Archive for the ‘Shelley’s Reviews’ Category

Reviewed by Shelley


14646784TITLES: Book 1: The Shattered Gates (#1-3); Book 2: The Holy Road (#4-7); Book 3: His Sacred Bones (#8-10)
AUTHOR: Ginn Hale
PUBLISHER: Blind Eye Books
LENGTH: Complete Serial – 1,294 pages

The Rifter is a ten-part serialized novel by award winning author, Ginn Hale. All parts are available in e-book format.

BLURB, BOOK ONE: When John opens a letter addressed to his missing roommate, Kyle, he expects to find a house key, but instead he is swept into a strange realm of magic, mysticism, revolutionaries and assassins. Though he struggles to escape, John is drawn steadily closer to a fate he share with Kyle—to wake the destroyer god, the Rifter, and shatter a world.

BLURB, BOOK TWO: Having escaped a brutal battle between Fai’daum revolutionaries and Guan’im cavalry, John has climbed the Thousand Steps to the heights of Rathal’pesha in search of a way home. He learns that the golden key he lost–the one that can open a Great Gate and allow him and his friends to return home–lies within his reach.

16293170But not even the remote mountain monastery of Rathal’pesha is safe from violent turmoil in an age of rebellion and religious warfare. Soon John is drawn into the heart of a power struggle that will decide who will live and who will die on the Holy Road.

BLURB, BOOK THREE: John Toeffler never saw himself as a warrior. He has spent years keeping himself and his friends safe through silence and subterfuge. But all that changes when he and Ravishan were betrayed. Now, with a bounty on his head and the Payshmura forces determined to destroy both Ravishan and Laurie, John knows he can no longer leave the battle against the Payshmura Church in the hands of strangers.

If he and those he loves are to survive the coming war, John must master the wild, killing power that he has suppressed all of his life.

But he is right to be wary – for the price of victory will be dear and not even he knows if he can truly control the terrible force that even now awakens deep within his sacred bones.


17445438Magnificent … An imaginative masterpiece … Mind-blowing …Appalling … Intoxicating … Thought provoking … Genius!  I think you get the picture, but really … those words are trite in comparison to the reality of The Rifter. This series is a trip!

The Rifter hinges on the lives of two pivotal characters: John and Kyle, each man from a separate but parallel world, bound by so much more than the power of fate and world ending prophecy.  When John crosses over The Shattered Gates into Kyle’s world his presence upsets the foretelling of things and has the potential to change the destiny of a world. Well okay, there’s a LOT more going on but I’d be spoiling if I were to expand.  But I will give you a little clue …

“This is the Rifter,” … “Parfir’s most holy incarnation,” … “The divine destroyer. God’s will given form.”

Enter a world of magic and mystery, where talking bones hold the souls of witches and heretics are burned alive. Navigate your way through non-linear time lines and piece together a 10000 piece puzzle that the author reveals ever so meticulously, skilfully and for me …agonizingly. Hale is a master crafter of a vivid realm made fantastical with its crooked streets, stone pathways, and tall towers. The spicy aromas of exotic strange foods (roast dog –anyone?) the scents of pollen, earth and ozone make my senses reel. I’m dizzy with appreciation. Her accounts are utterly breath-taking, making every image crystal clear in my mind.

Now I have some advice for you before you begin this most EPIC of adventures.

Be patient (ha! Says me) there will be questions, so many questions and confusion but trust in Ginn Hale to deliver your answers and give clarity. She will 🙂

Defend yourself (somehow) from a bigoted culture that will enrage and sicken your soul with their piety and unforgiving brutal acts of torture and harsh judgements.

Delight in the intrigue and plotting of assassins and rebels whose very uprising balances on a razors edge. Revel in the back-stabbing malicious manipulations and downfall of greedy power-hungry men.

Brace for the horrors of war.

Pay attention to the details, it’s all fast, crazy good and totally addictive with so much to discover between the lines.

Anticipate. Watch your blind spot, you are guaranteed to get side swiped, often. The angst is an intense nail-biting experience that will compel and induce your joy, horror and fascination in spades.

And finally, make space in your heart for our heroes. I almost said guard your heart, but it is impossible. I challenge even the most cynical of readers not to be affected by the fierce courage, power, strength and sensuality of these men. Stand by them as they fail miserably, as they love each other desperately, suffer for each other endlessly, sacrifice freely, fight for morality and freedom, and ultimately …win.

“To cling to what is lost, no matter how real it once seemed or once was, will lead only to madness.”

Cheer them on as they destroy their enemies and break world ending prophecy. It’s brutal, it’s heart-breaking, but it’s also exceptional in its touching sensuality. Together our heroes are sweet, sweet perfection!

“Your flesh is my earth. Your blood is my river. Your breath is my sky. Your body, my world. Your will, my life…”

The Rifter is a thousand pages of staggering emotion that will linger for a lifetime. For me it will be treasured and held close forever. Ginn Hale explores every aspect of human nature, confirming AND defying the old saying of ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’. She demonstrates the strength of compassion and the futility of anger, vengeance and war; it doesn’t matter that it exists in another world we are all alike in our mortality – with or without the power to shape the world.

“Strength and courage are as much a part of human nature as weakness and cowardice. I don’t have much of a use for people who choose to be less than they can be.”

This series can be brutal and gruesome but it is balanced with so much goodness. There will be plenty to feed your soul and your heart; but take what you want from it, it’s yours if you want it – Ms Hale is very generous.

The Rifter is the most beautiful piece of fantastical escapism that I have ever read.

Thank you Ginn Hale.

BUY LINKS: Blind Eye Books :: Amazon

To read all her reviews, click the link: SHELLEY’S REVIEWS

Reviewed by Shelley

Keeping Promise Rock (Promises, #1)TITLE: Keeping Promise Rock
SERIES:  Promises
AUTHOR: Amy Lane
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH:  332 pages
BLURB: Carrick Francis has spent most of his life jumping into trouble with both feet. The only thing saving him from prison or worse is his absolute devotion to Deacon Winters. Deacon was Crick’s sanity and salvation during a miserable, abusive childhood, and Crick would do anything to stay with him forever. So when Deacon’s father dies, Crick puts his college plans on hold to help Deacon as Deacon has helped him.

Deacon’s greatest wish is to see Crick escape his memories and the town they grew up in so Crick can enjoy a shining future. But after two years of growing feelings and temptation, the painfully shy Deacon finally succumbs to Crick’s determined advances and admits he sees himself as part of Crick’s life.

It nearly destroys Deacon when he discovers Crick has been waiting for him to push him away, just like Crick’s family did in the past. When Crick’s knack for volatile decisions lands him far away from home, Deacon is left, shell-shocked and alone, struggling to reforge his heart in a world where love with Crick is a promise, but by no means a certainty.


Well … that just about squeezed the life out of me. I thought Amy lane was supposed to be the queen of fluff, not the queen of heartache.  I’m drained and exhausted after that marathon.

Keeping Promise Rock has been read and reviewed by everyone I know; it’s like the m/m rite of passage now. If you read m/m romance, then you have to read Amy Lane, and if you read Amy Lane, then you have to read Keeping Promise Rock. It’s quite simple.

This is a coming of age romance that spans a decade or more.Levee Oaks, redneck capital of the world is home to Crick and Deacon. Deacon is Parish’s son and lives on The Pulpit (a horse ranch) Crick is a half-mex kid with a no good mother and a drunkard step-Bob – life’s not great for Crick until he wanders onto The Pulpit and lays eyes on Deacon – thinking him the most beautiful boy he ever did see, and they was gonna be friends forever. And they were. They were friends and then they werebrothers, and then … they were more.

It takes years for Crick to get Deacon to open his heart and when it finally happens Crick sees it as something else and makes the worst decision of his life. The consequences of that flighty impulsive choice are catastrophic for Crick, but more so for Deacon. It is the catalyst that just about destroys them both.

Hold on tight readers because it is from this point on that you might get your heart shredded about a hundred times. Amy Lane is a wonderful story teller and her characters are real enough to create a tangible empathy that will have you sobbing and hoping beyond hope.  Hope is a reverential thing here. We hold onto it right until the end …

… if you had no hope, life could actually surprise you in the best of ways. He hated the hope. It made him fear the betrayal.

These guys have a long way to go before they overcome their stubborn self-sacrificing ways. They have even further to go to believe in themselves and recognise their self-worth.  It’s a road worth travelling if you can stand it.

There are some battles to wage and I honestly can’t tell you how many times I threw my hands up in the air, in defeat.  “God! No more, please! This is too much!”

And really, it is too much. I think Amy Lane took the catastrophic events too far. I really was waiting for that plague of locusts to descend. There is only so much emotional drama I can take before it becomes emotional manipulation, and Ms Lane crossed that line in my opinion.

Like I said, this is a must read. It’s very well told: its hard going, but its hope, and its love and it’s exhausting. I still liked it.

Shelley’s Rating: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Store :: All Romance eBooks

Shelley is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: SHELLEY’S REVIEWS

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
Recommended Books

(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)

Reviewed by Shelley

Point of No Return (Turning Point, #1)TITLE: Point of No Return (Book #1)
SERIES: Turning Point
AUTHOR: N. R. Walker
PUBLISHER: Total E-bound Publishing
LENGTH: 231 pages
BLURB: Matthew Elliot is one of LA’s best detectives—a smart, tough, closeted gay man. When he falls for his gym instructor, it’s not his colleagues he should be worried about finding out…it’s the bad guys.

Matthew Elliot is one of LA’s best detectives. He’s been labelled the golden boy of the Fab Four: a team of four detectives who’ve closed down drug-rings all over the city. He’s smart, tough and exceptionally good at his job.

He’s also a closeted gay man.

Enter Kira Takeo Franco, the new boxing coach at the gym. Matthew can’t deny his immediate attraction to the man his fellow cops know as Frankie. But in allowing himself to fall in love with a man known to his colleagues, Matthew risks outing them both.

Matt and Kira work to keep their relationship and private lives hidden from Matt’s very public life, fearing it would be detrimental to their careers.

But it’s not the other cops who Matthew should be worried about finding out his deepest, darkest secret…it’s the bad guys.


Sometimes you need something that’s going to be as entertaining as it is easy, and this novella is perfect for that moment. The synopsis spells this story out quite nicely so I won’t be going into all that. Anymore and I would be spoiling it for you.

Point of no return is fast paced and entertains with romance, action and some violence.  The attraction between Matthew and his new gym trainer Kira is immediate, but despite Matthew’s reluctance to pursue the attraction, Kira’s charms are too attractive to deny. Slowly but surely the relationship progresses behind closed doors while Matthew and Kira are wholly oblivious to who might be watching.

So, you have a recipe for a great novella here, and it’s true, all these elements make it an enjoyable read. The beginning is a slow wooing and background on Matthew’s current case load, but when the climax approaches and the bad guys play their final card the suspense picks up and that’s when I really started to enjoy this book.

The characters are likeable and we see their relationship progress with heartfelt emotion. The plot is extremely predictable and I felt that there was something a little too feminine in Mathew Elliot’s telling of this story. That’s the problem with first person point of view; would a strong manly cop character like Mathew blush (all the time) and say things like ‘divine’ to describe a meal? Was the author projecting? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s just me.

Overall I feel satisfied and without regrets, so I’ll recommend it.

Shelley’s Rating:  535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINK: Total E-bound  ::  All Romance eBooks

Shelley is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: SHELLEY’S REVIEWS

Reviewed by Shelley

The Condor (Condor #1)TITLE: The Condor
SERIES: Condor
LENGTH: 327 pages
BLURB: Nobody ever said running a gay escort agency was going to be easy. Harry takes on more than he can chew when he recruits a new boy who might be straight, might just be confused, or might be interested in servicing someone other than the clients. Then there’s a client whose specific kinks mean for the first time in years Harry will have to handle a job himself.

Long-time boyfriend Liam may be losing patience with having his life so influenced by hookers and emergency phone calls. Looks like he might become ex-boyfriend Liam… but is that such a bad thing? What should be done about the pushy bottom who won’t go away until Harry agrees to dominate him? Is the new boy cut out for this business? There are vultures in the city. Harry is just a big, sparkly, gay one.


‘Christ on a cracker! ’

This book is superb, amazing even … but I don’t have to like it ALL do I?

Have you ever wondered about the world of prostitution and how it REALLY works? Wondered how Escort agencies recruit their employees and their clients? What about the people who own these establishments? Who are they? But the most important question for me is: how could they?

Well, if you want answers then Harry is most qualified to provide them. An ex prostitute, ex Dom, and ex twink. Nowadays he’s an effeminate Top in the body of a bear, the owner of a gay escort agency, recruiting his own ‘stock’ and clientele. In fact you’ll get to see him recruit Danny (a straight boy) first hand. You’ll get all this with an exclusive look into the world of prostitution: the machinations, the kinks, the clients, the mind-set, the interactions and the malicious set ups.

The Condor is Harry’s story to tell, and he tells it well.

Allow me to begin with what makes this book really stand out.

The originality! Thank you, thank you, and thank you again! I never knew what direction this was going in. There is no trope to define this plot and no category for me to slot it into, and I love that.

The humour! Again I give thanks. What could have been a pessimistic and gloomy perception is lifted by Harry’s unaffected and often cutting twink humour.

The characterisation is remarkable. Prostitute or pervert the author makes each uniquely human without adopting the hype and drama that usually shadows such easily stereotyped characters.

The Condor is an ingenious character driven puzzle stressing the superficial makeup of people. It gets really interesting when the author snubs customary cause and effect profiling in favour of something quite … unique. Read between the lines, interpret the character performances and you get to draw your own conclusions. For me the message is loud and clear. Everyone is a manipulative shit.

Now here’s the part that stings ….

Reading this novel is akin to running my hands over razor grass. Unsuspecting leaves razor sharp edges that will slice. Just like Harry. He is so unaffected and belligerent about his lifestyle, the man makes me hiss. Allow me to demonstrate:

“Lately I’ve just started to rotate our stock around, convinced that clients can be tricked into thinking they have the variety they crave if they can’t recognize the boy they fucked three months ago.”

Slice. Hiss.

“I’m not interested in souls. I’m interested in bodies. Your soul is immortal, but your body has a definite sell by date. Call me unscrupulous, but I can’t always wait for prime stock to figure out their morals, their philosophies and to be comfortable in their sexuality all on their own.”

Slice. Hiss.

Between this, and Harry’s big ole gay heart I couldn’t get a handle his true self, and perhaps that’s the point. I held him at arm’s length for the entirety of this novel – too wary of those unsuspecting slices. Sure he softens it with good intentions and humour, but girlfriend – I ain’t any fool, I see you … Or so I thought.

For a long time after finishing this story I focussed on the condescending aspect because it felt most pertinent in my mind, but then I realised that it was all relative. There is a romance here which serves to highlight the great elements of this novel, but I won’t tell because you’ll never guess who the love interest will be.

It is basic flaws and not my personal discomfort that diminish my rating. This book needs a proof read. The excellent writing is spoiled by poor editing, which is not something I usually comment on but there were even words missing. The chapters are serialised which interrupts the flow when read as a completed novel. I was never given a reason for ‘straight boy’ Danny’s obsessive attraction to Harry.

So should you read it?

I say yes, refer back to the good stuff and then remove your politically correct filter. There is fun to be had here, but also the risk that you realise how truly fickle your psyche and perception of others really is. The Condor leaves me with much to ponder. I may not have liked it all, but I can appreciate and admired it. Isa K certainly makes into onto my favourite author shelf.

Favourite quote:

“Sex is the great equalizer. Whores and debutantes all moan the same.”

Shelley’s Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Book Store

Shelley is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: SHELLEY’S REVIEWS

Reviewed by Shelley & Katinka

Nowhere RanchTITLE: Nowhere Ranch
AUTHOR: Heidi Cullinan
PUBLISHER: Loose Id Publication
LENGTH: 240 pages/68,143 words
BLURB: Roe Davis is a man who works hard, keeps to himself, and never mixes business with pleasure — until he takes a weekend away from his new job at Nowhere Ranch and runs into the owner at the only gay bar for two hundred miles. Getting involved with the boss is a bad idea, but Travis Loving is hard to say no to, especially when it turns out their kinks line up like a pair of custom-cut rails. As Loving points out, so long as this is sex on the side, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.

The truth is, there’s good reason Roe never settles down and always spends his birthdays and holidays celebrating alone. Shut out in the cold by his family years ago, Roe survived by declaring he didn’t need a home. As his affair with Loving grows into more than just sex, Roe finds out what happens when he stays put a little bit too long: the past always catches up with you. Eventually, even a loner gets lonely, and home will grow up through whatever cracks you leave open for it — even in a place called Nowhere.


Excuse us a moment while we flush the dirt from our eyeballs. Because not only are these cowboys the rough, tough and silent types, they sure know how to let their life on a ranch inspire them in the bedroom. Pony play anyone?

Let’s take the bull by the horns; some of the things these guys did for fun had us squirming and clutching the pearls at our necks with horrified fascination… And we’ve both read Bloodraven, for god’s sake!

But we’re getting ahead of things. Imagine being a young man from a religious family in cowboy country. You’re not exactly a smart puppy, but you try really hard and focus on what you know, like sheep, so you get by. Except for that fact that you’re also gay…

Meet Roe, Nowhere Ranch’s narrator. The discovery of his stack of gay porn results in a godly intervention to ‘heal’ him. Anger and displacement leads to a short prison stretch and once free, Roe makes a break from his Iowa hometown. It’s a lonely existence until he gets a job on the Nebraskan Nowhere Ranch, working for owner Travis Loving. It’s the perfect job for Roe: the boss is the quiet, private and respectable type; he lets him get on with it, no questions, and no dramas – perfect. Then Roe walks into the only gay bar for 200 miles around, and just who do you think is sitting at the bar…

“For a second we just stared at each other, and yeah, I was flipping out. I mean, the one guy at a ranch you work really hard to make sure he doesn’t find out you’re gay is the fucking boss. So I just stood there and tried not to piss myself. Then it occurred to me that there was only one reason he would be there, same as me.“

As the quote above shows, this is Roe’s story and he tells it in his own simple farm boy way without sophistication, grandeur or restraint. His voice is therefore deliciously forthright and without pretence. And, oh God, how we loved this! How refreshing! How devilishly divine it was to be in the mind-set of a real man. Kudos Ms Cullinan, you did brilliantly.

But that’s not all … y’all better cowboy up for them sex scenes! We knew it was going to be a smut fest, but we didn’t anticipate getting lost in the brutal intensity of the hottest, filthiest sex known to man. We didn’t expect our delicate sensibilities to be so thoroughly fisted trampled on. Pony play, puppy play, giant dildo’s, fisting, it’s all a go… Roe doesn’t mind. In fact, he’s quite accommodating….

“You want to tell me I’m your pony or your dog you’re fucking, I can do that. I think hotel carpets are gross, so I’d rather not do puppy play on the floor. But in bed’s okay.

This in turn brings out the best kinky in Travis. For example: he gifts his new hand an extraordinarily original birthday present. Although you could say that his present requires an acquired taste…which reminds us…, let’s talk about the not-so-vanilla sex some more!

Shell thought it wasn’t THAT rough. After all, there wasn’t any bestiality (of which there was plenty of opportunity) and she got the giggles when we got to that scene; all she envisioned was not being able to remove said appendage from said orifice. Gah! What would the doctor say at the ER? ‘Congratulations sir, you have a healthy fist?’ Intellectually speaking (ha!) the pony reins were a clever metaphor.

On the otherrrr hand….Katinka’s face wrinkled up during more than one scene, and she only managed to keep her cool and make it past those parts by whispering; ‘Omg-no- omg-no’ and keeping Shelley’s supportive Tumblr porn finds in mind. So suit yourself, hmm?

And really, Nowhere Ranch is amazingly, shockingly good… So many memorable scenes and precious moments … in tandem we sigh contentedly. It doesn’t matter that what was left of our sensibilities was thoroughly deflowered. We understood. We cared about these two. Unfortunately, we then got to the last 10% or so. The part where …

…Cullinan got hacked by Mary-fucking-Sue!

You read that right! Instead of sighing and swooning, that ending had us beating the hedges, smashing windows and destroying bus shelters in tandem. To say we were livered is an understatement! Why? Why? Why do we HAVE TO have an ending that was manipulated by Mary Sue Haley (self-serving little busy body) which spins the much appreciated characterisation of these men upside down and inside out?

Swapping Stetsons for aprons is NOT what we expected here. In our opinion all that syrupy sweetness is not in line with the relationship dynamic at all.

And their toys! That thing they did with their goddamn toys. Sacrilege! May we just pause to wipe away our tears, hang our heads and have a moment of silence for latex stowed away everywhere?

Ultimately, it’s only a testament to that beautiful combination of awe-inspiring feels and kinkiness, that we’d recommend Nowhere Ranch despite its superfluous ending. While Shelley will be rereading quite a few of those strategically highlighted scenes, Katinka secretly wonders which ‘hard limit’ will be blasted to pieces next.

Joint Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Loose Id Store :: All Romance eBooks

Shelley & Katinka are one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read their individual reviews, click the links below:

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
Recommended Books

(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)

Reviewed by Shelley

Screwing the SystemTITLE: Screwing the System
SERIES: Screwing the System
AUTHOR: Josephine Myles
PUBLISHER: Samhain Publishing
LENGTH: 214 pages
BLURB: He’s nobody’s bitch. Until he gets a ride on the bitch seat.

Forced to apply for a job he doesn’t want, Cosmo Rawlins has only one aim in mind: fail the interview and get back to making music. Except his attempt to shock the older, sharp-suited Alasdair Grant doesn’t have the desired effect.

Instead of getting thrown out of the office by flaunting an interest in BDSM, Cosmo finds himself on his knees, apologizing to the sexy, good-looking Top.

Alasdair has more important things on his mind than training a novice sub, especially a rebellious bad boy like Cosmo. But there’s something beneath the younger man’s defiant attitude that’s too intriguing to ignore.

As Alasdair takes Cosmo in hand—and for a wild ride on his Harley—he becomes obsessed with bending the young rocker to his will, both in and out of bed. Until he goes one demand too far, and Cosmo is gone in a cloud of dust. Forcing Alasdair to admit that earning Cosmo’s loyalty—and love—will involve the toughest challenge he’s ever faced.


This book has been on my list to read for AGES! So in an effort to dwindle the pile I dragged my feet and threw myself onto my love seat, puffing out the biggest sigh. I don’t know why, I just thought it was going to be a chore. Shrugs.
But then this happened …

“So, Mr. Grant, (… )Are you a hands-on kind of boss?”

“I prefer to keep a professional distance from my employees.”

“So if I wanted to get to know you better, more intimately”—

—“I’d have to fail this interview.” “Fail it? But you’re doing so well.”

“Let’s just say I have a few extracurricular activities that might interfere with my ability to sit down and drive each day.”

Oh my! Can you imagine saying that to your prospective employer who’s really built and looks like George Clooney? Yeah? Okay, maybe I would too, especially if I was Cosmo and trying to sabotage the interview in favour of my dole benefits.

Cosmo is in so much trouble; he just played the kinky gay card to the WRONG boss. Or is it the RIGHT boss? Cosmo doesn’t know the first thing about kinky sex, only what he’s seen on DVD and now here he is, on his knees, horny and looking up at up at the pissed off ‘wall of man muscle’ standing over him.

Turns out this book was not a chore at all. I flew through the pages with a smile on my face and a fan in my hand. This is my first Josephine Myles novel and my first impression was that her style is reminiscent of Anne Tenino, which is a good thing. The writing is a breeze, the sex is sweltering, and the characters are divine even if one of them is a cheesy Daddy type who shops at Bikers –R –Us. The humour is perfectly pitched, but unlike Tenino, it is very British for which I am forever grateful. I always get such a kick when I can so closely relate to the Briticism’s.

I know guys like Cosmo: common, cocky, confident, street smart dole scroungers with a plan to make it big, or just make it. When Cosmo hooks up with Alasdair, it’s would seem he’s landed with his arse in the lard – but he’s not a complete scrounger and he ain’t prepared to be anybody’s twink house boy either. Cosmo is not a twink; he’s a struggling musician with a kink.

Alasdair’s like a proper posh git by day and a leather wearing Top by night. He says all this cheesy stuff but the man dominates like a Master! What starts as Cosmo’s education in submissive kink quickly evolves into something more. It’s a great dynamic, not only the age gap but the issues that come from two fella’s that live on opposite sides of the class scale, and in England that is still a great divide. In between the budding romance, the BDSM scenes (hot and hard) and the redemption of Alasdair’s guilt over the loss of a long lost lover, Myles gives us an unpretentious, humorous and unapologetically honest view of the class system in England. I just loved her perspective.

So what’s wrong with it? Well, the synopsis hints at some angst and there simply isn’t any. There was plenty of scope for it, but the author shy’s away from any anticipated conflict in favour of sweetness and humour. It’s a build-up that dwindles with a deflated with a soft pffzzz … just like my rating. There is a scenario at the end which was amusing yes, but I found the realism of it highly sceptical.

I do recommend this, it was good fun. Note I didn’t say clean fun, because it is quite deliciously filthy. For those who worry about the BDSM, Myles gets it right I thought. The play is not too soft and not too hard, but certainly hard enough if you know what I mean. The writing, the humour, the Briticism’s, the chemistry and Cosmo are what carried this for me.

If it’s on your TBR pile? Know that it’s worth your time and your money. I say go for it.

Shelley’s Rating: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINK: Samhain Publishing :: All Romance eBooks

Shelley is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: SHELLEY’S REVIEWS

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
Recommended Books

(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)

Reviewed by Shelley

ÎnfloriTITLE: Înflori
AUTHOR: A. F. Henley
PUBLISHER: Less Than Three Press
LENGTH: 48000 words
BLURB: Dustin gave up on being worthy of anyone’s affections a long time ago, drowning his problems in substance abuse and meaningless encounters. He has learned it’s better to avoid love altogether than risk the inevitable moment when it all comes crashing down.

Nicolæ has neither eyesight nor excess, but he does have a wealth of family and intuition. He is nothing that Dustin would have anticipated in a potential lover, but the more Dustin discovers, the more he finds himself willing to accept the risk – even if his conscience and the people in his life keep warning him away.


There’s something magical about Înflori … and his name is Nicolæ.

Out of the rain and gloom of a grey day comes a tinkling of bells, followed by the bewitching presence of a blind gypsy stranger offering an unexpected act of kindness. It’s just a cup of tea but it’s the man offering it and what he says, that leaves an inerasable impression on Dustin.

“Try to keep in mind that the sun still shine behind the clouds”(…)

“Simple, something you might say to a child, that the sun still existed behind the cloud cover, but the meaning kept hitting Dustin at the most random moments.” …

Dustin is our morose narrator; he’s tired, he’s damaged, and just … empty. All of his relationships seem to start and finish in a bathroom stall, no kissing, and no names or perhaps he’s too far gone to recall them. Yes, he’s one of those … but hang on, because there is a good reason for it all and when Dustin decides to seek out the enigmatic gypsy, his life begins to take on a new meaning. He just has to believe in the possibilities and trust … but it scares him to death, and it’s going to take a big hunk of something special to get there.

“He kept asking himself: are you there, sun? Behind the clouds in my eyes?”

Big in stature, bold in looks, his unpretentious life is as simple as sand. Nicolæ really couldn’t be more opposite than Dustin, and yet could he be Dustin’s hunk of special?

Nicolæ’s presence exudes an aura of all-knowing prophetic mysticism. He may not have his sight but there’s no one who sees better; his spooky intuition makes him a Prince of perception and just like Dustin, I was captivated by him. Nicolæ is just so freaking special it’s so hard not to fall for him!

“How do you know I’m watching you when you can’t even see me?” Nicolæ stifled a smirk, voice serious, expression not. “How does the deer know when to lift her head? How does the seed know when to sprout? Or the sun to shine?” “Pure fucking magic?” “Exactly.” Nicolæ chuckled.

For some reason Nicolæ finds Dustin captivating too. I mean, he can’t appreciate his good looks and won’t fall for Dustin’s well established throwaway game of seduction, and yet he sees a good man within. A man worth teaching and ultimately worth loving … maybe.

“You draw me, Dustin. But I have yet to understand if you draw me because you are beacon or because you are flame. And I have no desire in getting burned.” … “Can you control it?” Nicolæ’s hand felt heavy on his chest. “If it’s already started to burn?” … “Maybe not alone,” Nicolæ answered.

Înflori charmed me, Nicolæ enchanted me and Dustin grew on me. I need to congratulate A.F Henry for delivering a unique healing hearts story which allowed me to peek into the lives of the Roma gypsy’s. Their culture and superstitions have always aroused my fascination and perhaps this is what fuels my wonderment at meeting Nicolæ.

I could mention a few personal issues and plot weaknesses but the good outweighs the bad and I don’t want to steer you away from something special just because of some niggles. I recommend that you read this, it’s lovely. And please let me know if Nicolæ bewitches you too.

Shelley’s Rating: four-stars_0

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Reviewed by Shelley

Finding ZachTITLE: Finding Zach (Book #1)
SERIES: Finding Zach
AUTHOR: Rowan Speedwell
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 264 pages
BLURB: For five years, Zach Tyler, son of one of the worlds richest software moguls, was held hostage, tortured, and abused. When he is rescued at last from the Venezuelan jungle, he is physically and psychologically shattered, but he slowly begins to rebuild the life he should have had before an innocent kiss sent him into hell. His childhood best friend David has lived those years with overwhelming guilt and grief. Every relationship David has tried has fallen apart because of his feelings for a boy he thought dead. When Zach is rescued, David is overjoyed and then crushed when Zach shuts him out. Two years later, David returns home, and he and Zach must come to terms with the rift between them, what they feel for each other, and what their future could hold. But Zach has secrets, and one of them might well destroy their fragile love.


Special Forces are on a rescue mission and think they’ve just found Zach Tyler; but the creature before them is barely recognisable as the 15 year old boy who was kidnaped 5 years earlier. The cowering, snarling man is barely human. His naked emaciated body displays twisted bones and unthinkable scarring – evidence of years of revolting torture. Physically broken and psychologically shattered Zach Tyler is finally coming home.

Two years of intense therapy later and Zach is physically recovered … almost. There is a long way to go before Zach really begins to heal, to stop anticipating the implosion of his new found reality, to start feeling safe to make choices again. Nightmares, terror attacks, neuroses and fear have Zack hovering on the edge of crazy, hiding behind an icy facade and seeking oblivion through self-destruction.

David has never gotten over the guilt and grief of losing Zach the first time and he won’t lose him again. David is the obvious choiceto help put Zach together again – but will Zach let him?

“I guess the kid you knew is pretty damn dead. There’s just me left. The fucked-up crazy-assed cold-hearted Ice Queen.Battered, bruised and bewildered.”
“But still fucking beautiful,” David said.

It’s a great premise right? Long lost love rekindled – broken hearts – coming of age – healing minds – friends to lovers. It’s all here, well written, well developed, believable, and emphatic. The author does a great job in executing Zach’s recovery from a psychological perspective. I’ll even admit to swallowing back a little sob at the end – which is very rare for me. So why do I find myself sitting on the fence with it? Admittedly my rating is leaning toward the favourable side but mourning what could have been on the negative side.

The beginning is intense, riveting and exciting. Thefirst 50-ish% felt different to the other recycled tropes of its kind. I felt invested in the characters and especially the outcome for most of its length. There is an underlying angst that drives this story, and I was constantly waiting for the bomb to drop. It builds and builds and then fizzles into a spluttering frustrated dialog of misinterpretations and miscommunications. The overly used statement “What are you talking about?” from both MC’s is a constant that grated on me to no end. What promised to be different, just … wasn’t. And that is why I’m sitting on the fence feeling slightly disappointed. So I’ll just slap myself out of it and stop playing devil’s advocate to recall what I loved instead: the unconditional LOVE, the balance between dark and light, the rough with the fluff – it’s reciprocal and in the end it leaves me with a light heart.

Do I recommend it? YES! Just ignore my screwed up rating system. Finding Zach is worth your hard earned pennies, I promise.

Shelley’s Rating: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

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BloodravenTITLE: Bloodraven (Book #1)
SERIES: Bloodraven
AUTHOR: P. L. Nunn
LENGTH: 220,735 words
BLURB: A son of a forest dwelling people, Yhalen knows little of the world outside the ancestral forest, until he is captured by a band of ogres on a slave-taking mission. Only grim tales of the barbaric giants had reached the forest, but Yhalen soon learns that even the darkest fireside story only hinted at the brutality of these Northern warriors. He discovers the meaning of true fear at their hands, and only the awakening of ancient magic saves him from destruction.

Surviving ogre viciousness, he finds himself given to Bloodraven, the half ogre, half human war leader as a slave. Yhalen, refusing to bend, soon pays the price for offending prickly ogre pride.

But Bloodraven is no mindless, violent ogrish beast. Bloodraven has an agenda and Yhalen finds himself drawn in the wake into human and ogre politics, into bloodshed and cruelty and into the forbidden magic that is damnation in the eyes of his own people, but which might mean the difference between death and salvation.


What an epic adventure this turned out to be!

Was it graphic? … Yes!

Horrifying? … Absolutely!

Engaging? … Totally!

Did I love it? … Yes I did.

Will I read it again? … Hell No!

Did I like the green willies? … Wha?… No. I’ll never be able to watch Shrek ever again!

P.L Nunn ticked all my boxes with this brutalheroic fantasy of Ogre’s, humans, and dark Magick’s. Only 7% into this book I had to stop marvel about how those very boxes have mutated, shifted and evolved from shameful ankle baring historical fripperies to uhm … graphic giant willy male on male sex – fortunately my inner turmoil doesn’t suffer fools for long and I was once again stoking the fires of my depravity with this … oh so charming tale.

When Yhalen a young fey man of the forest is captured and tortured (horrendously) by a scouting group of migrating Ogre’s his life path is forever altered. Raped, torn, broken, and bleeding the puny human is left to die. But when Yhalen’s shock,pain, desperation and humiliation inexplicably unleash his untapped and untamedmagic the Ogre’s find a new purpose for him.

Bound and enslaved Yhalen is then gifted(in malice)to the raiding parties War Lord,Bloodraven – anOgr’ron (half-man, half-ogre) to serve as a receptacle for his limitless lust. Bloodraven is more human in looks and intelligence (thank god) and half the size of an Ogre but he’s still, ah-hem … BIG and no less fierce. And so the sex adventure begins.

Bloodraven takes what he wants, without consent or apology but he makes it … easier for Yahlen to take him. He’s careful with his slave and I’ve never been more appreciative of the 1, 2 (3 won’t fit) scissoring preparations, it is TOTALLY justified here. Honestly, the graphic stretch, burn and squeeze through that tight ring of muscles made my eyes water every time; and God strike me for finding an allure in the sexual thrall of this BIG strong half beast who likes to cuddle and cradle his little human afterwards.

And this is just the beginning! It’s not all about fierce big dick slinging sex. The plot line changes direction when Bloodraven and Yahlen find themselves united (of sorts) against the manipulations of Kings and kin. Yahlen is clinging to the pious ethics of his people while his magic (through need) is steering him down a dark forbidden path andBloodraven wars with his Ogr’ron temperament and softening heart but needs to stay focussed on his own agenda to save his people from further cruelties. There is fighting, plotting,evil villains, betrayals, deviant and dangerous angst filled machinations, cruel killing games and revolting flat faced Ogre children who need to die by fire.

This book feels way longer than it states, but it’s filled with so much of the good stuff and the rough stuff that it’s irrelevant. I enjoyed it that much. I squirmed, I cringed, I raged, I cheered, I whimpered and I fell in love just a little and then I almost threw up.

I have some niggles but not enough to deter you from reading this book. I’ll just say that some parts where a bit too drawn out and slowed the pace and the ending … hmm … good, but not entirely satisfying in my opinion.

Overall I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would and it’s definitely an unforgettable read. I recommend it for those who can handle the warnings and like a cracking good adventure … with lots of sex, consensual or not.

Shelley’s Rating: four-stars_0

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Weregild (Wolf's-own, #2)TITLE: Weregild (Book #2)
SERIES: Wolf’s Own
AUTHOR: Carole Cummings
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 350 pages
BLURB: The amorality of gods makes it hard to tell bad from good and right from wrong. Fen Jacin-rei doesn’t care. All Fen cares about is saving his family, and he’ll sacrifice anything that gets in his way. Including his own soul.

No longer willing to wait for the machinations of the gods’ minions, Fen accepts the trade Kamen Malick offers. Together they set out to rescue Fen’s family and kill the man who betrayed them. But Fen is an Untouchable, one whose mind hosts the spirits of long-dead magicians, and with Voices of the Ancestors screaming in his head, Fen finds it harder and harder to stave off madness.

Malick has his own reasons to hand over everything Fen wants and equally compelling reasons to withhold everything Fen needs. In over his head with his timing as bad as ever, Malick must devise a way to do his god’s bidding without breaking his god’s laws-and keep Fen sane and on Malick’s side in the bargain.


Beginning exactly where Wolf’s Own left off, Malick and his merry mercenaries are in a race to save fen’s family before Asia and his hirelings can steal them away to be used as leverage for Asai’s great plan. Fen, already sick and injured leads the fight, placing him in the front line without conscious thought for self-preservation – or is he suicidal, resolute, guilt ridden or just plain crazy? It’s an examination that continues to dominate.

Once again Cummings commands with her poetic writing and cryptic lyricisms. It’s easier this time around as we know these characters and much of their world and their Gods already. The manipulations and machinations are trebled or even quadrupled when fates hand is revealed within new cryptic ramblings. Present reality becomes a precarious place to make a stand when everyone involved has an agenda of their own. Fen and Malick are forced to make impossible choices while skirting the laws of the Gods and thus, dodging the harshest punishment. Those we trust fall prey to fear and self-preservation and a bitter betrayal with shattering consequences ensues. Cummings does not hold back in this, she is as ruthless as the Gods in dealing with her darlings. You have been warned.

The plot is forever evolving and surprising and yet I find myself smothered by the machinations that are too wide and far reaching. My head hurt trying to keep up with it all, there is no reprieve and I was exhausted by the end. It’s the same thing over and over again, from everyone’s perspective; and just about everyone’s guilt or oath turns them into a wanna be martyr – it’s a macabre and trying place for me to be. I missed the sexy Malick’s quick wit and charm; I missed the strong willed and determined young Fen. This book was too longwinded, too wordy and the constant damned if you do, damned if you don’t theme was too wearing.

There are some good highs and some clever plotting but in the end I was relieved it was over. Samin and Shig where my heroes in this book; bringing it back to basics in their own unique approach – Samin in his simplicity and Shig with her all-knowing smirk and cryptic clues. I DO look forward to more adventures from all of these characters; but I do it in the hope that things will turn back to something lighter, wittier, and sexier.

Shelley’s Rating: 3-stars-out-of-5-300x70

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