A Free Dreamer Review: Blood Borne (The Republic #3) by Archer Kay Leah


Rating: 3 stars out of 5

For Ress, survival is a complicated nightmare. Caught between two masters on different sides of the law, his life is falling apart one bad decision at a time. All he wants is to be is a good person, a loyal family man, and a successful metalsmith–a dream he can never obtain while he works for the Shar-denn, the violent gang that plagues the republic of Kattal.

To make matters worse, he works as an informant for the High Council. He scrapes through both jobs waiting for his last breath. As the Shar-denn motto says: the only way out is dead.

No stranger to living complicated decisions, Adren is caught between worlds of cir own. As the child of a Shar-denn faction boss, cir life is conflicted tangle of expectation and duty. When cir family is arrested, Adren manages to escape, but nowhere is safe. Desperate and on the run, Adren is determined to punish Ress for turning in cir family. No one who betrays the gang can live. Ress must pay the price, even if Adren has to go against everything ce is.

“Blood Borne” is the third and final book of the series. Just like the previous two books, this one can be read as a standalone without a problem. The MCs from book two do play a somewhat important role here too but everything is explained.

While this isn’t my first book with a non-binary protagonist, it is the first time I’ve read a book that uses gender-neutral pronouns other than “they”. It definitely takes some getting used to and it didn’t help that the word “ce” always reminds me of endless French lessons I had to suffer through at school. I’m not sure if it helped that the author switched between Adren’s and Ress’ pov. It’s the only book in the series that’s told from both povs. I felt like I was just getting used to Adren’s “ce” and “cir” and then the author switched back to Ress’ “he” and “his”.

Adren is the only non-binary character in the whole series. So it felt a bit odd how accepting everybody was of Adren’s choice of pronouns. Only the bad guys didn’t immediately adapt to cir wishes. Nobody ever slipped up once after they’re told it’s not “she” but “ce”. That seemed a little unrealistic. I’d expect at least a little confusion. This complete lack of resistance would have seemed  a lot more realistic, if there had been other non-binary people in previous books. As it was, it seemed like Adren was the first ever person to not identify as either male or female.

I never really bought into the romance aspect. That shift from “I hate your guts because you ruined my family” to “You’re sweet and kind and I’ll love you forever and ever after” just never happened for me. Sure, we find out that there’s more to Adren’s history than ce thought and I do get why ce would be reluctant to kill Ress. But that’s still a far cry from true love.

“Blood Borne” definitely has the most fantasy of the whole series. Adren has some sort of special abilities that lets ce make bodies disappear without a trace, amongst other nifty things. Sadly, we only see those gifts in action once. I’d have loved more showing and less telling. It’s a shame, really, because the gifts seemed really cool.

I was thrilled to see Tash and Mayr again. They played a fairly important role and we got to see quite a bit of them.

Overall, this was the weakest book of the series to me. It had quite a few weaknesses and I never really found a connection with the MCs.

The cover by Natasha Snow is absolutely gorgeous. It’s the best cover of the whole series.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book details:

Kindle Edition, 276 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by Less Than Three Press, LLC
SeriesThe Republic #3

Release Blitz – Blaine D. Arden – Full Circle (Forester Triad Act #3) & A Triad In Three Acts (The Complete Edition)


Release Blitz – Blaine D. Arden – Full Circle (Forester Triad Act #3) & A Triad In Three Acts (The Complete Edition)

Author: Blaine D. Arden
Release: August 15 2016
The Forester (Act #1) Amazon US Amazon UK KOBO ARe
Lost And Found (Act #2) Amazon US Amazon UK KOBO ARe
Full Circle (Act #3) Amazon US Amazon UK KOBO ARe
A Triad In Three Acts (Complete Trilogy) Amazon US Amazon UK KOBO ARe
Full Circle (Act #3)
‘I have great responsibilities, but my path ahead is as foggy and blurred as the path behind me.’
With forester Taruif freed, Kelnaht has claimed him openly at Solstice before tribe and Maíterra as his partner, but with their third, Ianys, bound by an old promise, their triad is still incomplete. Sneaking around puts the most strain on Ianys. He and Kelnaht must keep their relationship a secret or he will lose his daughter, AtËn.
When several children fall ill with more than a summer bug, truth seeker Kelnaht is assigned once more to investigate. What he finds is deadly and threatens the life of every underage child in the tribe, including AtËn. Then a wounded traveller is found in the forest, left to die after a vicious attack.
With Taruif and his apprentice on the hunt for a cure, Kelnaht focusses on the attacks, but the clues are few and more children are infected. Nothing seems to connect until both the traveller and AtËn dream of the same grey-haired elf. Driven by fear for his daughter, Ianys pulls away from his lovers. Kelnaht can only pray Maíterra will guide him to a solution that brings them all together and keeps AtËn safe from harm.
A Triad In Three Acts (The Complete Trilogy)
“Your Path is muddy, Kelnaht, but don’t think avoiding the puddles will make it easier to travel.”
Kelnaht, a cloud elf, is a truth seeker caught between love and faith, when a murder reveals an illicit affair between two tree elves he desires more than he can admit. Kelnaht’s former lover Ianys once betrayed him, and the shunned forester Taruif is not allowed to talk to anyone but the guide, their spiritual pathfinder.
The guide mentioned puddles, but I envisioned lakes, deep treacherous lakes, and I was drowning.
Then a stripling goes missing from the tribe, and heavy rainfall hides all traces of his whereabouts. With days creeping by without a lead, it’s hard to keep the tribe’s spirits up, more so when Kelnaht’s own future depends on the elders. Taruif has been shunned for almost twenty turns, but now that a possible forester’s apprentice is coming of age, the elders consider reducing his sentence. Taruif could be set free.
ìI have great responsibilities, but my path ahead is as foggy and blurred as the path behind me.î
Later, when several children fall ill with more than a summer bug, truth seeker Kelnaht is assigned to investigate. What he finds is deadly and threatens the life of every underage child in the tribe, including Ianys’ daughter AtËn. Then a wounded traveller is found in the forest, left to die after a vicious attack.
“There is always a way.”
Kelnaht, Taruif, and Ianys are meant to be together, but old promises and the decree of the elders prevent them from claiming each other openly at Solstice. Kelnaht can investigate murder and foul play, but he canít see how he can keep both his lovers without breaking the rules. But if he believes in the guide’s words and trusts his faith in Maíterra, they will find a way to clear the fog and puddles from their paths.
Author Bio
Blaine D. Arden is a purple-haired, forty-something author of queer romance mixed with fantasy, mystery, and magic who sings her way through life in platform boots.
Born and raised in Zutphen, the Netherlands, Blaine spent many hours of her sheltered youth reading, day dreaming, making up stories and acting them out with her Barbies. After seeing the film ‘An Early Frost’ as a teen in the mid-eighties, an idealistic Blaine wanted to do away with the negativity surrounding homosexuality and strove to show the world how beautiful love between men could be. Our difference is our strength, is Blaine’s motto, and her stories are often set in worlds where gender fluidity and sexual diversity are accepted as is.
When not writing or reading, Blaine has singing lessons and hopes to be in a band someday. Supporting Blaine in pursuing her dreams and all matters regarding household, sons, and cairn terrier, is her long-suffering husband for over twenty years.

Blaine is an EPIC Award winning author and has been published by Storm Moon Press, Less Than Three Press, and Wilde City Press. Her scifi romance ‘Aliens, Smith and Jones’ received an Honourable Mention in the Best Gay Sci-Fi/Fantasy category of the Rainbow Awards 2012.


A Lila Review: Ravenhearth by Lotus Oakes‏


Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

RavenhearthEvery ten years, a letter arrives at Ravenhearth’s Abby requesting a companion for the town’s Keeper– a powerful mage that keeps the town safe from a deadly miasma. His only request is that the person comes willingly into the castle.

 Ten years before, Ash touched the last letter and felt the need to learn more about it. Over the years, he did nothing more than to survive in hopes to have a chance to be the next companion. When the next letter arrives, he’s the first one to volunteer to be sent to Ravenhearth’s Keeper.

 He’s a twenty-one-year-old orphan, interested in learning magic, and volunteering is his only chance to achieve his dream. He loved the town he moved in with his mother sixteen years ago, but he doesn’t have anything left holding him back. After convincing the Council about his desire to be the Keeper’s companion, they agreed, and a week later, Giles, the castle’s butler comes for him.

 The rest of the story takes place at the castle and expands about a year. During this time, Ash meets several characters that would play an important role in his life. He learns more about himself and the real reasons he is drawn towards magic. And he does all this under Giles’s guidance. In the end, Ash’s dreams come true, and he gets his HEA.

 Ravehearth is a novel that has the potential to be considered high fantasy if push further than its romance element. The world the author created is flexible enough to house multiple stories in its different cities. The diversity of the cast, their gifts, and their personality give this story the possibilities to being remarkable.

 We get little background information about the miasma, the magic, the mimics, the clockwork, and the world itself. Enough to feel comfortable with the things happening around the MCs, but not enough to be invested in anything else than the possibilities of a relationship between Ash and Giles or Ash and the Keeper.

 Ash life hasn’t been easy since the passing of his mother, but from an early age, he felt the calling to become the Keeper’s companion. We see him struggle with his decision and what he found when he arrives at the castle. He is a loving character that will steal a piece of your heart.

 The limitations of Ash’s POV made connecting with the other characters difficult. The readers want him to get happiness, but we don’t have a way to know if what’s happening in the castle would be enough to fulfill Ash’s expectations. I’d had like to read Giles’s POV or perhaps to have the Keeper as an omniscient narrator.

The beginning and the end of the story moves at a steady pace, but the middle drags with nothing more than Ash’s musings and dreams. Very sexy dreams, but not enough to take the plot forward. The story line is predictable, but even so, it was engaging enough to keep reading. And the magic studies are nothing more than a footnote to the story. We get more details about plants and food that the magic lessons.

 This story has great potential, but it felt short in its current incarnation.

 The cover, by Kirby Crow, shows Ash looking towards the Ravenhearth castle– the miasma visible between them– matching one of the scenes in the story.

 Sale Links: Less Than Three Press | Amazon | ARe

 Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages
Published: February 17, 2016, by Less Than Three Press
ISBN: 9781620047149
Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Mantled In Mist (SoulShares #6) by Rory Ni Coileain


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Mantled in the MistIn the sixth novel in the Rainbow Award-nominated paranormal M/M SoulShares series, Fiachra Dubhdara is a Fae living a stolen life, in a body that isn’t his own. He’s also the most junior detective on the D.C. Vice squad, assigned the task of infiltrating and shutting down Tiernan Guaire’s Purgatory.
Peri Katsura is the newest and hottest masseur at Lochlann Doran’s Big Boy Massage, inexplicably drawn to the gorgeous cop assigned to bust him but needing to hide a dark secret of his own.
And the owner of Fiachra’s body has a plan to get it back – a plan that may cost Fiachra his SoulShare and close the doors of Purgatory forever. Unless the Marfach gets there first…

Mantled in the Mist by Rory Ni Coilean takes one of my favorite series and with this story made it even deeper and more fantastical.  The author has added several new magical beings, ones we have never heard of before, to this tale of pain, loss and magic.  We are now introduced to races that played major roles in the ancient war that sundered Earth from the other dimension the Fae now reside in.  The price for one race?  They became the subject of mockery, bullying, and deep outright cruelty by the purer fae on the other side for their racial bloodline and past history.  The price paid by the others on Earth? Well, I’ll leave that for the story.

By overlaying such emotional elements, one you can interpret by modern standards so many ways, Ni Coileain has elevated this series to new heights.  The overlays and  similarities can be made for the aboriginal races around the world today and their treatment at the hands of the “superior” races that followed, or to the nature/earth religions who suffered at the developing cultures that encroached and exterminated them.  There is a richness of interpretation here that makes the enjoyment of reading the story swell along with the tale of romance, suspense and yes, horror that follows.

Fiachra, dark skinned, dark haired, tormented, Fiachra thought it better to fade than continue his existence as it was.  But fading did not go as planned and he ended up in another’s body.  Tall, gorgeous, blonde, everything a pure fae looks like.  I love the comparisons and problems this poses here when Fiachra meets his SoulShare and wants him to love the real Fiachra.  The problem of getting his body back was a maze of pain and problem solving that I loved  watching play out over the story.  Actually one than one problem, something else I will leave for the story.

Peri Katsura is another one of those damaged souls that Rory Ni Coileain does so beautifully.  Drag queen, masseur, Peri has many faces and a inability to trust, especially the big blond cop that threatens to bust him.  The two of them together are so engaging in their painful pasts and colliding confusions of the heart.   To help them/blockade them are all the other SoulShare couples from the previous stories still working together to stop the horrific Marfach from their planned assault on the Fae world, a task making the Fae ruthless on both sides.

The characterizations here are vivid, believable and have staying power.  I can pick up these stories and remember exactly who is who.  The terror engendered by the Marfach just grows with each story, something I had not thought possible given some of the past scenes of torture that are rendered somewhat graphically in previous books. Here it is more of the imagination because we know what it/they are capable of.

It ends, as they all do, far too quickly, setting us up for the next in the series.  If I am reading the author right, it should be an entirely different take on the SoulShares element.  Could be wrong, but I can’t see to see it play out.

Here is a series that has it all.  Fantasy, romances, bdsm, horror, mythology, beautiful world building…and six books and growing. I highly recommend it to lovers of all of the above and more.  But don’t read them out of order as they build on each other.  New to the series?  Start with the first, keeping up with me?  Pick this one up and  continue along.

Cover art is lovely, I like the celtic elements and its very different from the ones before.

Sales Links:  Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Riverdale Avenue Books

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published January 20th 2016 by Riverdale Avenue Books
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSoulShares #6

SoulShares Series in the order they were written and should be read (add them to your Goodread list):

A Free Dreamer Review: The Relics of Gods (Between Heaven and Earth #1) by Yeyu


Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

The Relics of the GodsWhat is worse: Being so broke you can barely afford food, getting hired for dangerous missions way out of your league, suffocating under mountains of unanswered questions—or wanting to sexually dominate someone who can kill you without lifting a finger?

Lu Delong is a mercenary who evaluates antiques most of the time and deals with the paranormal on rare occasions—even though it’s supposed to be the other way around. When he joins a dangerous quest for an ancient artifact, he meets and becomes strongly attracted to a mysterious and powerful immortal named Cangji. Despite his friends’ warnings and Cangji’s icy, unsociable demeanor, Delong is unable to resist befriending him. However, Cangji is deeply involved in a matter beyond mortals, and Delong is drawn into a chaotic struggle by both visible and invisible forces.

Always the pacifist who wanted to live a simple human life, Delong never imagined he’d end up involved in a conflict that will affect everything from the lowest insects on earth to the highest gods in heaven.

I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. I mean, dragons, gods AND Asian fantasy? That just had to be awesome. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed.

First off, the author’s style really didn’t work for me. It felt awkward and a little clumsy. It didn’t really fit the setting of the story. The way Delong talked felt way too modern.

Then, there were the MCs themselves. Delong soon got annoying. He was very whiney and extremely naïve. He seemed to fail at everything and followed Cangji like a dog. He got jealous over the most ridiculous things, like a dog-like demon creature. He didn’t behave like a grown man. At times, he actually read more like a three-year-old throwing a temper tantrum.

We didn’t really get to know Cangji. He’s the silent, mysterious type. He has some terrible secrets, but we never really find out what those are.

Overall, these two felt like the stereotypical seme/uke pairing you’ll find in most yaois. The only difference is that Delong wants to be the dominant part in the bedroom.

There are lots of minor characters, that seem important at first but they quickly disappear after they’ve served their purpose, never to be heard of again.

The love story didn’t work for me at all. I really couldn’t understand why Delong would fall in love with Cangji. Cangji seems more annoyed by Delong than anything else. Delong mostly gets ignored or glared at. And yet there’s insta-love on Delong’s part. Why? I have no idea. Cangji doesn’t get his own POV, so I don’t know how he truly felt about Delong.

Somehow, the plot moved too fast and yet didn’t seem to go anywhere either. There was mission after mission, Delong gets hurt, Cangji grumbles and rescues him, every minor character is evil. Honestly, I was rather bored at times and seriously considered skimming great parts of the story. It didn’t feel like I’d miss anything important if I were to just read the beginning and the end.

There was also a lot of mythology mixed in. Usually I love that and I like to think that I’m not completely clueless about the topic. But here I felt like I would have needed a degree in Chinese mythology to get all those references. There was a glossary at the end of the book, but I think the author should have explained at least the basics during the story itself.

And before I forget, the blurb is missing a warning about some dub-con kink. Oh, and it does get rather violent at times.

Long story short, I was sorely disappointed by this book. It had great potential but didn’t live up to it.

Cover: The cover by Reese Dante is absolutely gorgeous, just like most DSP covers. I love that dragon.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications |  Amazon

Series: Part 1 of the Between Heaven and Earth series

Book details:

ebook, 350 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by DSP Publications
Original TitleThe Relics of Gods
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBetween Heaven and Earth #1

In the Book Spotlight: ‘Curse of Salar’ by Alexis Duran‏ (excerpt and giveaway)



Curse of Salar (Masters and Mages #3) by Alexis Duran
Release Date: January 5, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Loose ID
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde


In the kingdom of Jahar, the rule of mages has been overthrown. Prince Dezra Luzan is held prisoners in the ancestral palace. In order to stay alive, he pretends to be a drug-addicted wastrel, trusting no one, not even his lovers.

Into his lonely existence comes a man who should be his sworn enemy; Captain Rayn Nevar. Dezra is irresistibly drawn to the rough soldier and his longing for a simple sexual encounter quickly builds into a dangerous obsession.

Captain Rayn Nevar knows he should stay away from Prince Dezra, but his desire for the beautiful young man overrides all common sense. Rayn soon finds himself protecting the prince from a plot to destroy the last of the mages.

When treachery leads to Dezra’s escape, he is at last free to unlock his long repressed powers. Only the arrival of a mysterious monk with powers greater than Dezra’s stops the prince from using sorcery to destroy all who stand in his way, including Rayn.

As Jahar edges toward another war between masters and mages, Rayn must question his devotion to his increasingly deadly lover while Dezra must decide if ultimate power is worth the ultimate sacrifice.


Pages or Words: 82,000 words
Book can be read as a standalone
Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance



“What?” Dezra asked, incredulous.

“You heard me.”

Nevar stripped off his silk shirt and tossed it aside. The sight of his finely sculpted chest arrested the biting retorts that leaped to Dezra’s tongue. The captain’s skin was smooth and slicked with sweat. A fine trail of curly black hair began at his sternum and disappeared beneath the line of his belt.

Dezra forced his gaze up to discover to Nevar smirking at him. Before Nevar could summon an insult to put the captain in his place, Nevar sat on the bed.

“Help me with my boots. Or is that beneath you, Prince?”

Nevar leaned back with his arms behind him, weight resting on his palms. He stuck one foot out. The languid expanse of his body beckoned.

Buy the book: Loose id LLC



Meet the Author

Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in Sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She’s worked in museums, fashion, finance and film production. Her favorite job so far was inventorying the collection in a haunted Victorian Mansion. She is the author of the Masters and Mages and Edge of Night erotic m/m fantasy series. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference. She lives with one dog and four and a half cats. She is currently working on the next Edge of Night novel and several other erotic novellas.

Where to find the author:


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Havan Fellows, Full Moon Dreaming, Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Hat Party, Book Lovers 4Ever, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Divine Magazine, Jessie G. Books, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Nephy Hart, MM Good Book Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Inked Rainbow Reads, A.M. Leibowitz, Alpha Book Club, Andrew Q. Gordon, My Fiction Nook, Velvet Panic, Charley Descoteaux



Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: eBook copy of first two books in the Masters and Mages series, Touch of Salar and Blood of Salar.  Must be  18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Free Dreamer Review: Purpose by Andrew Q. Gordon


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Purpose coverForty years ago the Spirit of Vengeance—a Purpose—took William Morgan as its host, demanding he avenge the innocent by killing the guilty. Since then, Will has retreated behind Gar, a façade he uses to avoid dealing with what he’s become. Cold, impassive, and devoid of emotion, Gar goes about his life alone—until his tidy, orderly world is upended when he meets Ryan, a broken young man cast out by his family. Spurred to action for reasons he can’t understand, Gar saves Ryan from death and finds himself confronted by his humanity.

Spending time with Ryan helps Will claw out from under Gar’s shadow. He recognizes Ryan is the key to his reclaiming his humanity and facing his past. As Will struggles to control the Purpose, Ryan challenges him to rethink everything he knew about himself and the spirit that possesses him. In the process, he pushes Will to do something he hasn’t done in decades: care.

There are two things you should know before you start reading this book. First of all, the story is pretty violent at times. In the beginning, Gar is essentially a cold-blooded killer. He does have his reasons, but he still kills people. Second, there is no happy end, probably making “Purpose” more of a sci-fi/fantasy story than a traditional romance.

This book was incredibly intense and emotionally challenging. I found myself deeply engrossed after only a few sentences. I couldn’t put my kindle down at all. I started this on a long train ride, where I usually read a bit and then turn on my laptop. This time, I didn’t even unpack my laptop. And the train ride suddenly wasn’t all that long either.

The setting seemed very unique to me. Gar/Will is possessed by what he refers to as the Purpose. He doesn’t really know all that much about It. He only knows that It somehow draws the souls of innocents to him and he has to avenge them by killing their killers. Memories of former hosts have shown him that ignoring Its will results in insanity within a few days.

Like previous hosts, Will has adapted the persona of Gar, a cold, emotionless man, who lives solely for the Purpose. He doesn’t have friends, family or a lover, so when he finds himself suddenly attracted to Ryan, it comes as a huge shock. He hasn’t been attracted to anybody in forty years and suddenly he feels like he just has to speak to this stranger on the train.

With Ryan’s help, Will takes over again and pushes Gar to the back of his mind. It was intriguing to watch cold, distant Gar slowly turn back into Will. They really felt like two completely different people. Reading about Will’s pain broke my heart. Reading about his struggles and doubts made me want to hug him. It was frighteningly easy to feel really connected to him.

The author came up with some pretty interesting ideas. Like the scrambler-box that lets Will turn invisible or take on a completely different look at his will. That explains how he managed to go undetected for forty years. He did kill countless people, after all, and the police don’t make a distinction between innocent victims and those who truly deserve to die. The author eventually came up with a thoroughly logical explanation for everything and I absolutely love him for that. Andrew Q. Gordon really thought this through.

The relationship between Ryan and Will is absolutely crucial for the plot and yet somehow doesn’t really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things at the same time. I could really feel the connection between those two.

The author decided to solely write from Will’s POV, which worked really well. I loved that there were more personal journal entries in between the normal chapters. Even when Will was still Gar, the journal entries felt very thoughtful and emotional.

I decided to knock off half a star because while there eventually was an explanation for everything, it took a long time to get to that point, often leaving me wondering just how this all worked.

To sum it up, I absolutely loved this book. It was unique, imaginative, intense and deeply moving. Had everything been explained a little sooner, I would’ve happily given this the full five stars.

This is my first book by Andrew Q. Gordon, but it definitely won’t be my last. This man seriously knows how to write!

I’m also fast becoming a real fan of DSP Publications and their unique fantasy novels.

Cover: The cover by AngstyG is brilliant. It shows Gar in his black-and-white world and Will in his world that suddenly has shades of gray.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book details:

ebook, 240 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by DSP Publications* (first published June 21st 2013)
ISBN1634761626 (ISBN13: 9781634761628)
edition language English