November 7th, 2010

andrew potter

A Tabloid Love by T.A. Chase

Tabloid Star by T.A. Chase

T.A. Chase hits a sure point with this novel with me, since the show business theme is one of my favorite, probably due to the fact that I love to see an happily ever after where usually I don't find them, and since I know that, despite some good changings happening in the movie industry, it's still not easy to be out and proud, and the stars who decide to be have not easy life.

So basically this is a cinderfella type of story, with the big Hollywood star, Ryan, who falls in love for the poor bartender, Josh, who has to work three jobs and has no time to be starstruck by the pretty actor. And here is maybe the most original point of the novel, T.A. Chase turns the table, and the cinderfella became the knight in shining armor, or better the big bear who will take good care of his lover. Josh can be the one with the less lucrative job, but he is not for sure the on a lower level than Ryan, on the contrary what draws Ryan to him is the feeling of being safe and sheltered in Josh's arm. This is a common point that I have already found in T.A. Chase's story: he is a favorite of mine since he often has characters living in the glittering world of the show business, or at least in an "in the spotlight" position, but those men are not unreachable or aloof, they are most of the time the boy next door who finds himself living in something bigger than him, and who still needs the comfort embrace of a lover. I like the mix of cuteness and coquetteness that is Ryan, and how he is ready to loosen up in the arms of the right lover.

Not only in this case Ryan needs the safe shelter of his lover's arms, he is also a submissive for nature, and he wouldn't have been happy with a lover who looked upon to him like the leader in the relationship. Being Josh a self-assured man, he is perfect for Ryan: the inner strength of Josh well balances the difference in social status of the two men, and then, the difference is still fresh, since it's not long ago that Ryan was still a struggling actor came to Hollywood from a little province town. Again this is another common element in T.A. Chase's stories, the origins of his characters are simple and down to earth, and they have solid basis that allow them to remain with the head on their shoulders and not being corrupted by the big bad world. There is always an homey feeling in those books, even if we are dealing with movie stars or professional sports players.

As I said, what probably I like most is that the story is a good and strong romance which leads steadily and fast towards a romantic happily ever after; the two heroes have to face some pretty bad moments, but they are never so bad to distract the reader from what is the main event, the love story. There was never one doubt that in a way or the other, the two men would have found a way to be together, and what started like a one single night of hot sex has good basis to become a last long relationship. Probably yes, what bonds Ryan and Josh in a good and strong knot is their perfect agreement in bed, and the fact to be the top in bed allows Josh to not feel like an addendum to Ryan; never once I felt him doubt his position (pun very much intended) with Ryan, if there were trouble for them, it was not due to their personal and sexual relationship, and the reader has plenty of proves in the good and numerous sex scenes, that, as usual, are detailed without being an exercise in style. Those are sex scenes you can read and enjoy without having to hurry up to seeing what happens next.

Amazon Kindle: Tabloid Star

With This Ring (A Tabloid Star Story) by T.A. Chase

A story about a marriage can't be anything else if not sweet and romantic, and as usually, the added spicy is given by the sex, that in a T.A. Chase's book is always a right mix of nice and naughty.

Almost in contraposition on how their story started, trying to avoid public display of affection, Ryan and Josh decide to marry and to do it in plain air. Among the few U.S. states that allow it, they choose Vermont and to end in the best way the most important year of their life, the ceremony will be held at midnight on the New Year Eve.

This type of novella, usually seasonal novella, is always an occasion to group old and new friends in a single book, and so here we meet Garrett and CJ, from High Line, there is also a reference to Garrett’s brother, Kasey and his lover Gram, and also Josh’s friends, Morgan and Vance, made their appearance. The new friends are Ryan’s parents, who support their son in his decision, even if they are alone in the family in doing so other than Ryan’s great aunt, Edna, a former vaudeville dancer of 90 years old.

Probably the most original and nice thing of the novella is the parallel development: in the day of their marriage, while they are waiting the midnight, Ryan and Josh remember the most important step that led to this day, from the night in which Ryan made his proposal to Josh, passing from the various moment when they shared the news with their dear friends and relatives, to that very morning, when Ryan received the unexpected support of the old lady.

There is obviously no drama, but only good feelings and a lot of hope, the hope that this type of stories, now very much fictional, will become so common in the future that people will have the chance to live them and not only dream.

Amazon Kindle: With This Ring: A Tabloid Star Story (print book)

Amazon: A Tabloid Love

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Anne Cain

ETA: I read on T.A. Chase's blog that Josh's character was inspired by Ari Levanael. Ari was one of my first Man Candy, you can find his post here:
andrew potter

Men in Space by C.C. Bridges, Ethan X. Thomas & Kallysten

Crimson by Ethan X. Thomas

Crimson is an alternative reality story from all the possible perspectives you look at it. First of all, the prejudice here is not given by the fact that Benjamin is gay, but by the fact that Adam, his partner is of a different breed.

Benjamin and Adam are different in all possible aspects other than one, their sex, and this is the only thing that seems to not arising trouble. Benjamin is 44 years old and still mourning the betrayal of his former lover; he is an high level police officer, he should be always the leader and responsible for the good being of his men, but in his private life he craves to be mastered. Benjamin is a submissive and he did the unthinkable, he killed his previous master; for this reason, since he was forced to kill the one man in the world he swore to always obey, he now has made his special mission to hunt down Tazu, the man who forced him to do that.

Adam is not a Terran like Ben, he is a mix of human and bird, instead of hair he has feathers, and his skin is deep blue. You can’t possible not notice it, and that is the reason why he is ostracized. Actually Adam is not even gay, but truth be told, in this futuristic tale, the preference in sex seems to not be important; it not defines who you are or why you are a misfit. Other than being of a lesser breed, Adam is also a lot younger than Ben, 28 years old, so he doesn’t fit at all the role of Master, and Ben craves for a Master. Adam and Ben are totally mismatched, and so it’s quite difficult for them to go undercover as a married couple in a exclusive resort. More Ben has to play the role of Master, something he totally doesn’t feel in him, and Adam the one of the slave, something he totally hates since his people has always fought to come out from slavery.

I had some trouble to mentally enter in the story since the authors don’t give you background notion, you are plunged directly into the story and have to pick up clues here and there to understand the whole. It’s something that I find quite often in futuristic tales, actually there are two opposite ways to tell a story: or the author gives full details, even too much, sometime overloading so much the story to boring the reader, or the author only hints to the alternative reality, letting the reader to fill the voids with his own imagination. Probably I prefer the second way, and it’s the one chosen for Crimson, just enough details to allow understanding the surroundings, and then, you are free to build the reality as much as you like.

Amazon Kindle: Crimson: A Men in Space Story

Moonlust (Men in Space) by Kallysten

Usually a sci-fiction story tends to have a “grandeur” feeling; maybe it’s the great expanse of the space, of those spaceships, big and cold. You almost get lost in those spaceships, and the simple men who work in there are in second line, all the high tech solutions are the main characters and the men succumb to them.

Moonlust takes a turn from the usual plot and uses a very old fashioned device to do that, the mating fever. At first Kar met Jay alone, Kar had a very old spaceship he needed someone to pilot and Jay was the right man; probably Jay was not right only for the spaceship, he was right also for its captain, but Kar feared to be hurt from Jay’s possible future deception (how an old fashioned feeling, the old as time fear to fail that pushes men to not even try). Consciously or unconsciously, it’s not clear, Kar hired also Will, a pretty hot young thing who is immediately all octopus over Jay. But Kar clever diversion backfires him: now he has not only to avoid Jay, now he has to avoid the both of them together, who are all over each other at every moment and in every place of the ship!

Kar is barely managing to do that when a mission sends them to an alien planet during the mating season: the pheromones in the air produce an unexpected side effect also on them. Or maybe Kar is saying to himself that to justify why he is suddenly in bed with both Jay than Will and he is enjoying every moment.

As I said, other than being setting in a spaceship sailing unknown routes, this novella is basically a funny romp. Unusually for me, I like all three men in the ménages: Kar is almost tender in his “I want/I don’t want to want” attitude towards Jay, and it’s almost funny how he put himself in a bigger danger when he hired Will to “distract” Jay; Jay has those mystery aura around himself, and basically that easy attitude that makes him like a rascal, a character that I always liked in romance; and finally Will, the happy-to-go boy, the one who is always smiling, the one who wants to make everyone happy… obviously if this means making himself happy along with.

Amazon Kindle: Moonlust: A Men in Space Story (print book)

Amazon: Men in Space

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Kanaxa
andrew potter

And Hell Itself Breathes Out by AR Moler

I’m not usually a big fan of horror/thriller stories, but And Hel itself Breathes Out won me over for having the right dose of drama mixed with a good romance and a real story beside the good sex.

Evan Garrett is an homicide detective with Washington DC police department; he is not your usually cop, and not only since he has an high rate of resolved cases; he is also a pagan, and an empath, and even if he doesn’t flaunt his Talents, he is not against the idea to use them, and above all he is open to believe in everything.

When a series of murders seem to be linked to a demoniac cult, John Benchley, the head of Special Investigative Services, enters the scene: as Evan he has some mild psychic power, nothing really big, but as for Evan, it opened his mind to possibilities.

This is basically what I liked most of this novel, the balance between real and fantasy, between possibilities and reality. It’s a horror paranormal story, but, if you are far enough to not see all the details, it could well be another serial killer type of story. The murderers are bored and spoiled college kids with too much money on their hands and really nothing do to. The victims are mostly society wrecks, people no one will miss. This is not a big case, if not for the narrow sequence of dead bodies, and for the paranormal side that gathers the interest of the SIS.

Even the story between Evan and John is at the same time simple and intense; there are some sparks and then a deflagration and a night of passion; after that, both of them are able to bring back the relationship on track, allowing them to share “comfort” but also to work together. No drama, no sense of guilty, only a bit of uneasiness in front of their colleagues, but nothing insuperable.

There is no pushing on the drama button, not trying to highlight what is obvious: John and Evan are both bisexual, John a recent divorcee, Evan in a new relationship with a woman, but nothing really serious, nothing he will miss if it will suddenly disappear: proof is the fact that the woman enters the scene well far forward in the story to not really leave a sign. When Evan does the first move on John, it’s natural and light, even a bit a teasing of the almost aloof John; Evan has a different way to approach life, maybe since he hasn’t suffered all the losses John had.

Even if they start a relationship, mutually satisfying, not John or Evan suddenly “turn” totally gay; basically they don’t discern between men and women, they have the concept of “partner” and if they are good with a partner, doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a woman. As John and Evan are open minded to accept the paranormal side of their job, they are the same to accept any possibilities in their private life.

Everything was so smooth and natural, that in the end, I didn’t feel as I was reading an horror or a bisexual story or a gay romance, I was simply reading a story of two men in love with each other and fighting against something outside.

Amazon: And Hell Itself Breathes Out

Amazon Kindle: And Hell Itself Breathes Out

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

St. Nacho’s 3: Jacob’s Ladder by Z. A. Maxfield

More than how it was in the previous two books, St. Nacho’s is becoming like a shelter for lost souls, and in this case it’s like a light in the fog for people who are wondering the world searching for a purpose.

Jacob’s Ladder is correctly tagged as third in the St. Nacho’s series, but aside for the place, Sant Ignacio, a seaside village along the California route 1, it has only losely connections with the previous two books, so that, you can easily read it standalone and then, if it makes your curious for the characters you will see popping out here and there, you can go back to read the other two books.

As I said, Jacob is indeed a lost soul. He has a wandering fever, he moved from United States to Israel and back, always clinging to someone he considered safe: first his older brother, then his grandfather, and now his boyfriend. But when this last man unveals to be not exactly your mainstay in the storm, on the contrary he is abusive and uncaring, Jacob is again lost and the only one who seems to be his light in the fog is his older brother Dan. In the way to go to him, Jacob gets stranded in St. Nacho, and he is literally saved by EMT nurse JT.

JT is everything Jacob seems to be searching in a man: steady, kindhearted, gentle… and straight. Or so it seems. JT does everything possible to make Jacob like St. Nacho, he finds him a job, new friends, everything other than a new boyfriend. On the contrary, as soon as Jacob is spotted by the very handsome, and gay, firefighter Cam, JT immediately warns Jacob that Cam is a player, that he is not the right man for Jacob, who instead needs someone steadier, someone like… JT?

Even if JT is a desperate closeted case, a man of Jewish origins who sees homosexuality like the worst sin possible, Jacob is not able to forget him. While during the day he is willing, and able, to admit that JT is not the right man for him, that he doesn’t need to be considered a little dirty secret, during the night he is unable to refuse the man when he comes to knock at his door.

JT is the perfect example of a man in denial: from a not so strictly religious family, who would have probably accepted him if he had the courage to come out, JT searched in faith a way out from what he considered something too big to be beared alone; in a way JT built around himself his own cage, he became a faithful believer who now has an excuse to tell to himself that being gay is a sin.

I liked how the author played with her characters, starting with Jacob who seemed the confused one, the one who needed direction, and ending instead with JT who desperately needed Jacob, as if Jacob was his last chance to happiness.

Amazon: Jacob's Ladder

Amazon Kindle: Jacob's Ladder (St. Nacho's)

1) St. Nacho's:
2) Physical Therapy:
3) Jacob's Ladder

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Anne Cain
andrew potter

Is it Just Me? (2010) directed by J.C. Calciano

Frustrated by his ongoing failure to meet Mr. Right, Blaine stumbles upon what might be his perfect match in an online chat room-Xander, a sweet, hunky guy who's recently moved to LA. Smitten, Blaine then finds that he's been chatting to Xander under his go-go dancer roommate's profile, setting in motion a convoluted comedy of errors with romance as the ultimate objective.

Director: J.C. Calciano

Writer: J.C. Calciano

Release Date: World premiere screening, Palm Springs International Film Festival, January 15, 2010

Genres: Romance

Storyline: One of the funniest and sweetest gay romantic comedies in years, Is It Just Me? delivers a refreshingly witty take on one gay boy's search for Mr. Right. Cute, but unaware of his adorableness, Blaine (Nicholas Downs), a newspaper columnist can't seem to meet guys, let alone form a relationship. His beefy go-go boy roommate Cameron— who has no shortage of willing partners —can't understand why he doesn't pounce and enjoy some one-nighters. Instead, Blaine hides in his room and searches Internet chat rooms for a kindred spirit. He may have found one in the form of Zander, a shy recently relocated Texan. But when the time comes to exchange photos, Blaine accidentally sends an image of his hunky roomie, and things go from romantically promising to just confusing. This case of mistaken identity escalates when Blaine begs his roommate to go out with the charming, sandy-haired Zander. When it seems they hit it off, our lonely hero feels love has passed him by again... or did it? Think Cyrano de Bergerac by way of Eating Out, writer/director J.C. Calciano's first feature film is a hilarious, captivating winner. And the guys aren't bad either!

@Amazon: Is It Just Me? (2010)
@TLA Releasing
@Wolfe Video

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Cast (in credits order)
Nicholas Downs ... Blaine
David Loren ... Xander
Adam Huss ... Cameron
Michelle Laurent ... Michelle
Bob Rumnock ... Bob
Bruce Gray ... Ernie
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul A. Becker ... GoGo Dancer #1
Jed Bernard ... Drunk Guy
Bryce Blais ... Drew
Alisa J. Campbell ... Bartender #2
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Blaine & Xander

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andrew potter

Rainbow Awards: Cover Contest - Round 11

Round n°11, 4 rounds to the end, 30 covers still in contest to arrive to the last week with the 10 finalists.

You can vote as many covers as you want but please don't vote more than 25 covers otherwise the selection process will not work smoothly.

From this round (for the last 5 rounds) other than the poll, there will be a special jury voting in the cover contest. It will be a jury made all by external guests (no authors, no cover artists, no publishers): they will be of course people with an interest in the art and communication field, but they will be impartial. Their vote will be added to the poll, it will have an higher weight but it will be an addition not in substitution, so the people voting in the cover contest will still have an huge influence in the final result.

First to accept my invite is Dylan Rosser, one of the most famous male model photographer out there:

Another judge is Jesse Archer, actor and screenwriter, whose movie "Violet Tendencies" I adopted last year:

Last to join the jury is Jack Mackenroth, athlete and fashion designer, former contendant in Project Runaway:

Last week they voted (and so automatically moved to this round): 1, 8, 14, 16, 26, 34, 58, 83, 146, 148, 160, 162, 183, 263, 287, 289, 351, 370, 379, 426, 493, 512, 513.

I saved all the covers in an external page, I suggest you to open it in another web page and tick the covers on the poll.

Moreover some publishers offered an ebook giveaway to be drawn among who will vote in the poll, so voting you will have a chance to win the ebook.

Last week winners are:

gwylliondream  --> Chosen ebook: Wolfsbane Winter by Jane Fletcher, Bold Strokes Books

bugchicklv  --> Chosen ebook: Shadowlands by Charlie David, Dreamspinner Press

lilygcs  --> Chosen ebook: Snow on the Mountain by P.D. Singer, Torquere Press

4tonedeaf  --> Chosen ebook: Oracle by R.J. Scott, Silver Publishing

And now please go to see all the amazing covers:


and vote in the poll:

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andrew potter

Rainbow Awards: Current Submissions 131 to 140

131. Ryan Field - Shakespeare's Lover (Ravenous Romance)
Gay, Erotica Contemporary

When an athletic college senior, Jude Carmichael, is asked to write a play for St. Dymphna College for Men, he takes on the job with enthusiasm. It's l969 and the world is changing, so Jude decides to write a play about William Shakespeare's fictional love life and how it might have affected Shakespeare while he was writing Romeo and Juliet. However, as the months pass and his deadline approaches, Jude is stuck and can't figure out a suitable ending...until he meets the best muse he's ever known, an adorable little guy with big brown eyes named Declan Lucas. Declan is an innocent young freshman at Southern Memorial College for Men, St. Dymphna's arch rival. Declan's abusive father is the president of Southern Memorial and he expects Declan to follow in his footsteps. But the only thing Declan has ever wanted to do in life is act on the stage. And when his father refuses to allow him to be in his own school play that year because acting is socially inferior, Declan decides to secretly audition for a part in St. Dymphna's play instead. This is against the rules; Southern Memorial students aren't allowed to be in St. Dymphna plays. But he does it anyway. With the help of a good friend, Declan dresses up as an attractive young woman and winds up getting the female lead in St. Dymphna's play, Shakespeare's Lover. Though everyone at St. Dymphna is fooled by Declan's disguise, and they are thrilled to have found the perfect young woman for the part, it doesn't take long for Jude Carmichael to figure out Declan is really the most wonderful young man he's ever met. And when he does, he's not shy about letting Declan know how he feels. While they put together one of the most romantic plays ever produced by St. Dymphna College, and everyone thinks Declan is really a woman named Gill, Jude and Declan fall more deeply in love. Though they can't be seen together in public unless Declan is dressed as a woman, they find creative ways to meet in private so Declan can be a man. If all the world's a stage, Declan and Jude prove that there is steamy action in the wings...but will they be able to find a future together?

132. Dakota Chase - The Eye of Ra (Prizm Books)
Gay, Coming of Age / Young Adult

What do you do when you accidentally destroy your history teacher’s prized collection of historical artifacts? If you’re teenaged delinquents, Aston and Grant, this is more than just a rhetorical question. They've made a huge mistake, one that might cost them everything. Adding to their misery, their history teacher’s name is Merlin. Yes, that Merlin, and the answer to their dilemma is deceptively simple according to the old wizard. You go back in time to replace the items you destroyed! Aston and Grant find themselves in ancient Egypt, where their first task is to find and retrieve “The Eye of Ra,” a golden amulet owned by none other than King Tut, the boy king of Egypt. Neither of them is all that versed in history, so they have to play it cool and learn as they go. It's not just the amulet that's causing them trouble, either. They soon become friends with Tut, and find that they want to help him out. Surrounded by enemies, needing to survive in a primitive world, Aston and Grant quickly learn one basic truth. History isn’t dead when you’re living it.

133. Jessica Freely - Amaranth & Ash (Loose Id)
Bisexual / Transgender, Fantasy

In a world where everyone has their place, Amaranth & Ash belong together. Amaranth is a vasai, born with both male and female characteristics, and a soul that can reach out and touch the souls of others in order to heal them. But a vasai’s services are only for the Elai, and they demand sexual satisfaction as well as healing from their beautiful servants. Frustrated with these constraints, Amaranth wants to use his talent to help those who really need it. Ash is a chel. Considered devoid of souls, chel are the lowest of the low. Not content with his lot, Ash steals from the middle class pel. One night he’s caught and brutally punished. A soul in agony calls out to Amaranth from across the city. When he discovers that it belongs to a chel, it only confirms his worst suspicions about the lies of the Elai. Amaranth takes Ash home and heals him, an act of rebellion that could cost both their lives. Amaranth's compassion for Ash soon turns to passion. Ash treats him like a person, not an instrument of sexual gratification. Neither of them have much experience with mutual pleasure but together they embark on an exploration of intimacy and desire that carries them to the heights of passion and love -- and shakes the very foundation of their world.

134. Shannon Yarbrough - Stealing Wishes (Shanlian Wordlit Press)
Gay, Contemporary

What's more important? A perfect cup of coffee or a perfect date? Blaine-a photo taking, obsessive compulsive, coffee barista-steals money out of fountains and can't find a date. Obsessed with the number 32, Blaine blames his lack in love as the reason for his habits. When his friend Sallie sets him up on a date, Blaine is convinced that Edward, the new love interest, will cure his compulsions. But when Blaine discovers they have nothing in common, complications ensue. Auden, an artsy tattooed coworker, tells Blaine about a local photo contest, so Blaine sets out to capture a winning snapshot. Just as Blaine thinks he has his illness beat, his unvarying world spirals out of control when he skips part of his daily routine, ultimately making Blaine realize that Mr. Right has been in front of him the whole time. STEALING WISHES is a caffeinated romantic comedy with cream and sugar! Every reader will relate to Blaine's obsessive outlook on life.

135. L.A. Witt - The Best Man (Carnal Passions)
Gay, Erotica Contemporary

Jon Beatty thought he had the best man in his ex, Craig. But in the six months since their break up, Craig's managed to find a new lover—a woman—and wants Jon to be a different kind of best man…at his wedding. Reasoning that the only way to get over one man is to get under another, Jon heads for a local club to get drunk and laid. Bartender Liam Sable is more than willing to help with both. Their one night stand turns into a rebound fling which enables Jon to move on. Craig, however, is having second thoughts about the break-up. While inconvenient and annoying, Craig’s antics are nothing compared to the danger posed to Jon and Liam's relationship by another, more sinister threat...

136. L.A. Witt - Rules of Engagement (Dreamspinner Press)
Gay, Erotica Contemporary

Dustin Walker has no idea that avoiding the search for Mrs. Right could send him into the arms and bed of Mr. Right Now. According to Dustin's mother, he should be out looking for his next wife so he won't be the divorced black sheep of the family. Instead, he passes his free time at a local bar and pool hall, where he meets someone who's everything his ex-wife wasn't: funny, caring, faithful... and male. Is Brandon Stewart just Dustin’s way of getting over a bitter divorce? Can Dustin really care for him, or is it simply that Brandon is the complete opposite of his ex-wife? Dustin keeps their affair as quiet as possible, because if it continues, he knows he'll eventually have to come out to his homophobic family or walk out on the man he's trying not to love.

137. L.A. Witt - The Distance Between Us (Samhain Publishing)
Gay, Erotica Contemporary

From money pit to windfall…or is it a pitfall? After ten years together, Ethan Mallory and Rhett Solomon are calling it quits. They’re more than ready to dump their heavy emotional baggage. The only thing they can’t seem to unload is the house. They’re stuck living as roommates with a hefty mortgage hanging over their heads…at least until they can bring in some extra money to pay it down. Solution: rent out a room. Enter Kieran Frost. Suddenly, the only thing Ethan and Rhett both want more than getting away from each other is getting close to their single, young, hot roommate. Complicating things is the fact that Kieran doesn’t mind the attention from both, and he certainly doesn’t mind sharing. Their combined chemistry ignites something else that Ethan and Rhett had thought was long dead—the mutual attraction that drew them together in the first place. Except bitter jealousy over Kieran could only push them even farther apart…

138. L.A. Witt - Nine-tenths of the Law (Samhain Publishing)
Gay, Erotica Contemporary

Without trust, common ground can get pretty shaky… “I believe you have something of mine, Zach.” Zach Owens doesn’t even know who this angry stranger is, let alone what the man is talking about—until he learns what they have in common. Their boyfriend, Jake. Once Jake’s out of the picture, Zach’s apology to Nathan Forrester leads to a long conversation, a kiss, and a chemistry that goes far beyond revenge sex. Nathan can’t help but fall for the sexy movie theater owner, but it’s a long way from sheet-tearing sex to mutual trust. And a series of “coincidences” that throws Zach into Jake’s company leaves him unconvinced Zach was the complete innocent in their previous love triangle. Zach can’t seem to make Nathan believe that Jake is up to something. But protesting his innocence isn’t working, and Jake’s carefully orchestrated campaign to destroy their love could leave them both with nothing…

139. Tanith Lee - Disturbed by Her Song (Lethe Press)
Gay, Fantasy

Disturbed By Her Song collects the work of Esther Garber and her half-brother Judas Garbah, the mysterious family of writers that Tanith Lee has been channeling for the past few years. Possibly autobiographical, frequently erotic and darkly surreal, their fiction takes place in a variety of eras and places, from Egypt in the 1940s, to England in the grip of the Pre-Raphaelites, to gaslit Paris and to the shadowy landscapes carved by the mind and memory. The themes of youth and age stream through these tales of homosexual love and desire. These stories recall, at times, the work of Lawrence Durrell, Colette, and Angela Carter.

140. Clare London - Blinded by Our Eyes (Carina Press)
Gay, Mystery / Thriller

London art dealer Charles Garrett has devoted his life to appreciating and acquiring beauty, both in art and in his companions. His fashionable life is rocked to the core when he discovers the body of a young artist, Paolo Valero, in a pool of blood in his gallery. As Paolo's mentor, Charles is haunted by the horror of his violent death. Seeking closure, he investigates Paolo's past and soon discovers a tangled web of motives and potential suspects, some closer to home than he ever imagined. He's drawn to Antony Walker, an aggressive, handsome sculptor with unsavory ties to Paolo. Charles is unsettled by Antony's forceful nature but irresistibly attracted to his passion and his art. When the evidence points toward Antony's guilt, Charles is thrown into emotional turmoil. Has he lost his heart to a killer?

andrew potter

Puppy Love 2: Building a Family by Jeff Erno

I had a strange fascination with the first book in the Puppy Love series even if I found some of its part a bit too much “strong” for me (all the watersports sex scenes were just too much); the strange thing of that book is that I want to recommend it, but I have always to warn people, and sincerely, I’m not sure of the feedback I will receive. In the end Puppy Love 1 still surprise me, since, all in all, even the most “conservative” people like it (and with conservative of course I meant traditional romance reader, who usually doesn’t like BDMS themed story).

I think that Jeff Erno has a very strong and original voice, something that it’s not easy to find around, and above all, he is not afraid to write the characters as he felt them; this is both an his own merit, but I think also of his publisher who basically doesn’t “edit out” the most controversial side of those characters. Puppy Love is not a restyled series to make it “accessible” and “comfortable” for the wide audience, it’s a full-fledged D/s story and it has not to make amend for being like that.

Another original aspect of this series is that Matt and Petey are in a deep D/s relationship without using the usual tinsels other stories and authors used to prove the point; right there is a collar, and there is a lovemaking that is for sure not “ordinary”, but Matt and Petey are a Dom and a sub because they chose to be, not since they dress the role. This is probably even more unsettling for the reader who is newby to the D/s world, since Matt and Petey are really living 24/7 their relationship, and for them it’s essential not only for their relationship but for their own well-being. Matt is not a Dom since he likes to be or he chooses between a role or another, he is a Dom since he was born like that; Petey is not a sub since he wants to please Matt or since he likes to be a cherished pet, he is a sub since he feels it deeply inside himself. Petey has really a concept of caste and social level, and he doesn’t really feel bad when Matt orders him around since for Petey it’s right, and normal, and good, Matt is a superior and like a superior he has the right to be on top. Even when Matt is wrong, or better when he is wrong for the common opinion of who is outside their relationship, Petey still thinks he is right, since Matt has never hidden who he is and what he thinks. Sincerely if you are an a**hole in plain light, for me this doesn’t mean you are not, but again, this is me and I’m not into that relationship.

A proof that Matt and Petey are born like that, Dom and sub, and that is not a choice but a need for them, is that they are really young. No one has taught them what to do or the boundaries of their relationship, they are learning together, from field experience. They have friends and some of them can give them advice, but in the end, they are building their own family, their own relationship, their own balance. Can be good, can be wrong, but it’s their choice.

I’m not sure I can say that I like Matt; I still cannot comprehend him and his choice. Since I have always had a soft spot for who, apparently, is the weaker man, I think I like better Petey, but still sometime I would like to shake him up. Probably I’m a bit like his sister, who loves him deeply, but cannot comprehend his brother’s choice; nevertheless the love is there.

Amazon: Puppy Love 2: Building a Family

Amazon Kindle: Puppy Love 2: Building a Family

1) Puppy Love:
2) Puppy Love 2: Building a Family

Reading List: