Sunday, August 31, 2014

ARC Review: My Haunted Blender's Gay Love Affair, and Other Twisted Tales by Abigail Roux, Andrea Speed, and Anne Tenino

My Haunted Blender's Gay Love Affair, and Other Twisted Tales
From the blurb:

Die Laughing.
A collection of not-so-chilling tales of love and laughter from three of the genre's masters of pulp.
In The Bone Orchard, by Abigail Roux, Pinkerton investigator Ezra Johns and US Marshal Ambrose Shaw have a lot to learn about life—and the afterlife—in their quest to bring a vicious murderer to justice. Fortunately, they've got all the time in the world to figure it out.
In City of Monsters, by Andrea Speed, an ex-investigator turned some-kind-of-shifter (he doesn't know, but with his luck, it's probably nothing cool) is hired to find a missing reverse tooth fairy in the hellish dimension of Dev. But even simple things aren't easy for a guy with more vices than virtues, and his situation gets even more complex when a hot newcomer to Dev with a taste for danger joins him on the case.
In Horny, by Anne Tenino, a group of supernatural law enforcers enlist the help of a human, Ryan Caulfield, to catch Zeus: the god voted Least Likely to Keep It in His Pants. But there's more to Ryan than even he knows, and the satyr searching for Zeus is tempting him with far more than simple justice.

Heather's rating:

All in all, this was a very mixed collection.

"The Bone Orchard" by Abigail Roux

This was a weird mash-up of historical and paranormal romance, and it didn't quite work for me.

While I love a good old-fashioned western story, this felt lazy and not particularly historically accurate. Throw in some old-timey phrases and some cowboys hats and call it a day! I think the author didn't do a great job creating an atmosphere for this story. It sort of just was, without any of that masculine, old-fashion charm that westerns have.

However, my biggest pet peeve was the insta-love. GAH! Why oh why do authors do this to me! Ezra and Ambrose know each other for a hot second and all of the sudden they are in looove? I don't think so. And the sex wasn't even hot, which is normally what Abigail Roux does best.

Now, as someone that has read most of the Cut & Run series but none of the Sidewinder series (Shock & Awe), I didn't appreciate the mash-up between these characters and the Sidewinder ones. Maybe this book is intended for die-hard fans only and I don't fall into that category?

While not a bad story, I didn't think it was particularly strong. One of this author's weaker efforts.

Book Review: Campus Cravings (Higher Learning MM Boxed Set) by Various Authors (Anthology)


Welcome to Cathia University, where school is in session! Nine of today's hottest gay romance authors have crafted brand-new interrelated novellas celebrating everything wonderful about college, including sophisticated professors, sexy teaching assistants, ambitious grad students, and spirited undergraduates, all looking for the same thing: an A+ in true love.

Dani's rating:

These nine short stories/novellas (they range from approximately 500 to 2,000 locations) are fun and steamy. All take place on a fictional college campus, but the MCs aren’t all students. We have TAs and professors, as well as athletes, musicians, psychologists, equestrians, artists, RAs, and geeks.

The stories don't relate to one another except for being set in the same college town and mentioning some of the same hang-outs (a particular pizza joint comes up a lot).

Unfortunately, this collection didn’t have a dedicated editor, and it shows. Quite a few of the stories have typos and minor grammatical issues.

The expertise of the writing varies from story to story, but overall this collection provides some enjoyable, sexy shorty reads.

If you’re ready to revisit your college years with hot boys to keep you company, look no further. Hands down, the standout in this collection was:

Spotlight: A Secret Match by Kelli A. Wilkins

Today we shine the spotlight on Kelli A. Wilkins' new novel

A Secret Match


Everett Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and the sexy heartthrob of millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with anyone. He’s gay.
After years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out is the last thing Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.
One night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems – both personally and professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing down a tag team out to destroy him.

Torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything… can he find a balance between his career and his heart?

An excerpt:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Book Review: Embracing His Syn


Sergeant Corbin 'Syn' Sydney transferred from the Philadelphia Police Department as soon as he'd heard there was going to be an opening on Lieutenant Cashel Godfrey and Lieutenant Leonidis Day's Atlanta Narcotics Task Force. Syn’s primary goal in his life has been to be a great cop. There has been no time for relationships or love.

Syn was dedicated to his new force, focused and ready to back up God and Day as their third in command, but what he wasn't ready for was the feelings he got from seeing the love they had for each other.

Syn's all prepared to accept his lonely fate until he walks into a small pub and meets long-haired, tattooed, bartender, Furious Barkley. Before he can even understand why, Syn's feeling things he barely recognizes: passion, yearning, cravings; and if the dark, lustful gazes are anything to go by, Furious might be feeling the same things for him.

Just one thing needs to happen before Furi and Syn can give each other what’s been missing from their lives for so long... Syn needs to allow happiness into his world and Furi needs to learn to open his heart and trust again.

Dani's rating:

This book was FUN, and it was SMEXY, but it was also a little silly and not well edited.

There were numerous grammatical issues and typos that got in the way of the story. My biggest complain was the lack of commas with markers of direct address:

I want to suck sweets. 
I want to suck, sweets.

The first indicates an urge to lick a lollipop; the second implies something else entirely. There's a difference.

Fortunately, we got plenty of dirty, rough action: intense, humpy, steamy play in spades. Syn and Furi (prounced "fury" like "furious," NOT "furry" as in "citter") go at it and go at it some more.

Book Review: Brokendown Hearts (Foster Siblings 3) by Cameron Dane


Ex-con David Joyner returns home knowing he must atone for his past sins. Working at an animal shelter, David keeps his head down, desperate to prove to a hostile town he’s a new man. The one time David looks up, he spots fellow motel dweller Ben, and is terrified by his attraction to the man. David doesn’t want to feel anything. He can only damage what he loves.

On a forced vacation, PI Ben Evans accepts a job to tail a recently released prisoner. What begins as an easy gig turns complicated when Ben, a controlled man, can’t deny the pang of empathy he feels for his subject, David. Ben can’t suppress his gut-deep sexual desires whenever he’s near David either.

Repeatedly crossing paths, David and Ben do their best to fight their growing attraction. When passion explodes, and secrets are revealed, both men have to conquer inner demons in order to accept the others love.

Someone has turned the tables on David, though, stalking him and leaving threatening notes. Will anyone believe David if he tells? And when David’s stalker raises the stakes, can Ben find the man who has become his world in time to save their love?

Dani's rating:

I was crazy excited for this book to come out, and although this isn't Cameron Dane's best work, I still enjoyed the story.

Yes, the relationship between the MCs, David (Christian's stalker ex from the first book in Dane's Foster Siblings series) and Ben (Braden's ex from the second book in the series) is dysfunctional, initially at least. THEY are dysfunctional. But they fit together; they need each other. There are plenty of codependent relationships out there that work.

Dane managed to make a stalker likable. David is lonely, insecure, and obsessive. He tries so damn hard, but is treated like crap by the entire town. And Ben, tough detective that he is, has his own demons, which David soothes with his caring and love.

Spotlight: The Storykeeper by Lisa Wingate @LisaWingate

Today we shine the spotlight on Lisa Wingate's novel

The Story Keeper


Successful New York editor, Jen Gibbs, is at the top of her game with her new position at Vida House Publishing – until a mysterious manuscript from an old slush pile appears on her desk.
Turning the pages, Jen finds herself drawn into the life of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl trapped by dangerous men in the turn of the century Appalachia. A risky hunch may lead to “The Story Keeper's” hidden origins and its unknown author, but when the trail turns toward the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place Jen thought she'd left behind forever, the price of a blockbuster next book deal may be higher than she's willing to pay.

Available from Tyndale House Publishers.

A Q & A with Lisa Wingate:

Friday, August 29, 2014

Kindle Weekly Deals~ Week of 8/23/14- 8/29/14

"Halfway To The Grave" by Jeanine Frost- Adult, paranormal romance~ Price drop to $1.99!

"One Foot In The Grave" by Jeanine Frost- Adult, paranormal romance~ Price drop to $1.99!
"Cresting Tide" by Brenda Cothern- M/M, fantasy romance~ Price drop to $2.99!
"Loving Mr. Daniels" by Brittainy C. Cherry- NA, contemporary romance~ Price drop to $0.99!
"His Kind Of Home" by Hollis Shiloh- M/M, fantasy romance~ Price drop to $0.99!
"Knight" by Kristen Ashley- Adult, contemporary romance~ Price drop to $0.99!
"Creed" by Kristen Ashley- Adult, contemporary romance~ Price drop to $0.99!

Book Review: A Taste of Honey (Anthology) by by B.G. Thomas and Anne Regan (Editors)


In the mood to try something sweet? How about a collection of stories about bears and the special men in their lives? Guys don’t have to be in their twenties, perfectly sculpted, and hairless to be hot. Bears are real men with real bodies—and that doesn’t always mean a perfect six-pack or an immaculately smooth chest. With bears, it can mean more man to love. The men in this anthology are chubs, cubs, grizzlies, pandas, polar bears, and more—all looking for a connection. And beneath their burly physiques are hearts of gold. Explore the bear scene and beyond with these big, hairy guys and the men who find them irresistibly sexy.

Dani's rating:

Bears, cubs, chubs, polar bears, koala bears: furry; manly; bellies galore.


These stories celebrate men in all shapes and sizes.

Many have a bear paired with a twink (Renae Kaye's Bear Chasing); quite a few have an age gap (Zoe Rider's Amped). Yet others are GFY/OFY (John Amory's The Bear Fetish) or contain paranormal elements (Michael Rupured's The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain).

One is historical and really damn sad, not a romance at all (Christopher Hawthorne Moss' Truck Stop). Most have little steam or fade to black (John Amory's The Bear Fetish).

Most of the stories in this anthology hovered around ~2.75 to 3.5~ stars for me.

Blog Tour: Happy Independence Day by Michael Rupured

Happy Independence Day
By Michael Rupured

Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. A prelaw student at Columbia University majoring in political science, his interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie. Terrence notices the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn, but the handsome man—and rumored Mafia hustler—rebuffs his smiles and winks.

Cameron McKenzie dropped out of college and left tiny Paris, Kentucky after the death of the grandmother who raised him, dreaming of an acting career on Broadway. Although he claims to be straight, he becomes a prostitute to make ends meet. Now the Mafia is using him to entrap men for extortion schemes, he is in way over his head, and he can’t see a way out—at least not a way that doesn’t involve a swim to the bottom of the Hudson in a pair of cement flippers.

Cameron is left with a choice: endanger both their lives by telling Terrence everything or walk away from the only man he ever loved. The Mafia hustler and the student activist want to find a way to stay together, but first they need to find a way to stay alive.

Available for purchase at 


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Author of the Month — Cody Kennedy — Week Four Finale

Welcome to the Grand Finale with the amazing

and a first, exclusive look at his upcoming book, Slaying Isidore’s Dragons! This book is due to be published in 2015, and we get a look inside it! Yay!!

Let's start!

Are you excited? WE are!!

The reveal of the cover of Slaying Isidore’s Dragons:

Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, by C. Kennedy

From the blurb:

5 Best friends
4 Vicious brothers
3 STD tests
2 Guys in love
1 Car bombing
Nowhere to run

Slaying Isidore’s Dragons follows the burgeoning love of two high school seniors during the worst year of their lives.
Irish born Declan David de Quirke II is the son of two ambassadors, one Irish and one American. He’s come out to his parents but to no one else.
French born Jean-Isidore de Sauveterre is the son of two ambassadors, one Catalan and one Parisian. His four half brothers have been told to cure him of his homosexuality.
Declan and Isidore meet at the beginning of their senior year at a private academy in the United States. Declan is immediately smitten with Isidore and becomes his knight in shining armor. Isidore wants to keep what little is left of his sanity and needs Declan’s love to do it.

5 Weeks of hell
4 Attempts on their lives
3 Law enforcement agencies
2 Dead high school seniors
1 Jealous friend
A love that won’t be denied

One is beaten, one is drugged, one is nearly raped, one has been raped, they are harassed by professors and police, and have fights at school, but none of it compares to running for their lives. When the headmaster’s popular son attempts suicide and someone attempts to assassinate Declan’s mother, they are thrown headlong into chaos, betrayal, conspiracy, allegations of sexual coercion, pornography, even murder. And one of them carries a secret that may get them killed.

5 New family members
4 BFF’s
3 Countries
2 Extraordinary Psychologists
1 Courageous Mother
A new beginning for two young men in love

And here, for us at My Fiction Nook, an exclusive and never before seen excerpt from the upcoming book:

Isidore stood in an alcove, a hollow smile plastered on his face as he offered stiff, shallow bows to passing dignitaries. Declan watched him intently, wondering why the liquid grace of yesterday had fled him. A young guy who looked to be about Declan’s age, dressed in a black dinner jacket, came up and clapped Isidore on the shoulder. Isidore grimaced and froze. The guy chucked his chin and Isidore jerked away, anger filling his mien before he quickly regained his composure and his face smoothed. The guy chucked his chin again.

Who was this jerk? Get away from him, stook!

The jerk studied the crowd and headed away. He turned back and said something to Isidore that caused his face to crumple in…. What? Sadness? Declan looked on as Isidore gathered himself up, seeming to search the air for emotional purchase. He finally settled his face into a neutral expression. Then it dawned on Declan, and a sinking feeling began in the pit of his stomach. Isidore’s expression had crumpled just before he fell apart in the locker room. “Pain,” Declan said under his breath.

“What did you say, darling?”

“Look in the alcove, Mum. That’s Jean-Isidore. Something’s wrong with him.”

“What do you mean something’s wrong with him?” She casually looked past Declan’s arm in time to see another young man come up and clap Isidore on the back, hard. This jerk looked surprisingly like the first jerk, and Declan wondered if they were his half brothers. Isidore stumbled forward two steps and politely excused himself for nearly running into a garishly dressed woman. His struggle not to double over in pain as he held his stomach was obvious.

Sorcha hitched a small breath and recaptured her aplomb. “What do you think is wrong with him?” she whispered.

“Don’t know. But after Thing One and Thing Two clapped him on the shoulder and back, I can tell he’s in serious pain. How do you want me to go to him?”

Sorcha searched the room quickly. “Ah, Ambassador de Sauveterre,” she called.

The ambassador turned, openly irritated by her display.

“Good to see you again, Ambassador. Please accept my condolences once again with regard to your lovely wife. We all miss her so,” she said politely.

“Madame de Quirke, and to you for the loss of your husband,” he said stiffly.

“Ambassador,” she corrected.

“Ah, yes, Ambassador de Quirke. How careless of me. How could I forget that there were two of you among us?” He kissed the back of Sorcha’s hand gently and in contrast to his blatantly condescending tone.

The uncalled-for air of disdain for his mum wasn’t lost on Declan, and anger welled. The ambassador was a class A bastard.

“How are you and yours?” Sorcha asked politely, though he made no such inquiry of her.

“Excellent, thank you.”

“I understand that you had the pleasure of speaking with my son this afternoon. Here he is in person. Declan, may I introduce Ambassador Jean-Baptiste de Sauveterre, French ambassador to the United States.”

Declan shook the man’s hand. “It’s an honor to meet you, sir.”

Ambassador de Sauveterre didn’t respond. Rather, he gave Declan an icy glower that caused his balls to quiver and run for cover into his body cavity.

“And how is your son, Jean-Isidore?” Sorcha asked pointedly, quipping right along.

“I have five sons, Ambassador de Quirke.”

“Oh yes. How careless of me. How could I forget that there are five of you among us? Of them, I mean.”

Declan bit the inside of his cheek as he fought to keep a straight face. Back off, Mum. The guy looks like he wants to punch you.

Ambassador de Sauveterre gave her an openly angry look, which she brazenly disregarded. “How is Jean-Isidore?” she asked pointedly again, ignoring the matter of the other four sons.

Declan could have sworn that Ambassador de Sauveterre’s black eyes flashed red like a devil’s before he spoke again. “He is here,” he said calmly before motioning Isidore over with a hand signal that looked made for a dog.

Isidore made his way slowly through the crowd, careful to avoid bodily contact with anyone. “Oui, Père?

Be still my heart. Declan was left breathless by Isidore’s looks, and the mere scent of him sent his senses reeling again. Jeez, I’m a freak. I’m getting high on him.

“Jean-Isidore, this is Ambassador de Quirke of Ireland,” the ambassador introduced.

“It is an honor to meet you, Madame Ambassador de Quirke,” Isidore greeted and bent to kiss the back of her hand with considerable bodily effort.

“A wonderful pleasure to meet you, Master de Sauveterre. Oh, and my, aren’t your eyes just lovely! What an amazing shade of green!” she exclaimed.

“Thank you, Madame Ambassador. A gift from my beloved mother.” He turned stiffly and extended a hand to Declan. “Master de Quirke, it is a pleasure to see you again.”

Declan wanted to skip the formality and call him Isidore just to piss the ambassador off but knew it would only bode ill for Isidore in the end. Declan shook his hand gently, luxuriating in the soft warmth. “Master de Sauveterre, we missed you at school today.”

Not waiting for further comment, Sorcha threaded her arm through the ambassador’s and led him away. “Ambassador de Sauveterre, it would seem we need to have a word. You see, the school has this buddy system now….”

Isidore stared at his father’s departing back as the petite, dark-haired Sorcha led him away. “Your mother is a brave woman. Not many would presume to tell my father anything.”

“You have no idea. She’s a tempest in her own right.” Declan leaned in. “You’re in pain,” he said quietly.

Isidore’s face began to crumple, and he visibly fought for control. “I’m fine. Please. Go, before my father sees us speaking together.”

“Why weren’t you in school today?”

“I cannot… I can’t say.”


“Please, Master de Quirke—” The effort to speak made Isidore wince, and his words caught in his throat.

Righting his posture, Declan made to smile for appearance’s sake and gestured for Isidore to precede him to the balcony. Isidore hesitated before moving forward. Declan followed, snagging two glasses of sparkling cider from a tray on the way. When they came to the heavy glass balcony door, Declan reached above Isidore’s head and pushed it open for him.

Getting to the balcony table left Isidore winded.

“Sit down before you fall down,” Declan said.

“I cannot. My father will expect me in the room.”

“Sit down,” Declan repeated as he set the glasses of cider on the table.

Isidore gripped the arms of a chair fiercely as he lowered himself into it. He breathed a long, silent sigh of relief as his small frame settled.

Declan took the seat next to him and studied him. “You look as if you haven’t slept in a week.”

Isidore said nothing as he put his trembling hands in his lap and curled them into tight fists.

“You’re hurt.”

Isidore brought his chin up quickly, his head high. “What would make you think that I am hurt?”

“Let’s skip the bullshite. I play rugby. I’ve had broken ribs before.”

Isidore frowned. “You presume to know much.”

“Take a deep breath,” Declan challenged.

Isidore looked away.

“Who beat the shite out of you?” Declan asked pointedly.

“Declan, please, this is none of your concern.”

All content ©2011-2014 C. Kennedy. All Rights Reserved.

Read an early review of the coming Slaying Isidore's Dragons, by young Timmy here.

Slaying Isidore’s Dragons partly takes place outside of the US, so here are a couple of questions for you, Cody: 

What was your inspiration for Slaying Isidore’s Dragons?

As an abused youth, I was fortunate enough to have been taken into safe care by my grandfather at a young age. Being the world traveler he was, he knew all kinds of people in all sorts of places, and we traveled a lot! He also happened to know a wonderful married couple who were diplomats. Though they were stationed in different countries, the countries were near and they saw each other on weekends. We traveled frequently and saw them no matter what country they were in at any given time. Finally, I wanted to bring a little bit of that world travel into a story and, in Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, Isidore is French, Declan is Irish, and yet they attend school at an academy in the United States. To wit, the adventure spans the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, and the United States.

What are your personal longings?

I hope to change the world one abused boy at a time by helping them through my writing and the work I do for and with them. And world travel. I love to travel. MUST.HAVE.TRAVEL.

Which country have you visited that you would love to live in? Why?

One? I must choose ONE country? Impossible. My top three? Greece, Spain, and California (California thinks it’s a country, so it’s all good). Why? Why not?

Thank you, Cody. 
Thank you for sharing yourself with us this month. You shine the light on so many things that we simply do not know, or that many of us tend to ignore, because it hurts too much to think about. But you have shown us that there are things we can do. 

About Cody Kennedy:

Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as: If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.

Check out Cody’s Blog here. Like Cody on Facebook, find Cody on Goodreads, on Twitter @CodyKAuthor, on Tumblr, and read Cody’s free serial story, Fairy.

Rafflecopter and giveaway of one e-copy of Safe:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ARC Review: McFarland's Farm by Cardeno C.

McFarland's Farm (Hope, #1)From the blurb:

Wealthy, attractive Lucas Reika treats life like a party, moving from bar to bar and man to man. Thumbing his nose at his restaurateur father's demand that he earn his keep, Lucas instead seduces a valued employee in the kitchen of their flagship restaurant, earning himself an ultimatum: lose access to his father's money or stay in the middle of nowhere with a man he has secretly lusted over from afar.

Quiet, hard-working Jared McFarland loves his farm on the outskirts of Hope, Arizona, but he aches to have someone to come home to at the end of the day. Jared agrees to take in his longtime crush as a favor. But when Lucas invades his heart in addition to his space, Jared has to decide how much of himself he's willing to risk and figure out if he can offer Lucas enough to keep him after his father's punishment is over.

Rosa's rating:

The title? I'm staring at it, and I've already forgotten it. The cover? Well, I guess it's educational 'cause I had no idea how they grew organic vegetables. Other than that -- meh. However, the author? Squee!

Cardeno's either my first or second favorite purveyor of sugar fluff nuggets. (The other author is, naturally, Mary Calmes.) I love to gorge myself on her books like it's 8am on Christmas morning. (I was never one of those kids who paced themselves so they had three pieces left the next July. Or the next day. Whatever.) This book is quick and therefore more of a snack than a full-on gorge -- but it is the sweet treat we've come to expect from Ms. C.

Not entirely sweet? Co-MC Lucas Reika. In fact he provides a profound lesson in how we readers may recognize a spoiled little prick. For instance:
-V-neck t-shirts
-Alligator luggage.
-Negative statements concerning iceberg lettuce.
I don’t want to give the wrong impression but not only do I own 4 pairs of sunglasses, a large collection of V-neck t-shirts, and an alligator carry-on -- I have been known to advise against the consumption of iceberg lettuce as it consists mainly of water and you’re not getting your vitamins or fiber that way. I know, I’m super opinionated (and a hypocrite, see above candy consumption) and apparently a spoiled prick. (I would like to add that I’ve never said that to a waiter/waitress, though. I’m not a total jerk.)

Of course, we already know Lucas is a spoiled little jerk from hearing about his many selfish acts from his half-sister and some from the other MC, Jared. But Lucas experiences a complete turn-around in personality when Jared tells him like it is:
I don’t abide freeloaders, Lucas. Doesn’t matter who your father is or who your sister is. You’re stay in my house, eating my food, disrupting my day. That means you will pull your own weight....You work in the greenhouses alongside me or you work in the office on the computer. I’m giving you a choice of one or the other. But if you want a bed to sleep in and food in your belly, you will work.
And Lucas? After probably being told the exact same thing from his father for years thinks, Said that way, Jared’s request didn’t seem as unreasonable. It almost made Lucas feel ashamed. Okay, right, yes. A lifetime spent acting like a spoiled little shit and then a big ole sweet ginger bear tells you how it is and suddenly, except for one small setback, you’re a hard worker, dedicated to making said ginger’s life more comfortable ---

ARC Review: A Taste of Honey by B.G. Thomas & Anne Regan (editors)

A Taste of HoneyFrom the blurb:

In the mood to try something sweet? How about a collection of stories about bears and the special men in their lives? Guys don’t have to be in their twenties, perfectly sculpted, and hairless to be hot. Bears are real men with real bodies—and that doesn’t always mean a perfect six-pack or an immaculately smooth chest. With bears, it can mean more man to love. The men in this anthology are chubs, cubs, grizzlies, pandas, polar bears, and more—all looking for a connection. And beneath their burly physiques are hearts of gold. Explore the bear scene and beyond with these big, hairy guys and the men who find them irresistibly sexy.

Rosa's rating:

You know what I like? Anthologies with blurbs that list each story with a mini blurb attached. This particular anthology doesn’t have that, so I’m going to do it for you, the readers. You're welcome.

Author B.G. Thomas, who along with Anne Regan is the editor of this anthology, starts things out with his personal story of coming out bear. Like many men he doesn’t live up to the gay standard and had a hard time connecting with men when he first came out. Eventually he discovered his place amongst the bears. It’s a great introduction to the anthology but what I liked most about it was this statement:
[T]he one thing [bears] have in common is we aren’t hung up on what most of gay culture, or the world for that matter, qualifies and quantifies as hot or sexy. We are beautiful and sexy in our own way....Because that’s what being a bear is all about. It’s more than size. It is accepting ourselves and each other for who and what we are.
I love that. It’s something I hope we can all relate to – man, woman or bear. Mr. Thomas is the author of Summer Lover.

Truck Stop by Christopher Hawthorne Moss 3.5 stars

Cleve and Sully are recent veterans of WWII. Sully’s a truck driver who frequents Cleve’s Gas and Grub. They get to know each other better when a snow storm hits the area, trapping them together. Anything about war veterans seems designed to make me teary-eyed and this story is no different. Moss is the author of Where My Love Lies Dreaming.

Bear Chasing by Renae Kaye 3.75 stars

Neil is a geeky, skinny guy (naturally) who lives with his sister and helps take care of her three children. Imagine his joy one day when three studly bears move in across the street. However it’s Brett, the biggest bear of all, who captures his interest. Another sweet and funny story from the author of The Blinding Light.

Life’s Tiny Surprises by Tara Spears 3.25 stars

Mac is celebrating his 30th birthday alone at his favorite Italian restaurant. Mac won’t be lonely for long, however as twinky waiter Jerrod has quite the crush on him. This is a very sweet story with a definite HEA. Tara Spears is the author of The Darker Side of Trey Grey.

The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain by Michael Rupured 2.5 stars

Two men meet in Washington DC and immediately get down and dirty. One looks like Kevin Sorbo with a lot more hair. Not my thing but there is an interesting paranormal twist. Michael Rupured is the author of Happy Independence Day.

Just Breathe by John Genest 3 stars

The Valentine’s Day after losing his boyfriend, Will has to take an overnight CPAP test (study for sleep apnea). His night gets a lot more interesting when his sleep technician, Les, turns out to be the exact type of bear he likes best. Extra credit for making me tear up at one point – also, whoever thought of finding a date during a CPAP test? John Genest also has a story in Tales from the Den: Wild and Weird Stories for Bears.
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