I've also been busy working with OutServe, which is a group created by gay military members for gay military members to give them a safe place to vent and be themselves amongst family. The Hawaii Chapter has gotten quite large, and we do weekly events with all the younguns to give them something to do. I've meet some amazing new friends and we are having SO much fun.
I have not, however, been so busy that I haven't had time to read the occasional book. In fact, I cracked open Sean Michael's latest story, PUSH. I'm a fan of his Hammer series. Imagine my shock when I saw THIS on the title page:
Push: A Hammer Novel
An imprint of Torquere Press Publishers
PO Box 2545
Round Rock, TX 78680
Copyright © 2011 by Tracy Rowan
Cover illustration by S. Squires
Published with permission
Ummm....wanna run that past me again? Sean Michael is a sixty-year-old chick from Chicago? The same Sean Michael who for YEARS has professed to be a male? Who said in chat that he was a man and didn't think he should have to whip out his cock to prove it? WOOOOOOOW.
Ok, I need a poll. Is Sean Michael a seriously pervy old lady, or is this yet another one of TQ's infamous typos? What do y'all think?
The talented and lovely Miss Katie has her version of the It Gets Better Project going. This is what she says:
I'm not sure if you know about the It Get's Better Initiative started by Dan Savage in light of the recent suicides of gay teens because of them being bullied. As a former survivor of bullying myself , this breaks my heart and I've decided to do something about it. I will donate $1 a comment up to $500 on my post.
$250 will go the The Trevor Project, the other $250 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
All I ask if you leave one comment on my post, or tell those you know to leave a comment so I can donate the $500 to these two great foundations.Most likely I will donate the money anyway. I wish I could do more, but I hope my donation will help in some way.
So go comment on Katie's blog, then go to the It Gets Better Project's YouTube site and watch some of the videos. Below is the original video from Dan Savage. You can also check out The Trevor Project and The Matthew Shepard Foundation by clicking on the links.
My book backlog is...unthinkable. I did squeeze in a book that I thought was pretty flippin interesting called Match Maker. Shocker: it's from DSP, the epub I'm not particularly fond of, to put it mildly. If it weren't for Mary Calmes, I wouldn't bother at all. But then I'd miss the random gem. But..yeah, back to the book. It wasn't a romance, per se, although it had romantic elements. There's a difference. Discuss. After you read the book. It's long, and there's several parts that could have been cut completely (like grandpa's extensive monologues), but there were some touching moments and a fab ending.
And, in other news, I had the incredible privilege of doing a photo shoot with the charming and talented celebrity photographer Adam Bouska for the NoH8 Campaign, which is protesting California's Proposition 8 and raising awareness of gay rights throughout the country. With a little creative lighting and a LOT of help from Photoshop, my pic didn't come out bad at all. What do y'all think?
Still luv y'all n stuffs, and I'm usually around on Facebook (Emmy Frost) and Twitter (emeraldjaguar), because those widgets are on my Droid and easy to update on the fly.
So what's new out there that's amazing? Did a quick troll of my fave epubs last week and couldn't find a dang thing that sounded interesting.
( Pics of me n the crew!Collapse )
Ricky Talbot, fresh from his first year at university, is looking for a perfect summer. He wants to work for the man he's had a crush on for years and spend the rest of his days in the pool, training for the swim team. Jack Corson, on the other hand, is a suburban hermit with a tangled past. Jack's lot more experienced than Ricky, cantankerous and more than a little anti-social.
When an unexpected one-time encounter between the two of them turns into more, Ricky and Jack must see if they have what it takes for love to bloom despite all of their differences, the distance between them while Ricky's away school, Jack's past and Ricky's parents. Can their slow-blooming love come to fruition?
Bottom line up front:
Started great, slid into some weird Story of O scenes, and got interesting again just in time to end. No word on why the cover dude has a flower basket for a head.
This book sort of read like the m/m version of the movie UP, after the old man's wife dies...and the kid grew up to be barely legal.
Jack starts out as a grumpy old man, the eccentric bastard of the neighborhood. He is short to the point of rudeness to Ricky, and even spanked the young whippersnapper once for interrupting him while he worked. However, as the book progressed, Jack became demonstrably warmer and affectionate and ended the story as a regular little snuggle bunny.
The dynamics of curt Jack and the effervescent Ricky kept me intrigued for the first thirty pages or so (according to my Adobe page counter thingy). Then there was this massive info dump on Jack's backstory that made me not like the guy much. I would have liked to have seen it broken up more, or at least not so vague and dream sequence-ish. It was confusing and weird, and came very close to flipping my kill switch. It all comes together to make sense in the middle third of the book, but if I had not read and enjoyed books by these authors in the past, I'm not sure I'd have stuck around to find that out.
Although the story seemed to hint at an HEA...both characters thinking in the long term with their relationship...I can't say that I bought it. At eighteen and forty-eight, it was just too much of a stretch for me. Thirty years is a heck of a gap even for a May/December romance. The characters are too far apart in development and where they are in life to make me believe that it could work out in the long term for them. Ricky was just at the end of his freshman year of college. He hadn't traveled or really gotten out to do anything. Even looking at it long term, forty is really young to be stuck at home wiping your seventy-year-old hubby's ass.
One element that I actually found surprisingly sexy was Ricky's cross dressing. He was not a feminine character and made it very clear that he was a man who was playing with wearing a pretty dress to sort of switch things up with his lover. It was fascinating to read that particular sexploration from that POV. I'm not a fan of manginas or feminine characters (if I want to read m/f, I wouldn't pick up an m/m book, yanno?), but found the cross dressing scenes presented as fun and flirty, and so enjoyed them muchly.
Another thing that the authors managed to sneak in on me and not make me hate it was the issue of fidelity. The two characters start their relationship with what was intended to be a one time suck and swallow, and continued to see other people until they sort of come to the conclusion -A YEAR LATER- that they're actually seriously dating. Because of this, there are scenes with both characters in which they're sexing other people. I generally prefer my romances to be between the two MCs...cheating even when presented as a bad thing is just not MY thing. However, it worked with the characters in this story.
Overall, I'm a huge fan of this duo's writing style, even in scenes I didn't find particularly comfortable to read. I wouldn't say this is my favorite Crow/Fox book, but it did make for some excellent reading. It's definitely not fun and fluffy yaoi, but their work is a nice break from those books. Slow Bloom is sweet, gritty, thought-provoking, and incredibly sexy.
Someone remind me to update this post with a buy link. It will be available in about a month from Torquere.
Aric Christian is the wildly smart PhD candidate specializing in Molecular Biology. With a willowy body bordering on thin, slight hips, and even slighter waist, Aric's hard muscles and steel strength bends but doesn't break. Long blackish hair dips in his hazel eyes when he's not wearing his rimless glasses. At times, he turns into quite a different creature, and is working desperately to seek a cure.
Stu Hamilton is the wildly popular college wide receiver, and big man on campus. He's tall, broad shouldered, finely tuned and has broad hands, perfect to jump and catch the ball. He's all muscle and grace and blue, blue eyes. Mussed blond hair layered and tapered down to his nape fuels his reputation as the guy who breezes through life. Hidden from his friends is his family's secret - he's from a long line of vampire-slayers. Turning away from that life, he wants nothing to do with blood feuds, men of the dark night and killing.
Then Aric bumps into Stu, or rather his football, and their lives are forever intertwined. Will these born enemies find a way toward love?
Bottom line up front:
Well, it wasn't Twilight, or full of non-spanky suck.
Stu is a moderately likable character, for a jock who is following his mom's wish to play football. The whole thing with Stu playing "wide receiver" on the field and in bed made my eyes roll out of my head and down the stairs. In addition, he didn't make much sense as far as his sexuality went.
Stu lost his breath, then caught it again. It was that sexy timbre of Aric's command that excited him. And the complete surprise that he liked being dominated. Did this make him the girl in the relationship? Was he, in fact, gay? Heat flushed across his neck at the thought. He hated labels. And well, he wasn't anything like his flamboyant gay brother, who flaunted his sexuality.
That I didn't get. From the beginning, Stu knows he's gay and is only serially dating girls to keep up appearances. It does not then make sense that he suddenly questions his sexuality when he finally meets a guy he's attracted to.
Aside from the numerous references to how feminine Aric looks, and how that may or may not play into Stu's attraction for the guy, there was another disturbing element. Aric is twenty-six, Stu is twenty-two. Yet Aric is constantly referring to Stu as childlike in manner and looks in the same thought as he ponders how attractive the guy is.
He glanced down at Stu, who, with his eyes closed and his breathing quiet, looked like a child. Aric kissed his forehead, and dreamy eyes opened, showing delight. Stu grinned, and Aric got lost in the dazzling purity of the expression.What the efff with the feminine/pedo inferences here? Pedo Bear would approve, I think.
This vamp story had enough new elements and interesting twists to keep my interest. There seemed to be a bit of a setup for a series, or at least a sequel involving Corbin, Stu's older, gay-er brother. The story as a whole lacked depth in either the main characters or the supporting cast. It made for a few slightly less boring hours of reading, but wasn't as developed as I like a story to be. Several elements with vampire slayers and the vampires themselves could have been explored more, particularly if the story is to be played out over more than one book.
I liked the writing enough that I'd read the next book, if there is one, but I'm feeling more than a little underwhelmed right now.
Get your copy of Last Chance here.
Dustin Walker has no idea that avoiding the search for Mrs. Right could send him into the arms and bed of Mr. Right Now. According to Dustin's mother, he should be out looking for his next wife so he won't be the divorced black sheep of the family. Instead, he passes his free time at a local bar and pool hall, where he meets someone who's everything his ex-wife wasn't: funny, caring, faithful... and male.
Is Brandon Stewart just Dustin’s way of getting over a bitter divorce? Can Dustin really care for him, or is it simply that Brandon is the complete opposite of his ex-wife? Dustin keeps their affair as quiet as possible, because if it continues, he knows he'll eventually have to come out to his homophobic family or walk out on the man he's trying not to love.
Bottom line up front:
Thought provoking and angsty in a really good way, making for a surprisingly lovely read.
Rules of Engagement is one of the rare Gay For You stories that I actually liked.
Dustin is a personal trainer who spent the majority of the book either working out himself or trolling the bars. The only time he actually got any work done with clients is when Brandon surprised him and signed up to the gym for a training session. I had to wonder where he was getting all that beer money from.
Luckily, he did have unlimited time and funds to hang out at the bar, because he met Brandon hustling pool in one. The usual sparks flew immediately, and they ended the night making out in the parking lot. Well, not ended the night. It went farther than that, but even the incredibly hot makeout session was a shocker from a guy who started the evening crying in his beers about his failed marriage of ten years.
I very much enjoyed Dustin's metamorphosis from a guy who was deeply under the control of the women in his life, despite the fact that he was nearly thirty, to a stronger person ready to make his own decisions. Everyone who disagreed with his choices could suck his left nut. Dustin got married at eighteen to a woman his mother picked for him, and stayed with her, unhappy for an entire decade. Even though he divorced her because she cheated on him, Dustin still had intense feelings of guilt over the failed relationship, and the fact that his family blamed HIM for that failure. Rat bastages.
The entire novel was a vivid portrait of a man who questioned his thoughts and feelings, and had to choose between living an unhappy life for the approval of his family, or be happy without them. I liked this book because of the painstakingly illustrated struggle of a man who wasn't all "yippee, I'm gay", but instead took time to work through his motivations and make sure he was doing the right thing for both people in the relationship.
DSP is still one of those epubs that produces more shit than shine, but I must say they've managed to impress me the last few months with a few of their offerings. Not enough to keep me from rethinking four or five times before I hit a buy link, however.
Get your copy here.
David, the oldest boy in his family and a priest, has always been considered special. What his family doesn't know is that he's also lonely...probably because he's good at denying it, even to himself.
Then Conner, a good-looking, tough cop with a soft spot for David, shows up in his life. All of a sudden David is finding it hard to deny a lot of things, including just how much he wants Conner.
Bottom line up front:
Some very raunchy, squick inducing sex scenes involving a priest (only moderately as fun as nun pr0n), followed by some good, old fashioned woman bashing.
No idea why this one is called Jock Dorm, other than one of the characters is a brother to a character in one of the other Jock Dorm books. One protag is a Roman Catholic priest, and the other is a homicide detective. No jocks or dorms involved here.
Be that as it may, David meets Conner at one of his outreach programs for traumatized Marines when Conner needs to question one of the residents about a gang homicide. The sparks fly, which causes David to have an existential/religious crisis and angst over possible familial rejection. Conner was worried about his grandparents too, but he was a big, tough ex-Marine, so oh well if they didn't accept his lover.
I've read several books by Michaels before, and I have to say that this one is the worst. The dialogue between the characters was alternatively painfully stilted and overly gushy (I LUFF YEW! Nuuuu, I luff yew moar!!!). The author took several detours from the book to bash the Bush Administration for their policies, as well as take a hammer to the Roman Catholic church for their views on gays. The entire first chapter read like a PSA for impeaching the former president and overthrowing the Pope.
Since the start of George Bush's war, we had been seeing more and more young males wandering the streets, lost in their own personal hells over what they saw or did in the war. Guys who'd been forgotten or ignored by Bush's Veterans Administration. They had become a special interest of mine. It truly angered me that our government could ask these men to risk their lives in a foreign misadventure, then forget them and refuse to help them when they came home damaged and injured.In addition to the political commentary, I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style. There was a great deal of 'This happened. And then this happened. And next, something else happened. Soon after, there was a consequence to all this happening.' How to manuals drive me bugnuts every time. If you're going to list everything singly, give it to me in bullet format next time.
“My problem with the church's stand is that I believe it is selfish.”
“What do you mean?” asked Henry.
“I believe that the church views marriage only as a means to procreation, because that's how they think they will fill pews. The more babies, the more 'pledging units.'”
“I think, if you look closely at history, you will find that the church has always been somewhat hypocritical and mercenary, because so has society, and the church—purely human institution that it is—is part of the society in which it exists.”
“Maybe it's time for humans to start growing up."
1) Dude walked in the door.
2) Dude closed the door.
3) Dude called out for his bf.
4) Dude found bf nekkid on the bed, stroking off.
Saves time, yanno? Or you can actually tell me a story without delineating the individual steps in an awkward way that completely pulls me outta the story. Your choice.
As a priest, David is certainly not like any of the ones I knew growing up. He had a filthy mouth, and his favorite word was 'fuck'. He used it both in church and regular conversation. And in bed, of course. I don't know if I really bought his struggle, because easy solutions just automatically appeared every time he faced a dilemma. It was very teenaged/Twilight fantasy where the character gets everything he wants without having to make any sacrifices, and everyone who comes into contact with him instantly adores the heck out of him just because of his magnetic personality. David's thoughts were also invariably juvenile in tone.
The two of us lay there laughing for quite a while. It was like we were two little kids in that bed together. Like a sleepover, only it wouldn't end. So this is what it's like to really be with another guy. I really love this! For the first time, I'm really glad that God made me gay.
The sex scenes were typical Michaels: sweaty and sloppy and multi-orgasmic with jizz dripping from the walls and ceiling afterwards. For giggles, readers got introduced to two new joys- felching and snowballing. Not sure what those are? So Helpful Kitteh shall show you.
“Conner, I'm leaking,” I said, grinning at him.Ummm...can he get a piece of toast to put that on, at least?
He looked down and saw his cum sliding down my leg.
“Don't worry about that. I'll take care of it.”
Conner immediately knelt down and began licking up all his cum that was leaking from me. He started on my thigh but very quickly moved up to where he could suck and lick at my hole, getting all his cum that he could find. He then rose up, and grasping my shoulders in his hands, he turned me around so that we were once again facing each other. He held the back of my head with his hand and kissed me deeply. His tongue brushed my upper lip, and I immediately opened for him. Rather than his tongue, however, a large glob of ass-flavored cum flowed into my mouth.
Another recurrent theme present in many of Michaels' work is maternal hatred. Many of his gay male characters were either raised by their fathers- with the mothers either dead or having run off and left her child behind- or were present in their lives as cold, manipulative, verbally abusive bitches. That theme is revisited here in the form of David's mother. David can't deal with the angst of having to tell his parents that he's gay and has left the Roman church, and goes into defensive mode. With the help of his brothers, they start cursing and screeching at their mother for their perception that she was forcing them to live their lives a certain way. Although he spent the proceeding 3/4 of the book going on and on about his love for the church and how much he enjoys being a priest, David suddenly decides that he only became a priest because his mom mentioned when he was twelve that it would be great if one of her sons was a priest.
“Because he had no other fucking choice, Mama!” Tony cut in.It apparently escaped the three son's notice that while they were raging at their mother for emotionally manipulating them all their lives, they were doing the same to her. They pretty much told her that if she ever wanted to see her children or grandchildren, she had to fall in line with what they wanted.
“Tony! Such language!” Mama shouted at him.
“You'd better get used to it, Mama,” Vince said. “Because you seem to forget that we are all adults. We don't live by your rules or your standards. And we are sick and tired of you thinking that you can still run our lives. Well, we're not only adults, we're parents. And if you don't want to ever see your grandchildren again, just keep up what you're doing.”
“Boys! You can't mean that,” Papa said, pleadingly.
“I'm sorry, Papa. We do mean it,” Tony said.
“But why?” Papa asked.
“Because we warned her once! When she tried to pull this shit on Vince. And the day before he had to go into surgery! That is one selfish bitch of a move. And now she's trying to pull it again with David. You know, Papa. Vince and I have been doing a lot of talking. And we finally figured out that Mama doesn't love us at all! She only loves who she wants us to be. Well, Mama, we sure the fuck don't love you the way you are!” Tony was practically screaming by the time he finished.
Mama sat there crying.
“Don't waste the tears anymore, Mama. We're not buying them,” I said. “It's just another attempt at manipulation, and you damn well know it!”
Overall, I'd say skip this one and just go over to Nifty and read some the free fics he has posted there under the name RimPig. You can get all the crap above, plus pee drinking. Just pick over them carefully...I learned the hard way that alot of his free fics include Father/son incest and pedophilia, some involving kids as young as 8. Don't read anything with "Daddy" in the title. He aint talkin about sugar daddies!
However, if any of the above is your thing, get your copy here.
Anyone else have the sudden urge to bust out singing Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire whilst reading m/m romance? And why is it so popular to do the burny/stretchy thing with only a fingerful of spit, anyways?
I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher
And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire
St. Nacho's by ZA Maxfield
What's not to like? Dude runs off to a sleepy town and finds love and redemption. All together now...awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
Runaway Star by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox
Sci-Fi! And sexy men! And kids!
Cooking with Ergot by Luisa Prieto
Absurdly funny and cute as hell, I like this author's voice!
Hajiris Pet by Auburnimp and Michael Barnette
Yaoi-ish, with a gritty, futuristic twist. Sorta like Lora Leigh's Breeds travel to Tokyo and get pwned. We like it!
Sticks and Stones by Jamie Craig
I'm not drinking the ZOMG! this author is the greatest EVAR! kool-aide, but I did like this one. Sexy, dreamy, nostalgic, and incredibly graceful. Very lovely read.
Blind Desire by ID Locke
This author has the distinct honor of having a book on both the best and worse reads list of the year. Blind Desire was sexy and smart and I could just snuggle the irascible Quin til he smothered, but do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT read Slave to the Blood by this author. Ugh.
Gaven by JC Owens
Another author whose first work I absolutely adored, but messed it up by following with a rape story. WHYYYYYYY, dammmit? But we did like Gaven muchly, even if Gaven got his ass given to another dude by his dad. Borderline dub con, but passed through my hair trigger bullshit meter and became a keeper.
Sacred Fate by Eresse
I can't tell you how many times I've read this book, and how much more I love it every time. Excellent, excellent read. Even if it is mpreg. Never read another story like it, before or since.
Change of heart by Mary Calmes
There's something really mesmerizing about this author's books. They're very simple, amateurish even, but it just works somehow.
The Dark Tide by Josh Lanyon
it's over *sob*. We adore this author's sense of humor muchly, and this story was the fitting end to a fantastic mystery series.
But wow, what a year. Read some wonderful books (should do another post about that. hmmm...), met some wonderful people- both online and off- and had some amazing experiences. Tonight, I'm going dancing with the same lovely ladies I ring in the new year with every year. Here's to dysfunctional friendships where no emo moments or crying are allowed, EVER. I love you bitches.
One of the biggest changes was me. Like physical me. Half of the person who started the year didn't make it til the end. The people who follow along on Twitter already know this, but here's the latest pics:
( cut for icky pics. worksafe, but omfg UGLY :PCollapse )
Much love to everyone who make me laugh, inspired me with pretties, and sent me cool pressies from all over the world. Dude, I got Christmas cards from London and Baghdad and Tokyo O.O.
Special thanks to krisngoodbooks (even though she sends me fuzzy asshole stories, katiebabs , jaye_valentine , zoenichols , jgraeme2007 , wedschilde ,annecain , ldyavalon , and everyone who reads my reviews and occasionally likes them. You all rawk in so many ways. MUAH!
Heres to the coming year, which shall be full of laughter and success. I has decided it shall be so :P.
Twas the night before Christmas,
the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch
while others were dreaming.
They lived in a crowd
with racks tight and small,
In a 40-man berthing,
cramped one and all.
I had come down the stack
with presents to give,
And to see inside
just who might perhaps live.
I looked all about,
a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents,
not even a tree.
No stockings were hung,
shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures
of a far distant land.
They had medals and badges
and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought
came into my mind.
For this place was different,
so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor,
once I saw clearly.
A Sailor lay sleeping,
silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack
and dreaming of home.
The face was so gentle,
the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.
This was the hero
I saw on TV,
Defending our country
so we could be free.
I realized the families
that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors
lay willing to fight.
Soon round the world,
the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate
on Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom
each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor,
like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder
how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea,
far from home.
The very thought
brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees
and started to cry.
The Sailor awakened
and I heard a calm voice,
"Santa, don't cry,
this life is my choice."
"Defending the seas
all days of the year,
So others may live
and be free with no fear."
I thought for a moment,
what a difficult road,
To live a life guided
by honor and code.
After all it's Christmas Eve
and the ship's underway!
But freedom isn't free
and it's sailors who pay.
The Sailor say's to our country
"be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come,
not on my watch and not on this night.
The Sailor rolled over
and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it,
I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours,
so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor
shivered from the night's cold chill.
I didn't want to leave
on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor
so willing to fight.
The Sailor rolled over
and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, "Carry on Santa,
It's Christmas, and All is Secure!"
Honor, Courage and Commitment
Destrie Two Rivers and Benedict Webster--an orphaned half-Indian and a wealthy rancher’s son. Men who were boyhood best friends, turned secret lovers when they were eighteen. And then one nightmarish night they were discovered and Destrie almost died as a result.
Now, eight years later, just before Christmas, Destrie, an Army sniper, returns to Wyoming on leave to attend the funeral of his foster father. Both men have changed and the distance between them seems wider than the Continental Divide with no way to breach the chasm.
But just as the creek where they first made love runs powerful and constant, Destrie and Benedict’s passion for each other still burns undeniably deep and everlasting. Re-igniting their unquenchable desire could prove fatal. Until the heavy guilt and shocking secrets of the past are revealed, neither of these two men can truly come home for Christmas.
Bottom line up front:
What stinking pile of bullshit is this? DNF!
I haven't the faintest idea how someone could take what should have been an interesting story arc and screw it up with some highly improbable scenes. Yet it happens.
Destrie (gawd, I kept wanting to tack an 'r' at the end of that name) left town and joined the military after his boyfriend's brother cut him up. He came back for his foster father's funeral (alliteration. ha!), and the sparks betwixt him and Benedict got to flying again.
Ok, I can buy a love story between a wealthy rancher's kid and a broke, orphaned Mexican/Indian kid. What I couldn't buy was this sex scene:
Destrie released his hair and spun him around. He kicked Benedict's legs as wide as they would go. Reaching down, he grabbed a handful of snow and held it in his warm palm until droplets trickled between his fingers. He couldn't wait. He and Benedict were almost the same height. He used the snow to lubricate Benedict's hole. He heard Benedict gasp when the icy water was pressed into the passage of his hot anus. He shoved back when Destrie's fingers speared inward, then quickly out. More snow and Benedict's ass colored from pale ivory to ruddy rose.HE USED SNOW AS LUBE??! And both of them stayed hard? And Benedict's asshole didn't go numb from the ice?
Yeah, right, lady. Hit the 'delete' button on my Sony by the end of the next paragraph.
However, if you like your smexing with a little ice play, you can get the book here.
So since I just shit canned that book, I clicked on the next book on the list, which was Carol of the Bellskis.
Paralegal Seth Bellski is tired of being the secret lover of his boss, Lars Varga, founding partner of Finch & Varga Law. So when he asks Lars to spend Hanukkah with Seth's family at their kosher B and B in Whistler, B.C., and Lars refuses, Seth realizes he will never get his self-conscious boss out of the closet.
So Seth prepares to spend his Hanukkah holiday alone in the B and B. Instead he finds himself running the place, as his aunt and uncle are missing, and seven demanding, peculiar, and danger-prone guests have arrived. To make matters worse, Lars shows up, begging forgiveness. Lars's touches remind Seth of why he put up with his boss's behavior in the first place. If on
ly the words that came out of that beautiful mouth were as sweet as his kisses. But how can Seth find time to fix his broken relationship when the guests are demanding kosher, gluten-free diets, losing their pet terriers, and hitting their heads on the ice? Seth and Lars find themselves put through the paces of being a married couple, all while still broken up. But then again, if they can survive this Hanukah, maybe they'll be singing a carol of the Bellskis.
Bottom line up front:
Cute, but average. However, no snowball figging to be found here, so we'll add it to the 'win' column.
Seth is finally fed up when he realizes his lover of a year is more concerned with the opinions of his co-workers than staying in his lover's good graces. In true diva fashion, he stomps off to Canada someplace. He must really have been mad, because who goes to Canada willingly? When they're not draft doging? Just kidding.
Anyways, Seth gets to the B&B, only to find out that his aunt and uncle aren't there, and the place is all locked up. He used the spare key to let himself in, but they still aren't back when the guests show up. Seth takes it upon himself to play host for Hanukkah while whatever passes for police in Canada search for his missing relatives. In the meantime, Lars shows up on the doorstep, wanting another chance.
I like Amara's writing. The characters took turns being incredibly annoying and absolutely adorable. The whole gluten, lactulose, soy, and who the heck knows what else intolerant couple drove me bugnuts. Yes, I know people like that in real life, and they are very difficult to feed. Seth was just pinch hitting for his family, and could have just told the intolerable couple to find someplace else to stay.
The one person who he was trying to toss out wouldn't go. Lars was given several invitations to pound snow, but he did a good job of proving his devotion to Seth by sticking it out and doing all the cooking for the guests. I really empathized with the guy, because his boyfriend was really pressuring him to come out to family and co-workers, and he just wasn't ready. Not everyone has to be out and proud, yanno? Many problems could have been solved if Lars just fired Seth, or asked him to find a job at another law firm, but that solution would have been entirely too easy.
Overall, Carol of the Bellskis was an endearing holiday story that will almost certainly be immediately forgotten once the last page is turned. There was just nothing that really stood out or drew me in. Keep the book in a holiday file and bring it out next year. It will seem like a whole new book, since you won't have remembered ever reading it before.
Go get your copy here.
The funny part is this twit, who is apparently having trouble making sells of his own books, has decided to drop in, screeching and sobbing because the...what did he call them? oh yes, the psycho-sexual hen party...is messing up the world's perception of real gay men with their pansy twinks who fall in love and are monogamous. How dare they?
Your writers are pretending to be gay men -- which they are not. These FRAUDS are poaching on the exceedingly hard-won territory of gay literature. As a result a lot of serious writing by gay men is being swept to one side while this psycho-sexual hen party has its way with my life and the lives of those I've loved. I have nothing but contempt for this.HA! Dumbass.
Anyways, if you're bored this weekend and want a few moments of hilarity, go watch Ally Blue and Alex Beecroft bang their heads against a brick wall talking to this sniveling fucktard. Scroll down to the comments for all the fun. Or read the article again. There's authors, and rods shoved in cooters. Interesting reading, that.
Go over to LA weekly and read this article. It's about why women read gay romance, and it's pretty interesting. And I'm not just saying that because I was one of the women interviewed, lol. There's also cool pics of James Buchanan and Jet Mykles is there with bright pink hair too. Oh, and an interesting study where women got rods jammed up their hoohah. No, I didn't get to participate in that *frownyface*. And look at that cover pic. Hilarious!
As a mystery, it wasn't very mysterious. But that could be because I was significantly less interested in whodunit than whether Jake and Adrien were going to be Together Forever.
The rest: What's an Adrien English story without a dead body? Luckily, we'll never have to find out. As expected, there's dead people in the final installment of this much beloved series.
So our dear Adrien is expanding his bookstore and taking over the entire building now. Unfortunately, the other half of the building needs extensive renovation. It is during the renovations that the contractors come across some dessicated bones. Really, Adrien has the worst luck ever. Or not, since this is old meat and not the freshly killed variety he's been dealing with.
Some guy who lived in the building some fifty-odd years ago when it was a lodge came up missing and was presumed dead. Somebody else knows more than they're telling, because they keep trying to break into the building at night to find something. Curious Adrien hires this PI he knows...guy by the name of Jake Riordan...to investigate and find out what the heck is going on. Along the way, a few other people come up dead too, right after Jake interviews them.
It's all very interesting, I'm sure, but what I really wanted to know is: what happens between Jake and Adrien? Are they getting back together or what?
Much to my surprise, I was totally Team Jake in this book. Jake bucked up and swallowed the acid and all that at the end of the last book, and was just kind of waiting around for Adrien to forgive him. Adrien had gone through years of Jake's crap, and to top it off, the guy was cheating on him pretty much from jump street with another guy, not to mention the wife. Still, Jake retired from the force and came out to his family and did everything he could do to get Adrien back, and Adrien just isn't having it. Sadly, some things just aren't meant to be, yanno?
Tossed in like glittering diamonds amidst the rotted corpses of people and dreams were bright flashes of trademark Lanyon humor. This scene in particular nearly had me peeing, since it came at a crucial point in the story:
He spoke so quietly I had to strain to hear, “You remember asking me if I’d ever begged?”Outside of the funny, you just can't go wrong reading anything Lanyon. The writing is, as always, crisp and clever and captivating and all the other cool 'c' words.
I wiped the corner of my eyes, sniffed. “Is this about to get kinky?”
"Do you want it to?”
“Mmm.” I hastily wiped my nose. “Maybe. I read this thing about silk scarves and feathers once. I wouldn’t mind trying that one of these days.”
His mouth quirked. He said gravely, “I’ll keep that in mind."
I almost didn't want to read the end, because it would be over. But then I remembered that I have all the books...the first edition print versions (pre-Loose ID), in some cases...so I could start at the beginning and read it all again.
You can get The Dark Tide here on Dec 22nd. If you're one of the deprived few who haven't even started the series, pull your head out of your ass and go get the books here. Go ahead, give yourself a Christmas pressie.
Adrien English, minus the great writing...and with no editing to speak of...mixed in with Twilight-ish gay fantasy elements.
After reading Calmes' last book, Change of Heart, and loving it so much, I hit the author's backlist. All she had out was this series from Club Lighthouse Publishing. I think I shoulda just stuck with the book I liked.
The books start out with a stack of plot holes you could drive a bus through. Jory, our intrepid hero, is called in the middle of the night by a very good friend who has just left her husband. She forgot the dog, and asks him to swing by her place to pick it up, since she can't bear to be without the thing. Jory leaves the club in the middle of the night to go over to get the pup, arriving just in time to see a guy get shot. Apparently friend's husband is involved in some sort of organized crime, and Jory busted into the house in the middle of a police sting about to go down. The undercover cops weren't able to get enough evidence to convict friend's hubby on anything other than the murder charge, and Jory is the only witness to the murder. Now Jory's life is on the hit list, and Detective Kage has become his self-appointed bodyguard because Jory refuses to go into protective custody.
Errr...WHAT THE EFFF?
1)Throughout the series, Jory never again encounters Anna, the girl who is supposedly so close to Jory that she can call him at 2am to go get a flippin dog. Other than in vague references to what had people shooting at him in the first place, she is never mentioned again. Way to go, plot device o' convenience.
2)The undercover cops busted into the house as soon as they heard gunfire and pulled Jory out. But they don't have any evidence of anything, and need Jory to testify to the murder that happened because he's the only witness, and if Jory doesn't testify, Bad Guy will walk? Yeah, no. The police were ALREADY THERE. This being an age of technology, somebody had to be listening to something going on in the house, so they had to know for a fact that Bad Guy murdered someone. You have a body, the weapon, fingerprints, and a whole pile of DNA, for Chrissake. In what universe would you also need a witness? The police were already on the flippin property, about to bust Bad Guy for something else. There had to be at least 20 witnesses, so the whole premise that Jory is on some mob hit list because he's the only witness to a crime is pure bullshit.
3) Throughout the series, people randomly pop out of vans in the middle of the street to shoot at Jory, or show up at his old houses and mistakenly cut the occupant to bits. Despite this, he refuses to go into protective custody, saying he likes his job. Yet he has no family and very few close friends to speak of, so really nothing to lose by walking away and getting a new identity. And not only does he not go into protective custody...the little club bunny keeps right on dancing the night away pretty much every night in town,picking up random men for one night stands.
Everyone in this series, male and female, is drop dead gorgeous. No ugly people allowed in this world. All the rich, powerful men are either gay or adore Jory anyways. And they tend to steer Jory around by the neck. I never got that, why all the men put their hands on Jory's neck to guide him about the room.
Jory's relationship with his boss, Dane, is creepy at best and incredibly alarming. The guy pretty much tells Jory that he wants to own him, and does some really odd things to make that happen. Jory tries to establish independence, but he's completely overwhelmed and subsumed by the men in his life. If it wasn't Dane, it was Sam telling him where to live and what to do.
Despite all this, there is an energy and something really joyous about Calmes' writing that is utterly charming and captivating. I would like to see this series placed with a great editor who can polish the stories and fix the multiple grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes, as well as fixing the style some. The way the author put the conclusion at the beginning of every chapter, then backtracked with the events, drove me bugnuts. With a little work, this series would *glow*.
If you're in the mood for what essentially amounts to Adrien English fanfic, get this series and have a wonderful weekend reading the four stories. Get them here.
The rough and merciless pirate Black Wade and his band are the scare of the seven seas. And just like his greed for gold is insatiable, his sexual craving knows no boundaries as well: When they board a British ship, Wade takes Lieutenant Jack Wilkins as a prisoner to satisfy his lust. At first Wilkins struggles with all his might, but soon he has to acknowledge that he actually has pleasure in the eager sexual encounters with the handsome pirate. In the meantime his fiancée Annabeth is waiting wistfully for the return of Jack, not knowing if he’s still alive. And on the pirate ship emotions are running high as well: Buccaneer Marak keeps a jealous watch over the prisoner Jack. He would love to polish Wade’s gun barrel himself. Due to the rising nervousness Wade realizes that he cannot allow himself the tender feelings he begins to have for Jack. To prove how merciless he is, he maroons Jack on a raft and relinquishes him to the forces of the wide ocean. But that’s nowhere near the end of the story…
Kris and Sarah introduced me to this bit of loveliness. I got my book in the mail yesterday, devoured it, and want more. The artwork is stunning, and the story is smoking hot. The interaction between Jack and Wade is powerful and poignant, and I really had fun reading this book. Even had I not enjoyed the story...the artwork here is just breathtaking. This is not a book to be missed.
Amazon said they were backordered indefinitely, so I ordered from B&N and forgot to cancel my Amazon order. Oddly, I got my book from Amazon a few days after I ordered it *rolls eyes*. The bastages. But now I have two copies of Black Wade.
Soooo...I got to thinking. My TBR pile is uninspiring. I need a great story to drown in. Give me a book rec and tell me why you liked it so. Or just toss your name in the hat if you read so many wonderful books that you can't pick ONE. Will pick someone at random Sunday at midnight, HST.
Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies
1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup or brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila
1) Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.
2) Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one peastoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still ok, try another cup just in case.
3) Turn off the mixerer thingy.
7) Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
12) Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.
4) Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pry it loose with a drewscriver.
1) Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.
1) Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who geeves a sheet. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
1) Add one table.
5) Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.
9) Greash the oven.
14) Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.
7) Don't forget to beat off the turner.
4) Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the wishdasher.
Cherry Mistmas !
Up first, Family Unit, or Grizzled Old Balls Knocking Together. Ok, it really wasn't quite that bad, but you'd never know it from the cover. The two main characters here are forty-five and nearly fifty, respectively. We're not talking nursing home romance here, for all that one of the two is raising his grandchild. He got started making babies in high school, his son made the same mistake, and you end up forty-five years old with a nine-year-old grandkid. Shit happens.
The writing itself didn't suck. What put me off, not counting the cover, was the odd age cliches that got comical in that really bad way. In one scene, the characters are going at it and fumble around for some condoms. Both had been in a dry spell for some time, so they're trying to check the expiration date on the condoms to make sure they're still good. Problem is, both of the old bastards are apparently nearly blind with it and cant read the small print. So then they have to fumble about for the reading glasses to go with that condom and lube.
Incidences like that occurred several times, and completely killed a book that I would otherwise have enjoyed. Particularly confusing was that both of the characters in this book were in very good shape with no medical problems, and exercised regularly.
Then I read Wings. I wanted to like this book, particularly since Gaven had me all Wow and Whoa! Owens took a similar theme and what could have been an interesting fantasy story and turned it completely ass-backwards til it was just *wrong*.
Anyar was a young guard who got kidnapped by the prince of a warring faction. Not only does the dude get the feathers plucked out of his wings so he can't fly for at least a year, he gets raped. Repeatedly. Until he falls in love with his captor and all that raping becomes ok because now they're In Love.
Stockholm Syndrome is just not sexy or romantic to me, and the clever writing didn't change my mind at all here. Several scenes were just nauseating- like the time Vanyae rubs one out on Anyar's ass, then rubs the sperms all over Anyar's mouth until he swallows it...all while Anyar is unconscious. And when Anyar wakes up long enough to get raped and is screaming in pain, Vanyae rather earnestly tells Anyar "You make it worse" because he's not breathing deep and slow.
What. The. Fuck.
The writing here didn't suck, but I can't deal with non-con at all, and most especially not non-con that gets twisted into "he's hurting me because he loves me', so this book got shit canned. As in deleted from Sony and tossed into Dont Read Again Ever file.
The one time Amazon got a recommendation right, I think. I was actually shopping for Xbox games for the bratling when Amazon was all 'hey, you should get something for you, too. Here, try this!'
I looked, drooled, and bought. No idea what the flip this book is about...other than the obvious, since I'm guessing that's not sweat on his face...but I want it anyways. If the inside sucks, I'll rip it out and frame the cover.
Blue’s summer is heating up in more ways than one. When he befriends Dusty Sterling, he sees the opportunity to give his master Derek their first true threesome. But first, Blue must meet a requirement issued by Derek.
Derek is content with Blue as his exclusive lover, but when offered the chance to bring the beautiful Dusty into their bedroom, Derek's definitely tempted. He agrees to Blue’s idea under one condition—it’s Blue who must seduce Dusty.
Blind since birth, Dusty is proud, independent, and knows what—and who—he wants. In need of temporary shelter, he accepts an offer to stay with Derek and Blue. The fact that he finds them both attractive doesn’t hurt, but Dusty must let his hosts in on a secret—his unique and sometimes frightening way of “seeing.”
When Dusty’s nightmares reflect a pair of real-life murders, Blue uses his connections with the police to bring Dusty in on the case. The friends grow closer both in and out of the bedroom, but their bond will truly be tested by the evil that lurks in plain sight.
Bottom line up front:
Blue didn't annoy me as much as he did the last two books. Horny little bastage.
Blue is back again, and the bodies are piling up as usual. And, as usual, there's yet another toy in the bed.
Blue finally meets pretty Dusty, the pretty silver-haired kid Derek was drooling over in the last story. By magical coincidence, he's Jodi's neighbor. Blue remembers how hard Derek was staring at Dusty, and decides to give his master a gift wrapped pressie. Of course, he's attracted to Dusty as well, so it's win all around.
Dusty isn't just blind...he sees dead people. Well, he has premonitions of little gay boys getting murdered by whoever was copycatting Zack. You know, the guy from the other books who was killing kids who looked like Blue? Well, Zack is in the process of going to prison, and the murders haven't stopped. Dusty can see what happens as it's happening, which unfortunately isn't soon enough to actually save anyone. In between all these macabre visions, he's getting sucked and fucked by Blue while Derek watches and rubs one out all by himself.
BR4 was a bit different than the others in that the M/s relationship between Derek and Blue was a bit more fuzzy. Derek tied the kids up, but more for their fun and pleasure than anything. Blue was pretty much running the show throughout the story, with a sort of half-assed reining in of Blue's wilder tendencies by Derek.
Need You Tonight is a cute and fluffy book. Light, airy, no real substance, and everything tied up neatly in a bow by the end. No harm, no foul, and we're all happy friends. The contrast from the last few intense books I read was startling. I think I would have enjoyed the read more if I were looking for something sweet and easy, but I really enjoyed the last few epics and this book was pure Chinese food...great tasting, but surprisingly unfulfilling, yanno?
Still, if you're a fan of our favorite Bluenette, or just need a fun and fluffy book to aid and abet your post crazy holiday mental escapism, BR4 will fit the bill nicely.
Get your copy here.
Remember at the 2003 AMAs, when Madonna kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera? It was pretty hot, no? And replayed ad nauseum. Here it is, if you live under a rock and misssed it. Fast forward to 3:56 if you want teh sexxey:
So please to be explaining why, when Adam Lambert kisses his straight keyboardist, does that bit get edited out of the West Coast showing of the AMA's? Discuss!
For everyone who got the edited version. Changed the video out because the AMAs are issuing takedown notices. Kiss at 3:29:
PS: not a Glambert fan, and this performance was fairly hideous, but boy is he pretty to look at! Also, that roll across the stage? Not planned! He tripped going up the stairs, but made a fairly smooth recovery, lol.
To my knowledge, RWA does not accept GLBT submissions for RITAs. Will have to hunt for where I saw it, but I distinctly remember being told that het authors can choose to not read a book, and rate it as "this isn't romance', because to them m/m romance is not. They won't even review m/m romance! Professional mags will take an author's money for ads, but glbt romances are not even eligible for review.
Anyways...prove me wrong. Prove to me that there are GLBT romances out there that are judged for RITAs. Go back as far as you wanna and find me ONE m/m romance that has been nominated in any category for the RITAs. Just one. Doesn't have to have won the category, just been one of the nominees (would that be the finals, I guess?). Will donate $200 to the charity of your choice benefitting the glbt community to the first person who can find one. Feel free to enlist other people to do the hunting for you if you haven't the time.
ETA: The fab Katiebabs has generously added another $100 to the pot, so keep looking. The RITAs have been around since...what? 1980?? You can't tell me that not ONE slashy romance made it to the finals in nearly 30 years?
I've been thinking about this for a few days, and the more posts I see, the more annoyed I get.
This whole Harlequin getting into the vanity pub biz and RWA removing HQN's eligibility, and the authors who write for HQN whimpering and whining is bullshit. Yeah, and the authors who say they're so proud of how RWA took a stand against evil? You're fucktards too.
Where was all this wailing and gnashing of teeth and pulling out of hair and writing long blog posts protesting when RWA refused to allow GLBT authors to be recognized? When RWA pointed out that even if they did make GLBT books eligible for RITAs, they wouldn't be able to find anyone in their membership willing to read and judge them?
WTF with the double standard here? Why is it unfair that an author is 'being punished' by RWA for a decision their publisher made, when other authors who also write perfectly legitimate books can't get recognized either? Sucks to be part of the out crowd, dosn't it? But it was never a problem and it was never unfair until it happened to a large section of bestselling authors, rather than a small niche of relative unknowns.
As a young gay man—and a werepanther—all Jin Rayne yearns for is a normal life. Having fled his past, he wants nothing more than to start over, but Jin’s old life doesn’t want to let him go. When his travels bring him to a new city, he crosses paths with the leader of the local were-tribe. Logan Church is a shock and an enigma, and Jin fears that Logan is both the mate he fears and the love of his life. Jin doesn't want to go back to the old ways, and mating would irrevocably tie him to them.
But Jin is the mate Logan needs at his side to help him lead his tribe, and he won't give Jin up so easily. It will take time and trust for Jin to discover the joy in belonging to Logan and how to love without restraint.
Bottom line up front:
Finally! A book from DSP that was a well-paced, delicious read. And it had a very pretty cover.
Jin is a werepanther who was rather rudely exiled from his birth pack by none other than his own father. Sadly, daddy dearest couldn't have just issued a polite "feel free to leave" after Jin came out to the pack. Oh, no. Instead, he and the rest of the pack stripped Jin naked and beat him until they thought he was dead, then dragged his carcass behind a vehicle to the middle of nowhere and left him there. Luckily for Jin, his best friend since forever, Crane, saved his life and the two ran away together.
The two friends randomly wander from town to town, doing odd jobs. Their relative anonymity came to an abrupt halt when they save the sister of one of the local pack leaders. Jin meets the guy, finds out that he's the mate that he's always avoided, and spends the rest of the story going back and forth between needing his independence and wanting to belong.
Jin is absolutely darling. He's got the usual hangups of a young gay man who was rather unceremoniously kicked out of the only life he'd ever knows. Despite this, he worked, and was just a pleasure to follow along. There were some pack dynamics that were a bit fuzzy. We're told Jin is this thing called a reah, which is supposedly rare and valuable, but I'm not sure I understood what the heck a reah is supposed to do, exactly. Jin seemed to just have a charisma booster that made everyone like him. His responsibilities within the pack were a bit evocative of what an omega would do, but although the fact that he *had* responsibilities was mentioned several times, he didn't actually do anything that I could see, and what his tasks were or should have been weren't clearly delineated.
I didn't quite buy a few bits in the story in relation to the mating with Logan. As typical with were animals of any type, their society was generally het. It was unusual for any werepanther to be gay. Logan himself was straight, and was in fact in the process of marrying the sister of another local pack leader when Jin came along. Still, Logan went right into rimming and sucking Jin off with nary a blink, shrugging it all off under the oft repeated phrase of "well, we're mates". That's nice, but Gay For You isn't my favorite trope, and it stretches the bounds of what I'm willing to believe to have a guy play hooky at his own engagement party to a woman to stick his tongue up some guy's ass.
Still, I was intrigued by the Egyptian mythology themes interwoven throughout the story, and the alternate civilization built on worship of Bast, my favorite Goddess of them all. The secondary characters were all sharply painted, and contributed to what was an overall compelling story.
I thought I was all were'd out, but I very much enjoyed Change of Heart, and can only hope that it's the fabulous start of a new favorite series by a new-to-me author. Calmes is the first author I've read in recent memory who is tempting me to do a little research and glom the backlist, if one exists.
Get your copy here.
Take a look at the cover for this Ellora's Cave book and tell me what you think it's about:
Nekkid girl, nekkid man, both snuggled up with dude's arms wrapped around girl....must be het romance, right?
Here's the synopsis:
It’s Natalie’s ten-year high school reunion and she’s reluctantly joined the planning committee. Things start to look up, though, when she finds that Haley Moore is on the committee—and she’s even more gorgeous than Natalie remembered.
Ten years before, Natalie and Haley had experimented sexually together, but when high school ended, they went their separate ways. Their unexpected reunion finds them ready to make up for lost time, both in bed and out.
OMFG , is f/f! False advertising, to say the least.
To the amazing Army nurses and medics I work with now...
To everyone in uniform out there in the litter box of Iraq and Afghanistan fighting a useless and likely endless battle...
To everyone who has served in the past....
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE TO YOUR COU
25% Rebate at All Romance and OmniLit on All Samhain Publishing, Ltd. Titles!
This Thanksgiving Season we’re giving something to you.
From November 10-November 24 readers will be receiving a 25% eBook Bucks rebate on all Samhain titles.
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In the dual-gendered realm of Ylandre, the great divide between the high-born True Bloods and the lower-ranked Half Bloods is deemed impassable by most. Rohyr Essendri dared to cross it when he took young Lassen Idana from his provincial town and made him his paramour. Lassen perforce learned how to navigate the intricate byways of life at court. What he never expected, however, was to fall in love with Rohyr, a most inadvisable and impractical thing to do when one’s lover is sovereign ruler of the land. But anything worth having is worth fighting for, both figuratively and, as Lassen discovers, literally speaking.
Bottom line up front:
I read mpreg. And, to my everlasting shock, I absolutely loved this book.
I got this book specifically because I like the cover, and not because I did anything smart like read the blurb or the disclaimer or anything that normal people would do. Dang Anne Cain and her breathtaking art. Because of her, I randomly pulled a book off my TBR pile in a fit of boredom, and read it with absolutely no preconceived notions as to the content. This is not a book I would have bought, never mind read, otherwise. Just not my bag, yanno? Another rare occasion when I would have missed out on something wonderful.
My first clue that shit was about to go wrong was the prologue. It starts with the current king sitting at the bedside of a very ill woman, who shortly passes away. This woman wasn't family to the king, or even known to him. He just kinda showed up because she was THE LAST WOMAN BORN TO THEIR RACE. And she just died, having never married or had children. My mind sort of leaped ahead to images of extinction, or some sort of alien race coming in with females to interbreed or something. In the meantime, Chapter 1 is upon me.
Fast forward some two thousand years into the future, and we meet young Lassen. Young being subjective here, and Lassen is twenty-six. In this world, people (and by people, I mean men, since that's all that's left) age quite slowly. Thirty is the age of majority, forty is the age when making babies tends to happen, and the average lifespan is one hundred twenty or so. By comparison, twenty-six is young.
Anyways, the pretty and inquisitive young darling is on his way with the rest of his small town to await the emissaries of the Ardan, or king. The elders of the town have asked the Ardan for protection against incursions from a neighboring country. They are surprised when the Ardan, Rohyr, shows up. Surprise turns to shock when Rohyr agrees to provide protection for the town, but at a price. Rohyr had seen Lassen in the crowd, and asked to be given the young man in exchange for his protection. Seems a little weird that a king would want an underaged piece of ass in exchange for protecting a small town in the middle of nowhere, but what are convenient plot devices for, if not convenience?
Lassen gets given away to be the sexual playtoy of the king and goes to live in the capital city. He quickly falls in love with the smart and considerate Rohyr. Life is happy happy so much joy for a good decade. All that happy joy comes to an end when Rohyr is forced into a political marriage to his cousin, who predictably doesn't want Lassen around. Tyrde (I pronounced it 'turd', because he was one), the new...queen?...quickly hatches a plan to get rid of Lassen once and for all. Poor Lassen is left fighting for his love and his life.
The characterization and world building in Sacred Fate was just stunning. There was the occasional too much info dump, but for the most part readers got a good sense of the universe being presented without having to resort to maps and a history lesson. The characters that we were supposed to like were likable and relatable, and even the bad guys had a few redeeming qualities to make them seem more like good people gone wrong. This is one of those dense stories, where so much happens in the space of a few short paragraphs and pages. Even though the book was only some 160 pages long (yeah, don't let the 'plus novel' label fool you), it felt like it was much longer in a really good way. I was very much invested in the outcome.
The mpreg...you know, just the thought of it has squicked me something fierce in the past. The characters in this story are hermaphrodites, possessed of both male and female sexual characteristics. However, they're all identified as male, and it's a male society they live in. There's a choice whether to breed or not, and a wine that can be taken for contraception. Like most m/m stories, the sex here was mostly anal, and the times that it wasn't anal were very glossed over and faded to black quickly. Because the two main characters were very male, I didn't get the feeling that either was taking on a feminine role, and the pregnant parts just didn't bother me at all. I kept waiting to get uncomfortable, if not actually nauseous, but it never happened. Even pregnancy was sort of a natural progression of a loving relationship, and again, it wasn't dwelt upon ad nauseum.
The only time things could have gone icky for me was in the description of how the guys gave birth. It wasn't vaginally, and vagina was never mentioned by name anyways. It was swords and sheathes and seed pouches and seed channels. Babies came through the stomach, in a sort of Alien-ish explosion of...oh here's the part in the book:
His eyes drifted down to his abdomen. There was no sign as yet that he was breeding. That would not be obvious until the end of the fourth month of the half-year gestation period. Only then would his belly begin to swell enough to require looser clothing.
He traced the faint horizontal line that ran under his navel, almost a shade darker
than his skin. The birthing seam began to show a fortnight ago. It would continue to
darken in color, its thickness gradually diminishing as the time of birthing drew near before finally and naturally splitting open to permit the babe to emerge.
And what they gave birth to was more of an egg than anything:
Through the haze of exhaustion, he saw...their son, securely ensconced
in his natal shell. The shell looked like half the cooked white of an egg. No longer smeared with blood and birthing fluid, it was dark beige, its opaque surface streaked with the faintest traces of what looked like bluish veins.
[He] gaped when he saw the tiny infant cradled in its cushiony center, the faintly pulsing pale rose birth cord trailing across his belly to disappear into the folds of the shell surface. He had never seen a newborn fresh from the womb. It was the custom to keep days-old babies indoors and away from nonfamily members until the shell came off.
Despite his miniscule size, the child was completely formed. And judging from the
strength of his flailing arms and legs, healthy as well. The natal shell would protect him and provide nourishment until he was able to suckle. Whereupon the desiccated shell and cord would naturally detach.
Odd, but not enough to set off any squick alarms. Kinda cute, actually.
Sacred Fate is the first book I've read by this author. I was very much impressed by this intriguing, engrossing tale. The cover says 'Chronicles of Ylandre, Book One'. I cannot wait to see what's next.
Really, just go get your copy here. You'll like it. Promise.
That's...not sexy to me. Unless I'm actively in a scene, I don't want to be hit, and would be really pissed if someone thought it was cute or funny to start smacking me around mid stroke.
Why is spanking so popular in m/m romance, do you think?
- Current Mood: contemplative
That is all.
My favorite part, aside from the whole concept of bats and oral sex? This:
Intriguingly, the female lowered her head to lick the male penis during 14 of 20 copulations recorded on video. The licking typically went on for some 19 seconds, or roughly one-twelfth the average time of copulation. The male never withdrew from the female when she performed fellatio.
Fuck me if that doesn't sound like a scene from a Lora Leigh book!
But then I got to thinking...well, why not? I would totally give $500 to any m/m author (because SO not interested in girl cooties) who can work that scene into a book and sell it. For reals. If you're stuck on your NaNo WIP, here's your push, lol.
ETA: Because I'm surrounded by smart assed fuckers...
1) Bats. Like shifty mammal bats of any sub-type that naturally occurs in the wild..vampire, fruity, whatevs. No Batman costumes or dudes prancing in pleather and playtex.
2)Sell. To a publisher. Who will then publish your book. Writing some crap that you give to your play partner/ fuck buddy/ spouse/ circle jerk team member for 50 cents does NOT count as a sell.
3)M/M only. No girl cooties or fag hags with a rabies fetish.
4)No other rules, because rules are boring and make my ADD twitch.
Happy Berfday, asamisgirl!!!!!!!!
Several authors are reporting on Twitter that their titles have disappeared. Since my flist is primarily m/m authors, I don't know if this extends to het as well, or if B&N is pulling a censorship fail of Amazon proportions.
Here's to hoping it's a software glitch. Speculation is running rampant, from rumors that B&N is deleting books by authors who don't have a B&N buy link on their website, to they're getting rid of all ebooks not in epub format, because that's the preferred format for their new Nook reader.
Lemme know in comments if your stuff went bye bye.
Zac Mitchell and Bryce Tellier were best friends for the first two years of college, but things got complicated their junior year. Their senior year isn't looking to get any easier. Zac is out with a bang, featured in a magazine article on queer college athletes. Bryce didn't have a clue, but now Zac's revelation is shattering his world, making him question everything he thinks he knows, making him wonder if he'll manage to keep things together.
Bryce's father wants him out of the house he shares with Zac and two other friends, doesn't want him around someone like Zac. Bryce has spent years ducking his brothers' accusations about his sexuality. Now, Bryce has to decide where he stands, and he has to face how Zac makes him feel. Zac spent years working up the courage to come out and now he might have to go back in the closet to be with the person he wants most. Nothing seems right when Zac and Bryce part, so can these boys make their relationship work?
Bottom line up front:
There was crying. Lots of it. Bryce was slinging snot through pretty much the whole story. I hate crying guys, really I do. So why did I love this book so much?
Zac and one of his room mates, Perry, came out during Zac's junior year. For the rest of the year, things were a bit strained between him and his best friend, Bryce. Summer is over and they're going into their senior year. Not wanting another awkward year, and missing his best friend, Zac determines to clear the air between them. Somehow, that clearing the air ended up with him falling in love with his best friend and having to fight all year to try to get Bryce to calm the heck down and just be his boyfriend.
Bryce the Emo Swimmer was raised in a family where his father dictates everything and the sons sort of fall in line. He had the misfortune of not only being born last, but also being named after a formerly favored uncle who later came out. Because of this, he endured years of cruel taunts from his older and more assholic (is that a word?) brothers about how Bryce was somehow automatically gay.
Now poor Bryce is seriously screwed in the head and had almost daily breakdowns and panic attacks because kissing was great. Then touching the naughty bits felt good. Then he started crying because sticking his boy bits into somebody's bum was zomg!amazing. And after that, Zac made an offhand comment about maybe sometime in the distant future returning the favor and putting fingers and cocks in Bryce's ass, which set him off again. In between all this, Bryce has multiple mini anxiety attacks after a phone call from his father. His controlling dad read Zac's interview about being a gay athlete in a magazine and now wants Bryce to move out. Preferably before his speshul snowflake son is tainted by the gay germs.
Many of Bryce's internal conversations were some variation of this one:
He was serious about Zac, and he didn’t know how serious Zac was about him. He didn’t want to seem like a girl, getting all emotional about taking the step to fucking, getting emotional about dating and being together. He hated what a loser he was and kept cramming it down inside and hoping no one noticed.
Despite my almost instinctive and virulent dislike of long, drawn out pity parties, I found myself drawn to Bryce as a character, and empathizing with the situation he was in. There was a man whom he cared deeply for, and he genuinely wanted to explore that relationship to see where it went. On the other hand, his father was paying his tuition and housing expenses while he was in college. After college, Bryce was expecting to work for his father. He already knew that his father would react negatively to any declaration of love for another man. His father, after all, disowned his own brother after the guy came out. Bryce had every reasonable expectation that the same thing would happen to him. It's senior year of college, and Bryce had no way to support either himself or his boyfriend if the funds got cut off. All that aside, Bryce actually liked his asshole brothers and controlling father.
It hurt. Even if he wanted to come out, he couldn’t. Not until he was ready to give up his family. Fucked up as they were, they were still his family. And Zac. It felt like he was saying Zac wasn’t worth it. How was he supposed to compare?
While Zac and Bryce are involved in a hot and heavy relationship, neither is precisely gay either. Zac would more accurately be described as bi. Bryce very vaguely referred to situations in the past where he might have had a glimmer of attraction for other males, but rather ruthlessly suppressed it for fear of being booted out of his family and disowned like his uncle. There was a scene where Bryce had pity sex with an ex-girlfriend, and enjoyed it as much as he ever had.
Becoming Us is a deeply emotional story about a guy who was in a no win situation, and had to think long and hard about the choice he was about to make. There is no easy way out, and the consequences of picking either road were essentially untenable. I found myself deeply immersed in Bryce's struggle and, although I wasn't crying along with him, I certainly understood his frustration and need to vent.
The writing duo of Crow and Fox provide deep, thought provoking stories that interest and enthrall. This book was a refreshing change from fluffy stories of pretty boys rubbing off on each other, and will be crying it's way onto the keeper shelf. I highly recommend this book...but save it for when you're not already emotionally drained, because this book will pull it out of you.
As an odd side note...the story is actually rated chile pepper on TQ's ridiculous rating for the heat of books. I thought the sex scenes were holy wow smoking hot, but what the heck do I know??
Get your copy here.