Category Archives: Contemporay M/M

“#BookReview – Falling Hard by Dale Cameron Lowry @DaleCLowry #MMROMANCE #ANTHOLOGY”

Falling Hard

Rating: 5.0 stars

BLURB

Falling Hard features nine of Dale Cameron Lowry’s best short romance stories, available for the first time in one book. Meet a sign language interpreter who finds unexpected love at middle-age, college students in their first relationships, a vampire who would rather be a vegan, and a proudly gay ex-Mormon atheist who sells Bibles for a living. From sweet to erotic, this collection exhibits the quirkiness, fun, and diversity Dale’s writing is known for.

Falling Hard – The Anthology:

Reading and doing a review of Falling Hard was an easy yes for me as, fortunately, I had previously sampled some of Dale Cameron Lowry’s work and had really enjoyed it, so… being that there were new, as yet unread, stories in this anthology it was an easy, logical decision.

The stories are all excellent in their own right, each fully developed and highly enjoyable in their short story format. The stories ramp up in from mild to scorching hot as they go on in the book which makes for a really nice progression. The emotional and romantic quotient is there and the heat factor is definitely there.

Of course, I have my favorites as I’m sure you will too. Let me know which ones you favor.

Sit back and enjoy!

THE STORIES

• Mi Alma — Ex-Mormon Alma Larsen doesn’t know the first thing about alcohol, so he hires bartender Damian Banks to help out at his winter holiday party. They build a friendship that simmers with sexual tension—and possibly something much deeper.
• Loggerhead – Soon after they fall in love, Jake makes Eric a promise inspired by an old track uniform. But demanding work schedules at Jake’s four-star restaurant and Eric’s newspaper keep them from following through. Six years later, they take the honeymoon they never had, heading to the Florida coast in search of sea turtles—and rekindling their passion for each other in the process.
• Reading the Signs — The only thing twenty-three-year-old Theo De Jong expects when he enrolls in a summer school for linguists in New Mexico is to get more ideas for his master’s thesis in Dutch Sign Language. But then he meets the American sign language expert Alfonso Grossman, and sparks fly.
• Born of Fire — The fairies on Ireland’s north coast are notorious for kidnapping, and Aodhán of County Donegal has the scars to prove it. When the fairies abduct the handsome youth Cainnech, Aodhán seeks to free him—but risks losing his health and Cainnech in the process.
• Ghost of a Chance — When shy Jeremy Anderson meets mysterious and dapper Frank at his spooky old university library, their connection is instant. Their romance waxes with the full moon—but just as quickly, Frank’s interest seems to wane. He insists that he loves spending time with Jeremy, but then why does he keep Jeremy at arm’s length?
• Far From Home — Rajiv met and fell in love with his husband, Mateo, when they were both members of the scientific team responsible for transforming Mars into a home suitable for humans. But years into their shared mission, Rajiv is ordered back to Earth to restore the barren lands of the American Midwest. With a little help from technology, the two men find innovative ways to nurture their long-distance relationship while they wait to reunite.
• Sweeter Than Blood — Keith was a vegan before a hot encounter with a stranger turned him into a vampire. In the year since, his sire, John, has tried to make up for the mistake by teaching Keith everything he knows about being a non-murderous bloodsucker. But temptation is strong in the form of Andres, a regular customer at the barbershop where Keith works. When Andres finally asks Keith on a date, the real danger begins.
• Rough Love — Blake thinks new boyfriend Michael doesn’t like French kissing. Michael thinks Blake doesn’t like rough sex. Neither are virgins, except in the art of conversation. Can they set things straight before the honeymoon’s over?
• Pacific Rimming — On Mike’s fortieth birthday, his husband, Ken, takes him on vacation to Vancouver Island in Western Canada to celebrate. While Mike mourns his loss of youth, Ken encourages him to recapture it by bedding a gorgeous twenty-something man they encounter while hiking in Pacific Rim National Park. A night of no-holds-barred passion among the three men reveals a sizzling chemistry, and when Mike and Ken return home they find themselves longing to reconnect with the young Jason. Can what started as a one-night stand transform into a threesome that lasts?

THE AUTHOR

Dale Cameron Lowry lives in the Upper Midwest with a partner and three cats, one of whom enjoys eating dish towels, quilts, and wool socks. It’s up to you to guess whether the fabric eater is one of the cats or the partner. When not busy mending items destroyed by the aforementioned fabric eater, Dale is a writer and editor who enjoys wasting time on Tumblr, listening to podcasts, studying anatomy, getting annoyed at Duolingo, and reading fairy tales. Previous careers include sign language linguist, grocery store clerk, journalist, gardener, and camp counselor.

Dale began writing for fun at the age of eight and has been making up stories ever since, from overly workshopped literary fiction to off-the-cuff fanfic. Queer Mormons have a way of popping up in Dale’s work, whether it’s romance or erotica, sci fi or fairy tales, slice-of-life contemporary fiction or spine-tingling horror. So do immigrants and emigrants, people with disabilities, multilingual folks, and others who live their lives navigating multiple cultures.

You can contact Mr. Lowry at:
Website
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Facebook Author Page
Twitter
Tumblr
Goodreads
Pinterest
Google+

THE DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank Mr. Dale Cameron Lowry andTerrestrial Press for providing OJ He Say! with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Published by: Terrestrial Press
Madison, Wisconsin USA

Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love
Copyright © 2017 by Dale Cameron Lowry.
Cover illustration by Terrestrial Press.
Editing by Deelylah Mullin, Paige Prince, and B. Luckowski.
First publication as collection: January 2017
Published in the USA
ISBN 9781508058670

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#BookReview – The Otto Digmore Difference by Brent Hartinger @brenthartinger #MMLITERATURE #MMFRIENDSHIP

Rating: 5.0 stars

BLURB

Otto Digmore is a 26-year-old gay guy with dreams of being a successful actor, and he’s finally getting some attention as a result of his supporting role on a struggling sitcom. But he’s also a burn survivor with scars on half his face, and all indications are that he’s just too different to ever find real Hollywood success.

Now he’s up for an amazing new role that could change everything. Problem is, he and his best friend Russel Middlebrook have to drive all the way across the country in order to get to the audition on time.

It’s hard to say which is worse: the fact that so many things go wrong, or that Russel, an aspiring screenwriter, keeps comparing their experiences to some kind of road trip movie.

There’s also the fact that Otto and Russel were once boyfriends, and Otto is starting to realize that he might still have romantic feelings for his best friend.

Just how far will Otto go to get the role, and maybe the guy, of his dreams?

The Otto Digmore Difference

When Mr. Hartinger offered me the ARC of the first book in a new series I was first totally dumbfounded and then completely flattered. I mean, Brent Freakin’ Hartinger?! Hell, yes I was accepting his ARC! Of course, I thought it was a Young Adult book, but hey Brent Hartinger! Boy, was I wrong. What I got was nothing short of true Gay Literature. An engrossing, excellently written, at times poignant and at times funny story of a very important time in gay men’s lives.

As a gay man there comes a time in our lives, usually in our 20’s, when our lives become defined. We are old enough and mature enough at this phase in our lives to form those first bonds of our extended families – the family we create for ourselves, not the inherited family that doesn’t necessarily get what our lives are. It is at this crucial juncture that the lifetime bonds are created with friends, oftentimes ex-boyfriends and their new mates and sometimes with completely new acquaintances. That is what this book is about. Oh, and yes, there is romance. The romance and love of a longtime friend that continues to love deeply, and that unexpected romance that comes out of the blue, like a bolt of lightning, that smacks us silly.

THE CHARACTERS

Otto Digmore:

I turn and look out the window, but the lights are still on inside the plane, so all I see is the reflection of the First Class cabin in the clear plastic. I also see my face — the whole right side. It’s covered with scars. In some places, it looks a little bit like my face is melting. This is the other reason the businessman was staring at me. The good news is that I still have both my eyebrows. I have more scars too. They run down onto my shoulder and chest, hidden by my clothes, and also up under my hairline. Most of my hair is real, but one small part of it isn’t — it’s a hairpiece that’s woven into my actual hair. It was really expensive, and it has to be adjusted every three weeks, but it looks real. Not even my friend Russel knows about it.

Russel Middlebrook:

When Russel opens the door to his apartment, I’m about to tell him what a great time I had at his wedding. But before I can speak, he says, “What is it? What’s wrong?” Russel has dark red hair and the lightest smattering of freckles on his nose, but right now his brow is wrinkled with concern. He sees something on my face. I go inside and take a seat. Russel and Kevin aren’t rich — Russel’s a screenwriter, a really good one, but hasn’t sold anything yet, so he makes his living as a barista. Kevin is an editor at IMDb.com. And so their apartment is pretty modest compared to mine: a saggy couch, cluttered shelves. I can’t help but notice that it smells lived in, unlike mine. It’s nice, musky, a little lemony — like two handsome men.

Greg – Fiona’s assistant:

Inside her waiting room, I find Greg, her assistant, sitting at his desk. He’s this Native guy, big and tall, with a ponytail and a Los Angeles Rams jersey. Greg is another way Fiona isn’t like most other agents, because most of their assistants all look exactly the same, in pressed white shirts flashing creepy robot smiles. “You’re here!” he says, beaming. For some reason, it doesn’t seem like a big guy like Greg should be giddy, but he usually is — today maybe even more than usual.

THE STORY

This was such an engrossing story that I literally couldn’t put it down. I was eager to get back to it as soon as I could whenever I had to put it down. Otto’s story, in and of itself, isn’t quite as unique as it may seem. Yes, he has a physical disfigurement due to a childhood accident when he was playing super hero and ended up burning himself, but this just means that his scars are visible on the outside instead of inside, mostly.

At an early age, Otto discovers his love for acting, for becoming that special character, wholly and completely, and bringing it to life, so he pursues his dream even with his physical scars. He ends up going to Hollywood and meeting Fiona, his agent who totally believed in him and his potential and she gets him a role in a television series, Hammered, unfortunately the series is cancelled.

As he zeroes in on a new role, a part in a major studio film, the story becomes the quintessential road trip story with Otto surrounded my those that love him, truly love him: Russel and Greg and Kevin. Can Otto look beyond his own self-centeredness, a condition that afflicts us all, and see love for what it truly is? And can he give the one man who falls in love with him that one chance? I think you’ll be really taken by this story, and a masterful story it is.

THE WRITING

The writing is impeccable. Clean, crisp, witty, the story rolls out smoothly with no hiccups and double takes. Mr. Hartinger has a clear style that is not florid or overdone, instead it is refreshing, crisp and enticing. In a tongue in cheek manner Mr. Hartinger takes on the famous road trip story with its bits of comedy and emotion coming through at the end with the inevitable realization. Bravo.

THE AUTHOR

Brent Hartinger is an author and screenwriter. He wrote the YA classic, Geography Club (2003), which was adapted as a 2013 feature film co-starring Scott Bakula, and is now being developed as a television series. He’s since published twelve more novels and had eight of his screenplays optioned by producers. He has won both the Lambda and GLAAD Media Award, and been nominated for the Edgar Award. Visit him at brenthartinger.com.

THE DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank Mr. Brent Hartinger for providing OJ He Say! with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Otto Digmore Difference
Copyright © 2017 Brent Hartinger

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Architect of Love by John Charles

Architect of Love
Architect of Love
Rating: 4 stars

BLURB

He could work miracles with His Hands

Lance Bartner loved working with his hands, made his living refinishing furniture. Nights out were for fun with friends and the occasional hook-up. Though the L word had never been spoken, he would have enjoyed a relationship had the right man crossed his path. But who would want a laborer like Lance? He wasn’t college educated, didn’t live in a fancy loft condo, didn’t drive a Lexus, and didn’t even own a suit. Forrest Dentren, was an architect and city planner who had become a local name when his design for the Monroe City Center was chosen as one of the top three contenders. Well educated, extremely well built, and as both men and women put it, just plain hot. Some said he was married to his job, others said he was too picky, many said he didn’t want to share the spotlight.

One hot, uninhibited sex-filled night

When Forrest broke his routine and went clubbing on a weeknight, he spotted Lance. The attraction was immediate from both sides of the dance floor. They both felt it. A few drinks later, still feeling it, they left for Lance’s apartment.

It was never supposed to turn into anything more than one hot fuck

Two people from opposite ends of the world, no roadmap, not directions, no ideas how to make it work.

Architect of Love

You know, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading Architect of Love as I’d never read a John Charles book, however the blurb called out to me, so what the heck. Right? What I got was a really hot and enjoyable book that caught be flat footed.

Lance and Forrest’s story is truly a gay romance novel of two disparate men that find each other and that I found myself cheering for. Well worth it and just in time for the holidays.

THE CHARACTERS

Forrest Dentren:

“The tall blond kicked the door closed with his foot as he pinned the shorter, more muscular man against the wall. One hand held the shorter man’s hands above his head, the other a handful of his shirt.

“Lance is a pretty name for such a muscular guy. Why’d your mother name you that?” His face was mere inches from Lance’s. They breathed the same air as they stared into the other man’s eyes.”

Forrest Dentren, is a successful architect that’s starting to make a name and reputation for himself and his company. A dedicated workaholic, he only allows himself two nights a week for his fun: Friday and Saturday nights, as he can stay out late and not have his fun interfere with his work. On a whim, he goes out on a weeknight and meets Forrest Dentren.

Lance Bartner:

“Suddenly as if on attack, Lance twisted in the taller man’s arms. He forced Forrest around and pressed him against the wall where his back had lain seconds prior. “How does it feel now?” he whispered unable to voice anything louder. “You want more? Can you handle it or are the trees too big, Forrest?”

Forrest could feel Lance’s long, calloused fingers holding his wrists. Short, muscular legs stood outside his encasing him. The hand pushing against his chest caused his heartbeat to sound and feel harder and louder. It was his turn to hyperventilate. “I can take anything you throw at me. Care to try something else or is this all you’ve got?””

Hot, sexy, muscular, furry Lance Bartner is a blue-collar guy, a successful furniture restorer and refinisher. A man that’s used to working with his hands. When he meets Forrest at the local watering hole an unexpected spark is ignited. Unexpected because Forrest is not his usual type. At all.

THE STORY

This is truly a gay MM Romance book. It’s a love story of two men, completely different characters, different physically and in social standing, that have a magnetic attraction for each other. It’s on how they handle these differences, and accept each other that forms this very enjoyable read.

Forrest is starting to hit the big time with his career and his company, coming in a close second in the city’s contest for a new city center. He’s just starting to hit the limelight when he meets Lance. Lance isn’t used to the limelight, he’s more used to his regular blue-collar friends and life, so it is his angst towards a future with Forrest the forms the dynamic for the story, and what a fun to read story this is.

THE WRITING

This is solid, well executed writing that’s been very well edited. The sex scenes in this book are off the scale, intensely hot and the character development is spot on. The writing flows smoothly. The reader doesn’t experience any WTF double takes and the characters deliver at the precisely correct time. Well done. I look forward to the next book by this author.

DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank John Charles with providing an Advance Review Copy to OJ He Say! in exchange for an honest review.

THE AUTHOR

As a youngster, I not only had trouble reading, I couldn’t string two sentences together. Reading was a chore, but I had to read for school and work. In my sophomore year of college, with the help of my aunt and several courses I learned to get past my, until then undiagnosed, dyslexia. After that, reading actually started to become fun. Now I read constantly.
My desire to become an author developed through the years as my own children grew. We read books every night. When they were little I read to them. As they grew, and learned how to read, they read to me.
We congregated on the couch, or on one of their beds, and read stories together. It was fun, crazy, and sometimes frustrating. There were times when schedules made group reading difficult, but individual sessions were managed most nights.
During those years of family growth, I developed the desire to write my own books. Initially I thought about writing children’s books – and developed outlines for a couple of them. As my children grew and began reading different genres, my desires changed, too.
Then I discovered the gay themed mystery – I couldn’t get enough.
I started writing gay (male/male) themed novels, using my pen name John Charles and never looked back. I find developing a character that is passionate about his life and the life of his lover is a turn on to many readers as well as to me. So I try to develop that passion in my books and endeavor to make each character special.
The plots in my novels come from real life situations. I have always believed that real life is more interesting than anything a person could make up. I listen, keep my eyes open, and let the world give me the ideas that make my stories believable and interesting.
I find myself enjoying writing more than anything I’ve ever done in my life.

Copyright © 2016 John Charles
978-1-882598-14-4

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Exclusive #Excerpt: The Bucket List by Tricia Owens @juxtaposefantsy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bucket List
By Tricia Owens

M/M Contemporary Romance
Book one of LoLLA series, but each are standalones

High heat level

33k words

BLURB

When Quinn nearly dies in a skydiving incident, his life flashes before his eyes…and it’s pretty boring. Though he’s moved to Las Vegas to rebel against his strict Mormon upbringing, he still hasn’t done much to liven up his life. He’s far too comfortable with his boring routine. After the accident, however, he vows to change this. He draws up a bucket list with all the best intentions, yet somehow nothing changes. Quinn worries that he really is a dud, until a gorgeous man walks up to him and suggests an indecent proposal.

Gabriel has had a lot of sex. He’s fantastic at it and he’s good-looking, so he never lacks for people willing to jump into bed with him. But after a rough break-up, he’s determined to make hooking up a secondary priority. It’s too bad that when he first sees Quinn and his heart goes pitter-patter, Gabriel’s first instinct is to make a bet with Quinn involving sex.

With one spin of the roulette wheel, Gabriel and Quinn embark on a series of sexually adventurous dares, each more exciting than the last. But what happens when one of them pushes for something more? LoLLA books are standalone novellas with lots of love/sex, low angst, and a Happily Ever After ending for a quick dose of happiness.

EXCERPT

“What’s the big deal, Quinn?” Gabriel was watching him intently, in a way no one had ever watched him. Like a wolf would, maybe. “There are thirty-eight numbers. What’s the chance you’ll hit mine? Live a little.”
Quinn didn’t like that Gabriel had automatically assumed he was gay. Quinn played it pretty straight out of a lifelong habit of concealing himself. It bothered him that this stranger had read him with ease.
But that’s just smoke and mirrors. What you’re really afraid of is finally doing something to spice up your life. When did you become such a chickenshit? When did you decide that this was the best your life could be?
“It wouldn’t be so bad to lose,” Gabriel continued. The corner of his mouth curled. “You’ve been staring at me since I walked up. I know it’s not me you have a problem with.”
Quinn felt heat in his cheeks, but told himself he was flushed from anger. Gabriel might be the most attractive man that Quinn had ever seen, but that didn’t mean he would automatically fall all over the guy. Quinn had too much practice controlling and suppressing his urges.
And that’s the problem, genius.
“You’re not afraid you’ll lose, are you?” Gabriel pressed, as insistent as a terrier. Quinn recognized that under different circumstances his persistence would have been sexy, but at the moment, Quinn only found Gabriel annoying.
He thought furiously. Thirty-eight to one were bad odds, especially when Quinn had the ability to pick and choose which number he did—or didn’t—hit. He relaxed slightly as he realized he could choose how this story ended.
But isn’t this about living a little? Isn’t this about having a story to recall the next time you’re falling out of the sky?
He reached into the wheel well for the ball.
“Agree to the bet before you spin it.”
Quinn didn’t bother hiding his glare at the order. Gabriel merely continued smiling. “Be a good sport, Quinn. You’ve got nothing to lose.”
Nothing to lose but the status quo which was safe. Which would have kept him away from a failing parachute.
After another glance at his supervisor, Quinn finally said, “Fine. It’s a bet.”

Available at:

AUTHOR BIO AND CONTACT INFO

Tricia writes m/m romance, ménage, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. An avid traveler, she has visited over 80 countries and now makes her home in Las Vegas.
Bucket List page on author’s website: The Bucket List
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Website
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The Jewel of Colorado, by Jason Collins

The Jewel of Colorado
The Jewel of Colorado

Rating: 3.5 stars

BLURB

When Evan Carlson hears that a member of the elusive Sanders family is visiting his bank to have the most valuable diamond in Colorado appraised, he assumes that he won’t be allowed anywhere near the jewel. But when Jacob Sanders arrives, he specifically requests that Evan be present for the secretive meeting, and Evan tries his best to keep his composure around the strikingly handsome man. Jacob comes across as a friendly, assertive guy who is unaffected by his wealth, and Evan feels an immediate attraction.

Invited to visit the Sanders Ranch, Evan discovers a family who cares deeply for each other despite their attempts to keep some of their darker secrets hidden. When one of those unwanted secrets appears out of the blue, Evan and Jacob are thrown together and forced to deal with the chaos. As the two men begin to explore their feelings, they must deal with the realization that the precious jewel has gone missing.

Trying his best to comfort Jacob, Evan agrees to help search for the missing stone or the person who might have stolen it. With fingers being pointed in all directions, Evan tries to keep himself off the list of suspects as he moves forward cautiously. Hoping to save their relationship, Evan joins in the hunt for Colorado’s most infamous jewel.

The Jewel of Colorado

This book called out to me as soon as I read the blurb for it. I mean, cowboys, jewels, Colorado and hot men? What’s not to like!

What I found was a great, fun, interesting whodunit that I can wholeheartedly recommend. Great reading here.

THE CHARACTERS

Evan Carlson:

“Just tell me this, Evan: are you looking forward to coming back tonight?”

Evan paused before answering, as he wanted to make Jacob sweat it out a little. He had never really played hard to get before, but something about being pursued was making him excited. He liked knowing that someone was genuinely interested in him, and he wanted to milk the feeling for all it was worth.

“Evan?” Jacob asked again.

Evan sighed with a smile as he finally replied, “You know I am.””

Evan Carlson has been working at Telluride’s First National Bank for years now, under the thumb of his oppressive boss, Mr. Phillips, and he has been wanting and working towards a promotion with the bank when he meets the handsome Jacob Sanders, heir to the Sanders fortune and the famous Blue Moon diamond that is kept at First National’s safe.

Jacob Sanders:

“Jacob was one of the most handsome men he had seen in ages. He was tall with dark brown hair, and a classic look that seemed effortless. He was dressed conservatively in jeans and boots, and he looked as though he had just spent a carefree day at the ranch.”

Jacob Sanders, a banker in his own right, returns home to Telluride to take care of his grandfather, the patriarch of the Sanders fortune and 5,000 acre ranch at the foothills of the Rockies when he goes to Telluride’s First National Bank to have the famous Blue Moon diamond re-appraised. He decides to take the diamond home for his grandfather, hoping to lift his spirits up, when he meets the alluring Evan Carlson. Unbeknownst to Jacob, this would trigger a maddening series of events.

THE STORY

The Jewel of Colorado is a fun, creative, and entertaining contemporary cowboy whodunit.

Evan’s been working at First National for years when he meets the handsome Jacob who takes him to his grandfather’s ranch at the foothills of the Rockies. Jacob also takes the Blue Moon diamond with him to cheer his grandfather up while he is recuperating from a broken arm.

While Evan and Jacob are getting to know each other Jacob’s estranged step mother, Lucy, comes back home. Jacob’s grandfather, James, has been trying to divorce Lucy for years to no avail and now Lucy decides to come home. Not only is Lucy back home, but Jacob’s sister, Ella, has come home as well to be with Jacob and her grandfather. That same night the Blue Moon goes missing. The result is a fun whodunit that keeps you on your toes throughout.

THE WRITING

Jason Collins puts forth a good, solid story, albeit a little slow at the very beginning but then the story picks up a good steady, interesting pace. The characters seem well developed for the story, not overdone. The one thing I would have loved to see is where are Jacob’s and Ella’s parents? It seems as if that piece of information is never given. Did they perish in a horrible airplane accident whilst traveling in Nepal? Hmmm… Otherwise this is a really enjoyable book.

THE DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank Jason Collins with providing OJ He Say! with an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

THE AUTHOR

Hello everyone, I’m Jason Collins. I’m a writer from the South, but I’ve been living in New York for quite a while, so I’ve started calling myself a “southern New Yorker”. There’s nothing I love more than a hot cup of coffee and a good story, so I try to do most of my writing when I have a fresh pot available. I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.

Copyright © 2016 by Jason Collins
All rights reserved.
Cover Design by Jay Aheer of Simply Defined Art

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Between Us, by F.E. Feeley Jr.

Between Us
Between Us

Rating: 4 stars

BLURB

When Jeremy, a tall, hunky, ladies man begins to explore his bisexual attractions, he realizes he loves his best friend and college roommate Roger.
Roger secretly loves Jeremy back but is holding on to a secret of his own. A terrible one.
On Halloween night both men are invited to a party where the truth of each other will be revealed in a horrific way. Will they survive a night of terror? Or will it rip them apart forever?

Between Us

One of my partners in crime, Lisa Arbitrary, recommended this novella to me and man do I owe her one back.

What a wonderfully fun, delicious piece of Halloween candy this morsel turned out to be. A great, sweet Halloween treat.

THE CHARACTERS

Roger:

“Jeremy watched as his five-foot-eight, one-hundred-and-ninety-pound best friend got up off the couch and put the Xbox controller back on the stand, and he felt a twinge in his heart.”

Hot, hunky Roger has been best friends with Jeremy since they were kids. Inseparable then and now, they’ve stayed best friends on into college. Except there’s one secret his never told Jeremy. No, not that he’s gay – Jeremy’s known that all along, it’s the fact that Roger’s a medium, a fact here discovered early on that his mother helped him deal with.

Jeremy:

“Unlike Roger, Jeremy was tall. At least six-three and had about fifty pounds on him. Roger was muscular, but Jeremy was no slouch either. They were night and day. Where Roger’s hair was light brown and short, Jeremy’s was pitch black and long. Where Roger was darker skinned and tan, Jeremy was pale. Where Jeremy was boisterous and the life of the party, Roger was more reserved and quiet.”

Jeremy has been Roger’s best friend through thick and thin and he was the first person that Roger told he was gay. No secrets between them, except one: Jeremy’s never told Roger he’s bisexual and that he’s fallen in love with his best friend.

THE STORY

What a fun, deliciously sweet story with just the right amount of angst. Gotta love some angst in my books, it’s like a fine spice.

Roger and Jeremy have been best friends their whole lives, sharing everything with each other. Well, almost everything. Roger’s never told Jeremy he’s a medium as he was taught to suppress this part of himself, and Jeremy’s never told Roger that he’s bisexual, much less that he’s fallen in love with his hunky best friend.

Now in college the two of them are roommates and come Halloween Jeremy’s ready to party. Halloween has always been a nightmare for Roger as the spirits are at their peak during Halloween, making for not such a fun time. To top it all off this is the time Jeremy picks to tell Roger that he’s bisexual and interested in dating Roger.

For 48 pages, this short novella delivers a great read just in time for Halloween!

THE WRITING

This is really good writing. In order to deliver the way this story did in 48 pages, you know it’s good writing. Every character is adequately and effectively developed for the story. The backstory of Roger and his mom is well done and the douchey frat boys are just right, not overdone, which could easily have happened, and the story ends just right.

I think I’ve found a new writer to follow!

RAFFLECOPTER

F. E. Feeley, Jr. is bringing you some Halloween treats – a chance to WIN 2 ebook copies from his backlist!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE AUTHOR

F.E. Feeley Jr was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and lived there for twenty years before joining the military. He is a veteran of the US Armed Services; having done a tour in support of Operation Iraq Freedom in 2002-2003, he turned college student, pursuing a degree in political science. He now lives in Southeast Texas where he is married to the love of his life, John, and where they raise their 1½ year old German shepherd, Kaiser.

As a young man, reading took center stage in his life, especially those novels about ghosts, witches, goblins, and all the other things that went bump in the night. His favorite authors include such writers as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice, whose work allowed him to travel to far off places and meet fascinating and scary characters. As a gay man, he wishes to be able to write good fictional literature for those who love the genre and to write characters that readers can relate to. All in all, he is a cigarette smokin’, whiskey drinkin’, rock and roll lovin’, tattoo wearin’ dreamer of a man with a wonderful husband who puts up with his crap and lets him write his stories.

Website: F.E. Feeley Jr
Facebook: Frederick Eugene Feeley Jr.

Published October 14, 2016 via Amazon
ASIN: B01MA43TOL

Keep in touch OJ He Say!

Wes’ Denial: The Debauched Denial Interview Part 2 – Blog Tour and Giveaway with Joseph Lance Tonlet

Wes' Denial
Wes’ Denial

Welcome everyone, thank you for stopping by OJ He Say! for this very special, exclusive author interview with Joseph Lance Tonlet, the Master sub of #pleasurethroughdenial.

This interview has two parts. My co-reviewer, Lisa and I have practically torn JLT in two to bring you a dual perspective from our Gay Guy/ Straight Girl viewpoints.

Our co-review of Wes’ Denial is here.

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

Lisa got to go first and now I’m going to get down and dirty, Dom to sub, with JLT.

Here’s Lisa’s Debauched Denial Interview Part 1

Don’t forget to check out the giveaway package JLT has put together for a very lucky winner at the end of this down and dirty interview.

The Debauched Denial Interview – Part 2

Wes' Denial
Wes’ Denial

Thanks so much for the privilege of this interview. I’ve been dying to ask you some questions about Wes’ Denial.

OK, here goes: As a Dom, I’ve focused more on Wes than Grif, even though I love Grif for reasons we’ll get into…

OJ – How did you get into a Dom’s head space so well. It was pretty darn much on point. You pretty much got it. How?

JLTWow! No, I’m serious, WOW! Thank you so much for that compliment, OJ. As I was saying to Lisa, one of the most challenging things about writing Wes’ Denial was trying to ensure I got the ‘feeling’ of being a Dom down. I’m a sub – something I find great fulfillment in – and I have no desire to dominate another person sexually, so this particular aspect of the book was concerning for me. To be honest, it took me a little bit to find an angle I felt comfortable writing from. What I came up with was this: What do I, as a submissive, ‘hope’ a Dom is feeling when he’s with a sub – when he’s with me? I found that if I wrote that, that if I tapped into what I truly hoped a Dom was experiencing on an emotional level – the exhilaration of hurting, or humiliating, or controlling his sub – I could give voice to that. The following passage from Grif’s Toy finds Wes and Grif deep in a sexual scene and picks up with Wes asking Grif a question:

“And if it’s pain I decide I’d like to offer your meager prick? If it’s seeing you hurt that makes me hard, that gives me pleasure?”
And there it was, the key combination. Sure, I enjoyed the submission, the pain, and the denigration. But it was the combination—the indubitable knowledge—that he enjoyed my submission, inflicting the pain, and delivering the denigration, as much as I enjoyed receiving it. That’s where the complete bliss lay.

The above succinctly conveys my personal feelings about being a sub. Sure, I enjoy much of what trips Grif’s trigger but, like Grif, I wouldn’t enjoy having any of it done if I weren’t absolutely certain my Dom were deriving just as much pleasure and fulfillment out of doing those things to me. Knowing, without question, that he is enjoying hurting me, degrading me, using me for his desires… I have known no greater pleasure! With those basic truths and tenets in mind, I set about writing Wes’ character.

OJ – Grif is phenomenal. Again, how did you get into that headspace. He’s a complete person, tell me about that – getting into that subspace.

JLT*blushes* Again, thank you. I admit, writing Grif – both his character, and from his perspective – was relatively easy. As I mentioned, we share very similar sexual tastes. So, once I overcame my initial hesitation of putting into writing some of the most private aspects of my life (Grif and I share not only congruent sexual kinks, but also certain anatomy characteristics) I found writing him – and his story – both easy and surprisingly liberating.

OJ – Henrik and Paul. Wow. OK. The two scenes with them. How did you develop those? I’m really curious here. They’re off the scale. Really?

JLTThose two characters not only profoundly impact how Wes sees himself, but they are also pivotal to the overall arc of Wes’ Denial. Without delving too deeply into the scenes themselves, I will say they had to be hard-hitting. Indeed, each were defining moments in Wes’ life and colored many of his future decisions. Thus, the challenge in writing them was twofold: one, their significance would need to be unquestionable, and two, they had to be written in a way that was truthful to Wes’ character. I believe within each of us lies the ability to do something heinous, something tragic, something unforgivable, if the right circumstances present themselves. The key, I believe, when writing a story is finding the exact circumstances that both fit the character and, when presented with them, will subsequently push that character over the edge…cause him to (justifiably?) do something he’d never otherwise do. And, not coincidentally, both of the future-shaping events/scenes you mentioned, OJ, are motivated by love and compassion. Wes feels deeply and with his entire being.

OJ – Grif’s Toy and Wes’ Denial was not a quick project. How did you plot these two out, or did one come naturally out of the other?

JLTLOL! I laugh because these books were a VERY lengthy process. The first draft of Grif’s Toy was written in just under 4 weeks. That’s about six chapters a week, or slightly under a chapter a day. Needless to say, when I started writing, things just…flowed. But, that was just the first draft – countless others would follow. Wes’ Denial was written directly after that. In fact, some rather small parts were penned while I was writing Grif’s Toy. Both books were written in the spring/summer of 2013. Grif’s Toy wouldn’t be published until the fall of 2014, and Wes’ Denial was just released last week. To describe the process of shaping Grif’s Toy from ‘first draft’ to ‘publication ready’ as a learning experience would be a huge understatement. I wrote both books without any prior writing experience at all. (I don’t consider the mandatory writing I did while in college worthy of the designation ‘experience’.)

It’s generally accepted that there are two types of writing: 1) Plotting – meaning the entire book is plotted out prior to writing the first word, and 2) Pantsing – meaning nothing is plotted out and one simply sits down and starts writing. With the exception of the beginning and the ending of both books, I Pantsed the entire thing. I knew where each would start, and where each would end, but nothing more. Aside from that, what’s on the page is the result of placing my fingers on a keyboard and letting the story take me where it would. As you might imagine, there can be some significant drawbacks to this method of writing. Pictured below are the chapters in Wes’ Denial. One night, rather than rip my hair out yet again, I took the rather drastic step of ripping the book apart, spreading it on the table, and rearranging the entire thing. Once that was done, I went about rewriting the affected parts. I now consider myself a reformed Pantser and a firm Plotter.

Wes' Denial plot
Wes’ Denial plot

OJ – Thomas. I love Thomas. Might we see more of Thomas’ life in the future?

JLTThanks so much! I’m so glad you like him, because I simply adore him. Thomas is a much harsher Dom than Wes will ever be, but I found it nice to explore a less outwardly jovial character. Where Wes mostly derives pleasure from the psychological Thomas’ kink is much more physical. His love, his rush, his euphoria is causing physical pain. Thomas asks the question below of his sub and Wes, who were having a whispered conversation while Thomas was preparing his next implement of pain inflection:

“Are we about done with the chit-chat, ladies?” He rolled his shoulders and stretched his neck side-to-side before snipping, “My dick is hard and I want to hit someone.”

One of the things I find most attractive about Thomas, and Wes, is how they own their kinks. Neither apologizes for what turns them on – they embrace who they are, and what they like, wholly.

OJ – Quinn and Gage. What an amazing, and complimentary to Wes and Grif, couple they are. That beach scene, as a Dom, was one of the single most erotic things I’ve ever read. Creating a reward for your sub and kicking back with your fellow Dom to enjoy the results, like a fine glass of Scotch served neat. Yeah! That so works. Care to tell us more about that and perhaps there’s more to Quinn and Gage? A rich story there.

JLTAs an erotica author, I can’t easily convey how much that means to me, OJ. I write about sex, sure. And, without a doubt, I sincerely hope it titillates. However, I honestly believe their appeal is directly related to how much the reader has become invested in the story and with the characters. In fact, in addition to titillation, and of equal importance with these scenes, is conveying feelings, motivations, and forwarding the arc of the story. That difference – using sex as a vehicle – is what I feel defines and sets erotica authors aside from our non-erotica counterparts. It’s funny, I was talking about this very thing the other day with my friend Katie. Well, more specifically, we were discussing how much dialogue my sex scenes tend to contain. Again, the primary reason for that IS to further the story through sex. And why do I choose sex? Well, for one, it’s just downright fun to write about. But beyond that, it’s been my personal experience that people are either very emotionally closed, or very emotionally accessible during sex. Often times people are most real when they’re flayed open and vulnerable. And what better way to illustrate that vulnerability than to toss a submissive into an unfamiliar, perhaps even uncomfortable situation? Again, I’m so glad you found that scene enjoyable.

I also can’t easily put into words the joy writing about another D/s couple gave me. Quinn and Gage intrigue me tremendously! Of course I know most of their story; how they arrived where they are when we meet them in Wes’ Denial, what challenges they faced in the past, and some of the hurdles that face them in the future. Will their stories ever make it onto the page? I honestly have no plans to do so. But, again, never say never, right?

Thanks for stopping by and getting down and dirty with us. We sincerely cannot wait to see what other phenomenal stories you have up your sleeve, or caged up waiting for release.

BLURB

Wes has spent his life looking for that one special guy who will understand and love him—all of him. From his tender vanilla side, to his darker debauched side.

Throughout high school, his successful career in the Marines, and as a BDSM Dom, he’s remained confident his partner is out there waiting to be found.

However, several events shake his normally unflappable self–assurance.

And, even after he finds Grif, will his past catch up with him and possibly drive his soul mate away?

Check out JLT’s Rafflecopter Giveaway! You won’t regret it:

Wes' Denial Giveaway Rafflecopter
Wes’ Denial Giveaway Rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Master sub of #PleasureThroughDenial

Joseph Lance Tonlet
Joseph Lance Tonlet

JOSEPH LANCE TONLET is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing. A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.
#PleasureThroughDenial

Wes’ Denial
Published by Joseph Lance Tonlet
Copyright © 2016 by Joseph Lance Tonlet
ISBN: 9781370323111
Edited by Men in Ink
Cover Art by Preston Hultz – http://www.prestonhultz.com

Wes’ Denial, by Joseph Lance Tonlet – A Gay Guy/Straight Girl Co-Review

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

OJ’s Rating: 5 stars
Lisa’s Rating: 5 stars
Lisa’s Review

DISCLAIMER

I was a beta reader for this book and worked closely with the author. My review, however, is my true and honest experience of my feelings and thoughts regarding this story and this author’s writing style. I will always strive to give an honest depiction of my reading experience.

CONTENT NOTIFICATION

This book is a work of fiction that contains explicit erotic content (heavy verbal denigration, orgasm control/denial, forced chastity, etc.), between adult men, and it is intended for mature readers.

BLURB

Wes has spent his life looking for that one special guy who will understand and love him—all of him. From his tender vanilla side, to his darker debauched side.

Throughout high school, his successful career in the Marines, and as a BDSM Dom, he’s remained confident his partner is out there waiting to be found.

However, several events shake his normally unflappable self–assurance.

And, even after he finds Grif, will his past catch up with him and possibly drive his soul mate away?

WES’ DENIAL

OJ’s Thoughts

When I first read Grif’s Toy, the precursor to Wes’ Denial, I was totally blown away and suffered a severe case of book hangover! I needed more. I craved to know what Wes was all about. See, no one is as perfect as Wes was in Grif’s Toy. His incredible self-control and spot on determination bespoke of something deeper, more profound, and ominously dark. I waited patiently, biding my time. Good things come to those of us who wait!

Wes’ Denial is nothing short of a tour de force reading experience. Right from the opening scene the tone is set for one heck of ride.

Sit down, buckle up, shut up, and keep your hands inside your car at all times. The emotional roller coaster is about to begin, and this ride’s a doozy!

Lisa’s Thoughts

**Full Disclosure – I was a beta reader for this book and worked closely with the author. My review is certainly colored by that experience. However these are my true thoughts and impressions.

I’ll assume you’ve read Grif’s Toy and, like me, couldn’t wait for Wes’ story. After all, Wes is strong, honorable, and generous. But you knew, didn’t you? Didn’t you? That there was something else there? Something dark. Something…wrong. This book isn’t Grif’s Toy. That was a sweet, tender love story. This is something entirely different. Be warned, JLT will try to lull you into a sense that everything is perfect, so enjoy that tease because he’s setting you up for gut wrenching denial. Wes’ Denial.
And there will be tears.

THE CHARACTERS

OJ’s Thoughts

Weston ‘Wes’ De Luca:

Wes. What a complex, and yet sincerely honest, man. Since his early adolescence, when he discovered his penchant for being a Dom and, yes, a sadist, he’s been searching for his one, true soul mate.

Wes doesn’t just enjoy, he doesn’t just get off on, he absolutely craves seeing the tears in his sex partners. He loves to inflict that just right amount of pain that will take his sub to that marvelous place where time stands still and you float on nothing but the pure rush of endorphins and the ebb and flow of pain/pleasure, experiencing a continuous orgasm of ever increasing intensity. As a Dom’s Dom he lives for this. And something else. See, Wes has a thing for impact play – his one craving that he’s terrified of.

Wes’ Denial is his story. His efforts to control his craving and his undying love for the soul mate he’s found. Can he keep him? Does he deserve Grif?

Sit down, buckle up, shut up, and keep your hands inside your car at all times.

Marcus ‘Grif’ Griffin:

“You’re always saying how you don’t like the characterizations of a broken sub who is magically fixed by an omnipotent Dom.”

Grif is the epitome of an intelligent, well rounded, well-adjusted man who happens to be a sub. In everyday life Grif is a successful businessman, in the bedroom Grif needs Wes. Not just any man, Grif needs Wes. However, Grif never cuts himself short even though he’s submissive and wants to be taken to those deep, dark, exciting places that Wes can take him to. Grif is a realist that can cut through the BS and hone in on a problem with razor sharp accuracy and then dissect it until he can ascertain a solution. He’s no one’s fool, least of all Wes’.

Sit down, buckle up, shut up, and keep your hands inside your car at all times.

Lisa’s Thoughts

Weston “Wes” De Luca – The solid rock of a man. Pure strength, loyalty, and committed love. Wes isn’t afraid of anything…except showing his fractures.

Marcus “Grif” Griffin – I know you love Grif, but you haven’t even scratched the surface. I’m willing to bet you’ll be wildly surprised by his strength of character.

Additional Characters –
Henrik – stunning
Paul Eaks – scary
Thomas – Dom of Doms
Grif Two – Heh, yeah. You’ll see.

THE STORY

OJ’s Thoughts

“Because that’s the point. We allow things to happen to us. We allow ourselves to do things to other people. And we allow ourselves to be happy or sad about those things. You’ve allowed the past eight weeks—allowed yourself to do things you never thought possible— just like you’ve allowed this thing with Paul and Henrik…”

Paul and Henrik. Yeah. Paul and Henrik. Two pivotal individuals in Wes’ life experience that I cannot get enough of, intense as they may be, and intense they are. I need to warn you right now, these are two incredibly for mature audiences only story lines, the likes of which only an author such as Mr. Tonlet would be able to pull off. Here’s what’s real: I can so relate. Perhaps that’s what I love – they’re so close to reality it frightens me, to a degree.

Wes’ undying love and devotion to Grif is palpable throughout the story, as well his not being this perfect, flawless character. No one is, and that’s the beauty of this story. We get to see it all, warts as well as soaring, euphoric moments. Grif’s individuality and wholeness always remain intact, such an integral part of this love story, and a love story it is. Kudos to you, Mr. Tonlet!

The Epilogue. I love you. I hate you. Thank you for that epilogue. How dare you give us that epilogue! You deserve a flogging for that epilogue. Oh, wait. Never mind. Damn you, man!

Lisa’s Thoughts

Spanning some fifty-five years this is an epic look at not only the full relationship between Wes and Grif, but also of Wes as a young man just discovering what makes him tick. He learns pretty early on that he ticks differently than the other boys, but his natural curiosity and openness allows him to explore and develop relationships fully.

There are three distinct periods in Wes’ life prior to Grif. His pre-military school days. His early military career. And a term of self-education and discovery. Each of these periods are vivid, striking and eye-opening.

As the reader learns about who Wes is, who Wes really is, we also see and understand what is so very special about his most important relationship, Grif. They are the perfect couple, with the perfect life both publically and personally. But something dark is lurking just beneath the surface that could destroy that perfection. Grif feels it. But Wes is in denial.

THE WRITING

OJ’s Thoughts

I honestly must say that Mr. Tonlet is a master storyteller extraordinaire. To be able to take this subject matter through two books and tell each man’s story distinctly, through each one’s specific experience flawlessly? Yeah, good stuff here. Both Wes and Grif come alive, through Mr. Tonlet’s craft, as completely whole, different, individuals with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. This is no small feat.

The cast of supporting characters: Paul, Henrik, Thomas (oh, so wonderful Thomas!), Matthew, Quinn and Gage. I need to fess up: I’m in love with Quinn and Gage! So, so much there that I want to know about.

I seriously cannot recommend Mr. Tonlet’s writing more than what I already have. Every single one of his works I have devoured and desired more of. Go ahead, give yourself a treat, you deserve it.

Lisa’s Thoughts

If you read my review of Grif’s Toy, here, you’ll see that I held back a bit on my praise. The reason for that is because I knew JLT had this book in him. A book that would come from his core. A book that would shatter boundaries.

As I said earlier, JLT begins by lulling you into a sweet, tender romantic view of Grif and Wes’ early relationship, but right from the start there is a thread of darkness. An undercurrent of trouble. He keeps the reader on edge by applying just the right amount of tension, by degrees, at just the right moment.

I think this may be JLT’s signature attribute. Even in his other writing he builds a story in a way that keeps you so connected that you don’t even see the intensity building around you. Bravo, Joseph.

THE FOUR QUESTIONS FOR LISA

1) As a Straight Girl, I need to know your thoughts, feelings, experience regarding Paul and Henrik’s story line? What did you honestly think? It’s gritty and that’s what I want to know about. Too much? Are you OK with this? Feelz!

2) Are there any further writings along this story line you’d like to see? I have my own thoughts about this, FYI.

3) Did Wes deserve Grif’s final decision? Curious here.

4) I don’t want to divulge anything, or give any spoilers, but I’d like to know: Which one was your favorite scene and/or scenes.

THE FOUR QUESTIONS FOR OJ

1) Without giving anything away what was your favorite scene?

2) I want to deny it, but do “Eaks'” exist?

3) Again, without giving anything away what did you think of Grif’s resolution?

4) Bonus. Tears?

THE DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank Joseph Lance Tonlet with providing OJ He Say! with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

THE AUTHOR

Joseph Lance Tonlet

JOSEPH LANCE TONLET is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing. A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.
#PleasureThroughDenial

WES’ DENIAL
Published by Joseph Lance Tonlet
Copyright © 2016 by Joseph Lance Tonlet
ISBN: 9781370323111
Edited by Men in Ink
Cover Art by Preston Hultz – http://www.prestonhultz.com

Risk Aware, by Amelia C. Gormley – A Gay Guy/Straight Girl Co-Review

Risk Aware
Risk Aware

OJ’s Rating: 5 Stars
Lisa’s Rating: 4.5 Stars

http://www.attentionisarbitrary.com/2016/08/gayguy-straightgirl-co-review-risk.html

WARNING: Triggers: Extreme Consensual BDSM, Needle Play, Blood Play, Sensory Deprivation, Hemophilia, Intense Consensual Adult Situations, Intravenous Injections, Extremely Coarse Language

BLURB

Tattoo artist Geoff Gilchrest is convinced his life is some sort of cosmic joke. Why else would a hemophiliac also be a masochist? He’s given himself more than one elbow bleed since puberty just doing what guys do when alone and bored, so forget about whips and chains. How many partners would contemplate playing with someone even a mild flogging could kill?

Gallery owner Robin Brady knows he can deliver what Geoff needs: to be taken to the edge of danger but never beyond. But Robin came to Saugatuck to get away from the leather scene and heal from a betrayal by his former sub, so he’s not sure he should get involved with Geoff. His ambivalence isn’t helped by the fact that Geoff’s unwillingness to communicate about his well-being hits Robin in some very raw places.

Geoff’s hemophilia isn’t the obstacle he thinks it is. Instead, a lack of trust— on both their parts— is what could end them before they have a chance to begin.

Risk Aware

OJ’s Thoughts

In all honesty? I don’t even know where to begin with this book. Risk Aware is so unlike anything I’ve ever read before that I have few comparisons to base much on. I mean, writing about a hemophiliac, BDSM sub is challenging and interesting enough, as it is, but to on top of that go where Ms. Gormley went, in such exquisite and tantalizing detail? Yeah, good stuff boys and girls.

As a connoisseur of the more intense, pleasurable adult pursuits, I can tell you this has been exquisitely researched and executed. Some (most?) of the activities described in this book, while real and actual, are not to be taken lightly, or undertaken, without someone knowledgeable and sane to guide you. I bow to you, Ms. Gormley.

Make no mistake about this, guys and gals, this is some heady stuff right here. The amazing part? Dayum! And the research? Exquisite. I don’t give many 5 stars out and Risk Aware is a must for an MM BDSM aficionado. Enjoy.

Lisa’s Thoughts

I was wrong, wrong, wrong. I didn’t want to read this. Being honest here, I have a character flaw and don’t do well with disabilities. Hemophilia terrified me. How could it be something I’d want to read about? Much less, kinky. I’ll tell you how – by being written by a clever genius, that’s how.

THE CHARACTERS

OJ

Geoff Gilchrest:

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what caught my eye about him. He wasn’t gorgeous. Fairly ordinary, in fact. String-bean thin, maybe a little taller than I was. Pale and unmuscled. Dishwater-blond hair. Blue-gray eyes in a face with high cheekbones, a long, protuberant nose, and lips that managed to be both thin and lush looking. Above average, I guess I’d have rated him. But skinny had always been my type.

…once in a while I saw him stare, from under his lashes, at one of the dominants when the guy wasn’t paying attention. The looks he gave them were hungry, full of yearning.

Robin Brady:

Hot, hairy, muscular, successful, blond Robin Brady escapes to Saugatuck to start anew after his ex in New York ruined his career and life by accusing him of domestic violence. As a result of the legal accusations he cleared himself of he has decided that he is going to walk away from the whole Dom/sub thing… sure… until he comes to the leather event at the Dunes resort in Saugatuck and comes up against Geoff. Geoff ticks off every single box for Robin. It’s his sure, steady hand that steers Geoff to everything he’s dreamt about and always felt he couldn’t experience.

Lisa

Geoff Gilchrist

This bratty and broken tattoo artist needs kink. His hemophilia is an issue, but his attitude is what needs an adjustment.

Robin Brady

Wealthy, gorgeous, and on the surface very together, but he’s hiding from his past and denying his true self.

THE STORY

OJ

“It’s about consent, Geoff. Yours and mine. RACK: risk-aware consensual kink. That acronym does actually mean something. If I don’t know all the facts, I can’t give meaningful consent.”

This is an amazing story! Geoff, traumatized by growing up a hemophiliac in the age of Ryan White, when all his school mates thought he was HIV positive and the parents pulled their kids away from him and with an overprotective mother that smothered him, comes face to face with his wants and desires as an adult – he’s a sub. Not just any sub. An intense BDSM sub. For reasons we can surmise, he’s drawn to blood play and needle play and wants a Dom to take him to those wonderful places a sub yearns to go to. Deep, dark, wonderful places.

Robin, the son of wealthy parents who strikes out on his own in New York and is betrayed by his sub, and accused of domestic violence, manages to clear his name. As a result, he decides to start anew in Saugatuck and open his art gallery. As he is inexorably drawn to Geoff he must confront his past and how it is going to affect the relationship he is building with his one true love and as their relationship grows they must confront the realities of day to day life.

This is a powerful, and exquisitely written, statement on our society today.

Lisa

I could get into the trajectory of the story – both of these men are coming from heavy pasts that have molded them into who they are – but trust me that the plotting is perfect here. Even with the false starts and do-overs, this story moves right along and is perfect for this developing relationship. The way the guys work thru their challenges is as encouraging as it is erotic. So good.

But what I want to tell you about is the clever kink! Oh my gosh, each time I thought Robin had no way to satisfy Geoff I was completely surprised by Ms. Gormley’s craft. Surprised and devastatingly satisfied. Whips and chains are lots of fun, but sensory deprivation and mind-fucking are off the charts hot in this book. And there’s one scene in particular that had me flying afterwards. Thank you, Amelia!

Robin’s mastery of Geoff’s particular needs is a thing of creative beauty. Exactly when I thought things would need to back off, Robin just notched up the intensity. And Geoff tests Robin at every turn.

“There’s something phallic about a needle, don’t you think? You’d watch me sliding it into you, knowing there’s no part of you I can’t penetrate. Nothing off-limits. There’s no reason it can’t be part of our play if we want it to be.”

THE WRITING

OJ

Good golly, Miss Molly! Such wonderful, descriptive, detailed writing. I can’t begin to describe how good this is. I felt as if I was there, in the midst of it all. The attention to all pertinent, and superfluous, details makes this story come alive and drew me in. Each BDSM scene, one kinkier, more intense, hotter, than the next, is so well drawn and executed. As someone who’s been there, and other places, is there something you’re not telling us, Ms. Gormley?

I became so totally lost and consumed into this book that it took me a couple of weeks before I could sit down and do it justice in my review. I want more. I want a sequel. Geoff and Robin deserve it.

Lisa

Ms. Gormley does an absolutely brilliant job here. My overwhelming takeaway was with how real this all felt. So often BDSM feels like utter fantasy and not real. But here I was instantly connected. I felt like I was peeking in on a real relationship. Flaws, miscommunication, emotions are all palpable here and made me feel part of rather than apart from the story.

And here’s the thing, Gormley doesn’t rush this at all. We get lots of up’s and down’s, starts and restarts, because that’s what these guys need. It’s how relationships develop. No insta-love here. But believe me, it doesn’t drag, each twist and turn is necessary to solidify this complicated relationship.

Lots of kink, but lots of story too. Perfect combo.

THE THREE QUESTIONS FOR LISA

1) Sequel?
2) I need to know about your thoughts and feelings as you read this. (I know, not a question).
3) Hot? Or not? If so, which scene did you feel was the hottest?

THE THREE QUESTIONS FOR OJ

1) I think from now on I’m going to seek out Clever Kink. Gormley has raised the bar for me. As someone with “experience” did any of this surprise you?

2) Do you still love me even though I have a character flaw? Seems I’m the one with the disability here, Geoff is golden.

3) I had one tiny, tiny issue with this, not worth mentioning in the review, but I was left wondering if Geoff’s tattoo studio was successful. Did that bother you?

THE DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank Amelia C. Gormley and Riptide Publishing with providing OJ He Say! with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

THE AUTHOR

Amelia C. Gormley published her first short story in the school newspaper in the fourth grade, and since then has suffered the persistent delusion that enabling other people to hear the voices in her head might be a worthwhile endeavor. She’s even convinced her hapless spouse that it could be a lucrative one as well, especially when coupled with her real-life interest in angst, kink, social justice issues, and pretty men.

When her husband and son aren’t interacting with the back of her head as she stares at the computer, they rely on her to feed them, maintain their domicile, and keep some semblance of order in their lives (all very, very bad ideas— they really should know better by now). She can also be found playing video games and ranting on Tumblr, seeing as how she’s one of those horrid social justice warriors out to destroy free speech, gaming, geek culture, and everything else that’s fun.

Risk Aware Copyright © 2016 by Amelia C. Gormley
Cover art: L.C. Chase
Editor: Kate De Groot
Layout: L.C. Chase

ISBN: 978-1-62649-412-1

Riptide Publishing
PO Box 1537
Burnsville, NC 28714
www.riptidepublishing.com

Nate and The New Yorker, by Kevin Klehr

Nate and The New Yorker
Nate and The New Yorker

Rating: 4.5 stars

BLURB

Cameron has it all. He’s rich, lives in Manhattan, and even has a cross-dressing butler. But then he meets Nate, an Australian who’s bitter about love. Cameron is determined to turn this realist into a dreamer by sharing his world of classy restaurants, Broadway shows and fabulous parties. And while Nate’s friends see the makings of a fantasy romance, it’s Nate who has to learn that in order to open his heart, he has to face a painful secret.

Nate and The New Yorker

Did a book ever call out to you because of the blurb and then you pick it up and it turns out way different in a strikingly good way? Well, this is what happened to me with Nate and The New Yorker. Talk about an awesome experience!

I read the blurb and I thought: cute, it’ll make some nice, easy summer reading. Well, let me tell you! At first I felt it was kind of slow and then quickly the story kicks into high gear and I literally couldn’t put it down. The twists and turns, the rich characters, the rich food, and the surprise about the surprising ex! Yeah, you really need to read this one. I’ve found a new author to follow.

THE CHARACTERS

Nathan:

Handsome Nathan, who still pines for his ex that he misses dearly, is the down to earth realist and self-sufficient man that captures Cameron’s fancy while on a vacation in Europe with his friends, Lucy and Ben. Nathan has never been able to let go and move beyond Elliot, his ex, who he still sees and talks to. Or does he? As he becomes more and more enamored of Cameron we find the real story within the story.

Cameron:

The culprit stood at the entrance of the restaurant. Shortly cropped dark hair. Rosy lips that curved as if a sculptor had created them by smoothing their surface with the tip of his finger. His stylishly knitted red sweater hung loosely, making his upper body a mystery. And thick black-rimmed glasses that had me picturing him on my couch, reading quietly before I’d slowly pull them off his face, exposing my own superhero.

THE STORY

The story of Cameron and Nathan captivated me. Cameron is the rich scion of a well to do family, never having to work a day in his life, with a sumptuous apartment in Manhattan when he decides to run away for a while and escape to Prague where he meets the handsome Aussie, Nathan, on vacation with his friends Lucy, his boss, and Ben, his co-worker.

As Cameron and Nathan get closer and closer Nathan’s ex, Elliot, pops back into his life. Or does he? Here’s where the story took on the turn I didn’t expect and floored me. The rich backdrop of the secondary characters of Lucy and Ben, and Cameron’s aunt Bev and his butler’s alter ego of Rowena the transvestite, make for a book I fell in love with. I couldn’t put it down. Yes, it was summer reading all right – but was it ever excellent reading! I really recommend this one.

THE WRITING

The writing is what really got to me. This starts out nice and slow, like a good orchestral piece and you’re thinking “nice” and then the other instruments start to chime in, each one at its exact moment in queue, until I was surrounded by a full crescendo of such rich characters, each one developed exactly right for the story, not overdone or lacking in any sense. Crazy Rowena and wild Bev, dedicated Lucy and Ben, and estranged Graham and Tony.

If you’ll notice I haven’t delved into Elliot much, and there’s a reason for that. I’ll leave Elliot for you to explore and to come to your own conclusions. Share them with me, if you will.

This book made me laugh, made me think, and it made me cry with its bittersweet tang, but most of all it really rocks!

Take a bow, Mr. Klehr.

THE DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank Kevin Klehr and Wilde City Press with providing OJ He Say! with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

THE AUTHOR

Kevin lives with his long-term partner in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

From an early age Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his social circumstances changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, snuck the notebook out to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his novel. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again. The result was Drama Queens with Love Scenes, the first in a series of Afterlife tales.

Kevin is looking forward to thumping the keys on his laptop and churning out stories until it’s time for him to gain firsthand experience of the hereafter.

Nate and the New Yorker © 2016 Kevin Klehr
Published in the US and Australia by Wilde City Press 2016
ISBN: 978-1-925313-72-7
Cover Art © 2016 Wilde City Press

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