It’s Release Day for The Climb by Kirifox!



Title: The Climb
Author: kirifox
Genre: gay romance, M/M, paranormal/supernatural
Length: short story


A hidden Rocky Mountain alpine meadow and glacial lake are an escape, a small personal paradise for Jessie. Climbing to the overview above camp, however, proves he does not know his sanctuary as well as he thought. How can a strange storm, a fog, and the scent of flowers change his worldview, and ultimately, his life?


Buy Links

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I pounded on the door with my fist, getting more and more upset, but no one answered. The cabin was solid and definitely there. No way could anyone have constructed this thing in the little time I was gone. I cracked the door open and peered inside; entering when I found it was empty. I discovered a few belongings, a pile of blankets, and tanned skins on the floor, and a handmade table and bench seat, with a couple of tin dishes and a large black pot near the open fireplace. Reaching toward the ashes, I could feel some warmth, so the fire hadn’t been out too long. Someone had to be close by.

The door slammed open. I jumped, ashamed to have been caught where I didn’t belong.

“What ya doin’ in my home? Who are ya?”

As I turned, I was stunned into silence. A well-built man stood silhouetted in the doorway. I couldn’t see his face, but his shoulders were broad, his bare forearms muscled, and he was holding an axe in front of him as if to ward off an enemy. Belatedly, I realized that enemy was me.

“Speak man! Who are ya?”

I shook my head, but couldn’t get my tongue unstuck. Holding my hands in front of me in the universal sign of surrender and peace, I prayed he wouldn’t start swinging until I could get my wits about me.

“Are you mute, boy? Can’t cha talk?”

“I-I can talk.” I stuttered.

“Whatcha doing here? You lost?”

Shaking my brain loose, still unable to see his face in the gloom of the cabin, I started to lower my hands when he motioned with the axe to keep them where they were.

“Listen, I don’t know what’s going on, but I woke up in a cave in the cliff and I was all alone. My friends are supposed to be right here, right now, and this cabin wasn’t here a few hours ago. If this is a prank, can we just get to the funny part and have a good laugh?”

About the author

kirifox-avikirifox is an accountant by day and a writer by nightóat least, when the muse allows!

She has been an archaeologist, a minister, and a salesperson in her past lives, moving from Ohio to Maine, and then to Colorado where she lives today. Her three kids, of the feline persuasion, love to sit on her keyboard and ëhelpí her write. Angel, Eagle, and Lotus think it is their duty to make sure ìmomî always has a tail in her water glass, a fuzzy mouse near her computer, and a lap full of love.

In her limited spare time she enjoys counted cross stitch, making jewelry from beads and found objects, building 1/12th scale miniature furniture, gourmet cooking and gardening, not necessarily in that order. Her Lego castle collection fills one wall of her library. She reads voraciously and has at least three books open at all times. She thinks eBooks are awesome, although nothing will ever replace the smell and feel of a print book.

Writing fills a creative need for kirifox. As a child she made up stories to amuse herself and her friends. Then life got in the way and more mundane chores filled her days, until she discovered fanfiction. Writing about her book and movie loves turned into an obsession, fueled by reviews, both good andÖless good. The friends she developed through her fanfiction reading and writing led kirifox to the belief she could write stories other people wanted to read. The only difference between her childhood writing and today is she types her stories into the computer rather than keeping steno pads and sketchbooks filled with messy handwriting and drawings. A small notebook still collects ideas, sentence fragments, and sketches in the middle of the night, or anytime a computer is not accessible.

She has two published short stories, both with Wayward Ink Publishing, and is working on two full length books.

kirifox can be found at:




A BJ Review: The Hardest Thing: A Dan Stagg Mystery by James Lear


Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Killing is easy. Love is… The Hardest Thing

The Hardest Thing coverDan Stagg, formerly Major Dan Stagg in the military, was forced out of the Crops when he lost his partner Will to a sniper in Afghanistan and in his grief violated the DADT system in place at the time. Now, having recently lost his job as a bouncer at club, he’s ripe for the picking when offered a lot of money to get a sexy young male “secretary” safely out of town and provide him protection. But Dan quickly comes to realize that something is fishy and soon things begin to go very wrong.

This isn’t flowery prose or whitewashing. This author puts you right inside this hardened former military man’s head, and he pulls no punches. Its raw, gritty, and lots of messy sex. Lots. But don’t let that fool you. This book is in no way light on story. There’s a plot here with plenty of twists and turns. It’s humorous at times and rip-you-heart-out sad at others.

Here’s the thing… I toyed with giving this less stars for a brief minute because normally, I don’t enjoy books in which there’s detailed sex happening being the MCs and other people. Usually that comes across to me as cheating and often prompts me to put the book aside. I never once considered doing that here. I can’t say I enjoyed reading those parts, but the author did make me understand. These are both broken guys who are a product of what they’ve been taught and the lives they’ve led.

Just when I thought I’d gotten a handle on them and on how the story was going to play out, I realize I’m wrong. There are twists right up to the end, folks. Which is why I’m not revealing too much of the story in this review. I will say that the end had me in tears. Because yeah, sometimes love is the hardest thing. While I didn’t quite understand exactly why Dan loved Jodi, aside from the sex, I did completely believe that he loved him. Sometimes the heart just loves whom it loves. I will be eager to read the next installment in this series.

Cover Artist: ?I like the cover in that it’s gritty and urban, giving a good clue of contents. But when I read that Dan Stagg is actually bald, I felt a bit unhappy at the cover model being so unlike the character. (Note if anyone knows who the artists is please send us the name so we can credit them.)

Sales Links for eBook and paperback:   Cleis Press       Amazon    Buy It Here
Book Details:

paperback, 255 pages –
Published November 14th 2014 by Cleis Press (first published January 1st 2013)
ISBN 1306434912 (ISBN13: 9781306434911)
seriesDan Stagg Mystery #1

Note:  James Lear is the nom de plume of prolific and acclaimed novelist, Rupert Smith. He lives in London and is the 2008 Winner of Erotic Awards “Best Writer”.

A Paul B Review: A Rose for Paul’s Protector (A Loving Nip #2) by Charlie Richards


Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

a Rose for Paul's Protector coverJaymes Martinez has been waiting for the last three months for his beloved, Paul Cosborn to come of age. Unable to claim his beloved until his eighteenth birthday, the leader of the Amarillo coven has been setting the stage for Paul’s arrival. Will someone from Paul’s past come between them before Jaymes finally claims his beloved?

Jaymes Martinez is the coven leader of the Amarillo vampire clan. Jaymes goes about preparing his coven for the arrival of his beloved, Paul Cosborn. During the three month since meeting his beloved, Jaymes has been showing symptoms of the separation. He is short tempered to his best friend and second in command. He exists on bagged blood that the doctor is preparing for him as drinking from known donors has no appeal to him. The bright spot in the past three months has been the constant emails exchanged between him and Paul. Jaymes is determined to have his coven and the dude ranch that the coven runs prepared for the arrival of his beloved around Valentine’s Day.

Paul Cosborn has recently turned eighteen. He has been living with his “Big Brother” Korbin for the past three month, having escaped his foster home after being falsely accused of molesting the fifteen year old son of the family he was living with. Korbin and his beloved Daystrum plan a vacation for Paul to a dude ranch near Amarillo where he can reconnect with Jaymes, who helped him out of the situation in the foster home.

Upon arriving at the ranch, Jaymes begins the task of making Paul his. Jaymes takes Paul on a personal tour of the stables, where he shows Paul his gift to him, an Arabian horse. Unsure why Jaymes would buy a gift for someone who is only staying a week, they share their first kiss. The next day, they share a ride through the ranch and a picnic lunch where Paul learns Jaymes is a vampire. Things begin to progress well between the two until Paul is found missing one morning. Jaymes is enraged that his beloved has been taken so shortly after the process of bonding has started. He must find the missing Paul and deal with those who have taken him in order to begin their new life on the dude ranch.

This is a nice first love paranormal story. Paul has just turned eighteen and is new to the world of love. He has been crushing on Jaymes for the past three months and the anticipation on both sides is palpable. Having had a terrible past with his mother’s drug abuse and the terrible situation in the last foster home he was in makes Paul want to be needed and cherished as Jaymes has promised to do.

The one problem I had with the book was an off page death at the end of the book. Deaths in the paranormal genre are regular and I usually do not have a problem with them. However, this death, while justified because of the actions of the deceased, still gave me pause because of his age.

This is the second book in the Nip of Love series by Charlie Richards. It is set in the same universe as her series The Wolves of Stone Ridge, Kontra’s Menagerie, and A Paranormal’s Love Story. The focus on this series is the various vampires and covens that have been introduced in the previous series. The characters from the other series do cross over from time to time. While the book can be read as a standalone, having read previous books in the other series will help the understanding of these characters and overall arc of the story.

The cover art by Carmen Waters shows the young Paul sniffing a rose with a rural Texas landscape in the background. It is a well done representation of the ending of the book and draws the reader in.

Sales Links:  eXtasy Books      All Romance (ARe)     Amazon       Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 94 pages
Published February 15th 2015 by Extasy Books
edition languageEnglish
Series A Loving Nip:

  • A Nip of Good Cheer (A Loving Nip, #1)
  • A Rose for Paul’s Protector (A Loving Nip, #2)

A MelanieM Review: Holding Out for a Fairy Tale (Least Likely Partnership #2) by A.J. Thomas


Rating: 4.75 rounded up to 5 stars out of 5

Holding Out for a Fairy Tale coverSan Diego homicide detective Ray Delgado never gets a chance to forget where he comes from, a wide spread criminal dynasty whose members are often linked to Ray by blood.  So far Ray has put a number of cousins and uncles behind bars, making him persona non grata with his family, immediate and otherwise.  Only two family members have remained close, his aunt and his cousin, Sophia, who Ray helped raise.  When Ray’s crime lord cousin,  Alejandro makes a violent late-night visit, Ray is in for a number of unpleasant surprises.  Alejandro wants Ray to find his sister, Sophia, who disappeared from the UC San Diego campus, something Ray was unaware of. And Alejandro wants it done before the FBI digs too deep into his business.  Why?  Because millions of the Cartel’s money is missing and it looks as though Sophia, a computer whiz, is involved.

Special Agent Elliot Belkamp spent his entire life jumping from one place to another, including his last assignment which took him to Montana and an white hot encounter with the deeply closeted but oh so sexy Det. Ray Delgado.  Now his new assignment assisting a FBI task force offers him a chance to settle down.  It San Diego, California home to a certain homicide detective.

When Elliot catches a missing person’s case as his first assignment, the last person he thought to find poking around the victim’s dorm room is Ray, his one time hook that ended badly…at least for Elliot. After discovering Sophia’s disappearance is linked to a massive computer-based theft that has two powerful crime families ready to declare war, Elliot focuses on his investigation and tries to ignore Ray. As the search for Sophia turns dangerous, Elliot and Ray discover that tackling organized crime might be easier than resisting the intense attraction both still feel for each other.

Back in 2013, A.J. Thomas debuted her first novel, A Casual Weekend Thing (Least Likely Partnership #1) which went on to winner a Rainbow Award for that year.   This novel was also the first in a remarkable series, Least Likely Partnership.  Thomas’ story was brutal, raw, and realistic.  It involved child abuse and the effects it had on its victims as they aged.  It involved pedophiles within families, suicide, murder, mystery and much, much more.  And once I started I couldn’t put it down no matter how wrenching the story got, and it was plenty traumatic on many levels.  And introduced as secondary characters in that story were San Diego Homicide Detective Ray Delgado, a closeted officer obsessively crushing on his partner Detective Christopher Hayes, a main character and deeply damaged man.  And who did Ray hook up with during the case that Christopher was involved with up in Montana?  That would be FBI special agent Elliot Belkamp.  They spent one hot and heavy week in a hotel in Montana after the case was over.  Then Ray’s mouth and closeted status ended their relationship before it could get out of the motel.  But somehow, the pull between these two was so intense that the reader just knew or perhaps hoped, that they would get another chance.  And they finally do here in Holding Out for a Fairy Tale (Least Likely Partnership #2).

Was it worth the wait?  You betcha!  Once again, A.J. Thomas hooks you in immediately as Ray jumps vividly to life from page one.  Ray, Ray, Ray! Ray, Ray.  The energy, that spark of magic, determination and power, that Thomas builds into Ray Delgado is impossible to resist.  He’s part jerk and part obsessed super cop. And even when he’s berating his fellow officers for not following some procedure or safety protocol (and he’s brutal with his verbal dressing downs), they also know he is right, they won’t repeat that mistake, and that he’s  really doing it for their benefit.  Of course, he’s still a jerk about it.  But you just can’t dislike this guy.  He’s charismatic, he’s caring, and he has to try extra hard because he’s a cop from a hispanic crime family that he has a love/hate relationship with.  And everyone knows it.  Ray Delgado is one beautifully fleshed out characters, so real that you forget he’s been fabricated for a story.

Quietly intense, and Ray’s equal in power and authenticity is Special Agent Elliot Belkamp.  Elliot is out, unlike Ray, and ready to settle down in every aspect of his life.  He wants a home after multiple transfers, he wants a life partner, and well, he wants a life and relationship just like his parents have.  Elliot is the one holding out for a fairy tale and won’t settle for anything or anyone less. And he’s chosen San Diego as the place to get started on the next phase of his life.  Or rather the FBI has with its creation of its new crime syndicate task force based there.  Elliot is a far more subtle creature than Ray but just as fascinating.  Because as much as they differ, Thomas has also made them alike in some fundamental ways.  They believe in family, and the determination to be the best law enforcement officers they can be, no matter the personal costs. They are highly intelligent and thorough.  And its that respect they have for each other and their jobs, along with the intense physical attraction they feel that keeps them returning back to each other.   A.J. Thomas makes their interplay and attraction real and compelling and she does so through intelligent, sometimes snappy dialog and believable law enforcement procedures where each plays off the other during the course of this convoluted case and investigation.

Elliot and Ray are among the least damaged of the two couples but they still carry plenty of baggage, especially Ray.  And that includes the cultural and familial reason Ray has remained in the closet.  With just a telling look from a doorman, Ray gets put in his “Hispanic” macho regulated place, and the fear and rationale behind Ray’s closeted status becomes clear.   And when Ray finally decides to come exploding out of the closet, it gives the reader even more reason to cheer and celebrate.  While Elliot is looking for his fairy tale and determined to get it, Ray is looking for a family to replace the one he lost when he chose being a police officer  over the family business.  That he finds a deep love surprises him because he never realized how much he wanted it.

Along with these outstanding characters, Thomas has created a cast of just as excellent supporting players.  This includes Ray’s captain, Elliot’s boss (a sterling example of a strong woman), Ray’s fellow detectives, and so many more.  Each a crystalline portrait of humanity as its best and worst.  And yes, there is plenty of the “bad” to be found here, starting with Ray’s cousin Alejandro, a crime boss who could be Ray’s twin and was once as close as a brother to Ray.  It’s one compelling character after another, and the situations and events that follow are as complicated and authentic as any in real life.

There will be horror and heartbreak, laughter and tears, revelation and exhilarating surprises for the readers here.   I didn’t  put this book down until 2 something in the morning.  I couldn’t help myself.  I had to know how it all ended.  And it ended the way it had to, both heartbreaking and deeply satisfying.

I have to admit I have favorites.  I love Ray and Elliot better than Christopher Hayes and Doug Heavy Runner.  But that said, its a close race so I’m happy when I can get them all together. And that’s coming in the next book in the series, The Intersection of Purgatory and Paradise (Least Likely Partnership, #3).  And yes, I have already read and am now ready for more.  At least I hope there is more.  I’m off to find out.  Meanwhile if you are new to this series, start with the first story and work your way through.  I know others will say its a stand alone novel, but its so much richer with the back history that the first story represents.  I highly recommend this story and the author.  She is on my auto buy list and this story is an excellent example why she should be on yours too!

Cover art by Brooke Albrecht.  Not a fan of this or any of the covers in this series.  I get the darkness, that works.  But that model is far too young for Ray, surely there are older hispanic models out there to choose from.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press      All Romance (ARe)   Amazon      Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 250 pages
Published May 9th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published May 8th 2014)
ISBN 1627987061 (ISBN13: 9781627987066)
edition languageEnglish
series Least Likely Partnership #2

The Books in the Least Likely Partnership series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the timeline, events and relationships:

In the Book Spotlight: The Island Keepers by Kristopher Quentin


STRW In The Spotlight Header

The Island Keepers by Kristopher Quentin
Release Date: January 4, 2015


Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris with photography of lighthouse supplied by author
Sales Links:  Cool Dudes Publishing

STRW Author BookSynopsis

They could hardly have been less alike.

David is striking, tanned, smooth, charismatic, blond with an ice melting smile,
and possesses an unmistakable gift as a fiction writer, even at twenty-one.
Wyatt looks as plain as paper, short by comparison, white as a ghost, graceless,
a celebrated oil painter. He is single and he is out. David, raised a strict
evangelical fundamentalist, is embarrassed by his own virginity. Both men
are sent to Puffin Island and, within days of their arrival a young woman washes
ashore, frozen and unresponsive after her kayak crashes against the rocks.

David and Wyatt save her life. Days later, Wyatt is charged with rape. While
the authorities investigate, the woman’s nineteen year old identical twin
brothers paddle their way to Puffin to teach Wyatt a lesson. Their goal, to
avenge their sister.

The bond between David and Wyatt increases during island duty, and his heart
struggles with the imbedded childhood dogma and lethally homophobic
parents, propelling him to bond with Wyatt, but, when the inthinkable happens,
Wyatt is once more left alone. Wyatt has no option but to move on because
there is a lot at stake and he turns to the unlikeliest of characters to fill the
void, a person who will teach him an important lesson; that love is all about
choice. By making a decision, Wyatt must sacrifice a need that had been
created by his past with David.

Pages or Words: 108,000 words


Categories: Gay fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult, Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt



“ I need to ask you a point blank question.”

“You can always ask, David. You know that.”

“I…I want to…I want know if…fuck this is so hard. Just a sec. I need to breathe.”

I waited a few moments, listening to him breathe deeply.

‘Okay, I’m ready. You still there?”

“Still here. What’s bothering you David?”

“I…I’ve never done this before so please forgive me for botching it up.”

“Talk to me, David.”

“Okay. Okay.” He whispered, and then taking a deep breath, said, “I want to know if you love me. I mean, are you in love with me?”

* * *

Knock me over with a feather.

I’d been staring out the window watching a couple of kittens chasing each other up and down a pair of maples in our yard.
Somehow, I suddenly identified with the chaser.

“I’ll answer that if you promise to answer the same question. Deal?”

I heard a gulp in my ear piece. “Perfect. I’ll answer it first since I asked it,” he said. “You need to know that I love you. I am in love with you. And I’m fucking miserable not having you by my side. I’m even more forlorn knowing you’re dating someone else.” He paused and took a deep breath. “Okay? There, I said it.”

“Do you feel better?”

“That depends on your answer.”

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

About the author:

Kristopher Quentin has been writing for decades. He is a businessman
and broadcast journalist by trade, a man up at 3:45 every weekday
morning for a stint on the news desk; a little earlier on weekends to
write fiction in his man cave. An upstate New Yorker by birth, he now
lives in the most rural area of far northern Maine, USA, on 54-acres
of land: wooded, lawns, driveways, and a few buildings including his
four thousand square foot home which he calls the white house; because
it is. His property is home to moose, deer, rabbits, raccoons,
porcupines, fox, weasels, black bears, and one Bard owl.
He loves reading gay romances among other forms of fiction;
non-fiction; and memoirs most of which he considers to be fictional.
Travelling, dining out, boat riding are among his passions; that and
flying his own single engine airplane when he was younger.

Where to find the author:


Tour Dates & Stops: April 2, 2015

Parker Williams, Cate Ashwood, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Inked Rainbow Reads, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Molly Lolly, BFD Book Blog, It’s Raining Men, Michael Mandrake, Andrew Q. Gordon, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, Divine Magazine, MM Good Book Reviews, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Hearts on Fire, Elin Gregory