A MelanieM Review: Ted of the d’Urbervilles by Rob Rosen

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Ted is an orphan, a young gay man living on the streets following the death of both his parents. Hope seems futile, though hope is exactly what he finds when a surprising email informs him that an unknown wealthy relative has died, that a reading of a will is soon to occur clear across the country. Ted will inherit something, but what that something is remains to be seen.

Benny is a young, homeless drug addict, straight except for when cash is involved. Benny has never had a reason to be hopeful about anything until a chance encounter with Ted.

Both men are soon traveling together from state to state, making ends meet however they can, rushing to the reading of the will that may or may not change both their lives forever. An unexpected friendship quickly forms, and then just as unexpectedly blossoms into something more as their adventure ultimately leads them to their fates.

At turns darkly funny and tragic, deeply erotic and poignant, Ted of the d’Urbervilles uniquely shines a light on the phrase “Love is Love” — though who they will find it with remains a mystery until the very end.

Rob Rosen has given me werewolves, unforgettable drag queens, drag queens zombies apocalypse, romance and intergalactic oddities, and now it’s his take on the classic Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Tom Hardy.  By that I mean a spin on family, society, class levels, and one’s place within it.  Here woen heavily with sex, pathos, intrigue, and an ending Tess herself wouldn’t have seen coming.

No indeed,Ted of the d’Urbervilles by Rob Rosen is a story that kept both my heart and interest focused on the characters and page from the moment I met Ted, homeless, starving, and desperately in need of a change of direction for his life.  Which he gets.The sheer pain of Ted’s past history and loss comes through, never more so in his first lucky tide when hitchhiking.  I will remember that trucker and her friend for many novels to come.  Awash in platitudes, warmth, and generosity, she is memorable and has a strength that will stay with the reader and Ted.

This book is full of interesting relationships and unusual dynamics, the one between Ted and Benny perhaps the most special.  The biggest element is that Ted and Benny come to love each other in a non typical  romance way but it actually manifests itself in sexual acts.  As though that is the only way both men know to show love, no matter what type of love it is.  Ted is gay, Benny is straight.  They love each other non romantically but have sex often.  Yes, it’s that complex a relationship and their future becomes equally involved when others are added to it.  Rosen has written these characters and their strange love and relationship in a way we get them.  And accept them as they are.    For the pain, the humor, and the angst they cause each other, but also the love and support.

Sometimes I feel Rob Rosen should come with a warning.  Read Rob Rosen at your own risk.  He’s not for the faint hearted.  He’s never boring.  He takes risks.  Sometimes they don’t pay off but most of the time they do.  And the emotional payload smacks you right in the heart.  As this one did just when I least expected it too.  Rosen likes to zig when other’s like to zag with their narrative flow and the waters can get stormy, but it’s worth every whitecap and high wave to get to shore.

When you get to the ending here, you will understand that sentence.  It’s the same feeling I get at the end of every Rob Rosen story.  A feeling of contentment, a journey will taken, a story well told.

Not familiar with this author?  Lucky for you there is a great library to discover but why not start here?  I definitely recommend Ted of the d’Urbervilles by Rob Rosen

Cover art definitely works for Ted and this story.

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  JMS Books  |  GooglePlay

Book Details:

ebook, 195 pages
Published January 18th 2020 by JMS Bools
ISBN139781646562503
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Unveiled (Master Chronicles #2) by Jamie Craig

Standard

 Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Gideon and Jesse work together as private investigators and after years of friendship, become an established couple in book one. This isn’t difficult to follow if you haven’t read the first book, but your understanding of the characters will be very different. The case investigated here revolves around a missing young woman found killed after an exclusive party. Right after leaving a hideous crime scene where Jesse is emotionally devastated, Jesse and Gideon go to the vampire club Sangre where they participate in a gang bang that involves other vampires and a lot of blood. Why this isn’t traumatic for Jesse after the way the woman was killed, is a mystery to me. While there they rescue an empath named Emma who can sense and transmit the feelings of others.

The world building never had a hint of anything else paranormal except vampires, so it felt abrupt to have an empath thrown in to this world. The vampires must know Gideon works with the police. Why would they do anything illegal like sell him a human slave? They were able to rescue Emma because no one already “owned” her, so if she had already been bought, they wouldn’t have helped her? The author seems to skirt the line, maybe not wanting to go into non consensual territory, but that’s too little too late with these characters. Clearly there are limits and rules as to when they are the good guys. In book one, Gideon is not always shown in the best light so it felt like here, Emma was used to reassure the audience (and Michelle and Jesse) that he really is a good guy. I’m not sure why this is actually necessary since the audience can have more of Gideon’s POV any time the author chooses to write more of it. Both main characters seem pansexual so adding Emma into their mix wouldn’t be too unexpected if it were just sex, but laying the groundwork to add her to their relationship was unexpected. In this book, she is just used for titillation–a will they, won’t they–that could be expanded upon in later books.

Emma is also utilized to give them a lead on the case; she was taken while trying to find her sister, who went missing after dating a vampire. I didn’t like when a scene suddenly switched to Emma’s point of view for a very short time. The usual POV is Jesse’s. However, once Gideon and Jesse go undercover, Emma goes to help Michelle and there needed to be another point of view as action happens in different places. As the only other established character, I am unclear why this couldn’t have been Michelle’s POV. My concern is that because she’s a lesbian, and therefore will not be having sex with Jesse or Gideon, her POV is considered unimportant. For me, this seemed like a lost opportunity.

The interaction between law enforcement and the private investigators is really lacking. The world is built with humans knowing about vampires, but this is another situation where the author seems to hedge and not commit to that. Why are the police not asking Gideon for help on vampire cases? Why do the police only raid the party when Gideon says so? This is written as Gideon being the only vampire who actually cares about humans, but then the author has Rina, who was friends with the murdered woman, and promptly dismisses her of being capable of being a complex person.

While the use of humans, alive or dead, to entertain the wealthy is not an original idea, the “art” created by Jesse and Gideon with Emma’s help sounded interesting. Sadly, it wasn’t described in a way that came alive as scenery, it was used as a means to an end. The other artists and their creations weren’t shown, even though the story was Gideon’s POV at that point. Then, the final confrontation with the killer(s) fizzled out. In the end, I felt like I was left with many sex scenes, some more successful than others, without an intriguing enough plot or emotional connection to the characters to hold them all together.

The cover design is by Written Ink Designs (written-ink.com) with image(s) used under a Standard Royalty-Free License. It shows Jesse and elements of the art exhibits mentioned in the book.

Sales Link:  JMS Books LLC |   Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 176 pages, JMS Books LLC
Published (first published August 1st 2007)
Original Title Unveiled (Book II of The Master Chronicles)
ASINB001JMFBPW

A.F. Henley Blogging on Life as A Writer and the new release ‘But By the Grace of Dog by A.F. Henley’ (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

But By the Grace of Dog by A.F. Henley

ebook, 126 pages
Published 2019 by JMS Book
Sales Links:   JMS Books LLC | Amazon
GENRE: Gay Romance, Canadian novel, Contemporary
LENGTH: 49,400 words
RATING: flame rating 4 (contains some explicit sex scenes)

 

 

 

Hello all! Thank you very much for taking part in my blog tour for But by the Grace of Dog. I have to tell you, I’m excited beyond words to present this novel to you. It’s been a bit of a process for me. There was a point about a year and half ago where I had more of less convinced myself that I was done with writing. (Those other writers out there who are reading this are smiling at that, I know – as if a writer can somehow just turn off the words and choose to ignore them.) Then, as they tend to, this story showed up in my mind. When the words to that story started to come seemingly all on their own, I figured who was I to tell them no. Before I was even half done that novel, I knew it wasn’t just one story, but an entire series of them.

So, with a renewed, reinvigorated, and refreshed outlook, I completed the novel, started the second one in the series, submitted it, got an acceptance… and a couple of months after accepting the story, the publisher decided it was time to hang up their hats. I was devastated. Not just for this novel, or this series, but for my career in writing as a whole. This was, obviously, a sign, and I should have just given up when I said I was going to, it wasn’t meant to be, nobody really wanted me, and blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine. I tirelessly bemoaned these thoughts to close friends, and honestly, they are champs to have put up with me.

Unfortunately, or I guess that I should probably be saying fortunately, that second story refused to let me stop writing it. So, what was I to do? If the stories were going to keep insisting on their right to exist, and I wasn’t able to find a way to ignore them, I was going to have to grow a backbone and take some ownership of my writing career.

Spoiler alert: I did not do that.

In fact, I waited until another publisher reached out to me. And, of course, when that happened, I was pretty dumbstruck. After all, what an honour, right? How could I not follow up with that? Now this, I told myself, was truly the sign! This was what I was waiting for. Even if it was a sign that was completely opposing to what I had thought was the sign prior to that. Forward, on. Here we go. This is going to be the moment where everything turns around.

Well, not exactly. And by not exactly, I mean that didn’t work out at all.

At that point I was back to my two choices: give up or buck up. Honestly, I considered both. (Mostly because I can be a bit of a drama queen when things don’t go my way. Yes. A bit of one.) Then, I had a mutual tell me about JMS Books. I did a bit of poking around—some research that was mostly just me trying to peer undetected over top of walls and around corners—and was instantly intrigued by their covers, policies, and the owner’s seemingly unending energy and devotion. I mean, seriously. Un. Ending. Energy.

They welcomed But by the Grace of Dog with open arms, welcomed all my other little orphans in as well, and the rest, as the say, is history.

All this narrative is my way of leading into this – my journey with the novel isn’t all that different from the one my main character, Thom, faces in the novel. He too has to find a way to reach outside his comfort zone, not just for his own betterment, but for the sake of the things in his life that he holds dear. It can be tough. Especially when we’re dealing with all those little tricks our minds play on us in its attempt to keep us safe and comfy. They call it a comfort zone for a reason and the mind, consciously and subconsciously, is a master at keeping us in a known state.

Luckily, just as I did, Thom finds himself some friends that listen to him complain, who show him an alternative way when he insists that he can’t get over things, and holds his hand (or licks his face) when he’s convinced it’s time to quit. And that kind of love always helps.

Man + Dog + Neighbour = True Love (but does it equal a HEA?)

A huge thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for me having me today, and just as big a thanks to you, again, for joining me. Please be sure to keep reading for a short exclusive excerpt and all the details for not just one, but two giveaways! All it takes is a comment here for a chance at one of the adorable keychains pictured below and a promo pack. Then, if you click through to the Rafflecopter, you’ll get yourself a second chance at a freebee, this one for a $25 credit to JMS Books!

All my love!

AF Henley ❤

Blurb

GENRE: Gay Erotic Romance, Canadian English

LENGTH: 49,400 words

RATING: contains some explicit sex scenes

NOTE: contains brief character thoughts about suicide

Thom Baron has been struggling with social anxiety his entire life. He’s taken the medications, gone to the therapists, followed the programs, and concluded his best life is a solitary one. When he comes across a dog in obvious need at his local market, it rekindles the desire to have some company around. It may come with a dishevelled coat, a notched ear, and a refusal to respond to anything but its given name “Ugly,” but it could still be a friend.

However, Thom’s new fur buddy has no such need to keep to itself and immediately befriends the man Thom has secretly coveted since he moved in — Justin, Thom’s gorgeous, bright-eyed neighbour. No matter how Thom tries to evade the man, the dog keeps drawing them back into each other’s lives, and it doesn’t take Thom long to recognize it’s simply pursuing the demands of Thom’s own heart. With the dog giving him the courage to try, Thom reaches out to return the love being offered.

Until a stranger shows up insisting the dog is his and demanding its immediate return … a loss Thom knows will take all of his efforts and newfound confidence with it.

Exclusive Excerpt

“Stop.” Thom’s voice caught and he had to try again. “Please stop. I can’t.”

Justin straightened, drying his hands on his shorts. “Or, we could not stop. Not yet, anyway. Let’s stop in half an hour if it doesn’t work out, okay? That’s fair, right? Besides, can’t isn’t won’t. Maybe if you want to, you might surprise yourself. Then, if you still can’t, at least we gave it a shot. Maybe next time you’ll be able to. Or the time after that. Or the time after that one again. Eventually I won’t be a stranger, and you won’t be anxious.”

There was a long pause while Thom processed, and Justin waited without saying another word. But one second before Thom was about to turn him down yet again, Justin added, “I’ll even help you finish washing your dog.”

Thom widened his eyes. “Oh, God, no, that would be even worse than a drink.”

Justin slapped both hands on his thighs. “Then it’s settled! A drink it is.”

“Okay, but even if I agreed, it’s like…” Thom motioned around, running out of steam and already sure he was going to have to give in, “mid-day!”

“But it’s a weekend,” Justin assured him. “The five o’clock rule doesn’t count on the weekend.” When Thom didn’t respond, Justin nodded. “All right then,” he said, tone gleeful. “So, do we do this at my place or yours?”

Thom sighed. “Better make it yours, I guess. Because I can assure you that if I get to my own door before you do, there is not only zero chance of you getting in, but also of me ever coming back out. Like, for the rest of my life.”

Justin’s eyes softened along with his smile. “It’s just a drink, Thom. I’m not going to judge you and I’m not going to make you do anything you don’t want.”

“Except actually come for the drink in the first place.”

“Well,” Justin drew out the word, shrugging comically. “Yes, except that.”

“I’m soaking wet,” Thom said, waving at his clothes. “And muddy.”

“Patio furniture can be hosed off,” Justin countered.

Thom held his breath. He silently counted to five before letting it go. Surprisingly, his chest didn’t seem to be quite as tight when he ran out of air to exhale. “Well, I guess I don’t have a choice then, do I?”

“Always,” Justin said with another grin. “You can have your choice of red wine, white wine, or beer.” He looked positively delighted when the comment won him a smile. He pointed at the fence, Vanna White style. “After you.”

Thom sighed dramatically, reaching for Dog’s leash. “Fine. But we’re going the long way around.”

Giveaway

First, leave a comment on this post for a chance to win one of these adorable keychains, along with a promo pack. One winner per blog post. Second, check out the Rafflecopter link for a chance to win a $25 credit to JMS Books. One winner throughout the tour. All contests close December 9th.

Embed Rafflecopter via html:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Or Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6cc2dd0723/?

A Lucy Review: Husband Hunters by Rick R. Reed

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

You never know where the love of your life might turn up.

When Matt Connelly suggests to his best buddy Cody Mook that they head to downtown Seattle to audition for the gay reality TV show, Husband Hunters, both agree the experience might be a lark and a chance to grab their fifteen minutes of fame. What they don’t know is that the show, modeled after HGTV’s House Hunters, will open doors of longing neither expected. For Matt, the secret love he has long harbored for Cody might be thrust into the spotlight. Cody might realize his search for his perfect-forever-man extends no farther than the man who’s always been at his side.

Husband Hunters promises laughter, tears, and, just maybe, a happy ever after. Will Cody and Matt’s story be one of best-friends-to-lovers—or an outright disaster?

When Matt convinces Cody to try out for Husband Hunters, it really is a recipe for disaster.

Matt and Cody have been friends forever and Matt has been in love with Cody for nearly that long.  It isn’t reciprocated, however.  Cody has definite categories where people belong and Matt is firmly entrenched in the best friend zone.  “To Cody’s way of thinking, there were rigid borders to relationships.”  But now they are committed to the show and “fake it til you make it”. 

I liked the “reality” aspect because those reality shows are never reality!  They are scripted to within an inch of their lives and nothing is candid.  This was displayed here repeatedly, even to the point of having the guys in bed “pretending” afterglow. 

When Matt is honest about his feelings it changes the dynamic between the two of them.  “Phones were rapidly put away or slips of paper tucked into jeans pockets.  Cody’s grin was always sheepish.” 

Cody is very stubborn about his feelings for Matt and there is one scene I felt so awful for Matt.  Then it turns around later and I felt so awful for Tre, a lovely man. I do wish that hadn’t happened – I lost some respect at that point.

This book is definitely not for everyone.  While the friends to lovers aspect is there, Cody and Matt don’t actually get together until nearly the end.  There is also sex with other people and a broken heart to deal with.  Cody didn’t really grow on me.  I thought his rigidity regarding people’s places in your life was too much. 

Rick R. Reed is an author I truly enjoy and the writing here is stellar as always.  Dialogue never dipped into cheesy or unbelievable areas and the characters were well fleshed out.   It takes a long time to get where they want to be and sometimes during that I got irritated.

Cover art is simple, the face of a man looking forward.  I would have liked to have some of the reality TV aspect, a camera or such, included to make it more pertinent.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, Second
Published October 30th 2019 by JMS Books (first published September 1st 2014)
ASINB07ZHJP3Y8
Edition Language English

A Stella Review: The Desire for Dearborne by V.B. Kildaire

Standard

RATING 4 out of 5 stars

The only surviving son of a poor American farmer, Leander Mayfield is shocked to learn that he is in fact the new Earl of Dearborne. Barely recovered from one of the many illnesses that have plagued him all his life, he sets sail for England and a new life.

Tired and bored with all the wealth and finery that constantly surrounds him, Julien Sutcliffe, the Earl of Blackstone, is constantly on the lookout for something to lift his ennui. Then he meets the young American Earl, whose naiveté he finds refreshing and new.

Drawn to each other, it actually begins to seem as though they might be able to enjoy a happy life in each other’s company, but something — or someone — is determined to separate them permanently.

I’m not a fan of historicals in the mm genre but lately I’m reading some interesting books, like this one by a new to me author. The Desire for Dearbone was a lovely story about Leander and Julien, two beautiful young men. I truly can’t pick which character I like the most, both of them caught my heart from the beginning till the ending, with their weaknesses and faults. Still they were so brave, Leander to leave his country although his numerous illness and come to England alone; Julian to finally open his arm to a new and true love.

The writing fully engaged me, with historicals in English language I often have to reread some sentences,not this time, I feely enjoyed the novel. It’s not just about the romance, the author told us a lot about the English society that help me understand better the characters, not just the main ones.  Plus the ending part was a surprise, I wasn’t expecting something like that to happen, I liked it more.

I will definitely check more titles about V.B. Kildaire, The Desire for Dearborne to me was a success.

The cover art is simple and clean, nothing special, but I like it.

SALE LINKS JMS Books LLC | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 278 pages

Published October 16th 2019 by JMS Books LLC (first published June 15th 2009)

ASIN B07YR7P2D5

Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Marked Yours (Sentries #1) by Elizabeth Noble

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When one society fell, assaulted by natural disaster, in its place rose another, molded into something entirely different. Protectorates were divided by beliefs and distance. Slavery was accepted and threats both natural and supernatural were commonplace.

This became a world where sentries were needed. Trained almost from infanthood, these tough men and women lived in a society within a society. They were warriors and protectors, ferreting out evil and defending the citizens of New Colorado Protectorate from inhuman terrors and, on occasion, human ones.

Todd Ruger was born into life as a sentry. Raised by a hard father into a hard life, Todd becomes the consummate sentry, tough, dangerous, and good at what he does. When he wasn’t quite into his teen years, he was bonded to a special young slave named Nick. For years their only interaction was through letters. Friendship turned to a sort of courtship between them. Todd lived for the day Nick became of age and Todd’s ownership would take effect. That was the day Nick would leave the village with Todd. They’d begin a life together. They’d make a difference.

Raised as a slave, Nick never wanted to be special, but nature had other ideas for him. He grew up in a village with other slave children and was taught to be useful to his future master because he a gift … or curse. The tutors responsible for his upbringing didn’t understand what Nick could do, what he was; they were afraid of him. If sentries hadn’t bought him, it was likely he’d never have lived to see the age of five. All that changes the day Nick leaves the village with Todd. He’s cared for and shown a new, better life with a man who loves him honestly and wholly.

But after being together barely a day, Nick is brutally attacked and injured. Though he recovers without incident, Todd’s heart fills with revenge. The guardian in him turns into a dangerous, driven assassin, a wolf on the hunt.

Todd’s obsession with tracking down the men who hurt Nick and making them pay could very well get them both killed. Can they survive and build the life together they’ve both dreamed of for years?

NOTE: This is the third edition of Marked Yours. The first and second editions were released by another publishing house. This story has been revised and re-edited with the end result being a better, stronger story

I am a fan of this author’s stories so I was eager to see what Marked Yours (Sentries #1) by Elizabeth Noble contained as far as characters and worldbuilding from this author I admire so.  And while I did enjoy many elements, I also found myself questions that many more, more than I would have normally expected to find in one of her novels.  Some I will chalk up to my distaste for slavery stories.  I read this one because of the author and you never know exactly what take each writer will have on a master/slave relationship and world building.  So I was curious as to what I would find here, which was a mixed bag at best.

The characters here were very well defined and layered within the restrictions of the world they lived in and the relationship as it developed.  I think my issue here is honestly with the world building, less with the characters.  Perhaps.

They exist within a state with depends upon, recognizes a Master/slaves economy.  Treatment of those slaves vary from master to master, but those slaves are still considered a product, not a being.  A tool as it were and are raised as such from childhood.  They are bought and sold as commodities.  Now, and here I have a problem.  Nick has special abilities which are recognized early.  He was given special training as a child slave which makes him an incredibly valuable tool/slave.  In this society and economy, it should follow that his price and value should rise as well.  Also for all that training, he’s curiously inept.  It’s like making a knife incredibly sharp and then leaving it in a draw for 15 years.  In this case a sentient one.  Why all that training and then not showing him why or how to use it?  It makes no sense, even as a slave.  Here let’s make you great with weapons but you can’t ever use them. SMH.  So no, that’s not working here for me.

I got the writing and letters.  Cute but again.  Slave/master and not realistic.  Especially given the Sentinel society, Todd Ruger’s father’s attitude towards slaves, and Nick’s own status.    Plus whatever anti slavery feelings that develop are never acted on, just voiced here.  Again, this is just the only story in this series I read so maybe that changes in other books.  But the acceptance of the  extreme inequality in their relationship here, that they will be “ok” as long as they are in private …well no.  That if anything happens to Todd , well Nick will just be “willed” to a nice person….not freed mind you, willed away.  For me, that is never a solution that works, here or in any story that I could recommend.

Also in a semi spoilery sort of way.  The only  anti slavery country is treated in a less than favorable light..  So wth.  We are supposed to go all in for the slavery government because these two are happy?  Ah no.  There’s just a ton of mixed messages here, most of which just don’t work for me no matter the romance or characterizations.

So, for the characterizations, Marked Yours (Sentries #1) by Elizabeth Noble gets a 3 star rating, for everything else?  A 2.  Honestly not a story or series for me.  Whether you wish to read it, I will leave it up to you.

Cover Art is really a disconnect from the story which has wagons, horses…seems right out of a western, as well as slaves.  That cover could be science fiction.  Are we looking at 2 different stories here?

Sales Links:  AmazonJMS Books LLC

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, Revised and re-edited 3rd edition, 218 pages
Published October 12th 2019 by JMS Books LLC (first published May 23rd 2011)
ASINB07YNZNS1C
Edition Language English
Series Sentries #1
Characters Todd Ruger, Nick Ruger
setting New Colorado
West Caldera
New Colorado City, New Colorado

An Alisa Review: Înflori by A.F. Henley

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Dustin gave up on being worthy of anyone’s affections a long time ago, drowning his problems in substance abuse and meaningless encounters. He has learned it’s better to avoid love altogether than risk the inevitable moment when it all comes crashing down.

Nicolae has neither eyesight nor excess, but he does have a wealth of family and intuition. He is nothing Dustin would have anticipated in a potential lover, but the more Dustin discovers, the more he finds himself willing to accept the risk … even if his conscience and the people in his life keep warning him away.

Okay, I spent most of this book wondering what the heck was going on.  Nicolae’s intuition is right on the money but it felt like he was playing with Dustin and Dustin was just left without knowing what was going on or what he needed to do.  They seem to develop a pretty solid relationship by the end but I felt like I missed all the important parts of their relationship.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is nice but I don’t know how well it connects with the story.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 47,314 words

Published: October 2, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781646561056

Edition Language: English

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Master Of Obsidian (Master Chronicles #1) by Jamie Craig

Standard

Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

This is a dark erotic romance, with urban fantasy elements, set in Chicago. Jesse is a human who works for a vampire named Gideon doing private investigations. They’ve been hired to solve a murder that may tie to a dangerous new demon drug. This shows alternating points of view, but I still feel like I got to know Jesse better than Gideon, which may be a good thing.

One issue is the plot is obviously just to move them from one sex scene to another, which is a shame because there could have been something more interesting done with what is here. For instance, seeing more of their actual relationship before being thrown into their sexual relationship would have given this a more solid basis. More UST before they got together as well as any indication at all that Jesse was into pain before they have sex, would have made it less jarring. Seeing Jesse’s fantasies and revelling in Gideon’s angst to control himself would have added more depth. For me, the distressing part was no aftercare, even when Jesse had open wounds. Gideon doesn’t really treat Jesse with the care, the respect, the reader is told he has for him; not just in their personal interactions, but with the case they are working, where he doesn’t give Jesse vital information. At least that is acknowledged after the fact, it’s just that so much of this really should have been talked about before all the events that happen.

Between sex scenes, most of the information is told to the reader as a statement right before they need it, rather than being seen in flashbacks. I’m going to mention something that is not related to the plot, so it’s not a spoiler, but would turn many people off: I want readers to be aware there is a scene where Jesse gets off to Gideon’s snuff porn. This caused an issue for me: why is Jesse expecting better behavior from John, the blackest of mages, but then turns around and has no issue with Gideon’s past? I guess for those raised on a TV show with Angel and Spike, maybe this isn’t a big deal? But the reader doesn’t get to know enough of this supposedly good Gideon that is trying to save humans before being introduced to who he used to be. Then, there is the torture scene which really points out the problems with the world-building. One assumes, if the suspect were human, they would have involved the police, but since the suspect is a vampire (demon), they can do whatever they want to her? Obviously humans, mages, and vampires know about each other and coexist, but that is all the reader really knows about this world. In the end, I was left with a few steamy sex scenes and characters that are a bit twisted and not necessarily likeable. Even Jesse seemed more dangerously obsessed with Gideon rather than in love with him, enough to blur ethical lines and basically do whatever he wants as long as Jesse gets what he wants from Gideon.

I think for maximum enjoyment, this should be read as a series of sexual fantasies without a lot of expectations. Since it’s about vampires, expect a lot a blood. Also be aware this has a m/m/f scene, violence, torture, and Gideon sharing Jesse, so they are not monogamous in the traditional sense.

The cover art for my version was done by Cover Design: Written Ink Designs (written-ink.com) with image(s) used under a Standard Royalty-Free License. It does communicate the BDSM elements, but not really the paranormal or investigative elements.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon |

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published September 25th 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07XWNT85S

An Alisa Review Wishing and Hoping by Tinnean

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Ioan Mic, the half-blood grandson of the vampyree king, is eagerly awaiting his eighteenth birthday, when he’ll finally be able to be with Daniel Small, the American vampyree he’s loved for the past four years. Although vampyrees are notoriously promiscuous, Ioan’s refused sex with all who offered — he’s willing to wait. But when Daniel arrives at the party, he’s accompanied by a wife, leaving Ioan devastated.

Shandor, a wolf shifter — he refuses to call himself a werewolf — loves the young duke, but years before, he was given the task of keeping Ioan safe, so he tucks his feelings away.

Ioan’s twin decides the two need a push and encourages them to enroll in an online dating service. Unbeknownst to either man, he sees to it their responses make them perfect for each other. Because anyone can see they are.

The problem is will Ioan and Shandor ever see that?

Alright, this was a nice story and I was glad that Ioan and Shandr were able to figure out who and what they needed.  There was A LOT of back stabbing and underhanded stuff going on and it just took away from the story for me, I can’t stand when things like that happen in books.  What I wish was that the story would have had some more to it and see Ioan and Shandor actually building a life together, not them mating and then it being over.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is nice but I didn’t feel the visuals of the characters connect with what I saw in my head.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 17,229 words

Published: September 25, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781646560813

Edition Language: English

November Tidings and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

 

 

November Tidings and Things Unexpected

 

So you know how you set out to do one thing but life gets in the way?  That’s how my Saturday started.  I was all set to sit down, get organized, write my Sunday blog, etc but I noticed that my smallest of furkids breathing was laboured as she trucked around the house.  Granted that everyone and their brother had their leaf blowers out and had small hurricanes of moldy leaves flying everywhere but no, something was off…more than the usual small health thing she has.   So I sat looked, listened, debated.

But not very long.  Trusted my instincts because damnit I knew what those sounds were.

Off to the vets after a hurried phone call we went.

I love my vets, they fit us right in early, the waiting room wasn’t too bad that morning, surprisingly.  Wow, I thought…we got lucky.  Our name got called and into a room we went …where we waited…and waited and waited…and  you start to wonder what’s taking so long.

Then come the conversations from the inner hallway….about the emergency that had just come in….surgeries….major punctures…skull…

I’m telling you…right there…knowing that someone’s beloved pet was fighting for their life and someone was there waiting…waiting..waiting..hoping…

It changes everything.

My vet remained in surgery, another came in to take over routine calls and my girl has bronchitis..probably from the new (and never again) mobile groomer we tried out 2 weeks ago. She’s dosed up and will be fine.  It was a long day but my thoughts continually go back to that other room, that other owner, that other pet.  I so hope with all my heart the news was good …..all went home eventually.

You just never know what a day will bring.

So tonight I’m crawling into bed with my furkids, my favorite comfort reads and my softest socks.  And maybe some hot chocolate. Or wine.  Definitely wine.  The clouds have started arriving but all the snow has stayed north so far.

Snuggles are definitely in order.

I will get organized later on.  I promise.  Today?  It’s all about perspective and hugs.  Lots of those.  And thinking about how quickly things can change.

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, November 10:

  • November Tidings and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, November 11:

  • Release Blitz Adore by Ella James
  • Release Blitz A New Empire (Fog City #3) by Layla Reyne
  • BLITZ Slashed and Mashed, Seven Gayly Subverted Stories by Andrew J. Peters
  • Blog Tour for The Shifter’s Shotgun Mating by Ardy Kelly
  • An Alisa Review Wishing and Hoping by Tinnean
  • An Alisa Review: The Shifter’s Shotgun Mating (Lone Wolves Ranch #2) by Ardy Kelly
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Master of Obsidian by Jaime Craig

Tuesday, November 12:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Soft Limits: A Deviations Novel by Jodi Payne
  • Release Blitz Signal – Across The Pond (Raptors #2) – RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • BLITZ Pulse of My Heart by Jessi Noelle
  • A MelanieM Review: Mastering the Flames (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #4) by SJ Himes
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Two Man Advantage (Point Shot #1) by V.L. Locey and Sean Crisden (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: The King’s Honour by JL Merrow

Wednesday, November 13:

  • Review Tour – Sally Malcolm – Twice Shy (A New Milton Novel)
  • BLITZ The Sun Still Rises by Laura Bailo
  • BLITZ Holiday Gridlock by Gretchen Evans
  • A Lucy Review:  Twice Shy (A New Milton Novel) by Sally Malcolm
  • A MelanieM Review: Counter Culture by JL Merrow
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review:Two Divided by Zero (Zero Rising #2) by Jackie Keswick

Thursday, November 14:

  • Release Blitz Unbreakable (a Heaven and Hell Club prequel) by Colette Davison
  • Release Blitz – In This Bed of Snowflakes We Lie by Sophia Soames
  • Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert Release Blitz,
  • A Stella Review:  In This Bed of Snowflakes We Lie by Sophia Soames
  • An Alisa Review  Înflori by A.F. Henley
  • A MelanieM Review Unbreakable (a Heaven and Hell Club prequel) by Colette Davison

Friday, November 15:

  • Release Blitz – Suki Fleet – For Sam, times infinity
  • Blog Tour Rules for Santa by Susan Hawke
  • A Stella Review Yuletide Treasure (Goddess-Blessed #3) by Eliot Grayson
  • A Melanie Review Marked Yours by Elizabeth Noble
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Earnest Ink by Alex Hall

Saturday, November 16:

  • A MelanieM Audio Review:Red Dirt Heart (Red Dirt #1) by N.R. Walker, and Joel Leslie (Narrator)