Sunday, February 25, 2018

ARC Review: A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen

A Duke in the Night (The Devils of Dover, #1)From the blurb:


Duke. Scoundrel. Titan of business. August Faulkner is a man of many talents, not the least of which is enticing women into his bedchamber. He’s known—and reviled—for buying and selling companies, accumulating scads of money, and breaking hearts. It’s a reputation he wears like a badge of honor, and one he intends to keep. 
Clara Hayward, the headmistress of the Haverhall School for Young Ladies, on the other hand, is above reproach. Yet when she’s reunited with August, all she can think of is the way she felt in his arms as they danced a scandalous waltz ten long years ago. Even though her head knows that he is only back in her life to take over her family’s business, her heart can’t help but open to the very duke who could destroy it for good.



Heather's rating:






Lovely, feminist historical romance.

I adored A Duke in the Night, my first by the very talented Kelly Bowen. I thought it was a powerful story with a female MC who carried the book, something we don't see as often as I'd like in romance.

Okay, I'll admit, the book was probably (most certainly) not historical accurate. Clara is a woman who is almost fully independent and gasp sexually confident, something rare in historical romance and even sometimes in contemporary romance. Now, the extent of Clara's autonomy might not actually fit the era, but if you can look past that (and some modern-sounding speech), you'll find a really special, touching story.

I actually don't love romances where the MCs have a history together as I like to get to know the couple from first meeting to love, all within the story, but Kelly Bowen pulled it off (and we get a flashback to take us there). Clara and August are a strong couple (I keep saying that, but these two are just so strong), and their chemistry just grew and grew. I loved seeing them adapt to each other and figuring out how they worked as a couple.

ARC Review: Cam Boy by Quinn Anderson

Cam Boy (Murmur Inc. #3)Blurb:

After years of making minimum wage, college dropout Josh Clemmons may have found his salvation. Murmur Inc., a local adult entertainment company, is hosting auditions for new performers, and Josh has been invited to try out. If he can make it as a porn star, he can kiss his money troubles goodbye. 
Mike Harwood is a loud-and-proud professional adult entertainer. In the past three years, he’s starred in dozens of films, and he’s very good at what he does. But as focused as he’s been on work, he’s neglected everything else, including his love life. He’s so used to faking attraction, he can no longer tell when something real is staring him in the face.

Josh gets the job, but when porn fails to live up to the fantasy, he quits to do cam work instead. But he can’t stop thinking about the one scene he filmed, and the captivating man he filmed it with. Their chemistry is undeniable, but Mike knows better than to mix business with pleasure. Then again, with true love on the line, this unorthodox office romance may need a second take.



My rating:





If you look up the words "naive", "reckless", and "overly confident" in the dictionary, you might find Josh Clemmons' picture there.

If you've read the previous books in this series, you might remember Josh as the guy who works with Pete at the coffee shop. Additionally, you might recall that Pete works for Murmur Inc, a company that makes pornographic movies, but also provides Phone Sex Operators, and apparently, on-camera live action.

Josh, stuck in a dead-end, low-wage job, partly because college just wasn't for him, looks for more excitement and more dough. Thus he's been looking online at Murmur Inc. for open audition calls, and wouldn't you know, his luck is about to change.

Hastily cobbling together a resume, he's so confident that he's perfect for porn and will be chosen to perform that he. Quits. His. Job. before he even has an interview lined up. Overly confident? Reckless? You betcha.

Also naive. So very naive, because he thinks if Pete can be a porn star, so can he. Like, surely, anyone can be in porn, right? Lots of sex and you get paid? Why wouldn't everyone do this, amirite? How hard could it be?

Right.

Josh's dreams of being the next AVN winner are dashed quickly when he realizes after his first scene he's not quite cut out for that kind of career.

Mike Harwood, on the other hand, has been an adult film entertainer for quite some time. Filming both straight and gay movies, he's so used to faking attraction that he's no longer sure what's real and what isn't. I could tell that he was approaching burnout, but he wasn't quite there yet.

Josh and Mike meet on set for Josh's first and last scene, after which Josh crawls back to the coffeeshop and begs for his job back. Which he does, lucky him. Neither can get the encounter out of their mind, but Josh isn't going to make any movies, and Mike is busy filming the next scene. Josh also gets even more lucky when Colette, the owner of Murmur Inc, offers him cam work - something he can do from his rented room, on his own laptop, but still get paid. Josh agrees - jacking off seems simple enough when one hasn't to contort himself, and getting paid to jack off - what more could he want?

The author has done really good research for her books and gives good insights to the industry. What we see on film is hard work for the actors, and there is a constant fear of STDs that is just part of daily life. It's also true that the straight porn is less likely to utilize condoms, and thus the actors undergo frequent tests to ensure they're as safe as can be. When Mike is told that one of his recent co-actors on the M/F set has been tested positive, he is immediately sent for a test, and anyone with whom he performed since then must also be tested. Additionally, until he tests negative, he cannot perform with anyone else.

And so Josh and Mike reconnect. With Mike laying low and waiting the appropriate potential incubation time, he's got time on his hands, right?

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Spotlight: Lander by J. Scott Coatsworth

Lander banner




J. Scott Coatsworth has a new MM Sci Fi book out:

LANDER

The Oberon Cycle: Book Two





LanderBlurb:


Sometimes the world needs saving twice.
In the sequel to the Rainbow-Award-winning Skythane, Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.
Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander's kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive. Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them.
In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.
Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel concocted? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most?





About the Oberon Cycle:


Xander is a skythane man whose wings have always been a liability on the lander-dominated half world of Oberon.


Jameson is a lander who has been sent to Oberon to find out why the supply of the psycho-amoratic drug pith has dropped off.


What neither knows is that they have a shared destiny that will change the two of them - and all of Oberon - forever.





Dreamspinner - eBook | Dreamspinner - Paperback



Giveaway


Scott is giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate and three copies of his queer sci fi eBook "The Stark Divide."







Excerpt



Xander stared at the torrent of water pouring over the cavern entrance. Somewhere out there, Quince and the others were lost in the storm.

“What happened to everyone else?” Jameson shouted, putting his hand on Xander’s shoulder.

“I don’t know. Last I saw them was before the lightning strike.” How had things changed so quickly?

Jameson started toward the exit. “We have to look for them!”

Xander pulled him back.

Jameson’s eyes were wild.

He squeezed Jameson’s hands, trying to reassure him. “Hey, calm down. There’s nothing we can do right now.”

“We already lost Morgan.” Jameson’s eyes pleaded with him. “I can’t lose the rest of them.”

Xander shook his head. “It’s no use. We’ll never find them in this tempest. They’re seasoned veterans. They can take care of themselves. We’ll go looking after the storm passes.” The loss of Morgan weighed on him too, though he was less and less certain that Morgan had been a human boy at all.

Jameson looked doubtful.

Xander felt it too, but there really was nothing they could do. “Hey, it’s gonna be all right.” He pulled Jameson to him, enfolding the two of them with his wings. Jameson was soaked, but Xander didn’t care.

Jameson nodded against his chest. “You’re right. Gods, I know you’re right. I’m sorry. I thought we were done with all this.”

Xander held him out at arm’s length. “Gods, huh? We’re doing the plural thing now?”

Jameson gave him a half smile. “Trying it out? When in Rome….”

“How’s your hearing?”

Book Blitz: Blind Passion by Penny Brandon




Length: 82,000 words approx. 




Blurb
Attraction for Adam was not a handsome face, a striking smile, or beautiful eyes, but a scent that would drive him to distraction or a voice that could make his heart beat faster. When the combination of the two walked into his life in Luke, Adam couldn’t help but want him. But how was he supposed to know if Luke felt the same attraction? He had no prior experience, no past encounters, nothing to help him. Not even his sight.

One look at Adam and Luke wanted him. Sensual, gorgeous, kind, with a strength that Luke was drawn to, Adam was everything Luke desired. Being in Adam’s arms, showing him the pleasure of a man’s body, being touched, held, and desired in return, had Luke wanting more, had him wanting what he knew he couldn’t have.

It didn’t matter to him that Adam was blind, but Adam deserved more than someone like him. Luke was a man with a broken past and falling in love with Adam was a foolish thing to do, especially because Adam would never love him back if he found out what Luke was hiding.










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