A VVivacious Review: Teacher’s Pet : Lessons Outside the Classroom (Volume Two) by Lee Welch, Elizabeth Coldwell , Elna Holst, Riza Curtis , Danielle Wayland, Karmen Lee , Morwen Navarre , Maryn Blackburn

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is an anthology of eight stories by various authors that focus on relationships that develop between a student and their teacher. None of the characters, in this anthology, are under 18 so while a relationship between a student and teacher in such a scenario would not be illegal there are still a whole horde of societal repercussions to deal with.

Though, the majority of these stories don’t really focus on that element and are more about redefining these roles because a teacher can be anyone who is sharing their knowledge with you be that in any context. A lot of the stories in this anthology use that scenario where we don’t see teachers and students strictly in the academic sense. Surprisingly, even though I didn’t come into this anthology expecting this viewpoint I was very happy with the way it was adopted because it made for some amazing stories.

1. A Spell for Master Vervain by Lee Welch

Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5

Kit is obsessed with his Master but things take a horrific turn when instead of summoning an incubus-look-alike he ends up summoning the real deal.

Whenever you pick up an anthology it is mostly because you know and like a few of the authors on it but in my case I only knew one author on the list and it was Lee Welch, so there was an absurd amount of responsibility on this story to be amazing but sadly this was not the case.

The characters don’t start off as very appealing and as I read the story I was intensely aware that I wasn’t invested in these characters. There just wasn’t that taboo forbidden feel with Kit’s love for his master and frankly, we just don’t get much of Vervain to have an opinion about him. Though I have to admit by the end of the story I found myself caught in the whimsy of the story and probably would have forgiven all its faults had the story been more developed but alas that was not the case.

To all those who picked up this anthology because of Lee Welch just like I did and who would probably stop after reading this story, I just have to say this – there are some amazing stories in this anthology that you should definitely check out before calling it quits.

2. Finding the Words by Elizabeth Coldwell

Rating: 2 Stars out of 5

Brendan agrees to tutor Zach even though he reminds him of a time prior to the incident that changed his life. Will his new student serve as a catalyst to make his heart take a chance, once again?

This story was off to a good start and I think it had elements that could have made for a great story but after the beginning, the story lost steam. There was absolutely no obstacle to Brendan and Zack’s relationship, it could have been any other relationship and therefore didn’t seem to fit this anthology that does focus on relationships that would be considered illicit at least at the offset. This story, however, had a whole other set of variables to play with but the story didn’t manage to capitalize on them very well either.

3. The Silent Treatment by Elna Holst

Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

Reverend Jane Sinclair is all about preaching fire and brimstone nowadays so she gets sent to Yoga Camp by her vicar to help Jane find her quiet centre but she ends up finding a lot more in her sultry Yoga instructor.

I have finally struck gold in this anthology. This story didn’t deliver the expected it delivered the unexpected. It took the teacher-student trope and mixed it up to show me a whole new side to such a relationship and it managed to do it while completing erasing the age gap so I’m stoked beyond belief.

Also, I really loved Jane and Anita but especially Jane as she is the narrator of the story and we get to spend time in her head because that inner monologue was priceless.

4. One small step by Riza Curtis

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Ilya tries to teleport himself a few yards and ends up miles away, where he is rescued by Søren, a mage who agrees to help him get better at his magic for help with his work but for how long can they ignore the sparks between them?

This is a good one. It is a fantasy story and is a fresh take on the student-teacher ideology. Both this and the previous story have teacher-student relationships that are not permanent and are roles taken on during the duration of the story and I’m liking this interpretation because it is fluid and not burdened with my previous expectations.

I really liked this story and the World it details seems really fascinating. I really loved how Ilya ends up with Soren and how their relationship develops. This story was interesting and I loved how these two characters worked together because I can really imagine their life together given how perfectly they aligned with each other.

5. Shedding Doubt by Danielle Wayland

Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

Grayson is overweight and embarrassed about screwing up at his gym when he gets help from an unexpected quarter.

This story was really amazing. I fell in love with Grayson and Heath. I loved Grayson’s journey and his outlook on life and I just really loved his character. These two had such a positive relationship it was amazing to read. This was my quickest read yet despite the fact that it is one of the longest stories in the anthology because it was just that good.

“You’re right. I’m sorry for yelling.”

“Me too. For not jumping you already.”

6. Academic Temptations by Karmen Lee

Rating: 1 star out of 5

Savannah is a single mother and the oldest freshman at her college, trying to come to terms with her sexuality when she finds herself attracted to her professor and academic advisor.

This story had too much going on for a short story. This story is glacially paced and feels like a drag which combined with the fact that it is probably the longest story in this anthology, made it feel like torture. The scenes are way too long with too many unnecessary dialogues and too many characters at that.

Anetta is just getting over a break up that had her moving jobs and moving towns and Savanah is a single mother of a five-year-old boy who has moved into a new city to start college that she deferred for 5 years. She is also, only now, really appreciating her sexuality. Savannah is a mix of parts that don’t really work together and when you don’t like the main character of a story it already has two strikes against it.

This story wants to make you believe there is chemistry between its two main characters but there really isn’t.

7. The Sidhe’s Apprentice by Morwen Navarre

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Alistair Brady has been waiting for the Calling since he was born but even when he finds himself with a Master who makes it painfully obvious that it was not his choice to take an apprentice,he finds himself fighting his attraction to his master while at the same time trying to please him.

Wow! This was so good the absolute gem of this anthology. I loved the world building and I loved the characters and the story was mind-blowing. It was so good. This was the kind of story I was looking for going into this anthology. This story incorporated all the elements of this fantastical world so beautifully. Cianan and Alistair were effortless and gave a whole new definition to the term Teacher’s Pet. The writing of the story, it’s pacing, every component of it is perfect.

This was just amazing! I’m really interested in reading more by this author.

8. Press “Copy” to begin by Maryn Blackburn

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

When Libby Highsmith tries to get away with plagiarism in her academic thesis her mentor, Dr Marissa Muniz delights in giving her a punishment strident enough for her to forgive Libby’s blunder, but what Libby suggests has her horrified but… intrigued.

Oh! This one was very good. I liked how it employed the classic tug of war of societal repercussions over romances with an age gap and romances that might arise between erstwhile student-teacher relationships and made use of that to deliver this sumptuous romance.

I really liked the characters, the way the story is told and I absolutely love how the title plays into the plot. It was amazing. This story encapsulates what I was looking for, the delicious power struggle between characters caught in the roles of teacher and student.

This one was the perfect way to end the anthology because it made reading this entire slate of stories completely worthwhile.

Cover Art by Natasha Snow. I love Natasha Snow, her cover art is so, so good. This one was no exception with a sort of chalky black background and the precise use of red. The way that apple is positioned and the way that it is just so unnaturally red screams forbidden.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:ebook
Published October 22nd 2018 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781949340389
Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: Beneath the Layers Anthology by NineStar Press

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Eight stories of men who like a little satin and lace.

 

A Linebacker in Lace by Caitlin Ricci

This ex-linebacker is impossible for his friend to resist.

 

Satin Secrets by CL Mustafic

Sometimes secrets are better when they’re shared.

 

Backwards and in High Heels by Elizabeth Coldwell

Tonight he has the chance to live out his dream.

 

Angels in Delaware by Sita Bethel

When one finds two partners, it helps to dress for the occasion.

 

All That Entails by E.M. Hamill

A gender-fluid prince with a penchant for gowns finds his unlikely match in an arranged marriage.

 

After the Dance by Sydney Blackburn

Sometimes happily ever after requires a pretty frock.

 

A Secret Shared by C.A. Blocke

One sweet secret shared—and a spicy one returned.

 

Ruffle My Feathers by Asta Idonea

Sometimes love can be found behind a feather boa.

 

This is a wonderful collection of stories; especially of you love men in lace like I do.  All of these stories are quite different with only the lace as something in common, but I think it makes it even better because you get to see such different relationships.  Some are comfortable in their own skin while some others just need love and support to know that what they want is okay.  Most of the stories are told through one character’s point of view and the author’s do a wonderful job of showing the other characters emotions and feelings.

 

In A Linebacker in Lace Brent has a chance meeting with Arliss and discovers his secret isn’t as bad as he thinks.  Arliss loves a man in lace and Brent is learning it isn’t shameful for him to wear it.  Arliss’ assertiveness is a great contrast to Brent’s shyness.  Gavin and Lex role play in Satin Secrets but Gavin has a surprise for Lex.  Lex’s reaction is so much better and hotter than Gavin could hope for.  Lex wants Gavin to feel comfortable to share his secrets and fantasies.

 

Billie wants to go farther than just wearing his panties in Backwards and in High Heels and surprises his lover, Oliver, with a date after his time away.  After the nervousness fades Billie is so grateful of the work he put in for them to dance together for the first time.  Oliver is a nice steady shoulder for Billie’s nervousness and worries.  In Angels in Delaware Beau is surprised by his reaction and willingness to get to know Angel and Delaware.  They come to his rescue when he needs it and work towards a relationship together.  The only thing is I couldn’t help but feel that Beau was the odd man out even when things seemed to go smoothly and he is included.

 

In All That Entails Darian is heartbroken knowing he will have to give up his gowns and comfort in marriage.  Henry will not change who he is for anyone and takes the first step towards compromise.  I loved seeing them open their eyes to the possibility of more between them.  Frank works hard to keep his real desires hidden in After the Dance.  His and Charles friendship is the only bright spot in this day until he finds out that Charles must marry and is already in love.  Seeing them work out their future despite expectations from those around them.

 

In A Secret Shared Tommy must share a secret after Michael shows him his extra nerdy side.  Despite his fear and unwillingness to come out Tommy shares his deepest desires with Michael and is greatly rewarded.  The two do well to work their relationship around their outside lives.  Barrett has kept his Friday night plans secret in Ruffle My Feathers until his boss is suddenly at his show one weekend.  Both determined to keep everything normal try to ignore their connection from that weekend.  Watching them discover that sometimes hiding your true self from those around you isn’t always the best choice was nice.

 

Cover art by Natasha Snow is wonderfully understated but is perfect for this book.

 

Sales Links: NineStar Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 165 pages

Published: April 17, 2017 by NineStar Press

ISBN: 9781945952913

Edition Language: English

Scary Spotlight: Haunted Hotties 2 Anthology from Torquere Press (excerpts and contest)

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Authors Name: McKay, Rob Rosen, Dakota Caudill, Elizabeth Coldwell,
Jessica Payseur, Jessica Chase, Louisa Bacio, Charles Payseur,
Helena Maeve, Avery Dawes

Anthology: Haunted Hotties Volume II
Release Date: October 28, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BSClay

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Blurb

This Halloween collection has a little something for everybody. With demons, ghosts, psychics, reapers, shifters, and witches… a rainbow of paranormal/supernatural is included.

In Everything a Big Bad Wolf Could Want by McKay, Whimsy has to decide if he’s in love with his straight, next-door neighbor by Halloween or risk losing him forever. In Casper the Horny Ghost by Rob Rosen, Chris not only inherited a long-abandoned house, he also inherited the ghost that came with it. In Necromantic by Dakota Caudill, Kaitlyn’s always felt like she was waiting for something, but she never expected her new girlfriend to be able to raise the dead. In The Man in Green by Elizabeth Coldwell, Richard intends to cut down all the trees surrounding his new property, but the man in the woods has other ideas. In Haunts Old and New by Jessica Payseur, Rosalie doesn’t like the new ghost that’s in her house and yet, she can’t seem to stay away from her. In The Fisher Lot by Jessica Chase, it turns out being dared to spend the night in the local “haunted house” might be the best thing that’s ever happened to Barney.

In Open by Louisa Bacio, Martina keeps trying to pretend that everything is fine, but the ghosts in her new B&B are just as determined to get her attention. In A Friendly Ghostbusting by Charles Payseur, an old rival who once humiliated him is not what Cas needs as he sets out to explore an old psychiatric prison. In Darkling by Helena Maeve, Eugene tried to warn Caleb and his friends away from Ledwich University and soon enough they’ll learn… they really should have listened. In The Devil’s in the Details by Avery Dawes, since they died during the Civil War, Oliver and Francis get one night a year together; but they have to be careful or they’ll never get another one.

 

Pages or Words: 63,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Historical, Horror, Humor, Lesbian Romance, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Anthology – Please remember not all stories in an anthology encompass all catetgories.

Excerpt

Excerpt from Everything a Big Bad Wolf Could Want by McKay

He rolled his head to look at Harlan, wanting to make sure he was all right, only to find Harlan lying on his side, looking at him. They gazed at each other in silence for a long moment, then Harlan reached out and stroked Whimsy’s cheek.

“My wolf likes you,” he said, his voice raspy with a strange undercurrent like a growl beneath the surface.

“That’s good, isn’t it?” Whimsy mustered a smile, trying to resist the urge to nuzzle against Harlan’s fingers. That wasn’t his right.

Suddenly, Harlan moved, and Whimsy found himself pinned beneath Harlan’s large, heavy, naked body. “It likes you more’n it likes Barbara.”

This close, Whimsy could see something feral in Harlan’s eyes, as if the wolf hadn’t loosened its grip completely yet, and he wanted to call it forth. He wanted to belong to it, and he was overwhelmed by a desire to show his throat and surrender that he’d never felt with anyone before.

“Maybe that should tell you something,” he said boldly. If he were a noble, self-sacrificing man, he would have extricated himself and encouraged Harlan to think only of his girlfriend, but he wasn’t that noble or self-sacrificing, and he couldn’t bring himself to feel terribly guilty about it at the moment.

“I like women. But there’s something about you, Whims…” Harlan bent his head and ran his nose along the length of Whimsy’s throat as if scenting him, and Whimsy shivered as he tilted his head back.

Whimsy shifted beneath Harlan just enough to seat Harlan’s lean hips in the cradle of his thighs, and Harlan settled there like they were made to fit together. Feeling bolder, Whimsy slid one hand along Harlan’s arm to rest on his shoulder, testing to see what Harlan would allow.

“Liking women doesn’t mean you can’t like men too,” he pointed out. “It’s not an either-or thing for some people. Maybe you like both.”

“Maybe I do. I’ve thought about other men before, including you. I don’t know.” Harlan released a long, slow sigh. “There’s a lotta things I don’t know these days.”

“I know I like you a lot,” Whimsy whispered, sliding his hand to the back of Harlan’s neck and stroking it gently. “I think we could be good together.”

 

Buy the book: Torquere Books

 

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Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, The Hat Party, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Jessie G. Books, KathyMac Reviews, Happily Ever Chapter, BFD Book Blog, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Havan Fellows, Bayou Book Junkie, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Inked Rainbow Reads, Unquietly Me, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Charley Descoteaux, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Bonkers About Books, Divine Magazine, Posy Roberts, Velvet Panic

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Haunted Hotties II’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Love Men In Kilts? Check out the Plaid Nights Anthology from Torquere Press! (excerpt and giveaway)

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Book Name: Plaid Nights Anthology
Release Date: July 15, 2015

Author Names: Rob Rosen, Megan McFerren, Julia Talbot, Elizabeth Coldwell, Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae, Angelique Voisen, Missouri Dalton, Logan Zachary, Lila Mathews, Anna Mansel, and McKay

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BSClay

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Sales Links:  Torquere Books

STRW Author BookSynopsis

In Plaid Nights, men in kilts are as varied as they are hot. Whether they’re caber tossers, rugby players, Highland warriors, country dancers, or time-traveling vampires, they’re up for surprises and sexy good times.

Rob Rosen starts us off with humor in “Tossing It.” Contemporary men discover love in unexpected places in “Whiskey and Want” by Megan McFerren, “Some Like It Scot” by Julia Talbot, “Perfect Working Order” by Elizabeth Coldwell, and “Off-Kilter” by Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae. We get a taste of the paranormal in “Sir WW” by Angelique Voisen, “Feumaidh Mi Ruith (I Have to Run)” by Missouri Dalton, and “Kilt in the Closet” by Logan Zachary. And we’re treated to forbidden love in historicals “Hunting for a Highlander” by Lila Mathews, “A Time to Heal” by Anna Mansel, and “As Fair Art Thou, My Bonny Lad” by McKay.

In these stories, some tartan-clad men wear their kilts in the “traditional manner,” while others are less daring. But all find love, and of course, a happy ending—especially at night, when the plaid comes off.

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Pages or Words: 65,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Gay Fiction, Historical, M/M Romance, Paranormal (Please note: As an anthology, not all categories may relate to all stories.)

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Excerpt: From “Tossing It” by Rob Rosen:
He took a spoonful of stew into his mouth, green eyes sparkling in the daylight. He was cute in a lanky, pale, freckled sort of way. He sighed contentedly as he set the spoon back down. “Just like mom used to make.”

“Back in the old country?”

He laughed. “Back in New Jersey. Though Newark is sort of old.”

We continued eating together, side by side. His leg brushed mine. It stayed brushed. I didn’t move mine away; he didn’t move his either. This was an odd turn of events. Was he gay? Not a clue. Still, most guys would’ve moved their legs away. Maybe he was simply oblivious. Straight guys sometimes had a habit of that. You just never knew. Then again, you could test the theory if you were so inclined. Me, I was always so inclined.

I pointed to a throng of kilted behemoths off to the side. “What’s with the skirted mountain men?”

He chuckled. “Caber tossers.”

“That some sort of Scottish slang for rednecks?”

He turned my way, eyes locking with mine. It was like staring into a field of emeralds. Guess I’d been too busy staring at his crotch before to notice. Shame on me. “Caber tossers. They toss logs. Poles. Big ones.” Well, he’d certainly know about big poles, I figured. “They’re up to twenty feet tall and almost two hundred pounds.”

“And they toss them? Why?”

“For sport.”

I ate a couple more bites of my fish. It was perfectly cooked, greasy and flaky. My stomach settled down. “Sport? Like tiddlywinks for giants?”

He nodded as he continued eating his stew. His eyes rarely left mine. I was all too glad to return the favor. I stared at his freckles, connecting the dots, constellations hidden in the patterns. “Something like that.”

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Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Plaid Nights’. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the authors and Pride Promotions.

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Tour Dates & Stops: July 14, 2015
Parker WilliamsScattered Thoughts & Rogue WordsBayou Book JunkieThe Hat PartyInked Rainbow ReadsMy Fiction NookHavan FellowsHearts on FireJessie G. BooksWicked Faerie’s Tales and ReviewsTwo Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye CandyBFD Book BlogFangirl Moments and My Two CentsBike Book ReviewsKimi-ChanIyana JennaDawn’s Reading NookVS ReadsHappily Ever ChapterCharley DescoteauxMM Good Book ReviewsVelvet PanicMolly LollyBoy Meets Boy Reviews