Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Recent M/M Releases


With Proper Maintence
by C.V. Madison
M/M Steampunk Fantasy
Jupiter Gardens Press

If you buy your copy of With Proper Maintenance from the Jupiter Gardens Press website and use the promo code GAYSTEAM, you get a copy of Angelia Sparrow's steampunk story Sky Rat for $0.99!

Named the youngest head engineer in the history of his company, Ethan Cole’s first voyage on the Platinum Bow is his chance to stand out from hisfather’s shadow. His dream is dashed by the roguish Cecil Goode, promoted to Ethan’s position just before the ship sets sail.

When the Bow is hijacked by pirates, Ethan and Cecil have to work together to bring the pirates’ nearly wrecked ship to safety. Will they make it to port before the ship plummets from the sky? And what will become of the combustible passion between them? Will it outlast the pirate attack?

***

Kuro (Trick Or Treat)
by Ana Raine
Cover art: Reneé George
M/M Paranormal/Fantasy/Shifters
Series: Trick or Treat (#3)
Length: Hot Flash

When Preston saves a black cat everything he knows about life and demons is going to be questioned.
While shopping for candy for his friend's Halloween party, Preston saves a strange black cat from a group of teenage boys. Overcome with a desire entirely new to him, Preston takes the black cat home and discovers things are not always what they seem, especially on Halloween.
The cat, a demon named Caleb, has been searching for his mate for months and can't help but be fascinated with sweet Preston. He's determined to drag Preston down to his home in the underwater demon world. Now Preston must choose between his mortal life, or one full of demons -- and love.

***

Crashpad
by Whitley Gray
M/M Contemporary


Physician Remy Marshall has two loves: Emergency Medicine and running. Work doesn’t leave much time to meet guys, and most seem more interested in his bank account than him. With a week off to train for a marathon, Remy plans to make the most of his precious vacation. The last thing he needs is a distraction.

Jamie Sutton is new to the area. He hopes to make a fresh start after leaving an abusive relationship with an orthopedic surgeon. He’s got a new job as a massage therapist and wants to meet some nice guys. Against his better judgment, Jamie decides the best way to meet a cute rollerblader he’s seen in the park is on wheels. 

With attention on his watch and not where he’s going, Remy crashes into Jamie and fractures the first-time rollerblader’s ankle. Jamie has no one to help him after the injury; Remy proposes Jamie stay with him. Jamie is reluctant, but it’s a better option than staying with the odd guy in the neighboring motel room. As the two get acquainted, Jamie’s past comes calling. Remy discovers the prize he really wants isn’t a medal in a marathon, but the man right in front of him.

***

Faded Star
by Shawn Bailey
Genres: Gay / Contemporary / The Arts / Interracial / Multicultural 
Heat Level: 3 
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (12k words)

Drunk and distraught over a news report about his sexuality, Hollywood movie star Heath Evans accidently drives his truck into a freeway embankment. He welcomes death, figuring it is better than being ostracized by his fans.

Physical therapist Seiji Kichida doesn’t let the crude and often-rude actor faze him with his insults and stereotypical comments. He just goes on about his job tending the wounded actor whom he’s idolized since he arrived in the United States.

Can Seiji help the man who has serious hang-ups about his sexuality, or will Heath’s rage scare him away? Or will Heath eventually succumb to Seiji’s sensual glances and tender administrations?

NOTE: This story was previously published with the ISBN: 978-1-92050-235-5. This reissued version of the story has been revised and reedited.

***



Thursday, 23 October 2014

Book Review: From All of us to All of You by Ofelia Gränd


From all of Us to all of You
Story from the Boughs of Evergreen Collection
by Ofelia Gränd
M/M Romance/Contemporary/Christmas/
Length: Short Story
Heat Level: Low
4 Stars

About Boughs of Evergreen

Boughs of Evergreen is a two-volume collection of short stories celebrating the holiday season in all its diversity. Penned by authors from the UK, the USA, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, these are tales of the young and the not-so-young from many different walks of life.

Themes of family, friendship and romance take readers on a journey through some of the major holidays, both past and present, including Thanksgiving, Advent, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Eid al-Fitr, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas and New Year. In each we find at the very least hope, and often love, peace and happiness.

Each story will also be published individually as ebooks on 1st December, 2014.

Proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization [USA] providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

For more information, visit: www.thetrevorproject.org.

Review

Simon is a young gay man in Sweden in a dead-end job as a cashier in a supermarket. If there's one thing he hates more than his job it's Christmas. His holiday memories are filled with two lingering things: the smell of whiskey surrounding his father and his mother trying to put on a brave face for it all.

It's a small town and everyone knows Simon's father is a drunk and a wastrel, and Simon hates the pitying looks he gets from people. He wants to meet someone nice, go on dates like normal people, but in a town so small, will he ever meet the man of his dreams?

One of Simon's workmates ropes Simon into helping her son move into his new apartment. She knows that Simon is gay, so he mistakenly thinks she's setting the both of them up on a blind date. But Simon's life had never been that easy and Hannes tells him he's not gay.

This was a sweet, slow-building romance where Simon gets more and more confused the more time he spends with Hannes. Hannes keeps saying that he's not gay but he keeps doing things that are giving off mixed signals to Simon. Movies and pizza at his apartment (musicals, no less) and everything they do seems to be like a date. Simon is so adorable, I just wanted to give him a hug.

Despite it being a short story, there is a full tale here and you don't feel anything has been glossed over or not added. It was also interesting to read about a different country's holiday traditions, like the St. Lucia festival, which I'd never heard of before. It all adds to the background of the story.

Very well-written, the pace is fairly slow, but it suited the story and the characters. A tale to curl up in an armchair and read as the winter evenings draw in.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Naked Truth by D.P. Denman




Title: Naked Truth
Author: DP Denman
Book 3 of the Saving Liam series
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Buried lies never die.

Liam has a new career, a new condo, a newfound sense of control and none of it is quite right. Shadows drift behind the bright sparkle of his life; things he's determined to ignore until a shocking revelation makes it impossible. With the help of Justin and a new friend, Liam must face the life he's buried.

***

Excerpt:

Lights pulsed in time to the pounding music and Liam swung his hips to the beat. It was a typical Friday night at Spark. Bodies packed the building. One of them was a girl not much older than he was who sat at his feet, patting the catwalk to the rhythm. She was all in black from the hair gathered in ponytails to her leather top, ebony nails, and dark lips. Thick smudges of eyeliner completed the look he assumed continued down to her shoes in a motif designed to be either flattering or dangerous.

If she was there with someone, he couldn’t tell. She’d been alone at the catwalk through the last three songs sipping something bright red from a tall glass. She glided the straw along her lips with a slow, seductive motion while she watched him from under her lashes, the pink tip of her tongue stark against the black lipstick. Every time she did, he smiled and she smiled back though he was sure it wasn’t for the same reason. They were flirting with each other, and she was destined to be disappointed. His interest was in a tip or a private dance. He knew hers, and she was wasting her energy.

He tried not to devote his attention to her because there was a room full of other women but his eyes kept drifting back. He didn’t want to give her a reason to reach out and grab him to get his attention. She had to keep her hands to herself while he was dancing or security would smother the flirt they had going. Those were the rules and the club's muscled hulks in black t-shirts didn't believe in second chances. He’d rather have her stick around to pay him than be hustled out the door in lieu of a second warning. She'd already had her first.

He laced his fingers behind his head and turned his back to the crowd, twerking to the music. He smiled at the expected round of hoots and whistles as he showed the room full of women how little his thong covered. It usually had that effect. After more than six months on stage, he knew what worked and what didn’t. The crowd loved that move even if it looked more ridiculous than sexy.

The music drifted down a few decibels and the DJ called for a round of applause for the strippers. His set was over. He waved to the women and headed off the catwalk joining the procession of sweaty bodies. Two other go-go boys and a stripper named Rico stepped through the arch at the back of the stage and down a short hall before walking up the stairs to the employee lounge.

“Did you see the one with the tits?” Rico asked as they filed into the space, which doubled as a locker room. “I’m going to get lucky tonight, I can feel it.”

Liam shook his head and tugged open his locker. Most of the strippers at the club were straight and obsessed with tits. He didn’t understand it, but they wouldn't understand his obsession with tight abs either, one set in particular.

Random guys with hot bodies did nothing for him and hadn’t for a long time. The one body that turned him on was across town on the couch playing video games in nothing but a pair of boxers and a t-shirt.

***

Author bio

Award winning author DP Denman writes character-driven contemporary romance about gay men. Her stories are real and intense but always resolve in the type of ending that makes readers want to start the book all over again. She is from the Pacific Northwest and bases all of her stories in Vancouver, British Columbia, a city that is dear to her heart.

In her spare time, she is a dedicated LGBTQIA rights activist fighting for those who have been marginalized and abused. To that end, 25% of the royalties from every book go to support LGBTQIA charities.

Links

http://www.dpdenman.com
https://twitter.com/dpdenman
https://www.facebook.com/dp.denman
http://dpdenmanauthor.blogspot.com

Giveaway:

There is a tour-wide giveaway for a $25 amazon gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Book Spotlight: Twisted by Joey Jameson


Twisted
by Joey Jameson
Gay Erotic Thriller
Chances Press
Buy Links: Chances Press | Amazon | Smashwords

Blurb:


Imagine another person, the mirror-image of you but yet different in every way…

Everly and Hadley Stone are identical twins. Growing up the boys were inseperable, always at each other’s side and experiencing everything together as one.

It seemed like nothing was strong enough to break the bond between the two brothers. Until now… On the eve of their birthday the twins meet a man who is literally to die-for, causing them both to fall helplessly at his feet. But what any unsuspecting man should know, is that wherever the Stone brothers go, trouble follows. Their story is one of secrets and lies which will have you guessing till the brutal end who’s good, and who’s very, very bad. Light or dark? Sweet or sexy? Quiet or confident? Innocent or deadly. Pick your flavour.


Excerpt: 

I writhed underneath his bulk, my raging hard-on pressing up against my jeans to the point of causing me to chafe inside my trousers. Before I could respond, he drove his tongue deep into my mouth again; hot and wet it explored, licking and sucking in a rhythmic manner. His hands moved up my muscular torso, finding their way under my top and running his fingers over the deep grooves of my abs. A moan escaped my lips at the sensation of his smooth palms making contact with my nipples. My mouth opened further, inviting him deeper inside me.

Lying on his sofa, I could feel how cheap it was as the rough coiled-springs drove up uncomfortably into my back causing it to arch unwillingly and force my crotch up even further against his own.  He responded by driving his pelvis harder to meet me half-way, the sensation sending sparks of colourful pleasure dancing through my bloodstream.

I opened my eyes for a moment and searched his face, trying desperately in vain to remember his name.

Dan…Darryl…Donnie…

Didn’t matter anyway, it wasn’t like we were going to be friends afterwards.

I pushed him off me, forcing him to sit up and causing a look of hurt to flash across his features before quickly evaporating into lust as I lifted my black t-shirt off over my head; stopping only for a second to let him admire my sculpted chest before I started to unbuckle my shorts. I could feel his eyes roll over my naked torso; pausing at the broadness of my tanned shoulders and trickling down over my round pecs. I slipped a hand into the waist band of my denim cut-off shorts and let my eyes close as I grabbed my dick and adjusted it in the confines of my underwear. When I opened them he was practically drooling at the sight of me touching myself.

I unzipped the crotch and nodded in his direction, silently motioning for him to get naked too. He stood and clumsily tore at his shirt, letting it fall discarded to the floor. As he fumbled with his own trousers, desperate to get back to touching my skin, I stood and let my shorts and underwear fall to the ground in a pool at my feet.

He was hot. There was no denying it; similar in build to myself, same deep V definition under his abs and with just a light dusting of hair over his generously perk pectorals. The muscles in my stomach constricted as lust swept over me, and I realised just then how horny I actually was.

As he swiftly removed the last of his clothing revealing a hard-on that sliced through the air like a sword as it was released, I was on him in a flash, taking his dick in my right hand and forcing him down on his tacky old sofa. He groaned in response to my grip and laid himself back with his hands behind his head. Lowering myself down I took him into my mouth, all at once I forced the muscles in my throat to relax as I led him deep inside my mouth, trailing my wet tongue down his girth. I paused for a moment as my head relaxed further and he slid obligingly even deeper until he practically grazed my tonsils. With one hand I worked the skin around his penis in a circular motion as my tongue licked and lips sucked expertly at his head. My other hand found my own cock and worked a similar motion on myself, mirroring what I was doing to him. He arched his own back now, driving him further inside me as his hips began pumping slowly into my face. I responded by gently grazing my teeth up and down his shaft once, sending him the message to chill the fuck out.

He half-groaned and half-laughed as he got the hint that I was in charge.

“Fuck yeah, baby, keep doing that.”

My mouth sucked harder and harder, my tongue licking and spitting as it went to town on his smooth glistening mushroom head. My own strokes became shallower as I began to feel the orgasm building inside me causing my own cock to moisten.

“Jesus, you give good head,” he whispered as he took my head in his hands and knotted his fingers in my dark hair.

I loved dirty talk. The filthier the better. The more a guy talks smut to me the fucking hornier I get.

I groaned in response, my desire boiling up inside of me and coming out in grunts through my stuffed mouth.

***

Bargain Book Bundle: From the Ashes Trilogy by Jessie Snow


From the Ashes Trilogy Bundle
by Jessie Snow
Gay Erotic Romance/Mystery/Paranormal and SF
Amazon | Amazon UK


Get the complete From the Ashes trilogy: Primal Chase, Savage Capture, and Wild Courage.
On sale for $0.99, from October 6th - October 16th! Regular Price: $2.99

Jay is driving back to his mountain cabin when his jeep dies. A brilliant flash of light draws him beyond the treeline, like a moth to a flame. When the light fades, a naked man emerges from a pile of ashes. He’s here for one reason. And that reason is Jay.

Shocked by what the man tells him, Jay runs. Not only from the stranger, but from his own desires. It’s the beginning of a night filled with chases and captures, carnal needs and inhuman pleasures. Just who is this man? And why does he seem so familiar?




Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Project X by Nephylim

Title: Project X
Author: Nephylim
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Project X by Nephylim

Synopsis

Morgan Bentley is a bastard. Always was and always will be.

At least that’s what Matthew Hopkins thinks. Unfortunately, Morgan is also a brilliant law student, and easily eclipses Matthew, academically and socially.

Matthew insists he hates Morgan. According to Matthew’s best friend, Cory, perhaps he doth protest a bit too much.
Project X

Cory has received the chance of a lifetime in the form of an internship with ITM—Information Technology and Medicine—the prestigious research company where Morgan’s father is the CEO. Too inquisitive for his own good, the naturally curious Cory stumbles on a deadly secret inside of ITM. What he has learned will tip the balance of everything, but for good or bad?
Just what is the mysterious Project X?

What is Morgan’s involvement?

Matthew has to sort fact from fiction, friend from foe, as his world is turned upside down and inside out, and nothing can be the way it was.

Book Trailer


Buy Links

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/project-x-by-nephylim/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NMHC4EI/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NMHC4EI/
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/project-x-nephylim/1120380974?ean=9781925222005

About the author

Nephylim was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.
Nephylim has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Nephylim became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all ki
nds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.
It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.

In present times, Nephylim lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son and her two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. The part of her that needs to earn money is a lawyer, but the deepest, and most important part of her is a storyteller and artist, and always will be.

Social media links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SevenPointStar
Facebook: Private: https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.headford.1
Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/Nephylim.author
Tumblr:  https://www.tumblr.com/blog/nephylim-author
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4462803.Nephylim
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=140237118&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile
Adult Blog: http://nephylim-author.blogspot.co.uk/
Young Adult Blog: http://cherylheadford.blogspot.co.uk/

Giveaway

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Guest Post: Inside Look at A Secret Match by Kelli Wilkins


A Secret Match… An Inside Look
by Romance Author Kelli A. Wilkins
www.KelliWilkins.com

Hi everyone!

Today I’m sharing an “inside look” at the making of my latest gay romance, A Secret Match.

It’s a contemporary novella set in the world of professional wrestling.

Before we get started, let me answer the question lots of folks may be asking: “Why do you write gay romances? You’re not a man or gay.” I generally respond with: “Why shouldn’t I? I wrote a vampire romance, and I’ve never been a vampire.”

But seriously, I’m a writer. And as a writer, I write whatever romance book comes to me, whether it’s a contemporary, historical, paranormal, or gay romance. My stories are about people who meet, fall in love, and overcome obstacles to be with each other. This basic philosophy applies whether the characters are same-sex, different sex, or space alien and earth girl. Love is love and romance is romance. I’m not married to one specific genre or heat level. I go where the story and the characters take me.

When A Secret Match came out, a friend asked me: “How do you write a gay romance?” I replied: “The same way I write my other romances. I write the story that’s in my head.” For me, writing a M/M romance is no different than writing a romance in any other genre. All the elements of telling any good story: an interesting plot, characters readers care about, sensory details and descriptions, etc., are the same.

So, how did A Secret Match come about? I’ve been a wrestling fan my whole life and A Secret Match is a follow-up (of sorts) to my other wrestling romance, A Perfect Match. That book is about a straight couple (Vin and Danni) and Everett (the main character from A Secret Match) is a secondary character (and Vin’s best friend).

I loved writing for Ev— he’s one of those characters who tries to run away with the book. I always thought “one day” I’ll give him a story of his own, but I didn’t have a clue as to what the plot would be. I put thoughts of him aside and wrote other books. Then, one morning as I was driving to work, he popped into my head with a four-line book summary. Within an hour, I had the whole story in my head and I started writing.

A big part of the storyline centers around Everett dealing (or rather, not dealing) with his sexuality and his (un)willingness to be open about who he really is. Ev’s longtime partner, Josh, is tired of being kept in his “walk-in closet” and wants Ev to come out (at least to his friends and family) but Everett is concerned about losing his job. Will fans accept a gay wrestler? How will his boss react? Part of him wants to keep everything just as it is because that’s safe. But another part of him longs to stop hiding the truth.

When I wrote the book, I focused on Ev’s anguish over being caught between two worlds: his job (where his wrestling persona is a horny womanizer) and his secret, private life with Josh. Everett can’t balance the two and worries about what the other wrestlers would think of him coming out.

As Ev tells Vin as they discuss the issue of gay athletes in sports: “Sure, gay athletes are out there, but a gay baseball player doesn’t have the type of physical contact with other guys like we do. Does he grab other men when he’s all sweaty and crawl on top of them to cover them for a pin? No. There are all sorts of issues—changing in the locker room, showering together… Can you imagine some of the things that would go through the guys’ heads when I tried to put a hold on them? You think they wouldn’t freak out when I touched them if they knew?”

Vin’s reply: “You won’t know if you never take the risk.”

And risk Ev does. After he comes out (twice, in fact—I loved writing those scenes!), he discovers a different side to himself, embraces who he is, and even faces down intolerant fans and homophobic coworkers.

I enjoyed showing Everett on his journey of self-acceptance. He’s a bit of a cocky wise-ass, and definitely a fun character to write for. I was glad to give Ev and Josh the happy-ever-after ending they rightly deserve (and some hot love scenes!), because no matter what, love is love, and that’s all that matters.

I hope you’ll check out the book. (It’s already gotten great reviews.) In the meantime, here’s the summary and a spicy excerpt.

Happy Reading!
Kelli A. Wilkins

A Secret Match

Everett Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and the sexy heartthrob of millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with anyone. He’s gay.

After years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out is the last thing Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.

One night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems – both personally and professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing down a tag team out to destroy him.

Torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything… can he find a balance between his career and his heart?

***

Excerpt:

Josh ran his soapy hands down Everett’s chest and ribs. Normally, he loved admiring Ev’s rock-hard naked body, but not today. It pained him to see the man he loved covered in bruises. Were they from those rednecks or had Ev gotten them wrestling? It sickened him to think that Ev put his body through this kind of punishment every night. Was it worth it?

He unhooked the massaging showerhead and rinsed the soap off of Everett’s tanned torso. He watched as it left a white foamy trail down to Ev’s rigid cock.

“My poor love.” Josh kissed a bruise on Ev’s stomach, and he flinched. “Did I hurt you?”

“No, it tickles.”

“What?” Josh looked down and realized the water was spraying on Ev’s balls. He laughed. “Sorry.”

“Don’t apologize. Do it again.”

Ev loved having his balls played with, and sometimes he could make him come just by sucking on them. That was fun, but right now, he wanted something else. “Turn around.”

Everett turned and faced the wall.

Josh soaped his hands, then slid them down Everett’s back and ass. He took his time, massaging Ev’s firm buttocks, cupping and squeezing them lightly. Touching Ev always turned him on. He rinsed Everett’s back with the showerhead, angling it so the soapy water ran down between his cheeks. Ev shivered.

“Want it?”

“Yeah.”

Every so often they liked to spice things up. When they had first made love, Everett was anxious and afraid to be vocal about what he liked. But since then, Ev was willing to try anything, and he liked it when they got naughty.

***

ABOUT KELLI A. WILKINS

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 90 short stories, 18 romance novels, and 4 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels. Kelli had three romances published in 2014: A Secret Match, Wilderness Bride, and Dangerous Indenture. A Secret Match is her third gay romance. Don’t miss the others: Four Days with Jack and Killer in Wolf’s Clothing.


Kelli publishes a blog: (http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com) filled with excerpts, interviews, writing prompts, and whatever else pops into her head. She also writes a monthly newsletter, Kelli's Quill, and posts on Facebook and Twitter. Kelli invites readers to visit her website, http://www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings.

Catch up with Kelli on the Web:

Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kelli.wilkins1

Friday, 3 October 2014

Book Review: Dakota Skies by Taylin Clavelli


Dakota Skies
by Taylin Clavelli
M/M Historical/Western
Wayward Ink Publishing
4 Stars

Blurb:

Born in the wrong time...

In 1875 Dakota, Sheriff Jamie Carter has to hide his interest in men, even from his gutsy twin sister, Anna. On a good day, the truth can mean a bullet between the eyes, and on a bad, one in the back.

A man on a mission...

Jamie leaves Anna in charge of Blackrock and he hits the bounty hunting trail, along with his faithful equine companion, Houston. Five territories, scores of ‘Wanted’ posters, and many bullets later, his path unexpectedly converges with that of enigmatic loner, Kit Brooks.

Two men with one soul...

Will the smoldering fire between them rage into an inferno and break down protective barriers, allowing them to find love? Or will it separate and kill them?

Beneath Dakota skies...

Jamie and Kit’s story is a sweeping saga of cowboys, Indians, persistent broads, and vengeful villains, where the cowboys aren't always the good guys, and love can’t be taken for granted.

Review:

After the death of their father by a gang of outlaws, twins Jay and Anna Carter become the new joint sheriffs of Blackrock in Dakota. As twins, the two of them have a special bond, but there's something Jay can't even share with his sister. Jay likes men and in the time they live in, to admit such a thing could be as good as painting a target on his back.

Restless and confused, Jay leaves Blackrock for a while to become a bounty hunter on the less-travelled trails. Jay soon has either killed or captured every wanted man he sets his sights on and his tracking skills soon become legendary. So much so, that Jay, thinking himself invincible, finds himself in trouble while riding through some Native territories.

Jay is grateful to his rescuer, a man claiming to be Kit Brooks, and soon finds himself in lust with this rugged stranger. But can Jay even admit to such feelings? He doesn't really know who Kit his and as the book progresses, it becomes clear that Kit too has secrets of his own.

Now, I'm not normally one for westerns, but since it was an M/M western, I decided to give it a go and I was pleasantly surprised. Jay and Kit were fantastic leads, both so unsure and nervous of each other and their feelings at first, and then gradually they came together, but not without a bit of angst at first.

The book had everything you would expect in a western: saloon fights, bar brawls, feisty women and bank robbers. But like with any story, its heart lay with the characters, particularly Jay and Kit in this instance. The love scenes between them were both hot and sensual, with an almost poetical quality to them.

The supporting characters are also well-drawn, I loved Anna, Jay's sister, she was a bit of a firebrand. Some people might consider that a bit unrealistic, but these are women in the Wild West, I think they would have been feisty and tough, not demure wallflowers.

There was a bit of a problem for me in the book. A lot of the time the dialogue is paraphrased, and you get a sentence something like "they discussed this, they discussed that" rather than the characters telling you the dialogue in their own words. It slowed the pace somewhat and I would have preferred more direct dialogue myself. Perhaps it's just a personal preference, but it did jar me out of the story somewhat.

However, saying that, if you enjoy a rollicking western adventure with some hot m/m romance thrown in for good measure, then I'm sure you'd enjoy this. I certainly did.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Book Review: A Secret Match by Kelli A. Wilkins


A Secret Match
by Kelli A. Wilkins
Amber Allure
M/M Contemporary/Sports/Wrestling
Established Romance
Heat Level: 3
4 Stars
Review Copy from author

Blurb:

Everett Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and a sexy heartthrob for millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with anyone—he’s gay.

After years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out, however, is the last thing Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.

But one night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems, both personally and professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing down a tag team out to destroy him.

Torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything. Can he find a balance between his career and his heart?

Review:

I have to admit that I know very little about wrestling, I'd never really watched it on television or anything like that, but did occasionally glimpse it while channel surfing. It was my husband who told me that a lot of it was staged and I was very surprised at that, I'd had no idea.

In this book, Everett has been wrestling for a while and is the pin-up of millions of female fans worldwide, something his boss, Nick (or Nick the Prick as the wrestlers call him) is very keen to cash in on. Nick is the one who decides who gets into the ring, who gets a chance at the championship belts and sometimes who wins them as well.

But Everett has a big secret that he fears getting out: he's gay and has been with Josh for almost two years by the time the book starts. On his way to a bit match, Josh gives him an ultimatum: tell the world about them or they are finished.

Josh is fed up of being Everett's dirty little secret; there aren't even photos of them together in their apartment, in case someone sees them and deduces they are a couple.

I really felt for both Everett's and Josh's predicament here, I could well understand both their points of view. The world of wrestling seems very macho and Everett thinks if he comes out as gay, his career may be over in one fell swoop. But is his career worth losing Josh over? The tension between their two differing views felt very real and both were in emotional turmoil for a lot of the book.

Everett does a lot of travel for his wrestling job, and Josh is left alone for weeks at a time, time enough to think, is this really what he wants? A man who won't even admit he exists, never mind tell people they're together?

There were a lot of wrestling terms and jargon that I didn't understand, but I was still able to keep up with the story. When Nick decides on a storyline where Everett is supposed to steal his best friend's wife, Danni, as part of his next round of matches, Everett has had enough and announces on live television that he's gay. But Josh never watches the wrestling, and he doesn't know it until a lot later in the book. Sometimes I felt that the two of them needed to be locked in a room together and talk things through before they were let out again!

Well written, with interesting characters, it was a fun, romantic story with a bit of angst along the way, but not too much. It is a romance after all, not a tragedy.