Home, by Donna McIntosh – A Gay Guy/Straight Girl Co-review

Gay Guy/Straight Girl Co-Review
Gay Guy/Straight Girl Co-Review

Lisa’s Rating: 2.5 Stars
OJ’s Rating: 3.0 Stars
Lisa’s Review: Attention Is Arbitrary

BLURB

Every detective has one criminal he wants to bring to justice–the one who skates around the edges of the underground world, but always has an alibi and can’t be pinned down for a single crime. For LAPD Detective Sean Riker, that criminal is Mitchell Yates. Riker thinks he finally has Yates and decides to pull him in for questioning. Instead, Yates saves Sean’s life when he takes a bullet to the shoulder. The shooting hasn’t stopped and escape routes are blocked. Yates does the only thing he can. Transports Riker to his HOME–a manmade satellite orbiting Earth. Now Riker faces a choice–Remain with the LAPD…or join the Keepers’ mission.

CO-REVIEW

OJ

This book really called out to me. I mean, what’s not to like. Cops. Badass men. Space stations. Possessive exes. Hell, it’s a gay geek’s wet dream come true, right? The short answer: Yes. The longer answer: keep reading.

LISA

I loved the cover.
I loved the premise.
I loved the first chapter.
But…

THE CHARACTERS

OJ

Mitchell ‘Yana’ Yates:

Never in his forty-three years had he met someone who unsettled him so, and he hated himself for letting Yates get to him. He didn’t rattle easily, but there was something about this Mitchell Yates, with his six-foot figure, perfect teeth, emerald green eyes framed with long, thick eyelashes, and dark hair that tried to curl no matter how much he slicked it back.

Detective Sean Hennessey:

Hot, hunky, blond, furry Sean Hennessey has lived the life of a lonely cop, not wanting to come out and experience life, living a lonely existence, until he meets up with Mitchell Yates. He suspects Yates is deeply involved in nefarious activities, and yet there’s something more that calls to Sean, something he doesn’t begin to realize until he’s embroiled in the fantastical happenings after Yates saves his life.

LISA

Detective Sean Hennessey

Rugged, determined police detective, Sean Hennessey is about to discover a whole new world and have his life turned upside down. Sean’s looks aren’t described until the last fifteen percent of the book, so I had a very hard time creating a mental image of him.

Mitchell Yates (Yana)

Cool, calm, collected, Yana, is nothing that Sean thinks he is.

THE STORY

OJ

This is a good, solid science fiction premise: the LAPD detective following a strange character that seems to be present at various crime scenes, always with a perfect alibi that he feels deep down is BS. The sexy, alluring character that calls to the lonely detective and the truth behind it all. Yate/Yana is part of the Peace Keepers, a secret space faring, peace keeping people that have parked their space stations, at least some of them, around Earth – trying to keep Earth from making a mess of itself. Yates/Yana is drawn to the hot Earth detective and yet Yana has a former fling, Jimmy, that refuses to acknowledge that his and Yana’s moment was just that, a fling, and instead insists on stalking Yana and generally making nuisance of himself. Add in the standard space travel and medical wonders of the future/alien civilizations and you have the ingredients for a solid science fiction MM book.

LISA

This is where I was thrown for a loop. I was expecting a story that I didn’t get. I was so excited to read about a good guy chasing a bad guy around the galaxy and ultimately falling in love. Instead what this book was about was an earth guy discovering a super-secret protection agency stationed in near space. Much of the book is about Sean settling into life on the space station and coming to terms with leaving Earth permanently. Eventually the two mc’s do get to seek adventure in the stars, but it’s all very cordial and too perfect with rather cliche sci-fi adventure tropes. I was left feeling disappointed.

The first 40 percent of the book is all relationship development and world building. Then a few missions ensue, but everything is too convenient, too perfect.

At one point Sean has been training for a year for his first mission, he’s ready to go, but he isn’t briefed. Unlikely. He steps aboard the transport ship to take himself and Yana on their mission and it’s all brand new to Sean. Really? After a year of training? It’s just too unbelievable.

The story ends with Sean writing in a previously unforeseen diary to sum things up in a profound way. Even that just didn’t fit for me. Sean isn’t really a profound, diary writing kind of guy. Yana maybe, but not Sean.

THE WRITING

OJ

The writing is good. It flows well, no hiccups, with good editing and follow through, it just doesn’t deliver solidly in the science fiction genre. I’m left asking who are the Peace Keepers? Where did they come from? What is the end game here? What happens to Jimmy? Where do they go from here?

The MM Romance angle is good, not bad, and the sex scenes are also good, not bad, there’s just a certain science fiction spark that’s missing – and I’m a huge science fiction guy. It’s all here, it just needs to be connected and lit up so it goes *kaboom*. Give me more background, give me more geekiness, give me more.

Don’t get me wrong, please. It’s enjoyable, it’s well written, I just want some more delivery.

LISA

I found the writing sophomoric and amateurish. I believe (and I may be mistaken) that this was written as a series of shorts and brought together to create a novel. If that is true it may explain the disjointed feel to the book.

Ultimately there was a lack of connection with plot, writing, and characters throughout the story.

THE THREE QUESTIONS

For Lisa

1) What did you think of the sex scenes?
2) Was it too idyllic?
3) Is there someone you’d like to hear more about?

For OJ

1) Book two???
2) How did you feel about the godzilla-like reptile adventure?
3) Did you, like me, enjoy the concept of Home? The facility.

THE DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank Donna McIntosh and Wayward Ink Publishing for providing OJ He Say! with a copy in exchange for my honest review.

THE AUTHOR

DONNA McINTOSH was born in Elmira, New York, grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, married a Texan and has lived all over Texas for the last thirty-plus years. Donna has four children, ran a Day Care Center for many years and has written fan fiction since she was thirteen.

Donna loves long walks so her mind can ramble. She loves reading and her tastes run from Historical novels, to Sci-Fi, Westerns, Classics, all the way to WWII and biographies. In short, anything that catches her eye.

Donna loves total quiet, very little TV, occasional movies, wildlife, beaches, birds, cats, newborn babies, flowers, and great big smiles. Oh, and hugs!

She hates flying, total darkness, people who talk endlessly about themselves, intolerance, and bigotry.

Donna’s biggest asset? Her wild and endless imagination.

Her biggest flaw? She’s a Libran and simply cannot make a decision!

DONNA McINTOSH can be found at: http://donnamcintosh.weebly.com/

Copyright © 2016 by Donna McIntosh
Cover Art by: Adrian Rafail

Wayward Ink Publishing
Unit 1, No. 8 Union Street
Tighes Hill, NSW, 2297, Australia.
http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com
eBook ISBN: 978-1-925222-85-2

Let Your Heart Decide, by Lily G Blunt

Let Your Heart Decide
Let Your Heart Decide

Rating: 4.5 stars

WARNING: Please note this is a taboo romance featuring two brothers.

BLURB

New house, new job. A new start with his brother…. Two out of three isn’t bad, right? Rhys returns to his hometown and must face the brother he’s been avoiding for two years. In his heart, Rhys still hopes to recapture the bond they once shared.

Jake willingly offers him the hand of friendship, but Rhys is reluctant to confront their past, fearing it will only rip them apart again.

When Rhys sees ghostly figures in the grounds of a local historic house, it leads him to investigate their shocking past— and to face his heart’s true desire.

Please note this is a taboo romance featuring two brothers.

Let Your Heart Decide

Wow. OK. Let’s see where I begin. When I first heard about this book from one of my fave authors my ears perked up. I mean, taboo! Moth, meet flame. I’ve read a few taboo books and it all depends on how the whole subject is approached and what I found here really rocked, big time. Not only is this done in a really sensitive, honest manner but the whole paranormal angle is just brilliant. Yeah, I really couldn’t put this one down. I’m going to repeat this one more time:

Please note this is a taboo romance featuring two brothers.

THE CHARACTERS

Jake:

Still six feet of lean, manly man, his navy T-shirt clinging to his broad chest. Maybe he’d filled out, bulked up more. He walked to the front door, a hand sweeping over the top of his dark blond hair, his jean-clad legs taking large, confident strides towards me.

Rhys:

He didn’t respond at first but smiled absently, his gaze skimming down my damp chest to my towel-covered groin. Our eyes met again when he finished ogling me. His whole face exuded want, his pupils enlarged with need and lust. That was so wrong. Why did it feel so right? Jet interrupted the moment, nuzzling my balls and sniffing my blossoming erection. “Down, boy.” Jake grinned at me, then looked at the dog. “And you, Jet!” He chuckled as I turned and returned upstairs to dress.

THE STORY

Yeah, the story… This is a wonderfully written, sensitive story of two brothers, two years apart, that grow up together, experiencing all the wonderful experiences of two young boys, two young men, and form a bond that is beyond anything else. Their shared emotions, parental difficulties, coming of age hormonal urges, all shared in a spirit of love and caring and bonding beyond anything either of them could possibly hope for, however, there was one line they never crossed… until their mother’s death. Once that line was crossed things changed radically. It’s how Rhys and Jake deal with this, each in his own way, that lays the groundwork for Rhys’ return to their hometown after breaking up with his cad boyfriend, Myles. Add to this the paranormal element of Thomas and Samuel and their beyond the grave connection to Jake and Rhys and you have the ingredients for one riveting story. I was drawn in by Thomas and Samuel’s tragic story and yearned for the ending they deserved. Yes, definitely taboo, definitely hot, and definitely couldn’t put it down.

THE WRITING

The writing is amazing. The prologue grabbed ahold of me in a myriad of ways, all of them good. I’ll let your imagination go there. The rest of the story flows at a wonderful pace, the secondary characters, Phillip and Clare, and the two men from the past, Thomas and Samuel, so well written and developed that this book was such a pleasure to read. The beta reading and editing is top notch, no hiccups or WTF’s. All in all, this was a pleasure to read and I highly recommend it. A great love story, albeit not for everyone.

I must admit that with this book I am at quandary. There is a wonderful poem that weaves its way through this book, a really beautiful poem that drove me to tears. I’ve debated whether to quote it in this review and have opted not to. Please do yourself a favor, read this book, experience the poem throughout, and come home to it at the Appendix. I have some Kleenex right here.

THE DISCLAIMER

I purchased my copy of Let Your Hear Decide for my own enjoyment and reviewing.

THE AUTHOR

Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page. There never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing! Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/ m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories via Amazon and later published short stories with Torquere Press, Wayward Ink Publishing, and Pride Publishing. Lily lives in central England with her rather bemused husband and a ‘mad as a bag of frogs’ Shetland Sheepdog called Barney. Lily loves to hear from readers.
You can find her contact information, social media and other links at http://lilygblunt.wordpress.com

Let Your Heart Decide First Edition May 2016
Copyright © Lily G. Blunt 2016
Cover Art by Garrett Leigh at Black Jazz Designs © 2016
Editor: Sue Adams
Published May 10th 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN 1533117357 (ISBN13: 9781533117359)

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