Tag Archives: Hot Angst

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

Keep in touch OJ He Say!

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

The Love of Wicked Men, Season 2, Episode 1, by Brandon Shire

The Love of Wicked Men, Season 2
The Love of Wicked Men, Season 2

Rating: 5 stars

ABOUT THE BOOK – THE BLURB

Sid Rivers and Jack Brandt are back, but they’re still two sides of the same coin. One is a lawyer with his own firm intent on growing his power and prestige; the other is a criminal with a lengthy record and a need to set his world in order.

When they met the first time, sparks flew. But circumstances pushed them apart. Now, circumstances are forcing them together again. But will it help them to find each other and meet their goals, or will it destroy them and everyone they care about?

Season Two of The Love of Wicked Men is a continuation of their story. It is also an erotic journey into the underbelly of the legal profession, the corporate culture of profit-at-any-cost, and the secret world of industrial espionage.

The Love of Wicked Men, S2E1

It’s been a long minute since The Love of Wicked Men captured me and, darn it, I’ve missed it so! When I saw that Mr. Shire had started to release his fantastic serial again I was literally aching to get the time to read it.

This one’s personal for me. It’s my not-so-secret addiction. Kind of like when you snatch the bag of M&M’s for yourself and jones it completely – no sharing and keep your fingers off my Wicked Men!

THE CHARACTERS

Sid Rivers:

Sid, the ruthless, cold, calculating, hot lawyer that exudes testosterone – expensive, prohibitive testosterone. His raw ambition has gotten him to the top of the food chain he so covets, with a prestigious law firm he now controls he could easily kick back and enjoy the fruits of his labor, but none of it lessened his hunger for a good kill. From his perspective, his job was to be the biggest, baddest rainmaker the firm had.

Jack Brandt:

The sex had made him feel… He didn’t know how to phrase it. Wanted maybe? Vulnerable? No, that spoke of weakness. He brushed the thought away immediately.

Maybe he’d just fallen for good game. He couldn’t deny Jack had it. Jack had a hard, muscled body, a goofy grin in the rare moments he smiled, and he fucked like an animal. The man was a stud.

THE STORY

This is more of the addicting, gritty story of hard edged men, calculating men, that we were treated to in Season 1. The story of what one suspects really goes on in those board rooms at the top of the American food chain without the genteel veneer that we’re fed, like little children and pudding.

Jack has now come back into Sid’s life, like a freight train right into his heart and Sid is finally starting to realize what he may want out of Jack, and it isn’t just the sex. Or is it?

“He made me beg,” Sid muttered. “Beg!” he shouted, perking up for a moment before he fell back into his malleable drunken stupor. “Like I was just some fuck boy.”

Shane, the sexy power bottom, is back and we start to see his story fill in. I won’t lie, Shane is one of my favorite characters with a back story I’m dying to read.

There’s an incredible new character we’re treated to: Keisha Tidbeck was up next. She took command of the room as soon as she stepped in. She was a tall, lean, Grace Jones look alike whose expression exuded confidence and quiet mischief. She’d put people on edge and Sid was immediately impressed.

As with any good serial, we’re left with the cliff hanger of the misdeeds of BioMed and their conniving, greedy board.

THE WRITING

Oh yeah, Mr. Shire is a master at weaving a tale, and what a tale he weaves. Inexorably you get pulled in and before you know it you can’t put the story down. His prose flows easily and makes for delicious reading – all of a sudden I found myself immersed in this gritty story with its raw, powerful, testosterone fueled sex scenes. Sweet!

THE DISCLAIMER

I purchased my copy of The Love of Wicked Men, S2E1.

THE AUTHOR

Award winning writer BRANDON SHIRE is a distinct voice in contemporary LGBT fiction. Mr. Shire was chosen as a Top Read in 2011, Best in LGBTQ Fiction for 2011 & 2012 and garnered several Honorable Mentions, as well as a 2015 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Fiction. He resides in the South.

You can find Brandon at BrandonShire.com or tweeting at @TheBrandonShire. And, of course, you can reach him at the fan-created group on Goodreads.

The Love of Wicked Men Season Two – Episode One
Brandon Shire
Copyright © 2016 Brandon Shire
The Love of Wicked Men (Season Two): Episode One
isbn13: 9781310981180
format: ebook
Published May 26th 2016 by Smashwords Edition

Resurrection, by Shelly Davidson – A Gay Guy/Straight Girl Co-Review

Resurrection
Resurrection

By S. Davidson
Lisa’s Rating 3 stars
OJ’s Rating 3.75 stars
Lisa’s Review: Attention Is Arbitrary

Cover Artist: Rue Volley
Release date: 6/1/2016
Publisher: Encompass Ink
Genre: M/M Military Romance 18+

Triggers: Deals with PTSD, death, and injury.

BLURB

Two men with painful, complicated pasts who have shut themselves down from ever loving again. Complete opposites of one another, one raised in a strict military household, who grew up with the sole purpose of becoming a soldier and defending his country, only to have that cut short by an IED; and the other raised in the rodeo, small town and ranch life his safe haven; and their chance meeting.How the two of them end up in some small town diner can only be credited to divine intervention. But are both men too damaged? They say God works in mysterious ways. Well, he certainly had his hands full when he chose these two for saving.Is it too late?

CO-REVIEW

OJ

I read Ms. Davidson’s call for reviews of her upcoming book and the first thing that grabbed my attention was the blurb. Oh, yeah! Come to papa! This read as if it had all the ingredients I go for in a book: A strong alpha type, a strong second MC, a contemporary, factual story line… and then when I saw the cover? Oh, wow! The cover. I absolutely fell in love with the cover. My hat off to Rue Volley for a cover that’s so well themed to the book – and absolutely gorgeous! Thank you, Ms. Volley.

Lisa

OJ, OJ, OJ what have you gotten me into here? This one’s on you dude. Talk about a difficult book to review, whew! Solid storytelling and plot development here. It took me from deep depths of emotional despair, to soaring elation with second-chance relationships to incredible frustration with some of the writing aspects. I was adjusting my review score constantly. Bottom line – I’d say this was hit and miss, but with big hits and big misses.

THE CHARACTERS

OJ

James Massey

He had on a baseball cap, wore sunglasses even though they were inside, and he had a face covered in a full beard. His hair was too long, but it was pretty clear by the stretch of his t-shirt across his chest that the guy was built like an armored truck. He was golden tan and his arms were covered in ink. He just sat there and stared toward the front door. … He slowly took off his sunglasses and for the first time, they could see his brilliant green eyes. …taking off his cap and running his hand through his dark brown locks.

Chris Baker

It didn’t hurt that he was handsome in a cowboy way, strong facial structure, easy smile and charm that wouldn’t quit. He was also built like a professional athlete, long and lean, with just enough muscle that no one messed with him. … never met another man who could reach a climax more than once during a fuck and it was as if Chris was just getting started, each one building in intensity for both partners until all that was left behind was satiated flesh and two tired cowboys.

Lisa

James (Jamie) Massey

Dyed in the wool Special Forces soldier, Jamie has been on tour four times. He’s seen too much, lost too much, but can he be resurrected?

Chris Baker

Freakin’ sexy-ass cowboy bull rider, Chris is a dichotomy. He is a country boy drawn to the big city. He finds a lot there, including the love of his life.

THE STORY

OJ

The question: what happens to these men we train to protect and serve after they’ve given their all?

The answer: read on.

What an excellent, contemporary, up to date story this is. Ms. Davidson hit the nail right on the head with this one. We have two strong, muscular, masculine alpha types and the interplay of their different life stories coming together at a crucial point in their lives that makes for such a good, strong story arc.

Jamie, the strong alpha type, brought up by a strict, uncompromising father that always made Jamie strive for more and show no weakness, shutting down his emotional side.

It was apparent from what they had witnessed that the captain was extremely hard on his only son, always telling him he could be better, stronger, faster, even if he had been victorious.

Jamie’s life was shaped by the inevitability of his going into military service and his determination to be the best: Delta Force, and then his falling in love with his college roommate, Derrick, and their best friend, Shannon. These factors, and his multiple, gruesome deployments, all come into play to create the stoic, hardened man that’s yearning for love and understanding.

Chris is the sexy, muscular, lean, intelligent rodeo cowboy that grew up, and was shaped by, a totally accepting and supportive family. His story is that of a man that comes of age in the rough and tumble sport of bull riding, only to have that future dashed by an almost crippling injury. Going off to college and meeting his first love, Ben, and their story is what shapes him into Jamie’s perfect counterpart.

The life experiences, and tragedies (no spoilers!) these men undergo are part and parcel of what makes them the perfect fit and makes for such a good story. I found this book hard to put down and now I want more.

Lisa

This book was a struggle. Jamie struggled. Chris struggled. I struggled.

Jamie never had a choice whether he would be a soldier or not. It’s in his family’s blood. He was groomed from a young age to do his best, be the best, and as he rises to each and every challenge. But he also loses bits of himself along the way.

Chris is one of the good guys. He’s talented, intelligent and caring. Maybe too caring. I think the reader is supposed to fall for Jamie, but it was Chris for me all the way.

Settle in for a very complete story about two men who have lived a lot of life and then come together at a point in their lives that find them both ruined. Trying to survive the depths of despair and the horrors of war, there isn’t much left for these guys to give. And yet, they find a way.

THE WRITING

OJ

The writing, timing, and delivery of the story is good for this POV. It has been a while since I read a book with a narrative style POV and while, I must admit, it’s not necessarily my favorite POV, it worked for me with this story even though it was hard to get used to at first. We are treated, almost in a movie script kind of way, to Jamie and Chris’ story.

Jamie’s hard, military brat upbringing. His coming of age in college and falling in love with Derrick and his struggling to let his emotions and feelings for Derrick come out, coupled with his enormous drive to attain his goal. The pace of the story during Jamie’s deployments is set just right, giving us the full background for what comes later.

Chris’ story follows a similar, well timed delivery. His bull riding youth, the tragic accident and then his falling in love with Ben are brought to us in a rich, full story-telling that works in this narrative POV. Chris’ love and devotion come to life in full, vibrant color. This is what hardens this man for his fated encounter with Jamie.

Lisa

Annd this is where I struggled. I realize backstory is important, but it felt like it was worked out after the main story had been written and that rarely works. Honestly I would have trimmed the heck out of it. It wasn’t repetitive, but it was just too much. There was nearly no dialog for the first twenty percent and that really slowed down the read. At times I felt like I was reading a non-fiction, or even a mission report about Jamie’s deployments. Top that off with fade-to-black scenes (not just the sex scenes) that were just getting somewhere enjoyable and… I struggled.

And then the very weak editing affected tempo and overall readability, unfortunately.

However! There were some brilliant, shocking and emotional moments that made the book memorable. I’m still thinking about these guys; they’ve stuck with me. This author has solid storytelling abilities that a more ardent editor could resurrect. I won’t hesitate to give her work another try.

THE EDITING

OJ

Here’s where I had some misgivings with this book, although not a deal breaker for me this time, even though I’m such a stickler for this, because the story itself and the heart and soul of the writing is pretty darn good. There are several typos, misspellings and incorrect sentence structures and tense usages that, quite frankly, shouldn’t be there in a story delivery such as this one. I had to go back and re-read a few passages, and that just shouldn’t be. I have to admit I couldn’t go to 4 stars because of this, but please, don’t let it deter you from enjoying this book. Deep in it’s a good story that had me in tears at some points, biting my nails at others, and grooving on some kinky sex scenes at others. Enjoy!

Ms. Davidson is a good, solid writer and I really look forward to her next endeavors.

THE THREE QUESTIONS

For Lisa

1) Standalone or sequel, and if so, what kind of sequel?
2) How did you feel about Chris’ steadfastness?
3) Did you think there were any unanswered questions/situations/occurrences?

For OJ

1) How believable did you find Jamie’s battle scenes?
2) This really drove home what we ask of our service members. That’s all. Not a question, but penny for your thoughts.
3) Who resurrected whom?

THE AUTHOR

Who is Shelly Davidson? Shelly is someone who has been writing literally her entire life (and that’s a LONG time) and has always written M/M. Her first story was back in high school and she hasn’t stopped since. Of course, Shelly never dreamed of getting published, so needless to say, she’s in heaven! Shelly loves her characters. Her writing focus is real people, flaws and all, who are hurting or damaged, but deserve a little joy in their lives. Shelly was born and raised in Arizona, but currently lives in California because that is where the money is! She is currently single, but has a grown daughter and an adorable grandson both of whom she loves dearly. While she usually stays pretty much to herself, she does have a Bachelor’s in Social Services and a diverse background that ranges from theater to health care and currently works in accounting, she swears it’s not as boring as it sounds. While this is her first publication, it is by far not the last! She plans on being around for quite some time! You’ve been warned!

THE DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank Shelly Davidson and Encompass Ink Publishing for providing OJ He Say with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

I would like to thank the author, S. Davidson for providing Lisa Arbitrary with a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

Resurrection
Copyright © 2016 by S. Davidson
Cover Art by Rue Volley
Edited by EAL Editing Services
Published by Encompass Ink

In The Middle of Somewhere, by Roan Parrish

In The Middle of Somewhere

Rating: 4.75 stars

BLURB

Daniel Mulligan is tough, snarky, and tattooed, hiding his self-consciousness behind sarcasm. Daniel has never fit in―not at home in Philadelphia with his auto mechanic father and brothers, and not at school where his Ivy League classmates looked down on him. Now, Daniel’s relieved to have a job at a small college in Holiday, Northern Michigan, but he’s a city boy through and through, and it’s clear that this small town is one more place he won’t fit in.

Rex Vale clings to routine to keep loneliness at bay: honing his muscular body, perfecting his recipes, and making custom furniture. Rex has lived in Holiday for years, but his shyness and imposing size have kept him from connecting with people.

When the two men meet, their chemistry is explosive, but Rex fears Daniel will be another in a long line of people to leave him, and Daniel has learned that letting anyone in can be a fatal weakness. Just as they begin to break down the walls keeping them apart, Daniel is called home to Philadelphia, where he discovers a secret that changes the way he understands everything.

In The Middle of Somewhere

I kept hearing about this book on line, on Facebook, on Twitter and everyone kept saying the same thing – how great it is, so I decided to check it out and bought a copy. What a smart move that was! Turns out all the chatter about In The Middle of Somewhere doesn’t even begin to give it justice. This is one of those you can’t put down, you stay up late into the night reading and when it’s over? One heck of a book hangover! I want more! This is storytelling at its finest, characters so well developed you feel as if you know them, unexpected developments, one hell of a story twist (sorry, no spoilers!) and toe curling, shiver inducing, steamy, romantic, full of feels hot sex. Yowza!

THE CHARACTERS

Daniel Mulligan:

Handsome, fit, dark, tattooed, snarky Daniel. Son of an Irish Philadelphia family, brought up in the world of car mechanics and garages, youngest of four brothers and the only one to go to college and want a life beyond his blue collar background. Tormented by his brothers as the youngest, and even more tormented when they find out he’s gay, he wants to move on. Add a crushing experience with his first steady boyfriend in college and you get the final varnish on the emotional wall he’s built for himself and his inability to let himself be vulnerable enough to show love.

“You know,” he says, and he sounds a little shy. “You kind of look like you could be one of those old-time Hollywood leading men.” I look up at him, startled. He’s looking at me intently, leaning forward, but his eyes are sad, dark. “You’d be wasted on black and white, though. Your eyes.” He makes a vague gesture toward my face, then turns away.

Rex Vale:

Gentle, intelligent Rex. A towering man shaped and molded by growing up with his mother, a woman unlucky in love, moving from town to town, man to man in order to care for and give her son a decent life. Always shy, Rex is even further molded by a horrible incident in his youth with his first love (no spoilers!) and a deep secret about himself that he’s ashamed to share with anyone. Learning early on that life is cruel and that one way, or another, people will leave him he lives the life or a loner in the pristine forests of Michigan.

He has dark hair and eyes, and a sharp nose. That’s all I can see in the dark. But he is definitely much younger than I assumed. His low voice sounded older, but he looks like he’s in his midthirties. And up close, he is massive, with hugely broad shoulders, powerful arms, and broad hips—how much of that is flesh and how much is flannel remains to be seen. He’s nearly a head taller than me, and I’m not short.

THE STORY

What a great story this turns out to be. Daniel and Rex, such two different men yet so much alike in the walls they’ve built around themselves, unable to trust and love someone for fear of emotional and physical pain. Daniel scarred by his family, his ex-boyfriend and his rough and tumble upbringing in Philadelphia, and Rex. Rex terrified of losing anyone close to him, scarred by his loss of everyone close to him in his youth, he becomes determined to protect anyone the he can even remotely get close to, thus becoming a towering fortress of a man. It’s the interplay between these two characters, and those closest to them, that makes for this absolutely riveting read.

THE WRITING

Holy Cow, Batman! What writing! Such descriptive, smooth flowing, delectable prose is a beautiful thing to find, a true joy. Ms. Parrish weaves this story flawlessly, no hiccups, no having to go back because huh?! All of the characters, every single one of them, even the smallest characters, are so well developed you feel you know them – no nagging questions. Daniel and Rex come alive through Ms. Parrish as does an excellent supporting cast: Ginger, Daniel’s best friend and tattoo artist extraordinaire with her own story line; Will, Rex’s ex-boyfriend and current best friend; Leo, the young gay man that reminds Daniel of himself at a younger age; and a whole host of other characters that make this such a rich, satisfying read. Add in Rex’s deep secret, incredibly, impossibly hot sex and a grand story twist at the end and you have yourself a classic!

THE DISCLAIMER

I purchased my copy of In The Middle of Somewhere because the many positive comments made me curious so I thought it’d be a good personal read, instead I found I absolutely had to review it.

THE AUTHOR

ROAN PARRISH grew up in Michigan and lives in Philadelphia, but is always a few minutes away from deciding to move. A former academic, she’s used to writing things that no one reads. She still loves to geek out about books, movies, TV, and music—now, though, she’s excited to be writing the kind of romantic, angsty stories that she loves to escape into. When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, wandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. One time she might or might not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and cheese. But mostly cheese. You can find her on her website or on twitter. Have questions/comments/ pictures of octopi? Want to recommend a strong cheese or express a strong opinion? Drop her a line on e-mail. She’d love to hear from you.

Website: http://www.roanparrish.com
Twitter: @RoanParrish
E-mail: roanparrish@gmail.com

In The Middle of Somewhere, by Roan Parrish
Published by DREAMSPINNER PRESS
5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279
Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886 USA
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/

In the Middle of Somewhere © 2015 Roan Parrish.
Cover Art © 201AngstyG.
www.angstyg.com

ISBN: 978-1-63476-212-0
Digital ISBN: 978-1-63476-213-7
Library of Congress Control Number: 2015906026
First Edition July 2015

A Taste of You, by Irene Preston

A Taste of You

Rating: 3.8 stars

BLURB

Garrett Ransom is America’s hot chef du jour. He has a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City, a hit reality TV show, and a new man in his bed every week. Yes, he secretly thinks his business partner, Giancarlo “Carlo” Rotolo, is hotter than a ghost pepper, but he would never jeopardize their friendship with a fling. Then Garrett overhears some juicy gossip among the crew and realizes he’ll have to break Giancarlo’s cardinal rule, no banging the staff – for Carlo’s own good, of course. Just a taste of Carlo should be plenty. Long-term relationships aren’t on Garrett’s menu.

Giancarlo’s been in love with Garrett forever. He’s sure Garrett will eventually realize they are destined to be more than business partners. But when Garrett installs his latest boyfriend as their new chef d’cuisine and announces plans to leave Carlo in New York while he opens a second restaurant on the west coast, Carlo is forced to re-evaluate his life.

Can a high-strung British chef and a nice Italian boy from Brooklyn find the perfect fusion of fine-dining and family-style?

A Taste of You

After reading Tall Order and enjoying that delectable morsel, my friend Lisa and I absolutely had to do a Gay Guy/Straight Girl review of A Taste of You, another mouth-watering book by Irene Preston. Although the two books, Tall Order and A Taste of You, aren’t sequels, they’re certainly companion books in the same ‘family’, might we say, and they can be read separately. I wholeheartedly invite you to read these exquisite concoctions. They’ll leave you hungry for more! What follows is my review of this tasty offering. I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

THE CHARACTERS

Garrett Ransom:

The California sun had kissed his hair a lighter shade of blond and brushed a hint of golden color into his skin so that he glowed, a bronze angel, as he stood in the soft lights of the restaurant. … Garrett was the only chef he knew who never seemed to smell like his kitchen. No fish. No beef. No spices. Never in a million years the fry station. Garrett smelled sweet— warm cookies, vanilla, and sugar— like he should have been the pastry chef instead of Grace. The aroma always blindsided Giancarlo. Garrett wasn’t known for sweet. The scent was a secret thing. The Garrett no one knew but him.

Carlo Rotolo:

An image of Carlo standing in his kitchen dripping with sweat flashed into his mind. He replayed the scene. Carlo, hot and sweaty and angrier than Garrett had ever seen him. The sight of Carlo so worked up, in his skimpy running shorts and sweat-drenched shirt, had almost done him in. Carlo had been flushed from exertion and emotion, his wet hair had curled out of its usual precision style, and the way he smelled— pure male— had made Garrett’s mouth water. His dick was throbbing right now just thinking about it. Carlo had been so pissed, and all Garrett had wanted to do was jump on him and show him how to work off some of that excess emotion.

THE STORY

This story is pure, 100%, M/M Romance at is finest. Two men, made for each other, living in the fast paced and exciting culinary world of uber-chefs, five star restaurants, and ultra-high society.

Carlo, the boy from Brooklyn that made his way to culinary school, leaving behind the family restaurant and meeting Garrett, the handsome, dashing Brit that he ends up falling head over heels for. His love for his Italian family keeps him at bay in New York City, never wanting to be far away from them.

Garrett, the emotionally challenged, handsome and sexy, Brit that comes from an emotionally cold and aloof British high society family that has built walls around himself so he can’t feel anything. Going from boyfriend to boyfriend, always sabotaging his budding relationships so he can’t commit, until he realizes just exactly what Carlo means to him and then it dawns on him that he can lose the most important person in his life.

THE WRITING

This is my second book by Irene Preston and I must say that I have become a fan of her writing, to the extent that I’m going to go and read her next book as apparently she has a good, straightforward writing style that I am finding I enjoy quite a bit. There aren’t any gimmicks, hidden traps, story arc hiccups or complicated crossword puzzles to figure out, it’s just good, enjoyable romance writing. The story plays out at a good pace, the characters are well developed and the humor is there, definitely.

Let’s not forget the sex, yowza! Sometimes I read an M/M romance book and end up scratching my head saying ‘where was the sex’? Definitely not with Ms. Preston, it’s definitely there. Very romantic, hot, steamy, enjoyable sex scenes.

THE DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank Irene Preston and Sharon Stoker Laurent for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

THE AUTHOR

Irene Preston has to write romances; after all she is living one. As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe. Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.

2nd Edition A Taste of You was originally published in 2015 by Fated Desires Publishing.
© 2015 Sharon Stoker Laurent
ISBN: 978-0-9968099-2-4
Cover Art by Syneca