Posts Tagged ‘paranormal’

Reviewed by Elizabetta

Bump in the Night, edited by Rachel HaimowitzTITLE: Bump in the Night
AUTHORS: Heidi Belleau, Ally Blue, Kari Gregg, Peter Hansen, Laylah Hunter, Brien Michaels & Sam Schooler
EDITOR: Rachel Haimowitz
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 210 pages
BLURB: Turn off the lights . . . and turn on your darkest fantasies.

Demon pacts. Ghostly possessions. Monsters lurking in the depths. The things that go bump in the night frighten us, but they also intrigue us. Fascinate us. Even turn us on.

Join us as fan favorites Ally Blue and Kari Gregg bring over-amorous aquatic beasts to life with their mythic twists on the Siren and the monster in the lake. Erotic horror pros Heidi Belleau, Sam Schooler, and Brien Michaels show us just how sexy scary can be with a pair of demon deals destined to curl your toes and set your heart thrashing. And literary masters Laylah Hunter and Peter Hansen weave haunting worlds where ghosts and dead lovers can touch our hearts (and other, naughtier places too . . .) and teach us lessons from beyond the grave.

By turns exciting, evocative, and exquisitely explicit, the stories in Bump in the Night are sure to scratch your sexy paranormal itch. Explore your wildest fantasies with us in this collection of dark erotic tales.

REVIEW:

This is one of the strongest and most provocative anthologies I’ve read in the slash genre. Each story is unique in its own special horror and all are well crafted. Warning: this is more horror than erotica. And while there’s little to no romance, there’s plenty of sexual intoxication. There are a lot of disturbing elements. If rape or dubious consent is a trigger, proceed with caution.

The endings are more ‘happy-for-now’ or even ‘this is as good as it’s gonna get’. But isn’t that what life in the ‘Twilight Zone’ is about? I have to admit that I gobbled these up, thrilled by the story-telling.

There is a common thread through the stories summed up by a line lifted from one of them, “I hadn’t stopped to consider the cost.” Just in time for Halloween, this is highly recommended for those who want a darker, no-holds-barred read. Please heed the tags.

Overall anthology rating – star_review

Resurrection Man by Laylah Hunter
Tags: historical, paranormal, gore

An interesting turn on the Frankenstein story, this is a perfect example of the adage, “be careful what you wish for”…  A young man desperately in love, practices the dark art of necromancy and sells his soul to bring a beloved lover back from the dead.

“The flesh is scarcely the trouble… the installation of a soul in flesh is the domain of God.”

This feels like a chapter out of a larger piece (which means I want more) but works fine as is. Chillingly horrific and melancholy.

Rated: four-stars_0

Mating Season by Kari Gregg
Tags: paranormal, monsters, tentacle-sex, slave/captive, non/dubious-consensual/rape, cock/ball torture, gore, bondage, medical kink

Oh*my*freaking*lord

This is over-the-top wickedness with a cherry on the top, and the bit of devious plotting keeps it from being purely torture porn. The author throws everything but the kitchen sink into this feast of tentacle sex depravity…

A lusty monster with very active suction-cupped appendages…

“… the suckers on the underside of the tentacles nuzzled and guzzled down my cock like dozens of tiny mouths slurping… siphoning… tenderly squeezing…”

Deception, bondage, non-con/dub-con/rape, mpreg, stuffing, fisting… torture…you name it.

Did I like it?

Yes… yes, I did.

It starts off innocently enough. Danny is on a back-to-nature camping trip in a bucolic setting… cue birds, bees, butterflies…

Then begins a descent into nightmare-hell as he is tricked and forced into an evil experiment and… let’s just say he finds a special connection with a large, slimy, tentacled lake monster. It’s not pretty. I can’t say more. Read it.

This comes so close to my (so-far) favorite tent-sex read, Charlotte Mistry’s Gay Tentacles from Outer Space! (discerning tent-sex readers will already know this one). But Kari Gregg (I Omega, Spoils of War) offers up her very own special brand of delicious torture in the tent sex genre.

It’s just all kinds of… no… and, yesssss… Read it, but heed the tags.

Rated: star_review

Flesh and Song by Ally Blue
Tags: contemporary, paranormal, gods/demons, sailing, tropical island

Noah Rose is a restless man. He has everything he could want, a thriving surf holiday business in Costa Rica, a beautiful sailboat, and an eight month vacation cruising around the Caribbean. He’s been searching for a mythic island, “La Terre de la Belle Mort” (Land of the Beautiful Death), but what exactly is he searching for? He has been desired by many men “who wanted to own him but couldn’t” yet he is alone, adrift on the sea, searching, until…

”… here he was, facing the island the old men swore would give you your heart’s most secret desire. For a price.”

A naked man shows up on the island’s pristine beach and Noah is called to him. The lure of the siren song, here with a twist, changes Noah’s life as, once more, someone wants to own and bind him. Has he found his “heart’s most secret desire”?

“Then the stranger spoke again, the words like bells and nightingales… making his heart race… intoxicating song words Noah didn’t understand but already needed the way he needed air and water.”

The story is well made, but in the end it felt like an interesting interlude. Noah is in a dangerous situation, we see it even when he doesn’t, but we don’t know or learn enough about him to really care. Points for the descriptive writing and Noah’s fall into a kind of madness— that was fun.

Rated: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

Out From Under by Brien Michaels
Tags: contemporary, paranormal, demons/monsters, slave/captive, bondage, vine sex, non/dubious-consensual/rape, three-way, stuffing & sounding, torture, gore-fest

Brant has been enslaved and imprisoned in an old, decaying mansion cellar by an evil demon that can take different physical forms. It can even manifest itself by turning the cellar into a lush, verdant forest, sprouting foliage and sex-crazed vines. And it is hungry, it needs a certain type of nourishment. One guess what that is…

“… leaves sprouted beneath my feet, moist and lush… the first string of cum jettisoned from the tip of my cock, and the leaves glowed where it landed.”

The author outdoes himself, this is such a randy gore-fest of demon badness. And Brant is no innocent. He’s a pain-loving nympho, hooked on vine sex, reduced to procuring men for the monster, keeping its secrets; he’s sold himself for it and is lost to the pleasure.

“… the demon’s curse amplified every feeling, made me need that caress so badly I ached.”

And yet, there are lines like, “This nymphomania was really a burden sometimes. It made life so much harder…” and… “(the demon’s) head walked toward me (saying): “Things may not have worked out quite the way I’d planned.” The cheeky humor is welcome and balances the nightmare nicely.

The author switches back and forth in describing the demon’s sexual appendages… are they vines or tentacles? Confusing and irritating. Discriminating tent sex readers will want an important detail like this kept clear and consistent!! *nods* For this reader ‘vine’ works just as well as ‘tentacle’.  I have to add that the demon’s ghastly, human form with its tattoos that could ‘peel away on command’ into 3-D vines— so cool. I also liked the ending, how things resolved for Brant, though there is a lot of gore to wade through to get there. Be warned!

Rated: four-stars_0

Sleeping With Ghosts by Peter Hansen
Tags: paranormal, alternate universe, ghosts, violence

An odd, grim alternative universe, this, and slow-going at first as the reader is dropped coldly into it with little preparation.  Brother Yordan Korvechi is a Bookman, he works for the Church of She Who Turns the Page and their job is to protect against the soulless who roam this world (it seems there are a limited number of souls to go around). “Turning the page” being a euphemism for death, and Yordan wielding the power of the Grim Reaper.

What happens when an aged person needs a little nudge, a little help with separation from life and soul? Who you gonna call?

Yordan is dispatched to such a task, equipped for action… “He had a knife up each sleeve and a slim pistol in his coat lining, a garrote in his breast pocket just aching to be unwound.”  His task is critical, as somewhere, an unborn baby is waiting for the recycled soul, must have it.

But when Yordan discovers that he has been used in a political rivalry, he begins to have second thoughts about his work. Things have become more complicated when he is touched by the soul of the not-so-aged man he has just dispatched, and he is forever changed.

This was well written and atmospheric with a brooding sense of tension, dis-ease and suspicion, but it didn’t feel especially horrific or erotic. It left me almost as cold as poor Yordan’s interaction with the soulless ghost… I couldn’t help but feel that a little more info and character development would have greatly helped. (I recall that I’ve read another short by this author (Changing the Guard) which left me feeling much the same.)

Rated: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

Blasphemer, Sinner, Saint by Heidi Belleau & Sam Schooler
Tags: paranormal, demons, rape, ‘shock-value’

Holy cannoli, this is all kinds of messed up. Disturbing and mesmerizing.

Things start off relatively quietly. There’s David who has to sell himself on the streets to get by, and is dying from syphilis, and Tobias, his self-righteous, sanctimonious ex-lover who runs a boy’s orphanage, steeping himself in ‘good works’.

Told from Tobias’ POV, we see that they were childhood lovers, but Tobias was unable to accept his ‘unnatural’ feelings for David. So he abandons him, and buries himself in religious conviction that it’s for the best. David, meanwhile still loves Tobias, and comes asking him for help.

Part-way in I felt that this was looking to be the most romantic of all the offerings in this antho. Yeah, Tobias is a prick, but he eventually enters into a deal with a strange man he meets in a church, whereby he can give David his life back, give him a chance at redemption. It seems that Tobias still cares for his old lover and does want to help him. But are his intentions completely unselfish and in good faith?

This also has an underlying message of the need for compassion— that sometimes there is no choice— that we must accept who we are, and that love is love. Too bad Tobias learns this too late because the bargain he makes for David’s soul turns out to have a horrific and shocking payment. He has literally sold his soul to the devil for it.

Most of the important action happens in a church and there is an act that is so shocking that it stopped me cold… it will offend some, I suspect. But this is some special mindfuckery— that the horror here, lies in messing with our perceptions and boundaries. There is a twist in the act that makes it work in the end, though. In the end, everyone gets what they deserve. But at what cost?

Rated: four-stars_0

Elizabetta’s Overall Rating – star_review

BUY LINKS: Riptide Publishing

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

To read all her reviews, click the link: ELIZABETTA’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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Reviewed by Elizabetta

18329498TITLE: Bloody Kiss
SERIES: Proud to be a Vampire
AUTHOR: Mell Eight
PUBLISHER: Less Than Three Press
LENGTH: 50 pages
BLURB: Lis had been enjoying his school trip to Egypt until a statue came to life and drank his blood. Back home in Boston, nothing feels or tastes or smells quite the same, he’s plagued by strange dreams, and has a craving that nothing seems to satisfy—until the statue shows up again.

REVIEW:

College student, Lis, is on a study-abroad tour to Egypt’s Valley of the Dead. An ordinary visit turns into a paranormal adventure when, like Alice through the rabbit hole, he falls into an underground tomb and has a close encounter with an over-sized stone statue buried there. A very sexy statue. Lis’s actions, a bloody kiss, unravel a spell cast on the statue many years ago, and trigger a series of events when Lis returns to his home in Boston.

This had a great start, the exotic setting, the whole statue and hex thing. When we return to the States, some strange stuff happens to Lis: he has a sudden yen for raw red meat (yet, enjoys a well-cooked stew), he feels generally out of sorts, and vampires start appearing out of nowhere. Lis is also plagued by a series of weird, intermittent waking dreams which are used to deliver the backstory. It’s an interesting plot device if a bit awkward, but the dreams converge nicely to present day action.

There’s other information that I guess was included for color but just seemed distracting: lots of mention of the Red Sox, scenes in the bar where Lis works but nothing much happens, a best friend and his grandma who Lis have known for years and who suddenly come out as witches with special powers. The powers don’t serve the plot much other than the use of some camo-glitter, and the grandma mostly exists to explain a lot of what is happening to Lis.

I dunno, this seemed like a hodgepodge, and it felt undercooked, like a sketch of an interesting idea. It’s so short that there’s a lot of stating of facts and not enough space to get to know or care about Lis, his friends, or his romantic interest in any great depth. Three stars for the effort, but it’s really around 2.5 ’cause it never really takes off for me.

Oh, and I did not like the cover.

I did really like another work by the author, Road to Revenge, a modern-day thriller, so maybe I just prefer the contemporary stuff.

Bloody Kiss is published by Less Than Three Press as part of their “Proud to be a Vampire” series with various authors contributing.

Elizabetta rates it – 3-stars-out-of-5-300x70

BUY LINKS: Less Than Three Press

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

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

Reviewed by Jen B.

TITLE: The Price
AUTHOR: Dominique Frost
PUBLISHER: Loose ID
LENGTH: 74 Pages
BLURB: Cale is a serving-boy at a high-class brothel in the city of Havisham. He isn’t one of the courtesans, largely because he’s too clumsy to manage seducing anyone, but he does his best as a servant, keeping the wine-glasses filled and the guests happy.

Everything changes when the warlord Darren Kaine visits the establishment. Darren is the new ruler of Havisham and is a brusque, commanding man. Fresh from a war that’s lasted over six months, Darren is in no mood for frippery, and chooses Cale to accompany him for the night, rather than any of the courtesans on display.

Indeed, Darren so prefers Cale’s straightforwardness and simplicity that he decides to make Cale his concubine, and to have Cale visit him at the palace, every night. Stunned by this new turn of events, Cale is further confused by his body’s reactions to Darren. Darren is darkly handsome, sexually demanding and absolutely committed to giving his partner pleasure – a fact that has Cale looking forward to his time with Darren, perhaps more than he ought to.

Darren, too, is in danger of forgetting that Cale is just a tool he uses to slake his lust. For a new ruler, every action comes with a price. Will this one be too steep to pay?

REVIEW:

This was a really sweet story.  New ruler of the City, Darren, picks serving boy, Cale, after finding the fancier options just not doing anything for him.  He was looking for something a little more genuine that he didn’t have to worry about courting and being all proper with.  He is a bit rough around the edges, as compared to the other nobles.

Cale is such a sweet thing, somewhat naïve in the ways of sex, having not actually been a courtesan.  He has a quick wit that I found as enjoyable as Darren did.  These two make a great pair and seem perfect for each other.

When Cale thwarts attempts on Darren’s life, things begin to change for them.  Darren begins to see there is much more to Cale than he originally thought.  Unfortunately, he has to struggle with keeping his kingdom happy, and due to a prior betrayal that cost him most of his family and the City, he is afraid to consider any deeper feelings for Cale.  The old saying came to mind “if you love something, set it free.”

I just adored Cale and the way he interacted with Darren.  This short story pulled me in quickly and moved along at a nice pace to the end.  All around, this was just a really enjoyable little fantasy.

Jen rates it – star_review

BUY LINKS: Loose-Id :: 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 Carissa

Dead in the DesertTITLE: Dead in the Desert
SERIES:  L.A. Paranormal #3
AUTHOR: Lou Harper
PUBLISHER: Harper Books
LENGTH: 111 pages
BLURB: Jon Cooper used to think he wanted a life free of complications, but that was before he got involved with his roommate, Leander. Jon knows that the only thing he can’t lose is what he doesn’t have, but where does that leave him?

Leander Thorne, on the other hand, is an easygoing bookworm, with an addiction to books and cooking shows, and a soft spot for Jon, despite Jon’s grumpiness. He also happens to be a psychic specializing in finding lost pets and—more recently—lost people. He’s good at it. Too good if you ask Jon.

Unsolved crimes, missing people and bodies buried in the Mojave Desert make Jon’s and Leander’s lives anything but uncomplicated. Jon is forced to dig into his soul and find a way to let go of his past if he wants to keep Leander.

REVIEW:

If you are Leander Thorne, finding bodies in the middle of the sweltering desert is easy.  It’s the living that are giving him fits.  When hired by a high-priced lawyer to find Ethan, the beneficiary of a multi-million dollar bequeathment, Leander and his lover Jon Cooper, set out after the ever winding trail of a man with a dark past and even murkier present.  But with a bevy of unhelpful relatives and a rather impressive vanishing act by the young man, Andy and Jon are left with no more to go on than a single photo and a rather nasty family history of feeding the gators…with other people’s hands.

If you are Jon Cooper, you know nothing lasts forever.  With both a wife and career lost in a car accident, Jon has learned that the “only thing you couldn’t lose was what you didn’t have.”  But no matter how hard he tries to hold himself back he finds himself falling for his book-addicted psychic roommate, Andy.  When Andy, once again, throws himself into the dangerous world of dead people and annoying homicide detectives, Jon finds himself struggling to keep his lover from getting killed, and himself from falling so far that his heart breaks the fall.   But on this crazy ride from the baked Mojave to the shores of Santa Monica, Jon might just find that there worse things than finding yourself dead in the desert. 

Dead in the Desert is the third story in the L.A. Paranormal Series by Lou Harper (both of the previous stories can be found together in Dead in L.A.), and while I don’t think you will find yourself too out of sorts if you wish to start reading about Jon and Andy in this book, I would thoroughly recommend picking up and reading the previous stories in the series.  A lot of the backstory between Jon and Andy, as well as between Jon and his late wife, happen in Dead in L.A. and it will help you understand some of the reasoning behind Jon’s actions in this book.

I was thrilled when I heard that there would be a third story in this series.  I fell in love with these two when I read Dead in L.A. and had not thought that I would be getting any more from this couple.  So the release of Dead in the Desert was a real nice surprise.  I would have liked the story to be a little longer, and maybe a tad bit more dark (even with body-chopping serial killers it read as a nice light read), but I was so totally in love with this complex but heartfelt relationship between Leander and Jon, that the slight loss depth didn’t overly affect my reading of the story.

Strange as it may seem, it is not the crazy life of Leander,  the (I keep wanting to call him a psychic pet-detective, but then I get flashbacks of Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura) psychic and finder of all things missing and buried, that these books focus on.  Instead we get told the story of Jon, the slightly disgruntled art student who has found himself thrown into the odd world of being friend, lover, and self-appointed guard of his bookaholic roommate. Andy is the–this is going to sound corny–wind behind Jon’s sails (yep, that sounded just as sappy I thought it would).  He moves Jon, he steers him into new waters, and pushes him over that dreaded horizon.  Jon, in return, protects Andy from annoyingly insistent cops and makes sure the younger man has more than ramen noodles to eat.  He also tries to help Leander work his way through the mess of images in his head–though I very much doubt that Indiana Jones had much to do with the vanishing act Ethan pulled.  He doesn’t think Andy can’t do these things for himself, but his drive to protect is just whoJonis.  I find it nice that they both have something to offer each other–neither one wants to be the sole focus or the sole giver in the relationship.  And it is a relationship, no matter how willfully blind Jon is intent on being.

Jon has a tendency to remind me of child willfully declaring he doesn’t like chocolate, all the while the chocolate frosting drips from his chin and hair onto the floor below him.  He says he can’t love Andy, not because he thinks Andy is unlovable, but because he knows just how hard he can crash when that love is ripped away.  But just as “places too, lived and died like people,” Jon needs to see that they do live.  No you can’t fight death, but not everything is crumpled fish bones on the shore of a salt-thick lake.  There are lunches by the ocean and feet tucked warmly beneath your thighs so as to keep out the cold.  There is also alfresco sex on the side of hills overlooking the world below, and simply remembering the good things…things like stifling moans and “rutting against each other in a stubborn reaffirmation of life.”

One of the things I love so much about his book is the fact that Jon is trying to grow and learn that there is life after all that death.  He is learning that the weight of Andy against him at night is a comfort that might not replace a broken past, but it does fill in the cracks on a broken heart.  The chemistry between these two is hot, but it is like a nice cup of tea.  Hot and sweet, with a splash of cream to top it off.  I find it soothing and a tad bit addictive.  That they can also laugh and play together is big plus as well.  They have such wonderful humor in the rest of their lives it would be a pity if they got serious every time they got naked.

The humor in this story was fantastic.  It felt settled, like it is not trying to be funny, it just was. This is who Jon is. Who Andy is. No forcing it, no pushing to get a laugh from the readers–but letting us see the quirky and sometimes dirty humor that these two had.  Whether it is the jokes of a couple growing into themselves–“What, you won’t love me anymore if I am bald?”–or Jon’s dry humor–“Cop were distrustful; they always wanted to know why you decided to dig a hole in the middle of nowhere.”–you are left smiling the whole way through the book.

It is hard to say much about the mystery without giving away all those lovely little twist and turns, but let’s just say that Andy has one hell of a job cut out for him this time.  And it doesn’t help that he keeps running across dead people that aren’t even his to find.  While I would have loved to see some grand reveal like in one of Andy’s loved Agatha Christie mysteries, I think I might just like the ending of this mystery a lot better.  After all, for me, it is watching Jon and Andy dance around each other that is so much fun.  The dead people are just icing on the cake (and doesn’t that make me sound like a prime candidate for those lovely white jumpers and padded rooms).

Four stars for a mystery that kept me guessing and a love that kept me hoping.   This book is definitely going on to my re-read pile and I am looking forward to any other stories that Harper can give us with these two.  Read this when you find yourself needing a laugh or needing to smile over what fools we all be, when we be in love.

Carissa’s Rating: four-stars_0

LINK: Harper Books  ::  Amazon  ::  All Romance eBooks

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Carissa is the newest official reviewer on The Blog of Sid Love.

I take this opportunity to welcome her to our fabulous team
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Reviewed by Elizabetta

Someday It Will BeTITLE: Someday It Will Be
AUTHOR: S. A. McAuley
PUBLISHER: Total-E-Bound
LENGTH: 49 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 23rd, 2013
BLURB: Poe is about to learn death and time are fragile barriers—if he has the strength of will to let go.

Poe passes through a graffiti-laden alley, his chin tucked into his chest, a scarf wrapped tightly over his mouth to keep out the cold. He has nowhere to go since Isaac’s death, but something compels him out in the frigid Chicago winter.

He steps out of the alley, off the curb, and…into sand. In summertime. Isaac told him it would happen but Poe doesn’t care how it’s possible, only that now he has a chance to make everything right.

REVIEW:

Second chances… who wouldn’t jump at a do-over for that past decision or action you wish you could take back or change?

Poe has had a rough thirty-one years, from the abusive foster homes to the abuse he inflicts on himself— drugs, hooking, living on the street— he’s lost his way. Years ago, at eighteen, he left the love of his life, and it is his biggest regret.

Isaac’s life is so different from Poe’s, so easy, so comfortable, he doesn’t have the same demons. But he does have a mysterious ability. Isaac has been able to pave a golden path in life for himself and his family; yet all he wants is Poe, who he is unable to help. His gift comes at a great cost as he discovers almost too late.

That this is a paranormal story is evident from the first page as Poe is instantly transported from a dreary, freezing winter day in Chicago to the sunny beach of a summertime childhood memory. It is told in flashbacks alternating between Poe’s present and past, confusing, and sustaining a nagging unsettled kind of dreaminess.

“… the whisper teased at Poe, buzzed around him like a phantom hummingbird flitting into consciousness and then retreating, the vibration of its wings sweeping away his fear…”

“… glass shattered and shards rained down the sides of the boat, musical, as they cast into the water…”

Some nice things happening in the writing… but the use of flashbacks, essential to the plot, is dangerous. The alternating time doesn’t help the romance— we get bits and pieces, it feels like looking in, through a window at Isaac and Poe rather than sitting comfortably at their side. We know more about their missed opportunity than what makes them who they are. And I’m not persuaded why Poe had to make that momentous decision, so fundamental to the story, to leave Isaac in the first place.

Despite the issues, this was an interesting take on a paranormal love story with a nice twist at the end.

Elizabetta rates it – 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINK: Total-E-Bound

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

To read all her reviews, click the link: ELIZABETTA’S REVIEWS
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Accidental Alpha (Pack Partners, #1)TITLE: Accidental Alpha

SERIES: Pack Partners #1

AUTHOR: Poppy Dennison

PUBLISHER: Wilde City Press

BLURB: A quiet life. A break from the dangers of being a cop. Yep, Lex Tompkins has his future all worked out. That is, until fate—or rather the stray toddler from the house across the street—bites those plans in the ass. Well, technically Lex’s neck. Suddenly, he’s transformed into the Alpha of the secret werewolf clan hiding in the perfect, out of the way neighborhood of Lex’s dreams.

Now Lex is the unlikely leader of a dysfunctional pack… except for Spencer Robinson, the one shifter Lex can’t seem to keep his paws off. Will Spencer be able to teach Lex how to embrace who he has truly become?

Because accidents happen…

…but fate marks its own territory.

BUY LINKS: Wilde City Press

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~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~

A sassy southern lady, Poppy Dennison developed an obsession with things that go bump in the night in her early years after a barn door flew off its hinges and nearly squashed her. Convinced it was a ghost trying to get her attention, she started looking for other strange and mysterious happenings around her. Not satisfied with what she found, Poppy has traveled to Greece, Malaysia and England to find inspiration for the burly bears and silver foxes that melt her butter. Her love of paranormal continues to flourish nearly thirty years later, and she writes steamy love stories about the very things that used to keep her up all night. If her childhood ghost is lucky, maybe one day she’ll give him his own happily ever after.

Visit her on her web site: http://poppydennison.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/poppydennison,

Twitter:https://twitter.com/PoppyDennison

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5108648.Poppy_Dennison

Reviewed by Elizabetta

five-stars120205

The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies, #1)TITLE: The Magpie Lord (Book #1)
SERIES: A Charm of Magpies
AUTHOR: K. J. Charles
PUBLISHER: Samhain Publishing
LENGTH: 200 pages
BLURB: Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn’t expect it to turn up angry.

Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude…and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.

Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn’t the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.

Warning: Contains hot m/m sex between a deeply inappropriate earl and a very confused magician, dark plots in a magical version of Victorian England, family values (not the good kind), and a lot of swearing.

REVIEW:

Excellent stuff! This is a cracking good paranormal mystery set in Victorian England, with haunted mansions, sorcerers, snooty aristos, charming adventurers, and magpies… magpies everywhere!…seven for a witch, I can tell you no more

Lord Crane, Lucien Vaudrey, is not your ordinary pampered aristocrat. He’s had a rough twenty years but returns from exile in China, a self-made man, an opportunist, tattooed and hard-forged… and immune to the strict English dictates of his class. He enjoys his freedom, his privileges, and his men. He is a great main character.

Crane finds upon his return home that he has more to manage than inherited money and property. There is the issue of his father and brother’s alleged suicides, and now it seems that someone is intent on bringing harm to Crane… with the help of sorcery. He hires Stephen Day, a practitioner, a magician with expertise in ferreting out the nefarious forces at work against him.

The scene is set mostly at Piper, Crane’s gloomy country estate shrouded in some strange, malevolent force. The house is spooky, the servants are surly, and the grounds are populated by vast charms of magpies. In fact, this bird serves as the family symbol (hence the informal title, Magpie Lord) and given their reputation as an omen of ill fortune and connection to witchcraft, are fitting to the story.

The paranormal phenomena are ghastly and graphic with more than enough inventive haunting and devilry, spell craft and things that go bump in the night to keep Crane and Stephen scrambling. The sexual tension between them is slow building and sizzling. While at first they seem incompatible, Crane is drawn to Stephen’s goodness, his magic skills, his beautiful amber eyes, and those hands that make him shiver. It’s fun to watch him seduce Stephen who is not initially a fan. Even with all the scariness, the connection and banter between them is infectious and humorous…

“What the fuck, what the fucking, bloody devil-shit, what in the name of Satan’s swollen cock was that?” — Crane

“Do you speak in the House of Lords with that mouth?” — Stephen

The story is well-paced and well-edited, the writing fluid and atmospheric. I’m not a big fan of historical romances but when they’re this much fun, well, who can resist? This one is a keeper and luckily, there is a sequel to the adventures due out early next year, so more fun on the way.

BUY LINK: Samhain Store

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

To read all her reviews, click the link: ELIZABETTA’S REVIEWS
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Reviewed by Elizabetta

HaintedTITLE: Hainted
AUTHOR: Jordan L. Hawk
LENGTH: 249 pages/94,378 words
BLURB: The Good Guy: Haint-working runs in Dan Miller’s blood. Not everyone can help the restless dead cross over, especially when the haunting threatens the Living. But the death of his parents six years ago forced Dan to give it up in exchange for raising his brother and sister, all the while struggling to keep their rural NC farm afloat.

So when the flamboyantly goth Leif Helsvin shows up on Dan’s doorstep looking for help with an evil necromancer named Runar, Dan’s first instinct is to turn him down. With two teenagers to look after, he’s already got all the trouble he can handle. Besides, the sexy Leif is too much of a temptation, and Dan is firmly in the closet.

The Bad Boy: Pierced, tattooed Leif never has sex with the same guy twice. It keeps things simple, especially since his oath to stop Runar has him constantly drifting from one town to the next.

But this time, it looks like Leif is going to need help, in the form of the very down-to-earth Dan. Since Nice Guys are off the menu, Leif just has to keep his hands to himself for as long as it will take to stop Runar’s latest scheme. But as Leif finds himself drawn deeper into Dan’s life, he quickly realizes he’s not just in danger of breaking the rules, but breaking his heart as well.

REVIEW:

Haint: southern colloquialism for a ghost, apparition or lost soul; in folklore and popular culture, the spirit of a deceased person unable to move on to final peace, and capable of appearing in visible form or otherwise manifesting itself to the living.

Set in Appalachia country, the land of moonshine and hillbilly sensibility (ah, good memories of Lyn Gala’s “Mountain Prey”), this paranormal romance takes a more serious route and centers around haint, or ghost, hunting. Our two studly heroes are very good at what they do, called Walkers, they help the hainted to move on or destroy those spirits bent on causing harm. I’m imagining a kind of Dean and Sam of Supernatural TV and fanfic fame.

Leif, a hot, eyeliner-wearing, pierced and studded sword-wielding Nordic-looking new-guy-in-town partners with Dan, the quiet and broody country-boy farmer of the tanned and well-muscled variety for some intense ghost bashing.

What is especially great about this read are the action scenes— the hunting down of a very bad, evil, rat bastard of a necromancer and his hainted minions. Necro-guy has it in for Leif… well, he wants his lover back. But Leif says nuh-uh, homey don’t play that way anymore, and besides he has his eye on sweet Danny boy.

While Leif and Dan quietly try to figure each other out, there’s lots of sexual tension build up and even better, there is falling in like, then lust. And while there’s no insta-anything— refreshing— the denial of attraction is ever-present as both dudes think they’re not good enough for the other. But we know they’re special— the frequent threading of mythology throughout the story illustrates these present-day hunters’ own hero-making deeds.

There are great fight scenes with sword swash-buckling and wand-wielding, haint decapitations, limb whackings and lots of oozing black puddles of ghost ectoplasma-y goop. But don’t let that stop you, this is also an entertaining, well-written and nicely paced romance.

Elizabetta’s Rating:

BUY LINK: All Romance eBooks

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

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