Unicorn Favorites: Love's Landscapes Stories : Week Thirteen

The M/M Romance Group on Goodreads hosts a Don't Read in the Closet event each year where they invite members to submit a photo with a story prompt.  Interested authors then volunteer to write the requested stories, which are published for free for everyone to read.  It's a fun/exciting/stressful process, and a great opportunity to read stories from favorite authors.  And chances are, you'll also discover some new authors, who hopefully have a backlist of goodies to check out :)

This year's event was named Love's Landscapes and they started releasing the completed stories on June first. Here at BMBR, we've been following along on comment threads, anticipating the stories from our favorite prompts, and now greedily reading the stories as they become available.

You can read about some of our favorite stories from earlier weeks of the event here.  And some of our favorites from the thirteenth week of the event, August 25-30, are below.

(No stories were posted the twelfth week due to the Anniversary Celebration in the Goodreads group)

Ann: A Heart of Klondike Gold by E. Davies

 Beautifully written tale of two lonely men who meet at the right time and find the treasure they least expected.

The research the author put into the story is obvious and the effort paid off. It read so perfectly for the time period that it kept me right in their moment. The language felt organic for that time with its slight formality and manners (even when insulting someone) making it a pleasure to read every conversation. Every phrase just felt right.

I loved Walt and Edwin together and how they spoke to one another (towards the end) was perfect. It wasn't hearts and flowers, that's not what these guys were about. It was about what they knew, giving the words more value. It was about claiming their treasure and their fortune in each other.

They had "a bond formed of sweat, blood and honesty from start to finish" and it came across very clearly in the story. I'm a total slut junky for a good historical and this one ticked off all my boxes for everything I love about the genre.

Breann:  Of Gods and Monsters: Menoetius by Wulf F Godgluck

Holy alpha male! Sheesh. This dude was full of the crazies.

 Colt is mad at the world and may be one of the grumpiest characters I've come across. Which made him turning into goo at the sight of Beo that much better. I wouldn't say Beo calmed him, though. He just helped Colt focus his crazy somewhere else. Which was on his Babyboy, Beo. Ha! Poor Beo. But he handled Colt perfectly.

 I really wanted to strangle Colt, like, a million and a half times. But his reactions were true to his character, even if they were completely stupid. I liked him and I was rooting for him from the beginning.

 Whew, the language in this book was diiiiiiiirrrty. Damn. There were boy holes and boy pussies everywhere! Very porny. NomNomNom. I liked it, thankyouverymuch.

 I seriously couldn't put it down. It was quite angsty, very sweet and tender at moments and downright filthy most of the time.

 Couldn't. Stop. Reading.

Lori: Overkill by Elizabeth Daniels

I'm not usually a fan of band stories, but I fell in love with these boys. If UST is something you like in a story the this is the one for you. It is so hot at times. SO HOT. It has everything I love in a story, great characters, a good storyline and beautiful writing.

Firstly, I would say that Elizabeth took the prompt and delivered, whilst making the story completely her own. Her characters are wonderful (Chuck, *growls*) and they each shine in their own light.

For the umpteenth time since he met Tate Newman, Declan thought about how screwed he was and how much he was starting not to care.

The two MC's are Declan and Tate, and I can't remember a time when I wanted two people to get together more. From day one the need and want they have for each other is evident. It's just there, bubbling under the surface and boy was this apparent in the writing.

Band stories are so not my thing, I'm not that interested in music and famous/wealthy MC's generally do nothing for me...with this book though I totally made an exception. I initially read this to help a friend with her story - I stayed because I could not walk away from these characters. I think it's because, in this book, passion is evident. The passion of the writer for her characters, the passion of the characters for what they're doing and who they are. The passion of a story that needs to be told.

Declan annoyed me at times - he really did. I mean, talk about bullheaded...yet, I understood him. I could see why he was making the decisions he did. Even when it came to there being a  misunderstanding?miscommunication, a trope I generally DESPISE, I could deal with it. It was there for a reason - the character's reason and not just to get from A-B in the story. ED took another trope I dislike and turned it on it's head.

The UST..yep, I mentioned it before, but I need to mention it again. It was hot. If UST is something you like then you need to read this story...the pay-off is SO worth it.  And guess what, she manages it without on-page sex. You won't be left wanting I promise and this is a skill I admire very, very much!

I don't want to get all spoilery so I'm stopping there...of course I couldn't not mention the beautiful cover, another amazing one from the talented Natasha Snow. The retro record cover vibe is just perfect for this story, and showcases artist and writer working together inordinately well.

Just one last reminder - Chuck is MINE. So hands off!

Chuck swallowed and nodded. “Got it, boss. Only be the bad boy in private.”

*growls* Yes Chuck, that's right!

Sunny: Adam's Flight by Penny Wilder 

Loved it! Ginger dragon shifter...how could I not? :D

Sexy, sweet, and at times, nerve-wracking. Wonderful characters, world building, and plot. The build up was especially well done. I was happy :)

The ending came fast, though, and a felt a little rushed.

Future stories might happen, and if so, I'd love to read them.

CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME Review: Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan

Roe Davis is a man who works hard, keeps to himself, and never mixes business with pleasure — until he takes a weekend away from his new job at Nowhere Ranch and runs into the owner at the only gay bar for two hundred miles. Getting involved with the boss is a bad idea, but Travis Loving is hard to say no to, especially when it turns out their kinks line up like a pair of custom-cut rails. As Loving points out, so long as this is sex on the side, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.

The truth is, there’s good reason Roe never settles down and always spends his birthdays and holidays celebrating alone. Shut out in the cold by his family years ago, Roe survived by declaring he didn’t need a home. As his affair with Loving grows into more than just sex, Roe finds out what happens when he stays put a little bit too long: the past always catches up with you. Eventually, even a loner gets lonely, and home will grow up through whatever cracks you leave open for it — even in a place called Nowhere.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Male/male sexual practices, strong BDSM theme and elements, fetish play.

I lay many thanks on the feet of my dear Cupcake because she gave me the most needed boot in my ass to finally read Heidi Cullinan. We've been discussing (maybe I've been pushing her onto the Tali train - but I mean well) for months, guys. Long months. And I have a list of other books we need to read. The CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME event was created from that by the excellente idea of a few unicorns.

Nowhere Ranch is one of those books that has a reputation. You know its number is written on the bathroom wall, so to speak - 'for a good time, dial Nowhere Ranch, ask for Roe' kind of rep. Very popular. Some parts I've heard all about *coughs*fisting*coughs*pony play*coughs*puppy play*coughs.

Excuse me, I must of had something in my throat.

This book is so well known I won't rehash the plot too much - damaged ex-con who doesn't value himself enough is toss to the side by his homophobic family. He finds his work on a ranch in Nebraska. And his self. Yes, this is a romance. It also has some yummy kink for readers who enjoy public exhibition, rimming, the puppy & pony plays, bondage, cumeating, dirty talk or fingering. Monroe and Travis love ass play.

Let's say I really enjoyed when Roe and Travis played together. *shudders* If you told me this book that started off so hotly, ended the way it did, I'd have told you no way.  But it did. The personal growth that Roe takes (it's told from his 1st person POV) was even more delicious to me than the kink. And I think this is why Cupcake knew this one was for me.

I got a novel with depth. I got characters I cared about (#teamHaleyFTW). I got the smut. But I also got the HEA romance.

You want to know what my most favorite part of "Nowhere Ranch" was? Actually, it's parts.

No, it most certainly was not that part. I do love a good Crisco scene, it's been well documented on GR, but it wasn't that. (In fact, fisting makes my insides cringe. Then I whimper for all the loosened orifices out there) It wasn't the kink (though it was might-tee fine), it wasn't the characters (though they were well fleshed out) or the setting (who knew a city girl could come to appreciate Nebraska farm life *shrugs*).

It was the way the author could emote with a handful of words. Some of the simplest sentences and I'm captured, my attention was fully engaged and I am there with Roe.

Baby loves the filthy, raunchy things. But she loves a good story even more. Put those two together? Woo-wee!!! You have my attention.

Highly recommended. Totally reading more from this author (I actually have a pile of her stuff...I'll try to cut down the lengthy gap next time) Don't be like me and wait years to crack open a Heidi Cullinan book.
Find more info on Goodreads and BookLikes!

CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME REVIEW: Thick as Thieves by Tali Spencer

After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.

Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.

Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.

Back in the day when Baby was insisting I read this I read the blurb. Read the blurb. Go on. I'll wait. The dude, and I quote, "fucks himself with a unicorn horn". Now I ask you, wouldn't you automatically think this was going to be PWP? I did. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against PWP. I'm just saying my expectations weren't all that high. Well, I'm happy to be proven wrong in the inaugural CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME. 

Smooches, Baby. 

So this barbarian, Vorgell, accidentally kills a unicorn (the gasp heard round the world), eats a bunch of "berries" that make him so horny he fucks himself with its horn which dissolves thereby making him magical. Literally.

OH, don't you look at me in that tone of voice, JT! I'm serious! 

What was I saying? Oh, right. So Vorgell becomes magical and ends up in a cell at the baron's keep in a drunken unicorn horn induced stupor with Madd, a witchkin. Madd quickly devises a plan of escape by leaching some of the magicalness from Vorgell and the adventure begins as does the collecting of the magic. Ahem.   >________>

I was as surprised as the next person to find an actual plot here amongst the magic jizz. Yap, you read that right. Vorgell's jizz is magical. He jizzed on a wall and it sprouted flowers! That's a city revitalization plan I can get behind. 

Vorgell… *sigh* He had me at the first bellowing of "Battle!". 

He is hands down the most endearing barbarian I've ever run across. Not that I'm a barbarian expert or anything. He's certainly seems atypical. He relishes a good pillaging and certainly knows his way around weapons, but aside from that he's a gentle giant AND a kissing fiend/snuggle monster. A side effect of the horning is that his horned-upedness is unflagging. It's not his fault! It's the POWER OF THE UNICORN.

Unicorn horn created unabated sexual desire in anyone who partook of it-the baron's magicians had explained that too-and he had partaken of enough horn to fuel the lusts of a horde for the rest of his natural life.

Hiding is a good plan, Spock, otherwise… Let's just say at one point the tree knots started looking good. O___O

Vorgell is pretty taken with Madd despite his general grouchiness. Madd seems to dig the barbarian too, but Madd's lugging around some baggage and a healthy fear respect for the "dragon" lurking in Vorgell's loincloth. The baggage slips out in fits and starts and is the basis for Madd's need for control in the bedroom which Vorgell really loves by the way and I REALLY love that about Vorgell. 


Cupcake likes when the big-uns bottom and when they're submissive. Two words:  WIN/WIN. 

HOWEVER, there's really not all that much sexing in Thick as Thieves. It's mostly fantasy adventure with a burgeoning romance between Vorgell and Madd interspersed. They become friends, each other's only friends and form an alliance of brains and braun. Vorgell is loyal and will do anything to protect Madd. Madd is clever, mistrustful yet finds himself increasingly reliant upon the "oaf". The adventure is good old-fashioned fun and involves a great deal of magic, a basilisk egg, a slave collar, some nasty wizards, some thieves and PETAL!!!!!! 

Thankfully, Baby says we can share custody otherwise things could've gotten ugly.

Once again, I thank Baby for recommending. Now I'm all kinds of essssited to read Thick as Ice.



Our banner is sick right? All thanks to the mighty Fern Sweet Legs!

We came. We read. We conquered?


Feel that bass? We're all about the bass over here! ;P

Check out the aftermath, carnage, attacks and the reactions below (alright, maybe 2 of those):
How awesome was your CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME experience?

Cupcake:  Well, considering I'm newly horned it was an honor to christen the dome, so to speak. Plus, the book was amazeballs.

Baby: It was a humdinger of a time. I'm still coughing up glitter! That thing is just like sand...gets EVERYWHERE! 

Are you happy with the book chosen for you?

Cupcake:  ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY! This thing had a giant barbarian that fucked himself with a unicorn horn and became magical! It doesn't get much better than that.

Baby: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!
Do you have a favorite scene or character or something?

Cupcake:  It's a toss up between Vorgell and Petal. They'd both be handy to have around the house for prettification and clean up so… it's like Sophie's Choice. My favorite scene is when Vorgell yells "Battle!" and charges forth to save his friend. It reminded me of that silly Travolta movie Michael. That was the best part of that movie.

Baby: Hmm? *puts on thinking face, has cup of tea and stares into the fireplace* Yes! Sweet Cheesus, when Roe said that he and Travis were going to have some ass, I put on my FUCK YES suit and smut-alleluia shades and had a swell time. Okay that was one of my favorites. It's a toss up between the first I love yous, Roe's essay or Haley telling those bitches how it T-I motherfucking IS! Favorite character? After the bodacious MC's, I'm all about Haley. Maybe because she reminds me of someone and doesn't take no shit or suffer fools. She's my spirit animal.

 Was your challenger correct in choosing this book for you?

Cupcake:  Indeed. Baby knows me well. She has yet to… ohhhhpppp no, she has led me astray. Repeatedly. With her Amazonian freebies. But, she did not with this book.

Baby: Yup. Book is still lingering on my brain which means a great sign.
Why do you think your challenger chose this book for you?

Cupcake:  Hmmmm *Jeopardy theme music* Well, I think part of it was she loved it so much she wanted to share, but she knows I like a good fantasy and I think Petal and Vorgell had something to do with it as well. Baby knows how I feel big guys bottoming and mythical creatures and whatnot.

Baby: So many reasons. The top ones are a)I haven't read Heidi Cullinan yet, b) Cupcake knows Baby loves smut *growls* and quelt-worthy smut at that and c) Cupcake knows what Baby likes - good fiction- which this was.

Would you go back into CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME?

Cupcake:  This is a rhetorical question, yes?

Baby: Um, yeah. I getting my glitter regalia fitted right now. Plus, you know, swords. I love getting a chance to swing those around the ol' THUNDERDOME! THUNDERDOME! THUNDERDOME! (That never gets old, I tell ya.)

Do you think this is the end of the inaugural CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME! THUNDERDOME! THUNDERDOME!? You know Cupcake and Baby have more to say, right? We've reviewed the prospective books, check them out here on the blog if you're so inclined.

Thanks for watching our "book fight" as so termed by the lovely Tali Spencer. There are no losers in CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME! Only winners. We just met our new favorite books!

When's the next match? Soonish.
Who's up next? We know but you'll have to keep an eye to find out. 
Hint: the next set of books are le awesome. Want a better hint? Cowboys, kink and tattoos. Good enough? No, it's not Nowhere Ranch again. One's a historical.


Group Review / Author of the Month: "The Vampire Fred: Wicked Game" by Vaughn R. Demont

Hello, everyone!

This month's Happy Hour Chat is on hiatus due to the fact that our favorite chatty watering hole is currently taking a summer holiday. We saw that "Gone Fishing" sign on the door and all drooped our little unicorn horns. Darn them!

Instead, we've put together a couple of mini-reviews for The Vampire Fred: Wicked Game by Vaughn R. Demont. Vaughn will be September's Author of the Month here on Boy Meets Boy Reviews.

Keep an eye out for more reviews of his work and maybe even an interview (if we can pick the lock on our darned happy hour location) later this month!

Lorix, the fair Daisy Silver Damsel:

Ye gods, that was fun...& damn confusing at times! So not your typical vampire novel...even if the blood was shiny. I liked it. At least, I think I did! 

Fred was a fun guy...er, vampire. I enjoyed this take on the Vampire tale. At times the narrative lost me a bit, but I soon picked it up again. I didn't realise I was such a vampire fan-girl until I started counting the ones I liked - you know Angel & Spike, the sparkly ones from Twilight, Mick St John (from moonlight), Blade, True Blood..I've probably forgotten a few. I don't think I've ever met one like Fred though. 

This book was just plain fun, from the Scooby-Doo talk in the beginning to the who-is-who at the end. It's good, all good. If somewhat confusing.

Ann, the lovely Peachy Pretty Lashes:

The Vampire Fred is a seriously fun ride. I get why it can be seen as confusing as all hell, but the brain strain is totally worth it. It was refreshing to read an author do something different with vampires that was unexpected and broke lots of rules.

Fred is a great character. He’s such an “everyman” that you can’t help but relate to him on some level even if he is now a slightly sexually confused blood guzzler. The relationship between him and Daniel, his sire, is kind of wrong yet completely charming at the same time. They really are hilarious together and I highlighted a lot of their conversations in amusement.

The world building is really interesting and this is where the somewhat confusing part comes in. I’m actually pretty confident I totally get it, just don’t ask me to explain it to you. What I liked though was that I was figuring it out at the same time Fred was. We were in this together and as he pieced the puzzle together so did I. The thing is, you have vamps being “reincarnated” for lack of a better word and when Fred drinks from a victim/donor he sees their memories. So you’ve got his current life (or lack thereof), the memories he’s seeing from the blood his drinking and his connection to his past lives all overlapping. The fact that quiet everyman Fred solved the mystery and saved the day made him a hero in my book.

I’m not going to lie, vampire sex made me kind of sad. Although to be fair, it makes way more sense in this book than in any other. Sex when you’re technically dead just isn’t the same but there is a certain symbolism with it that came full circle in the end that was actually very sweet and made me happy.

Thanks to the author for writing something completely unique and so much fun. A highly recommended take on a traditional theme that is anything but typical.

Check it out on Goodreads!

Review: Caught by JL Merrow

You can run from the past…but the past runs faster.

Shamwell Tales, Book 1

Behind Robert’s cheerfully eccentric exterior lies a young heart battered and bruised by his past. He’s taken a job teaching in a village primary school to make a fresh start, and love isn’t part of his plans. But he’s knocked for six—literally—by a chance encounter with the uncle of two of his pupils.

Sean works in pest control, rides a motorbike, and lives on a council estate. On the face of it, he shouldn’t have anything in common with Robert’s bow-tie, classic-car style and posh family background. Yet Robert is helpless to resist Sean’s roguish grin, and a rocky, excruciatingly embarrassing start doesn’t keep the sparks between them from flaring.

Despite Robert’s increasingly ludicrous attempts to keep his past where it belongs, his past hasn’t read the memo. And soon his secrets could be the very things that drive Sean away for good...

Warning: Contains the alarming misadventures of a pest control technician, a stepsister with a truly unfortunate name, and a young man who may have more bow ties than sense.

I'm a big JL Merrow fan, in fact she is - apparently - my most read MM author. As much as I enjoy her short stories though, it is the longer ones I really love. (FYI, The Plumbers Mate series is my favourite!) Caught was no exception to this rule. For me it had all the ingredients for a great little romance novel. Village setting - tick. Lovable characters - tick. Cute romance - tick. Enjoyable read - tick. It really was exactly the kind of book I was needing to read, at the time I read it. Always a bonus.

Robert was such a lovable character, mildly eccentric, unknowingly funny and pretty much all round nice guy. He could have been a dweeb, but he really wasn't. He was the kind of chap I would like as a bestie. I mean, with his bow tie penchant, you'd never have to worry about what to get him for Christmas.

Sean as well was nice, the kind of opposite to Robert's posh - normal, I would call him (without starting the whole what is normal debate), I understood his roots, where he came from. And honestly, what a fab bloke. looking after the twins while his sister is being treated for cancer. Yet he didn't come across as a martyr or holier than thou...he was just lovely.

There was a bit of a mystery about Robert's past, but it wasn't anything too difficult to work out. It just added to the story to the relationship 'bumps' between the two MC's. Quite honestly this book was a comfort read. For wet Saturdays with a cuppa and a biscuit. The Katie Fford of MM stories. Sometimes I want mystery or super-sexy or a million other things...but oft times I just want a comforting, sweet romance and this book delivered that.

My only bugbear - I bet the primary school teachers I work with wish there was as little effort put into the job as Robert appeared to have to put in. But that is my thing - I work in this environment, I see the hours teachers put in. If I was writing a teacher without being in the environment myself, I'd have written it exactly as JL Merrow did! So really a book I'd recommend for a fun read.

Find out more about this book and author on Goodreads.

It's Like This by Anne O'Gleadra

A brave and funny love story about the anxieties, insecurities, and heartaches that drive people apart and bring them back together, It’s Like This is the journey of Niles and Rylan, as they learn to communicate in the shadow of a life-changing illness.

Niles and Rylan have been together a long time. They have great sex, they are deeply intimate, and Rylan never holds back on displaying his affection. As far as their family and friends are concerned, they’re an established couple, and yet, after three years of being “together”, Niles is still unsure if they’re actually in a relationship.

As their sexual intensity reaches a dangerous tipping point, Niles must find the courage to articulate how he feels in order to try and keep the only thing he has ever wanted. Emotional and compelling, It’s Like This is a must-read for true romantics.
It is said that no man is an island. In Niles’ case, that is bullshit.

He’s clueless, seriously clueless, and while they should have driven me nutters, the way the author portrays his cluelessness is incredibly endearing. That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to smack him upside the head repeatedly and yell, “For fucks sake SAY something already.” But that isn’t how Niles operates and I really appreciated how his personality evolved and he did improve, but he didn’t change so much that he became a different character. He didn’t lose all his neuroses, but he did start overcoming them and that is way more believable than some alpha dude who can’t admit his feelings because of testosterone blockage and then a magic penis gives him the gift of romance-speak and all of a sudden he’s spouting flowery prose and undying declarations of love. When a quiet man overcomes his fears of opening himself up and making himself vulnerable, the words he does say have so much more impact.

There were so many instances that I highlighted because his phrasing was just perfect.

“ . . . I’m pretty sure over-analyzing stuff never got anyone anywhere they wanted to go.”

“We converse as friends, and then we fuck like something more, but we don’t mix the two. Not ever.”

“My heart rate tells me this freaks me out, but my erection tells me this turns me on . . . “

“I love the me he brings to the surface.”

“I needlessly complicate shit and he resolves it and that is how we work.”

So, Niles is confused and he literally has no clue how to communicate effectively. I could feel his fears and empathize with him and he would “force myself not to fall into another shame spiral”. He knew he was being irrational, but that is just how he’s wired. He and Rylan have been together, maybe, possibly, for three years but he doesn’t know where they stand in the short term, the long term or any term in between. He’s so obviously in love with Rylan and so obviously afraid to ruin the status quo he does nothing but stew in his own brain.

Rylan was a bit of a mystery at first and I liked how his character was introduced somewhat piecemeal but then how his character became fully realized through Niles’ eyes. As Niles opens up, more of Rylan is revealed and the evolution of Niles completes Rylan’s character. There is so much more to him than even what Niles knows and damn, but these two are perfect for each other. Their kinks complement each other perfectly. Like, really, really perfectly.

Rylan isn’t without his hurts and fears and as Niles finally begins pulling his head out of his ass and seeing, really seeing the people around him he’s able to be the man that Rylan needs too. It’s a damn good thing these two burgeoning kinksters found one another and love each other so much. If Niles were to go and try and get his needs fulfilled elsewhere it could be a disaster of epic proportions. The stories we love so much about the perfect Dom coming along and taking the inexperienced and naïve sub under his wing are, I’m pretty sure, a crock of crap. Niles would more likely than not get himself into a world of hurt. Either that or he’d live a completely unfulfilled life and become a bitter and regretful old man. Either would be a tragedy and a waste, so Rylan is his world and as the story evolves we learn the sentiment flows both ways.

Not that these two didn’t take some crazy chances, it was never with any harmful intentions or without some forethought. Even if said forethought was one sided and a complete mystery to the other side. They’re young and inexperienced, they don’t communicate, they are dumbass boys playing grown up games. But, they learned, slowly but surely they learned and found their balance.

Even before the “talking” it was obvious the feelings they shared were real and it made their sexual adventures incredibly hot and because of some of the dumbassery, incredibly nerve wracking. That made it read “real” though and the author captured that equilibrium so well.

These guys are sweet, witty as hell and have kinky streaks a mile long and I loved them both to pieces. One thing I would like the author to consider is a follow up story for them. Maybe? Possibly? Huh? Huh? They have a LOT of exciting changes coming soon and I would LOVE to read them. I really can’t get enough of Niles’ manic voice and Rylan’s calming presence.

Find out more about this book over at Goodreads.

***a copy of this book was provided for an honest review***

♥ Announcement & Giveaway: Welcome to BMBR, Optimist King's Wench! ♥

Howdy, everyone!

You may have noticed a new unicorn hanging around the BMBR clubhouse and posting some awesome reviews lately. Well, because things are pretty chill around here, we haven't really made an official announcement...until now. *cue dramatic music and lighting* Please join us in waving our unicorn horns in a salute to our newest addition to Boy Meets Boy Reviews, brand new unicorn reviewer Optimist King's Wench!

Optimist King's Wench, also known as Primrose Daisy Mare, has been and will continue to be contributing to BMBR with awesome reviews, and you'll also see her in our monthly Happy Hour Chats. And now *drumroll* you're in (virtual) possession of an Optimist King's Wench rookie card from her (somewhat delayed) debut on BMBR. Keep that thing - it's gonna be worth a mint! ;)

Now, we wanted to do something fun for her big reveal, so to celebrate Optimist King's Wench's unicornization, we're doing a giveaway of one of her Desert Island Keepers, Uneven by Anah Crow.

How to Enter:

To enter to win an ebook copy of Uneven by Anah Crow, please leave a comment on this blog post and let us know (1) your name and a means of contacting you (e.g., email, Twitter handle, link to Goodreads account, etc.) and (2) any book(s) you'd recommend that might fit into one of Optimist King's Wench's favorite m/m themes.

The giveaway is open until 10:00PM (Pacific time) on Monday, September 22nd, 2014. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner whom we will select using a highly scientific "names in a hat" method (or, you know, an internet randomizer). Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hours or we will choose another winner.

Thanks so much for checking out our little welcome celebration, and good luck with the contest. :) We can't wait to check out your book suggestions!

Review: Lending Light by Rose Christo

Sometimes my imagination bleeds into reality."

Eleven years ago a serial killer menaced the Nettlebush Indian Reservation. Rafael Gives Light is his son. A loner, Rafael relies on his startlingly overactive imagination to escape the distrust and vitriol of his peers.

In the summer of 2000 an exceptionally blond boy moves to Nettlebush. Rafael learns that the boy is his father’s last living victim. The boy wants to be friends.

On Friday I talked about my love for the first four Gives light books by Rose Christo and today I'm going to talk about the fifth book in the series, Lending Light. Lending Light takes us right back to the beginning of the story, it is, more or less, the same storyline as in Gives Light (though it doesn't follow quite as far into events as Gives Light). I have to admit, after reading the first four in the series, I was a little reluctant to go back to the beginning. I considered it would be interesting to see things from Raf's POV, but honestly, I kinda thought it was going to be boring. I'd seen all this before, I wasn't ready for a repeat. I needn't have worried - within the first few pages I was hooked.

Yes, I did know the story - the thing is however, Rose Christo is excellent at writing the characters. So the events might be the same but the feelings weren't. I thought I understood Raf from reading the first books...and I did, to a certain extent, but he shines in a whole knew light in this book.

In a way I might even have enjoyed this book all the more for having read the others, though I believe it could be read first or alone. Raf is a complicated boy - imagine wearing the face of a killer and being judged for it your whole life? Or at least feeling as if you're being judged for it. Imagine loving someone despite the fact that you know they did something horribly unforgivable. I love how Rose Christo explores the grey. How there is more to a human character than just good or bad, how we are ALL a mixture of both components.

Seeing the effects of a man's actions and the consequences on two people trying to find their way in life. Trying to discover who they are and who they love is just wonderful. It is eye-opening really. It made me think about how quick we are to judge or even label. It's understandable really, we're all just trying to make sense of the world around us but it's a reminder that whatever age we are we're always learning. Rafael is a wonderful, wonderful character and I really enjoyed seeing his world through his eyes. As much as Sky and he are intrinsically connected they are also totally separate entities. Raf, for all his anger and anti-social behaviour loves unconditionally and seeing these - feeling this - through him was so beautiful. Seeing Skylar through his eyes was just heart warming really.

As always Rose Christo creates a world that fascinates me. The descriptions are as divine as ever, these are books that you feel rather than just read. I would say to anyone who enjoyed the first book of the series but are worried about reading this, to give it a go, I'm willing to bet you won't be disappointed.

Find out more about Lending Light at Goodreads.

CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME: Cupcake vs. Baby - Inaugural Match

Hear the monster trucks? See the pink and purple lights and lasers? The white clouds of smoke as the metal cage gets dropped over the arena? See the gay porn mascots, swishing their tails to the awesome beat of the unicorn glam rock band? The candy and chocolates being thrown in the air? The glitter bombs shooting across the sky?

This isn't a test, honey. You're not dreaming or hallucinating!


The unicorns have cordially invited you to witness our epic reactions to books that we love and think fellow unicorns would enjoy. They just haven't got to it yet.

Well, not anymore!


All the things happen inside the arena! Two readers enter! Two winners leave? Candy gets consumed? Naked mascots get groped?! What?

First up in the two person challenge is Cupcake vs. Baby! It's been a loooooooooong time cumming! (<~~~ See what I did there?)

Cupcake (OKW) has to read - Thick as Thieves by Tali Spencer

Baby (SRAL) has to read - Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan

Guess what? It's both our first virgin reads! Cupcake is Tali Spencer cherry popping! Baby's virgin sacrificing on Heidi Cullinan!

Cupcake: Why Nowhere Ranch?

a. Tis widely accepted that HC is Queen Shit of Fuck Mountain and Nowhere Ranch could arguably be her crowning achievement.
b. You're seriously asking me this? Wait til you've read it then you'll see and have egg on your face for waiting so long
c. Pony Play + Crazy stoooopid hot exhibitionism = MELT YOUR PANTIES OFF.

Baby will love because of these reasons. If not, I will buy her candy and all will be right with the world.  

Baby: Thick as Thieves by Tali Spencer - Why? Why the fuck not? This book is epic. It has genuine laughs, awesome characters, a rich fantasy world, and...and one kick-ass premise! A barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn. This is not a joke. The writing is rich, I say.

I picked this for Cupcake because I know she can dig Madd and his sarcastic ways, Vorgell's lovableness and Petal (I am pretty sure Cupcake's going drool love on her)! I have a feeling Tali Spencer's writing and Cupcake will go down like PB + J.

Stay tuned for our reaction post later this week! It's CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME! THUNDERDOME! THUNDERDOME!

P.S. We have other matches/challenges coming in the future! A thing of beauty to see unicorns in their battle gear, prepared to read! 


Sneak Peak: Guns n' Boys: K.A. Merikan

Writing Silvio Spadaro.

Seven years ago, we started writing a story called ‘Guns n’ Boys’, a crazy, pulpy mafia romance. It was written for kicks, in Polish, as an online serial. With time, Seth and Domenico became not only our entertainment, but parts of us. When we began writing in English, we knew that if there was one story that would definitely get reedited and rewritten, it would be ‘Guns n’ Boys’. Back then, we were astonished and amazed that there was a whole m/m genre, a whole market for gay romance. With so many books to try, I had to narrow down my reading choices, so I decided to go by topic, and since I was so in love with writing a mafia story, I wanted more of those.
Dark Soul’ by Aleksandr Voinov, one of the first m/m books I’ve ever read. It had great prose, a sexy, dark mood, and a whole set of fascinating characters.
We had many new projects in the making and wanted to do justice to ‘Guns n’ Boys’, so it was on the backburner as we accustomed ourselves with the M/M scene. In the meanwhile, we went to UK Meet 2012 and got a chance to meet Aleks in person. I was completely new to M/M, overwhelmed, and felt intimidated, yet Aleks helped me relax and found the time to chat despite being busy. We kept in touch, met a few times in London, and over two years, we became friends (I don’t invite just anyone to my birthday! ;) ). It had turned out that Aleks, Agnes, and I share many views on writing. We often talked about books and upcoming projects. It’s hard to pinpoint how it happened, but as we talked about our respective mafia books, one word led to another, and Aleks lent us his character, Silvio, to play with. We were over the moon, but also slightly overwhelmed. After all, with great power comes great responsibility ;).
Anyone who’s read ‘Dark Soul’ knows that if you play with Silvio, you might end up in pieces so we had to have a brainstorming session about how we wanted to include him in our book. We wanted to do Silvio justice but also keep him from taking over the plot. First of all, we reread ‘Dark Soul’ and made notes about the details, then we found a place in the plot where he could fit in snugly and add some spice.
Another aspect was that ‘Dark Soul’ has a very different narrative style than ‘Guns n’ Boys’. Duh. We’re different writers. Yet, we had to make it mesh. The big distinction is that in my eyes, ‘Dark Soul’ is dark, dramatic and serious throughout, whereas ‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a bit like ‘Pulp Fiction’, full of dark humor served through the PoVs of our characters, often at their expense.
Showing Silvio through the PoV of our characters made everything fall into place. Writing another person’s character is always a challenge because you don’t want to let the creator down. When we wrote the scenes, Aleks looked over them to let us know if anything was out of character, and they were good to go. Seeing Silvio through Seth’s oblivious eyes should be fun for his fans. It sure was for me. Seth has a frivolous, unguarded attitude so seeing it clash with someone as controlled as Silvio was bound to be humorous. Unfortunately for Seth, at his expense.

We have an excerpt from ‘Guns n’ Boys’ where Seth first meets Silvio:


Seth tried to lean forward to see more of the man in leather, whose face was hidden by a stand with postcards of Berlin and a figurine of a standing bear.
He had short spiky hair, the perfect frame for such a well-chiselled face. And even though the guy probably barely scraped eighteen, there was something about him that drew Seth in like a moth to the flame. He had one of those faces that struck you so hard you couldn’t make yourself look away. Now that Seth could see the man from the side, he could take in the beautiful legs, strong and graceful like a dancer’s.
Seth downed the rest of his coffee and threw the cup into the trash. He looked around once more, to make sure Dom wasn’t coming, and got up from the bench. The bike would be a great conversation starter if the guy spoke English. The Kevlar plates on the driver's back made him look like some kind of futuristic outlaw, who would travel through wastelands and work as a gun for hire. The whole outfit seemed like something you could kill zombies in.
Heat stirred in Seth’s throat when the stranger walked out into the sun and made his way to the black machine with sharp white highlights that only added to the impression of its capability to reach lightning-speed.
Seth gave the guy a smile and searched his mind for any German words he knew. “Shön,” was all he could come up with as the equivalent of ‘nice’. He’d add ‘bike’ but had no idea how so he just pointed to the motorcycle. He wouldn’t be able to say the word even if he suddenly remembered it because when the stranger looked straight at him, Seth was sucked into the bottomless pit of his black eyes. They seemed almost matte, as if light strayed from them out of fear of being sucked in. But before Seth could as much as feel uneasy, that beautiful, sharply-cut mouth spread into a wide, toothy smile.
“Do you speak English?” asked the biker in an accent that could not be German.
Seth exhaled loudly and grinned back, already feeling more at ease with a fellow alien in the German capital. “God, yes!” He stroked the seat of the bike in a way he wanted to stroke the guy’s ass. He couldn’t deny himself a bit of moto-molestation if he couldn’t touch what he really wanted to. His breath caught when the driver followed the move of his hand only to raise two straight eyebrows, as if in a challenge.
“It’s mine.”
“I know.” Seth smirked and ran his fingertips along the leather. “Where are you from?”
The dark eyes narrowed, but it didn’t affect the wide smile. “Rome. How about you?” asked the driver, fluently switching to Italian. He moved his hand and rested it on the seat, so close to Seth’s fingers it made them tingle. Oh God, Seth hoped the guy was legal. What was the age of consent in Germany anyway? He bet Dom knew, even if he didn’t care.
“Sicily. A small town, you wouldn’t know it. What are the odds, right?” Seth’s smile widened, and he tried to hypnotize the guy with his own gaze, but the flat stare betrayed nothing. At least until it shifted lower, and Seth realized the guy was watching his mouth, which only prompted him to talk.
“I’m Seth by the way.” He held out his hand over the bike. “I’m here in Berlin on my own, and I’m bored out of my mind. You know any good places to eat or something? I don’t speak German so it’s hard for me to find entertainment. The dubbing on TV isn’t helping, right?”
“Are you gay?” asked the driver, but it wasn’t malicious, just a straight-to-the-point question of a man in need of information.
Seth hesitated and licked his upper lip. “Uh, yeah,” he said in the end. “Sorry if I made you uncomfortable.”
“I’m free for the evening,” said the man, slowly leaning forward, and in the same moment, soft leather trailed up Seth’s hand on the motorcycle seat.


‘Guns n’ Boys Book 1 Part 1’ coming on the 11th of September.

--- Love is sour like a Sicilian lemon. ---

The Family is always right.
The Family doesn’t forget.
The Family pays for blood in blood.

Domenico Acerbi grew up in the shade of Sicilian lemon trees ready to give his life for the Family. Ready to follow orders and exceed expectations. A proud man of honor.
When Seth, the younger son of the Don is kidnapped, it’s Domenico who is sent to get him back. The man he finds though, is not the boy he knew all those years ago. Lazy, annoying, spoiled, and as hot as a Sicilian summer.

Seth Villani wants nothing to do with the mafia. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a say when the Family pulls him right back into its fold after his mother’s death. Thrown into a den of serpents otherwise known as the Villani Family, Seth has to find a way to navigate in the maze of lies. But when Domenico Acerbi, the most vicious snake of them all, sinks his fangs into Seth, the venom changes into an aphrodisiac that courses through Seth’s veins.

Domenico knows his life is about to change when he gets the order to train Seth up to the role of future Don. Seth isn’t made for it. He isn’t even made. But a man Domenico knows he would never have to fear might just be someone he’s always needed.

If Seth is doomed to follow in his father's footsteps, he might as well enjoy himself—with the most intoxicating man he’s ever met. Maybe he can even fool himself into believing that Domenico isn’t a handsome sociopath who kills for a living.


Themes: Enemies to lovers, mafia, homophobia, assassin, organized crime

Genre: Homoerotic love story / crime thriller

Erotic content: Explicit gay sex, coercion

Length: ~110,000 words

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.
‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.

About the author:
K.A. Merikan is a joint project of Kat and Agnes Merikan, who jokingly claim to share one mind. They finish each other's sentences and simultaneously come up with the same ideas. Kat and Agnes enjoy writing various kinds of stories, from light-hearted romance to thrillers. They love creating characters that are not easy to classify as good or evil, and firmly believe that even some villains deserve their happy endings. It is easiest to find them in galleries, restaurants and historical sites, always with a computer or notebook, because for Kat and Agnes, every day is a writing day. Future plans include lots of travel, and a villa on the coast of Italy or a flat in Paris where they could retire after yet another crazy venture, only to write more hot homoerotic stories.
As K.A. Merikan, Kat and Agnes have published a number of books, which cross genres while always staying homoerotic.

Mail to: kamerikan@gmail.com

More information about ongoing projects, works in progress and publishing at:
K.A. Merikan’s author page: http://kamerikan.com
Agnes Merikan’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/AgnesMerikan