4 Stars, Ai Press, DH Starr, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jackie

Review: Meant for Him by D.H. Starr

Title: Meant for Him (Meant for Each Other: Book Two)

Author: D.H. Starr

Publisher: Ai Press

Pages/Word Count: 203 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Another hot guy from Greenwich Village is about to meet his match. That is, if he doesn’t mess things up…this time.

After the failure of his relationship with Jeremy, Andrew Jamieson threw himself into a routine his high powered job on Wall Street and workouts. After two years, however, he is unable to quell the longing in his heart for that special someone. Feeling hopeless, Andrew resigns himself to life of work and living alone in his pent house apartment. That is, until he’s fixed up with Peter, the local bartender in Jeremy’s favorite watering hole in the East Village. Peter is hot, sweet, sensitive and…masterful. Peter brings out a side of Andrew he never knew he had. And he can’t get enough. However, the same difficulties Andrew had with Jeremy threaten to rear up and ruin his chances with Peter. Will Andrew love Peter enough to let himself have the one guy in the world who could be meant for him? Continue reading

A.J. Truman, Aleksandr Voinov, Bey Deckard, CJane Elliott, Coastal Magic Convention, DH Starr, GayRomLit, JL Merrow, K.A. Merikan, Kevin Klehr, Morticia Knight, Sneak Peek, Tere Michaels

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Hi, everyone, I hope you’ve all had a fantastic weekend. We’re gearing up for a great week ahead here at The Novel Approach.

In case you’ve missed them, we still have two outstanding giveaways open to close out our Countdown to GRL Celebrations: Sherrie Henry, Gift Basket Seven, and our Grand Prize giveaway, so be sure to check those out before they expire.

Now, here’s what we have coming up in the week ahead.


Monday – Kicking off the week, we’ll be hosting Aleksandr Voinov on the A Taste for Poison Blog Tour, with a giveaway

Wilde City Press author Kevin Klehr joins us today to talk a bit about his books Drama Queens With Love Scenes and Drama Queens and Adult Themes

TuesdayJL Merrow drops in to visit today on the Raising the Rent Blog Tour, with a giveaway

A.J. Truman also joins us today with a giveaway on his Out in the Open Blog Tour

WednesdayTere Michaels is here today to answer a few questions on the Countdown to Coastal Magic Convention Blog Tour

We’ll also have CJane Elliott with us on the Aidan’s Journey Blog Tour, with a giveaway

ThursdayDH Starr joins us today on the Meant for Him Blog Tour, with a giveaway

K.A. Merikan also stops by on the Guns n’ Boys Blog Tour

FridayMorticia Knight is our guest today on the All Fired Up Blog Tour, with a giveaway

Bey Deckard also drops in on his Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires Blog Tour, with a giveaway


And that rounds out the week ahead. Until next week, happy reading!

Deanna Wadsworth, DH Starr, Edmond Manning, Ethan Day, GayRomLit, Jamie Lynn Miller, Rhys Ford, RJ Scott, Z.A. Maxfield

GayRomLit Virtual Gift Basket Giveaway: Basket Four

1237Happy Monday, everyone, and welcome back to day four of the GRL Virtual Gift Basket Giveaways! We have more great goodies on offer for you today, so have a look at what’s up for grabs:

Rhys Ford: A $25 Gift Card to the e-tailer of the winner’s choice
DH Starr: An e-copy of Meant for Each Other
RJ Scott: An e-book of choice from her backlist
Ethan Day: An e-copy of To Catch a Fox Continue reading

Deanna Wadsworth, DH Starr, Ethan Day, GayRomLit, Katey Hawthorne, Rhys Ford, RJ Scott, Sherrie Henry

GayRomLit Virtual Gift Basket Giveaway: Basket One

1237It’s been in the planning for weeks, and the time is finally here! With less than three weeks until the official first day of GayRomLit 2014, The Novel Approach and our team of Featured and Supporting Authors have put together Seven Virtual Gift Baskets to give away.

Helping us kick things off with Basket One are:

Rhys Ford: $25 Gift Card to the e-tailer of the winner’s choice
Sherrie Henry: An e-copy of Last of the Summer Tomatoes
RJ Scott: An e-book of choice from her backlist Continue reading

Ai Press, DH Starr

“Feed, Prey, Love” – Go Ahead, It’s Halloween…

There are such beings as vampires, some of us have evidence that they exist. – Bram Stoker

BLURB: At Whispering Hills where mortals and paranormals coexist peacefully – and romantically – love really does bite!

Talib Eldridge is a vampire who lives with guilt. 100 years ago, he accidentally turned a human to a vampire and has been afraid to get close to anyone for fear of ever losing control as he once did. When he meets Conley Berillo, his commitment to living in isolation is challenged. Immediately drawn to the human, he can’t help but fall in love.
Continue reading

DH Starr, MLR Press

In Which D.H. Starr discusses HIV And His New Book, Perfect for Me

Expectation is the root of all heartache. – William Shakespeare

Perfect for Me is a book in which D.H. Starr goes where few authors have tread before in the realms of M/M romance, and has done so in such a way that he’s managed to take two very powerful storylines and blend them seamlessly together into one very compelling and touching read.

Sean Sullivan is the thirty-three year old principal of a high school in the Bronx, New York. Sean Sullivan is also a man who happens to be HIV-positive, a fact that doesn’t at all affect his commitment to his job or to the children he cares so very deeply for, but it does very much affect his life outside of his work, and it’s this blend of job and personal life that’s the heart of Sean’s story, when a bright and gifted student suddenly finds himself caught in the crosshairs of a violent domestic situation and is removed from his home by Child Protective Services.

Emery Benton is the man assigned to Lamar’s case, which involves a tragic set of circumstances that are frightfully and unfortunately all too common, and is an incident that lands Lamar in the hospital to recover from the beating doled out to him by his father. It’s a case that brings Emery and Sean together in an effort to save Lamar from his home life—and ultimately from himself—and is the difficult but nonetheless perfect opportunity for the two men to realize that their passion for helping Lamar also extends to an undeniable attraction to each other. That doesn’t, however, mean that there’s anything at all simple about them starting a relationship.

Since Sean’s diagnosis, he’s been left with nothing but a string of disappointments in his dating life. He’s become accustomed to the endless tide of rejections handed to him over and over again once he reveals his status, which seems to hover like the blade of a guillotine above his head just waiting to make its swift and sure cut through any sort of hope he might have that “this guy” will be different and will be willing to accept him for who he is and not for what he has. It’s a guillotine that’s become so weighted with the expectation of disappointment that when he finally does find the one man who sees beyond his status to the kind and compassionate man lurking inside, Sean very nearly throws away his one chance at happiness in an effort to protect himself from the pain of losing something he doesn’t believe he can ever have, especially not with a man who’s negative.

Perfect for Me is a story of regrets from the past that have shaped Sean’s present and, by virtue of the power they wield, will continue to alter the future of this man who wants and deserves nothing less than happiness, but who can’t seem to cut through the fears and doubts he’s used to build walls around himself and his heart. Continue, that is, unless he’s willing to stop expecting heartache and begin hoping for love. For Sean, surely the only chance he would ever come to regret is the one he wasn’t brave enough to take.

It’s a steep learning curve for Emery, not in his unconditional acceptance of Sean’s serostatus but in his ability to convince the man that this is not a reason to throw away the opportunity for a long lifetime of happiness, in fear of the unknown. It wasn’t an easy lesson for either man to learn, and illustrated how very much the continued stigma of HIV, even in the advancement of awareness and treatment options, so fully informs the lives of those afflicted and affected.

D.H. Starr has brought a serious subject to the forefront of gay fiction and opened it up for discussion, and has managed to do so while wrapping it within in a story that’s touching and thought provoking and clearly illustrates the need for positive role models in the lives of at-risk youth.

I’m so honored to have Doug here as my guest today to discuss how the idea for this story was born and finally came to fruition.


Perfect For Me was conceived at the first GayRomLit conference in NOLA. Kris Jacen and I were having dinner with a group of awesome people and started talked about Sean and Emery. As the evening wore on, and a few drinkie-drinks were consumed, these two characters and their story emerged.

I wrote the first half of the book soon after the retreat but work and life got really busy and I took a break from it. Last year in New Mexico while I was sitting in a hot tub by the pool, Kris and I talked about a road block I’d hit with these two guys. I was trying to figure out how to address Sean’s fears of rejection without making him seem like a whiny brat or pathetically insecure. Sean isn’t insecure. He’s very confident and talented. Once again, Kris talked me from the ledge and I was back on track.

Once I finished the book, I read through it once more with a fine-toothed comb, literally editing the manuscript line-by-line. In the end, I was satisfied that I had created two characters who were believable, reacting and responding in realistic ways to a timely and haunting issue…HIV.

I’ve read a few books which centered on the disease and most have focused on the devastation of the epidemic or the savage way the virus destroys immune systems and leads to death. But that’s not the predominant reality of HIV anymore. It still happens, but when people adhere to their medication regiments and practice safe sex, they can live long, healthy lives and can prevent the risk of transmission to others (or reinfection to themselves with a new strain). This book explores how a person, a very healthy person who happens to be HIV positive, deals emotionally with the disease. It doesn’t focus on health, but rather on the emotional toll the disease can take.

Another trend I’ve noticed in movies and books where there have been positive/negative pairings is how the HIV negative person has to work through their fears in order to see past the virus and love the person. In Perfect For Me, I’ve flipped this scenario and created a positive character who has to work through his own misgivings about dating someone negative. Sean fears his condition would put Emery at physical risk and that, God forbid, if his medication stopped working, Emery would have to suffer through Sean’s opportunistic infections, illnesses, and ultimate death. Putting Emery, a vibrant and caring man into a situation like that seemed unfathomable to Sean despite the obvious attraction between them.

Emery, on the other hand, won’t accept Sean’s misgivings. He doesn’t see the virus as a problem and values how Sean makes him feel. He’s educated and understands that, despite the minimal risk to himself, he’d be at far greater risk of living a life without the deepest kind of love without Sean.

I tend to be an author who writes character-driven stories and I’ve been accurately labeled as having an angsty style of writing. I pride myself on torturing my characters, tearing at their hearts before giving them their ultimate happiness. This book was more than my typical angstfest. It was an emotional glimpse into the lives of two men dealing with a serious, yet controllable disease.

The stigma of HIV remains strong in the community at large and within the gay community as well. The fear of being rejected based solely on one’s status is very real and painful. But it’s also a reality that more and more negative people are open to forming loving and sexual relationships despite the HIV status of their partner.

Perfect For Me presents this life-affirming trend in our culture and my hope is that reading it will help to create bridges of understanding and acceptance. It’s for all people, regardless of gender, age, race, sexuality, or whatever categorization and its message is that love transcends everything else.

Everyone deals with serious issues in their lives and those issues are as diverse and varied as the people who experience them. But one thing ties us all together and that is how love completes us, helping us to live happy lives where the “things” we deal with don’t have to rule us…we can rule them. Basically it’s a celebration of the time old saying LOVE CONQUERS ALL!

I hope you give the book a shot and more importantly, I hope you connect to the story and see yourself in it no matter what troubles you may face in your own lives.

You can buy Perfect for Me here:

Abigail Roux, Aleksandr Voinov, Amy Lane, Ariel Tachna, Charlie Cochet, DC Juris, DH Starr, Eden Winters, Edmond Manning, Ethan Day, J.P. Barnaby, Jacob Z. Flores, Jamie Fessenden, K. Piet, M.J. O'Shea, Marie Sexton, Michele L. Montgomery, P.D. Singer, Piper Vaughn, Ramblings, Rhys Ford, Rick R. Reed

I’m back, sick as a dawg, and suffering from sleep deprivation. Man, was it worth it!

I’m not even going to lie… GayRomLit 2012 was the most fun I’ve ever had with all of my clothes on. Heh. Shhhh, sorry I went there. :-D

Bonnie (a lovely fan whose last name is escaping me), Rick R. Reed, Michele L. Montgomery, Me, and Rhys Ford at dinner

But seriously, let me tell you, there are very few things I will leave my family for, and GayRomLit 20–, yes, all of them—for many years to come, I hope—is the one event for which I’ll put the hubby on full-time kid duty and bid them all farewell, even if it means they eat like crap the entire time I’m gone (Hey, they were all alive this morning, so I count it as a Daddy Success; although #1 son is suffering from some gastrointestinal issues. ::insert “God, mom, you’re so inappropriate!” here::), and even if it means I have to suffer from sleep deprivation ::dear gods:: and a miserable cold every single time afterward.::sniffles:: :-P Trust me, it’s so very worth it.

The lovely, lovely Eden Winters and P.D. Singer

There were dozens of stellar moments from the weekend, starting with the sheer number of amazing and talented people I met, both authors and readers alike, topped only by the fact that now I get to call at least a few of those wonderful people “friend”. I don’t know what they’ll call me, though. Probably “Restraining Order”. And I finally got to meet two women whom I’ve loved for years — Michele L. Montgomery and Rhys Ford — and had the thrill of meeting so many of the authors of whom I’ve been a rabid fan for what feels like forever!

Yes, there were some embarrassingly bad fan-girl squee moments for me–ugly crying all over Amy Lane in the middle of a crowded restaurant, tackle-hugging Piper Vaughn in an elevator, ninja-leaping over the arm of a chair in the hotel lobby so I could hug Aleksandr Voinov (who I didn’t know was going to be there), threatening to club Marie Sexton over the head so I could steal her freaking amazing boots, and asking waaaaaay too many questions in the Author Q & A with Lynn Lorenz, M.J. O’Shea, Abigail Roux (who is really Ty Grady in disguise), and J.P. Barnaby. They were sick of me before it was over, I know, but dammit, how many times do you get a chance to sit down with authors and ask them deep and thought provoking questions such as: Abigail, do you make up all the sayings on Ty’s t-shirts? ::eyeroll:: Yes, I asked that question. Am I an idiot? Why yes, yes I am. Whatever. ^_^

The incomparable Amy Lane

And I’m going to sneak this one small thing in here too, which was just an amazing, amazing experience for me–listening to Edmond Manning read a passage from King Perry! They gave me the entire seat, but I only used the edge, swear. I don’t think it’s any big secret that I have a deep burning passion for that book, like a sick love for it, so listening to him read and getting to meet him in person was an over-the-top moment. He’s funny and charming and his kindness radiates from him in waves. AND, I’ve had the privilege of reading the first three chapters of book 6 of the series, King Daniel, which was one of his giveaway items. ::heaven:: I’m all verklempt from the awesomeness of it.

Edmond Manning – hotel soap really is lucky! :)

Some of my most wonderful memories didn’t revolve around the scheduled events at GayRomLit at all, though. They revolve around the dinners I had the immense pleasure of sharing with Rhys, Michele, Rick R. Reed, DH Starr, Jacob Z. Flores and his husband Bruce, and Jamie Fessenden. Yeah, the conversation was wildly inappropriate–ask Rhys about when she was little and gnawed on her cousin’s nuts when he sat on her face (she can show you on the dolly where the bad touch happened), or ask Rick R. Reed about his sexy-ass sword and tool…er, I mean tulle, pics. Oh, ha! Or you could ask him about the story he wrote about the guy who air-launches a carrot out of his bum-hole. Yes, he went there. I read the story. It really exists. And how’s this for a supremely bad move on the restaurant hostess’s part: They sat a family with children next to us–can I get a witness? It was a caca bad move on the restaurant’s part, for sure, right guys? But my after dinner conversation with DH and Jacob about education and diversity and the responsibility I feel toward raising decent and compassionate human beings? Well, that was pretty much just the perfect way to end the evening. It proves there were actually some grownup moments among all the “Dear God, did we really go there?” times.

Jacob Z. Flores, his amazing hubby Bruce, and my lucky breath mints

So, now I’m brain dead. It was a C-I-L-L my brain cells D-E-D sort of weekend from which it’ll take days to recover, and all I can say is, Atlanta 2013. If you want to attend an event where fun spills over into friendships, GRL is the one. I know I’ll be there.

Michele L. Montgomery, DH Starr, and a case of the big rainbow balls

Charlie Cochet, who is pocket-sized, adorable, and I wanted to bring her home with me!

The amazing Ethan Day. I had had many gin & tonics here. :-P

DC Juris and Michele L. Montgomery

Michele L. Montgomery and Rick R. Reed

Q&A with Abigail Roux and J.P. Barnaby

The wonderful Jamie Fessenden

The inexhaustible K.Piet

The lovely Amy Lane and the electric Ariel Tachna