Posts Tagged ‘humorous’

Reviewed by Carissa

Serenading Stanley by John Inman eBookTITLE: Serenading Stanley
AUTHOR: John Inman
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 234 pages
BLURB: Welcome to the Belladonna Arms, a rundown little apartment building perched atop a hill in downtown San Diego, home to the city’s lost and lovelorn. Shy archaeology student Stanley Sternbaum has just moved in and fills his time quietly observing his eccentric neighbors, avoiding his hellion mother, and trying his best to go unnoticed… which proves to be a problem when it comes to fellow tenant Roger Jane. Smitten, the hunky nurse with beautiful green eyes does everything in his power to woo Stanley, but Stanley has always lived a quiet life, too withdrawn from the world to take a chance on love. Especially with someone as beautiful as Roger Jane.

While Roger tries to batter down Stanley’s defenses, Stanley turns to his new neighbors to learn about love: Ramon, who’s not afraid to give his heart to the wrong man; Sylvia, the trans who just wants to be a woman, and the secret admirer who loves her just the way she is; Arthur, the aging drag queen who loves them all, expecting nothing in return—and Roger, who has been hurt once before but is still willing to risk his heart on Stanley, if Stanley will only look past his own insecurities and let him in.

REVIEW:

“Stuck in the dead grass by the front steps leading up to the entrance of the apartment building was another sign.  This one was handwritten on a slab of cardboard and stapled to the wooden stake pounded into the ground.  The lettering on this sign was rendered in pink Magic Marker.  It read ‘VACANCY.’  And under that, this time scrawled in magenta Magic Marker and sprinkled liberally with glitter, were the words ‘TO APPLY PLEASE BE CUTE.’”

Stanley knows two things for certain: he would do almost anything to avoid moving back in with his mother, and he is abominable at interacting with anyone not long, long dead.  Also, he might just be a little in love with Roger Jane.  OK, that’s three things, but to be fair, he really didn’t want to be in love with Roger.  Not really.  Even if only the thought of those godlike lips made him tremble.  And alright, he also knows that Arthur needs some serious make-up tips–and that he most definitely shouldn’t get them from Ramon.  And that Sylvia is one hell of a woman–despite having more parts than she ever desired.  He also knows that living on floor six of the Belladonna Oven, er, Arms, was likely kill him–or at least Arthur–eventually.  So, it turns out Stanley actually knows quite a bit.

He certainly knows enough to know that Roger will never look at him twice.  What with Roger being a god, in all his beautiful nursing glory, and poor ol’ Stanley entirely mortal, and entirely aware of it.  Except Roger did look–a lot more than twice–and now Stanley doesn’t know what to think.

I am a big fan of John Inman, so I may’ve been counting down the days till I could get my hands on Serenading Stanley.  And I may also have spent four hours curled up on my bed giggling like a stoner with a pet watermelon to play with (um…just read the book, you’ll totally understand) when I finally got it.  There may also have been kissing involved (hey! I’m not that kind of girl…it was a quick, discreet peck on the screen) when Stanley manned up and got all declare-y.  This may have all happened…but the brownies seemed to have clouded my memories a bit…so I’ll guess we’ll never know for sure.

What I do know is that once again Inman gave us a book chalked full with pithy humor and a whole host of characters to fall in love with.  This book is no two-man show.  Yes, we are given god-like Roger, who will use every tool in his arsenal to woo the recalcitrant Stanley.  And poor, earthly Stanley, who’ll use every trick in his, to avoid a broken heart.  But it is the cross-dressing building manager, the lovely Sylvia–who would do anything to make her body fit her soul–and even the kleptomaniac, the beautician, and the masseur, that make the story whole.  Without them Stanley would never have his Roger, and without them we would never have such a fun and truly heartwarming tale of friendship, love, and beauty disasters.

If you are looking for an angst-filled book, than I’d advise you to look elsewhere.  Yes, we have Stanley issues, what with the whole insecurity thing, but it is nothing to bog the story down.  This is a fun, light read, that will have you awwing and giggling away long into the night.  Roger’s insistence, and Stanley’s reluctance, play nicely off each other.  And boy, when Roger wants to make a point, he does it beautifully–and with tongue.  He will also not let his Little Mouse scurry away simply because he fears the big What If.  Plus, when a man comes bearing a watermelon–and something a lot more fun–how can you turn him away?  I loved these two together, and I loved watching Roger serenade his way into Stanley’s heart (in a totally non-musical way–because apparently that would be disastrous).

Between the entrancing tenants of the Belladonna Arms, and the hard-won love affair of Stanley and Roger, I was completely won over by this book.  And Sylvia nearly broke my poor heart.  That girl deserves everything that she got–and so much more.  To be trapped inside a body that never matches you, is a terrible thing.  To have yourself denied because of money, even worse.  I loved that Inman was able to bring Sylvia–and all the rest of the tenants–to life is such a wonderful, and highly amusing, way.  I would have liked a little more tension, near the end, but I think I’ll take the sight of Pete on his knees, any day.

Don’t know what else to say, but that I loved it and I’m glad I trusted Inman with my oh-so-fragile bookish heart.  I totally and completely recommend you read this book when you’ve hit angst overload and need to remember how to smile.  Or if you want to find out just how sweet a twizzler can be.

Carissa rates it – star_review

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press

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

To read all her reviews, click the link: CARISSA’S REVIEWS
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Reviewed by Taylor

The Scarlet Tide by Stephen Osborne eBookTITLE: The Scarlet Tide
SERIES: Duncan Andrews Thriller #3
AUTHOR: Stephen Osborne
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
BLURB: Duncan Andrews, a private detective who specializes in paranormal cases, is back, along with his usual gang. Robbie Church, his boyfriend, is a ghost. Gina, a centuries old witch, is his best friend. And Daisy, Duncan’s bulldog, just happens to be a zombie. Odd man out seems to be Nick, a history teacher. He’s a normal, living human.

Duncan’s latest case leads him to a rock band in Indianapolis called The Scarlet Tide. It doesn’t take Duncan long to realize all of the band members are vampires. He sets out to destroy them, but runs into trouble with the charismatic leader of the band, Dominic Hunt. Duncan ends up under Hunt’s psychic control, and is forced to examine his relationships with Robbie and Nick, as well as his attraction for Hunt. Can Robbie and Gina help Duncan break Hunt’s psychic grip? Is there any hope the vampire can be destroyed once and for all?

REVIEW:

This is the third book in the Duncan Andrews Thriller series which focuses on Duncan, a private detective that takes on generally unusual paranormal cases.  He’s got a dead boyfriend that hasn’t moved on to the afterlife, a centuries old witch for a best friend, a zombie dog, and his human friend, Nick, along for the ride.

In this installment, Duncan is investing a series of vampire attacks and he believes a local band called The Scarlet Tide comprises of the culprits.  He aims to kill them all, but he starts falling under the spell of lead singer, Dominic Hunt, as well as dealing for his feelings for Nick and his love for his boyfriend Robbie.

It’s going to be difficult explaining my feelings about this book without giving major spoilers, but I will say, the series isn’t really going where I want it to go relationship-wise.  I can absolutely understand both sides, I can see the reasons, but I don’t have to like it.  It broke my heart.  I think when two characters fit so well; I just can’t see them with anyone else.  Nothing is definite with this author and series because every time I think a final decision has been made it twists, so I’m still holding out judgment until at least the next book, but I don’t know if my poor little heart can take it.  There is a lot of love there, and a lot of care and respect given to these characters, so I appreciate that.

That’s not to say that this book is all sorrows, though.  It’s still crackling with Duncan’s quick wit, his ability to be both effective and efficient, yet awkward, and his observations are hysterical, especially when they occur in completely inappropriate times.  An example is when he notices another character’s endowment and how large he is and he notes this in an almost surprised, high-five, yeahh-buddy-oh-wait-let’s-be-serious-detective manner that had me snorting with laughter.

There aren’t any new fancy tricks with the vampire plot, and it felt a bit clichéd to have them as a rock band (I swear I read vampire rockers almost every time I read about vampires), but I still thought all of the characters held their own and brought something fresh.

I liked the parallel plot lines of a young couple and one dies, and the other grieves and feels guilty at the idea of moving on coordinating with Duncan and Andrew’s position as a couple.  It was nice that the reader could see what might have been Duncan’s life had Robbie not stayed around for the last 11 years.

I hope the author switches it up a bit in the following book(s).  The reader still gets a recap of all the characters, and Duncan still keeps stressing and bemoaning his lack of sex and intimate touch with Robbie.  I get that it’s important, but it’s getting a bit stale.  I’d like to think in the next book a final decision is made on their relationship, and I’m praying it goes the way I’m hoping.

Recommend because I still adore Duncan’s personality, the mysteries are fast-paced and interesting, and Robbie will always be on my ‘fictional-husbands’ shelf.

Taylor rates it – 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press

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

To read all her reviews, click the link: TAYLOR’S REVIEWS
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Review by Elizabetta

SERIES: Dirty Drag
AUTHOR: Kyle Adams

PART 1: Dirty Drag

BLURB: Ashley is on a mission, but is he willing to take all the risks to show he’s got what it takes? Rick is a man who knows what he wants, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure he gets it. When a gorgeous redhead walks into his local bar, wearing sexy heels and a mini skirt, he knows exactly who wants. But, looks can be deceiving, and sometimes you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

REVIEW:

Part One: Dirty Drag

…is when a guy just wants to glam it up a bit. Ashley has a penchant for stilettos and he knows how to wear them. Legs up to there, he doesn’t just love cross-dressing, he’s really into the look and feel of stylish four-inch heels. In his body-hugging get-up— mini skirted, with careful ‘dick tucking,’ and long, flowing red wig— he just wants to find a nice guy who can top him and show a little tenderness. Literally stumbling into a seedy dive bar one night, he bumps into the studly Rick who has a promising bump of his own. But the race is on to see if Ashley can bag Rick’s goods without giving away that she…is really a…he.

“Holding up a condom, Ashley said with a wink, “Aunt Flo’s visiting and she’s got the front door locked down tighter than Fort Knox, I’ll let you sneak in the back though. It’s a lubed condom and I already did some prep work, so you can just suit up and slide home.”

How can a guy resist? Lucky for Ashley, Rick is smitten and has a thing for feet. You might say, a fetish. Ashley in stilettos really does it for him, but is Rick that stand-up guy Ashley is dreaming of?

LINK: Smashwords

PART 2: The Night Drags on

BLURB: If you liked Dirty Drag and wanted to follow along when Ashley left the bar with Rick, well then this story is for you. The night didn’t just end in some swanky bar bathroom. No, the night continued with Ashley, our cheeky drag queen, taking Rick up on his offer to take him home. The fun ensues and things get wet – um, wait you’ll have to read it to see if that’s true.

REVIEW:

Part Two: The Night Drags On

…and things are clicking, so Ashley goes home with Rick to do the dirty. But should he be alone with a virtual stranger? Can he trust Rick to respect him in the morning? Ashley is not just about the flashy glam. He does have a thoughtful, vulnerable side, and he wants to be seen for himself under all the frou-frou. Despite the ruminations, he never loses his cocky ’tude. When Rick whips up some dirty French toast (crushed Oreos on top!!!) Ashley feels it necessary to keep things honest…

“I don’t cook.” Ashley decided it was best to get some stuff out in the open…“I don’t clean either…(but) my body can bend like a pretzel, and I can do things with my mouth that make porn-stars envious. And stamina? Yeah, I got enough to outlast the Energizer Bunny…”

And he proves it in a very sexy and dirrrrty food scene that involves lots of syrup dribbling and sticky licking. But I think the author gets his best “licks” in when the fun focuses again on shoes and feet, with a very special foot ‘massage’…these guys are made for each other!

LINK: Smashwords

Part 3: Beyond the Drag

BLURB: Dirty Drag 3: Beyond the Drag picks up right after the shocking conclusion of book two. Ashley is on a new mission to impress Rick and show him he can be serious about a relationship. If he’s able to open up and let a few things off his chest and can avoid making a boob of himself in the process, he might just succeed.

REVIEW:

Part Three: Beyond the Drag

… or where Ashley realizes that he may have a really good thing with Rick. But how can he convince Rick that he’s more than a bimbo skanktard? Can Rick like a guy who names his fake boobs “Lefty Lucy” and “Righty Tighty”? Can he see beneath the facade to who the real Ashley is?

Adams specializes in these short, hot, humorous reads, always with a dirty edge (also read the latest, “Dirty Boys,” written for Goodread’s M/M Romance Group 2013 event, “Love Has No Boundaries”). Adams has a lot of fun with his characters and the outrageous Ashley provides lots of good laughs, but he’ll also tug at your heart; in the end, it’s all about just wanting to be loved for yourself. Adams manages to balance this sweet, softer, side of a character who could easily read as one-dimensional and over the top. It has to be added, though, that while the author does a good job with these two likable guys, a little more care could have been taken with the edit checks. It’s great that these are free reads but there’s no excuse for some of the careless errors found in the text— they only give a feeling of a rushed product in need of its own special care. Nitpicks aside, you’ll have fun with Adams’ short stories, just check for “dirty” in the title.

LINK: Smashwords

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

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BUY LINK: Book Store

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Elizabetta is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love
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