A BJ Review: The Silvers by J. A. Rock

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Rating:   3.75 out of 5 stars

The SilversWhat humans want from the Silver Planet is water. What they find is a race of humanoids who are sentient, but as emotionless and serene as the plants and placid lakes they tend. B, captain of the mission, doesn’t believe that the “Silvers” are intelligent, and lets his crew experiment on them. But then he bonds with Imms, who seems different from the others-interested in learning, intrigued by human feelings. And B realizes that capturing, studying, and killing this planet’s natives has done incalculable damage.

When a fire aboard B’s ship kills most of the crew and endangers Imms, B decides to take him back to Earth. But the simplicity of the Silver Planet doesn’t follow them. Imms learns the full spectrum of human emotions, including a love B is frightened to return, and a mistrust of the bureaucracy that wants to treat Imms like a test subject, even if they have to eliminate B to do it.

The version I read is a revised second edition. I owned the original version by Jill Smith but had not gotten around to reading it, so when I noticed a new edition was coming out and that it was actually by an author that I’d read and enjoyed other stories by, I had to read it.

Outstanding world building in this sci-fi story. It takes place partially on an the Silver planet and partially on Earth. The description of the Silver planet and the culture of its people is vividly drawn, detailed, and fascinating. I adore reading sci-fi stories where the aliens are truly unique and different from humans, not just merely humans of a different skin color or something. This was totally that. I loved the description of the silver anatomy with its bruise like skin, floating heart, and some of the special abilities they have such as staying under water for a long, long time and going into the ground. Excellent sci-fi elements! The Silvers were original, and the first part of the story written while they were on their planet, while the darkest and most disturbing part, was also my favorite. Unfortunately, once the story moved to Earth, it began to slow down and really drag for me in parts.

This is not a light or happy story, in fact, it read as rather depressing a lot of the time. It deals with issues that made me think and feel and ponder. There are some parts that shimmer with tension, and some other parts that seemed flat, unemotional and slow. The first part, set on Planet Silver, was heartbreakingly sad as we see the way the humans thought of and treated the peaceful Silvers. The cast of characters on that ship was quite interesting, as was the outcome of their time there. To be honest, I didn’t like B at all at the beginning, but as the story went on, I at least began to understand him if not ever fully liking him.

On the other hand, Imms (who B started out calling Roach…shudder) was fascinating and heartbreaking right from the beginning to the end. He reminded me a little of Pinocchio wanting to be a real boy.

The prose is sometimes very simple and other times flowery and lyrical almost poetic. The writing style of it didn’t draw me in as closely as it could, which in this case was actually a good thing as it was plenty heart wrenching as it was. A touching, thought provoking romance with mention of sex, but it is all off-page. I enjoyed the ending and yet it did leave me with questions and wanting more.

The new cover on this version is lovely, a subtle, different take on sci-fi that makes me curious. Unique

Pre sales link: Riptide Publishing


Book Details:  

ebook, 2nd edition, 323 pages
Expected publication: July 9th 2016 by Riptide Publishing (first published February 16th 2014)
ISBN 1626493863 (ISBN13: 9781626493865)
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Review: Hat Trick by Meg Harding

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 Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Hat TrickNathan Barres has always loved hockey before anything else. When a one night stand with Felix Moore gives him emotions, he flees the scene. He’s not expecting to see Felix ever again. So when an injury knocks him out of the game for several weeks, he’s less than pleased to see the Winnipeg Wolves newest trainer is none other than Felix.

Almost two years later, and the feelings are still there. Nathan does his best to shove them to the back burner and ignore the temptation Felix presents. That is, until Felix makes him an offer that’s just a little too tempting–with amazing results. He’s a hockey player after all, and they’re nothing if not superstitious. If Felix is his good luck charm, who is he to resist?

I am a gigantic hockey fan and therefore a fan of hockey stories.  I had high hopes for this as I had read this author before and enjoyed her work.  Unfortunately this book didn’t work for me.  The main characters were very immature and I had a hard time reconciling that with their jobs and responsibilities.  It didn’t seem realistic to me.  My main issue was that the entire plot is based on super bad communication.  It was to an extreme level and was ridiculous in my opinion.  As previously stated they had important jobs.  Nathan was the captain of the hockey team and would have to be able to communicate well, as his role is to talk to the referees and advocate for his team as well as to provide motivation and guidance of the other players.  Felix was a team trainer and would have to be able to communicate with the players as well as the coaches and owners of the team.  So how they couldn’t have simple conversations was beyond me.  There were a whole bunch of small things that bothered me also and some were petty, but once everything added up it still led to an overall lack of enjoyment of the book.
Cover by Ginny Glass. I do not care for the cover of this.  The overall design and the guy on the right side were fine but the guy on the left looks like a professional wrestler, not a team medical staff member.
Sales Links: Loose id LLC | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 133 pages
Published May 10th 2016 by Loose Id (first published May 9th 2016)
ISBN139781682521250
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: 24/7 (The Subs Club #4) by J.A. Rock

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

24:7 coverThe last of four stories in The Subs Club series, this book deals with Gould, the sub most affected by the death of their close friend, Hal, and Gould’s desire to submit full time to his new lovers Kel and GK (Greg), the owners of Riddle, the club where Hal died three years before.

The other members of the Subs Club are settling in with their new life partners, and all seem to have forgotten Hal’s death and their plot to revenge that death against Bill, the Dom who caused it. In fact, it’s almost as if they’ve forgiven him as they move on with their lives—the same way GK and Kel forgave Bill and allowed him back into their club.

Throughout this story, Gould is torn between his long-term love for Hal and grief over his death, and the love he’s starting to feel for Kel, and to a somewhat lesser degree, for Greg. The more time he spends with Kel, the more he wants to submit to her. She makes him feel safe, and sometimes he even forgets Hal for a while when he’s with her and Greg. Among his favorite scenes with them are the ones in which he feels humiliated, and the ones in which they place him in “the box,” an area where he finds he can find peace.

When he overhears some club members making fun of the way Hal died and talking about the new way to get your kicks by doing “Bill Hensoning”—breath play that might lead to suffocation—he realizes he can’t forgive Bill, and he’s still resentful at Kel and Greg for forgiving him.

Throughout this story Gould is so messed up, it’s difficult to follow his meandering thoughts.  But the bottom line is that he is indeed maturing, and he is indeed coming to terms with his relationship with Hal and with Hal’s death.  It’s just happening very slowly. He’s also always found it difficult to verbalize how he feels, so although Kel is willing to try a master-slave dynamic, Gould’s reticence to be honest is a major hurdle and ultimately leads to a crisis in their relationship.

It’s not until this crisis is faced, and Gould begins to accept that each of the original Subs Club members is moving forward and it isn’t bad to need to ask for help, that he finally begins to heal and can look forward to pursuing his relationship with Kel and Greg without a heavy heart.

This story is very, very emotional, and very, very sad. There are also a number of hardcore BDSM scenes, including scat and urine play, which could trigger readers, so use caution and read the blurb and maybe even a few reviews before you start to read this one. Gould is so broken that it’s difficult to witness. I found myself putting the book down between chapters because I was so sad. It’s heavy and emotional, and yet it’s very necessary to be that way for the series to play out the way it should. It’s not a book for the lighthearted, and yet, as I said, it’s very necessary to bring closure to Gould and to the series.

~~~~~

Cover Art by Kanaxa is just like the others in the series with an argyle patterned background, in this case, the color is dark red. This one has a bird cage on the cover, indicating Gould’s desire to be put into his box.  The covers for the entire series were very cleverly done.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | ARe | Amazon coming soon

Book Details:

ebook, 283 pages
Published June 4th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title24/7
ISBN 1626493499 (ISBN13: 9781626493490)
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesThe Subs Club

The Sub Club Returns with 24/7 (The Subs Club #4) by J.A. Rock (spotlight tour and giveaway)

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24:7 cover

24/7 (The Subs Club #4) by J.A. Rock
R
iptide Publishing
Cover Art by Kanaxa

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

 

Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release, 24/7—Book 4 in The Subs Club series. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $15 Riptide Publishing gift card!

About 24/7

We started the Subs Club to make the kink community safer for subs. Except now the others are so busy chasing their happy endings, it’s like they’ve forgotten what Bill did to Hal and the fact that he got away with it. They used to think I was betraying Hal’s memory by hooking up with the owners of the club where he died. Now they don’t seem to care about any of it anymore.

Maybe I am sometimes angry with GK and Kel for giving Bill a second chance, but they’ve been mentoring me for a year now, and whatever else they’ve done, they make me feel incredibly safe. So I want to try something: I want to offer them my complete submission, 24/7. To serve the people who forgave Bill. That’s the way I want to hurt.

Except I’m starting to care about them in a way I never meant to—and I think they feel the same way. But after Hal, I don’t know if I want to be in love again. Because what I really need, more than anything, is to see Bill brought to justice. Even if I have to do it myself. Even if it means losing GK and Kel.

—Gould

About the Subs Club series

After the death of their friend Hal at the hands of an irresponsible dom, submissive friends Dave, Kamen, Miles, and Gould band together to form the Subs Club—an organization seeking to expose dangerous local doms. The club slowly evolves as romances blossom, loyalties are tested, and tensions mount in a community already struggling for unity in the wake of Hal’s death.

From domestic discipline to knife play to fashion paraphilia, and from family drama to new jobs to first loves, the members of the Subs Club explore life’s kinks inside and outside of the bedroom as they attempt to let go of the past and move forward.

About the Author

J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including By His Rules, Take the Long Way Home, and, with Lisa Henry, The Good Boy and When All The World Sleeps. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Giveaway

J.A. Rock is giving away $15 in Riptide Publishing credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 11, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Release Blitz – Return To Zero (Shatterproof Bond #2) – Isobel Starling (excerpt and giveaway)

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Release Blitz – Return To Zero (Shatterproof Bond #2) – Isobel Starling

 
Author: Isobel Starling
 
Release Date: June 6 2016
 
Price: £4.99/$4.99
 
Buy Links:
 
 
Length: 71,000 words
 
Previous Books In Series: 
 
Blurb:
 
Pulled into a world of secrets and lies for the man he loves, Declan Ramsay’s life has changed immeasurably in the eight months since meeting, and falling for his boss’s son, Sam Aiken.  Declan journey of personal discovery is about to take a darker turn, and for Sam, the world becomes more treacherous than he could ever have imagined.
 
Two agents are missing — presumed dead, while on a reconnaissance mission at an outdoor adventure centre in the Scottish Highlands.  Sir James Aiken sends his son and Declan to follow the trail, and discover the fate of the agents.
As the mission offers his first chance to use the skills he learned on the MI6 training course in Morocco, Declan is keen to get started. However, Sir James sees to it that the seeds of doubt and discord have been sewn between the couple, as they begin their mission.
 
The journey to their Highland location, and the discoveries they make when they reach the G’wan Adventures centre, prove that Sir James Aiken has been less than honest with his son.  Events in the Highlands force Sam and Declan to face their greatest fears, and understand what they both really want from life — and from each other.
 
Author Bio:
 
Inspiration strikes at the strangest of times. 
Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art.  She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved it more than making art. 
 
Isobel’s first novel “Schonling” was a best seller in the GLBT-Bisexual genre on the ‘All Romance ebooks’ site.  She mainly writes M/M Romantic comedy thrillers and has just completed her sixth book.  Isobel has also signed French translation rights for novella “As You Wish”. 
 
Isobel adores the M/M genre and enjoys writing about wounded souls and the complexities of personal relationships.  Despite not having found proof yet, Isobel believes in love at first sight and endeavors to give her men a thrilling journey and a satisfying ending!
Social Media links

http://isobelstarling.wix.com/books
https://www.facebook.com/isobelstarling
https://twitter.com/isobel_starling
https://isobelstarling.wordpress.com

Excerpt from “Return to Zero” (Shatterproof Bond #2) By Isobel Starling


“Hullo,”


“Parcel for Samuel Aiken” The gruff male voice said. Declan peered at the CCTV image on the wall tablet screen of a courier wearing a Swift Co tabard.


“Hang on a minute” Declan replied “You expectin’ anythin Sam?” He hollered. He would not be fooled a second time. Sam sauntered out of the bedroom, bare
chested, with dark grey jersey pyjama trousers hugging his prominent hip bones.


“Let him in,” He directed, so Declan did as he was told and pressed the button to unlock the downstairs door. Sam and Declan stood either side of the closed front door, both on edge, expecting… something. Had James sent them a message at last?


They both startled and sniggered at each other, at hearing the hard thump on the front door. Sam took a quick look through the peep hole to see the courier — a grey haired, slightly obese Asian man in his early fifties, with Fred Flintstone stubble on his chubby face. He held a package the size of a shoe box, wrapped in brown paper and tied with string, in an old fashioned way. Sam opened the door, and was immediately knocked back by the scent of sweat and cigarettes. The man smelled like he had bathed in kebabs. If this was an attempted assassination, the courier’s armpits would surely do the job. The man shoved a clipboard in Sam’s direction. He browsed the delivery note attached. The ‘sender’ address box was empty.


“Where d’ya pick this up from mate? I weren’t expectin’ nuffink,” Sam said in a rangy East London accent.


“I picks up from the depot, and delivers. Don’t know nuffin’ abaht where vu packages comes from, not my business,”


“Well, it had better not be tickin’” Sam joked, his expression gormless. The courier snickered and put the box to his ear.


“Nah, prob’ly a pair of shoes, or somefink — nice surprise from your lady love?”


“Yeah, prob’ly,” Sam mimicked. He signed an illegible squiggle, took the box, and was immediately surprised by its lightness. “Cheers mate, have a good one,” he said, giving the clipboard back, and then closing the door.


Declan observed the wall mounted tablet screen as the courier left, and the main entrance door sealed behind him. He then opened the apartment front door and checked the hallway and staircase. Nothing had been left behind. Declan felt a little melodramatic and over cautious with his behaviour, but he had a strange gut feeling that something was afoot, something that would bring more sweeping changes to his life. He couldn’t put his finger on it. Declan had felt this tinge of something ever since coming back from Morocco, like he was still in a holding pattern, waiting for permission to land. Sam didn’t seem to be unduly concerned about James lack of contact, but the past few months had seen a huge shift in the way Declan lived his life, and his self-esteem. Long hidden memories had been uncovered by the ‘interview’, and the flashes of remembrance that Declan couldn’t dare talk about, made him feel unnerved and uncomfortable.


Sam sauntered into the kitchen and retrieved a pair of scissors from a drawer filled with miscellaneous kitchen implements. He put the box on the kitchen island worktop and cut the string. There was one branded Swift Co courier label on the front of the box, and no return address. Sam made an incision at the side of the brown wrapping paper, and then cut along one side, so as to keep the adhesive tape and any fingerprints or DNA that may have gotten stuck to it, intact. He slid out a cream coloured shoe-sized box. Sam looked curiously up at Declan, who stood silently beside with his arms folded.


“Would you like to do the honours?” Sam asked witheringly. Declan held his palms up in surrender,


“Nah, yer grand. I think The Amazing Sam’s got this one” he snickered.


The box displayed no visible wires, there was no ticking sound, and the box was feather-light. Sam thought that he would feel completely foolish about the cautious way he approached opening a package if it were empty, but he’d been trained to be cautious. He returned to the drawer filled with kitchen implements, and retrieved a pair of plastic barbeque tongs.


“You know I love you, right?” Sam said dramatically, as if they were to be his last words.


Declan shook his head at the ridiculousness of the charade and pursed his lips.


“On three. Ready?” Declan nodded,


“One…” Sam flicked the lid up and Declan reflexively stepped back covering his head with his arms.


“Ye said on three,” Declan whined, feeling like an idiot. Sam snickered with relief at the lack of fireworks. He used the tongs to remove a sheet of white tissue paper that covered the contents. When Sam saw what the box contained, he gasped and stepped back.


“What?” Declan said in alarm, seeing Sam’s complexion turn ghostly pale.


“Nothing” Sam flattened his expression and then reached to replace the lid. Declan stilled his hand, and took a look. The box held a noose made from red paracord rope. Just like the rope that had been secreted into his pocket at the Coburg Bar, nearly three months earlier.


“I’m going out. I’ve got to get this to the lab” Sam said coldly, his stare detached and light-years away.


Declan was suddenly overcome by a wave of frustration. “What the hell’s this about Sam? Jesus, I don’t even know where the fucking lab is!” he roared furiously.


Sam was shocked by the anger in Declan’s tone. He felt a prickle of guilt for behaving all ‘cloak and dagger’ with his partner — the one person he was supposed to trust. Declan had every right to know about the A.L.L lab and warehouse.


“Get dressed,” Sam directed, and then he turned and left the kitchen.
 

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