A MelanieM Review: The Wooden Samurai by Alex Morgan

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

In 1708 Japan, Hirata, a samurai serving Lord Takarada, is enjoying his elevated status in the daimyo’s army when he finds a gift, a wooden carving of a samurai on a horse. Hirata realizes he has a secret admirer, and soon discovers Matsuda, a young archer in Takarada’s retinue, has taken a liking to him.

But Hirata isn’t ready for a relationship with a man and refuses Matsuda. When he realizes he really does love Matsuda, the archer is far away with Lord Takarada in Edo Castle, and Hirata doesn’t know when they will return.

Hirata decides to convince Matsuda he is ready, but before he can put it into action, an earthquake and a tsunami destroy the daimyo’s manor.

Is Matsuda still alive? Is it too late for love to bloom between the two men?

The Wooden Samurai by Alex Morgan sets out a huge tale for itself and its far too big for its 45 pages to accomplish.  That’s a sad thing because I loved the premise and this sort of story is just the thing that always hooks me in.  I love stories of feudal Japan and samurai, especially if they get their history correct and can make their settings come alive as Alex Morgan did.  Lord Takarada’s manor is a living, breathing small village unto itself…full of life, swarming with people, structures we get to see through the eyes of Hirata, the samurai who serves him.

While the setting, the history and the events that occur are dramatic and more than enough to connect any reader to the story, the relationship between Hirata and Matsuda isn’t.  It just has too many flaws, due in part to the short nature of the tale.  Enlarged, I think The Wooden Samurai could be an entirely different novel but at 45 pages there’s just not enough time for the switch from Hirata not having any leanings towards sexual feelings towards not only men but Matsuda himself to love just isn’t plausible, no matter the circumstances.  Morgan just doesn’t make the case here with enough passion or enough interaction between the men to make me believe it.   Again,  the author has so much going on, that had everything been explored in more depth, whether it was the events occurring (no spoilers here but how I wanted more) to seeing Matsuda and Hirada converse, be, whatever, with each other enough to have a chemistry that I felt was lacking here.

So, The Wooden Samurai earned it’s 3 stars not on it’s romance but on everything else which was so well done.  Alex Morgan can write, I think the author just got really ambitious here for a short story.  I’d love to see an expanded version sometime down the line.  I will certainly be looking forward to Morgan’s other stories, longer ones, in the future.

Cover art has nice touches.  But I wish that the wooden samurai carving that plays such a large part in the story could have been featured on the cover instead of the overused naked torso.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 45 pages
Published June 24th 2017 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB0721TRMXN

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Cultivating Love by Addison Albright

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This was a nice story about two “regular” guys in their mid-twenties, though too be honest, for quite a while I thought for sure they were older—at least in their forties. Joe is a farmhand who was disowned by his family when he came out seven or eight years before, and Ed is a mechanic who’s been on his own for years, ever since his mother died. Suddenly, Ed inherits a farm from the father he never knew, having been told by his mother that his dad died when Ed was born.

I thought the story was rather boring, although a homophobic guy in the town where the ranch was located gave them some trouble and caused turmoil and excitement in the latter half of the book. Ed and Joe are an established couple as the story opens, having been together a little over two years. But apparently they had just been floating along as friends-with-benefits and not bothering to tell each other they were developing feelings. The sudden inheritance changed that for them and they declared their commitment.

At the 7% mark in the story, the two had sex—not hot, amazing, tear-the-sheets sex that readers would anticipate was a natural progression in the story—just sex between two guys who liked each other. To be honest, I don’t like sex scenes early in a book because at that point I generally really don’t care about the characters and their story. I need more time for the plot to develop. And the sex here was bland, likely what led to me think the characters were older before I got to the point of the book that explained their ages. It certainly wasn’t necessary to the plot or story development at that point, so it didn’t add anything.

This was a nice story, overall, but nothing struck me as outstanding or unique, so though I might recommend it to someone new to the genre or to someone who likes established couples, I don’t think everyone will really enjoy it. I found it interesting that there’s a large print note at the beginning of the blurb that states that there’s a new chapter and new ending. To be honest, without the ending tying things up, I can’t imagine how I would have rated this higher than 2 or 2.5, so it’s good the author decided to make the revision.

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Cover art by Written Ink Designs depicts a picture of a young man leaning against a wood fence and surrounding shrubbery. Wearing jeans, an open green-plaid shirt and a cowboy hat, the guy fits the story but blends into the background. The overall effect of so much green tone is bland and would not grab a potential reader’s attention.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 2nd Edition – Expanded
Published June 24th 2017 by JMS Books, LLC (first published June 9th 2009)
Original TitleCultivating Love
ASINB071S9DLT6
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttps://authoraddisonalbright.com/my-publications/stand-alone-stories/cultivating-love-2nd-edition/
CharactersEd Jamison, Joe Durham settingNebraska (United States)
Mayfield, Nebraska (United States)
Omaha, Nebraska (United States)

An Alisa Review: Prise de Fer by A.R. Moler

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

Chemistry major Kelly Hendrick has lusted after his analytical chemistry professor Simon Randall for a several semesters. They share common interests in reading, fencing, and, of course, their chosen career field.

 

Now several semesters past being Dr. Randall’s student, Kelly finally dares to cross the line and pursue his attraction to the professor. He finds the feeling reciprocated, but there are deep, more than human secrets in Kelly’s life.

 

An assault on Simon forces Kelly to confront the idea that Simon needs to know more if they’re going to be together. Can Kelly own up to non-human genetics and still maintain his growing relationship with Simon?

 

This was an enjoyable story.  Simon has continued to try and keep Kelly at arm’s length in order to keep any feelings he may have at bay.  Kelly embraces his friendship with Simon and is willing to let that be all they have if Simon refuses to have more.

 

I felt as though I was watching this story from a distance and didn’t really connect with the characters.  Kelly struggles with the reality that he would need to tell Simon about his true nature but isn’t sure when that would be the right time.  Simon doesn’t put up too much resistance once Kelly really makes a move once he isn’t his student anymore.

 

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is nice and works well for this story.

 

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 47 pages

Published: June 3, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634864084

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Admiring Jesse by Shawn Lane

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Jesse is used to Valentine’s Day passing without finding his own sweetheart. But suddenly he starts receiving gifts from a secret admirer.

 

With encouragement from his too-sexy roommate, Gilbert, Jesse opens himself to the idea that someone is actually interested in him. Though he has doubts, Jesse can’t help but wonder if his admirer could finally be the man of his dreams.

 

This was such a sweet short story.  Jesse can’t see how anyone would really be attracted to him let alone how he would have a secret admirer, however his admirer seems to know all of his favorite things.  Gilbert is encouraging and I loved when he revealed himself to Jesse and explained his feeling for Jesse to see that it was real.  It was wonderful to see them still together in the future and continuing to build a life together.

 

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is a sweet picture and is perfect for this story.

 

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 24 pages

Published: 2nd edition June 17, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634864008

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: The Sky at Night by Wayne Mansfield

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

When Armand happens to look down into his new neighbor’s yard one night and discovers him lying on his back, staring up at the night sky, he doesn’t know what to think. It doesn’t happen every night, but it happens often enough for Armand’s curiosity to be piqued.

 

When they finally meet, Armand falls instantly in lust with Ben, a dentist with an interest Armand can only describe as out-of-the-ordinary. As they get to know each other, Armand’s feelings towards Ben blossom into love. Yet Ben reveals he has recently come out of a six-year relationship and isn’t quite ready for anyone special in his life. Armand is disappointed but learns to live with the fact he and Ben might only ever be friends.

 

But the future is a strange and wonderful thing. When Armand starts to show a fondness for Ben’s unusual interest, it leads to more than one surprise event.

 

This was much more a story of friendship than romance to me.  Armand has been attracted to his new neighbor since he first saw him and jumps at the chance to get to know him better.  He gains a wonderful new friend and new interest for them to share as they get to know each other.

 

We see this story from Armand’s point of view and don’t really get to see Ben’s emotions as he keeps them hidden a bit.  We see their friendship develop from their first real meeting to great friends that see each other a few times a week and spending a lot of time together.  Ben finally opens up near the end of the story giving Armand the chance to have what he has been hoping to have for months.

 

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is understated but is perfect for this story.

 

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 36 pages

Published: May 20, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634863865

Edition Language: English

A VVivacious Review: Sex in C Major by Matthew J. Metzger

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Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5
 
I really can’t write an adequate blurb for this one. My fumbling attempt at writing one for this book yielded this –
“Stefan is a transgender male who has fantasies that could get him killed especially combined with his mile long issues. When a chance encounter with Daz seems to get him exactly what he wants, will he finally come to terms with what he wants or will it take something very different to force Stefan to recognise himself?”
…just read the blurb, its pretty spot on.
 
I finished reading this book on the 4th of June and as I sit down to write this review it is the 8th of June. I have taken a lot of time to assimilate my thoughts regarding this book and I still don’t think I have grasped them all. Reading this book feels like an experience. It’s the kind of book that pulls you kicking and screaming into its world and wrings you out till all you can do is absorb everything this book has to offer. This book is a sensory overload and that might be the most truthful thing I think there is to say about this book.
 
Regarding the warnings that come with this book, while this book is pretty dark and overwhelming with emotions and frankly pulls you in a million different directions it didn’t even come close to my limits so I on the whole didn’t have to deal with discomfort when I read it, but I feel that for a lot of people this is going to be a significant aspect of this book. This book is bare bones reality it doesn’t cover up anything nothing fades to back and everything is starkly defined so there is no getting away. So when you pick up this book heed the warnings.
 
When I started reading the book it was like reading the book you love to hate. I had a million problems with this book when I started it but if I have to be true to myself I realise that I loved the book then as well. But at that point, in the beginning, there was so much I had a problem with. Stefan harps on normal so much in the beginning of this book that I hated seeing the word come up in the text and it comes up a lot. Also Stefan has some extremely outdated views on woman and it felt really wrong to hear those from him. One of the biggest wins for me in this book was when Daz sets the record straight on that account. It instantaneously made me respect Daz even when I was in the love to hate phase with this book. Initially I felt like this author isn’t for me because I have read another book by this author and I didn’t like that much but this book proved me wrong in that regard.
 
The best thing this book has to offer is undoubtedly Yannis. Reading a character like him made me realise why diversity is so important because looking at the world from a different perspective can be beyond enlightening it can be transcendent. He is the kind of character that you don’t even know you want to read about till you have met him and then you realise how much you were missing when you finally do. When Yan fights it’s something so amazing.
 
Yan and Daz’s relationship has got to be the most mind boggling relationship of all times because it is missing all the tradition elements that you find in relationships. It is a sexual and romantic relationship but only from one side of the equation and the other side is completely indifferent. While indifferent is the word that comes to mind it has also made me realise that love is more than romance and sex and while those are the two things that love is most often related with and for some people romance + sex = love it is nice to meet a couple that doesn’t fit the former part of the equation at all but still manages the latter. I loved the fact that these two characters loved each other without their Love being love. It’s truly made me realise that Love is so much more than our mind can comprehend and it truly is something else, more than you know, more than you can imagine and is the most unclassifiable thing in the world.
 
Daz is a quintessential male. While writing this review the thing that comes to mind when I think of Daz is a classical romance hero who is nice but dark except Daz’s so called darkness isn’t an indefinable something but something you are made familiar with in the very beginning of the book. He is dangerous and he is sweet. I loved his sweet and cuddly moments and it’s very funny to think of the fact that he is the only romantic one in the relationship he shares with Yan because he is kind of the guy in books who is the least interested in romance but in this book if he wants romance he has to grab it with both hands. Irony thou art funny.
 
Stefan is the one character in this book who was not an instant favourite. Initially his very skewed view on cis gendered people was really getting to me and then his obsession with normal was maddening. The only thing that I could understand of Stefan’s initially was his kink. I got his need for it and I also got his hatred for it and how he would let his want for it made him go crazy but when the want was fulfilled it would leave him defiled. One of the things that Stefan learns during the course of this book was to let be, to not let his impression of normal prevent him from living his life the way he wants to live it. There is a conversation between Daz and Stefan which in a very overly simplified manner amounts to Stefan harping on the fact that he wasn’t normal and Daz telling him to get over it, to get over the fact that he enjoyed things others wouldn’t consider normal because the fact was that he enjoyed them, so he should and fuck anyone else who thinks otherwise. Surprisingly I have been on Stefan’s end of this conversation and while what Daz was saying to Stefan is exactly what I wanted to say to Stefan I also understand how hard it is to just let go of your beliefs no matter how wrong they may be, so Stefan’s struggles made a unique impact.
 
There is this scene at the end of the book which is really intense. I read two reviews that I read before reading this book both in their own way propelled me to read the book. I only read one line of the second review and that said DNF @98%. Now this was really surprising for me and insanely for who would possibly stop reading a book just before it’s about to end. So yeah there is something at the end of the book that could possibly be distressing enough to just DNF the book on the spot, but for me while the scene is intense it also fits the story and the characters, it is not jarring and it didn’t feel unreal in fact I am very surprised how naturally that scene flowed. But I guess this scene will be the source of quite a lot of debate. Personally for me Daz and Stefan’s sex life is something I completely understand. I get both the desire to submit to the extent Stefan wants to as well as the desire to call something someone yours.
 
Whenever I think of this book I think of colours so bright you feel you can touch them.
 
This book is like notes on a page when you play the notes some will hear a noise while others will hear the symphony.
 
Cover Art by Written Ink Designs. I loved the attention to detail in the cover. It is an amazing cover.
Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 426 pages
Published May 27th 2017 by JMS Books LLC
Original TitleSex in C Major
ASINB06Y1QZP55
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Review: Romancing the Bouncer by J.D. Walker

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Bennett “Ben” Pachowski is a bouncer at Throwbacks. He likes his job, though he gets tired of being thought of as more brawn than brain. He loves books, prefers to be romanced before sleeping with a man, and has a crazy feline companion named Bessie.

 

Ben’s favorite band, Rebel’s Ultimatum, plays at the club on weekends, giving him an eyeful of sexy bass player, Monty Mabuse. Ben is content to flirt — nothing more. He knows the kind of person Monty is, and commitment is not something the bass player is interested in.

 

When Monty resorts to something devious to get what he wants, it backfires, and Ben walks away. Before he goes on tour with his band, Monty finally gets Ben to talk to him, but if Monty really wants to have something serious with Ben, he’ll have to change his ways.

 

A little romance could go a long way.

 

I really liked this story.  Ben knows he is a relationship kind of guy and won’t settle for anything less.  He keeps his distance from Monty until he rescues him and suddenly he is waking up next to Monty no knowing how they got there.

 

Ben forces Monty to look at his life and decide what he really wants.  While Ben is making some big changes in his life so does Monty.  I felt Ben’s pain when he realized what Monty had done and was happy to see him make the changes to make his life happier even if it meant moving on from his comfort zone.  Seeing Monty make the changes in his life that finally put his past behind him was wonderful.

 

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is nice and gives a good visual of Ben.

 

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 58 pages

Published: May 13, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634860918

Edition Language: English

Pride Month Continues with Readers Recommended Best Coming Out Stories! This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Pride Month Continues with A Winner Announcement

 

June continues and so does Pride Month celebrations!  We have had some wonderful comments and book suggestions for Best Coming Out stories. I’m going to put them all into a list and have them up by the last Sunday this month. Here’s  some of the wonderful comments and recs we’ve had:

Readers Recommended Best Coming Out Stories!

✒︎From H.B.:

“I’ve never been to a Pride event but it sounds like something fun and exciting to support.
My favorite stories that have characters coming out are:
Knight of Ocean Avenue by Tara Lain
Ready For Love by Stella Starling
Falling Together by SK (Shelley) Grayson
#gaymers series by Annabeth Albert
Thanks a Lot, John LeClair by Johanna Parkhurst
Patient Eyes by Andy Eisenberg

H.B. has several of my favorites there. Knight of Ocean Avenue by Tara Lain and the #gaymers series by Annabeth Albert.  H.B. also has some I’m going to have to look up. Yay!

✒︎From Didi:

“Happy Pride Month to everyone of queer spectrum. A few of coming out titles that stay in my head are Kaje Harper’s Life Lessons, Josh Lanyon’s Death of A Pirate King, also John Goode’s Tales from Foster High. On the first two titles the coming out might not be the main issue of the story, but it’s something that affected the character deeply and overall emotionally engaging to me.”

Didi hit all 3 of mine, including a favorite Josh Lanyon series!

✒︎Purple Reader came through with a book I haven’t read either (so my list grows). Here’s what he has to say:

“DC is one of my fav cities for a couple special reasons. I’m not from there, but on a trip 15 yrs ago that’s where I came out (so you could say that’s my fav coming out story :-); and on another trip that’s where I proposed to my husband. Oh my, a fav novel about coming out? So many, and as always I like to go for beyond the norm. So one fav is “Mysterious Skin.” With its coming of age there’s self-awareness/coming out to oneself as well as others, and it deals with tough issues, but that it all the more poignant.”

That’s Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim.  I’ve got a GR link included.

✒︎Suze294 also chimed in with an all time favorite of mine Sean Kennedy.

Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy! One day I plan to get to a Pride event – probably Manchester or Liverpool as closest”

✒︎Ardent Reader surprised me with one of the first m/m books I ever read on her lists (non fan fiction that is).  Here is Ardent Reader’s list:

“A few of my favorite stories that have coming themes are: My Summer of Wes– Missy Welsh, Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane, The Catch Trap-Marion Zimmer Bradley

Because of the great response, we are going to pick 2 winners this week!  They are Ardent EReader and waxapplelover!  Congratulations!  You both win a $10 Dreamspinner gift certificate.  Stella will be in touch with you both shortly.  The rest of the comments, recommendations and full list will be up next Sunday.

Now for this week’s giveaway to finish up Pride Month!

 

Pride Father’s Day Celebration Giveaway!

Give us your best suggestions for books involving LGBTQIA families or LGBT people with children stories.  I just finished last week’s wonderful Accepting The Fall by Meg Harding, with firefighter Zander Brooks learning to cope with fatherhood as the parent of a bright, frightened 5 year old.  Terrific story.  And Dragon Home by Mell Eight with William, the foster parent of two growing dragons kits (a whole different set of parenting skills required there).  But I know there are soooo many out there!  Let’s start a list!

So for Father’s Day, what books melted your heart?  That had children, maybe puppies or kittens or both?  Amy Lane’s Promises series just jumps to my mind.  What comes into yours?  Ones that break your heart and then puts them back together again.  Stories you never forget because your heart won’t let them go….

Tell me which ones you love and let’s share our favorites.  A random reader who leaves a comment or readers (you never know here) will receive a $10 gift certificate.  Dreamspinner Press or Amazon, your choice.    Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Happy Pride Month.   Giveaway ends midnight June 30th.  Winners announced July 1st.

 

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 18:

  • Pride Month Continues with Readers Recommended Best Coming Out Stories!
    Winner Announcement.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, June 19:

  • Release Day Blitz for Drama Queens and Devilish Schemes by Kevin Klehr
  • Review Tour: The Great North (A Legendary Love Book 1) by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Better Than Suicide (The Yakuza Path #2) by Amy Tasukada
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Love Wanted by John Inman
  • A MelanieM Release Week Review: The Great North (A Legendary Love Book 1) by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • A MelanieM Review: Better Than Suicide (The Yakuza Path #2) by Amy Tasukada
  • An Alisa Review: Chasing His Cottontail (Hoppity Shifter #1) by A.R. Barley

Tuesday, June 20:

  • In the Spotlight: Chief’s Mess (Anchor Point #3) by L.A. Witt (Riptide Publishing Tour & Giveaway)
  • Blog Tour for Sum of the Whole by Brenda Murphy
  • A MelanieM Review: The Monet Murders (The Art of Murder #2) by Josh Lanyon
  • A VVivacious Review:  Reckless Passion (Reckless #3) by Amanda Young
  • AN Alisa Review:  Romancing the Bouncer by J.D. Walker
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: The Deep of the Sound (Bluewater Bay #8) by Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

Wednesday, June 21:

  • Review Tour for Enlightenment Series by Joanna Chambers
  • Blog Tour for Strong Enough by Melanie Harlow & David Romanov
  • Blog Tour for Queer Magick by L.C. Davis
  • A Caryn Review: Beguiled  (Enlightenment Series #2) by Joanna Chambers
  • A Caryn Review: Provoked (Enlightenment Series #1) by Joanna Chambers
  • A Caryn Review: Enlightened  (Enlightenment Series #3) by Joanna Chambers
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Patron by C.B. Lewis

Thursday, June 22:

  • DSP guest blog SA Stovall on Vice City
  • Release Day Blitz for A Way with Words by Lane Hayes
  • DSP GUEST POST Sean Michael on The Dom’s Way
  • A MelanieM Review: Fair Chance (All’s Fair #3) by Josh Lanyon
  • A VVivacious Review: Sex in C Major by  Matthew J. Metzger
  • An Alisa Review: Forest of Thorns and Claws by JT Hall
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: The Interborough (A Five Boroughs Story) by Santino Hassell and Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

Friday, June 23:

  • Blog Tour for  Kevin Corrigan and Me by Jeré M. Fishback
  • Release Blitz for RJ Scott’s Kingdom Series Vol 2
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Kind of Home (A Kind of Stories #4) by Lane Hayes
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: The Dom’s Way (Iron Eagle Gym #5) by Sean Michael
  • A MelanieM Review:Kingdom Series Vol 1 by RJ Scott
  • A MelanieM Review: Winter Kill by Josh Lanyon
  • An Ali Review: Mai Tais and Murder by J.C.Long

Saturday, June 24:

  • Release Blitz  for  Scrap (The Bristol Collection #3) by Josephine Myles
  • A MelanieM Review: Scrap (The Bristol Collection #3) by Josephine Myles

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Sex in C Major by Matthew J. Metzger (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Sex in C Major
Author: Matthew J. Metzger
Release Date: May 27th 2017
Genre: GLBT, BDSM, Interracial Romance

Sex_in_C_Major_400[982]

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Stefan has … fantasies.

He knows chasing those fantasies is only going to end in disaster, but he can’t seem to stop his self-destructive spiral. He’s a transgender man struggling to come to terms with the intersection of his identity and his sexual fantasies as a submissive. He needs someone to take control before he loses it completely.

Daz can take control. He can teach Stefan everything there is to know about sex and submission, but for some reason, he can’t get inside Stefan’s head. Daz can stop Stefan’s self-destruction but not the fear that fuels it.

Stefan needs to know who he is before he can accept what he is. And it’s Yannis — Daz’s aromantic, asexual, stern, and sarcastic partner — who has the answer.

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books | iBooks

Find Sex in C Major on Goodreads

EXCERPT

Other people wanted vanilla sex and dating out of a hookup in a gay bar. But Stefan wanted— this. He wanted to jump from nothing to Daz bending him over the end of the bed and fucking him like he was nothing but a sex doll.

What was he doing?

And yet he kept walking, step by step by step towards the house. A jogger had to go around him; a car hooted angrily as he walked out in front of it. He didn’t care. The house was calling. The man inside was calling. The promise of his fantasies becoming real was calling.

And it was terrifying and stupid and utterly crazy… but Stefan just couldn’t say no.

At exactly eight fifteen, the terror enough to make him throw up and the arousal so intense he could barely walk, Stefan knocked on the door.

Footsteps.

A key in a lock.

Then the door was jerked open, and a hand fisted in Stefan’s coat and hauled him inside.

“Upstairs,” Daz said, slamming the door. “Now. Nobody sees you.”

Stefan scrambled to obey, almost running up the stairs, still in his coat and shoes. He was shoved back into the small bedroom from the night before, and the door slammed behind them.

“Strip,” Daz said.

GIVEAWAY: Win ebook copies of Sex in C Major and What It Looks Like

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Matthew

Matthew J. Metzger is a twenty-something British author of queer novels, primarily focusing on relationships, be they familial, platonic, sexual or romantic. He was dragged up in London, but currently lives in West Yorkshire, where he carves out a living in an office crunching numbers before going home to write books at night. Matthew particularly writes working-class queer life, and queer people who exist outside of the standard M/M romance fare written by and for well-educated, middle-class sensibilities. There be nasty words ahead, children. Better buckle up.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Patreon

BLOG SCHEDULE:

May 27th: Alpha Book Club | My Fiction Nook | Hearts on Fire Reviews

May 28th: Nerd Girl Official | Boy Meets Boy Reviews

May 29th: The Novel Approach | A L Boyd

May 3oth: A M Leibowitz

May 31st: Happily Ever Chapter

June 1st: MJs Book Blog and Reviews

June 2nd: Bonkers about Books | Joyfully Jay

June 5th: Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter

June 6th: Making It Happen | Outrageous Heroes

June 7th: BFD Book Blog

June 8th: Triple A

June 9th: Love Bytes Reviews

June 12th: Stories That Make You Smile | Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

June 13th: Loving Without Limits | L M Brown

June 14th: All in One Place | Dawn’s Reading Nook

June 15th: Bayou Book Junkie

June 16th: Drops of Ink | Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!

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A Caryn Review: To Love a Traitor by JL Merrow

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This book is a great examples of why I love historicals.  Clearly this was well-researched, with no irritating anachronisms, and I felt like I was right there in inter-war England.  The language is so very appropriate – not only the dialogue, but the somewhat formal prose as well.  The attitudes towards women who had only recently been granted the right to vote, the general feeling of the public about the aftermath of the war and how veterans were regarded, the frequent references to the Spanish flu that ended up killing over a quarter of a million people in the UK – so many authentic details!  It was easy to completely immerse myself in the era, and in the story.  I’ve read several of Ms. Merrow’s contemporaries, and I really enjoyed them, and I feel doing such an excellent job at a historical just showcases her versatility as an author

The story is told from the point of view of Roger Cottingham.  He was a conscientious objector – “conchie” – who was imprisoned for a year at the beginning of the war and then went to work as a cryptographer in the Admiralty.  While there, his brother Hugh was killed on the front lines.  Hugh’s fiancée, Mabel, started hearing rumors after the Armistice that Hugh’s death might have been the result of treason, and Roger vowed to help her find the man/men responsible, and bring them to justice.

Enlisting the help of an old friend from the intelligence section of the Admiralty, Roger finds suspicious circumstances surrounding another officer in Hugh’s regiment, Captain Matthew Connaught.  Roger’s friend can investigate no further, but he did encourage Roger to do a little spying of his own, and set him up with the perfect cover:  George Johnson, who rented a room in the same house Matthew lived in.

Matthew actually was a rather simple character.  He is a veteran who lost his right arm, but managed to maintain a cheerful and optimistic attitude in spite of that.  He just exudes friendliness and integrity, and Roger can’t help but like and admire him – but what does this mean when he is supposed to be spying on Matthew and finding out his wartime secrets?  I loved the struggle Roger/George had trying to reconcile what he instinctively knew to be true – Matthew is a decent man who would never have betrayed his fellow brother-in-arms – with his desire to find out what really happened to Hugh when Matthew was the only clue he had.  Roger’s struggle only intensified when he realized that not only was Matthew also an invert (homosexual), but that they were attracted to each other.  Roger was also fundamentally an honest, forgiving, and peace-loving man, uncomfortable with the duplicity he had to maintain to continue his undercover role, and he spent a good part of the book grappling with those feelings.

The book is primarily character driven, rather than plot driven.  When the mystery was finally revealed, it really wasn’t a surprise to anyone – the characters or the reader.  Learning the different facets of Roger and Matthew as they traveled this journey towards a relationship was my whole enjoyment of the book.  The period details just made it all even better.  The only thing I didn’t like was that Matthew was a little too one-dimensional, but Roger almost made up for that.

Just for fun, check out this really interesting little tidbit of history that was briefly referenced in the book:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_feather.  I love learning new things when reading fiction!

The expression of the model used for the cover art by Written Ink Designs was just about perfect for how I imagined Roger would feel.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 200 pages
Published May 6th 2017 by JMS Books LLC (first published September 15th 2015)
ASINB06Y646324