A Mika Review: Twinks in Bearland by Kendall Morgan

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Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

The friends of pretty blue-eyed Dustin Garber are about to find out that he has a secret. He loves bears, big hairy gay men. None of them know it, but he’s just booked them all into the annual Gay Bear Ski week.

Twinks in BearlandCraig, beautiful, black and Jewish, is initially indifferent to the fact that he is spending a week with big hairy men. He already has a hook up planned of his own, although that man turns out to have a bizarre secret.

Patrick and Ethan, two bear-hating twinks who have been secretly in love with each other for years, take much longer to come around to the idea that bears can be good guys too. Dustin isn’t so sure his friendship with them will survive the trip.

And then Dustin meets Nate, a big blond bear who is forever single but ready for something a little different. Nate’s friends, Casey and Ryland, are fighting about Ryland’s porn career. Nate’s friend Gil is busy with a Canadian couple, but together Dustin and Nate get lost on a backcountry trail. Deep in the snow away from everyone they may just find the love they’ve been seeking and the understanding they didn’t know they needed.

Twinks in Bearland is the first book in the Bearland Tales series, but each book can stand alone. This gay contemporary love story includes graphic sex and is intended for adults only.

 I will admit the title of the book was the biggest reason why I wanted to read it. This was a new to me author. I liked the premise of the blurb, but the execution did not hold up well for me. It started off funny, and I learned some new terms with dealing with hairy guys. Another element I liked was the idea of a week filled up with Bears. The story was told from multiple character point of views. I found the sex ran similar  one to another. It wasn’t a distinction between characters for me. The twinks were alike, as well as each of the bears that had a point of view in the story. I didn’t connect with any of the characters. It was very one-noted plot wise.

I appreciated the diversity that the author was able to give to the readers but even that couldn’t peak my interest. I found myself wanting to finish the story immediately. Sorry just too one note for me.

 Cover Art by:  3 Rusted Spoons. I really like the skis, the mountain and the bear paw print. It sold the story based on the resort. As for the models, I can’t put their faces with anyone in the story.

Sales Link:   All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Read an excerpt here at the Twinks at Bearland Goodreads link
Published November 1st 2015 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN139781310919053

A Paul B Review: Flint’s Fury (EMS Heat # 19) by Stephani Hecht

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Flint's Fury coverThe only thing holding Flint together is Victoria Smith.  An activist for the city, she represents what could be in the once proud city.  When she is killed, the string that is holding the volatile city together snaps.  The EMTs and local hospitals must deal with the aftermath of the ensuing riot that breaks out because of this woman’s death.

When Matt hears small stones pinging against the side of his ambulance, he wonders what has gotten into twelve year old Keyto.  When Keyto tells him that there has been a shooting, Matt brushes it aside as an everyday occurrence.  When he learns that it is Miss Victoria Smith who has died a violent death, he knows the city is going to erupt.  No sooner than he finishes thinking that, a volley of gunfire erupts around him.  Matt gets Keyto and himself to the safety of the ambulance but his new partner is dead in the drivers seat.  Realizing that he has been hit too, he calls for backup.

As Matt arrives at the hospital, his boyfriend Lucas, a RN at St. Michael’s is already attending to the riot victims.  Wanting to help his boyfriend, he is told to stay out of it as he is too emotionally involved to help Matt.  Lucas reluctantly helps other patients.

Things begin to settle down after the governor calls out the National Guard.  When the reason for Miss Smith’s death is found out, the pointlessness of both the death and the rioting come out.  However, for the people of Flint’s EMS crew and St. Michael’s, they learn that life must be lived to the fullest.

This is the nineteenth book in the EMS Heat series.  While I have read a couple of the books previously in the series since I live so close to Flint and know a lot of the locations mentioned by the author, this is not a series I have kept up on.  So I guess that is why I was not as emotionally invested in all the characters as I probably should have been.  While there is some romance in the book, it is basically a story of the character’s reactions to the riot and the immediate effect it has on them.  While I found it to be a decent read, it would have been better if I had read all the previous books.

The cover art by Angela Waters depicts two shirtless EMT or firefighters on the top half while firefighters are working to put on some burning buildings in the lower half of the cover.  While the bottom half does depict what is happening in the book, the shirtless EMTs seems to be out of place given the book’s subject.

Sales Links:   Extasy Books |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 64 pages
Published October 2015 by Extasy Books
ISBN139781487405489
edition languageEnglish
other editions (1)
Flint’s Fury (EMS Heat Book 19)

Series:  EMS Heat

https://www.goodreads.com/series/48061-ems-heat

A MelanieM Review: Corin’s Chance (Avanti Chronicles #1) by Hannah Walker

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Corin's Chance coverPosted to some stars awful cruiser, Dr. Corin Talovich hoped to serve his time quietly and get on with his life, but fate stepped in and decided otherwise.

Crashing into an unknown planet was the last thing Corin expected. With only his friend, Lieutenant Commander Tate Riven, by his side, they face the unexplored world and new enemies bravely, leading them to the Derin Clan, where they’re welcomed by the leader’s son.

Kel isn’t sure about the strange men, but he isn’t about to send them away, especially when the bond between Corin and himself is something he can’t ignore.

When another clan wages an attack, Kel is forced to make some hard choices which nearly costs him everything he holds dear. Together, with their allies, Corin and Kel fight, focusing on the future they desire, knowing failure not only dooms their love, but also those around them. Side by side, they work to destroy the evil threatening to keep them apart and becoming the family both men desire.

I have to admit that when I was finally finished all 424 pages of Corin’s Chance (Avanti Chronicles #1) by Hannah Walker I was still wavering between 2 and 3 stars, depending upon what I was remembering about the story and how I felt about it.   There are so many things to consider when writing a review about this novel, not the least of which is the ambitious plot and intentions of the author, who intends to carry on into another story and a series.

I have finally decided that, no matter its many (many, many) faults, I am rather fond of this story. For me it falls along the lines of a space bodice ripper, complete with purple prose, main characters who are at turn weepy, furious, torn, overprotective and yes, pregnant (still male), all while being warriors from space.  You just got to roll with it, even while rolling your eyes.

Honestly, I think Hannah Walker is got a really good story here but everything around it needs work.  The Avanti which are these mega space warriors  from many galactic races.. a small group of them is aboard a space cruiser which is attacked.  They all end up in separate space pods that crash land on a planet that seems to be inhabited by The Society for Creative Anachronism.   Everyone on the planet is all big on kilt-like garb, swords (she uses the word claymore,  a specific Scottish weapon), knives, and ride animals that seem to be a lion/zebra hybrid.  Compelling true but these same clans also have in-depth knowledge of The Alliance, space and galactic technology!  So…a whole planet of Luddites?  Its never quite explained.  From the planet, the various cultures and social structures to the galactic Alliance that everyone is fed up about, Walker has failed to lay out a firm foundation for her story, an essential element considering everything she is trying to accomplish here.   Which is tell the story of every member of the Avanti crew that lands on this planet.  A book a crew member.  If each character gets 400 plus pages each, this will be a magnus opus indeed.

Second thing that will stick out immediately is the language or more importantly, several things about the language of the story.  Walker has her character using modern sayings in their dialog with no attempt to show any evolution through centuries of use.  Yes, its been centuries.  One character uses the phrase “When you assume you make an ASS out of ME and YOU!” Really? One of the most feared space  warriors says that to another? Its Baby this and Babe that as they twinkle at each other.  Another notices and drools over a man’s “chiseled face”, then blushes?  He actually says the words “chiseled face” out loud.  Here people are “over the moon” about each other among other cornball descriptions.  These characters never talk as though they have been in battle, although they do sound as though they have been reading romance novels all their lives and that is the only way in which they can communicate.  After a time I got so used to it that it became quite fun.  But I was really missing just one person who acted and sounded like a real soldier and an adult.

There is an evil doer, you will know him because all he does is screech and foam and spittle at the mouth. Yes, those are his only descriptions.  You will know him by his foam.

There is an mpreg element which I found interesting but the author lost several points there as well when she lost track of what one of the most experienced and renowned of all Alliance doctor’s would have knowledge of.  Either have a storyboard, notes or a editor should have stepped in here to point that out and make a change.  Actually a editor should have stepped in quite a few times to cut away extraneous plot minutiae, details, and  whole pages of just stuff that didn’t matter.   And then started in on the dialog.

The characters.  I think that’s where Walker’s story holds its own.  People will like these characters, they are interesting and endearing in a goofy sort of way.  I truly mean that or I wouldn’t have  continued all the way through 424 pages.  We don’t know all their histories and now that they are all back together on the planet, we will want to know what happens to them.  Corin got his mate.  Tate is set up for the next story. Commander Dax, Hunter, Bell, and Bray have some clues laid out here as to how their stories might go.  The next title?  Tate’s Torment.  Doesn’t that just cry out for a return of the greatest of all of the bodice ripper models…Fabio in space?  Since I love Fabio that was not meant to be sarcastic or mean spirited.

What I would love to see happen is for the narrative to tighten up, the purple prose to become less so, for Hannah Walker to decide if her people use technology or not and in a logical manner. And really give some thought about how speech patterns, culture, things would exist thousands of years in the future.  Take whats present now and evolve them. The weird combination here makes little sense, culturally speaking.  In short, a strong editor is needed to see this series forward.  The bones are good.  So are some of the secondary work.  And really perhaps a teensy bit less weeping. Just a bit.

I know some of you are shaking your heads that I gave this 3 stars.  At  times I find it hard to believe as well.  That dialog is a hard thing to overlook as are the characterizations.  These men just don’t read as fierce battle hardened warriors, especially of Galactic renown.   But Hannah Walker has a huge tale to tell.  A band of brothers crash land on foreign soil and decide to make it their home.  Each gets a story as they find love and make a family.  Its that basic.  She has the right elements and sometimes it all comes together and it creeps right into your heart unexpectedly.  It happened enough here to warrant 3 stars.  And it will make me pick up Tate’s Torment.  Ah, me. The Avanti Chronicles will continue.

Sales Links:  ARe | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 424 pages
Published September 20th 2015 by Hannah Walker
ASINB015N8PX0U
edition language English

 

A Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Sinders and Ash (The Pennymaker Tales #1) by Tara Lain

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Sinders and Ash coverA fairy tale for the grownups, this story is so sweet it will definitely leave a warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart.

Mark Sintorella, aka Sinders as he’s known among the housekeeping staff at the resort hotel where he works doing all the dirty janitorial work no one else wants to do, has a secret dream to go to school to formalize his training in fashion design. His couture designs are amazing, considering the fact that he’s never had formal training, but the only person he has available to model them is himself.

When he meets Carstairs Pennymaker, a cute little elf-like man who seems to take an inordinate interest in Mark and his designs, Carstairs convinces Mark to model his clothes as they stroll through the grounds of the hotel since there are many fashion designers and wealthy patrons present this week. But Mark will need to disguise himself as a woman and be introduced as Pennymaker’s niece, Mariel.

Ashford Armitage is about to turn twenty-five and his grandfather’s will, from which he stands to inherit millions of dollars, is hanging over his head like an axe. If he marries before age twenty-five, he will have the money; if he doesn’t, he’ll be left penniless. Ash is gay and doesn’t want to marry anyone, but he shows up at this luxury resort to scan the potential brides one more time before giving up. He spots a young woman he may be able to marry. She’s witty and banters beautifully with him, plus she doesn’t really want to marry either. Bitsy is sweet and if he has to pick someone, he’ll hold out for her. But when he spots Mariel, aka Mark, across the room, his heart is lost.

Thankfully, he doesn’t realize this is the same young man he had saved from an attack earlier that day. One of the young housekeeping staff was nearly raped by the lecherous sous chef until Mark intervened. He thought the guy, Mark, was a sweetheart, and the two hit it off really well, though Ash didn’t reveal his secret fully, just allowed some passionate embraces with Mark to speak for him.

There’s plenty of intrigue here, including a F/F romantic subplot, as the couples finally come to terms with who they are and what they want. But it’s not until the ball at the end of the weekend, where Mark’s family is hoping to meet his chosen bride, that things turn truly magical.

I really enjoyed this story. I know it’s not realistic, but I don’t care. It’s an adult fairy tale, and the beautiful young man dressed as a princess gets his HEA with his handsome young “prince.” It’s the fun of what happens along the way, watching the way they overcome their problems, enjoying the interference of Mr. Pennymaker, and appreciating the beauty and magic of the finale that will leave you with a wide smile on your face and a warm place in your heart. I highly recommend this to all of fans of fairy tale romance with a capital R.
~~~~~
Cover Art by Reese Dante depicts a gorgeous young man with long brown hair and a beautiful countenance. He’s exactly the way I would picture Sinders to look.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, Re-Release
Published October 14th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press(first published March 31st 2012)
original titleSinders and Ash
edition languageEnglish
url http://taralain.com/
seriesThe Pennymaker Tales #1
charactersMark “Sinders” Sintorella, Ashton “Ash” Armitage, Carstairs Pennymaker

Love Audiobooks? Check out Memories of the Heart by Felice Stevens Is Out! (Audiobook release)

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Memories of the Heart-AUDIO

Memories of the Heart by Felice Stevens
Narrator: Sean Crisdean.

 M/M Romance
Now Available on Audible
Time: 8.3 hours

BLURB

Ruthless, Controlling, A Loner. All words used to describe Dr. Micah Steinberg by the hospital staff for their next head of surgery. When a letter arrives from his grandmother’s friend at the assisted living facility, his orderly world tilts dangerously out of control.

Josh Rosen had everything until it was revealed much of his world was a lie. Forced to re-evaluate his life, Josh gives up his career and returns home to New York City to care for his beloved grandmother. What Josh didn’t figure on was an attraction to a man who on the surface, appears to be exactly like the life Josh chose to leave behind.

As Micah struggles with the reality of his grandmother’s illness, the bond these two share deepens, as Josh helps Micah heal, then open his heart. Micah discovers there is more to life than work, control and success. Josh is in deep but has yet to tell Micah who he really is. When the fight for the hospital’s head of surgery turns ugly, Josh’s past and present collide. Micah must let go of the past and accept who he is, if his life is going to move forward.

Life is full of surprises, and as both Micah and Josh learn, love can happen whether you plan for it or not.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon US  | Amason UK  | All Romance

Memories Teas 1

Memories Teas 2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed. But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back. Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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Felice Stevens FB Cover