Posts Tagged ‘violence’

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

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

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

OmorphiHigh school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. He’s a star athlete, has great friends, and parents who love him just the way he is. What’s missing from his life is a boyfriend. That’s a problem because he’s out only to his parents and best friend. When Michael accidentally bumps into Christy Castle at school, his life changes in ways he never imagined. Christy is Michael’s dream guy: smart, pretty, and sexy. But nothing could have prepared Michael for what being Christy’s boyfriend would entail.

Christy needs to heal after years of abuse and knows he needs help to do it. After the death of his notorious father, he leaves his native Greece and settles in upstate New York. Alone, afraid, and left without a voice, Christy hides the myriad scars of his abuse. He desperately wants to be loved and when he meets Michael, he dares to hope that day has arrived. When one of Michael’s team-mates becomes an enemy and an abuser from Christy’s past seeks to return him to a life of slavery, only Michael and Christy’s combined strength and unwavering determination can save them from the violence that threatens to destroy their future together.

Purchase Omorphi from   Harmony Ink Press    Amazon    Barnes & Noble   ARe/OmniLit

Why the Title Omorphi?

I am one of those people who was fortunate enough to have traveled often and from a young age. Many people don’t have this opportunity and that’s why I try to bring a little bit of the outside world and other cultures to my readers through my books. One of the main characters in my stories will almost always be from a country other than the United States. In the case of Safe, Nico is Italian. In the case of Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, Isidore is French and Declan is Irish. In the case of Omorphi, Christy is Greek and we have a chance to glimpse a bit of Greek culture through some of Christy’s comments and cultural ways in Omorphi.

The working title of the novel was “Pretty” because Christy is, well, pretty. Also, Christy has been severely abused and has a very low opinion of himself. He believes, in spite of his good looks, he is ugly because of what heartless others have done to him. So, Christy likes to wear pretty things like lace and silk and, for him, it isn’t only cross-dressing, but a way to feel free of the ugliness he believes he is. Because Christy is Greek, I chose to change the title of the book to Omorphi, which means pretty in Greek. There you have it. That’s the story behind the title Omorphi!

About Cody

Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody Kennedy doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as: If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.

Find Cody    Facebook    Goodreads    Twitter @CodyKAuthor

~*~

Follow Omorphi’s blog tour for three chances to win an ebook copy of Omorphi!

Omorphi_headerbanner

September 9th – Pre-kickoff post – Cody is a Featured Author on True Colorz and answers questions about penning Omoprhi Review by True Colorz

September 15th – The Novel Approach – Pre-release Q&A with Cody and a chance to win an ebook copy of Omorphi Review by The Novel Approach

September 18th – Author Will Parkinson – Will holds nervous Cody’s hand the day before Omorphi’s release because he promised to and Cody talks about Omorphi’s Cover and Bringing Omorphi to Life

September 19th – Mrs. Condit & Friends Read Books – Cody writes Perils and Pitfalls of Post Production Public Relations and a SECOND chance to win an ebook copy of Omorphi! Review by Mrs. Condit & Friends

September 19th – Smile, Somebody Loves You – Announcement post and Cody shares Omorphi Trivia with Beverly and Tamara

September 20th – Author Shira Anthony – Why I write the kind of stories that I do by Cody

September 21st – Author Jamie Mayfield – Why Omorphi and A Broken Kind of Life are Same but Different

Also on September 21st – Harmony Ink Press on Facebook: Meet Cody Kennedy and Jamie Mayfield

September 22nd – Cody’s Blog – Tony Edmondson, Fan Extraordinaire, interviews Cody

September 27th – Author Wade Kelly – Character Interview with Christy Castle

September 28th – Author Iyana Jenna, Fairy Fan Extraordinaire, Q&A with Christy Castle

September 29th – Author Zoe Lynne – The Notes Behind Omorphi’s Play List

October 4th – Sid Love’s Blog – Why the title Omorphi? Review by Sid Love

October 5th – Author Madison Parker – What makes Omorphi unique?

October 6th – Author John Ames – Q&A with Michael Sattler

October 11th – Boys on the Brink – Omorphi: Writing Sex and Violence in Young Adult works

October 12th – Author Jamie Fessenden – Cody shares Omorphi Trivia with Jamie

October 15th – Granny Irene – A week in the Life of Christy Castle before Michael

October 18th – Author Sara Alva – A week in the life of Michael Sattler before Christy

October 19th – Author Sam Kadence – Cody Talks About Writing Action and the Suspension of Disbelief

October 20th – Cody’s Blog – Omorphi’s One Month Anniversary Trivia Contest and a THIRD chance to win an ebook copy of Omorphi – In order to enter this contest you must:

1) have visited and commented on each stop on Omorphi’s Blog Tour – please be sure to leave your name and email address in your blog comment. “Anonymous” comments won’t qualify; and

2) you must correctly answer the trivia questions posted on Cody’s Blog by placing your answers in the comments section beneath the questions; and

3) along with your answers to the trivia questions, you must leave a comment about Omorphi’s Blog Tour.

The winner will be selected by Kismet, Cody’s greenwing macaw.

To make things even more exciting, a new contest will begin on October 21st on The Novel Approach Reviews Blog to win an ebook copy of Cody’s novella, Safe, due out October 24th from Harmony Ink Press!

Get ready to read and win!

Reviewed by Elizabetta

Serve MeTITLE: Serve Me (Anthology)
AUTHORS: Anna Hedley, Gabriel Belthir, Lor Rose, Fox Lee
PUBLISHER: Storm Moon Press
LENGTH: 129 pages
BLURB: For some people there’s nothing more appealing than the idea of a man forced to serve against his will, as a second-class citizen: a slave. Despite the dark history surrounding forced servitude and slavery, there remains a growing desire for depictions of fetishized slavery fantasies. Like rape fantasy, the appeal for readers in slave fiction lies not in a desire for the actual act, but in the ability to explore such things in a safe space. Many people harbor a secret wish to be forced into certain acts that they know they want, but have been socially conditioned to abhor. Such is the core of the Serve Me anthology. Be warned: these are not stories of consensual, negotiated power exchange. The stories in this anthology focus on true sexualized, erotic slavery: stories of men forced, coerced, or otherwise bound into a second-class life servicing another in whatever ways their master sees fit.

Idris is part of The Spoils of war: the last surviving member of a barbarian clan, he is famed in the gladiatorial arena for his bloody ruthlessness and outside the arena for his carnal appetites. His inner beast is calmed by the presence of his slave and lover, Theo, but to be true to his heart, Idris may have to risk breaking it. Samuel has spent years striving toward the Viscount’s circles, where rich and fantastical parties are given and elaborate slave auctions held. He thinks he wants a young lover, but when he buys an Adonis known as Apollo, he realizes what he was truly missing. Now Apollo gives the orders, and it is Samuel saying, As You Wish. Life is Unforgiving for Aidan and Aaron, criminals who have been doomed to live as slaves to vampire masters, whose appetites can be agony… or bliss. When Aidan is given a new lease on life with a benevolent Master, his relief is tainted by pain at leaving Aaron behind; pain which only his Master Ryce has the power to end. Yuta is a gentle giant who joins a local gang for the sense of family that they can provide, but when they leave him high and dry in the middle of a failed heist, it’s his captor, Takashima, who shows him what family can really mean as the vicious gang enforcer tenderly turns him into Takashima’s Pet.

REVIEW:

Forced servitude is the common theme in this anthology about slave fantasies. If non-con, multiple partners, slave pets, bondage, and humiliation are triggers, stay away. If not, you may find something here to titillate.

Overall rating = 3.0 stars

The Spoils by Anna Hedley

Idris’ berserker skills make him a formidable combatant in the arena where he fights for the entertainment and gain of his Master. Problem is, Idris can’t control when he “whites out” and goes crazy on his opponents’ asses, and he remains invincible. That is, until he meets the snarky demon Kage, who kicks his butt; until he starts hallucinating the ghosts of all those he’s killed in the arena.

Idris is going through the motions, he’s had enough of the carnage and chewing on his opponent’s guts. Theo, a maenad (confusing, as they are supposed to be feminine; or maybe this is a playful poke at girly guys?) pleasure slave with magic healing skills, is given to Idris. He and Theo take a pretty quick cottoning to each other… or maybe Idris just appreciates healing massages…  and Theo just wants his freedom. Anyway, I’m not really feeling it.

Kage, however, is fun. He’s a sexy, wise-cracking ninja master with a wicked toothed whip, and he knows how to take control. We don’t get nearly enough of this demon match-maker.

The debauchery à la ancient Rome, is chock-a-block with lusty pleasure slave rapey-ness, multiple partners, oily wrestling, public sex and humiliation, and even a double penetration. So, lots of fluid swapping excess swamps the action.

Rated: 3-stars-out-of-5-300x70

As You Wish by Gabriel Belthir

Set in a pseudo Victorian-era England, a young working stiff gets his fondest wish when he is invited to hobnob with the ton. It’s never clear just what Samuel’s allure is to Viscount Edmund Kaylock, why he’s been invited to his private slave auction at the mansion– I was eager for more information about that.

Samuel can’t believe his good fortune as he surveys the tall and massive, ebony skinned, Apollo, up for bid. This slave spells danger, is rumored to have murdered, but that doesn’t stop Samuel from taking him home.

There is some initial awkward racial “Mandingo” stereotyping that had me worried. But a nice role twist develops and Apollo eventually shows insight and ingenuity. I found this mostly pedestrian though, and there’s not a lot of world-building. But, there is a hot role-play scene and the relationship works sweetly in the end.

Rated: 3-stars-out-of-5-300x70

Life is Unforgiving by Lor Rose

In this paranormal vamp story the slaves are called ‘blood bags’. Vamps, or Daeva, are out in the world but feared by all. And they are allowed to take slaves.

Aidan is discarded by his old Master; he’s sold to Ryce who is quite gentle and indulgent with him. So things start looking up for the horribly abused Aidan. There is a very hot menage scene– Aidan is the middle in a vamp sandwich with Ryce and vamp friend, Levant. They work very well together, in concert and synchronized… oh hell, the whole thing is sexy. Let’s just say that Aidan’s luck has changed when he discovers vamp sex. He may even find vamp love. This is my favorite of the anthology, I like Ryce’s treatment of Aidan throughout and his promising him a happy ever after is sweetly romantic.

Rated: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

Takashima’s Pet by Fox Lee

Yuta has the misfortune of getting caught when his gang attempts to rob Takashima’s warehouse; they take off running, leaving him behind. Fortunately, the well-known yakuza likes the look of Yuta and gives him the choice of death or becoming his sex slave.

The first day Takashima keeps Yuta he leaves him alone bound, ball-gagged and catheterized, on his bed. For the whole day. Alone. No food, no water. This was completely unappealing. It doesn’t matter what Takeshima thinks of Yuta, it’s just plain dangerous behavior. The blurb says that Takashima tenderly teaches Yuta the meaning of family. It’s all relative I suppose, as Yuta hasn’t known much tender love in his life. He quickly adapts to being Takashima’s pet, and says he’s in love and in it for the long haul. Not surprising since he doesn’t have anywhere else to go. I didn’t find this particularly romantic or erotic, I couldn’t get past the initial abuse.

Rated:

OVERALL RATING: 3-stars-out-of-5-300x70

BUY LINK: Storm Moon Press  ::  All Romance eBooks

==================================
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 Elizabetta

OmorphiTITLE: Omorphi
AUTHOR: Cody Kennedy
LENGTH: 189,675 words
PUBLISHER: Harmony Ink Press
BLURB: High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. He’s a star athlete, has great friends, and parents who love him just the way he is. What’s missing from his life is a boyfriend. That’s a problem because he’s out only to his parents and best friend. When Michael accidentally bumps into Christy Castle at school, his life changes in ways he never imagined. Christy is Michael’s dream guy: smart, pretty, and sexy. But nothing could have prepared Michael for what being Christy’s boyfriend would entail.

Christy needs to heal after years of abuse and knows he needs help to do it. After the death of his notorious father, he leaves his native Greece and settles in upstate New York. Alone, afraid, and left without a voice, Christy hides the myriad scars of his abuse. He desperately wants to be loved and when he meets Michael, he dares to hope that day has arrived. When one of Michael’s team-mates becomes an enemy and an abuser from Christy’s past seeks to return him to a life of slavery, only Michael and Christy’s combined strength and unwavering determination can save them from the violence that threatens to destroy their future together.

REVIEW:

That cover… Omorphi, or ‘pretty’ in Greek, is the perfect description of Christy Castle, a mysterious and mute new student at Michael Sattler’s high school. Picture the famous androgynous fashion model Andrej Pejić, who Michael has had a secret crush on, and you’re there. Long golden blond hair, aquamarine eyes, delicate and whippet thin, Christy fits the bill perfectly. Michael, senior sports stud and all-round good guy, has been longing for a pretty boyfriend, an ómorfi agóri, and just like Christy, he’s ready for love. Once they connect it should be sweet romance from there on. 

Michael has a golden life. He is captain of the track team, has great friends, is an excellent student, has a scholarship to Oxford; he is a golden boy. His parents love and support him even after he came out to them, and his best friend Jake has always had his back, they’re like brothers, have known each other all their lives. 

Christy is the exact opposite of Michael, he has no loving parents, has fled his home country, Greece, escaping years of horrific abuse which have left him physically scarred and mentally traumatized. He’s the new kid at school and his pretty looks now make him a target for vicious attacks by homophobic school bullies. Michael champions this lost boy and becomes something of a mentor and guide. As they get to know each other it becomes clear that a simple high school fling is not what this is about. 

I like pieces of this story: I like the idea of Christy finding his voice and his inner strength; I like his forging a friendship with the brilliant Michael; I like how their physical relationship is handled given Christy’s sexual abuse, how Michael teaches Christy about love and respect. I like the author’s heartfelt mission to inform about treatment of children who have been physically and mentally abused. We are walked every step of the way through Christy’s treatment for his abuse. It is obvious the author is informed in the subject or has done their research. 

We are witness to every twist and turn in Christy and Michael’s journey. Their story enters the realm of the fairytale…  By the end, Christy and Michael have rallied the queer students in their high school to thwart the bullies, have survived at least three attempts on their lives, and outwitted the police forces of two countries in hunting the very, very evil bad guys intent on harming Christy. Michael is told by various professionals several times that he should be a doctor/psychologist/lawyer… he can do no wrong. Christy is very lucky indeed to have him as his protector and avenger. 

My main issue with Omorphi is that it gets bigger than life and blown into soap opera proportions. And there is a lot going on, it is way too long, would have been better at half the length. Yet, you can’t mistake the careful, loving work that has gone into it. I know that many will love this hard-edged yet sweet love story about overcoming great odds. I recommend this for those readers. Be warned, though, that there are descriptions of horrific abuse and rape. My rating is for the premise and the love story even if I couldn’t completely get behind the packaging.

Elizabetta’s Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Harmony Ink Press  ::  All Romance eBooks

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

==================================
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 Elizabetta

Patient ZTITLE: Patient Z
AUTHOR: Becky Black
PUBLISHER: Loose Id Publication
LENGTH: 265 pages
BLURB: Two years ago the zombie apocalypse wiped out the world police officer Mitch Kennedy had a role in. But he’s found a way to continue doing his duty, serving as guardian of a small community of survivors, living in the safest place they can find. When the group takes in Cal Richardson Mitch can’t help but be attracted to the first available—and incidentally, gorgeous—man to cross his path in months.

Mitch and Cal can’t resist each other physically, but each man tries to hold back his emotions. Though he’s strong on the outside, Mitch is too badly hurt inside to risk more pain. Cal’s very sure he won’t stay for long. He’s been a drifter all his life and it came naturally to him to survive alone after civilization fell. He’s sure this is a temporary stopover for him. He has no intention of becoming emotionally involved with a cop who is certain to despise Cal when he learns the truth about him.

The longer Cal stays the stronger his urge to run, but the harder it becomes to give up the safety of the community and his new friends. The harder it becomes to give up Mitch.

REVIEW:

An offshore oil rig, near the southern US coast, is the setting for this zombie action thriller. This is a clever plot device, it’s what I’d do post-disaster, head for an island or some other structure that gives distance to the moldering mob. It seems that zombies suck at navigating boats and climbing ladders. But, is the rig as safe as it would seem?

For two years the world has been under a zombie takeover. The disease is spread by an infected human biting a non-infected; zombies are only interested in uninfected people, they ignore each other, and their numbers have been increasing. Mitch Kennedy, a cop back in the normal days, has learned how to evade the zombies, he has set up the oil rig as a fortress-haven for himself and a small group of very self-sufficient women and small children. They have learned to survive by carefully scrounging the countryside in well-planned excursions, for supplies, medicine and weapons. More importantly, they have a doctor on board who may have found a vaccination for the zombie pathogen, and it is paramount that her work continue.

There used to be other men on the rig, but when they started sexually harassing the women, they were booted off. In particular, Ethan, who heads up his own on-shore gang of marauding fellow meat-heads. Mitch and his “harem” have learned to live comfortably on the rig and have trained themselves to stave off vicious attacks by Ethan’s gang. Mitch is the only guy left onboard not only because he is a trusted leader but because he is gay and does not pose a sexual threat to the women. It isn’t until they rescue Cal, mysteriously adrift in a small boat found near the rig, that there is hope for Mitch finding someone he can be with. The plot gets messy because Mitch is a stand-up guy, looking for commitment where Cal is, literally, the drifter with a shady past who’s aim is to keep on the move.

The enemies in this story aren’t so much the zombies, but the fellow non-infected humans who covet what Mitch battles to keep safe— the women and rig. The author sets up the well-used premise that in a post-apocalyptic world, mankind can be its own worse enemy, so there is nothing really new here. But, the action is great; the dangerous on-land excursions and confrontations with Ethan’s gang have good suspense built in. And having to kill zombies that one may have known previously poses some ethical issues.

Along with the colorful setting there are a lot of wins here. It’s when the story focuses on Mitch and Cal, together, that it drags a bit for me. They’re nice enough guys, and their characters are well-drawn, but I just don’t find their pairing that compelling. It seems like a set up of convenience where they have to be attracted to each other by their both happening to be gay and the ‘last gay man on earth’ or close to it. So, the romance seems a bit forced to me. Still, this was a fun action/adventure zombie read and I would recommend it for those who like this genre.

Elizabetta’s Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Loose Id Store  ::  All Romance eBooks  ::  Book Store

==================================
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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The main character of my new novel, The Adorned, is a courtesan…and that’s a wriggly little word, isn’t it?

Originally, it meant an attendant to a ruler, someone “of the court”, but these days it wears something different than the stately robes of a courtier–something slinky and red, maybe. When you hear the word, what do you see? Maybe a geisha, face painted ivory-white. Maybe a woman in an powdered wig, hiding a wicked grin behind a painted fan. Maybe a blond in a mink coat, simpering on the arm of an older man.

How about a beautiful young man?

Over the course of The Adorned, Etan, the beautiful young man in question, becomes a part of an elite class of tattooed courtesans–the playthings and objets d’art of a semi-divine aristocracy. Some of his patrons appreciate him solely for the decorative, near-magical art that he wears on his skin, but to be sure he’s expected to fulfill other duties as well.

Adorned are somewhere between living canvases and high-class escorts, and they can be both male and female–I knew that when I first started writing. I wanted to see what a courtesan class might look like in a world where the lines between gender roles are bit more permeable than they were in, say, Elizabethan England or Ancien Régime France.

Of course, it wasn’t quite a serious exploration of gender roles that I was after; more than anything, I just wanted to tell a good story. And I’ve got my shallow reasons, as well: I’m rather fond of good-looking guys, covered in tattoos or not. But there was something fascinating going on, I thought, and it kept cropping up here and there.

In the first draft of The Adorned, there were a few characters who I didn’t like very much–they were flat, stereotyped, wooden. In the rewrite, I upended their gender…and suddenly they came to life. Even today, our minds will often automatically assign a gender to ostensibly neutral words–words like housekeeper, nurse, cook, and, of course, courtesan–and when you flip that expectation, things can get pretty interesting.

~ [.:.] ~ [.:.] ~ [.:.] ~ [.:.] ~ [.:.] ~

THE ADORNED by John Tristan

The AdornedBLURB: My name is Etan, and I am Adorned.

A living piece of art, I exist to please the divine rulers of Kered. With nowhere to turn after my father died, I tried my luck in the capital city. Little did I know how quickly I would be robbed, beaten and forced to sell myself into servitude. But I was lucky enough to gain the attention of Roberd Tallisk, an irascible but intriguing tattoo artist who offered to mark me with enchanted ink for the enjoyment of the nobles. I was given a chance to better my station in life, and I could not refuse.

But the divine rulers want not only the art but the body that bears it. In their company I can rise above the dregs of society and experience a life most only dream of, at the cost of suffering their every desire as a pawn in games of lavish intrigue. Their attention is flattering, but I find I’d rather have Tallisk’s.

Caught between factions, I learn that a revolution is brewing, one that could ruin Kered—and Roberd and myself along with it…

EXCERPT:

The date of the feast had been set for a week hence. A single day after the contract had been negotiated, one of the Count’s servants had brought us the news, along with our display-clothes. Those had been brought in lovely wooden boxes, which we were casually informed we could keep as gifts, and wrapped in thin tissue-paper.

The paper was blue and white, the colors of Karan’s house, and soft as silk. With Isadel’s he had sent a silver pomander. It fell out of the folds, unremarked upon, as she unwrapped it, regarding his choice with a businesslike expression. It was a long skirt of crimson velvet, slit high to the hip. She held it up. “Well, it’s a good thing the flame on my stomach’s finished now. This will expose it for sure.”

We were in the dining room, which was empty save for the two of us and the two boxes on the table. Yana and Doiran were busy with their own work, and Tallisk could not be disturbed to fuss over our clothes, so Isadel took the task of it in hand. I looked over her shoulder at the skirt. I could see no other clothing in the empty box. “Are you to wear no, uh, no…”

She laid the skirt back in the box, careful of its delicate seams. “No, of course not. We don’t get hired to cover our Adornments.”

“Still,” I said, “you would never see a woman in the street so bare.”

“Well, no, but she would have nothing to show, Etan. When we do our work well, no one sees our bodies as bared flesh. We are moving art.”

I chewed this over. “Count Karan—”

“Count Karan,” she said, “might be our patron, but he is not who I bare my Adornments for. He has us made because it is…the done thing, not because he is a connoisseur of art.”

I traced my fingers over the lacquered top of my box. I had not yet opened it; I half feared to. “Do you know what he asked? What the Count asked of me?”

“Yes. I know.” She closed her box with a snap.

My mouth had gone dry. I bit my lip. “Do you know what he expects of me?”

“Yes, Etan,” she said, more gently. “He asked the same thing of me.”

“Was itwas he?” My face felt furnace hot.

She shrugged. “It heis tolerable enough.” A quick grin lit her face. “Sometimes, it can even be a pleasant diversion. But don’t dwell on it so much; your true work is the display. His Grace may not appreciate the art as much as the skin it’s inked on, but be sure that his friends have eyes.”

READ THE 5 STAR REVIEW (LINK) <—||—||—> BUY THE BOOK (LINK)

GIVEAWAY

Would you like to win a free copy of The Adorned? Leave your e-mail address and your preferred format (PDF or epub) in the comments … and, if you’d like, what sort of design you’d want tattooed on you if you were one of the Adorned! The giveaway will end on August 20th, when the winner will receive their book.

About the Author

John is a Transatlantic nerd currently living near Manchester; when he’s not writing about sexy men in strange worlds having adventures and falling in love, he’s probably reading, playing video games or changing the cat tray.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/johntristan Website: http://www.johntristan.com

Reviewed by Elizabetta

five-stars120205

The AdornedTITLE: The Adorned
AUTHOR: John Tristan
PUBLISHER: Carina Press
LENGTH: 280 pages
BLURB: My name is Etan, and I am Adorned.

A living piece of art, I exist to please the divine rulers of Kered. With nowhere to turn after my father died, I tried my luck in the capital city. Little did I know how quickly I would be robbed, beaten and forced to sell myself into servitude. But I was lucky enough to gain the attention of Roberd Tallisk, an irascible but intriguing tattoo artist who offered to mark me with enchanted ink for the enjoyment of the nobles. I was given a chance to better my station in life, and I could not refuse.

But the divine rulers want not only the art but the body that bears it. In their company I can rise above the dregs of society and experience a life most only dream of, at the cost of suffering their every desire as a pawn in games of lavish intrigue. Their attention is flattering, but I find I’d rather have Tallisk’s.

Caught between factions, I learn that a revolution is brewing, one that could ruin Kered—and Roberd and myself along with it…

REVIEW:

I’ve been looking forward to reading another fantasy work by this author after having enjoyed his “Forest of Glass” some time ago. I remember that work for its richly descriptive writing and world building, and “The Adorned” doesn’t disappoint. The story is laid down like a carefully crafted painting as brush stroke by brush stroke, this other world is revealed. Vivid and haunting, more than anything, it is the storytelling that sets it apart.

“When we do our work well, no one sees our bodies as bared flesh. We are moving art.”

The Adorned are youths chosen for their flawless, physical beauty. They are blank canvases for master tattoo artists, known for their exquisite and highly sought after designs. Those lucky enough to become indentured to these masters can also enter into a patronage by members of the ruling class, the Blooded. This mysterious clan, set apart and rumored to have descended from the gods, has an insatiable appreciation for beauty, and their pursuit of decadent pleasure and debauchery can make the reputation of an Adorned.

An Adorned is contracted by these wealthy patrons for display– as well as other carnal services– as their body art progresses. There is a mysterious something else that sets their tattoos apart and distinguishes them as ‘adorned’ but the story must be read to discover what that is. This is an outrageously rarified world these tattooed youths move in. And it’s risky stuff, considering the troubled times where many in the populace eke out meager subsistence and often go hungry– in fact, the story has a feeling of the last days of Marie Antoinette’s French court.

Nineteen-year-old Etan Dairan has nothing left in the world. His father has suddenly died and left debts that have eaten up Etan’s legacy. He has been softly reared and well educated but his options are limited and he finds himself on the street. Luckily for Etan, he comes to the notice of Roberd guild-Meret Tallisk, perhaps the finest tattoo-master in the country. Etan, becomes Etan writ-Tallisk, and over the course of a five-year indenture, turns his body over to the artist’s incredible designs… to become Adorned.

“I was like a midnight garden, my Adornments almost glowing green… here and there a barely-opening blossom in blue…”

Etan earns his keep by display contracts for the Blooded and in particular, Count Helsin Karan, a primary patron.

“There were men in the fine clothes of the Blooded and their companions, and with them were the Adorned, flashes of moving color in the dark crowd… the men laughed, loosened by wine, and their hands were freer with the Adorned than they would have been with ladies… I felt suddenly like a minnow in a pond of sharks, their toothy grins all turned on me… I saw the Count at last, and he—the sleekest, swiftest shark in the pond—saw me.”

Even though Etan can also be contracted for sex there is very little of it in the story. The story’s sensuality mostly exists in the writing and in the description of this world and the unfolding interaction between Etan, Tallisk and Count Karan. It would seem that Etan is set-up for life; he will be well cared for and be able to make a very lucrative living after his service to Tallisk is completed. But these are troubled times and Etan finds himself pulled between loyalty to Master Tallisk and the machinations of the Blooded.

The story moves sedately, carefully building the relationships and tension. There is intrigue, political scheming, and violence. And there is romance. Etan’s journey from penniless orphan to courtier and beyond is captivating. This was a treat to read, itself a work of art, and is highly recommended.

BUY LINK: Carina Press  ::  All Romance eBooks

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

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

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

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

Review by Elizabetta

five-stars120205

TITLE: Freedom
AUTHOR: Jay Kirkpatrick
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
BLURB: In a future Earth, Patrick Harvey, newly promoted Class One Empath, dreams of the independence his position brings and the apartment he’s saving for. His first solo assignment is treating John Doe 439, a man found outside the city, battered, traumatized, and apparently mute.

Despite a strong taboo against Empaths forging romantic relationships, Patrick realizes he feels a strong attraction to his patient. Soon he learns the man is a high-level Psychic Talent named Jac. Then Jac reveals that there are abusive people hunting him for his gifts, and Patrick’s uncomplicated world explodes.

Jac needs to meet up with his companions and flee the city before anyone else can find him—but it may be too late. Word of Jac’s talents has leaked to Central Government in Chicago. If Jac wants to retain his freedom, he needs to run—now. And if Patrick wants to explore a relationship his society tells him he can’t have, he’ll have to exchange the safe fetters of his job for the uncertainty of liberty.

REVIEW:

Food for thought, that’s what this book is. This is more than a futuristic gay romance, it is a look at something we view as a basic necessity in life, and a gift: freedom… The dictionary calls it:

  • the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without restraint
  • absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government
  • the state of being physically unrestricted; not being imprisoned or enslaved
  • the power of self-determination attributed to the will

But it is also a state of mind.

Patrick Henry is our hero in Freedom, and he seems to have never really thought deeply about his own freedom within his world. That is, not until he meets his patient, John Doe#439/Jaq. Little by little, Patrick’s eyes are opened to what his ‘perfect’ life really is, and just how much he has given up for safety and security.

Freedom takes place in an alternative universe, ‘new’ Las Vegas, New Earth. It is post-apocalyptic, post cataclysmic— we never really learn what the ‘Burst’ is that so devastated the country, leaving a society divided between those who are ‘in’ and those who are ‘out’. The former live in protected, walled Cities, under guaranteed safety but also severe structure and surveillance (cameras are everywhere; citizens are tagged with tracking devices); while the latter live in the back-and-beyond in near anarchy, are seen as degenerates, are left to a scrounging subsistence.

For Patrick, living inside the City has always been the goal. There, at the Empath Center, he can use his abilities to help others. In this world, some are born with extra-sensory abilities: empathic, telepathic, telekinetic, and these gifts are highly sought-after by the powers that be. These valued abilities are the tickets to life on the Inside. Patrick is a Class One Empath and he is given his first big case, to work with Jaq, a severely beaten and raped, mentally broken, shell of a man found dumped in the desert. Patrick is anxious to prove himself, excited to finally help someone in need, spurred by the challenge of finding the key to Jaq’s mental prison.

But who is really the needy one here? As he finds out more about Jaq and his life on the Outside, Patrick discovers the limitations in his own life. Perhaps Jaq has known greater freedom than Patrick has ever imagined. Patrick’s whole world is set on end as his eyes are slowly opened to what he has given up for that safe and secure life. He also becomes aware of long suppressed emotions sparked by his close interaction with Jaq. The scenes where Patrick works to help Jaq find a way out of his nightmare are some of my favorites.

Patrick learns that security comes at a personal cost, and it is easy to make correlations to our present day situation— with surveillance cameras on every corner, drone technology, data mining of phone and internet correspondence in the name of security, the Patriot Act— insidiously and surely, what we perceive as freedom is being altered.

This book is very strong through the wonderful first half. The writing, plotting and pacing are well done, the characters, all of them, compelling. If there is a weakness, it is in Patrick. He is at times frustrating, seemingly naive and too malleable: he has allowed himself to be manipulated by those in charge, he has buried his head in the proverbial sand. It is hard to believe that he could be so oblivious. What saves him is his purity of soul and his nurturing, kind spirit. On the other end, Jaq is a truly unique character, a man of hidden depths. It’s a mistake to discount him, he is more than he seems.The second half of the book is a little less satisfying— it does have great action and drama, but there is an OTT bad-guy who just turns goonish, and the focus is more on the secondary characters. Jaq and Patrick are separated for much of it… and leaving the cocoon of their blossoming intimacy is jarring.

For me, Freedom draws parallels with where we are right now in our own ‘negotiations’ for security and safety and how these will inevitably affect our access to freedom. This raises it to five stars. Oh, and it is a great love story!

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Press  ||  Book Store

PAPERBACKS: Dreamspinner Press  ||  Amazon

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

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Review by Elizabetta

TITLE: Hell’s End
SERIES: Hellscape
AUTHOR: Ally Blue
PUBLISHER: Samhain Publishing
BLURB: Rebellion, war and survival. Love’s a bitch.

Tuck’s a Gutter, one of a gang of violent orphans running level thirty-six of Hell’s End, the solar system’s outermost space station. There’s only one way out of this brotherhood of blood—grow up and be killed and eaten by other Gutters.

Tuck barely escapes his death sentence, only to fall prey to the powerful L’arisian family. Rescue from a L’arisian whorehouse never happens, but rescued he is, and by Gov soldiers no less. Alone among the enemy, Tuck trusts only one person—the man who risked everything to pluck him to safety.

Ivan’s a soldier. No more, no less. But the disquieting things he learns about the Government’s plans for the Gutter kid have him doing the one thing a soldier shouldn’t do. Think about doing what’s right instead of what he’s told. All for a guy he can’t get out of his head.

Getting involved in a rebellion that might get them killed is a problem. Falling in love? That’s a disaster in the making.

REVIEW:

Hell’s End starts strong with its depiction of a dark, dystopian future-world where anarchy reigns supreme. A multilevel deep-space station is the backdrop for a story about power struggle. Some of the station levels are home to regular folk. Some are fierce battlegrounds where ‘Families’—the Sorensen, L’arisian, Ortega and McDougal clans, feud for supremacy. Factor into this the Government (Gov), the secretive, corrupt, evil, villain of the story whispered to have experimented with genetic and psychological modifications on adults and children. Some have been chosen, willingly or not, for their enhanced physical, mental or extrasensory abilities, to act as clandestine agents. Of course, where there is an evil ruling body, there has to be a rebellion— in this case a rag-tag group of fighters unhappy with the repressive regime.

Enter Tucker, member of the vicious Gutter gang, a group of street kids ranging from toddler to young adult. They live on the edge, roaming the station levels, looting, wreaking havoc and just trying to stay alive. They are orphans, abandoned or lost from their families, who have formed their own nest. For some reason when a Gutter ‘comes of age’ (unspecified, but I’m guessing around eighteen-years-old) they are ousted, hunted, and eaten by the other members of the gang. Hey, it’s the future, and food is scarce. It’s never clear what triggers this expulsion, but Tucker’s time has come. Lucky for him, the Gov had sent in hunky soldier, Ivan, to the rescue just in the nick of time, from a gutting and spit-roasting. It seems that Tucker has something the Government wants and needs. He is a valuable commodity. And anyone can be conscripted to work for the cause. As long as they want to stay alive, that is. To add further interest, the rebellion also has its eye on both Tucker and Ivan.

So, here we have an intriguing premise with a hard-core anti-hero who has defied all odds for survival. Unfortunately, the story starts to lose steam. Boy meets boy, lust ensues, and there is much hand-holding and stolen kisses. All good and dandy but it seems it’s mostly convenience that keeps Tucker and Ivan together. And we meander from the dark desperation of this dystopia waiting in the wings, to our heroes, sweet as they are, waiting for something to happen. Tucker, with his mysterious super ability, is relegated to an administrative position, of all things (is this how you treat a talented, ninja dude?), putting the kibosh on any real double-agent super-sleuthing for the rebellion. We are given a lot of secondary characters, mostly in the rebellion, but none of them are more than sketched-out figures. In fact, the most interesting side characters are not human. Creepy predators, the engineered “nanobots,” remind me of the ‘Borg’ from the Star Trek TV show— creatures of the hive mind.  So, our MC’s Ivan and Tucker, continue to moon after each other, looking for something to do. And then, Boom. About two-thirds of the way into the plot things lurch into high gear and we finally get some interesting action. Tucker finally comes into his own. I only wish this could have happened earlier. Here, we have an interesting premise that loses its way mid-story and seems stronger in its parts than in its whole.

I’ve read other stuff by this author and enjoyed it. The ‘Bay City Paranormal Investigations’ series is fun and well done— I found the writing there better put together. Still, sci-fi lovers who want some sexy boy action mixed in will find something to like in “Hell’s End” but patience is required.

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

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

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

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