Posts Tagged ‘lgbt’

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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Reviewed by Carissa

Burning Ashes by H. Lewis-Foster eBookTITLE: Burning Ashes
AUTHOR: H. Lewis-Foster
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
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.

REVIEW:

“Cricket is a strange and beautiful game.  A match can last for five hours or five days, and the rules are near incomprehensible to those who have never played the game.  This sport of gentlemen evokes heated passions around the world and none more so than when England play Australia.  One of the oldest and keenest rivalries in sport, when the two countries do battle, the contest is known as the Ashes.”

When Scott and Nat meet over the cricket pitch, both men are struck by an attraction that is both worrisome and unexpected.  Not that it would stop Nat from bowling out Scott, whose first time at bat for the English national team ends with crash of Nat’s ball colliding with his wicket.  Attraction turns to quite a bit more when, over a friendly drink and rather botched attempt at seduction, Scott invites Nat to spend a week with him at his family’s house near the Lake District.  But with several oceans–and a longtime sporting rivalry–between them, can the love they’ve come to share stand the test of time and trials, or will it all turn to burning ashes?

Before I read this book I knew three things about the game of cricket.  The first is that it’s called cricket. Second, that the little sticky things that the bowler is trying to hit is called a wicket. And thirdly, that it is the most incomprehensible game I have ever tried to watch.  My anglophile obsession has carried me into many a deep dark corner of English life, but not even a nice cup of tea or my love of England was able to make that game watchable.  But like the anglo-addict I am, I was drawn into reading this book by the lovely cover and the idea of a sporting Romeo/Juliet style love story.

What I found within the story, though, led me to believe that the cover was probably the best part of the whole book.

I just had a very hard time believing that these two, who have only known each other less than a week, fall hopelessly and madly in love–and stay in almost constant loving bliss for the entire book.  I am no stranger to the idea of insta-love, and while sometimes annoying in its unreality, it can be executed in such a way as to make the reader feel the heat, the connection between the two main characters.  Not here.  There was about as much chemistry between them as a cup of table salt in a jug of warm water.  Handy for clearing out slugs or soothing a cough, but not a lot to inspire the more intense of feelings.  It had the potential–in so many different scenes, in so many different ways–but like table salt, something was preventing the full-on flash, bang, pow of chemical combustion.  It wasn’t till almost two-thirds through the book that I even began to feel anything between the two, and by then, I just couldn’t bring myself to care.  Too much was skipped over in the first section of the book.  Not enough time trying to build them up as a couple, and the lack of on-the-page romantic interaction–and yes, sex is part of that–just killed any hope for a believable romance.

This was not helped by the near teenage-level of angst and emotion that these two exhibited.  I was thrown, quite a bit, by how the stoic Nat–who at the beginning would not wince, less he show weakness–spent a good portion of the book near tears.  I’m all for being in touch with your emotions, but I prefer that they are your emotions that you’re in touch with–not a hormonal teenager’s.  Almost every twist, problem, or disaster was met by almost uncontrollable emotional-overload.  And when they finally do start to act like adults, there doesn’t seem to be much of a catalyst for it.  So either they were capable of it the whole time, or they just woke up one day and decided that almost breaking down in tears at the slightest provocation was not helping anyone.

Strangely enough, I think quite a few of the problems could have been solved if the author had stuck to a shorter timeline for the plot.  With a story that covers almost six years it felt like you would barely get comfortable in a scene before you were jerked out and thrown three months in the future.  If we had been given a novel that stayed with the characters long enough, in one setting, I don’t think it would have felt like we were being shown a highlights reel–instead of the real story.  Also, the amount of time spent in info-dumping, be it back-story or important conversations, may have been needed to move along the plot by giving large bursts of information, but it was too much.  It felt like I was reading a briefing on the characters, and not learning about who they actually were.

About two-thirds of the way through, it did pick up.  I was starting to get a feel for the real people that these characters were playing for the majority of the story, but by then it was too late to save the book, for me.  I really did want to like this book, and there were moments–when catching a bit of banter between Nat and Scott, or some of the players–that I felt it was on the cusp of something, but it could never quite push itself over the line.

Carissa rates it – 2_5

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 Jen B.

SERIES: Calling the Shots
AUTHOR: S. Dora
BOOKS: 3
PUBLISHER: Total E-bound

FACING THE TRUTH (Book One, Calling the Shots series)

13537724BLURB: Sometimes the question being asked, might not be the one that actually needs to be answered.

When twenty-two year old Tom asks his older, conservative lover Isaac for an afternoon of kinky sex, that experience turns out to include much more than bondage, adult toys and spanking.

Both are surprised to discover Isaac’s need to dominate his lover as much as his lover needs to be dominated by him.

Reader Advisory: This story contains a loving, committed relationship between two men with a considerable age difference; some gentle BDSM sex.

REVIEW:

This first book of the series we meet Tom and Isaac, who have been together for about two years.  Isaac is much older than Tom, though it doesn’t really ever seem that way except when Isaac is bringing it up.  Tom asks Isaac to dominate him a little bit.  Isaac is reluctant at first but gives in, wanting to do whatever he can to make Tom happy.  This was a bit awkward at first, as Isaac didn’t really seem to have much of a clue, though you could tell he was trying.

Initially, I thought this was a little on the cheesy side.  But, as the story goes on, it grew on me how these guys were just a couple wanting to test the waters of BDSM.  Neither had any prior experience, though they both trusted each other and wanted to be what the other needed.  After playing at it a little bit, they each seemed to be a bit surprised by how much they were actually turned on by the things they did.

This was a really sweet story about a nice couple that doesn’t want to be the typical dom/sub, in as much as they want to explore that on their own terms.  Quite enjoyable and recommended for those somewhat new to BDSM stories.

Jen rates it – 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINKS: Total-E-Bound :: Amazon :: All Romance eBooks

THE RIGHT DIRECTION (Book Two, Calling the Shots series)

15827332BLURB: New to BDSM, Dominant Isaac learns how to bring his sub Tom to new heights during a weekend of pain and pleasure.

Now he’s admitted to his lover, Tom—and more importantly, to himself— that he’s willing to explore his Dominant side, Isaac prepares for a weekend during which both he and Tom will stay in their roles as Dominant and submissive. Isaac has a great time selecting the flogger, paddle and cane he’s planning to use.

During their special weekend, Isaac and Tom not only have lots of kinky sex, they also explore D/s outside the bedroom. They are not ready, however, to share this part of their relationship with the outside world.

How will Isaac react when an innocent moment of misunderstanding confronts him with everyday reality?

Publisher’s Note: This series is about a committed and loving relationship between two men with a considerable difference in age. It contains elements of consensual BDSM.

REVIEW:

In this segment, Isaac is taking the bull by the horns and is ready to go further in his position as Tom’s Dom.  He plans a weekend of play where they will keep to the lifestyle for the whole weekend, as opposed to just during sex.  They are each becoming more comfortable in their respective roles, though they still have much to learn.

It is quite enjoyable to watch Tom and Isaac’s kinky relationship grow as they learn each other’s needs and wants.  Tom continues to struggle with topping from the bottom and asking questions instead of simply obeying, but it is fun to watch them work things out.  They do a little edge play this time around, which is fun to watch, even if Tom doesn’t seem to have the patience for it.

This was a nice continuation of the story, and I’m looking forward to the next book.

Jen rates it – 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINKS: Total-E-Bound :: Amazon :: All Romance eBooks

PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: BECOMING SIR (Book Three, Calling the Shots series)

18455066BLURB: Isaac prefers to keep the D/s part of his relationship with Tom strictly private. One day, however, he reads about a non-commercial BDSM club with a playroom for hire…

Committed couple Isaac and Tom have recently discovered they want to explore BDSM, and especially D/s, as part of their committed relationship. There are still doubts and questions, but Isaac knows how to wield his favourite cane for his submissive’s painful pleasure.

S&M is also a very private thing for the otherwise out and open pair.

That is, until Isaac reads an article about a non-commercial BDSM club. He meets one of the volunteers, who shows him the playroom. He’s impressed by what he sees and decides to give his beloved sub a very special treat.

Their experiences with D/s during the months since Tom first said, “I want you to tell me what to do,” have left a deep and positive impression on both men. One day, Isaac takes a decision that he knows will influence the rest of his life with Tom.

Reader Advisory: This series is about a committed and loving relationship between two men with a considerable difference in age. It contains elements of consensual BDSM.

REVIEW:

This story continues with Isaac and Tom becoming more comfortable with their new roles.  Up until this point, they have steadfastly stuck to keeping their BDSM play a private matter.  This begins to slowly change when Isaac starts giving orders while he is still at work.  He then takes initiative to visit a private club after he receives an invitation.  Once his worries are eased by the club manager, his eyes and ideas are opened once she shows him the playroom and all the available options.

I really loved how each story advanced their comfort level with everything while they still maintained their somewhat low key approach to the lifestyle.  They don’t get into anything real heavy, as these guys take baby steps into this world, each always concerned and caring what is best for the other.  Their trip to the club was fantastic, though, unfortunately, the story ends just when things are about to get interesting.

If you have not read many BDSM stories but are even a little bit interested or curious, I’d suggest giving this sweet loving story a try.  Isaac is still always unsure that Tom will want to stay with him since he is so much older and afraid Tom will basically outgrow him, but Tom is always sure to remind him this is not the case and that he only wants to travel this road if Isaac is the one traveling with him.  It is quite an enjoyable ride, and I’m really hoping to see more of this story unfold.

Jen rates it – four-stars_0

BUY LINKS: Total-E-Bound

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

To read all her reviews, click the link: JENNIFER B’S REVIEWS
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BlueRiver_FBbanner_DSP

Welcome to the blog of Sid Love. I feel very honored to have you stopping by here.

Thanks for having me. 🙂

We don’t often see an interview or guest post from you, though you are a fervent blogger with an very active website and reading group. Is there a reason you usually don’t do interviews?

The biggest element is time: I never have enough. So I have to pick and choose carefully what I can fit into my schedule.

Talking from experience I can say that your blog is a true pleasure to follow because it’s smart, interesting and funny but yours is quite special because of the phenomenal photographs you’ve taken and posted there. How come you are such a fantastic photographer? Did you study for it? And where does the passion for it come from?

Thanks for the compliment. 🙂 I try to keep it interesting.

I’ve been studying photography most of my life. When digital became relatively cheap and common place, I took that as my cue to dive in. It’s far cheaper to download pics to a computer than take film in for developing. Over the years, I’ve developed my style, which is generally color-saturated and detailed. I like rich, deep colors in my pictures. As I was developing my photographic skill, I was also learning how to post-process in Photoshop. Taking a picture is only the first step. It’s what you do with it afterward that makes a photo special.

I spend much of my days immersed in words, either writing them or editing them. Turning to a purely visual hobby is restful and exercises a different part of my brain.

You have written quite a few different novels/stories. Do you have a preferred genre to write in?

My preferred genre is m/m, but if other characters start yelling in my ear, I tend to listen. I never want to limit myself in any way.

On top of being a writer, an amateur photographer and still working a day job, you are also known as a very good editor. How are you able to keep up?

Honestly? I have no idea. 🙂

Blue RiverYou newest release ‘Blue River’ is coming from Dreamspinner Press on October 9th as a re-release. Why is it released anew and can you tell us something about it?

A much shorter version of Blue River was published by MLR Press a couple years ago. However, it was released as part of a mass presentation of holiday stories and got lost in the crowd. I thought the story deserved a wider audience, so I got my rights back, revamped the story, almost doubling its original length, and offered it to Dreamspinner. I’m very glad they accepted it. Here’s the blurb: 

Photography genius Ethan Mars is out and living the fast life in Los Angeles until a mysterious mist in Topanga Canyon sends him back in time. There he meets Quinn Parker, a farmer who has hidden his homosexuality from everyone, even Margaret, his fiancée. Falling in love is the last thing Ethan expects, and the last thing Quinn can allow—in 1863, being gay can get him killed. When Ethan is unexpectedly offered a way home, he faces an impossible decision: go back… or stay?

I did a lot of research for this one. It seemed I was stopping every other sentence to check things out. Did they have toothpaste? What about toilet paper? How did they preserve food for winter? How did they kill a chicken for dinner? It was endless! And I loved every minute of it.

If I look at your blog I see another book coming this month called Transgression, another totally different book from what I can tell so far. Is there something you can or are willing to share on that one?

Transgression 300x469This is a case where I had two other stories already started, but a character insisted I stop work on them and tell her story. In Transgression, you meet Sky Kelly, a pre-op trans woman living in Los Angeles. You also meet Zach Fox, Ricky Giraldi, Liza Dabrowski, Gus Fischer, and Ethan Stonebridge. All of them are interesting, and half are hiding something. 

This is different from anything I’ve written before. I loved writing this story, and I’m excited to hear what readers think.

Some of your books are published by a publisher ( dsp and mlr) while others you choose to publish yourself at Voodoo Lily Press, the publishing company you have with author, A.J Rose. How do you decide what to publish where?

I like Dreamspinner, so I hope to place a story there once in a while. But I also like the discipline of self-publishing. I’m kind of a control freak, and being able to handle or oversee every step of a manuscript from start to finish appeals to me a great deal. 

Transgression will be self-published because it contains characters or storylines publishers may not want to accept. I am not limited in what I want to write if I self-publish. AJ and I take our self-pubbed works very seriously and release a professional product. It’s important to us that readers’ enjoyment of our titles is not lessened by bad covers or editing. To that end, we take great care to offer them the best book we can produce.

And do you find it hard for you and AJ to work so closely together, considering you’re both authors with strong personalities?

When AJ and I are writing, we’re in our own little worlds. Once in a while, we’ll share something about our story or ask for an opinion, but mostly, we save that for when neither of us is immersed.

Time to do the shorties 🙂

Favorite food? King crab. It’s expensive, so I don’t get it often, but I love it.

Favorite color? All the colors of the rainbow. 🙂

Favorite author? Oh, no! Not going there. I enjoy too many to choose only one.

Favorite book? Impossible to choose.

Favorite way to spend a day off? In bed. ‘Nuff said.

Favorite movie? Can people really choose only one?

Favorite music or song? I have many, but lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Hurts. Theo Hutchcraft has an incredible voice. 

Favorite clothes? Anything comfortable, and the fewer, the better.

Favorite season? Summer. It will always be summer.

I’m curious to know who your biggest influences are. Not just writers, but others as well. Is there a particular teacher or family member that made a big difference in your life that you could tell us about?

My Uncle Dan is a big influence. I’m talking about life things. You know, the importance of being honest with yourself and others, and the value of friendship and having a strong sense of ethics. Whatever “goodness” is in me was nurtured and encouraged by family and close friends.

Do you have any other hobbies that people might find interesting?

I enjoy astronomy. Uncle Dan has a large telescope, and we use it whenever I’m at his place. I taught myself to play guitar years ago, and I sing fairly well. AJ is the piano player in the family, but I can play by ear. I’m pretty much interested in everything!

What can we expect from the author Theo Fenraven? What is in the works?

Another Precog book is in the works, though I might not get that out until next year. I have a couple of SF books in mind, and AJ and I are finally coming around to the idea of writing something together.

At the end of this interview I would like to ask you if there is anything else you would like to mention or share?

I want to thank my readers. Without you, there’s little point in getting published. I appreciate all of you, and I want to send special thanks to those of you who’ve sent me email or otherwise found a way to tell me how much you enjoy my stories. I love hearing from you.

Thank you so much for doing this interview !

~ As told to Danielle

GIVEAWAY

Besides participating in this interview Theo kindly offered a give-away of his new release “Blue River”

If you want to enter leave a message below answering why you would like to read this book

===================================

CONTEST WILL END ON 13th October, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Central Time!!

Reviewed by Taylor

SERIES: Duncan Andrews Thriller
AUTHOR:
Stephen Osborne
BOOKS: 
3
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

Pale as a Ghost (Book One, Duncan Andrews Thriller)

10789098BLURB: Private detective Duncan Andrews’s best friend Gina is a witch. His dog is a zombie. And his dead boyfriend, Robbie, is a ghost. So it’s hardly any wonder that he uses his connection to the supernatural to help him solve cases. Good thing, too, because Duncan has his hands full. Janice Sanderson, the richest woman in Indianapolis, wants him to find her stripper daughter, Brenda, and another client is having some trouble with a specter haunting her family home. On top of that, Duncan has decided to add dating into the mix, though after Robbie’s death, he’s not sure he’s ready.

When Duncan meets Nick while tracking down a lead on Brenda’s boyfriend, he shelves his doubts and agrees to a date. Robbie doesn’t make it easy on him, showing up to spoil his chances, but that is the least of Duncan’s worries—because one of his clients’ husbands is missing and there’s a serial killer on the loose—one Duncan fears isn’t human.

REVIEW:

Private Detective Duncan Andrews has a complicated life.  He has a ghost for a boyfriend, a witch best friend, a lovable and hungry zombie dog, and he solves unusual crimes on top of that. In this first installment, Duncan has been hired for two separate cases, a blue female ghost haunting a family and finding a missing, rebellious girl.  Along the way, he meets Nick, a man that just may convince Duncan to move on from his dead boyfriend and start dating someone human.

OH…OH…OH…how I heart this special, lovely book.  It caught me by surprise, as I had never even heard of this author before, and didn’t have any expectations.  But it’s everything I could ask for in a story.  It made me LAUGH and laugh and laugh some more until I cried.  It even caused me to laugh unexpectedly, which are always my most attractive and “barkish” laughs.  Morton’s salt and a ghost defending his man.   That’s all I can say.  But it’s more than just incredible wit.  Duncan is smart, patient, devoted, self-deprecating, sarcastic, and relatable.  His boyfriend, Robbie, is someone I just want to hug and protect, and he’s so abashedly adorable that I loved him the way Duncan loved him.  And the moments where they slowed down their banter and really talked and revealed their sadness at their situation broke my heart.  They can’t be intimate because the effort it takes for Robbie to become more human-like weakens him too much.  There are a few times where he musters the strength to hold hands with his love or to kiss him, and I felt so much compassion for them both.

But there is more to this book than even Robbie and Duncan. There is Gina, Duncan’s kickass best friend and witch, who is understanding, funny, and I loved all her powers and observations.  The zombie dog, Daisy, is hysterical as she chases squirrels to eat.  Even the lesser secondary characters held my interest.  From Kevin, the teenager who loved the Jonas Brothers, to Brenda, Derek, Caleb and more.  Both of the cases Duncan worked on were vastly different, but they were quick.  The pace was perfect, and I never felt any of it dragged.  Just the RIGHT mix of action, humor, love, gore, and world-building.

I have only two tiny niggles. Nick, the secondary lust interest, whom I found pretty bland.  I’m glad he came across that way, though, because not once did I feel any heat between him and Duncan, and it’s like observing a couple that has been slogged in mud versus a shiny diamond with the pairing of Robbie and Duncan.  Those two fit and are meant to be together (I hope, I hope…please…please), and Nick was just there. The other thing was the author has a tendency to use the phrase “made a face” too much rather than switch it up, but like I said, tiny niggles.

Highly recommend for a fast-paced, amusing mystery.

Taylor rates it – star_review

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press :: Amazon :: All Romance eBooks

Animal Instinct (Book Two, Duncan Andrews Thriller)

13648038BLURB: Sequel to Pale as a Ghost Duncan Andrews Thriller Private detective Duncan Andrews has the home-team advantage when it comes to solving paranormal crimes: His best friend, Gina, is a centuries-old witch. His dog is a zombie. And his boyfriend, Robbie, is a ghost. Duncan certainly has his work cut out for him with this case. Someone’s been using the skull of a powerful wizard to control animals, and whoever it is, they’re not out to set up a petting zoo. For Gina, the case hits close to home-she knows just how dangerous it is, since the wizard was her father. Just when he thinks they’re close to breaking the case, tragedy strikes, leaving Gina in a coma. Then, after years as a ghost, Robbie finally decides to move on, leaving Duncan to protect young Ashton Marsh, the victim of several strange animal attacks. Suddenly Duncan is working without his supernatural safety net. Without his friends, can Duncan defeat the power of Eleazar’s skull and keep Ashton alive? Or will the struggle for his life end in broken bodies as well as broken hearts?

REVIEW:

In the sequel to Pale as a Ghost, we are back with Private Detective Duncan Andrews and his cast of unusual companions, from his zombie dog, his ghost boyfriend, and his witch best friend.  Duncan isn’t just your usual detective, though, because he’s always out solving the random Twilight wannabe vampire running amuck or in this instance, a stolen skull from a powerful wizard being used to harm and even kill others.  This case strikes personal for Duncan and his best friend Gina, as it is her father Eleazar’s stolen skull.

Soon Gina is put into a coma, and he has another case that brings him clues as to who stole the skull.  Weird trick of the skull?  Its power uses animals to harm.

Amidst that you have Duncan and Robbie questioning their reality of a relationship and whether either can make it on their own.  And Nick is still tagging along.

I loved this book just as much as the last one, but it was different in its own way.  The reader still has Duncan’s priceless one-liners, his awkwardness, his love for his boyfriend, and everything else that makes this wonderful man up.  Robbie….SIGH…my fictional hubby, Robbie.  Damn, I love that man.  That dead man still wearing his high school letterman jacket that wants to have sex with his very alive boyfriend.  Trust me it’s not as creepy as it sounds.  And gahhhhh, he is so freakin cute and hilarious.  When Duncan was getting hit on??? Robbie’s reactions were classic.  Even in the dream sequence where he’s wandering around observing and asking questions.  He’s just so caring, sexy, pouty, and wise in his own way.  These two FIT.  I can’t see them apart ever…ever, ever, ever.  Mr. Osborne, do NOT break my heart.  That scene in the car where Duncan and Robbie are discussing whether Robbie should move on to the afterlife?  How awesome and neat (not really).  You knew I wanted to sob like a 5 year old.

Then there is Nick, who I’m coming around to (again not really).  Don’t get me wrong, he’s fine and nice and dependable, but he’s not Robbie.  He is a good friend, though.  And Duncan needs a great friend that has no association with the paranormal world.  Gina, when she was there in this book, is just as lovable as always.  And Daisy, that sweet murderess dog.  Yeah, me likey her.

I thought the case in this book was more interesting than the ones in the last book, and I also thought the instances where the skull worked its magic were creepy.  That makes me happy.  M/m books need more great suspense or mystery novels.  I’ll never look at squirrels the same way.  Or that damn grinning cat.

Oh and Eleazar?? You, my kind floating head sir, are so, so, SO badass for the gift you gave the reader and, most importantly, Duncan at the end.

Highly recommend for fictional hubby love and a good mystery and suspense.

Taylor rates it – star_review

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press :: Amazon :: All Romance eBooks

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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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Reviewed by Jen B.

Trusting Thomas by K.C. Wells eBookTITLE: Trusting Thomas
SERIES: Collars and Cuffs #2
AUTHOR: K.C. Wells
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 282 Pages
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?

REVIEW:

This story centers around Peter, a 26 year old who has been in an extremely abusive, slavish at times, BDSM relationship with dom Curtis.  Another dom, Steven, notices and questions Curtis’ treatment of Peter while attending a party and eventually finds a way to remove Peter from the situation.  He turns to his friend Thomas, part owner of Collars & Cuffs, whom we met in book 1.

Thomas is a bit older at 56, but he has a stellar reputation as a trainer of doms and subs and agrees to take on training Peter.  I don’t think Thomas quite realized what he was getting into with Peter or the extent of the damage that was done to him previously.  But he steps up to the plate and finds alternative ways to help Peter work through his issues.  Mostly he provides some structure as Peter gains confidence and becomes more comfortable with BDSM.  Turns out that he had the complete opposite understanding of what it was all about, and Thomas begins his training by showing him how things should be.

Peter is a total sweetheart.  I wanted to peek in his diary myself just to see what he had gone through in one lump, as opposed to the crumbs we are fed.  Curtis was a horrific dom and just not a good person.  Peter slowly gets stronger with the help of Thomas, and it is a joy to watch.

Honestly, I felt like there was actually even less BDSM action in this story than in the first.  I didn’t actually find that a problem though, as it fit perfectly with this story.  Again, this story centers around Peter’s recovery and issues with the actual BDSM taking a back seat.  Thomas must find ways to show Peter the lifestyle that don’t involve pain or humiliation, so he turns to toys and other less-invasive methods, and when some of Peter’s issues prevent him from being comfortable outside of the house, Thomas works around that by not taking him to the Club.

These guys both seemed right for each other.  One of their biggest obstacles after Peter’s issues was the age gap.  Thirty years is a big gap, and the issue comes up more than once.  It never really felt like that much while I was reading, so I never had an issue with it myself.  For now, these guys make a nice couple where they both need each other for different things.  They still have a lot to work through, but they are certainly on the right path.  There is very little sex here, but I didn’t miss it.  I truly just wanted to see Peter get his life back on track and get past his time with Curtis.  Speaking of Curtis, things seemed to wrap up a bit quickly where he was concerned.

It was really nice seeing Leo and Alex again, as happy as they were when we left them in the first book.  We meet a few new characters, and I was left wondering and looking forward to who would be next.

Jen rates it – star_review

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press :: Amazon :: All Romance eBooks

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

To read all her reviews, click the link: JENNIFER B’S REVIEWS
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Reviewed by Danielle

Blue River by Theo Fenraven eBookTITLE: Blue River
AUTHOR: Theo Fenraven
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 92 pages
BLURB: Photography genius Ethan Mars is out and living the fast life in Los Angeles until a mysterious mist in Topanga Canyon sends him back in time. There he meets Quinn Parker, a farmer who has hidden his homosexuality from everyone, even Margaret, his fiancée. Falling in love is the last thing Ethan expects, and the last thing Quinn can allow—in 1863, being gay can get him killed. When Ethan is unexpectedly offered a way home, he faces an impossible decision: go back… or stay?

REVIEW:

This is a 2nd, more extended edition of this story and I hadn’t read the first edition so it was new for me.

After a rough start to get into it, I found myself getting swept up by the impressive, all-consuming way of storytelling by this author.

It is easy to get familiar with the characters. Ethan seems such a fast guy but adapts quite easily to his new living arrangements and Quinn he is so adorable and sweet, learning things while getting to know Ethan.

Even Quinn’s sister is a pleasure to get to know just because of the fact she personalizes a character from that period of time. And because she is so different than her brother. You can see the author work hard and researched the time period well.

This story isn’t long and it moves at  a good pace. You get acquainted with the characters quickly but steadily and you learn a lot in a couple of pages. For me the way Quinn learns from Ethan about his feelings, his struggle to allow himself to feel like that for Ethan is the most fascinating and enthralling part of this story.

It is nice to read how Ethan adapts as well, how he learns about simple things. The end without spoiling too much is perfectly written . The struggle when Ethan faces the choice is very well portrayed by the author.An I have to say that  in a way you get surprised even by the ending. I liked that a lot.

If I have one point of criticism,  I would have to mention that I would have liked to have seen more at the end. I would have loved to see how Ethan and Quinn would adapt and continue on. Also there is a focus on first times and in a way it feels like something is missing there. It is not disturbing or anything but for me it could have been there and made the story more complete..

In the end I have to say I really liked this short story. It makes you feel connected to the characters in an comfortable way and the writing of Mr Theo Fenraven is definitely a pleasure to experience. The story is well built, reads easily and is extremely well-written.

A solid 4 stars from me.

Danielle rates it – four-stars_0

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press

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

To read all her reviews, click the link: DANIELLE’S REVIEWS
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DF_FB-face-pages

 

I’m late on my guest post and I’m so sorry! Thank you for having me here.

Sidlove, I never know what to say in these things. It takes me time to come up with something. I generally have to go to the most pressing thing I’m thinking about in order to even come up with content for a guest post. Today, those thoughts are centered into bloggers. My God you people are amazing.

Every single day, several times a day, you come up with relevant, brilliant topics to discuss. I cant come up with that even once a month, but here you are doing it every day. The other amazing greatness, you keep yourself so organized. You guys have it down. Months planned in advance, with kind, considerate nudges at people like me that can’t remember what time to get up in the morning, little alone I agreed to guest post. And when you message me and say, Kindle… Where is your post? You never one time use words like “idiot” or “dummy”.  I love you guys. Thank you for all you do.

So this post is dedicated to you guys. Thank you for having me here and for all you do. You truly make a difference.

Now on to business. I have a new book out today and even though Amazon has made me totally crazy, I think it’s finally up. The story is called Double Full. I’m surprised at how many people don’t know what a double full is… I was so proud of the name, and then it went lame because no one knows. A double full is a tumbling move, turning two complete twist in the air. For this story, it signifies Jace, who is a cheerleader, and his life over the last ten years. His counterpart is Colt, of course the hot quarterback of the team, but in Double Full it’s all done a little different. The life these two live, well you just have to read it and see.

Thank you for having me here. I’m truly sorry I’m late. I appreciate you beyond reason!

Kindle

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Best Selling, and newly award winning (whooo hooo!) Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica. It’s always a surprise to see what’s coming next! Happily married with too many children, and dogs, living in the suburbs of Dallas.

Website: www.kindlealexander.com

Email: kindle@kindlealexander.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKindleAlexander

DOUBLE FULL

Double Full (A Nice Guy Novel #1)Blurb: Up and coming football hero, Colton Michaels, makes a Hail Mary pass one night in the college locker room that results in the hottest, sexiest five days of his young life. However, interference after the play has him hiding his past and burying his future in the bottom of a bottle. While Colt seems to have it all, looks can be deceiving, especially when you’re trapped so far in a closet that you can’t see your way out. When ten years of living his expected fast-lane lifestyle lands him engaged to his manipulative Russian supermodel girlfriend, he decides it’s time to call a new play.

Jace Montgomery single-handily built the largest all-star cheerleading gym in the world, driven by a need to forget a life-altering encounter with a handsome quarterback a decade ago. His reputation as an excellent coach, hard-nosed business man, and savvy entrepreneur earned him respect in the sometimes catty world of competitive cheerleading. When Jace learns of his ex-lover’s plans to marry, his heart executes a barrel roll and his carefully-placed resolve tumbles down without a mat to absorb the shock. Can his island escape help him to finally let go of the past and move his life forward?

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Double-Full-Nice-Series-ebook/dp/B00FPRACEC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381254002&sr=1-1&keywords=double+full

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/double-full-jae-ashley/1117053073?ean=2940148821502

Email me and let me know what you thought of the story: kindle@kindlealexander.com

GIVEAWAY

TO WIN AN EBOOK OR PRINT COPY OF DOUBLE FULL, LEAVE A COMMENT TO THIS POST:

Follow the given format to enter yourself into the contest:

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CONTEST WILL END ON 14th October, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Central Time!!

The Blog of Sid Love is putting to vote those books that were recommended in the month of September, 2013 – The Part III of nomination process begins today. Book reviewed between 09/21/2013 and 09/30/2013 are considered for this round! This is your chance to show how much you have enjoyed the books that were recommended by us. If you have loved any of these books, please vote for them and make them eligible for the final voting round of “Book of the Month – October 2013” on this blog.

You will have the liberty to vote for any two books from the list. The top five books that win this poll will be eligible for the final voting process that will take place this weekend!

For now, the titles/authors nominated from the first round – the ones that will be competing in the final round of voting are:
Catch a Ghost by S. E. Jakes
The Ranch Foreman by Rob Colton
Into This River I Drown by T. J. Klune
Point of No Return by N. R. Walker
Six Degrees of Separation by Taylor V. Donovan
Omorphi by C. Kennedy
Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane
Memorizing You by Dan Skinner
Charlie Rentboy by J. P. Barnaby
Fall Hard by J. L. Merrow

You can have access to all the reviews here: Book Reviews

The Voting Closes on 11th October, 2013 @ 11:59 PM

You can vote for TWO titles but not more than that and the voters are allowed to vote multiple times, only limiting their voting ONCE IN 12 HOURS:

** Results are hidden to keep the suspense on :P

Reviewed by Taylor

Intervention by Mia Kerick eBookTITLE: Intervention
AUTHOR: Mia Kerick
PUBLISHER: Harmony Ink
LENGTH: 230 pages
BLURB: As a musician at the popular college café Coed Joe’s, high school senior Kai Manter is never lacking for male attention. Out, proud, free-spirited, and sexually aware, Kai sets his sights on his darkly Gothic and undeniably bad-tempered coworker, Jamie Arlotta, a freshman at the local arts university. Sporting long hair and alluring hippie style, Kai expects his interest will be reciprocated, with satisfying sex as the end goal. That’s what usually happens. But Jamie’s lessons in life have been harsher. Having been sexually abused by his older stepbrother for several years, Jamie has grown an impenetrable outer shell meant to keep the world at a safe distance.

Kai is angry at first when he takes the brunt of Jamie’s bad temper, but after Kai accidentally discovers the abuse Jamie has suffered, he wants to fix things. Kai’s plan is based on what he knows best—music—and he stages a “musical intervention” to let Jamie know he’s not alone and things can get better. When Jamie’s perspective changes and he emerges from his shell, Kai changes, too, gaining a whole new understanding of what sex can be when love is there too.

REVIEW:

Kai Manter is a young, talented musician that’s proudly out, very sexually active, and finds himself uncharacteristically attracted to a shy, aloof waiter at the café where he performs.  That shy waiter, who is prone at times to demonstrate a wicked temper, is Jamie Arlotta, a freshman at the local arts university.  There are very serious reasons for Jamie’s temperament and it won’t be easy to break down Jamie’s walls and allow Kai in, but with the help of his friends and his own determination, Kai sets out to prove to Jaime that he’s serious about him and their love.

Sigh, so I don’t really know how to review or rate this, partially because I think many people will like this much more than I did, and that I may just be a bit burnt out on YA or too distanced from teenagers these days.  I can’t even honestly say if teenagers actually think, act and speak like this, but it felt not quite there.  And that just might be because it didn’t speak to ME or it actually could be the author’s style.

I will say that the writing style almost had a frenetic pace, that didn’t fit the plot points well in my opinion.  I kept imagining the guy who did the Micro Machine commercials, John Moschitta Jr., speaking to me throughout my reading.  This is a story of serious topics, from incest, abuse, even stalking, and yet the WAY it was all handled left me with a distaste in my mouth.  And I don’t feel like I can articulate why.   Part of me thinks it wasn’t given the soberness these issues deserved and the levity with which it was handled at times upset me.  That’s not to say that the characters didn’t discuss things with their friends, with adults and with each other.  That’s not to say that the characters didn’t reflect on the issues or think these things weren’t as bad as they were, but something in the overall tone felt off.  Just way off.  I wanted it to slow down.  Let the moments breathe, let the reader AND Jaime process.  Too many events, too many detailed days, too much dialogue and I never felt I could appreciate each serious moment on its own.

I liked that Kai tried to relate to Jaime through music, and even more importantly with specific playlists.  I related to that because I enjoy book playlists, or think of songs that trigger memories for me.  Those parts were great, but the rest of this book didn’t work for me.  I couldn’t relate or really even like any of the characters unfortunately.  It was all a bit oddly frivolous and sappy, which is just not me.

BUT, again, this might all just be me.  I do think many of my friends that generally like young adult and super sweet books will like this, but anyone that is even slightly against melodrama, young adult books, or lots of sentences with (other parts of sentence in parentheses); you might want to pass.

Taylor rates it –

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press :: All Romance eBooks

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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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