January 14th, 2012

Author Review: Cereus: Building by Sean Michael, Julia Talbot, and BA Tortuga

Cereus: Building by Sean Michael, Julia Talbot, and BA Tortuga
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: GLBT, M/M, Paranormal, Erotic Romance
Length: 195 pages

Summary:

What happens when a besieged and rather small dragon comes to a vampire and says, “I need your help.” Or when that vampire comes to a werewolf and says, “I have a job for you.” The vampire goes and builds a resort for things that go bump in the night, of course. Riding the wave of Julia Talbot’s Bloodrose series, the multi-author Cereus: Building features paranormal romance from three of Torquere Press’ most-loved authors. The stories move from vampire Jonny’s city club to a new luxury getaway in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, where pleasure and pain are the name of the game.

Julia Talbot’s It’s Elemental features construction contractor Chayton, a werewolf who thinks demon decorator Kenny is a little fussy, and a lot hot. They argue about everything from feng shui to sex. Will they be able to resolve their differences? The Third Course, by BA Tortuga tells the story of Marco and Stephan, werecats, brothers, and chefs who meet their match in head-bartender Faelan, who just happens to be a growly, sexy Top. Finally, Sean Michael’s Smoke and Gold follows the head dominant of the club, Zee, who’s dealing with trying to get his playrooms just so, and trying to figure out maddening dragon Daniel at the same time. Who can resist loving a dragon?

Lea’s Review:

Cereus: Building is the work of three extraordinary writers, Julia Talbot, BA Tortuga, and Sean Michael. The book’s central premise is that of the building of a deluxe BDSM club, open to all manner of male paranormals, no full-blooded humans need apply. Each writer tells the story of characters who meet, develop relationships and work to overcome adversity as the building of the club progresses. They each also weave into their own story a bit about the characters and situations introduced in the other two stories. I don’t believe I have ever read a better synthesis of ideas and continuity of characters in a book with more than one author.

There is a richness in the depth and breadth of the stories in Cereus: Building. The characters include werewolves, werecats, demons, elementals, dragons, vampires and most every other paranormal you might name. There are lovely glimpses into a bit of shamanism, some precognition, quite a bit of magic, a great deal of love, a whole lot of humor, and a ton of very hot sex. While the primary setting is the building site of the over-the-top luxurious resort/ club, each story also has the additional settings of the surrounding woodlands, the rustic cabins of some of the employees and even a dragon’s cave to enhance the story line. And, even with all this diversity, it flows smoothly and there exists a unifying theme and very solid message about unconditional love, acceptance, forgiveness and the strength to be found in our differences.

For those readers already fans of Julia Talbot, BA Tortuga, or Sean Michael, let me assure you that you are going to love this book! For those just stepping into the world of reading paranormal or male/male romance, welcome, and may I say this is absolutely a must read for you.

In these days of financial austerity, I would also add this: not only is Cereus: Building a well written, and truly enjoyable read, you are getting three complete stories by three well known authors, just shy of 200 pages, for the price of one book. How’s that for a bargain?

This is a wonderful book. Don’t miss it!

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by Lea!

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January 4th, 2012

Author Review: Crate Trained by Julia Talbot

Crate Trained by Julia Talbot
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, GLBT, M/M
Length: 14 pages

Summary:

Gary knows that anonymous cruising is dangerous, but he never expects for a night out to end in a painful bite that won’t seem to heal. His cop roommate Chey knows that bite is even more dangerous than Gary imagines. Can he convince Gary that he needs to take some precautions before it’s too late?

Barb Manning’s Review:

Crate Trained by Julia Talbot is part of Torquere Press’ short story series, A Sip. The characters are likable and the story is interesting. I hope this is going to be the beginning of a new, longer story, since much of the back-story is missing.

Crate Trained is a brief look into the possible relationship between Gary and Chey, two roommates. It leaves some key questions unanswered in revealing just what happens to Gary when he ventures out to a gay bar alone looking for a hook-up.

The pace of the short story is frenetic and the writing is strong. Ms. Talbot is a good teller of tales. The scenes between Chey and Gary are passionate and fun. Crate Trained is a nice tease.

Rated 3.5 Ravens by Barb Manning!

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October 28th, 2010

Author Review: Just a Cowboy by Julia Talbot

Just a Cowboy by Julia Talbot
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: M/M Erotic Romance, Contemporary, GLBT
Length: 141 pages / 22300 words

Review Copy Received from Publisher

Summary:

Dalton is a young cowboy running from a secret, one he doesn’t think he can be forgiven for. Herschel is just a thirty-something cowboy who thinks everyone deserves a second chance. Herschel hires Dalton to work on his ranch, knowing the kid needs all the confidence and TLC Hersch can give.

Herschel might just be the best thing that has ever happened to Dalton. He’s worried about his past, but finally decides to trust in the future. Just when he’s about to tell Herschel everything, all hell breaks loose. Will Herschel be able to help Dalton face his past, or will they both end up alone?

Kathy’s Review:

Just a Cowboy by Julia Talbot captures the qualities and values that lie at the heart of a cowboy.

Herschel gave up rodeoing to work the family ranch when his sister breaks her leg. His latest hire, Dalton Crealy quickly catches his eye, and their easy friendship slowly evolves into a more serious relationship. Dalton’s hope that he has finally outrun his past comes crashing down when his sister, Shayanne, shows up Herschel’s ranch. But is he ready to reveal his secrets to Herschel?

Just a Cowboy is a startlingly accurate depiction of the cowboy world. Herschel’s and Dalton’s dialogue resonates with such authenticity the reader is quickly transported into life on the ranch. Herschel and Dalton are well developed three dimensional characters that Ms. Talbot brings vividly to life. Herschel and Dalton’s relationship unfolds at a realistic and unhurried pace.

The maturity and depth of Ms. Talbot’s characters is apparent throughout the novel. Herschel and Dalton are secure enough in their relationship to withstand the problems facing them. They communicate with one another, and they don’t leap to wild conclusions when faced with adversity.

With an accurate portrayal of cowboys and their way of life, Just a Cowboy by Julia Talbot quickly engages the reader. Herschel and Dalton are wicked sexy and their lovemaking is passionate yet achingly tender. You don’t want to miss this wonderful book.

Rated 4.5 Ravens by Kathy!

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September 21st, 2010

Author Review: You Don't Need a Doctor by Julia Talbot

You Don’t Need a Doctor by Julia Talbot
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: M/M, GLBT, Paranormal, Erotic Romance
Length: 3500 words

Review Copy Received from Publisher

Summary:

When a gunshot victim comes into Alan’s ER, he jokes that this guy doesn’t need a doctor, he needs a veterinarian. As he keeps working, though, the patient seems to be getting less hairy and less hurt. All except for the bullet wound that’s now festering badly. Alan is shocked when his patient seems to miraculously heal as soon as he removes the bullet. He’s even more shocked when the guy turns up at his house later to offer a very personal thank you.

Can he figure out Shiloh’s secret before it’s too late?

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.

Lea’s Review:

You Don’t Need a Doctor is a very funny short story about an ER doctor who has a rather unusual medical situation develop with a patient. A few days later the patient has an even more unusual way of thanking the doctor for his assistance. To say more would be to ruin the fun of the story.

I wonder what it says about me that I had no problem believing the paranormal parts of the story but shook my head at the thought that a patient, no matter how fast or what the species, could escape from a hospital without being stopped by the paperwork people. LOL

This is a light quick read, just right for lunchtime or an evening treat.

Rated 4 ½ Ravens by Lea!

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