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Nic Starr

Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told!

When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family–an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters–and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

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Currently reading

One True Thing
Piper Vaughn, M.J. O'Shea
Sweet Delight
Lynn Hagen
It Should Have Been You
Michael Murphy
The Prisoner (Broken, #1)
Kol Anderson
Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open
S.J.D. Peterson, Eric Arvin, Abigail Roux, T.J. Klune, S.A. McAuley, Jason Huffman-Black
Man, Oh Man! Writing M/M Fiction for Kinks & Cash
Josh Lanyon
Artistic Appeal (Bottled Up, #6)
Andrew Grey

All In With The Duke by Ava March

All In with the Duke - Ava March

Gambling on Love series


  • All In With the Duke (book #1) - in this review
  • Sharp Love - (book 2) - expected June 2014 (It's Jack Morgan's story!)
  • Viscount's Wager (book #3) - expected December 2014




The Blurb...


London, 1822


Max Arrington, the Duke of Pelham, vows to never again let a handsome face blind him to a man's true intentions. But ten months of celibacy and lonely nights drive him to a decadent brothel, where a beautiful young man arouses his illicit passions as never before. Tristan Walsh has grown tired of being used for men's pleasure. But his latest client is different: commanding yet generous, Max makes him feel cared for as well as wanted. Yet Tristan knows he'll never have the choice to leave the brothel and submit only to Max.


So when Max invites him to be his guest at his country estate, Tristan eagerly agrees to his terms—days to do as he pleases while Max tends to the dukedom, and nights spent together in wicked play. But when the "business arrangement" begins to deepen into something more, Tristan must face the fact that he has no true place in Max's life—or in Max's guarded heart…


So what did I think?


I was going to say that I don't read a lot of historical romance and those of you who follow my reviews may know that. So I thought I'd do a quick check and see how much 'not a lot' was. I was absolutely astounded to see that I have under 100 historical books on my shelves and more importantly, of the 816 m/m romance books I have read, only have been classified as historical. Maybe I've made an error classifying some but even if I had erroneously classified quite a few, it still wouldn't mean I've read that many!


The other thing that surprised me was how much I like this book! Which leads me to think that maybe I should be adding and reading much more of this style of story and I will definitely be reading the next in the series.


I was really impressed with this book. It is set in 1822 and both London and the countryside provide the backdrop to the story. There is a real sense of the time and place with the contrasting lifestyles of the aristocracy (Max is a Duke after all) and the harder life of a prostitute working off gambling debts. However this is a story strongly focused on the relationship between the two men.


Max, the Duke, is a man with power and wealth. He is a young man burdened by his responsibility, not living his life to its full potential. He is weighed down by guilt and pressure to succeed at running his Dukedom. After a failed relationship, and now untrusting of giving his heart away, Max meets Tristan who works at a house of ill repute. It only takes a couple of encounters for them to become smitten. Tristan, a poor country boy, moved to the city but gambling debts result in him being beholden to the brothel owner. When Max rescues him from a violent situation, they begin a journey of learning to trust, but a difficult journey due to the terms of their agreement.


Max and Tristan are perfect together physically. The sex in this story is sizzling and wonderfully written and plays a key role in the storytelling. However it is the development of the characters that really shone through - Max dealing with his trust issues and learning to enjoy his life and Tristan overcoming his fierce sense of pride to accept what Max can provide if they are to have any type of life together.


My only minor negative comment about the story was the ending. It was a happy ending, or as happy an ending can be for two men living in an age where they can't openly be together, but it seemed a little flat. I would have preferred it to end with a bang! I am now very much looking forward to the next installment!


A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.




To find out more about Ava March and her books visit her website.


Buy All In With The Duke from Amazon.

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Chasing the Sun by Jacob Z. Flores

Chasing the Sun - Jacob Z. Flores

The Provincetown Series:




The blurb...


As a physician and prominent citizen of Victoria, Texas, Dr. Gil Kelly took a hard fall when his vengeful wife revealed his infidelity with other men. Closing ranks around her, the town’s elite ostracized him, and his relationship with his children was nearly destroyed. After spending his life focused on living for others, he has no idea how to live for himself. He wants to find love but now settles for anonymous sex that only further clouds his world with shame and guilt.


Gil believes finding true love is an unobtainable dream, what his father used to call “chasing the sun.” Then he runs into Tom Martinez, his son’s childhood best friend, who returned to town a grown man and offers everything Gil needs. But Gil hesitates to fall into Tom’s arms, because after his high-profile divorce, the potential scandal of loving a younger man could separate him from his children permanently.


So what did I think?


I struggled a little bit rating this book. I think it was because my expectations were so very, very high based on the first book, when Love Takes Over.  This book was very different, enjoyable but maybe not to the level of it's predecessor.


The best thing about this story was that it involved an older man. I love to read stories of people finding love later in life and people finding love after making changes in their lives. This is the case with Gil, who comes out after years of marriage. He has two children (including Zach from the first book)and needs to face the prospect of letting them know he has a boyfriend - Zach's childhood friend Tom.


Gil hadn't felt comfortable with his old group of friends since his separation from his wife, he is concerned about his kids and he is worried about the huge age gap between him and Tom. Tom has no hesitation and knows that Gil is the man for him, after having pined for him for years and waiting for the right moment to strike up a relationship.


It's a nice story, dealing with some very real issues. I wanted Gil and Tom to be happy and liked the moments they were honest with each other and of course, the public declarations. However, I didn't really like the small presence of Zach and Van in the story. They didn't feel like the same characters from the first book so I felt slightly disappointed.


Was it also a little strange that the series is called Provincetown but the book was set elsewhere?


It gets a couple of extra points for romance too - I could just picture Gil and Tom dancing to Anne Murray's "Could I Have This Dance?"




To find out more about Jacob Z. Flores and his books visit his website


Buy Chasing the Sun from Amazon


Buy Chasing the Sun from Dreamspinner Press

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Eight Second Cowboy by Piper Kay

Eight Second Cowboy - Piper Kay

The Blurb...


It’s Rodeo Roundup time in Houston. Undefeated bull riding champion, Matt Stevens, runs into longtime nemesis, Lance Loskey. Matt is intense, his focus and drive sustain him, but seeing Lance with his carefree attitude rages a plethora of feelings to the surface. This mellow cowboy is in position for more than just the championship after a freak accident paves Lance's way. This is an opportunity for bull riding opponents to embrace their destiny. Will they succumb to fate, or will stubborn pride end the 8 second ride in tragedy?


So what did I think?


This book has heaps of strong reviews (on Goodreads), averaging 4.4 stars as I write my own review. I think I must have missed something here because, although I liked the story, there were quite a number of things that I found off putting. I would suggest you check out the reviews of others before deciding on this book based solely on my review because it seems I might be the odd one out (I haven't yet read the other reviews as I never read them before writing my own review but I will check some out later to see what others picked up on that escaped me). Anyway...


Firstly, I did like reading the book, the story wasn't bad and it was nice way to while away some time. It wasn't earth shattering, just a story about a guy who discovers he has unexpected feelings for another man after never having felt that way about a guy before. In this gay-for-you/enemies-to-lovers story, Matt is fearful of coming out on the rodeo circuit which threatens his relationship with Lance. I just had a few minor issues that prevented this book from reaching over 3 stars for me.


I think the main thing that I struggled with from the beginning was the first person, present tense POV. Instead of it providing a deep connection to the character of Matt, I found it somewhat uncomfortable reading. Probably just a personal thing...


Another pet peev of mine is the use of some language that appeared in this book, the sort of language that I find unromantic or lacking in true passion. There was overuse of the word 'pucker' and I didn't like statements like "I squirt my hot juices.." or "..several little squirts, and then a huge discharge.." - it all sounded too clinical and like a festering wound!


At one point, Matt makes a confession about something traumatic in his past. I just didn't feel the emotion which was similar to other parts of the story where the conversations appeared a little stilted without a natural flow. Plus I found it unbelievable that a bull-rider not only had never ridden a horse but was scared of them! So all-in-all, it was okay for a quick read, so long as you enjoy the first person present tense and aren't as adverse to some of the language as I am! And it was only $0.99 so maybe I shouldn't complain so much. :)




To find out more about Piper Kay and her books visit her website.


Buy Eight Second Cowboy from Amazon.

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Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux

Shock & Awe  - Abigail Roux

The Sidewinder series:

  • Shock & Awe (book #1)
  • Bait & Switch (included with book #1)


The Blurb...


After barely surviving a shootout in New Orleans, Sidewinder medic Kelly Abbott has to suffer through a month of recovery before he can return home to Colorado. He’s not surprised when fellow Sidewinder Nick O’Flaherty stays with him in New Orleans. Nor is he surprised when Nick travels home with him to help him get back on his feet—after all, years on the same Marine Force Recon team bonded the men in ways that only bleeding for a brother can. He’s very surprised, though, when Nick humors his moment of curiosity and kisses him. Nick knows all of Kelly’s quirks and caprices, so the kiss was a low-risk move on his part . . . or so he thought. But what should’ve been a simple moment unleashes a flood of confusing emotions and urges that neither man is prepared to address. Now, Kelly and Nick must figure out what they mean to each other—friends and brothers in arms, or something even deeper?—before the past can come back to ruin their tenuous future.


So what did I think?


"We know each other better already than we could ever hope to know anyone else. Our pasts, our hopes and fears, all our secrets. We've already shared all of that. We know we're compatible..."


Why should you read this book?


1. It has Nick



2. It has Kelly



3. It has Nick AND Kelly - together!



4. The sex is sizzling - "Come for me," Nick whispered. "Scream my fucking name."



["Come for me," Nick whispered. "Scream my fucking name." (hide spoiler)]


5. We get a little glimpse of Ty & Zane and Ty's mission


The downside? It's too short! Book #2 now please Abi!


Note: The eBook copy I read contains Shock & Awe plus the short story, Bait & Switch which kicks in around the 75% mark.




To find out more about Abigail Roux and her books visit her website.


Buy Shock & Awe from Riptide Publishing.


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The Oasis by A.J. Llewellyn

The Oasis  - A.J. Llewellyn

The Palm Springs Diaries series:


  • The Oasis (book #1) - in this review
  • The Haven (book #2)




The Blurb...


Elias and his best friend/roommate Josh take the plunge and head to Palm Springs for one of the notorious gay circuit parties that take place in the lavish desert resort called The Oasis on holiday weekends. After a disastrous start, they find all the sex with all the hot bodies they could want. However, they find to their surprise that the real oasis... was right under their noses all along. Elias and Josh realize there is something else between them. Could their real oasis be... each other?


So what did I think? This is one of those books where I've had a hard time actually deciding how much I really liked it. Yes I did enjoy it, yes I would recommend it as a quick enjoyable read, but I don't think I'd rave about it.


There were some elements that were great - some humour and a light-hearted touch plus the inclusion of Elias' son Julio (I love stories of men who love their children and place their happiness above all else).


But the story felt a bit disjointed. Elias and Josh are best friends and roommates and this is a friends-to-lovers story with a lot of other stuff happening. The story jumps from the men planning a weekend away, discussion about Elias' struggles with work and pleasing his father, long scenes at Josh's work where he films gay porn, a trip to a resort for basically a huge sex party, worry about Elias' weight and his obsession with pie, bumping into Elias' ex, the leather scene, custody issues regarding Elias' son, Josh and Elias falling in love, work troubles and run ins with the police for Josh......it's almost too much to cram in to a book of this length!


And did I mention the sex? Sex at the porn studio, sex at the resort, sex in their apartment - sex with so many people it was a little like watching porn - and most of them were porn stars! I enjoyed the sex between Elias and Josh but not so much the sex with the others, except for when jealousy started to rear its head giving some indication of the feelings between the men.


However, overall I did enjoy the story and read it in one sitting and will read the sequel, The Haven. 


On a final note, I did find the cover slightly misleading. It shows three gorgeous men and I fully expected a story between the lead characters and a significant third. This was more like sex with a lot of other men although I believe that one of these will make an appearance in the next book. I should have paid more attention to the blurb so as to not have been influenced by the cover!




To find about more about A.J. Llewellyn and his books visit his website.


Buy The Oasis from Amazon.

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Trusting Thomas by K.C. Wells

Trusting Thomas - K.C. Wells

The Collars and Cuffs series:





The Blurb...


Christmas is a time for goodwill to all, but Collars and Cuffs co-owner Thomas Williams receives an unexpected gift that chills him to the bone. A Dom from another Manchester club asks Thomas for his help rescuing an abused submissive, Peter Nicholson. Thomas takes in the young man as a favor to a friend, offering space and time to heal, but he makes it clear he’s never had a sub and doesn't want one. Peter finds Thomas’s home calm and peaceful, but his past has left him unwilling to trust another Dom. When Thomas doesn't behave as Peter expects, Peter’s nightmares begin to fade, and he decides he’d like to learn more about D/s life.


A well-known trainer of submissives, Thomas begins to teach Peter, but as the new submissive opens up to him, Thomas finds he cares more for Peter than he should. Just as he decides it’s time to find a permanent Dom for Peter, they discover Peter’s tormentor is still very much a threat. With their lives in danger, Thomas can’t deny his feelings for Peter any longer. The question now becomes, can Peter make it out of the lions’ den alive, so that Thomas can tell his boy that he loves him?


So what did I think?


"One day you will see things differently. One day you'll awaken to sunshine, not just in your room but in your heart, and you'll be able to step out of the shadows, to become the person you were meant to be."


The character of Peter was beautifully written,so broken and sad. It was wonderful to watch his blossoming under the tender care of Thomas and the friendship provided by Alex. Peter's view of submission was warped by his experience with a cruel and uncaring man. Peter knew where his natural inclinations lay but his trust was abused until he lived a life in fear.


The story is very focused on Peter's emotional healing, his learning to trust and ultimately learning to love while giving himself to a man who loves him in return. Thomas is the man to meet all of Peter's needs but it takes Thomas a while to come to that realisation. He is fearful of the significant age gap between Peter and himself and has been alone for so long that the club had become his focus. Thank goodness for good friends to help him see the light!


Abuse, emotion, submission, sex, love, friendship, drama...this book was a wonderful continuation of the series!


Another thing I did like was the small cross-over with the Learning to Love series characters. Detective Inspector Mark Saunders appears in this book and there is reference to his son Josh and his housemate Daniel - Daniel helpfully lent DI Saunders a cock-ring to fit out as a listening device! :) Make sure you check out my review of that series. Josh's story can be found here.




To find out more about K.C. Wells and her books visit her website.


Buy Trusting Thomas from Dreamspinner Press.


Buy Trusting Thomas from Amazon.

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☊☊☊☊☊ Hot Head by Damon Suede ☊☊☊☊☊

Hot Head (Head #1) - Damon Suede

A highly recommended audio book!


  • Hot Head (book #1) - in this review
  • Hard Head (book #2) - release date is unknown



The Blurb...


Where there's smoke there's fire. . . Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181: Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately Dante is strictly a ladies' man and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For 10 years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish. Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do… until Dante is nearly bankrupt and proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay-porn website where uniformed hunks get down-n-dirty… Now Dante wants them to appear there— together. Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?


So what did I think?


I read this book and loved it but then bought the audio version because I heard rave things about Charlie David's narration and I wanted to check it out!


I still love the story - two tough and gorgeous firefighters and Griff's secret love for his best friend Dante. It has it all - heroics, heartache, hot porn, passion, Griff in a kilt and sexy Dante!


And Charlie David's narration definitely does complement the telling of the story beautifully. At first I was worried that the story would be somehow diminished if the narration did not live up the expectations set by my own reading, but I was not disappointed at all.


I loved the sexiness of Charlie's voice, his accents, tone and pace, all of which captured the character and spirit of the book perfectly. If you are looking for a good book to read, particularly if you are after an audio book, then Hot Head is highly recommended!





To find out more about Damon Suede and his books visit his website.


Buy Hot Head from Amazon.


Buy Hot Head from Dreamspinner Press.


Or visit Audible where the audio book is on sale for only $3.49! Brilliant value!


I publish all my m/m reviews on my blog so if you want to see all my m/m reviews in one place come visit at Because Two Men Are Better Than One!

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Enjoy The Silence by L.A. Witt

Enjoy The Silence - L. A. Witt

The Blurb...


Zander Lynch has his limits. He loves touring as the lead singer of his band, but sometimes, he needs a little peace and quiet. Just an hour of silence after a show with no one asking him questions or making demands. Brad Reese needs this job. He’s recently been hired by the volatile, obnoxious lead guitarist…who is also Zander’s on-again off-again boyfriend.


As much as Brad would love to get to know Zander, he’s not risking his job for someone who’s likely out of his league anyway. But after a chance encounter, the attraction between the two men is undeniable. And though it means risking peace within the band—not to mention Brad’s employment—they might just be what the other has been missing.


So what did I think?


This was a fairly simple and quick to read story set in the world of rock n' roll.

It has a focus on balancing relationship decisions with career choices as Zander has been staying with what (and who) he knows and making personal sacrifices so as not to rock the boat and upset the dynamics of the band.


Brad is selfless, loving Zander the man not Zander the rock star. "Maybe because I'd sat with him for a little while, shared a laugh and some smoke, and he hadn't ruined his image by being a pretentious jerk or looking down his nose at me. He'd been human, and so seeing him now with all his stage dress and makeup, his larger-than-life effect was somehow more pronounced.". Zander is attracted to Brad who sees the real person and wants what's best for him. "Brad was a breath of fresh air in so many ways. He was so giving, so unselfish. He barely knew me, but still went out of his way to keep me sane." Rick is the man who tries to manipulate them both.


It's a short story with some steamy but very loving sex scenes, a bit of drama and a HFN ending. 




To find out more about L.A. Witt and her books visit her website.



Buy Enjoy The Silence from Amazon.

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Take Me, Break Me by H.C. Brown

Take Me, Break Me - H.C. Brown

The blurb...


Reno Rocket, bass player for the rock band Dazed, thinks he’s on the straight and narrow but is his girlfriend just a cover for his confused sexuality? When the new lead singer, Tanner Star, walks in, Reno's libido snaps to attention. His attraction to the famous rock star is immediate and disconcerting. Performing with Tanner every night blows Reno’s mind, and the moment Tanner grinds against him on stage, “curious” takes on a whole new meaning. 

Tanner wants more than a lover. He wants a sub, and he’s willing to guide Reno into the world of BDSM. In turn, Reno wants to be everything to Tanner—lover, sub, and partner—but he fears the ghost of Tanner’s dead boyfriend will come between them. 

At first they manage to find a balance and life is idyllic… until one rash action by Tanner plunges their new love affair into chaos. Will Reno admit to the world that he’s gay and face the media and his family’s wrath, or will he deny the love and exquisite attention Tanner’s world has brought him?


So what did I think?


I didn't mind this story and quite enjoyed the book but for me the realism about the dominant/submissive relationship was lacking which would be my main criticism. I liked the characters and the setting but Tanner as the Dom just wasn't believable. It was interesting to watch Tanner and Reno interact at the beginning of the book. Their discussions/negotiations about their relationship seem a bit off and all over the place but I liked seeing them together.


One of the issues I had with this book was that some statements are made about the characters which conflict with other statements or actions. For example, there is a comment about Reno.."For years, he had hovered on the edge of uncertainty about his sexuality." He actually doesn't seem that uncertain given he doesn't have sexual thoughts about women and is intensely turned on by gay BDSM porn. And he's quite comfortable with the concept of submission for a man who's not sure of his sexuality.


Somehow there was a lack of believeability - when Reno first used the word "Master" it just seemed strange.I just didn't find Tanner's behaviour very dominant, maybe a bit of a case of talking the talk but not following through. Overall, this was nice story with some hot sex but didn't really deliver in terms of the BDSM relationship.

Saving Alexander - Susan Mac Nicol

Make sure you check out the book trailer and also check out my review. 


I publish all my m/m reviews on my blog so if you want to see all my m/m reviews in one place come visit at Because Two Men Are Better Than One!

Soulmate (Sin #1) by Kol Anderson

Soulmate - Kol Anderson

The Blurb...(From Goodreads)


There's a very fine line between love and sin. The Mason family has a secret. Hunter and Kayden grew up trying to cover that secret and trying to find a way to deal with it, but all they've received in return is misery. When Hunter brings home a girl that looks like she's going to be staying a while, Kayden begins to find that hard to deal with. WARNINGS: ABUSE, NON-CON, DUB-CON, RAPE, INCEST


The Blurb....(from Amazon)


Kayden hasn't had the most perfect childhood. Now that he's a grown man he's still trying to find himself. Add to that the fact that he's having trouble adjusting to changes. When he finds Jacob, it seems like a match made in heaven, but life has other plans


So what did I think?


This is a fairly intense story of the relationship between Kayden and Hunter. The men are brothers who have survived a traumatic and abusive upbringing with Hunter taking care of and protecting his younger brother Kayden.


Kayden does have a relationship with Jacob but I found the relationship between Kayden and his brother and their history, to be more the focus of the book.


Jealousy over Hunter's girlfriend moving in pushes Kayden to confront the feelings he has towards his brother. He battles his jealousy and the attraction he feels towards Hunter. The story is filled with sorrow and pain. The delicate emotional state and confusion of both men is clear.


The ending is not what I expected and I'm not sure if I even got a sense of a possible happy ending. Will they be happy? Who knows? But I definitely want to read the next installment in the story to find out what happens next.


I also noted the blurb is different on Amazon than it is on Goodreads. The Amazon blurb is really short and doesn't really mention Hunter which seemed rather interesting. Not sure why the difference.




To find out more about Kol Anderson and his books visit his website.


Buy Soulmates from Amazon.


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Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk

Widdershins - Jordan L. Hawk

The Whyborne and Griffin series:


Widdershins (book #1) - in this review

Threshold (book#2)

Stormhaven (book #3) - expected release 3rd December


Author: Jordan L. Hawk

Narrator: Julian G Simmons





The Blurb...


Some things should stay buried. Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man. So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible.


Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.


As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?


So what did I think?


This is another book that I listened to via the Audible version. I have not read this book previously so the narration was my first experience of the story. I'm going to make a claim without really being able to back this up - the audio version was brilliant and really enhanced my enjoyment of this story! Okay, I don't really know if I would have enjoyed it any less if I had read it but I totally adored the narration of this book.


The characters were totally wonderful and I fell in love with both Whyborne and Griffin. Outwardly Whyborne was so unsure of himself, shy and unassertive, totally lacking self confidence but in reality he was a wonderfully strong man - standing on his own, following his own path in life and supporting himself rather than relying on his well-to-do father. Griffin appears strong and confident but has his own demons and inner torment. Together they are fabulous.


I am not a huge fan of historical romances and only read a smattering in the paranormal genre so was surprised by how much I liked this book. The style of writing, the speech and the behaviour of all the characters seemed to capture the era perfectly. I particularly liked the formality of interactions between work colleagues and the totally fabulous Christine!


The story was full of mystery, intrigue and horror as Whyborne and Griffin team up to stop the resurrection of wonderfully descriptive evil monsters. They follow clues, deal with Whyborne's colleagues at the museum, fight off half-human-half-animal creatures, all while their attraction for each other grows.


Julian G Simmons captured the essence of Whyborne perfectly. The soft spoken quality of his voice, his tone and inflections matched the character of Whyborne and was totally in keeping with the period of the story. I can highly recommended the audio version!






To find out more about Jordan L. Hawk and her books visit her website.


Buy Widdershins from Amazon


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No Flag by Liz Borino

No Flag - Liz Borino

The Blurb...


For Mike and Will, “No Flag” meant “come home alive”, but will their love survive what happens next? Captain Mike Kelley does not ignore his intuition, so when sexy bartender Will Hayes captures his heart, Mike embarks on a mission to win him over to a Domestic Discipline relationship. Will accepts with one caveat: Mike must promise not to renew his Army contract. Mike agrees, and they spend a year building a life together, getting married, and starting a business.


Only days before their café’s grand opening, Mike receives news that threatens everything he and Will have built. The Army invokes the Stop Loss military policy to involuntarily extend his commission and send him back overseas. Will, left alone to cope with the café, must rely on the support of old friends who may be no longer be trustworthy. Through emails and Skype calls, Mike and Will keep their love and structure alive…until the day a horrific terrorist attack occurs on Mike’s outpost. Mike awakens in a hospital with a devastating injury and no his memory of the attack. As the only survivor, Mike’s memory may be the key to national security.


Mike struggles to cope with his injury and Will struggles to support the man who always held him up. Both fear they have lost their previous relationship. Will has Mike back rather than a folded flag, but in the aftermath of war, can they rebuild the life they had before? Especially when those closest to them may not have their best interests at heart?


*Contains BDSM elements in the context of a loving relationship.*


So what did I think?


Let me start by saying that I enjoyed this book and the overall story of Mike and Will. It follows a really interesting journey as the two men embark on a relationship that is littered with hurdles. There was an emotional element to the story in which lots happens, and kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next.


The blurb (surprisingly?) gives away a lot of the plot - Mike and Will start a relationship in which Will accepts the rules of their partnership so long as Mike promises not to be redeployed. Things don't go according to plan, Mike is sent back to the war zone, friends undermine Will's relationship by questioning the terms of this relationship with Mike and doubting Mike's fidelity and finally Mike suffers a terrible injury which threatens the very nature of their relationship. There is definitely heaps going on!


On the positive side I liked both characters. Mike is so honest and caring and Will shows the depth of his love when he cares for Mike on his return from hospital. I struggled at the beginning to imagine the men together, finding Mike's OCD a bit over the top and Will's acceptance of it just a bit too easy, but by the end of the book they were wonderful together. I loved the concept of 'no flag' and the inscription Will arranged for Mike's wedding ring. Ending their calls with 'no flag' was such a lovely romantic symbol of love and promise.


I liked the fast pace. I liked the tension and the drama. The bombing and the government involvement made for an interesting story (but you've got to be concerned that the military couldn't solve the mystery of who were the bombers without Mike's help!)


So what were the short comings in my opinion? Firstly, I actually missed how Mike and Will got to the place where they were negotiating a domestic discipline relationship. I understood Mike with his OCD and need for order and control but didn't feel as sold on Will's submissive tendencies. It all just seemed a bit rushed. And when they finally had sex, I couldn't understand the reasoning for Mike's bottoming on their first encounter. I just found it a bit too confusing. Secondly, I didn't really get the story line involving the psycho friend and why they behaved that way. From the sounds of both comments I just made, I think I need to read the book again to see if it gets clearer second time around! :) Finally I disliked some of the sex terminology (I hate the repeated use of the word 'member' and lines like 'squeezing the white juice from their bodies' and didn't find the sex all that sexy. But I wasn't really reading for the sex, more the other interactions between the men.


There were minor editing issues in my copy but nothing that really stood out too much. This is a "liked it and enjoyed it" book. 3.5 stars.


By the way, do any other readers have the same problem I do with chapter headings that are dates? By the time I get to the next chapter with the new date I have no idea what the previous date was so have no idea how long has passed. And since the dates are there I feel knowing this is significant so feel like I'm missing something important (but not so much that I feel the need to flick back and forth in the Kindle).


A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.


To find out more about Liz Borino and her books visit her website.


Buy No Flag from Amazon.


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Intercession by Pepper Espinoza

Intercession - Pepper Espinoza

The Blurb...


After fifty years of searching for his lost brother, vampire David Derringer attempts the unimaginable: he bends his knee in prayer. While he doesn’t believe, his mother’s faith was strong, and her final request—a request made the night she and David died—keeps David on the path to his younger brother, Danny, despite the many obstacles. David doesn’t expect his prayer to be answered. He certainly doesn’t expect an angel to intercede on his behalf.


Jophiel is tasked not only with helping David find his brother but with saving David’s soul. It seems like an impossible assignment meant to punish him, especially when they must face the Brotherhood of St. Rocco, an organization dedicated to eradicating vampires. But David has a chance to prove he’s not like other vampires when he meets Arthur, a young man with a secret and a death wish.


Following a very steamy encounter, Arthur expects to be bitten. David never even drops his fangs. Which is a good thing, since Arthur might be the key to finding Danny before it’s too late.


So what did I think?


I found this story unique and engaging. It tells the tale of David who has been searching for his brother for 50 years. As his desperation increases he turns to a church and prays for help. Help arrives in the form of angel Jophiel.


David has led a vampire's life but he is not like the other vampire's who roam the earth and live in the sewers, avoiding the Brotherhood, an organisation who hunt down and kill vampires. David's mission to find his brother Danny means he risks his life as he searches.


Jophiel is tasked with helping David and is convinces he does have a soul. He joins David on his journey and finds himself tempted in ways he never expected. Be prepared for some angel sex which is pretty spectacular! "He let his soul seek out David's as he rose up, let his heart sing, and chronicled every second, every unnecessary breath and gasp and sigh and squeak between them."


Vampires, angels, the mystery of Danny, attacks by the Brotherhood and temptations of the flesh - there's a lot going on and it makes for an interesting and engaging story. Things get even more interesting when David and Jophiel meet Arthur which adds a whole other layer of complexity.


The downside to this book? Yes, there's a pretty big one - the story just ended! I was left thinking what happened? it can't just end there! I understand there might be a sequel but when? It would be a real shame for the story not to continue so fingers crossed that a sequel is published!


This is a 4 star read!


To find out more about Pepper Espinoza visit the website.


Buy Intercession from Amazon.


Buy Intercession from Dreamspinner Press.

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Burning Ashes by H. Lewis-Foster

Burning Ashes - H. Lewis-Foster

The Blurb...


Intelligent and confident, Australian cricketer Nat Seddon is one of the world's best bowlers. He's openly gay, but keeps his private life to himself, everything under control. But on the last day of his team’s “Ashes” tour of England, he meets Scott Alverley, England’s promising new batsman.


Nat tries not to be attracted to Scott, but he can’t help finding the privileged young man handsome and endearing. Nat is tempted by a little end of tour fun, but finds himself playing agony uncle to a virgin. Instead of going home to bask on a beach, he spends a wet week in the north of England with Scott. Try as he might to resist, he can’t help falling hopelessly in love.


The hectic sporting calendar is a persistent obstacle to their growing romance; Nat and Scott are rarely even on the same continent. They make the most of the time when they can be together, but the months apart take a toll on Scott, professionally and personally. The possible solutions are nearly unthinkable, but if they are willing to make sacrifices that will change their lives forever, they might hold on to the love they found in the Ashes.


So what did I think? Okay, so cricket isn't my favourite sport. Yes, I'm an Aussie, I even have a test cricketer in my family tree but cricket is boring! Hubby buys tickets every January and every year I do everything to avoid having to go (luckily with great success!) Anyway, happily this story isn't too focused on the particularities of the game and most of the time is spent with the main characters as they deal with the challenges of their relationship.


This is a case of instalove as a champion fast bowler from Australia falls for an up-and-coming player from the English side. What follows is a long distance relationship that has career and life-altering impacts for the two men.


The last 25% of the book was actually the most enjoyable - it had more angst and a couple of cute twists where it looked like something bad happened but it hadn't really  (although after the third such incident it felt like this trick was slightly overused). There is lots happening in this book and it covers a quite a long period of time (over 6 years). I was surprised by a significant event at about the halfway point in the story as I wondered why such a climatic event would be at this midway point and what was then left. However the story continued to cover careers, injuries, world travel, family, sacrifices and love.


The characters are totally self-sacrificing, tripping over themselves to be the one to give up things for the other's happiness but I think I actually liked this in the context of this story. I liked the protectiveness they felt and the love they shared. I appreciated that these strong sportsman weren't afraid to cry, particularly Nat, the older of the two.


The insta-love was a bit unbelievable but acknowledged by the characters "How could he give up his whole life for a man with whom he had almost nothing in common and with whom he'd spent roughly five weeks since they met?" and I was a bit surprised by the choice made by one character to leave his country and coach for the other side. But I liked the cute cultural references and the way the story was told.


A sweet 3.5 stars.


Buy Burning Ashes from Amazon.


Buy Burning Ashes from Dreamspinner Press.


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Daron's Guitar Chronicles: Volume One (Daron's Guitar Chronicles, #1) - Cecilia Tan




Author: Cecilia Tan

Narrator: Teddy Hamilton



Daron's Guitar Chronicles Volume 1 is the first in a series of stories about the life of Daron, a young nineteen year old musician growing up in the 1980's in the world of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.


Check out the author, Cecilia Tan's video which tells a little about how this series of books came into being.


I actually listened so the audio version of this book and quite enjoyed the narration by Teddy Hamilton. His voice and inflections really seemed to suit the story and the character of Daron.


The story itself is part of a larger journey, and this book only covers a small part of Daron's life. In this first book, we are introduced to Daron and his struggles to find his path in life. With dysfunctional parents who he no longer really sees or talks to, he is out making it on his own. He is trying to get his band up and running while earning enough money to fund his college course. He is also struggling with his sexuality and everything that goes along with discovering who he really is and what he wants.


A large part of the story is taken up with Daron accepting a roadie gig with the band of a friend of his father's. As he travels the country he meets some interesting people and has some interesting encounters - from a couple of sexual exploits with men to being actively pursued by a girl also on the tour.


This is not a romance, this is a character driven tale that introduces Daron - he is sweet and insecure and a bit confused - and tempts the reader into the next book of the series where Daron's journey continues.


This is a relatively short book, at least I think it is. I have the Kindle version but listened to the Audio version which is just over 4 hours long (the audio versions always take much longer for me as my reading speed is heaps faster than the narration). But as usual it was a great way to spend my commute to work over a couple of days!


To find out more about Cecilia Tan and her books visit her website.


Buy Daron's Guitar Chronicles Volume 1 from Amazon - it's FREE!


The audio version is only $1.99 from Audible. 

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