Monthly Archives: December 2013
“Wolf or vamp? Decide. It has to be now.”
Those were the last words Sam Garrett ever heard—as a human. Now on the para side of normal, the NOPD slammed the proverbial door on his career.
Travis Boudreaux knows exactly how his former partner feels—but when some doors close, the golden window of opportunity opens. Crimes against supernaturals require a new and different approach, and once the Feds show up, the Odd Squad isn’t the only law enforcement game in town.
After a revenge-seeking vampire creates deadly havoc, the new agent-in-charge is on a recruiting mission—and he’s more than ready to fight fire with fire. What do you get when you mix old friends, new enemies, and a license to kill?
Warning: This is an erotic urban fantasy. In this series the vampires don’t sparkle, werewolves kill, and the men sometimes have sex. With each other.
This is the second book in the series. Sam has been changed into a werewolf after an attack by a vampire that almost killed him. Travis is involved in this book but it is geared towards Sam. The writing is awesome. There is plenty of action. There are mob bosses and turf wars. The characters are all male and there is plenty of sex going around.
I enjoyed this book. It was full of twists and turns and ends with the promise of more but not a cliffhanger. Sam and Travis have something going on that still is waiting to be uncovered. I love that the whole of the book isn’t black and white. The authors give you the real world that is full of good and bad in most people. They don’t shy away from the brutality of werewolves and vampires or from bad things happening to good people.
The relationships in the book are very complex and sometimes simple. They really lend to the depth of the story. I will enjoy seeing where it is all headed.
It only takes one night with Ash Gallagher to make Eli Hollister think he’s finally met the right man at the right time. Good thing he doesn’t bet on it, because Ash turns out to be a student in Eli’s class at the local college. Eli can’t deny he’s attracted, but now it’s complicated. He’s already in enough trouble with the department head, a man who would like to see Eli denied his tenure and fired.
Ash is looking forward to taking his life in a new direction. After serving one active-duty stint in the Marine Corps and another in the Reserves, he’s ready to put his military life behind him. The last new experience he’d planned for this semester was to fall in lust with his English professor, but the more Eli resists, the more Ash is determined to have him. Then he discovers Eli’s playing for keeps, and Ash is only interested in a fling… or is he? Between these two, when it comes to life and love, all bets are off.
This was a contemporary read. Eli runs into Ash while he is working for a construction crew. Because this is a small town Eli immediately notices the new guy. Ash notices him too. The two men meet up at the local bar and end up heading back to Ash’s place together. They don’t sleep together but they do make out a bit. The next day Eli and Ash discover that Ash is Eli’s student at the local college. Now they are in an ethical dilemma so they cool it but remain friends. During all of this they grow closer. They must deal with their growing relationship, blackmail threats, and a head of department that is after Eli for any reason he can get.
This was a sweet read. The two men have insta-lust but because of circumstances the two end up getting to know each other with a slow build up to sex. This makes this a sweet, beautiful read of a developing love relationship. Watching Eli take care of Ash as he goes through a horrible crisis shows how much the two men really come to care for each other in the course of the story.
The writing was well done. The author makes this relationship seem so much more realistic with its slow development and slide into love. I like how the author used the slow buildup to slowly change Ash’s views. He was all gung ho about what he thought he should do and be. Eli and the town work on him until he finally sees what he wants is in front of him all along. The characters are likable and imperfect. Showing that the “bad” guys are just human and not evil makes me like this story even more. This makes the characters stand out and be realistic. The addition of the side characters in meaningful ways added more depth to the story. Who doesn’t enjoy Jabbers?
Overall, the story was enjoyable and engaging. I would recommend it to someone that enjoys a comfortable contemporary read.
Adam Dumas is Major League Soccer’s only openly gay player. When he is transferred to St. Louis, his new teammates don’t exactly roll out the welcome mat. It doesn’t help that Adam sees “the Gateway to the West” as a step down from his high-profile position in LA—an attitude Adam has no problem sharing with his new housemate and fellow center forward, Colin Evets.
Colin is Adam’s only friend on the team, but when Adam misinterprets Colin’s Midwestern charm for something more, he could end up ruining both their friendship and their careers. As Adam struggles to make a better impression, Colin tries to decide if the person he’s been showing the world is who he wants to be with Adam. The pressure to win influences decisions both on the field and off as Adam and Colin discover how making the wrong move can be very right.
Adam is a highly skilled soccer player. He is also the only MLS player that is openly gay. It has caused problems and he has landed numerous times in the headlines and tabloids. His team nabs an opening to get rid of him and get a world class player in return. Adam heads for St. Louis and his new team. At the airport he meets one of his new teammates Colin and is immediately attracted to him. Unfortunately Adam is spoiled and cranky, he tells Colin outright that this is only a short term deal and that he plans to go to a bigger and better team and city. This puts him on the outs with Colin. Adam wants Colin though and begins the task to find out if it is possible for him to have Colin. What Adam doesn’t expect is for Colin and his new team to change him and his outlook on his life.
I didn’t like Adam. Adam starts off as such a spoiled brat about everything. He seems to think the world revolves around him. I thought it was funny when he talked about not becoming conceited about his looks because of how he wasn’t a looker when he was younger, then proceeds to jabber on about getting sex whenever he wants it and etc like the brat he is again. Colin is way too sweet. For a guy that has been to college and is playing where he is, he really seems naïve and too innocent. The characters were really my main drawback on this read. Adam starts like this jerk and never seems to care and then BAM! He is in love and changing everything about him because he suddenly met Colin. It was too abrupt. Colin doesn’t feel real to me. I can’t believe that he would be like he is with the world he has lived in.
The writing was well done. The author doesn’t overwhelm you with meaningless info on a sport that some may not be familiar with but does give you enough to make the story and all that goes with it understandable. I did enjoy the fact that the author does tell the readers at the end that the story, meant to be contemporary, became a historical because of changes that occurred within the sport at the time of writing. It adds a special detail for the readers that were interested or confused about some of the details of the writing.
I enjoyed the story and the plot and found it a different and refreshing read for me. I didn’t connect with the story like I would have normally because of my issues with the characters but the plot and the writing are worth the read.
It’s 1991, and Dan Calzolaio has just moved to Florida with his lover, Mark, having fled Chicago and Mark’s addictions to begin a new life on the Gulf Coast. Volunteering for the Tampa AIDS Alliance is just one part of that new beginning, and that’s how Dan meets his new buddy, Adam.
Adam Schmidt is not at all what Dan expected. The guy is an original—witty, wry, and sarcastic with a fondness for a smart black dress, Barbra Streisand, and a good mai tai. Adam doesn’t let his imminent death get him down, even through a downward spiral that sees him thrown in jail.
Each step of Adam’s journey teaches Dan new lessons about strength and resilience, but it’s Adam’s lover, Sullivan, to whom Dan feels an almost irresistible pull. Dan knows the attraction isn’t right, even after he dumps his cheating, drug-abusing boyfriend. But then Adam passes away, and it leaves Sullivan and Dan both alone to see if they can turn their love for Adam into something whole and real for each other.
Dan has moved to Florida to escape his boyfriend’s temptations. Mark is an addict but Dan hasn’t got to the point yet where he realizes Mark is the only one who can help Mark. Shortly after his arrival Dan signs up to be a “buddy” to someone suffering from AIDS. This was the early 90’s when AIDS was a death sentence and still a bit of an unknown for a lot of people. Adam is Dan’s assigned man. Adam isn’t what Dan expects. Adam is a lively man that shows little outside sign of the illness that is slowly killing him. Dan also meets Sullivan, Adam boyfriend, and is blown away. The man strikes his interest right away but both men are involved so Dan suppresses it. What Dan doesn’t expect is how much a difference Adam will make in his life in such a short period of time.
This was a very gripping book. The characters draw you in. You don’t get to know Mark much but he is only a bit of the story. The story revolves around Dan and what happens with him. It really shows how AIDS effected the time and people, especially the gay community but also how they all pulled together to support those with it. I thought this story did an excellent job showing how one man even if not known long can make a much greater impact on a person. The love and devotion that was shown by both Dan and Sullivan was beautiful.
The writing was superb. The author wrote in such a way that you could feel the love, hope, fear, and heartbreak of the characters. The only fault I thought in the book was not really getting to know Sullivan’s character. We really don’t get much of him in the story. We know he loves Adam deeply and some of what goes between them but not enough to really get me attached to his character. It was a lovely story!
In the frontier town of Belkin’s Pass, as a vampire quietly feeds on the local saloon girls and their customers, a tragedy teaches resident Josh Stanton he has the ability to raise the dead. Knowing he is now a wanted man, Josh flees into the arid plains of Venom Valley. Pursued by Dex, the town deputy and Josh’s best friend, the two realize their friendship is truly something deeper, and Dex has to decide if he’s a man of the law, or a man in love. The vampire, drawn by Josh’s power, circles ever closer, gathering his forces against them.
Josh is an orphan. No one ever knew of his father and his mother disappeared one night when he was 5. Josh was raised by the town’s school teacher. He loved Agnes like she was his own mother. To his horror one night he comes upon her dead and feels a familiar heat in his blood. Agnes eventually arises and attacks him. He shoots her. He has faced having to do this earlier when a neighbor did the same thing. Now Josh must run because who would believe him.
Dex is Josh’s best friend and has been secretly in love with Josh for a long time. Dex is a deputy. When a woman comes to town and reports that Josh has shot and killed Agnes Dex is torn between duty and love.
This is an action packed horror. The romance is pretty minimal. The writing is well done, maybe a little heavy on poetic descriptions but to some degree that adds to the chill of the read. I enjoyed the characters but to be honest it is the story itself that had more of a draw on me. I just couldn’t get into the characters. They weren’t cohesive enough for me. I couldn’t really feel if Josh is a gentle man or a rough guy, big and tough or smaller and more delicate. I get that compared to Dex Josh is a smaller man but it really doesn’t describe him. Even more was the fact that the actual character of the two men was impossible to grasp. You jump so fast into the story that you are left to catch up on the characters themselves.
Now the story was interesting. I must give the author lots of props for his writing. You get pulled in right away to the mystery and horror that is going on in the town of Belkin’s Pass. It seemed like only a select few can even see or acknowledge what is happening. Now for the things that struck me as strange. Why did the vampire wait so long? From the story he was around for quite a while but suddenly just when Josh is having his horror show the Vampire starts raising havoc. I am hoping that with this being a series this may be answered later in later books. The second things were the sex scenes. They happened fast and seemed a bit anticlimactic after all the woe the two men went through with their attraction to each other. I wouldn’t think it would be that easy. I also would have thought the sex would have been more painful. I hear all the time, “Spit is not enough!” and the first time is painful so why did that not happen? It kinda through me a bit and made me pause at the thoughts. These were where I had the hardest times with the story.
I really think this series will be an enjoyable one for me. We have raising the dead, they are kind of like zombies, and vampires, the bad kind, to make this a very action pack time. The author does leave the story on a cliffhanger as a warning. I know some don’t care for that but it should be expected with this kind of read. I await in anticipation for what will happen with Josh next.
Sonny has a shipment to deliver. Moonshine, the old fashioned way. Too bad some jerk blew up his road in the Carolina mountains, keeping him stuck, high and unfortunately dry.
MJ is on a mission, ridding the world of another environmental threat, shutting down a logging organization. Running into Sonny in the foggy woods throws a wrench in his plans. But it’s when Sonny kidnaps him for an impromptu vacation that things go completely awry. Do these two have enough in common to prove they can give the moon a run for its money?
MJ is an environmental terrorist, kinda. He is more of demo man that is paid to blow up things that are messing with the environment. Sonny is a country man who is also a moonshine runner. The two meet up and it is a huge fight. Sonny is determined to keep ahold of him in case he runs to tattle his location before Sonny can get his moonshine shipment out. MJ just wants to go to the beach.
MJ is a dangerous man with very set likes. He likes the beach, his comforts, and money. Sonny is more laid back. Sonny is easy going and humorous. Both men like their cars. Sonny and MJ fight and hurt each other but it seems for these two it’s all part of the attraction. When they have to run to avoid the men looking for MJ, Sonny dopes up MJ and take him to the beach. Sonny REALLY likes MJ. When MJ is called back in for a job and it goes belly up it is up to Sonny to save him.
The writing was a little choppy. This is the author’s style but some of the word choices just aren’t that great. The plot was fun and adventure filled. As far as the characters go, I have a hard time believing these two would fall for each other that quickly and after insisting neither of them would bottom and never have they cave to each other awful fast! I do like the characters and the slight grittiness of the story. My trouble came with it being a bit of a wish-washy attempt at it. It seemed like the author wanted the best of both worlds, a cutesy romance and a grittier novel. Neither of which could be accomplished. Still it was entertaining and fun to read.
A shifter leads two lives: one as a human, and one as an animal. Sometimes these lives are intertwined, and sometimes they are not, but always the shifter has to find a way to reconcile one with the other. Dark Menagerie follows characters as they explore the darker side of what it means to have one foot in the animal world and one foot in the human world. Some struggle to keep the animal starkly separate from their lives as a human being, but for others, their shifting leads them to a darker corner of the mind where human and animal are nearly indistinguishable.
First, in Dominant, Kade has left everything he valued in his life behind; his family, his fiancée, his entire future. He tries to make peace with what he has become by running away to a small town, but fails. Then, a monster in a suit walks into his life, a monster just like him. Then, the four in The Four of Us devised a game: pick two humans, lure them in, and hunt them down. The game, the shared thrill of the hunt, was what brought them together, but also what threatens to tear them apart.
Justin, of Horsefeathers, had one job—to get a new Mustang for his boss’ ranch. But at the holding pens, he can’t look away from a stunning stallion. He isn’t at all what the boss wants, but Justin can’t say no. He soon learns that he’s brought back much more than simply a beautiful horse, and that there are some legends that he wished weren’t based in truth. Finally, Breathe concerns a young dolphin shapeshifter who has to deal with his own hateful feelings about himself, a deadly dull partner, and the presence of a new shifter in town. And a hurricane bearing down on their home in Key West, of course.
“Dominant” by Katya Harris
This was a short but interesting little story. To me it felt more like a teaser. There is definite room there for a longer more in depth version that I would like more. Considering its length it was very good. I really loved the writing and the characters. I wish there had been a lot more to it. It felt incomplete the way it ended. I would actually love to have more of this story.
“The Four of Us” by Lor Rose
This is a creepy read, interesting, but creepy. Podagros and Deinos are legends along with their companions, Lampon and Xanthos. They are all monsters who hunt and eat humans, especially the heart which they need every other month to live. They can each nothing but human flesh. The two are sent out to seduce their next two prey. Unexpectedly they find emotion and feeling/touch again. Now what to do.
This was very well written. I actually felt for the characters and considering what and who they were that says something. No the characters aren’t deep but they still allow the reader to bond with the story. I can say I really enjoyed this creepy read.
“Horsefeathers” by Caitlin Ricci
Nohatu is a Native American that is also a shapeshifter/skinwalker. He was turned long ago and had remained a horse for a long time, enjoying the openness of the prairie to the closeness of a city. Unfortunately for Nohatu the BLM has gathered up mustangs in an effort to save them from overpopulation. Nohatu and many of those horses are up for adoption. Justin adopts Nohatu, as a mustang, for his boss even knowing his boss won’t be happy. Nohatu returns to human shape demanding to go back and senses something within Justin.
Justin is an interesting character. Nohatu is very mysterious though we get a good glimpse of the man when he tells Justin his story. Again this felt very incomplete, like an excerpt for a longer book. I enjoyed the small glimpse I got and hope the author plans on more for these characters.
“Breathe” by Arielle Pierce
Nathan is a spotted dolphin shifter. He lives on an island in the keys where there are a lot of other shifters. Nathan has traded most of his life as a skinwalker to live with a man that abuses him so he can be an artist full time. He is on a self destructive path that includes very rough, rape like sex with others. This is when he meets Jacob’s. Jacob and he are instantly attracted to each other but Jacob refuses to take what he wants from Jacob.
Jacob is a sweet man and poor Nathan is terribly messed up. I feel the same thing with this that I felt with most of the stories in this book, that it is just part of a story. A teaser to more weather with this particular story or with other characters within the story. This was a sweet story that is very simple. I liked it but it was missing something. I just didn’t connect like I thought I would with it. Still it is a cute story.
Overall these stories mostly felt like a smaller part of bigger stories. I liked them and most of them I would love to see more. It is a bit frustrating for a reader to read this though not knowing if/when we might get more. That is why overall the stories as an anthology will get a lesser rating than the individual stories call for. If you don’t mind feeling this frustration this is a wonderful read!
Vassily Belikov, composer and pampered son of privilege, suffered neurological damage in the accident that killed his father. Resentful of being treated as an invalid, he lives as a recluse, dependent on his mother. That changes the day she brings home a new husband with two sons of his own.
When deep-space pirates capture Vassily’s mother, he’s left to the mercy of his cruel, amoral stepfather. Fighting addiction and his physical shortcomings, he’s forced to seek out the criminal mastermind Baba Yaga for a crucial piece of equipment. While she agrees to deal with him if he beats his Exoticus addiction, paranoia and mysterious intentions infuse her household. Drawn to her fierce, suspicious youngest son, certain his actions are all carefully observed, Vassily must find the courage to face both his fears and his desires if he expects to survive.
This book starts off with a bit of disbelief. I have a hard time with Vassily’s mother would have been quite so clueless about her new husband. I was also a bit astounded by her reaction to Anton hitting Vassily. I really didn’t see that coming!
The writing is well done. I’ve enjoyed every book I have managed to read by this author. I believe her voice is unique and give the story a little something I don’t usually find in other authors. The plot line flows well. The ideas addressed in the story are many and varied. There are disabilities, addiction, crime, and even the idea of messing in genetics. It seems like a lot to cover well but the author went with the ideas as they regarded the story and not in any deep or social way. I did think the ending was a little…pat/easy. I thought there would have been a bit more drama even though considering the characters and story line it does make sense. I was just expecting MORE.
The characters are great. I loved them all. Each were very individual and interesting. Vassily was actually my least liked character, he was a little pale. I didn’t see him as vividly as the others. He just screamed victim throughout the story. There were sections where he shone a little more but overall he was just…pale. Sumi needs someone to protect though and Vassily needs protecting. Vassily is also good at seeing beyond the surface with Sumi. I thought the relationship between the “brothers” was interesting as well. They had a good childhood even if their adult life is a little different. They know they were wanted and they have purpose. They are interesting men. I would love a follow up for the brothers. I just felt there could be more for them.
A New Orleans vacation takes an interesting turn when Grayson Harper lets a friend drag him along to see a voodoo priestess for a love spell. Suddenly he’s having very vivid dreams about a mystery man that seem all too real, and doing things in them he never thought possible. But what will become of the man of his dreams once he leaves the magic of the French quarter?
This is a short free story. Grayson is a workaholic. He hasn’t taken a vacation in six years because of his need to make sure his company is growing and succeeding. While on vacation with his oldest friends he sees a voodoo priestess and begins dreaming of a man. This man gives him everything he didn’t think he wanted in his sex life but it is only a dream.
Grayson is disowned by his family after coming out to them. It is implied that that is why he is so focused and determined with his company. He is a bit of a control freak and has promised his friends to try and relax for this vacation. Grayson dreams after seeing a voodoo priestess of a man that takes control that ties him up and gives him pain something Grayson would have never believed would turn him on so much. Grayson finds himself obsessed with his dream man.
This story is good but a little light. I think this is due to the length. There is only so much that can be fit into a story this long. I felt like the beginning just drops you into the middle of this man’s life and gives the bare bones to catch you up. As far as Grayson’s dream man we know little about him either. I would have hard time believing this story if the two characters started acting like they were in love but that isn’t how the story ends. Really this story didn’t end in a way that was unexpected or different. I actually enjoyed the story but in a way I already knew most of what was coming the only real thing that was different to this story than others I have read in the same vein was the BDSM.
When James falls in love with Casey, he knows he is in for trouble. Not only is Casey his best friend, he is also straight – or so James thinks, until notorious heartbreaker Danny Rizzo completely shakes things up. With troubled Nick adding his very own demons to the mix, nothing is set, and no-one is safe from surprises. Soon James finds himself faced with the question: Who does he really want to be with? For only one of them will stand by him as he struggles to face a chilling secret buried in his past…
Unique and unconventional, Triangle was first published chapter by chapter on the internet, growing novel-length without being a novel in the classical sense. It is a love story told in fragments, granting glimpses into the complex relationships between James, Danny, Casey, and Nick while always leaving room for imagination.
To listen to the description of this book becomes very confusing. There is James, who is THE central character, Casey, James’s best friend and crush, Danny, who likes James and who Casey likes, and last is Nick who comes in about halfway through and is REALLY into Danny. Yes, this sounds really confusing. But the first part deals with the triangle of James, Casey, and Danny. James is a loner who really doesn’t like people. Casey is way sweet. He really has no clue when it comes to life. James has been into Casey for a long time but thinks Casey is too good for him and straight. Danny is the popular boy that everyone wants and wants to be. Danny is a thorn in James’s side. James has seen Danny go through sex companions like tissue. When he realizes that Casey wants Danny James tries all he can to get Danny to leave. James really hates Danny. Suddenly though Danny turns James’s world upside down and shows that he is after James! Casey wins though when he finds out that James loves him.
The story continues on from there and without giving away everything I will go on to says Nick comes in about halfway through. Nick is a druggie and alcoholic. He is in theater with Danny. Danny sleeps with Nick in order to make James jealous, because James even with Casey finds himself wanting Danny.
Danny is terrible. He uses people to get what he wants. He has no idea what it is like to not get something. He is a spoiled brat that even though he changes with the story I still can’t like. James isn’t much better but at least I can understand him. He is cold but is damaged. He honestly is at heart a good guy just a bit broken. Casey and Nick aren’t delved into as much. Casey seems way too…nice. He is a goody, goody times two. He is a hard character to believe. Nick is a totally broken character. I really felt for Nick. He is used by Danny and just when he tries to reach out he is rebuffed. Yes, Nick was an unlikable character for quite a while but he knows it and when given the chance changes.
The authors did a good job of getting the readers into the characters. The read itself is choppy and jumpy. This was originally written in chapters online as described. Still I think the back and forth in time frames was at times difficult to follow and made the reading not flow well. The changing POV’s were nice in giving us a bit more insight into the other characters. James being the main force in the story didn’t change but our thoughts of the other characters were influenced by the changes. They were a good strategy for the reader to sympathize or at least understand the characters and situations from each character’s viewpoint.
Overall, I liked the story. I thought the concept of the story was a different one and that drew me into reading. The style of writing could have been smoother even given how it was originally written. I think also the ultimate turnaround in James, Casey, and Danny wasn’t very believable. I just couldn’t grasp their changes. Nick’s was the most realistic. Though James is the character of focus I didn’t really connect with him like I did Nick. I think in the end the story pales for me after reading about Nick. His story just hit me more and seemed to contain a better “feel”. The three other characters just seemed a bit immature in their relationships. I do believe by the end the others had made quite the turnaround but they lost something coming to that point.