Review: Stained by Chris T. Kat

Blair Clark has reached his breaking point. Forced to leave one job because of sexual harassment, he’s having difficulty finding another. Since no one believes what happened, Blair’s left with a stain on his employment record that he can’t get rid of. He’s had to move back home with his mother. As if that’s not bad enough, he realizes his crush, Travis, is simply using him. His romantic life looks as hopeless as his job search.

Jack Ross is sure he’ll never find anyone who’ll love him for who he is. All anyone sees is the port-wine stain on his left cheek—not the man behind it. Even his mother thinks he should get rid of it. But the procedure is difficult and painful.

When Blair applies for a secretarial position with Jack’s firm, both men learn that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder. It’ll take a lot of trust to chase away their insecurities, but if they take a chance on one another, love will find a way.

I love books with less than perfect characters. I like the fact that Jack is not another 'image-ly flawless' MC - sometimes I get really tired of beautiful and perfect main characters. I'd rather the plot didn't revolve around this 'flaw' (which is not a flaw, it is a part of the human make up, we are all different and beauty is far too defined by media and societal standards, though that is an argument for another day), but I do like the fact that he was different than the usually defined standards of beauty. That said, I did like the fact that the reader is able to understand how it feels to be different from an 'accepted' norm. How it affects the way that others actions are perceived and felt. I wanted to shout at Jack that it doesn't matter what the hell he looks like, to be himself, don't over-think others reactions - and I would have been a great big hypocrite, because I have alopecia and won't go out in public without wearing a hat. Only a very, very few see me hatless these days. It's not even that bad in the scheme of things, but I am totally conscious of it so I understood why Jack was how he was, even though part of me hated him for it. Even though most of me wanted to shout "Seriously dude, if they judge you for your looks it's their loss". Freud would have a field day with that, huh. This isn't about me though, it's about the story... and why I only gave it 2.75 stars.

Despite the fact that I loved the blurb and set up, the story didn't quite work for me. I think I wanted something more serious than I got; something more emotional. What I read felt a little too soap opera like for my taste. Characters felt exaggerated and the storyline overly dramatic in a divisive way. It is probably exactly some people's cup of tea, but it wasn't mine. 

The problem with accepting requested reviews is that I owe everyone an honest opinion - but opinions are, by their very nature, utterly biased. Biased to the reader's taste, and thoughts, and experiences, and likes and dislikes. If I'd bought the book I'd probably have left a rating on GR (more for my records than anything else) and carried on my merry way. I didn't though, the book was given in exchange for an honest review and my honest opinion is I didn't enjoy it more than 2.75 hearts. The key word being I. It wasn't full of editorial errors or plot-holes, it just didn't float my boat. The 39 4+ GR ratings (at time of writing) show that at least 39 people have a different opinion to me. I'm neither right nor wrong, I'm just giving my view that this book really wasn't for me. seriously, this review could really have just been the central paragraph, because that is what it all boils down to.
For more information see Goodreads or Dreamspinner Press
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Lock and Key by Z. Allora

Rejected. Heartbroken. Devastated.

Zack Davis wanted to serve only one man, Andrew Nikeman. He was denied because Andrew thought he was too young and because their brothers were together. So Zack crushed his submissive tendencies and focused on being the perfect Dom, giving every sub he played with something he couldn’t have. 

After years of denying his submissive side, Entwined’s charity auction “Are you Dom Enough to be a sub?” gives Zack an excuse to get a little of what he’s always craved. 

Andrew doesn’t know when his infatuation turned into more, but it kills him to see Zack with a constant parade of submissives. He’d refused to jeopardize his brother’s relationship or become Zack’s regret; however, Zack isn’t a kid anymore, and his brother’s relationship is unbreakable. Now Zack’s popularity and success as a Dom might ruin Andrew’s dreams of collaring him, but he can’t wait any longer to confess his feelings or he risks losing the man he loves forever.

DNF @ 22%

I know a lot people start these DNF reviews with something along the lines of 'it's me not the book' which is basically a veiled attempt at cushioning the this book sucks blow. I admit I've done it, but in this case it really is me.

Firstly, this was my first experience with this author and based on the cover and blurb I thought I was in for an intense BDSM book. It is not. This falls under the heading BDSM 101 which is completely and totally fine. It's just... I've been there so many times I've got a closet full of t-shirts and it just does not interest me anymore. I'm not saying that I'll never ever read it, but it's got to be extraordinary to sustain my interest. Secondly, most of the events can be categorized as glitterkink which is my least favorite type of kink. This makes me a bit of an anomaly since I know many, many people enjoy the fancy club settings with the various rooms, implements, people all dressed up in their outfits, etc. Again, it's just not my jam.

I tried a couple of different times and took a big break, but the above coupled with these characters and the writing style... we're just not a match. Many people enjoy theatrics and overly dramatic MCs. I am not one of those people. I'm of the opinion that life is plenty dramatic enough without making mountains out of mole hills. As for the writing style, I prefer emotion be conveyed through the narrative, the events that transpire and how the characters process and respond to those events rather than it being spoon fed to me repeatedly via italicized text. For these reasons I chose to call it a day rather than delay the inevitable.

I would encourage anyone interested in this book to read other reviews, most of which are good before taking the opinion of a seasoned kinky perv like myself.

Recommend to fans of glitterkink BDSM 101 books with emotional characters.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads & Dreamspinner Press.

Audiobook Review: Clockwork Tangerine by Rhys Ford

The British Empire reigns supreme, and its young Queen Victoria has expanded her realm to St. Francisco, a bustling city of English lords and Chinese ghettos. St. Francisco is a jewel in the Empire’s crown and as deeply embroiled in the conflict between the Arcane and Science as its sister city, London—a very dark and dangerous battle.

Marcus Stenhill, Viscount of Westwood, stumbles upon that darkness when he encounters a pack of young bloods beating a man senseless. Westwood’s duty and honor demand he save the man, but he’s taken aback to discover the man is Robin Harris, a handsome young inventor indirectly responsible for the death of Marcus’s father.

Living in the shadows following a failed coup, Robin devotes his life to easing others’ pain, even though his creations are considered mechanical abominations of magicks and science. Branded a deviant and a murderer, Robin expects the viscount to run as far as he can—and is amazed when Marcus reaches for him instead.

Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Listening Length: 2 hrs 10 mins

In a world where the Victorian British Empire extends to San Francisco and magic and science uneasily exist side-by-side, Marcus Stenhill, the Viscount of Westwood, lives a lonely existence. A member of the high aristocracy, Marcus suppresses his attraction to men and tries to be the upstanding man his family expects him to be.

When Marcus saves a man in a dark alley from his attackers, Marcus is immediately aware of the man’s beauty. But when he discovers that the person he rescued is Robin Harris, the hated “toymaker”, he isn’t sure what to think. As a teenager, Robin was forced to create weapons for a group of plotters attempting to overthrow the government. Though there are many hurdles between them, Robin and Marcus soon fall for each other.

The audiobook for ‘Clockwork Tangerine’ is narrated by Greg Tremblay, and as always it was a delight to listen to. The narrator does an excellent job of bringing life to each character by choosing voices that fit with the character’s personality. The pacing was good as well, and I had no trouble immersing myself in the story.

Steampunk isn’t a subgenre that I read often, but I tend to enjoy it. The mix of technology, history, and, in this case, magic, makes for an entertaining read. Rhys Ford does an excellent job with the world-building. Though this is a very short book, the author is able to vividly portraying how Victorian society would look like if it included advanced steam-powered machinery, along with the rigid class system.

The romance is sweet. Marcus is very much so a knight in shining armour, while Robin is his gentleman in distress. I’m clearly a sucker for that trope, because I was smitten by Marcus the moment he swooped in to save Robin.


The romance is also very much so insta-love. It doesn’t take long for Marcus and Robin to fall for each other. Even though Robin’s technology was used to kill Marcus’ father, Marcus readily forgives Robin, and his only concern is how to build a future together. The two worked well together, and I couldn’t stop myself from ‘aww’-ing a few times.

As cute as Robin and Marcus are together, their jump from strangers to lovers was a bit jarring. In this very short book, days and weeks pass by in a few sentences, so until near the end, it’s more showing than telling. Though the the world-building was enjoyable, it took up space that could have been used to focus on Marcus and Robin.

Even so, this was an entertaining MM steampunk romance. If you’re looking for a sweet romance with a comfort/healing undertone, give ‘Clockwork Tangerine’ a try.

Check out on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!

Did you see our group unicorn review for this chat book? See here.

Audiobook Review: At Piper's Point by Ethan Day, Narrated by Michael Lesley

Ten years and many boyfriends later, Cassidy Winters finally returns to the ancestral home of his grandmother, Sadie Hart, despite the best efforts of his father to prevent it. Cassidy's plans of a quiet, seaside ceremony to wish a final farewell to Sadie quickly unravel as interruptions run roughshod beginning with Neil who walks out of the ocean and straight into Cassidy’s bed. The dominoes topple one by one when the little dog he rescues from the hounds of hell brings him to Ben, the hunky vet who rescues Cassidy right back. News of his arrival spreads faster than Cassidy’s legs, bringing his boyhood friend and first love Nate Sommers to his doorstep – leaving Cassidy spiraling into a multi-layered love snafu. As if the island wasn’t getting crowded enough for Cassidy’s good taste and bad decisions, best friends Ollie and Spencer arrive in time to witness the uninvited return of Cassidy’s most recent ex, Teddy, who’s refusing to stay dumped.

Fists fly and all hell breaks loose amid mojitos and martinis as Cassidy finds himself planning a huge party to celebrate Sadie's life. Accusations are aimed as arguments and libidos boil over, but even through the chaos Cassidy knows exactly what he wants. While he's certainly willing, he isn’t sure if he's ready or able for love and life... At Pipers Point.

This was a fun and sexy romp of a story and having Michael Lesley read it to me made it even better.

There is a LOT going on in Piper’s Point for a small quaint seaside town and the one person at the center of the shenanigans is Cassidy. Everyone has the friend who is a drama magnet, and that is Cassidy. And I don’t necessarily mean it’s angsty bad dramatic drama, but there is always something (or someone) going on. Heading back to Piper’s Point to handle his beloved aunt’s estate doesn’t change that in the slightest and I think heading to the sanctuary that is the Point actually enhances the crazy making. That’s just what happens when you put a big personality into a small space. As well, one of the great things about the story is that there are already some big (and quirky) personalities there, so Cassidy’s homecoming fit right in.

Differentiating between characters is something Michael Lesley excels at so he’s the perfect person to narrate this one. There are a lot of characters and there is a lot of banter so the audio could have really turned into a shitshow without someone who has mad vocal skills driving the boat. As it was I had no trouble following the rapid fire conversations, get-togethers and heart-to-heart confessions that make up At Piper’s Point.

More than anything At Piper’s Point is a coming home story and I loved the emotions that Cassidy went through in coming back to the only place that ever felt like home. His reconnection with Nate was perfectly bittersweet and I wish there had been more focus there. I loved all of Cassidy’s friends/ex-boyfriends/fuck buddies, but it did get a little distracting at times. I wanted further inside Nate’s head sooner because I enjoyed listening to them working through their history, their time apart and then their coming back together.

This story would make a great movie since it has a little bit of every emotion worked in, but since that is unfortunately unlikely, the audiobook is going to be your next best bet. Michael Lesley did an excellent job keeping the characters on point throughout making what could have been a tough book to follow into audio into a really fun and satisfying listen.

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

Review: Freeing Pain (Annex #1) by Lor Rose

Jude Kash’s life was filled with abused animals and too little sleep. His work at the We Are One Foundation brought him his new devil-dog Teddy Bear and his new obsession: an abused liger named Sampson.

Sampson suffered from poor living conditions and threats with a gun. Jude, or Kash to his friends, witnessed it first hand when he snuck onto Whitman’s, Sampson’s owner’s, property. When Kash and others from the We Are One Foundation finally make a plan to rescue poor Sampson things go terribly wrong.

When Kash finally regains consciousness he awoke to a very handsome and naked man taking care of him. Kash felt a connection with the man he couldn’t explain. The man introduced himself as Maj and explained everything except for one small detail of his life: he was Sampson, a liger shifter.

Kash took the news considerably well except for one problem,,, that detail wasn’t so small, in fact, it could cost Kash his life.

I really wanted to like this book - but it just did not work for me. I loved the blurb, but the execution was just meh, I guess that's why it's taken me so long to write the review; I hate writing negative reviews. In fact, I'm not really going to. Y'all know that reading is a personal thing blah, blah, blah? Well it is. I'm sure there are readers who will really enjoy this story, but I read it as wildly fantastical with insta-everything and that does not float my boat. Not even a little bit. I liked the potential but not the execution. The plot was thin and overly dramatic for my taste, I didn't connect with the characters, and I eye rolled my way through the read.

So the long and the short of it is; I didn't like it. Doesn't mean you won't, though.

For more information see Goodreads.
A copy of this story was given in exchange for an honest review.

Author Visit: A Fine Bromance by Christopher Hawthorne Moss

Today we have a special guest in the clubhouse who's sharing his own story of transitioning later in life.

Why and How I Became a Man

Christopher Hawthorne Moss, author of A FINE BROMANCE

I have been a writer pretty much all my life, so more recently when I started to uncover my inner guy it was inevitable that I would write about the experience from the point of view of characters in my novels.  I have written a few very short pieces, but most significantly I gave my novel BELOVED PILGRIM, about a lesbian Crusader knight, a sex change and made her transgender and now have my young adult novel A FINE BROMANCE being released on August 11.  Now I am putting together several biographies of transgender people of the past for a book I will self-publish as TRANSGENDER PEOPLE IN HISTORY.

It was in fact all this reading I have been doing of MM romance that resulted in my figuring out I am transgender!  The beginning was that all the sad events in the gay lovers’ lives was doing a number on my joie de vivre… I was getting more and more depressed.  I would find something in my immediate surroundings that affected me so profoundly I couldn’t move.  I had no real idea why I was so down.  My neighbor expressed some horrible points of view about gay people and it got worse.  I joined a PFLAG group to feel less isolated, and slowly it started to come to me.  I saw transgender people who came to the group and heard what they said, and then one day in July 2012 I knew what was “wrong” with me.  I knew I was really male.

The first thing I had to do about this is tell my husband.  At first it seemed to come out of left field for him, but he has told me that my misery for months before that and my apparent contentment now must mean I was right.  I mean, I could think of all the clues from my childhood, my love for swashbuckling characters in movies and books, my feeling of not fitting in as a girl, and many more moments when, if a transition to be a man had seemed possible, I would have gone for it.  And I knew I was a gay man, which explained all the reasons those books with elemental tragedy or at least sadness got to me.

To make a long story short, I have since been living as a man, with my beloved’s support, but with the disadvantages of transitioning at sixty—a stroke caused by taking testosterone complicating, but not negating, my decision.  So while I have no personal experience of transitioning at any other stage of life than “old,” I do know several younger transgender people, and as a novelist can imagine and describe how the experience at other ages can affect a person.

So how did I manage this?  It has mostly been psychological.  The basic act of choosing a masculine name and representing myself as that person, Christopher, to others has been the one action that has had the most success.  The fact that I work online helped with this immensely.  Like the cartoon implies that shows two dogs at a computer, “You know that on the Internet, no one knows we are dogs.”  No one knows I am not in fact a man.  I have been open online so pretty much everyone knows I am transgender, but it is very comfortable to rest in my identity as a man.

I did start taking testosterone to reshape my face and body to a man’s and to cause me to grow facial hair.  After a short time on the hormone, however, I sustained a hemorrhagic stroke that some indications may be exacerbated by taking them, so in order to avoid another stroke and another month in the hospital I went off the hormone.  As a result, I get to keep my lower voice but will never grow a beard.

I did the paperwork.  I saw a gender transition counselor who has helped me not only deal with the confusing emotions but got me officially designated male.  I changed my name legally.  I am now working on changing my birth certificate.  I simply started identifying myself with my new name and gender everywhere where my old status was registered.

For the most part people take me at my word, the time in Evergreen Hospital showing me for four weeks just how respectful people can be.  I wear only men’s clothes now and have found that men give away their clothing far more readily than fat women do, to my benefit.  I am using the men’s room in public and discovered that men don’t examine other men in the bathroom—also fortunate for me.

One of the most profound tools I have discovered is Gender Odyssey, a conference held in Seattle every August where I can meet and talk to other transmen, and some transwomen, which affirms my choice more than any other single thing.  The workshops and meetings at this event are sources of information and support beyond my expectations.

I still don’t dream myself as a man, but then never dreamed myself as a woman.  My psyche apparently was wiser than my conscious brain.  I am happy with my gender, and as great as that is, my heterosexual male husband—now that men can marry each other—is content as well.  That is as important as any other single truth.

You, as a reader, will understand, then, why I created Elias von Winterkirche and Andy Kahn from my books BELOVED PILGRIM and A FINE BROMANCE respectively.  Through these characters I can be myself, a boy or man, and try out the situations that either challenge or affirm me.  I try to create characters I can model myself after.  Whether as a contemporary teenager or a young man in Byzantium, and all the other times and people I write about in the future, I hope I am giving myself and others models of the joys and frustrations of a nonbinary experience of gender.

When Robby starts his senior year in high school, he meets the new boy, Andy. Although Robby has never been physically attracted to anyone, he instinctively feels comfortable around Andy. As they get to know each other better, Robby realizes Andy is an outsider just like him, and harassment at the hands of the school’s bad boys makes it clear that Andy is a transboy.

When Robby’s eccentric Aunt Ivy finds some of her sentimental treasures missing, the boys put on their sleuthing hats to solve the mystery.

Cover Artist: AngstyG
Releases:  August 11th

Buy Links:

Harmony Ink

About the author:

I am a gay transman chock full of stories from history, with a transgender knight, a gay riverboat gambler, you name it. I love how history can lend so many possibilities and at the same time give us a background for our own lives.

I grew up in California, Alaska and Chicago as Nanette Haas always a writer. I wrote my first short story at seven, and in my early teens began the stories with a friend that ultimately became AN INVOLUNTARY KING, my first novel. I married in my late twenties, but later discovered I am transgender. That's when I became Christopher Hawthorne Moss, otherwise known as Kit. Interestingly, my husband Jim stayed with me and we have now been together over thirty years.

I've written all my life, and I have always loved historical fiction, so you will find my stories take place in all eras and locations. I believe that gay and transgender people have always been among us and that it is up to me as an author to make their lives realistic and, where possible, positive and rewarding. It is my job to make it credible. I think with my characters you will find much to identify with. I hope you do.

See his Harmony Ink Books

Review: Blood Moon (Insolita Luna #1) by M.J. O'Shea

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Zack met his best friend, Noah, at Harper Lake when they were five years old. Summer after summer, his feelings grew, but he assumed Noah didn't feel the same. But one night when they were seventeen, Zack kissed Noah... and Noah kissed him back. Zack was sure he did. But the next morning, Noah put an end to their friendship and walked away, leaving Zack with a broken heart.

A year has passed, and Zack goes back to the lake—where every leaf, rock, and turn in the road remind him of the biggest mistake he ever made. He hates thinking about what he lost, and more than anything he wants his best friend back. He figures it'll be the longest summer ever. But then Noah shows up out of the blue, apologetic and more gorgeous than ever. Noah is sweet and attentive, and Zack can almost believe nothing had ever gone wrong. But there’s something different about his old friend, something not quite right. Zack doesn't want to ruin the fragile new bond between them, but he has to know... What secret is Noah hiding?

This started really strong and skidded into the finish line. 

Zack has turned emo since his best friend Noah broke his heart the previous summer. Nevertheless his family makes a yearly sojourn to Harper Lake and even though he's 18 now he decides to spend one last summer at Harper Lake for his little sister Maya even though it brings up all sorts of Sadtown feels.

He revisits the dock where they shared their one epic kiss night after night wondering what went wrong and hoping Noah will magically reappear. Really it was only, like, 3 days but this is teen angst we're talking about here. 3 days in teen years is an ETERNITY! Then Noah actually does show up and all is forgiven. Because love. 

First love.

These two have been best friends since they were five and both of them knew but were too scared to admit their feelings for fear of losing the other. After their fateful night something bad happened and Noah had to let Zack go.

Then something worse happened! But it paved the way for him to get together with Zack if he'll forgive him. And if he's the understanding sort...

I won't give away the secret but I will say I thought the reveal could've used more drama and angst. Zack, for all intents and purposes, takes it in stride. The events that transpired afterwards were a mixed bag. Some I found exciting and others boring. A lot of secondary characters are introduced probably because this is book one of a series, but I thought overall the narrative suffered for it. I wanted more focus on the MCs.

My primary quibble is the lack of angst through all the adventures and changes. The angst is why I read YA. But I think O'Shea did a fantastic job of capturing the teen essence. Both of them are impulsive, a bit reckless, slightly arrogant and think any and all adults are dumber than dirt who couldn't possibly un-der-stand. I remember being like that. The dialogue captures that authenticity as well. 

The adventure was a bit outlandish and grew tiresome to me.

What I liked best was the showing of Noah and Zack's feelings toward each other. It is almost saccharine oftentimes, but I also felt this was authentic and relatable. There isn't a doubt in my mind that these two are gaga over each other.

They also really like to get they freak on and I am not mad about that. At all.

Recommend for YA and PNR fans or those wishing to reminisce about their own teen times.

A copy was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.

Audiobook Review: Starting with the Unexpected by Andi Van

Zachary Blaise is having a weird week—even by his standards. Though he's gay, the radio personality has been dumped via text by a girl named Marian—and he's never even met her. On top of that, he's developed a massive crush on Marcus, the new waiter at his favorite diner. His best friend thinks the whole thing is hilarious.

Marcus’s week hasn’t been his best either. He's been betrayed by those closest to him, and although he isn't the guilty party, Marcus is the one getting harassed.

Impossibly, things are about to get even weirder. Marian has secrets, and those secrets are going to make some serious ripples in Zach's life. When he discovers that the girl called Marian is actually the man named Marcus, Zach stumbles down a rabbit hole of abusive ex-boyfriends, psychotic relatives, and revelations from his own past. If he can survive the chaos, the journey might prove worth the effort.

Narrator: Jonathan David
Listening Length: 4 hours and 51 minutes

Firstly I’d like to talk about the Cotton Candy Blue hair that Zach has. I need to speak about this because it was a major distraction for me during the entire book. I love people who have quirky ways of expressing themselves. I find it immensely sexy for people to be completely different. From macabre tattoos and clothes, to the more benign rainbow hair, I love it all. I admire people who can take that risk and completely work it. Confident in the knowledge that they give no fucks about what anyone says, and look amazing while saying Fuck you Society. I love it.

The author’s choice to give Zach cotton-candy blue hair. Not sexy, not an amazing leap in self expression. That colour doesn’t look good on anyone except grandmothers who can no longer hide that their hair is white, and decide to get their hair dyed Platinum which is actually cotton-candy blue. So this was what I had to fight the entire time I was listening to this book. The image of Zach with grandma hair and ridiculously pale skin that looked even more washed out with the crappy choice of hair dye. Just no.

Phew I’m glad I could get that out. I’m sorry (#notsorry) if this offends but I just couldn’t take it. I needed to purge. Thank you for allowing me to.

Getting on with the show. While I didn’t love the narrator for this audio version, he passed. I can be a bit picky, because as previously mentioned on this blog, my hearing is shite and certain pitches are either difficult to hear, or attack some sort of trigger in my brain and sound like, to others, fingernails on a chalkboard (strangely enough, this sound is also difficult for me to hear, and even when I do, it does nothing to me. The crinkly sound a plastic/foil bag sounds when someone is trying to discreetly open it, now that will send me into a murderous rage, but I digress). This narrator was close to irritating my ears, through no fault of his. This is just a quirk of mine, and I did need frequent breaks for this particular pitch. He was otherwise clear, concise and had a decent range. I can see why he was chosen for this story, and I think others will enjoy it.

The plot was fine enough. I enjoyed how this started, and the direction it was going. I liked that Zach wanted to be Marcus’ friend first. I enjoyed their time together, and the easy way Marcus was accepted into Zach’s life. Other than external drama, there was very little in the way of angst for this couple, which I appreciated.

I enjoyed Zach’s personality (too bad about his hair) and his relationship with those around him. I liked the comedic relief, and the strange things that happened to Zach on any given day. I would have liked to get to know Marcus a little more. It was almost there with the character development but there was something missing from Marcus that I needed from him.

The external drama; I’m still on the fence about it. On the one hand, it certainly pushed the story along, but I’m not sure it was necessary. I thought that there was enough weight for the story to not have as much drama as it did. The supporting characters were all very solid, and I enjoyed the interactions everyone had, from Marcus meeting Zach’s Dad, to Zach’s mother claiming all of Zach’s friends as her own, and Zach and Jordan’s strange friendship, I thought they were all very strong and added greatly to this novel.

So Zach’s hair, and the external drama aside, I did enjoy this story, and would recommend it for a light fluffy read, with a hint of serious adult content. *Spoiler alert* Triggers include stalking, violence, and destruction of property.

Check out on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!

GIVEAWAY + Blog Tour: Starting New by S.C. Wynne

Hi, I’m S.C. Wynne and I write M/M romance with a little humor and generally a healthy serving of angst. Welcome to my blog tour for Starting New!

For the next week I’ll share some posts about writing and my story Starting New. Join in the fun by leaving comments and enter to win a $30 Riptide gift card!

Life hasn’t been good to Francis Murphy. He’s survived twenty-one years of homelessness by hooking and taking handouts where he can find them. When the local shelter is vandalized, he’s forced to seek food at the Grace and Light Church, where he runs into the pastor’s son, Randy.

Randy Wright believes the best in others. He's immediately drawn to Francis, even though Francis is hardened and wary. When Francis is attacked by one of his johns, Randy and his family take him in and offer him temporary work. Randy always thought he was straight, but something about Francis has him yearning for more than just friendship, and realizing he might be bisexual.

Francis is attracted to Randy too, and Randy and his parents say they’ve always believed in gay rights. But talk is cheap. What are the odds that these Christian parents will remain open-minded when it's their own son in a relationship with another man?

About S.C. Wynne

S.C. Wynne started writing m/m in 2013 and did look back once. She wanted to say that because it seems everyone's bio says they never looked back and, well, S.C. Wynne is all about the joke. She loves writing m/m, and her characters are usually a little jaded, funny, and ultimately redeemed through love.

S.C loves red wine, margaritas, and Seven and Sevens. Yes, apparently she is incredibly thirsty. She loves the rain and should really live in Seattle, but instead has landed in sunny, sunny, unbelievably sunny California. Writing is the best profession she could have chosen because she's a little bit of a control freak. To sit in her pajamas all day and pound the keys of her laptop, controlling the every thought and emotion of the characters she invents, is a dream come true.

If you'd like to contact S.C. Wynne, she can be found amusing herself on Facebook at all hours of the day, or you can contact her at

To celebrate the release of Starting New, S.C. is giving away $30 in Riptide credit. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 13, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Review: His Second Chance by Stephanie Lake

The Seventh Viscount of Torring, Randall Blair is more than disgusted with unfaithful lovers. When his last lover announces his engagement to the current reigning belle, Randall decides to suppress his true nature and follow suit. He is determined, once and for all, to forget the dark sailor who slipped in and out of his life five years before.

Lady Prudence Wedgewood has, for a member of the fair sex, unquestioned beauty, and shows a surprising wit, which will entertain Randall, even if her well-proportioned body does not arouse his desires. The marriage should at least be, bearable.

The Blair and Wedgewood wedding plans unfold flawlessly, until Lady Prudence’s brother returns.

Lieutenant David Wedgewood has always been beyond discreet with his unnatural attraction to men. An attraction, which years ago, nearly set Randall’s bed aflame for a blissful, torrid week. David returned for only one reason: to save his beloved sister from a marriage destined to bring nothing but pain. Marriage to a sod!

He will kill Randall if that’s what it takes to stop the wedding. And he is willing to seduce Randall, to prove that this marriage can only end in disaster and heartbreak.

A good meaty historical romance with a captivating plot and fleshed out characters, who doesn't love to read about that. Am I right? Something about the restraint that had to be put on in public and the scandals performed behind closed doors that always grabs my attention.

In Georgian romance novella His Second Chance by first time author team, Stephanie Lake, the story isn't extremely plot heavy.

What it was is entertaining, I drank all the tomfoolery up.

Viscount Torring, Randall Blair is gay (not openly) and his lover is now ex thanks to a hasty marriage. Randall just wants a partner, someone to share his life with. He's prepared not go the route of his former lover by marrying a woman of quality to bear his babies. As his enchanting cousin who read more like a fun hoyden tries to console him, Randall somehow changes his mind and seeks a female companion...he's going to lie and suppress his sexuality since his cousin reminds of him of how alone he is.

He finds one Lady who doesn't irritate and seems to get him. there's only one problem, the Lady who he selected to be his fiancee? He's fucked her brother. In fact, her brother was a former lover who broke his heart five years ago after one passionate week.

With a who did whom, sexual tensions flying high and a secret from a surprising member in this sort of love triangle, the novella couldn't stop the entertaining train from pulling out of the station.

Fun times ahead. Choo-choo!

Don't expect much depth in novella. In fact, it might have ruined the erotic fun vibe to the story (minus the bigotry/ hangings/ PTSD, of course) It was more about two men in love who were a little messy and scandalosity behind closed doors with the two families of nobility.

One word: messy.

I was all for it and had to read as fast as I could see what either man would do next.

Randall was one degree from being caught. David was super paranoid (for good reason) But their chemistry was solid and the authors did a great job of showing that. The story was probably closer to 3.75 Hearts but it kept from heading in PWP territory with a couple of splashes of David's harsh Navy life and strong female characters (read: Randall's cousin, Liz who rescues the less fortunate and has a gypsy husband or Lady Prudence who was too smart for her own good--and knew it). Historically accurate??'s good enough. Sometimes the characters would speak like modern day and while I'm sure the story could have went deeper, it works.  There were a few of secrets that would be best read rather than spoil.

I am definitely interested in reading more from Stephanie Lake. Thankfully this is first of a series. I hope it'll be more from a new couple, I think this book's main couple ended at a great spot. There is a satisfying HEA, no need to rehash.

Though, if there is ever a book that needs to be written, it's one about Liz and her husband. They reminded me of a few of my fave historical romance couples were the couple come from different backgrounds but have enough passion to light a football field.

Quick read, easy tone and entertaining characters...recommended for those who like historical but don't want to be consumed by feels.

See more info on Goodreads or Booklikes!

Review: Landscapes (Brit Boys) by K.D. Grace

Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn't easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese's life? 

Note: Landscapes has been previously released as part of the Brit Boys: On Boys boxed set. 

This was my second experience with this author and her writing style continues to impress me with its rich imagery. I had an almost visceral reaction to this setting, could visualize the night garden and the fells surrounding this old stone manor. 

I like paranormal romances involving vampires in particular mostly because vampires have a tendency to be unscrupulous. I don't like my vampires all emo and sparkly. I like em more like...

Alonso Darlington kind of towed the line betwixt sparkly/emo/lonely/woe is me and ruthless vamp. He's instilled himself in his childhood home which is in dire need of renovation and he's got a serious crush on Reese. How exactly he got so hung up on Reese alludes me, but he is so I just went with it. He hires Reese to construct a night garden. Because vampire. And he goes from crush to near obsession.

Fine, fine, whatever. Dramatic vampire is dramatic. I can get on board with that, but... what skeeved me out was his... "usage" of Talia. (Read:  m/f sex) Talia and he have apparently been friends for quite some time, and to be clear, she seems mostly fine with the whole situation. But I have issues with people blatantly using other people to achieve their objectives. If you're going to be an unscrupulous bastard then be an unscrupulous bastard all the time. Not to mention how on earth could he ever be sure of Reese's feelings for him were reciprocated? I just didn't sit right. I might've been more comfortable with the situation had a truly understood the desperation to have Reese. But I didn't.

The sex wasn't anything to write home about either, so I'm left in this sort of Meh Abyss. I liked the writing style but the story itself left something to be desired.

Recommend for those who enjoy a quick paranormal read.

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Unbreak My Heart by K-Lee Klein

Today we welcome K-Lee Klein to the clubhouse & she's brought lots of goodies! 

Unicorns love a goodie.

Author: K-lee Klein
Series Title and Number: Unbreak My Heart, book 1 (rerelease)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Release Date: August 5, 2016
Heat Level: (slow-burn leading to intimacy and eventually sex!)
Pairing: m/m
Length: 110,761 words, 296 pages
Genre/Tags: Romance, M/M Romance, contemporary romance, western, musicians, friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort

Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by to check out my new release, Unbreak My Heart. I also have to give big props to Boy Meets Boy Reviews for taking part in my first book tour with Dreamspinner Press. Unbreak My Heart was first released in May of 2013, but when Amber Quill Press closed its doors, Dreamspinner was kind enough to help me get it back on the land of the living, aka the interwebs.

Though it's a rerelease, there's been extensive editing, as well as some additions here and there. I'd like to think—hope—I've amped-up my writing skills in the last three years so I tried to make my most precious as good as it could get. And I was honored—fangirl squees—to have Reese Dante design a new cover. Isn't it gorgeous?

Unbreak is a slow-burn romance between a cowboy broken by grief, loneliness, and too much Jack Daniels, and a younger California "kid" with an overabundance of empathy and patience. But Brett Taylor isn't the lone wolf he pretends to be and JT Campbell sees through the thick stubbornness to the soft, squishy heart that Brett keeps hidden.  That's not to say JT is perfect either, but he and Brett discover there's more to life than guilt and regret, more they can learn about together.

Now here's an exclusive excerpt from Unbreak My Heart. Hope you enjoy and be sure to check out the giveaway at the end. 


Brett Taylor’s world collapsed three years ago when he lost the love of his life. Almost as bad as the grief is the advice he’s starting to get from everyone and their brother, telling him it’s time to move on. They’re flat-out wrong. He left his career as a musician and escaped to his ranch because he needs the peace and quiet, and he’s doing just fine. He doesn’t want anyone invading his memory-filled, booze-fueled solitude. 

JT Campbell’s world has been defined by his parents’ money, status, and his own empty relationships, until he’s desperately sick of it. A quest to find something meaningful leads him to Brett’s failing ranch. It’s supposed to be a brief stay. JT never wanted to be anyone’s savior or compete with the ghosts of lovers past. Still, he can’t help wanting this gruff and grieving man. 

JT’s mind knows it’s a bad idea, but his heart keeps pushing him to find out what lies beneath Brett’s rough and broken exterior. Brett’s not going to make it easy. JT can only be patient, keep his sense of humor, and hope for the day he may be allowed far enough into Brett’s world to unbreak his heart.



Exclusive Excerpt

This freaking game is rigged!

JT threw his cards onto the little wooden table, thrusting himself backward on the bench and tossing his arms in the air. Brett chuckled beside him as he cleared away the board and cards. He hesitated a moment, searching JTs face before leaning in to lay a quick peck on his mouth. There was an instant hush in the air.

“Don’t look so surprised,he said, soft smile beaming under the porch light as he playfully thumbed across JTs tingling lips. JT shuddered, quickly forcing what little composure he had left to regroup.

But Brett wasnt done. We said wed go slow, and I think youve been damn patient with me. All right if I kiss you again?

With a groan JT thought could have been heard all the way to Rays cabin, he gripped both hands in the front of Bretts T-shirt and tugged him in. Their lips met with a force that took JTs breath away and sent a whoosh of air from Bretts mouth to his. They only managed an openmouthed press until they both snickered.

Eager little son of a gun, huh?

You bet your pig in shit.

Brett threw his head back and laughed, falling forward again to bang his forehead lightly to JTs. “I’m gonna countrify you yet, kid.

Can you do it while youre kissing me... please?

Brett gave him another frustratingly quick kiss, then hauled JT to his feet, gripping his hand and dragging him through the screen door. They didnt stop until they were at the big couch in the family room.

JT’s mind whirled, and his lungs screamed for him to let out the breath hed been stealthily holding.

Brett pushed him down on the leather seat, then hovered over top of him, his eyes shining with amusement while his lips tilted up into a smirk. Thought this might be more comfortable, yeah?

JT opened his mouth to consent but his words were swallowed by the fieriness of Bretts lips and the determination of his tongue. Brett leaned in harder, settling himself beside JT on the couch before cupping a hand behind his head.

It was everything JT had ever imagined about kissing Brett, about really kissing him, but it was so much more. It wasnt the Brett hed expected. There was nothing tentative about the kiss, no hesitation once they were lip-locked, just passion and the mutual give and take of tongues and lips.

When the deep longing of the kiss became sharp, shallow hitchings of breath, Brett pulled away. It felt like a direct hit to JTs insides, and he held on tight to the back of Bretts T-shirt so he couldnt get away. Brett didnt seem to have that thought in his head, though, as he inched back enough to stare intently at him.

I may be a little out of practice so youll have to bear with me.

JT rubbed their noses together, struggling to bend one leg beneath him so he could push closer to Bretts wafting warmth. You think too much,he said while his fingers danced over the back of Brett’s neck.

He wanted that damn shirt off, needed to see and touch what was underneath, but at the same time, he didnt want to scare Brett away. His patience was again called into play.

A gasp crept from between his lips when Brett hauled him into his lap. He didnt resist, his long legs straddling Bretts thighs as their mouths brushed together again. With one hand braced on the back of the couch, he shoved himself into the kiss, pressing Brett hard against the couch. After JTs initial desperation, it was tender, slow, lazy in its intention, but before long heated up again.

A few displaced strands of Bretts hair tickled JTs nose when he slanted his mouth more firmly over Bretts, his tongue greedily pushing inside. He moaned into Bretts mouth when he finally sank his fingers in the hair hed been admiring for weeks. It was as soft and beautiful as hed imagined. His fingers twirled in the strands, and he couldnt help but tug just a little. Or maybe a lot....

Hair puller, are ya?Brett eased off the kiss, but spoke directly against JTs lips. “Can’t say I dont like that.

“I’ll pull as much as you want.

JT was swimming in emotion—mind swirling, body aching, heart swooning—when Brett cupped his face and peered at him, it was like he was seeing into his very soul. You got under my skin something fierce. Think its time I told you that... maybe showed you a little too?

It came out like a question, but Brett didnt wait for an answer. He nipped at JTs bottom lip, his tongue soothing over the sting, before JT felt a firm hand palm him through his denim. He gasped or whimpered, or maybe both. Whatever he did made Brett pull back and peer at him, confusion worrying his light eyes.

But if you dont want..." 


K-lee Klein loves guys with long hair and tattoos, and you’ll often find her front and center at her favorite rock concerts. She has bounced around Western Canada all her life, but will always consider the solitude and beauty of the British Columbian mountains home. Her life is blessed as the proud mother of three now-grown but still spoiled kids, the servant of two bossy felines, and the wife of a truly patient husband.

Her writing muse is terribly temperamental, so to keep him close by and in check, she had him inked on her left calf. The gorgeous, long-haired, mostly naked, kneeling angel that resulted is truly a work of art, although he’s still a handful and hopelessly uncontrollable. She writes on his schedule and inspiration.

K-lee tends to fall easily into obsessions. When something grabs her attention, she jumps into it headfirst with complete abandon. Actors, musicians, superheroes, fictional characters, and brainwashed assassins all hold spots on her cannot-get-enough list. She once followed Thirty Seconds to Mars around the United States and Canada and saw them perform fourteen times that year. Obsession sometimes leads to ideas for her kneeling angel to turn into stories.

Although an introvert in person, she’s extroverted online and has met many wonderful friends there, sometimes with the added fun of meeting them in person at gay romance conferences. She’s grateful for all the people in her life who accept her as she is and support her through her ups and downs as mom, wife, and joyfully obsessed writer.

Places to find K-lee.

Can we give Captain America & his hard cheesing boyfriend, I mean Bucky, a round of applause, please?

Now for the fun part—the giveaway. I'm offering an ebook copy of Unbreak My Heart or a book from my backlist to one commenter. Simply leave your name, email address, and an answer to the following question then I'll randomly pick a winner on August 13th. I wish you all a great—and romantic—summer.

~~Question: Brett Taylor is a sucker for romance. What one thing do you consider to be a very romantic gesture?

Audiobook Review: The Stolen Suitor by Eli Easton

His future was set until a thief stole his heart.

All of Clyde’s Corner, Montana, knows local dandy Chris Ramsey will marry Trix Stubben, young widow and heir to the richest ranch in the area. But one woman isn’t too keen on the idea. Mabe Crassen wants to get her hands on that ranch, so she sets her older son to court Trix, and her younger son, Jeremy, to distract Chris and lure him astray.

Jeremy Crassen thinks his mother’s scheme is crazy. But he wants desperately to go off to college, which Mabe will agree to—if he seduces Chris. How will shy, virginal, secretly gay Jeremy attract Chris, who seems determined to do the right thing and marry Trix? Jeremy can’t compete with a rich female widow. Or can he?

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield
Length: 7 hrs 35 mins

I think it's official.

I'm in lurve with the Dreamspun Desires line.

So much so that even the shaky narration of my cherry popper narrator, one Mr. Rusty Topsfield, couldn't deter the great story. [Thankfully, I had a personal copy to read along]

If Harlequin/ Boon & Mills like tropes ain't your deal, just walk away from this line.

This was a homage done right.

I loved just about everything. The premise, pace, plot and especially the characters. Eli Easton's New Adult just keeps hitting the win columns on my list.

Twenty year old shy, redhead virgin Jeremy Crassen is from the wrong side of the tracks. With a good looking but lazy older brother, a father who died while incarcerated and a scheming mother who the town painted as a slut, life has been constantly giving Jeremy lemons at his trailer park. Jeremy's mother cooks a plot for both of her sons to break up Trix Stubben and Chris Ramsey, children of the wealthier families in Clyde's Corner, Montana. Eric, the sort of dimwitted older brother needs to seduce and marry Trix and Jeremy needs to seduce Chris.

Jeremy is not out and though the town has an open gay couple, he doesn't plan to start gallivanting across town with any man. Nor does he think any man would want him. Only that the older Chris is straight...or so Jeremy thinks. Jeremy sort of goes along to steal Trix's suitor but the plan backfires...due to shared feelings.

The story is more from an ensemble cast POV, the Crassens being main players just as much as Chris is.

I meant to listen to the audiobook in piecemeal, stretch out the read/listen for a few days. But two things happened.

1) I'm too used to Rusty Topsfield's style of narration after 2 books. Meaning his characters sounds just about the same with his limited vocal range. There were about 10 or more people he had to voice and they sounded about like the same 3 or 4.

After the first chapter, I had to add my ebook to my reader or I'd have gotten lost. It's not a good look when I had to read or laugh at the melding voices.

2) I devoured the story in less than 24 hours. Even with the shoddy narration. Because Easton fleshed out her characters, made the plot interesting and reeled me in by dangling tidbits of feelz here and there.

It's clear to say after our first time, me and Rusty will have to take a lengthy TO.

(Unless he narrates another book I really need to listen to, then I'll have to reevaluate my need)

There were a few typos that Rusty didn't read over (Kudos for him) But sometimes his inflections and pauses he added, didn't fit the scene of the story. I don't think he's the worst narrator ever but I've listened to better. The narration is in the 2 Hearts range.

The story? I'm not adding the narration rating in my average of the story. It was that entertaining.

Jeremy, who kept his hair long and tried to have no one notice him due to a crap child hood and living with the bigger personalities in the Crassen household was a scene stealer from get. Easton showed his growth without changing who his character was drastically. He was an intelligent young man and aspiring writer that lives in a small town with limited resources and no encouragement from his closet supports to grow. Chris's attention? It was alike a spotlight on watched a neglected flower finally shine after a little TLC.

Chris? He was bisexual and honest with his feelings. Was he dating Trix while falling for Jeremy? Technically, yes. But their dates were platonic and both tried to force feelings that weren't there. Probably due to grief, Trix's dead husband was Chris' best friend.

Eric Crassen? He started as a lovable jerkwad and ended up being my second favorite Crassen. He never thought he should amount to anything because lazy. He saw his potential when he started working for it. And we get to see his romance! That's right there's a secondary MF plot happening concurrent to Jeremy and Chris's budding romance. (I read MF romance too)

Definitely warranted and added to the overall plot.

And Mabe, the schemer and hussy of Clyde's Corner? She has a secret that knocked everyone's socks off. But she's a good person at the heart of it. I was hoping for a little more showtime on her romance or possible rekindling.

There is a little mystery tied in. And even a little "OMG, you almost died!" action.

(My only quibble is Trix. I loved her and then disliked her as her and Eric's story line got more intense. Plus, during the action section, something about her reactions rubbed me the wrong way. When it was her problem, she was all guns ablazing. But when it was someone else's, her actions seemed a little cold.

The story has a slightly dramatic ending and a sweet HEA.I couldn't stop rooting for all of the characters from start to finish. It was a little sweet, a lot of enchanting writing and solid story all around. Sweet, sexy with a realistic build to the romance. Ah, Eli Easton done right.

Definitely my favorite so far from the Dreamspun line.

P.S. What's up with Henry Atkins? The town degenerate seems to have a story itching to be told. What's up with the change?

Find more info on Dreamspinner Press, Goodreads or Booklikes!

Our previous review of The Stolen Suitor ebook here