Tag Archives: HFN

Man Under Construction, by R.M. Olivia

Man Under Construciton

Rating: 2.5 stars


After his father’s sudden death, Dominik has to take over as CEO of Under Construction LLC. His personal life is hardly better. Having caught his long-time lover Léon with another man, Dom’s heart is frozen and he has firmly put all men out of his life.

When the need arises to hire a new construction worker, handsome Ian Colbee joins the team. Dom finds Ian way too distracting and tries to distance himself, but Ian is persistent. In the meantime, Léon’s attempts to gain back Dom’s affection begin to escalate.

Can Ian teach Dominik to lighten up and trust again? Will Léon get the message and go his way quietly?

Man Under Construction

So, here I was minding my own business (yeah, right) and I bump into Man Under Construction. Wow, what a great plot! Especially for me, the son of a civil engineer. I mean, I grew up with construction workers and construction sites. Yeah, I know, rough for a young gayling! So, anyway, here was a story ready made for me, right? I lucked out and got a review copy, here’s what I found: not bad, a good first M/M start and yet not an ‘erotic’ romance.


Dominik Alrizzo:

Ian put an invisible check mark next to his Imaginary Man Requirements List. Handsome check, dark check, good job quadruple check. …Dominik Alrizzo appeared to be between thirty-five and forty years old. A good age. …Stocky, swarthy, Italian stallion. His boss-to-be’s sex appeal had made him glad to be alive. …His gorgeous face, eyes kind of cold and steely, …

Ian Colbee:

Ian Colbee stood around six-foot-one and two-hundred pounds. Steel tipped boots covered his feet. Startling blue eyes, the color of a glacier, peered out underneath a military-style buzz cut. Climbing ladders, laying bricks, and digging had made a god of a man. And his abs! Dom could go on for days, just staring at this motherfucker.


The story is a great premise. Hot scion of a construction company owner inherits the company upon his father’s sudden, unexpected death. The heir of the company, who has worked hand in hand with his father, comes face to face with his abusive ex-partner, unexpectedly, at his father’s funeral.

As he inherits the construction company, and his father’s extremely capable assistant, Gracie, he realizes that he’s short staffed in order to finish an important construction job they’re in the midst of. In comes the new love interest, the strapping, hot, sexy, younger construction worker.
Hence the fireworks between the new and old boyfriends and the angst the construction company scion must undergo in order to complete his journey.


Here’s where I experienced the hiccup with the story. The very first thing I noticed was the spelling of the name of Dominik’s (Dom) evil ex. Léon. Léon is a Cuban-Puerto Rican hot mess, so one would expect his name would be spelled in Spanish, as in León. Instead throughout the book the French spelling, Léon, is used. As a Cuban-American who has lived and studied in Spain and Venezuela I just couldn’t get past this. Sorry.

At first reading the writing seemed hop-sketchy and to not flow smoothly. Upon a second reading I did get the thread of the writing, vis-à-vis the story. The point is I shouldn’t have had to re-read it in order to get the flow of the writing. Upon second reading it’s not bad. I wish the characters were more developed, especially Ian. There’s so much potential that I was waiting for from Ian and it never materialized.

The erotic romance quotient didn’t seem to materialize. I waited for a hot, steamy, toe-curling sex scene. Alas, it never came about *sigh*. The potential was so there, especially with a ready-made character like Ian. The possibilities with the evil, ex-boyfriend are limitless for some reminiscing scenes or even, if you want to get really twisted, kinky between the evil ex-boyfriend and the new love interest. Just sayin’.


I would like to thank R.M. Olivia and JMS Books, LLC, for supplying me with a copy of Man Under Construction in exchange for my honest review.


R.M. Olivia writes sexy romance. She believes love is for all and doesn’t discriminate in her choice of characters or stories. She is never without a pen and paper in case one of her random characters decides to speak to her. If you dig through her handbag you will find scraps of paper with ideas that may make their way into future stories.

R.M. Olivia is a member of Rainbow Romance Writers’ of the Romance Writers of America. She has been scribbling for a long time and if you look in her many notebooks stuffed inside her drawer, you will find other hidden stories screaming to get out. R.M. Olivia credits Spanish telenovelas and an active imagination for getting her started. When not typing away at the computer, she enjoys snuggling with her cats, shopping on Amazon, or catching up on some reading.

Man Under Construction, by R.M. Olivia
Published by JMS Books, LLC
Visit jms-books.com for more information.
Copyright 2016 R.M. Olivia
ISBN 9781634860758
Cover Design: Written Ink Designs | written-ink.com

The Empty Hourglass – Deal With A Devil, by Cornelia Grey


Rating: 4.0 stars


Thomas Escott has always wanted to be a toymaker, yet just as he achieves his dream, an accident claims his right hand. He’s certain his life is over – until he hears about groundbreaking prosthetics being made by a reclusive inventor.

Jethro Hastings is perfectly content to live alone up in the mountains working on a secret masterpiece: a humanoid automaton that will change the scientific community forever. He’s behind schedule, and the date of the unveiling is fast approaching, so when Thomas shows up on his doorstep offering help in exchange for a mechanical hand, Jethro agrees. Time, after all, is running out on another deal he’s made: one with the devil.

The devil gives Jethro’s inventions life, but he can just as quickly take life away – Jethro’s, to be exact. As the sand in the devil’s hourglass falls, marking the time until the end of the deal, inventions go haywire, people get hurt, and Thomas realizes he needs Jethro just as much as his prosthetic. Now he must find a way to save Jethro’s soul, but negotiating with a devil is just as difficult as it sounds.


When I first read the blurb for The Empty Hourglass I just knew I had to read this and review it.
The whole deal with the devil thing is highly fascinating to me and pulled me in, the steampunk genre and the automaton certainly didn’t hurt and I thought I deserved a nice change of pace. Boy, did this book deliver it! A thoroughly pleasant read all told.


Thomas Escott:

He was painfully aware of his too-light, too-modern clothes that moderately smelled like smoke, despite his best attempts to get the stench out of them, and of the blond hair that he kept long, as was popular in the capital at the moment. But mostly, he could fell their gazes almost piercing the right side of his head, where the hair had been scorched off in the fire and was now replaced by tender, gnarled skin, thin scars running from his mangled ear to his cheek and spreading down his neck before disappearing under his collar.
At least they couldn’t see his arm…

Jethro Hastings:

He was young, probably just a few years older than Thomas. For all his ragged appearance, with those untidy clothes and messy black hair, he was a handsome man, tall and slender with olive skin and green eyes shimmering behind his glasses. If that was Hastings… well, he was a far cry from the old man Thomas had been expecting.


What a great story, pure steampunk fantastical storytelling at its best.

Thomas, the handsome young man from the capital, searching for salvation from his unfortunate, unexpected and unexplainable calamity and a fortuitous, anonymous tip off as to where he may find his salvation.

The scientist, wanting to atone and help others, pining for his lost first love, creating a living testament to him and a legacy that wouldn’t be duplicated – true immortality, whilst fulfilling his pact with the devil.

A love story of a little girl and a devil who sees a way out of an intractable difficulty – if only he can nudge things his way, and then the culminating, cataclysmic grand finale. Sort of.


Funny how you can tell when a good writer comes together with good editor and wonderful beta/proof reading. This makes the world of difference in a smooth, enjoyable read such as this one. Ms. Grey does a phenomenal job of intertwining the fantastic steampunk experience with a smooth developing story, bringing in vibrant ancillary characters that add a vibrancy and depth to the story that I wish some others had. Yes, storytelling at its finest, and this book delivers it.
I was mesmerized by the story: Thomas, Jethro, the devil, the other inventor, Dragana, and Mina. Mina, what a great character that ties it all in together. Yes, the writing is truly magical.
I won’t give you any spoilers, just suffice it to say that you need to set some quality time for a great read. You’ll need time for it because you won’t want to put this one down.


I would like to thank Cornelia Grey and Anglerfish Press, an imprint of Riptide Publishing, for supplying me with a copy of The Empty Hourglass in exchange for my honest review.


Cornelia Grey is a creative writing PhD student, with a penchant for steampunk and classic rock. Born and raised in the hills of Northern Italy, where she collected her share of poetry and narrative prizes, Cornelia has since lived and worked in London, Japan, Spain, and Germany. She also works as a freelance translator.

She likes cars, knitting, performing in theater, going to museums, collecting mugs, and hanging out with her grandma. When writing, she favors curious, surreal stories, steampunk, and mixed-genre fiction. Her heroes are always underdogs, and she loves them for it.

The Empty Hourglass, Copyright 2016 by Cornelia Grey
Cover Art: Jay Aheer
Editor: Danielle Polesz
Layout: L.C. Chase
ISBN: 978-62649-393-3