January 7th, 2011

Author Review: The Cat’s Meow by Sean Michael

The Cat’s Meow by Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere
Genre: M/M, GLBT, Erotic, Paranormal Romance
Length: 29 pages

Summary:

Cat shifter Maks is busy arguing with his sister when he’s happily saved by the bell. There’s a special delivery for him — an amazing statue of a cat-man that certainly calls to him. The statue isn’t the only thing that calls to him, though, Deke the delivery man makes puts all of Maks’ animal instincts on high alert. A little fun with the delivery man shouldn’t be a problem, as long as Maks can keep his teeth to himself, right?

Lea’s Review:

The Cat’s Meow is an interesting short story by Sean Michael. If you have not had the pleasure of reading Sean Michael’s books, let me share that they are always attention grabbing, sexy reads. Very often there is an element to the stories that causes the reader to look at some element of relationships with a fresh perspective.

In this story Maks, who happens to be a very unusual and horny cat shifter meets up with an equally enigmatic sculptor. When an unexpected delivery person appears at his door Maks is as interested in the delivery person as the statue he is delivering. Deke, the delivery man, is also attracted to Maks and fun ensues for the afternoon. As you read this story you will discover there are secrets within secrets and a terrific clincher right at the end.

This story gave me the sense of reading an introduction to a great new series. Whether Sean Michael will be writing a series based on these characters is unknown to me, but I will admit that I was greatly disappointed to realize I had come to the end of the story. I continued to scrolling down the last page hoping there would be more to read about these characters and their passionate draw for each other.

For those who enjoy a quick paranormal m/m story, The Cat’s Meow is, indeed, the cat’s meow. For those of you too young to be familiar with that phrase, it means this is a good story.

Rated # 3 1/2 Delightful Divas by Lea!

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November 18th, 2010

Author Review: Velvet Dragon by Sean Michael

Velvet Dragon by Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: GLBT, M/M, Erotic Romance, BDSM
Length: 142 pages

Review Copy Received from Publisher

Summary:

Serius is an expert in whipping; his beauty is a riding crop, but he’s an expert with all manner of whips, floggers and paddles. He’s also a man looking for someone special to be his sub; he believes in order, discipline, submission, but he also wants a challenge. When Hercules promises him the perfect sub in exchange for his working at the exclusive Velvet Glove, Serius believes it’s possible he just might find the man he’s looking for.

Dragonne has the appearance of the perfect sub, but the truth is he’s never truly submitted. He’s never been pushed past his boundaries, never had to use his safeword, never been broken. He has built a wall of control around his core, and wonders if anyone can breach it. Can these two men find what they’re looking for in each other?

Lea’s Review:

Velvet Dragon by Sean Michael is a pleasure to read and experience. This is the intimate love story of two men working through the process of deciding whether they have a chance to be right for one another; whether they can meet the other’s needs as well as their own.

The setting for this story is The Velvet Glove, a men’s BDSM club that is a large campus with living, dining, swimming and exercise facilities for staff as well as many scene rooms and play rooms of all variety for members and guests. Several of Sean Michael’s books take place in The Velvet Glove, and all are wonderful.

I appreciate that this story has as one of its main characters a dominant who is romance personified. Serius enjoys wielding riding crops and canes and Dragonne enjoys being the recipient of Serius’ proficient skills, but the larger story in Velvet Dragon centers around the gentle patience Serius displays in learning about Dragonne; what is of interest to him, who matters in his world, and what keeps him from the submission that he wants to give but has never been able to offer anyone. Without true submission, the relationship between the two men cannot work.

While erotic and sensual, the love making scenes in Velvet Dragon have less to do with raw sex and are instead a romantic and sensual give and take of learning what levels and intensity of sexuality and love are possible for Serius and Dragonne. The manner in which Serius puts Dragonne into what seem to be simple situations where he must submit built artfully through the story. At one point Serius has Dragonne place his hand over Serius’ heart so he can match his heartbeat; that simple act becomes tender and stirring in Sean Michael’s gifted writing. Even the simple acts of eating and drinking become wonderful erotic experiences in Velvet Dragon.

For those who enjoy BDSM and m/m romance, real romance, Velvet Dragon by Sean Michael is a fabulous book.

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by Lea!

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October 22nd, 2010

Author Review: Baked by Sean Michael

Baked by Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere
Genre: Gay Erotic Romance, Contemporary
Length: 351 pages / 63700 words

Review Copy Received from Publisher

Summary:

When his younger twin brothers Darius and Devin wreck everything in his life in just a few short days, big brother Clay decides to enlist the help of a friend. Bake is a top at a club called the Hammer, and knows just how to handle two subby boys, even if no one else can tell them apart. Bake is a twin himself, and knows about the special kind of bond that creates. Dare and Dev might be a little closer than Bake and his twin, Bean, have ever been, but that doesn’t stop him from understanding their needs.

Meanwhile, Bean meets their big brother Clay, who’s just back from his tour in the military, and thinks he’s found a treasure like nothing he’s ever seen. Clay isn’t into games, and Bean loves his straightforward style. What should be a perfect solution for all of the brothers, though, turns out to be more complicated than anyone expects. From family jealousy to threats they could never imagine, the boys will have to be tough to take on what life throws their way. Is there strength in numbers, or will both families be torn apart?

Lea’s Review:

Baked is both enjoyable and thought provoking.

It is the story of twins Baked (James) and Bean (Jacob), their friend Clay and his younger twin brothers Darius and Devin. There are many detailed sex scenes throughout this book and in addition to being enjoyable reading it becomes very important to the story line that a solid bonding between Baked, Darius and Devine has already formed when tragedy occurs.

The dynamic of twins is explored in Baked and I was spell-bound right from the start. One of the difficulties Darius and Devin face is that no one has ever been able to tell them apart, not even family, until Baked comes into their lives. He not only sees them in terms of being able to know who is who, but he sees them in terms of understanding how they are different emotionally and what each man needs. While Baked and Bean have a different dynamic as twin brothers, Baked still feels unsettled when Bean falls head over heels in love with Clay and seems to be pulling away.

This is the type of story that Sean Michael writes so well. For those who want plenty of m/m romance, it is there. For those interested in some mystery, that plot is there, too. And the insight into how both wonderful and difficult it must be to have an identical twin is explored in a very interesting manner.

For all Sean Michael fans, come and get it!

Rated 5 Ravens by Lea!

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October 8th, 2010

Author Review: Ghost: A Velvet Glove Story by Sean Michael

Ghost: A Velvet Glove Story by Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: M/M, GLBT, BDSM,  Erotic Romance, Science Fiction
Length: 65 pages / 13000 words

 Review Copy Received from Publisher

Summary:

When Velvet Glove submissive Ghost appears in Trip’s medical office, no one is quite sure what’s wrong with the young man. Ghost collapsed during a scene with a patron, and Trip has to decide if the kid is ill or if something deeper is going on.

Strangely drawn to the pale, silent Ghost, Trip discovers that there’s a lot more than meets the eye under the calm surface. When Ghost can’t go back to work for the club, Trip takes him in, letting their new relationship deepen, teaching Ghost to trust. Can Trip help Ghost learn to accept his gifts?

This Single Shot Classic was originally released as the Birthstone “Ghost: A Velvet Glove Story.”

Lea’s Review:

This is a short story about professional kindness and caring that becomes personal understanding, acceptance and love. With Ghost, Sean Michael has written an outstanding story in the Velvet Glove Series.

Ghost is a submissive at Velvet Glove with a reputation for being distant and cold, and Trip is the physician who takes care of Ghost after he falls into a coma in the middle of a scene. It soon becomes clear that Ghost is suffering from a condition not covered in medical school. Puzzled by the results of some of the tests he has conducted on Ghost, Trip’s kind heart and inquisitive mind lead him to explore less traditional thoughts about what may have happened.

Both Ghost and Trip are totally relatable characters. They are each in a circumstance where they are surrounded by people yet extremely lonely. Mal adds an interesting depth to the story. His first concern is taking care of Ghost after he collapses, protecting the club…and then figuring out how his Dom is going to hold him responsible after hearing about the events. At one point he seems skeptical of Ghost, then wary, and eventually accepting. I am feeling the need to find all the previous stories to learn more about Mal.

For those who enjoy sweet stories of discovery and love, you are sure to enjoy this quick read.

Rated 4 1/2 Ravens by Lea!

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October 3rd, 2010

Author Review: Marked by Sean Michael

Marked by Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: M/M, GLBT,  Erotic, Paranormal Paranormal
Length: 298 pages / 53600 words

Review Copy Received from Publisher

Summary:

Cody can’t help but watch Barker, even if he knows it’s stupid, especially around the full moon. Even with sunglasses to hide his deformity, though, he can’t keep Barker away from him, and he can’t manage to say no when Barker calls Cody “mine”. Barker has never agreed with the pack banishing Cody. So what if Cody doesn’t fit into the narrow confines of what the pack says is normal? He should never have let Cody go, and he’s not about to let his mate slip through his fingers again.

Full moon or not, Cody is not your average werewolf. When the pack finds out he’s back in town, the pack is concerned enough to stick their noses in. When they discover that Barker may have figured out how to solve Cody’s shifter problems, the situation turns dangerous. The pack wants to make sure Cody’s secret doesn’t affect their entire way of life. Can Barker keep Cody safe, and make his mate understand that they’re meant to be together?

Lea’s Review:

Sean Michael’s Marked is a book with great depth and emotion. Under the guise of paranormal romance, it is the story of overcoming the betrayal of those who should provide support and protection. It speaks to how difficult it is to trust and believe that one is loveable after having been abused and mistreated. It also brings to mind the question of the culpability of not only the leaders but all the members of a group that would allow an innocent young person to be turned away with disgust and disregard. Fortunately, it also speaks to the joy of learning to accept that one is loveable and loved and will never be alone again.

Cody was stuck, unable to complete the shift into his werewolf form. Just a young man when beaten and shunned by his pack, for ten long years he wandered in constant physical and mental pain, watching from afar the man who should have been his mate. Barker accepted that Cody was his mate. He felt shame that he wasn’t able to stand up for his mate at the time Cody was shunned and guilt that he hadn’t been able to protect or take care of him since that time.

As the story progressed I became more sympathetic to Barker’s situation with Cody. He was young and felt powerless when it all began and as time passed it was Cody who continued to run from their relationship. Barker accepted Cody just as he was, he hated the pain Cody endured but never hated Cody. Even after they were together for a while, Barker lived with the fear that he would wake up and Cody would be gone again.

I loved the scenes with Cody and Barker in the woods at the cabin. All through the book Sean Michael did a fabulous job of pulling the reader into the story to enjoy the surprise, the joy and, on occasion, the horror of this journey.

This book is definitely for those who enjoy both paranormal and m/m romance. It is a book that can be read for enjoyment but is sure to come to mind again as the messages of the book percolates through your system.

Rated 4 ½ Ravens by Lea!

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September 22nd, 2010

Author Review: Homecoming, A Jarheads Story by Sean Michael

Homecoming, A Jarheads Story by Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: M/M/M, GLBT, Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Length: 18 pages / 3100 words

Review Copy Received from Publisher

Summary:

Rig’s been away from home for three weeks, doing volunteer work in hurricane ravaged areas. He gets off the plane at LAX late at night and all he wants is to find the car rental desk so he can get home to his Marines. Lucky for him, Rock and Dick surprise him at the airport and whisk him away to welcomehim home as only they can.

This book is part of Torquere’s 2010 Charity Sip Collection. Twenty eight authors have written short fiction pieces, and have agreed to donate all proceeds of the sales of these stories to charitable organizations. Torquere Press Inc. will match the authors’ donations completely.

Kathy’s Review Review:

Homecoming, A Jarheads Story by Sean Michael is HOT!

Fans of the Jarhead series will love the latest glimpse into Rig, Rock, and Dick’s life. When Rig, Rock, and Dick reunite after three weeks apart, the welcome home sex is explosive. The love they feel for one another is easily demonstrated by Rig’s reluctance to leave again if he is needed, and Rock and Dig’s willingness to go with him if duty calls Rig away again.

Homecoming, A Jarheads Story by Sean Michael perfectly captures the spirit of military (and ex military) men and women. When duty calls, they answer regardless of their personal life. The separation from loved ones is never easy, but the Homecoming makes their sacrifice worthwhile.

Rated 4 1/2 Ravens by Kathy!

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