Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Tame a Wild Human by Kari Gregg

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Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Tame a Wild Human coverAs the story opens, Wyatt Redding is thrown to the wolves—literally. In this world, humans avoid the wolves during the three days of every full moon. The wolves are superior to the humans in both strength and cunning, and humans who venture too close to the woods during the full moon have been known to disappear forever. It’s worse for those who don’t disappear—once it’s known they have been used by the wolves for sex, they’re shunned and abused by other humans—physically as well as verbally.

When Wyatt’s greedy brother, Andrew, leaves him bound and gagged at the edge of the woods, Wyatt decides that he’ll try to make the best of the three days by surviving and winning a mark that symbolizes protection by the pack. He wants to get back alive—especially because his brother is trying to get his hands on Wyatt’s money, money he earned by working hard and rising to the top of his field.

Knowing his choices are very limited, he decides he’ll do whatever he needs to do to live, even if that means submitting to the wolves sexually. But from the moment the first wolf comes upon him, he realizes that there really was no choice at all.

Wyatt is subjected to physical and sexual abuse throughout the story, and there’s both dubious and non-consent and outright rape. This is definitely not a story for those who may be triggered by violence.

I appreciate the author’s attempt to create a new world, and a different twist on wolf shifter stories, but I don’t think enough time was spent on creating the world and establishing a relationship between two MCs. Cole, the Alpha of the pack, eventually becomes the wolf that Wyatt is bound to, but although there is some primitive sense of attachment, it never approaches a romance. If anything, their “bond” with each other is due to the fact that Wyatt’s system absorbed some of the wolf’s blood, strengthening him and making his attraction to the wolf stronger. The major problem for me was that I didn’t understand any of dynamics of this world until the very end of the story when Cole discusses their relationship to humans with one of the pack elders. I would have liked this information and more about their world earlier in the book. Since the book was not long, there wasn’t much time to establish the setting, but there was certainly enough time to devote to an extraordinary amount of sex—all of it violent. The author should have given more time to the world-building within the pages written, or else expanded the story to establish the framework of the wolf-human dynamic first.

Overall, the story was okay—but nothing out of the ordinary. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone other than those who like very dark stories with a lot of sex and those that really don’t fit the usual definition of a romance.

Cover Art by Lou Harper depicts two men and a wolf. To be honest, having read the book, I think the cover is too light and colorful. I would have expected this cover to have been dark, with blood, blindfolds, a bound man, dark woods, etc. in the background. That would have been more representative of the nature of the book.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing      All Romance (ARe)      Amazon       Buy It here

Book Details:

book, 80 pages
Published January 19th 2015 by Riptide Publishing (first published January 17th 2015)
ISBN139781626492325
edition languageEnglish
url

A BJ Review: Second Act by Kaje Harper

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Rating:   4.25 stars out of 5

Second Act coverAfter being written out of his current movie project, semi-successful actor Bryce Edwards decides to use the free time to get out of Hollywood for a holiday visit to his former home in rural Minnesota. Determined to make peace with the past that has haunted him, he seeks out the ex-boyfriend he left behind ten years before. Rather than the second chance with Cody that Bryce had half hoped for, he encounters Dion who may be just what he needs to open the curtain on his life’s second act.

This book appealed to me right away since I live in California and have a family member in the movie industry. The author painted a very realistic picture of what its like trying to make it in acting. It’s not easy, even when you’re doing well enough to have a few credits to your name. I found it interesting that Bryce was out in Minnesota but mostly in the closet in ultra-liberal California. I can see how that could feel necessary, but was glad that his agent was not pressuring him into the closet but was instead quite supportive and caring. Bryce’s acting scenes, and his thoughts as he went through them, seemed so real.

I found the contrasts between Bryce and Dion irresistible: Bryce all pumped and manly, frugal, mostly closeted and very career focused, and Dion all sleek and beautiful with his family money, out and proud, and temporarily helping out his half brother. What an excellent mix.

Unfortunately, communication between the two was at a premium from the start.

Bryce was always taking responsibility for their misunderstandings. I tend to be like Bryce, never thinking that I have the right to be upset. I found myself wanting to see him just get mad at some point instead of always being so damn understanding all the time. Didn’t seem to me that Bryce was the only one responsible for their misunderstandings–far from it in most cases.

I adored Bryce. How could you not love a big, sweet guy who doesn’t even know that others see him as a star? And it felt so right how despite being an excellent actor, he had trouble sometimes with expressing himself using his own words. The way he sometimes searched in his head for past roles to bolster himself through difficult real life situations pulled at my heart.

The very out and proud Dion nearly stole the show with his humor and in-your-face carefree lifestyle. But I very much wished for some bits from his POV as I was often wondering what the heck he was thinking when he said and did some things. The fun epilogue highlighted Dion wonderfully and left me all smiles.

Overall, the sex was hot, especially the frotting scene. I find that very sexy and don’t see enough of in m/m. My only disappointment was that Bryce’s stray thought about whether Dion would be open to topping never made it into reality. I’d really like to read that scene.

On another note, Cody and Jacques provided an unexpected, sweet bonus romance. Adored those two together. The proposal scene was one of my favorites in the book. Loved seeing the self-assured Jacques’ vulnerable side.

For being on the short side, the author brought plenty of depth to all the characters in this story. Each felt real, flawed yet strong in their own way.

While this book took an entirely different track than what I’d initially expected, I was in no way disappointed. Not a reunion or second chance story at all. True to the title, it’s the opening curtain on the second act in Bryce Edward’s life. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

Cover Artist: BookCoverMasterClass.com
The cover photo nails the different looks/classes of the two MCs and captures the theme of snowy Minnesota small town meets Hollywood and the movies. It’s almost a synopsis all on its own.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe)    Amazon   Buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 144 pages
Published January 4th 2015 (first published December 27th 2014)
original title Second Act
edition language English

A Sammy Review: The Mechanical Chrysanthemums by Felicitas Ivey

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Mechanical Chrysanthemums coverHachisuka Narihiro is the nephew to the shogun and the squad leader of the Tokugawa Chrysanthemum, a group of men who run machines known as musha. He is also one of the few men who speaks not only his countries native language, but also English and Dutch. Perfect to help when it comes to gaining information from the impending Americans.

With the Americans comes as Pennsylvania Dutch man named Maarten Zook. Unlike the other Americans, he is courteous to cultural traditions and has a certain allure that Hiro just can’t seem to turn away. But it’s a volatile time in the country, and with tension between the Americans and Nippon, getting close to an American is dangerous.

He had fallen in love with Maarten, but Kiyoshi was right, it was a love as unreal and pure as the northern snow. They had treated one another as if they were made out of glass. It could have grown to the love men had for one another, aware, very aware of the lust and life that such a relationship would have.

This story mixes aspects of steampunk with alternative history. Being a fan of such things myself, I was excited to give it a try, and unfortunately it missed a few notes for me.

To be perfectly clear, the story is well written and I think the author had the start of some very good world building, but as is the case in many short stories, it was just not the right length to provide the story that the author was giving. Most of the story concerned the details of life in Nippon, as well as political problems that were occurring between two countries. The relationship was truly secondary, and oddly enough, it felt a bit out of place to me in the entire thing. I felt like I was reading about the problems between America and Nippon, not reading a romance between two men. There’s steam at the end, but beyond that, it’s really not what I would consider a romance.

In the end, it just wasn’t right for me, but it may be for someone else.

The cover art by Anne Cain is fitting for the story. There are elements of mechanical parts, a figure that is likely a musha, and of course two men. I do think that it could’ve used some more care when it comes to blending, but as far as fitting the story goes, it works.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press    All Romance      Amazon     Buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 90 pages
Published January 14th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
ISBN139781632164933
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com

In Our Book Spotlight Today: Copping An Attitude by Morticia Knight

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coppinganatitude_800Copping An Attitude by Morticia Knight
Goodreads Link

Author Morticia Knight Bio:

M/M Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys a good saucy tale – after all, who doesn’t? Since she loves several genres, you may find your heroes in a contemporary, historical, paranormal or sci-fi setting. One of her passions is bringing people’s fantasies to life on the page, because life is too short for even one boring moment. Her stories are volcanic in heat, deep in emotion, and sprinkled with doses of humor.
When not indulging in her obsession for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. The Pacific Northwest is the ideal spot to enjoy both hiking and beachcombing. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She now resides on the northern coast of Oregon, where the constant rain and fog remind her of visits to family in England and Scotland when she was a child.

She is currently working on the Sin City Uniforms Series and a BDSM spin-off to the Gin & Jazz series entitled The Hampton Road Club. A follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey’s story in Rockin’ the Alternative will also be available in 2015 through Totally Bound Publishing.

Where to find the author:  Twitter: @morticiaknight

Publisher: Totally Boundcoppinganatitude_800
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh

About Copping An Attitude…

Vegas is filled with human cast-offs, yet officer Parker McLean sees something special in hustler Slade Wolfgang. Unfortunately, so does Slade’s pimp who wants to sell him overseas in the sex trade.
Hustler Slade Wolfgang has little choice over his fate. At the age of twenty, he’s had to survive any way he can since being thrown out of his home for being gay. As soon as he hit Vegas, Slade was lured into the hopeless world of prostitution where he’s become a virtual prisoner to his pimp, the ruthless Julio Estevez. His evil keeper has even threatened to sell Slade overseas as a sex slave.

It’s another typical night on the Strip when Parker comes across Slade. His heart breaks every time he sees someone so young being exploited. Something in Slade’s eyes tells Parker the young man might be in real trouble though – especially after the recent spate of sex worker killings from a rival prostitution ring.

The two men’s lives become intertwined when Slade is almost beaten to death. The danger grows, but so does the relationship between Parker and Slade. Parker helps Slade to heal from the horrific attack and their bond deepens. But the human traffickers are still out there – and they’re still looking for Slade.

Publisher Advisory: Scenes of violence and a brief scene of sexual abuse. Although part of a series, this book can be read as a standalone.
Categories: Gay, Men In Uniform, Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller

Excerpt from Copping An Attitude (mature eyes only – must be 18 years of ageclick on link to keep reading.

Pages or Words: 50,539 words

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card and Signed paperback copy of Copping an Attitude. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

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Tour Dates/Tour Stops:

Emotion in Motion

29-Jan

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30-Jan

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Carly’s Book Reviews

2-Feb

Cate Ashwood

3-Feb

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

4-Feb

Love Bytes

5-Feb

Amanda C. Stone

6-Feb

Rainbow Gold Reviews

Down Under Author Giveaway Winner Announcements #2

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  G’Day!  Happily we have more winners for you!

More Winner Announcements!  Both winners and authors have been notified.  Congratulations and our thanks to these wonderful authors for their participation and contests!

Author/Giveaways                     Winner

Christian Baines                        Waxapplelover

N. J. Nielsen:                             Julie Small

Beany Sparks                            Denise Duchene

Toni Griffin                               Alaina