Author Review: Too Hot To Handle by L.C. Dean

Too Hot to Handle by L.C. Dean Publisher: Decadent Publishing Genre: GLBT, M/M, Contemporary, Erotic Romance Length: 26 pages Summary: Why the hell do I torture myself? Sitting in the sun and hiding a hard-on from his best friend is not Tucker’s idea of fun. He’d rather drink beer and fantasize than destroy what he and Jase have. A good fuck between friends, what the hell’s wrong with that? Heat and lust make a man do crazy shit, but Jase intends to prove he and Tuck can be lovers and friends. When desire flares under the Texas summer sun, will it burn too hot to handle. Barb Manning’s Review: Too Hot to Handle is a short story, less than 30 pages, by L.C. Dean about two young friends who find themselves spending time alone together during a very hot spell in Texas. Tuck is gay, while Jase is not sure. The story focuses on one afternoon and evening when their relationship could change for better or worse. L.C. Dean turns out a passionate and steamy interlude with plenty of drama. Jase is the brawn, while Tuck is the nerdy geek. The two characters are well-matched and clearly care about each other. This is a couple of guys you wouldn’t mind getting to know better. The build up to the story conclusion is not without surprises and not rushed. Too Hot to Handle is well-written with attention to detail. It would be nice to see what, if anything, develops between Jase and Tuck in the future. Too Hot to Handle is short and worthy of 4 ravens. Some short stories... Read more

Author Review: Nate’s Deputy by Lavinia Lewis

Nate’s Deputy by Lavinia Lewis Series: Shifters’ Haven, Book #5 Publisher: Total E-Bound Publishing Genre: GLBT, M/M, Paranormal, Erotic Romance Length: 128 pages Summary: Werewolf Nate Stanford is riddled with guilt over his brother Rick’s death…so much so that when he meets his mate—Deputy Sheriff Jared Ambrose—he rejects him, believing he is not good enough for Jared and not worthy of being loved. The only thing that matters to him is buying his childhood home in honor of his brother’s memory. Since their father died, Jared Ambrose has taken on responsibility for his younger brother, whose drinking binges are constantly getting him into trouble. Jared’s only hope of saving his brother is finding them a place they can call home. Jared wants to make Sheriff, but believes he’ll never be elected if the residents of his new town find out he is gay. When he realizes Nate is his mate, he knows it’s not possible for them to be together. But trouble in their small town and unrest in the supernatural council force them together and make them question their decisions. Can these two stubborn men conquer their demons and overcome all obstacles to carve out a life together? Barb Manning’s Review: Nate’s Deputy is the fifth book in Lavinia Lewis’ Shifters’ Haven series. It’s a standalone story about two strong-willed gay werewolf shifters, Nate Stanford and Deputy Jared Ambrose. Nate’s Deputy focuses on life in the small town of Wolf Creek, New Mexico and the activities of its denizens. Jared is looking to find a home for him and his troubled younger brother, Tristan; while Nate’s want to... Read more

Author Review: Solitary, a Hammer novel by Sean Michael

Solitary, a Hammer novel by Sean Michael Publisher: Torquere Press Genre: GLBT, M/M, BDSM, Contemporary, Erotic Romance Length: 174 pages Summary: Greg’s on a downward spiral. He broke his back a few years into a promising stunt career, then his master died shortly after they began living a BDSM lifestyle together. He’s just lost. So lost, that he can’t keep a Master for more than two weeks. So lost that he’s been arrested several times and is this close to winding up in jail. So lost that Master Oliver doesn’t know what to do with him anymore. In desperation, Oliver calls on his friend Appleton who lives in isolation in Northern Canada. Ap enjoys working with subs, and has both the time and the inclination to work with a lost soul like Greg. Not to mention, there’s no way to get into legal trouble or run away from Ap’s house given its location. So, Ap takes Greg in, hoping to help Greg find his center and himself again. Will Greg find what he needs with Ap? Or will he find so much more? Find out in this latest addition to Sean Michael’s Hammer Club series. Barb Manning’s Review: Solitary: A Hammer Novel by Sean Michael is a sweet novel that’s part of the long-running Hammer BDSM series. The main characters Greg and Ap are immediately sympathetic and engaging. Solitary deals with the development of Ap and Greg’s relationship as Dom and sub. Greg comes to Ap with some serious emotional baggage. A fractured and beaten-down spirit leaves him unable to keep a Dom for more than a couple of... Read more

Author Review: Shibari Auction House: Alec by Sean Michael

Shibari Auction House: Alec by Sean Michael Publisher: Changeling Press Genre: GLBT, M/M, BDSM, Contemporary, Erotic romance Length: 54 pages Summary: Experienced sub Alec is back at the Shibari Auction House to sell two more years of his time after his master of ten years turns him in for a “newer model.” Novice Top Benj can’t believe anyone would throw the lovely Alec away or complain that he’s too old and snaps Alec up for twice the asking price. Could it be both men are looking for more than a sale and some fun, and is it possible they’ll find it together? Barb Manning’s Review : Shibari Auction House: Alec is the second installment in Sean Michael’s Shibari Auction House BDSM series. It’s a short story that focuses mainly upon the two main characters Benj, the new Dom and Alec, an experienced sub. The two young men meet during an auction at Shibari House. Alec is selling his services for two years and Benj is looking for a new sub. This Dom/sub pair has some problems to overcome from the outset. Alec, while an experienced sub, is unsure of himself after his former Master rejected him. On the other hand, Benj is not an experienced Dom. The two have good chemistry, though. There’s an immediate attraction. Mr. Michael builds the sexual tension between the pair with skill. This is a brief story, but it’s not an unfinished story. By the end of Shibari Auction House: Alec, it’s clear where these two men are going in their relationship. Sean Michael is light-handed with the BDSM life-style. Much of Shibari Auction... Read more

Author Review: Artistic Pursuits by Andrew Grey

Artistic Pursuits by Andrew Grey Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Genre: GLBT, M/M, Contemporary, Erotic Romance Length: 200 pages Summary: Frank Jennings is an FBI agent looking for redemption. Leslie Carlton is an Interpol agent looking for a thief. Attraction flares from the moment they meet on a case searching for a stolen triptych of unique Tiffany windows, but after a single night of stunning passion, Leslie is called back to London to continue his search there. When the case heats up again, Leslie returns to the States—and to Frank—but their investigation is complicated by their tumultuous feelings. Is it possible for two dedicated detectives to pursue each other while they’re tracking down stolen art and the unscrupulous man who steals it? Barb Manning’s Review: Andrew Grey’s Artistic Pursuits is a gay romance between FBI Detective Frank Jennings and Interpol Agent Leslie Carlton. The two men come together in the aftermath of a high stakes art theft of three fabulous Tiffany windows. Their attraction is powerful and immediate. While they’re chasing down leads and rounding up suspects, Frank and Les find themselves dealing with strong and unprofessional feelings for one another. Andrew Grey weaves a taught tale; managing to keep the heist front and center of Artistic Pursuits while never losing focus on the budding relationship between Frank and Les. He deals with the mechanics of working on high-profile crimes, as well as the politics involved with much skill. The pacing in Artistic Pursuits is fast, but smooth. Frank and Les move on the stage with purpose, both demonstrating skill as investigators pursuing their nemesis. It’s entertaining to watch them plot... Read more

Author Review: Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane

Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Genre: GLBT, Contemporary, M/M, Erotic Romance Length: 320 pages Summary: Chase Summers: Golden boy. Beautiful girlfriend, good friends, and a promising future. Nobody knows the real Chase. Chase Summers has a razor blade to his wrist and the smell of his lover’s goodbye clinging to his skin. He has a door in his heart so frightening he’d rather die than open it, and the lies he’s used to block it shut are thinning with every forbidden touch. Chase has spent his entire life unraveling, and his decision to set his sexuality free in secret has only torn his mind apart faster. Chase has one chance for true love and salvation. He may have met Tommy Halloran in the world of gay-for-pay—where the number of lovers doesn’t matter as long as the come-shot’s good—but if he wants the healing that Tommy’s love has to offer, he’ll need the courage to leave the shadows for the sunlight. That may be too much to ask from a man who’s spent his entire life hiding his true self. Chase knows all too well that the only things thriving in a heart’s darkness are the bitter personal demons that love to watch us bleed. Barb Manning’s Review: Amy Lane’s Chase in Shadow is a poignant and painful romance between Chase Summers, a young engineer-in-training and Tommy Halloren, a veterinarian wannabe. Both young men carry some serious emotional baggage that they need deal with if they want a future together, if they are even going to have a future. At the same time Chase and Tommy... Read more

Author Review: A Tryst of Fate by H.C. Brown

A Tryst of Fate by H.C. Brown Publisher: Silver Publishing Genre: GLBT, M/M, Historical, Erotic Romance Length: 171 pages Summary: After inheriting a Georgian house in Berkley Square, London, Colt Daniels, millionaire art dealer, finds himself obsessed by a portrait of the home’s former owner, Lord Alexander Swift. During a conversation with author, Jake Williams, Colt discovers Lord Swift and his cousin had mysteriously disappeared from the cellar one evening, shortly after Alexander’s illicit affair with the rogue, David Fitzhugh. Jake reveals Colt bears a remarkable resemblance to Fitzhugh. Colt decides to investigate Alexander’s strange disappearance and ventures into his cellar late one night to look for a secret passageway. When his flashlight fails, Colt finds himself transported back in time to 1775 and there he comes face to face with the man of his dreams — Lord Alexander Swift. Barb Manning’s Review: A Tryst of Fate is a gay romance novel by H. C. Brown that involves time travel. Millionaire art dealer Colt Daniels finds himself transported back to 1775. He explores the cellar of his newly restored London home after purchasing the portrait of Lord Alexander Swift, a man he’s been fascinated by since he inherited his home. Both Colt and Alexander are engaging characters and much of the action of the novel focuses on the two of them. Alexander is a lonely man suffering under the oppressive anti-sodomite sentiments of the time, while Colt is a free and openly gay man of the 21st century with the money and power to get what he wants. In A Tryst of Fate, H.C. Brown writes an entertaining time... Read more

Author Review: A Journey of the Heart by Rick R. Reed

A Journey of the Heart by Rick R. Reed Publisher: MLR Press Genre: GLBT, M/M, Contemporary, Erotic Romance Length: 14 pages Summary: Take a journey back to that magical moment in time when two lovers first meet. In this case, it’s on board a train bound for England’s seaside community, Brighton. There, our narrator and his soon-to-be-true-love meet for the first time and what follows is an encounter so erotic and romantic that it has to be destined for a lifetime. They may have been strangers on a train when they boarded, but that all changes with just a meeting of the eyes, igniting a spark leading to a lifelong connection. Barb Manning’s Review: A Journey of the Heart by Rick R. Reed is a surprising short story that takes a brief, but poignant glimpse into the lives of two young men taking a journey on a train. A Journey of the Heart exposes that first magic of two strangers physically attracted to each other almost from first sight. Love at first glimpses may be clichéd, but Mr. Reed makes it work. From the opening scenes, it’s clear that the two young lovers, Jim and the unnamed protagonist are very much in love. The plot only deals with two train rides ten years apart, but it manages to encapsulate lust, passion and the loving comfort they share. A Journey of the Heart is a very short story and the ending may disappoint some, but the story is a good one. Rick Reed is a fine writer and pens scenes of tight-clench passion with much skill. He invests a lifetime... Read more

Author Review: Cinder by Marie Sexton

Cinder by Marie Sexton Publisher: Silver Publishing Genre: GLBT, M/M, Fantasy Romance Length: 133 pages Summary: A CinderFella story–it’s all fun and games until somebody loses a shoe… Eldon Cinder would give anything to see Prince Xavier one last time, but only women are invited to the royal ball. When the local witch offers to make Eldon female for just one night, he agrees. One spell. One night. One dance. What could possibly go wrong? Barb Manning’s Review: Cinder by Marie Sexton recounts a childhood fairy tale with a twist. Eldon Cinder has the role of the harried young Cinderella, while Xavier is the Prince desperately in search of a bride. The two young men find themselves caught in a dilemma: the Prince must marry or become a pauper. How Ms. Sexton works out the challenges of this story that everyone knows is entertaining. The story has all the elements expected in a Cinderella tale, namely a stepmother and stepsisters, witchery and magic, as well as new elements to make the story fresh. There’s no sex between Eldon and Xavier, but there is chemistry and a great hulking dog named Milton. Cinder is a fresh look at an old tale handled with much skill and romance. It’s worthy of 4 Ravens for its creativity and sweetness. Cinder is a real charmer. Rated 4 Ravens by Barb Manning! Have Your Book Reviewed Become A... Read more

Author Review: A Private Gentleman by Heidi Cullinan

A Private Gentleman by Heidi Cullinan Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. Genre: Gay, M/M, Historical Romance Length: Novel Summary: To seal their bond, they must break the ties that bind. Painfully introverted and rendered nearly mute by a heavy stammer, Lord George Albert Westin rarely ventures any farther than the club or his beloved gardens. When he hears rumors of an exotic new orchid sighted at a local hobbyist’s house, though, he girds himself with opiates and determination to attend a house party, hoping to sneak a peek. He finds the orchid, yes…but he finds something else even more rare and exquisite: Michael Vallant. Professional sodomite. Michael climbed out of an adolescent hell as a courtesan’s bastard to become successful and independent-minded, seeing men on his own terms, protected by a powerful friend. He is master of his own world—until Wes. Not only because, for once, the sex is for pleasure and not for profit. They are joined by tendrils of a shameful, unspoken history. The closer his shy, poppy-addicted lover lures him to the light of love, the harder his past works to drag him back into the dark. There’s only one way out of this tangle. Help Wes face the fears that cripple him—right after Michael finds the courage to reveal the devastating truth that binds them. Product Warnings Contains wounded heroes, bibliophilic tendencies, orchid obsessions, a right bastard of a marquis, and gay men who get happily-ever-afters. Barb Manning’s Review: A Private Gentleman by Heidi Cullinan is at its core the love story of Lord George Albert Westin and Michael Vallant. It’s a tale of failure and... Read more

Author Review: The Gallows Tree by RJ Scott

The Gallows Tree by RJ Scott Publisher: Silver Publishing Genre: GLBT, M/M, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense Length: 232 pages Summary: Cody Garret is only just finding his way after an abusive relationship ended with his ex in prison. Coming to England to restore Mill Cottage is his way of running so he has time to heal. His goal is simple—hire a company to help make the mill cottage saleable then go back to the States. What he doesn’t count on is meeting Sebastian Toulson-Brown, the brother of his contractor and the man who may be able to show him he can stop running. But first Cody and Sebastian must deal with the ghosts of lost loves and the destinies that are woven into the story of the mill and the sycamore trees that stand on its land, one of which might be the gallows tree. Barb Manning’s Review: The Gallows Tree by RJ Scott is a tale of recovering from abusive physical and emotional trauma. Cody is running from an extremely abusive lover and he’s been running for the past six years. Coming to England to restore Mill Cottage is just an opportunity to get farther away from his pain. When Cody meets Sebastian Toulson-Brown, the youngest brother of his contractor, all his plans go awry. He and Sebastian find themselves embarked on discovering just what happened to two hapless young lovers lost centuries ago. During the process of finding the truth and settling old hurts, Cody and Seb develop a passionate, but gentle and tender relationship. Some of RJ Scott’s scenes in The Gallows Tree are touching while others... Read more

Author Review: Jesse’s Christmas by RJ Scott

Jesse’s Christmas by RJ Scott Publisher: Silver Publishing Genre: GLBT, M/M, Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Holiday Length: 82 pages Summary: For Jesse Connor, Christmas is nothing but a series of bad memories. It takes a man imbued with the spirit of Christmas to help him realize that the Christmas spirit lies in everyone–if they only know where to look. Barb Manning’s Review: RJ Scott has a sweet little story in Jesse’s Christmas, a holiday treat about a talented photographer with the attitude of Grinch regarding all things Christmas. On assignment from his editor, Jesse is in charming, remote Eden Vale to take some Christmas photos for a client’s online magazine. Almost immediately, Jesse is knee-deep in Christmas with picture-perfect landscapes and the delightful young Gabriel McClurey, the son of Eden Vale’s innkeeper. RJ Scott paints a clear image of Jesse as a man packing a great deal of baggage from a broken relationship. Ms. Scott writes poetic descriptions of Eden Vale as the little hamlet goes through it’s annual celebrations of the holidays. It’s impossible not to smile while reading this tale of lost and found love, as Jesse and Gabriel struggle (all too briefly) to develop a relationship in a situation that could ultimately be temporary. After all, Jesse is on an assignment for Christmas. The only shortcoming in Jesse’s Christmas is the brevity of the story. For a small town boy, Gabriel is a little too quick to get involved with Jesse. Still, the writing is good; the flow of the story fine in Jesse’s Christmas by RJ Scott . Rated 3 Ravens by Barb Manning! Have Your... Read more

Author Review: A-Hunting We Will Go by Kate Roman

A-Hunting We Will Go by Kate Roman Publisher: Torquere Press Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, M/M, GLBT Length: 28 Pages Summary: The Honourable Philip Huntingdon is due to inherit a comfortable country estate, and what should have been a comfortable fortune. But Philip’s dissolute guardian has squandered the inheritance, and is now determined Philip must marry a rich heiress as soon as possible. Philip’s own preference runs instead to his boyhood friend Fergus, a groom on the estate. When a foxhunting accident brings things to a head Philip must decide: his home, and the life he was born to, or an unknown future with the man he loves? Barb Manning’s Review: A-Hunting We Will Go by Kate Roman is a Torquere Press Sip short story set in what appears to be 19th century England. A-Hunting We Will Go relates the story of nobleman Philip Huntingdon and Fergus, a young groom on his family’s estate. Kate Roman weaves a tale of dissolution among the nobility and the courage of two young men determined to develop a life for themselves. The plot line focuses on the events surrounding a foxhunting accident and how Philip and his guardian, Sir John deal with the situation. There are some passionate sexual exchanges between Philip and Fergus, as well as some violent confrontations between Philip and his guardian. Ms. Roman resolves the problem of Sir John’s dissolution and Philip’s sexuality in an interesting and unusual way. A-Hunting We Will Go is a nice little Sip of 28 pages that is worthy of 3.5 stars due the caliber of Ms. Roman’s writing. Her stories are always enjoyable.... Read more

Author Review: Sunset Ridge by Carol Lynne

Sunset Ridge by Carol Lynne Publisher: Total-E-Bound Genre: GLBT, M/M, Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Western Cowboys Length: 86 pages Summary: After the death of his father, Grayson Conner finds himself running, Sunset Ridge Stables, a prosperous horse breeding operation just outside of Wellington, Arkansas. Since riding a horse for the first time, Gray has known running the ranch would be his destiny. Years spent watching his father negotiate and build the ranch into a highly respected operation prepared him well. In need of a manager to oversee the hired hands, Gray hires Jack “Ram” Ramsdale, a sexy temptation that could spell nothing but trouble. For years, Gray managed to keep his sexual preferences away from the ranch, but the introduction of Ram into his life changes everything. Ram fell in love with Sunset Ridge Stables the first time he stepped foot on the ranch with its rolling green hills and views to take a person’s breath away. The handsome ranch owner is definitely a bonus, but more than anything Ram is searching for a place to belong. With temptation at his fingertips, Gray gives in to his feelings and begins an intense affair with his new manager. For a few blissful months he believes he can have it all, the ranch and a man he loves at his side. When local gossip threatens the reputation of the Sunset Ridge, Gray and Ram are forced to make an important decision. Give up their relationship or lose everything they’ve worked for. BarbManning’s Review: Sunset Ridge by Carol Lynne is a fine tale about two lonely cowboys, Gray Connor and Jack “Ram” Ramsdale... Read more

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! Have Your Book Reviewed Become A... Read more

Author Review: Crankset by Kate Roman

Crankset by Kate Roman Publisher: Torquere Press Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Erotica, M/M, GLBT Length: 11,000 words Summary: San Francisco bike courier Matt Robinson wishes he and his boyfriend Jason had more privacy, sure, but their quiet, curtained-off living room in the Mission District is all the two of them can afford. Besides, it’s safe and homey, two things Jason missed during his tour in Afghanistan. But when the two boys run afoul of their roommates and a rent increase, will Matt let Jason talk him into a risky move to the Sunset District? Or will Matt’s big mouth land them both out on the street? Barb Manning’s Review: Crankset is a romantic vignette about two guys, Matt Robinson and Jason Hicks, in a committed relationship living in the fabled Mission District and working for a bike courier service. These two charming guys have a dilemma–should they move from their current digs or tough it out. Ms. Roman’s main characters in this brief piece have a long history with each other and their relationship is solid. But stress over living arrangements can strain the best relationship. How Matt and Jason cope with the situation is entertaining and fun. Despite the lightness of the story, Ms. Roman makes it obvious that Matt and Jason endured much hardship to come to the place they are in their relationship. The love between these two men is clear, as is the trust. Crankset is a nice read about two nice guys dealing with life in the big city. Ms. Roman is a good novelist with a fluid style and great characterization. She has... Read more

Author Review: Lion Tamer: A Hammer Story by Sean Michael

Lion Tamer: A Hammer Story by Sean Michael Publisher: Torquere Press Genre: BDSM, Erotic Romance, Erotica, M/M, GLBT, Length: 5,200 words Summary: Single Hammer Club Top Christopher is dressed up for the club’s Halloween party as a lion tamer, complete with whip. He’s an expert with the whip; he just needs to find someone special to use it on. Will newcomer and sexy kitty Travis be just what he’s looking for? Barb Manning’s Review: Lion Tamer is another chapter in the Hammer Club series by Sean Michael. Like the other Hammer Club stories, Lion Tamer is about the BDSM life-style. The focus of the story is an encounter between Christopher and Travis at the Hammer Club Halloween party. Christopher arrives masked and carrying a lion tamer’s whip. While Travis wears the costume of a black cat, both men are looking for some action. Sean Michael’s Hammer Club is a rich and decadent stage for the encounter between Dom Christopher and wannabe Sub, Travis. The owners of the club, Xavier and Marcus are recurring characters in the Hammer Club series. They and other club regulars tie the stories together. Christopher is looking for someone to ply with his expert whipping skills and Travis is not sure what he wants, but he thinks he could like what Christopher is offering. Michael develops a nice chemistry between Christopher and Travis in Lion Tamer. There’s a great deal of high-energy play between the two main characters, but the BDSM doesn’t get too heavy.  Sean Michael has light touch with sensitive issues and character development. He reveals things about his characters using facial gestures... Read more

Author Review: Temple Boy by Heidi Cullinan

Temple Boy by Heidi Cullinan Publisher: Loose Id Genre: Fantasy, M/M, GLBT, Erotic Romance Length: 165 Summary:Though he’s lived his whole life in a monastery, temple boy Aurel doesn’t believe in God — not until he wakes up knowing with stone-cold certainty God is dead. Then yet another god appears and he tells Aurel he’s a god too, and that it’s up to him to save the world. Now giant stone beasts are running him down at mass, witches are dropping out of the sky, and a sad, headless man named Charles whispers to Aurel in his dreams. It isn’t until a band of vengeful women warriors drag him into the desert and introduce Aurel to a lover of his own that he realizes how much not just his life but the lives of others are at stake. Whatever he does with his newfound power, be it taking Charles’s place or finding a way to restore him to Timothy’s side, he’ll have to do it soon, because the man who had Charles killed is looking for Aurel too. But while Aurel has always taken refuge in being a simple temple boy, he quickly learns all the power in the universe isn’t worth anything unless he also believes in himself and his lover. Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: anal play/intercourse, dubious consent, menage (m/f/m with m/m content), rape, same sex practices (m/m, f/f), strong violence. Readers with a history of rape or sexual abuse may find elements of this story disturbing. Barb’s Review: Temple Boy by Heidi... Read more

Author Review: Working It Out by Sara York

Working It Out by Sara York Publisher: Total E-Bound Genre: M/M, GLBT, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance Length: Novel Summary: Passion and lust brings them together, what they don’t expect is to fall in love. Jake Grant is a sexy personal trainer not looking for anyone after his long-time partner passes away. He’s ready to throw away his dreams by selling the gym just to get away from the ghost of his past. But once he meets Lance everything changes. Lance Abbott is an orthopaedic surgeon who specializing in sports medicine and is completely in the closet. He is convinced that if his clients found out he was gay they would all leave his practice and he would have to abandon the work he loves. When he meets Jake, a man who is totally out, all of Lance’s perceptions about being “out” are challenged. Passions and lust drive Lance and Jake together. But they soon find out their relationship is deeper than the physical heat between them. Can what they have last without anyone finding out? Or should Lance give up his insecurities and embrace Jake fully? Barb Manning’s Review: Working it Out by Sara York is an internally focused novel revealing much of the story in the thoughts of the main characters, Jake Grant and Lance Abbott. Personal trainer and gym owner, Jake is not looking to get involved with anyone new after the death of his lover and partner. While Lance is in the closet and not sure, he never plans to come out. He’s seen what happens when people find out you’re gay. Ms. York’s focus in Working... Read more

Author Review: Happy Trails by Carol Lynne

Happy Trails by Carol Lynne Erotic Gems Short Story Publisher: Resplendence Publishing Genre: M/M, GLBT, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance Length: Short -Short Summary: Erotic Gems Short Story Sam Sloan discovers more than nature when he steps out of his comfort zone for a hike up a mountain and a weekend of camping. When a fall lands him in the arms of his hiking companion, Nick, Sam begins to have a whole new appreciation for the desolation of the mountain. Barb Manning’s Review: Happy Trails by Carol Lynne is a short story about a hiking trip shared by Durango Police Officer Nick Green and his partner Vince Sloan, and Vince’s younger brother, musician Sam Sloan. The story follows their trip up the mountains. It’s clear from the opening lines that Sam is deeply attracted to Nick. Happy Trails reads like the opening chapters of a longer novel. Ms. Lynne provides some back-story that reveals certain things about the brothers, their family life, and their relationship to each other. However, Nick is the unknown factor. There’s little information about Nick, other than he’s a fellow gay Durango police officer. There’s only one sex scene brought about because of something that happens on the trail. It’s a smoldering scene and it may lead to complications between the three men later, but the heat is real. The attraction between Nick and Sam is real and could be something more; at the same time, there is some energy between Vince and Nick. Ms. Lynne knows how to generate sparks with her characters. Happy Trails is a little taste of a story that could be a... Read more

Author Review: Little Jamie by Sean Michael

Little Jamie: A Hammer Story by Sean Michael Publisher: Torquere Press Genre: M/M, Erotic Romance, Contemporary, BDSM Length: 43 pages Summary: Jamie’s fascinated by the BDSM world and wants to be a part of it, which is why he’s working at the Hammer Club and flirting with a Master who has caught his eye. The rebuff, gentle though it is, deflates him. As chance has it, the exchange is seen by another Master, and Jamie finds himself the center of Davis’ attention. Davis is instantly intrigued by Jamie, and pursues him as only a Master can. The question is, can Davis convince the lovely waiter that Jamie is his sweet boy? Barb Manning’s Review: Little Jamie is a short story that is part of Sean Michael’s successful BDSM Hammer Club series. It chronicles the developing relationship between James “Little Jamie” Gerber, a waiter at the private club and Davis, a member and a Master, or Dom. The two are immediately attracted to each other and the short story builds around Jamie getting acquainted with the demands of being a Sub. Little Jamie is a sweet tale and a nice addition to the Hammer Club collection. The story is an introduction to the BDSM lifestyle with suggestions and hints of what it involves, but the story itself skirts around the hardcore aspects of bondage. Jamie and Davis make a cute couple as they dance the dance of forming a new relationship. Sean Michael’s Subs tend to have a core of strength and Jamie is no exception. It’s clear from the outset that he is thinking and that Master Davis is... Read more

Author Review: The Broken by Stella Notecor

The Broken by Stella Notecor Publisher: Smashwords Genre: M/M, Historical, Erotic, Romance Length: 64 pages Summary: James guards his secrets. Uncertain as to whom he can trust with his family’s secrets, James Bradford has lived a lonely life since becoming Baron of Riverside. When he meets an equally enigmatic violinist named Sheamus, he begins to wonder if he’s found someone with whom he can share everything. Sheamus guards his body. No one has ever shown Sheamus Flynn affection except his mother. That changes when he meets James, but Sheamus cannot trust him. Sheamus has been used by his master, Cade Edward, and he knows better than to believe James could ever love a mere servant. They both guard their hearts. Over the course of the 1876 Social Season they cautiously fall in love, only to be violently ripped apart by Edward. Defeating Edward’s deceptions will require both of them to share long guarded secrets. Can they trust each other? Barb Manning’s Review: The Broken is a story of two lonely men drawn together by the beauty of music. The Broken tells the tale of aristocrat James Bradford and virtuoso musician Sheamus Flynn, the Irish servant of another aristocrat, Cade Edward. The story is lovely in some aspects and horrific in others. The early stages of the romance between James and Sheamus are a little too abrupt. The introductions are barely made before James has Sheamus in his bed. At other times, the novel slows down to torturous crawl. Scenes describing Sheamus’ return to Edward’s household and the consequences of that action take way too long to evolve. Ms. Notecar’s... Read more

Author Review: Papi by J.P. Barnaby

Papi by J.P. Barnaby Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Genre: M/M, Erotic, Contemporary, Bittersweet Dreams Length: 27 pages Summary: Kyle Lang just got out of a marriage that lasted too goddamned long. He knew when he married her that he shouldn’t have. For the last few years, he’s been haunted by daydreams of the perfect feel of another man’s skin. The problem is, the bar scene isn’t working so well for him. When Kyle picks up Jesse, an eighteen-year-old illegal who turns tricks for cash, he finally finds something to scratch that desperate itch. For Jesse, who is only gay-for-pay to support his sister, it’s the first time he’s ever been aroused by another man’s touch. The consequences will change his whole world. A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears. Barb Manning’s Review: Papi is a very short story that has the potential to be a very fine tale. Papi involves two characters primarily, Kyle Lang, a recent divorcee and Jesse, a young and vulnerable street hooker. Papi is part of the Bittersweet Dreams collection, so the resolution is a given. Kyle and Jesse are unexpectedly engaging and tender in their sexual encounter. Tenderness in an exchange between a hooker and a customer is startling, particularly when juxtaposed with the seedy, dirtiness of the hotel where it takes place. Barnaby provides glimpses into... Read more

Author Review: Again by Mary Calmes

Again by Mary Calmes Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Genre: M/M, Erotic, Contemporary, Romance Length: 96 pages Summary: Six years ago, Noah Wheeler went to meet his boyfriend, Dante Cerreto, at the airport, and his world ended. Dante was kissing someone else and claimed to be in love. So Noah took his heartbreak—and the sonogram pictures of their surrogate child—and closed the door on the big picture of what he thought his life would be, focusing instead on the piece of the dream he got to keep, being a father. Now on vacation in Las Vegas, Noah accidentally runs into the Cerreto family, and then the man himself, and learns that not only was he deceived, but Dante was as well. Now Dante wants to make up for lost time, six years’ worth, and to do that he needs Noah, the only man he’s ever loved, and Grace, the daughter he didn’t know he had, to give him a chance at happiness. Dante’s going to have to take a crash course in communication and seduction, though. Noah’s not going to fall in love just to be broken again. Barb Manning’s Review: Again by Mary Calmes is a short story about love lost once and the attempt to regain it. Noah Wheeler and Dante Cerreto are the perfect match by all appearances. They look at each other across a room and it’s a house on fire. They had their whole lives planned together, including marriage and a child by surrogacy. That dream died a painful death when Noah arrived to pick up Dante at the airport and found him kissing a woman,... Read more
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