lazy weekend. It's going to be rainy and cold so a perfect time to sleep and take it easy.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and here are some sunny citrussy boys to send you into the weekend.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sesame Street on Drugs ... T, U, W

Well, I kind of stalled out on J. I can't get into it and I've already read T, U and W so I'll update those and hope I can power through J. Might be some skimming *coughcopioussexscenescough* We have had some crazy spring weather. The old April showers is coming to pass. We've already had more rain in April than we usually get all month and Monday morning (Sunday night?) there was a HUGE storm. It was crazy loud and just non-stop. However it beats a blizzard. 

Hope everyone is having a great week. Or at least not awful. 

Tortoise Interruptus by JL Merrow (36 pages)
Torquere Press

Jen did a great review of this at BER, but I had to do it here. Tip has a bit of a problem. After being cursed by a cranky witch, he periodically turns into a tortoise with little warning. It annoys his sister to no end, but she takes care of him and one day puts him out front of her restaurant so he can get some sun. He is soon Tortoise-napped by a kind woman who takes him to her hotel. He manages to escape, after spending the night in the bathtub, and ends up in the room of a hot guy. Seems hot guy and the old lady were looking for him as they are going to try and get him uncursed, it was Steve's aunt who cursed him. Tip changes back and they manage to find the crazy aunt and she uncurses him. Then you just hope it took when it's time to get "personal". OMG, this is one of funniest stories I've read in a while. I believe the author wrote this on a bit of a dare, but it was so well done and I truly snorted at the very last line. Poor hapless Trip is at the mercy of the curse and can't seem to catch a break. When you are in the mood for something light and fun and just a lark, it's a great choice.

Undercover Blues by Laney Cairo (83 pages)
Torquere Press

I had read a short with two guys but it didn't mean much then Jen informed me that they were from this book. So I decided to check it out. Ryan is a young up and coming police officer working in organized crime. They have been trying to get the goods on a big crime boss, and have decided the way to do it is to get close to the man's brother. However since he's gay, they can't send their usual undercover female cop, so straight Ryan is tasked with the job. He's not thrilled to say the least, but that's work. Only something goes terribly wrong. He likes it. Ack! Jason knows all along that "Pete" is a cop but figures he'll have some fun with a straight guy and then cut him loose. Before long Ryan is in well over his head personally, as is Jason. There's an attack on the crime bosses family while Ryan is there by a rival gang that ends up with Ryan shot and injured and fired for getting too close to Jason. I really really liked this. I thought Ryan's progression from straight guy who never "got" girls, to hot for a man worked well, and some of the supporting characters were great, especially Jason's flamboyant rich mother Blue and even his humorously nicknamed boss. This is an older book, 2006, but definitely worth checking out and it's set in Australia (although Ryan is an ex-pat Brit and Jason grew up in the US) so there is some nice cultural references to enjoy. I'm going to go and find that short story again so I can enjoy it more this time knowing the whole backstory.

Walking Spencer by Chris Owen (13 pages)
Torquere Press

Another one that Jen reviewed. :-) I'm following in her footsteps. Spencer and Dean have been living together for awhile and things are still great. Spencer is disappointed when he gets home to find Dean heading out to walk the neighbor's dog, but when Dean fiddles around with the leash he's a bit surprised how hot it makes him. Dean catches on, and later that day, when it's walk time, he takes Spencer on a walk as well. It's not like he has him on a collar and leash, he just hooks it to his belt loop, but it's the running commentary he keeps up during the walk that has Spencer close to coming in his pants before they get home. I really like books when there is lots of build-up and tension and you get that here as Spencer is just getting wound tighter and tighter. Dean knows it and is enjoying every minute of it. Two cute guys in love keeping it spicy and interesting. When you need something quick, steamy and cute, a great choice.