A Stella Review: Coffee Boy by Austin Chant

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

coffee-boy-by-austin-chantAfter graduation, Kieran expected to go straight into a career of flipping burgers—only to be offered the internship of his dreams at a political campaign. But the pressure of being an out trans man in the workplace quickly sucks the joy out of things, as does Seth, the humorless campaign strategist who watches his every move.
Soon, the only upside to the job is that Seth has a painful crush on their painfully straight boss, and Kieran has a front row seat to the drama. But when Seth proves to be as respectful and supportive as he is prickly, Kieran develops an awkward crush of his own—one which Seth is far too prim and proper to ever reciprocate.

Coffee Boy is my first book by Austin Chant and I can’t wait to read more by this new to me author. I quite enjoyed his writing style.

The story is about Kieran, who just landed on an internship for a political campaign. He’s nervous but his ex-professor, who offered him the job, guaranteed a trans friendly workplace. Sadly the first impression isn’t great with employers that don’t bother to look at the pronoun pin Kieran wears. Luckily beside him there’s Seth. Seth who is hot but cold, still he’s the only one to understand which pronoun use with Kieran. Seth who is also crushing on their straight boss, Matthew. We follow Kieran through the internship and his day job flipping hamburger, throughout his struggles with people who can’t do right to him.

I liked Coffee Boy a lot. I liked the plot and the characters, even the secondary ones, like Jillian, Kieran best friend, the one who leaves everything just to go to his house and talk about a bad day. I loved how the relationship between Kieran and Seth develops and the deep care Seth has for Kieran, the attention he pretends other people show to him. And I adored Kieran and his smart mouth. The writing flew easily and made the story engaging and never boring. I liked the second part more where both of the MCs start understand the possible begin of something important among them. And the ending was great, real, sweet and funny. Four deserved full stars. Give it a try!

The cover art by Natasha Snow is very cute and fits perfectly the book. Well done.

Sales Links

NineStar Press

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BOOK DETAILS

Word count 27600

Publication Date October 31st 2016 by NineStar Press

ISBN 9781945952074

Edition Language English

A Caryn Review: Faded into You (Intoxication #2) by Remmy Duchene

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Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

faded-into-you-by-remmy-ducheneWhen I was in high school in the early 1980s, I read harlequin romances obsessively.  At the time, they were exactly what my immature self wanted – quick reads where the guy gets the girl with little angst, and the girl would then devote the rest of her life to making her man happy.  Which also meant becoming dependent upon said man for her happiness and well being as well, financial and emotional.

And you know what?  The world isn’t like that any more.  By the time I was a year into college, I quit thinking that I needed a man to define me, or to make my life worthwhile.  And I quit reading cheesy romances, because they offended me with their misogyny.  Why was it always the woman who needed rescuing?  And I continued to stay away from romances until I discovered M/M romance a few years ago, and I could read about people falling in love without that built-in power differential between men and women that bothered me so much.  If a man needed rescuing, it was not simply because of gender, but because of circumstances, or choices, and when they got together, they were equals.

That’s how a relationship should be.

OK, that’s my soapbox, and what I expect from this genre.  So when I read a book that follows that old harlequin formula, just substituting the woman with a man, it pisses me off.  And that’s what this book did.  Ravi is supposed to be an ambitious and successful marketing professional, who chooses to take a job in India in order to further his career and to see the world.  But really, he is just sad and jealous that his best friend is getting married and he’s not, and since his life really has no meaning without a man, he runs away, to India.  Thaddeus is supposed to be a cyber security guru with a checkered past who goes to India to do a job that will further his career as well.  But he takes on the role of uber-alpha male who will “fix” everything that is wrong with Ravi’s life with his magic penis.  Ravi acts irrationally, hating Thaddeus on sight for no apparent reason, but going along with everything he wants because, well, he is powerless in the face of Thaddeus’ take charge masculinity.  There was that annoying “I hate you, but I want you, and I really have no self respect so go ahead and ravish me, and that will make me fall in love with you”.  And of course, Ravi is always the bottom, because he is the weak “woman” in this pairing.  Physically smaller and weaker, younger, less successful, and needing his alpha male to “complete” him.

So enough feminist ranting.  Yes, I know that I have read and enjoyed other books with alpha males, and I’m not sure what set me off so much with this one, but I would have DNFed it about a third of the way through if I hadn’t committed to writing a review.  On top of that, the writing wasn’t even all that good.  There was an awful lot of filler and no substance.  I do not need to read about Thaddeus putting on his boots, then noticing the snow and tucking his pants in, wondering where his scarf went, then getting in the car, closing the door, turning on the defroster…….  And I don’t want to know that he takes a piss every morning before he brushes his teeth.  Who the hell cares and wants to read about that?

I hoped to read and learn about India, but all I got out of this book was that it’s hot, and people are poor there.  Oh, until Ravi and “Thaddy” (shoot me) save their Indian driver who is gay and driven out of his homophobic father’s home, and then his sister is also driven out because she still loves her brother.  Both of them would have obviously become homeless prostitutes without the great Americans to save them.  So even though one MC is Indian and the other is black, I still found this book racist.

I could go on.  I made notes of things I didn’t like, but the list is so long and I don’t want to spend any more time writing about it.  Oh, and I have no idea what the title meant or how it related to the story, and why the subtitle “Fighting Love is Futile” is even there.  Was someone expecting the Borg??

Cover art by Posh Gosh was extremely generic, though the Indian man was good looking.  It would have been nice to have a photograph from India instead of the random sunset, which said nothing about the book.

Sales Links

Pride Publishing

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Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: November 1st 2016 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781786514837
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lila Audiobook Review: Running Wild by SE Jakes and Narrated by Dorian Bane

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

runningwild_audiobookSean Rush is an adrenaline junkie. That’s why he was in the Army, why he steals and races classic muscle cars… and why he can’t stay away from bad boy Ryker, a Havoc Motorcycle Club lieutenant. Fortunately, Ryker can’t seem to stay away from Sean—he’s spent the last eight months breaking into Sean’s apartment and stealing into his bed, leaving Sean physically satisfied but increasingly restless.

Sean has always avoided relationships. He likes to come and go without being controlled. And Ryker is possibly the most controlling man he’s ever known. Still, he finds that he wants more from Ryker than their silent nighttime encounters.

Then one of Sean’s thefts goes bad, and Ryker’s protective instincts kick into overdrive. He takes Sean to the Havoc compound, determined to keep him safe. But Sean’s past threatens the safety of Havoc—and everything Ryker holds dear. Worse, Ryker’s hiding secrets of his own. Soon it’s obvious that the adrenaline rush can’t keep them together anymore. But maybe love can.

Running Wild is another good book by this author. It isn’t as detailed as others in her series, but it’s interesting enough to carry a new series. The concept was good, but the delivery fell short. It became predictable and cliché at parts.

I love Ryker, but Sean needed to grow up. Their relationship started strong, but then it turned more into an MF motorcycle book. Some of the scenes and the way Sean acted were easy to gender swap. I wanted Ryker and Sean to actually sit down and talk. Not pretend they were listening to each other, and not putting the club before their relationship.

One of my favorite parts was during the MCs’ separation. Perhaps because we saw another side of Sean—a more mature man trying to put his life back together and taking control. For me, the friendship between the rival motorcycle club president and Ryker stole the show. I wanted to know more about them. Maybe with Sean in the mix.

Overall, an entertaining story with likable enough characters. It lacks the emotional connection from other books from this author, but it’s a good one to start a somehow related story.

Narrator: The narration was pleasant but not remarkable. Dorian Bane did a good job getting the characters’ voices to differentiate from each other. For some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about MSNBC reporter Craig Melvin. I felt as if he was narrating the story, and I didn’t mind. 🙂

The cover for the audiobook is an adaptation of the e-book version created by L.C. Chase. It’s interesting, and let the reader see the road from the rider’s perspective.

Sales Links:  Riptide | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Dorian Bane
Length: 7 hours and 15 minutes

Published:  September 26, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
ASIN: B01LXXFCMM
Edition Language: English

Series: Havoc

Book #1: Running Wild

 

Alisa Release Day Review: Spell Cat (The Aloysius Tales #1) by Tara Lain

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

 

96c54-spellcat400x600When Killian Barth, history professor, meets Blaine Genneau, quantum physicist, they ignite their own big bang. But Killian can’t pursue a physics professor—or a human. As the most powerful male witch in ten generations, Killian must bolster his dying race by reproducing—despite the fact that he’s gay.

 

Even a fling with Blaine is out of the question, because Killian has been told sex with humans drains his power. But if that’s true, why can young human Jimmy Janx dissolve spoons with the power of his mind? If Killian can sort through the lies he’s been fed, he’ll still face his biggest obstacle—convincing rational scientist Blaine to believe in magic.

 

With his ancient and powerful cat familiar, Aloysius, on his shoulder, Killian brings the lightning against deceit and greed to save Blaine from danger and prove love is the greatest power of them all.

 

I have wanted to read this story for awhile now, but kept putting it off.  When I saw it was being re-published I jumped at the chance to read it and I loved it as much as I thought I would.  Killian has resigned himself to a life of duty to save his race, but knows he will never be happy with a woman.

 

Killian is drawn to Blaine from the first time they meet, but tries to deny it.  Blaine gets confused with Killian’s hot and cold actions, but isn’t easily deterred.  With everything going on around them it seems they may not have to stay apart forever.

 

In this story I could feel how frustrated and desperate Killian felt about his situation.  The more he learns about Jimmy the more confused he becomes about what he has been taught about witches and humans.  Killian becomes so desperate for a real connection with someone he gives in to his feeling for Blaine, but the result isn’t what he thinks will happen.  Jimmy is connected to Killian much more than just student and teacher and seeing the struggles of Jimmy and other characters in this story helps understanding the setting a bit more.  I enjoyed all of the characters and can’t wait to see them in more stories in this series.

 

Cover art by Reese Dante is wonderful and gives us a great visual of Killian.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: 2nd Edition, October 31, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781634776745

Edition Language: English

Series: The Aloysius Tale

In the Spotlight: The Queer and the Restless (Queers of La Vista #3) by Kris Ripper (giveaway)

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The Queer and the Restless (Queers of La Vista #3) by Kris Ripper
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iptide Publishing
Cover art by L.C. Chase
Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

Hi, I’m Kris and welcome to the blog tour for The Queer and the Restless, book three in my awesome queer soap opera! Enjoy the blog tour!

About The Queer and the Restless

Ed Masiello has been on testosterone for a year, is working his dream job as a reporter, and is finally passing as a man (so long as you don’t ask his abuela). But the investigation of a murder case is starting to take over his life. Afraid he’s becoming obsessed, he goes to the local club to relax, and meets the flighty, whimsical Alisha.

Alisha is a free spirit who’s tossed aside ambition for travel and adventure. Her approach to life is a far cry from Ed’s, and while Ed has always assumed that meeting his goals would make him happy, Alisha is much more content than him—despite all the plans she can’t yet fulfill.

As their relationship heats up, so does the murder case. Alisha thinks Ed needs a break, but someone’s got to find this killer, and he wants to be there when it all goes down. Besides, taking off into the great unknown with Alisha is crazy. But opting for what’s safe is just another way of living in fear, and Ed vowed to stop living like that a long time ago.

The Queer and the Restless is available from Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-queer-and-the-restless

About Kris Ripper

Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

Connect with Kris:

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The Queer and the Restless, one lucky winner will receive an ebook from Kris’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 5, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!