Monday, November 24, 2014

ARC Review: Arctic Absolution by Lynn Kelling


In the frozen expanses of remote Alaska, Dixon Rowe is a good man and a good cop who keeps finding himself in bed with the enemy. After he picks up a young ex-con named Jaye Larson for stealing food, Dixon gets seduced by the possibility of helping someone truly in need. Though he tells himself he’s assisting young Jaye out of the goodness of his heart, not because of how sexy Jaye is under all of the tattoos and defiance, the temptations of sin entangle them as their hostile environment threatens.
Both of their pasts are filled with malicious ghosts that haunt every step, and while Jaye’s demons are less tangible that Dixon’s, they are all powerful enough to put both of their lives in danger. 

Dani's rating:

This is not an easy book to read: the themes are dark and harsh, but the story is also hopeful and romantic.

Both Dixon and Jaye are damaged characters. Dixon is a 32-year-old Alaska State trooper, big, strong, and steady. Jaye is a 21-year-old with a two-year prison sentence behind him. Jaye is beautiful but haunted; he wears his tattoos like armor.

At first glance, it's Jaye who needs to be saved, Jaye who needs to be protected. Jaye wants to be Dixon's kept boy. The two negotiate an arrangement: Dixon will watch out for Jaye, making sure Jaye doesn't freeze or starve in the Alaskan wilderness, and in return Jaye will be Dixon's whore.

But Jaye is much more than a rent-boy, and Dixon's feelings for him transcend lust.

Their relationship is complex, maddening, ever changing, and it soon becomes obvious that Dixon needs Jaye as much, if not more, than Jaye needs Dixon.

"Being with you makes me happier than I've been in years, Jaye, and not because you know how to get me off. Stop selling yourself short. You're not that kid you used to be. You're the man I love. So, act like it already."

Guest Review: Bonds of Denial by Lynda Aicher - review by Todd

Bonds of Denial (Wicked Play, #5)Blurb:

Book five of Wicked Play

It's been twenty years since Rockford Fielding's father punished him for kissing another boy. Now a grown man with a military career behind him, Rock continues to deny his true desires, even while working security at The Den, the most decadent sex club in town. But after a year of watching gorgeous Carter Montgomery come and go on the arms of other men, Rock can no longer resist the cravings he's denied for so long.

Carter has just four months left on his contract with an escort agency, and he doesn't know whether to feel relieved or afraid. Being an escort is all he knows. Adding to his confusion is the way his latest client, the sexy but stoic Rock, makes him feel things he hasn't wanted in years.

One charmingly awkward date turns into two and soon the men are meeting off the clock. But with Rock in the closet and Carter unsure how to pursue a real relationship, how can they build a future both in and out of the bedroom?

Todd's rating:

This one is number 5 of a series of MF & MMF BDSM books that would have normally lost me at the "F" *and* the BDSM, but I took a chance on it anyway.

First, there wasn't a single "F" or BDSM scene to be found in the book. Whew, I was truly relieved on that front. Lady bits and spanking aren't my thing, so sue me. And it was fine as a stand-alone read and didn't require the previous books to make it an enjoyable read.

The characters of Rock and Carter were very well developed characters. Rock being deathly closeted due to his strict military father and Carter becoming an escort after being rejected by his family after high school upon coming out.

Rock's first two (paid) attempts to get to know Carter fail miserably, but Carter is intrigued and wants to help Rock come to terms with who he is, so they begin meeting off the clock.

One aspect of the book that I liked was the shift of self-confidence from one character to the other. At the beginning, Carter was the strong, bold one, taking the lead in the diner scene, which I particularly enjoyed, where Carter finally got Rock to say "I'm gay" out loud -- for the first time ever, at age 34.

As the story progressed, Rock's level of self-acceptance grew:

Sunday, November 23, 2014

ARC Review: A Most Personal Property by Darrah Glass

A Most Personal Property (Ganymede Quartet Book 1)From the blurb:  
In the heat of August 1900, Henry Blackwell—rich, handsome, and painfully shy—anticipates the purchase of his companion slave, that most personal of properties, with equal parts excitement and dread. There are limits to what a gentleman might do with his slave and still remain a gentleman, and what Henry craves goes far beyond what’s allowed.

Martin, a slave from House Ganymede, is the most beautiful young man Henry’s ever seen, and he’s ready and willing to do as Henry commands, but Henry’s afraid to ask him for what he really needs. A master needn’t care what a slave thinks or how he feels, but Henry can’t help wanting Martin to like him anyway. If Henry could be certain Martin wanted the same things he does, he might be bold enough to reveal his secrets.

Heather's rating:

Warning: Only read this book if you are absolutely okay with reading LOTS of on page sex between two 16 year old boys, one of which is a personal slave to the other. If you are not cool with that, stop right now!

Woah, this book was a hot read! While I don't read any books that have underage teens having sex with of age adults, I seem to make exceptions for books where both MCs are of the same age. And while this was a slave fic, I don't think anyone reading it would call what happen between Henry and Martin anything but consensual. However, there is some dub con and non con with side characters, just so you know. If this book sounds like something you'd be interested in, I think you will be VERY pleased.

I don't read much AU stuff but I always seem to like it when I give it a go. This book takes place in an alternate 1900s New York, where personal slaves are commonplace. Interestingly, race has almost no part in this book. Black teens have white slaves and vice versa, whatever they choose. The slaves are all trained by professional, classy slave houses and are like polished butlers... that are also used for sex.

Ah, the sex. I guess in this AU world it is considered natural to have sex with your personal slave, but it is considered unnatural to be gay. Meaning, you can practice on your slave, but you aren't supposed to want it. Unfortunately for slave owner and shy teen Henry, kissing and making love to his slave is all he can think about doing.

Book Review: Beauty and The Bookworm by Nick Pageant

Beauty And The BookwormFrom the blurb:
Mason Leery is a bookworm and he thinks he might just be able to get through life simply by reading about it instead of living it.

Until he meets Shane Beaumont. Shane is the opposite of Mason in every way, he's beautiful, athletic, and lives his life to the fullest.

Sparks fly when the polar opposites come together, but it will be up to the bookworm to shut down his e-reader and go after the beauty if he wants to love someone outside the pages of a book.

Heather's rating:

If this book was a man, I'd lick its no-no! I feel I owe it some lovin' after making my afternoon infinitely more entertaining!

Some people thought that this book was over the top. Me? Naaaah. If I didn't think Tell Me It's Real was too over the top, I'm NEVER going to find anything that is too much for me!

On the other hand, I think I'm the only one that doesn't like that cover. Sure, the guy is hot, but it in no way let's you know that this book is super fluffy and fun. It seems kind of dark and angsty and generic, if I'm being honest. If it wasn't for my fabulous friends and their reviews, I would have never tried this one.

I'm just going to put it out there: I ADORED this book. It was too short and it wasn't perfect, but I think I'd give it 4+ stars just for poking fun at M/M romance. I DIED at all of the hilarious shifter/closeted cop books that Mason read. I think I've read some of those gems... And when he asked the old man boxer for a safe word, I almost choked on my lunch!! I think I need a safe word at the gym!

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