January 17th, 2011

andrew potter

Leather Nights by Patricia Logan

Sometime reading this book I had the thought swirling in my mind, wow, isn’t it a bit too much? Too much instant-love, too much sudden passion, too much feelings, too much romance… and then I realized I was slightly complaining of what I usually complain is overlooked in the romance genre. Maybe my odd reaction was due to the fact that the two main characters are both hot and hunky men, and then I realized that I was a snob: why hot and hunky men can’t be overly romantic? After all, that was the same first reaction I had to a G.A. Hauser’s book, and we well know how she became an icon of the M/M genre, and so my advice is, if you like her genre, probably you will like also this novel.

Let me explain a little the points that in a way I both like and let me perplexed: Jake is a recently widower with two teenager kids; he had the perfect 2.5 family, a soccer mom wife and a high-paid job in finance; he was happy and thought nothing could go wrong; but economy and cancer took away from him both job than wife and now he is relocating in Texas, where a distant relative left him a ranch. All right, how nice and convenient that at the same time he is losing his Californian mansion, he inherited a full-paid ranch-style home in Texas. Not only that but he is able to work from home, so that he can take care of his two kids. Well, Jake is a very lucky man.

As soon as he steps into town, he meets wet-dream hot-biker Native-American Cade, the dad of one of his daughter’s schoolmates. Now Jake was never gay, aside from some experimenting in college with his roommate (and that is another thing I’d like to understand: Jake married at 19 years old and had the first son at 22; but he said he has never cheated on his wife… so when the experimenting happened? Between 17 and 19 years old I suppose), but as soon as he sees Cade, he falls over heels for the hot-man and it’s not long that the two are speaking of love and using tender nick-names. If I want to find a logical reason for this sudden turn of Jake from mourning widower to starry-eyed lover, I can only think that he was so much in love with his wife that he cannot bear the thought to have another woman in his life, and so he is able to truly love again only someone who is completely different from his wife. And sincerely as second best option Cade is a hell-hot of choice.

But for the two lovers things are not easy with the townsfolk. This is the last point that rang a bit strange on my ears, Cade was living in the small-town apparently without much trouble, he has good friends, a thriving business, and even temporary boyfriends (never lasting long truth be told). But as soon as he got serious with a man, people in the town cry scandal. Again what I can think is that, as far as Cade was more or less adopting a Don’t tell Don’t ask philosophy, and his partners were passing strangers, or closeted men, then the townsfolk was happy to ignore him. An open relationship with another single, and male, parent was not acceptable.

As my reference to the love at first sight point and the similarity to the Hauser’s novel could let you think, there is plenty of sex in the novel, and also very “vocal”: the two men like to talk and like to get messy, always of course remembering that they have teenager kids around, and so late morning sex, while the children are at school, is a must. Indeed their being parents, and having a family, is another strong point of the story, and another lucky point for them: I would bet every parent would like to have such wonderful kids like Grace, Thad and Sparrow, maybe they seem a little too old for their age, but that is probably due to the drama they have witnessed at such young age.


Amazon Kindle: Leather Nights
Publisher: Screwdriver (August 25, 2010)

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

Mate Dance (Dragonmen 3) by Amber Kell

Mate Dance had the feeling of an old fashioned romance or comedy, like The Prince and the Showgirl with Marilyn Monroe. And as in those old fashioned comedies, while it was clear that the relationship between prince charming and cinderfella is far from being innocent, it’s not that the sex is so imposing to eat the story.

Raven is a successful ballet dancer who is losing the “passion”; he is still good, and dance is still his favourite pleasure, but he has not more the thrill to perform. Right the night when he is thinking that he has to take a turn in his life he meets Trisha, a scared little girl whose grandmother was killed in the street and she has no one who can take care of her, at least at the moment. As soon as the police intervenes, they discover that Trisha is the love-child of Prince Kaemon, a dragon shifter, and that both the Prince than the King want Trisha with them, above all since Kaemon is gay and Trisha will probably the only heir he will ever have.

When Kaemon meets Raven, the Prince recognizes in him his mate, but he doesn’t want to scare him off; he decides to use the attachment Raven developed for his daughter Trisha to convince him to spend some time at the palace. Of course, being Raven and Kaemon both gays, and Raven far from being a shy virgin, he is sharing Kaemon’s bed from night one. But temporarily sharing a bed is way different from sharing your life and renouncing to your independency.

Actually this is apparently Raven’s only issue; that Kaemon is a prince, and that maybe Raven is not at the same level is apparently no problem at all, and this gives you an idea of the self-esteem Raven has of himself. That is quite a good thing, since I really don’t like so much the shy virgin damsel in distress. And by the way Prince Kaemon is not exactly a knight in shining armor, but more a spoiled princeling that is still depending from his father: most of Kaemon’s important decision are taken by his father, that luckily for Kaemon, is a good man and seems to have Kaemon’s interests at heart.

Nice and good novella, fast but with a care in details that I notice this author is gaining story after story.


Amazon Kindle: Dragonmen 3: Mate Dance
Publisher: Literary Road Press (April 10, 2010)

Series: Dragonmen
1) Mate Hunt: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/594172.html
2) Mate Test
3) Mate Dance

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

Best Characters (3° place): Illusion of Night by C.J. Black

The first impression I had of this book was the contrast with the yaoi style cover (even if the characters are all-over western type) and the almost savage romance content of the book. If you are not used to my passion for old romances, maybe you don’t know what exactly a savage romance is: a genre that was pretty popular in the ’70 and ’80 to then going into almost oblivion. In the savage romance there was usually a spirited heroine (here is a fair hero) who is kidnapped by the dark stranger, the hero, and they fight for most part of the book, until the fair hero finds out that the dark hero is not so bad after all, and that he has his reason to kidnapping him, and that, well, it’s better to make love than to make war. An homemade Stockholm syndrome is maybe at the base of this turn in the romance, but we romance lovers are good hearts, and our explanation is always love.

What is probably strange is that the author managed to make of these quite stereotype characters, two original heroes, and it was not simple, since the M/M fantasy romance, recalling a medieval setting, is something that is pretty common now. But indeed C.J. Black was good in that, so good that this book won 3° place as Best Characters in the Rainbow Awards, and I can assure you that the judges reading it were not easy to please. Probably the author managed such success since she didn’t over killed the setting with too much details, just enough to give an idea of darkness and danger, to recreate this world that was an antechamber of Hell. She then proceeded with the characters, again giving enough details for the reader to imagine them, but not boring him. Of course this is a fantasy, and fantasy stories are not known for being short: this novel counts more than 250 pages, and they are in small characters, so if you like a good development of story and characters, you will find both here.

The second most important aspect of the novel was the chemistry between Dane and Vanlyn, and here probably the yaoi elements make their brief, and only, appearance in a novel that has mostly, as I said, its roots in the western fantasy romance genre: these characters are, after all, two men in love and the sex is an essential part of their life; the sex is also a way to link the dark Dane to the fair Vanlyn, a way to bring light in his life; Dane set out with the idea to seduce Vanlyn and to use him as a pawn, but I think that in the end, he was the seduced one, and that is again another pretty common element of the old savage romance.

To summarize I think this was a pretty good fantasy romance, and for is to say a lot since (and yes, I know you are tired to hear it) fantasy is not really my cup of tea, but savage romance was, and a lot ;-)


Amazon Kindle: Illusion Of Night
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books (June 14, 2010)

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by P.L. Nunn