November 28th, 2015

andrew potter

Book Blast: Legal Briefs By Kyan Christopher

Legal Briefs (Bathhouse Stories 3) by Kyan Christopher
Series: Bathhouse Stories
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Surrendered Press (November 28, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 151946410X
ISBN-13: 978-1519464101
Amazon: Legal Briefs (Bathhouse Stories 3)
Amazon Kindle: Legal Briefs (Bathhouse Stories 3)


Book three can be read as a standalone, though characters from the first two do show up. Read books one and two for more information on them.

Josh works hard. Between school and an internship at an investment firm, he has little time and even less funds for an adventurous lifestyle. When a friend buys him a membership to a bathhouse, he encounters his knight in shining armor. But when his regular hookup seems to be too good to be true, suspicions and lies may end the relationship before it even starts.

Kimball’s law firm sends him to New Orleans to expand their Dallas law firm into the Crescent City. Deciding to have a little pleasure while in town for business, Kimball falls for a younger guy that he wants to spend time with. But living his life with secrets may prove to be his undoing, and moving to New Orleans to live out his happily-ever-after may become a distant dream.

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Meet the author: Kyan Christopher was born and raised in Louisiana. A southern boy who loves the city, he is a romantic at heart. Never thinking he would become an author, a fan fiction piece he wrote inspired a series that launched his desire to weave tales of passion and romance. Kyan is supported by his loving partner of 15 years. They live in the South with their three four-legged kids.

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Tour Dates & Stops: Parker Williams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Bayou Book Junkie, The Hat Party, Charley Descoteaux, Divine Magazine, Happily Ever Chapter, Havan Fellows, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews, Louise Lyons, MM Good Book Reviews, Velvet Panic, Jessie G. Books, Elisa - My Reviews and Ramblings, Kimi-Chan, Moonbeams Over Atlanta, The Jena Wade, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Andrew Q. Gordon, Mikky's World of Books, Hearts on Fire, Just Love Romance, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Unquietly Me, Bonkers About Books, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Iyana Jenna, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Three Books Over The Rainbow, V's Reads, Alpha Book Club

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Rabbits of the Apocalypse by Benny Lawrence

Rabbits of the Apocalypse by Benny Lawrence
Lesbian Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company (December 24, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939562740
ISBN-13: 978-1939562746
Amazon: Rabbits of the Apocalypse
Amazon Kindle: Rabbits of the Apocalypse

Rabbits of the Apocalypse is set in a not-too-distant future plagued with drought, human trafficking, rabid religious groups, and people who completely lack a sense of humor. What with all the hunger, chaos, sunstroke, landmines, and radiation it's hard to get by, and harder still to get laid. In the remote desert town of Lafontaine, Casey Prentice has been trying to survive the endtimes by keeping her head down and refusing to give a damn about anyone except her younger sister Emily and wingman Malice Hiroyama. But that ceases to be an option when a powerful and mysterious entity known as the Anastasian League descends on the town. Casey offers shelter to genius Pax, who is trying to escape the League. In doing so, she invites a whole new kind of danger into her life on top of a budding romance. The town of Lafontaine has a secret . . . and if the League discovers it, then the apocalypse will be the least of Casey's worries.

Rabbits of the Apocalypse is a bit unique with an interesting writing style. Normally, I'm not one that likes to read First Person manuscripts but found this one fascinating. The novel has an almost perverse sense of humor which was intriguing for such a depressing setting. I'm not sure if the story was meant to be serious, funny or both. Whether intentional or not, the author accomplished both. It will be interesting to read reviews from others once they have taken Benny Lawrence's journey into the future, and a strange journey, it is.

Rabbits of the Apocalypse is a story unlike any other I've read, bursting with sass and heart. I laughed, I teared up, and I sank deep into the world of narrator Casey Prentice. Casey's unique flaws and talents set her apart, and her pluck and nihilism constantly vie for supremacy as the apocalyptic wasteland in which she lives grinds her down. The twists are good, and the sparky, witty dialogue and narration is even better. Any fan of dystopian fiction and devil-may-care protagonists owes it to themselves to read this book.

This book sucked me in… it was great.

Very good post-apocalyptic science fiction novel with believable world-building and engaging characters. Lawrence goes a really nice job with character voice as well.

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Groom Of Convenience by Vicktor Alexander

Groom Of Convenience (Scandalous Whispers Of The Remmington Realm) by Vicktor Alexander
Transgender Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 17, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632161133
ISBN-13: 978-1632161130
Amazon: Groom Of Convenience (Scandalous Whispers Of The Remmington Realm)
Amazon Kindle: Groom Of Convenience (Scandalous Whispers Of The Remmington Realm)

In an alternate universe, in the country of Angland, 1814, the gentry live lives of culture and class. It is a time of courtships, marriages of convenience, and titles, where scandal can ruin an entire family. Gender lines are blurred, and making a good match is of utmost importance. Children are born to men and women, which has led to the acceptance of same-sex marriages.

Lady Lucien Timothy Hawthorne is shocked and angry when he is betrothed against his will to Lord Heathcliff Eddington, III, the Duke of Pompinshire. While drowning his frustration at a popular gentleman's club, he meets "Robert," a gorgeous older man whom he sleeps with as "Timmy," regardless of the potential damage to his reputation.

After their liaison, Lucien corresponds with Robert via letters left at Remmington, and they decide to elope. Before they can get away, Lucien meets his betrothed, Heathcliff, who he is surprised to discover is also his beloved, Robert. Both men desire a marriage of the heart, but they find out that sometimes a marriage of convenience can turn into love under the right circumstances. But Lucien has a secret, and Tlondon isn't as safe as they once thought.

I have never read a novel like this one before, so it took me a moment to get a feel of the different style of life and time period this was set.  Once I had an understanding, everything flowed fairly well. If this were a series, I would definitely want to read more of it.

This was such a remarkable read, with such imagination and innovation in its presentation of gender. Yes, it can get confusing, but I think that is the point. In trying to decipher and keep track of the genders and roles here, we see how foolish and short-sighted a binary system really is. Compared to a contemporary romance the plot is a bit slow, but it actually fits the Regency style, and I enjoyed the leisurely pace. I loved the twist on the m-preg kink, and thought it really brought the characters together, and as uncomfortable as it made me, I understood why the rape scene was there.

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Strength to Let Go by Alina Popescu

Strength to Let Go (Tales of the Werewolf Tribes, Book One) by Alina Popescu
Gay Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing (July 7, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Strength to Let Go (Tales of the Werewolf Tribes, Book One)

After being abandoned by his mates, Shiki Kirishima, beta of the Dragons of the Fang werewolf tribe, returns to his home in Tokyo.
Crippled by grief, Shiki decides to end it all by going into the territory of the Siberian Killers tribe and challenging them to a battle to the death.
His death.
Ganzorig, beta of the Siberian Killers, however, sees the potentially disastrous consequences of having Shiki die in battle.
Instead, he saves him.
Having suffered loss himself, Ganz takes it upon himself to help Shiki deal with his pain.
Blake, Shiki’s best friend since childhood, is as determined to show him there is life after a wolf’s ultimate loss.
Could there also be something ‘more’ for them after friendship?

What a nice, fresh, new take on the wolf-shifter meets his mate trope, and the best friends-to-lovers trope. I really enjoyed this story, I loved the way the author fills us in on details from the past throughout the length of the story, rather than just giving a huge info dump. This is good because I sort of felt as if I were missing something at the beginning of the book, as if there was another book I'd missed so I checked the title once again to make sure and found out that it was book one in this series, so having things explained as time went on was great because it answered questions, rounded out the different characters, developing many of them from being just 2d creatures into being fully formed 3d people. However, there were times when I feel as if the flashbacks were repetitive and with each flashback it seemed as if the editing suffered for a bit before straightening out. The scenes were all described beautifully, and I felt as if I were actually there. But regardless of that, I must admit to a bit of disappointment that the reasoning behind Kayden and Keiran leaving Shiki in the callous way that they did, left me slightly unsatisfied. While in real life one does not always receive closure, I at least wanted it for Shiki. However, it's only the first book, so we'll see what happens later in the series. With all of that, it was still a beautiful story about survival after losing who you thought was the love(s) of your life, moving past that, seeing the truth of your relationship and them, and being open to love, laughter, and living again, because there are people who care and you never know whom you may find right around the corner. 

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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Lead Me Not by Ann Gallagher

Lead Me Not by Ann Gallagher
Gay Contemporary General Fiction
Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (August 24, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1626492786
ISBN-13: 978-1626492783
Amazon: Lead Me Not

Isaac Morris has devoted his life to preaching against the sin of homosexuality. But when his sister proposes a documentary to demonstrate once and for all that it's a choice-with Isaac choosing to be gay as proof-he balks. Until he learns his nephew is headed down that perverted path. Isaac will do anything to convince the teenager he can choose to be straight . . . including his sister's film. When Isaac's first foray into the gay lifestyle ends with a homophobic beating, he's saved and cared for by Colton Roberts, a gentle, compassionate bartender with a cross around his neck. Colton challenges every one of Isaac's deeply held beliefs about gay men. He was kicked out by homophobic parents, saved from the streets by a kind pastor, and is now a devout Christian. Colton's sexuality has cost him dearly, but it also brought him to God.

As the two grow closer, everything Isaac knows about homosexuality, his faith, and himself is called into question. And if he's been wrong all along, what does that mean for his ministry, his soul, his struggling nephew-and the man he never meant to love?

This wonderful sappy work is narrated from the third person point of view of both our protagonists:  Isaac and Colton.  Since both men are dealing with their demons there is no other better way to express their love story than to see it from their respective points of view.  Themes like parental rejection are very well presented.  Colton would go to his parents' tomb to ask for forgiveness for being gay - even though it's quite clear that it was the parents who failed the son:  "The thing is, our parents are the core of our worlds from the time we're children.  Given the opportunity, for better or worse, children - even as adults - will forgive their parents faster and more often than they will anyone except their own children"  (Isaac tells Colton as he counsels Colton that what he really need to do is forgive himself.) On coming out:  "The night I came out, all I wanted was for my family to know I'd figured out who I was.  I didn't expect everything to change.  I didn't set out to be defined by it.  But I am.  Everything in my life for the last twelve years is defined by being gay." (Colton tells Isaac why he came out.) Low self esteem:  "The thing is, after my own parents turned me away, I was sure no one would ever love me again.  I didn't know if they'd ever loved me."  (Colton tells Isaac why he has such a hard forming a relationship.) On whether homosexuality is a choice:  "Tonight felt...bigger than it should have been.  Like it was something inevitable that we've been moving toward for...for I don't know how long.  Like God was moving us toward tonight, and when tonight happened, it wasn't something I could chose or deny.  It just was."  (Isaac tells Colton on the first night they spend together.) Pastor Mike and Isaac hold a long discussion (Chapter 17) as to the validity of the Bible and as to whether it actually condemns homosexuals, transgenders, and masturbation.  Personally, I give the Bible as much validity as I give any other fairy tale, but for the sake of the work at hand, according to Pastor Mike:  transgenders are afflicted by a sin that "manifests as a mind whose gender is mismatched to its body," The story of Onan, which is used to condemn masturbation, "when Onan was condemned for 'spilling his seed upon the ground' it wasn't because he'd masturbated...he was for being disobedient to the Lord and for refusing to honor his dead brother" giving his widowed sister in law an heir, as the law required.  Sodom and Gomorra were destroyed for being inhospitable and for raping their guests.  Leviticus:  if you obeyed every rule in Leviticus, you could not wear a polyester blend, shave, or eat seafood.  Eagles and storks would be abominations also.  And finally the tale of the Centurion and his slave where Jesus cured the slave because the Centurion was in "love" with him - a very controversial passage that some people interpret as Jesus condoning homosexuality. I believe Ms. Gallagher has created a very important work and should be required reading for all high schools.  Not only it's wonderful read - I did shed some tears and could barely put the book down - but also, I believe it would make the world a better place.

Okay I really did not expect to like this book. And for a good part of it I was so damn annoyed with the damnation talk. I should have trusted that the author (who I love other works by) wouldn't write something like what I thought  i was reading. The evolution of Colton and Issac was beautiful. I don't know if I would read it again but it was a very touching and beautiful story about accepting who you are regardless of what others tell you you should do with your life.

Wow - I cried with this.  The tension and angst was wonderful.

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Love for the Cold-Blooded by Alex Gabriel

Love for the Cold-Blooded Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero by Alex Gabriel
Gay Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (January 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1505695988
ISBN-13: 978-1505695984
Amazon: Love for the Cold-Blooded Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero
Amazon Kindle: Love for the Cold-Blooded Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero

Superheroes. Evil minions. And one hell of a conflict of interest. Being related to a supervillain isn’t a big deal to Pat West. So what if his mom occasionally tries to take over the world? All Pat wants is to finish university and become an urban designer. That he moonlights as an evil minion sometimes – that’s just a family tradition. Then Pat accidentally sleeps with superhero Silver Paladin, otherwise known as reclusive billionaire Nick Andersen. It’s a simple misunderstanding. Pat never means to impersonate a prostitute, honest. But soon Pat is in way over his head, and threatening to fall for the worst possible guy. When Pat’s mother returns to bring the world to its knees, Silver Paladin races to stop her… and all of Pat’s secrets threaten to blow up in his face. How can Pat reconcile being a minion with wanting a hero? Will Nick’s feelings for Pat overcome what keeps them apart? Or will they both lose everything?

A light, imaginative, and fun book that is warmer at heart than I expected. Sure, you have to suspend disbelief to enter this cartoon world of superheroes and villains – excuse me, challengers. But the main characters are surprisingly human in their flaws and desires, the humor is clever, and the plot has unexpected twists. This made a delightful lightweight break from my favorite angsty reads, while still giving me two men I enjoyed spending time with, and romance to cheer on to its happy ending.

I laughed so much during this book.  What a great, light read. 

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andrew potter

2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: All Queers Must Die by Antonio

All Queers Must Die by Antonio
Gay Contemporary General Fiction
Publication Date: March 7, 2015
Amazon Kindle: All Queers Must Die

In a world where no one is who they seem to be and everybody has secrets… how do you find the truth?
Maynard Shores, Florida is an exclusive beachfront town where the rich and beautiful come to live out their fantasies. Fun in the sun, and hot nights filled with passion are to be expected in a locale that caters to every sexual taste and preference. But danger lurks behind the shores’s glittering facade. The price for indulging in one of the area’s newest pleasures could be high—very high. A dangerous new designer drug has been introduced to the scene and partaking of it could be deadly. Its effects have already been profoundly felt by one newcomer to the area.
The luxurious Maynard Shores Beachfront Resort is the place to stay, and home base for handsome and fit Bart Farrow, a man determined to get to the truth of what is going on in Maynard Shores. Using an alias, he arrives at the resort to train for the position of manager in order to spy on both guests and workers. All of whom seem to have agendas of their own. He’ll find himself forced to use some of their own tricks against them, even if it means trading his body for secrets and romancing foes for vital information. Lives are on the line, and loyalties are tested as time begins to run out. The cryptic message “All Queers Must Die” was found on resort property and, as a gay man, Bart is determined to find its author. Along with the help of some old and new friends, he’ll shine a light on the shadow world existing alongside the bright, glistening lights of Maynard Shores… before more lives are put at risk.

This is a very interesting mystery that will keep you guessing until the end.  I loved the little twists and turns in the story.  Be prepared for some OMG moments.

I'm usually very good at being able to figure out who is the ultimate villain in most books and on television shows and movies, but while reading this story I kept changing my mind. I think that is the mark of truly spectacular writing. I think also, the scenes that makes the reader shift in their seat, rather from being uncomfortable, wary, aroused at the most inopportune time, that shows brilliance. While I was confused-and I do mean, confused, at the beginning of the book, it didn't take long for all of that to clear up. The characters were all engaging. I hated the ones I was supposed to hate, loved the ones I was supposed to love, and the ones whom were the wild cards I moved from one column to the other constantly. This was a fascinating story, with the setting brilliantly described, and even with the few editing errors, I was pulled into the story and it did not let go until the very end when everything was solved, revealed, and my first thoughts about what was going on (and who was the villain) were proven correct (HELL YEAH!).

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