4 Stars, Amber Allure, DJ Manly, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Maryann

Review: On Bryson by DJ Manly

Amazon

Amazon

Title: On Bryson

Author: DJ Manly

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 39k Words

At a Glance: On Bryson makes for a fast paced, action packed, murders and secrets crime story.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: A few years ago, Soren became involved with the wrong man, and all he wanted to do was get away from a life connected to the mob. But now, here he is yet again, right back in that world, running a nightclub called The Sand Dune for the Gambini crime family. Never does he expect to meet the love of his life there, let alone that the man who comes into his nightclub is a cop on a rampage trying to discover who shot his cousin.

But now that Sergeant Bryson Accurso’s at The Sand Dune investigating, Soren’s been given orders to “be on him” at all times. And after one look at the sexy lawman, Soren immediately realizes his orders will be far too easy for him to follow…and he intends to follow those instructions to the letter.

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Review: Sgt. Bryson Accurso is like a dog with a bone. He just can’t leave Sidney Gambini, drug lord, alone. His cousin Rickie was shot at his place of business, owned by Gambini’s godson, and Bryson is sure Sidney Gambini’s behind a lot of the events going on. Even though the shooter has been caught, Bryson finds it all suspicious and takes time off to strike out on his own to solve the crime. Bryson is very dedicated to his Italian/Irish family. With the loss of his mother, he has close ties with his father, Aunt and Uncle, and I loved the caring and rhetoric between Bryson and his father, who thinks everything is unnatural.

Soren’s character is sort of sad in a way. He came from a strict family environment, and was kicked out by his father at a young age. Soren was swept off his feet by Marco Gambini, which became yet another downfall for Soren. Soren is hot on Bryson’s heels, at Sidney Gambini’s orders. But Soren is hiding a secret from both Gambini and Bryson.

Bryson and Soren are just the best characters, they seemed destined to be a couple, though there are some snags along the way that kept them apart. I really liked Bryson’s character. DJ Manly gave him a really fun sense of humor.

On Bryson makes for a fast paced, action packed, murders and secrets crime story, with a touch of humor. For being a short story, it had a good plot and enough going on to hold my interest.

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5 Stars, Amber Allure, DJ Manly, Historical Romance, Reviewed by Maryann

Review: The Stonewall Inn: Settling by D.J. Manly

Title: The Stonewall Inn: Settling

Author: D.J. Manly

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 38000 Words

At a Glance: There is fact and fiction melded together in this story, just a little touch of a mystery too, and it’s very well done!

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Sam owes his and his mothers’ jobs at the Stonewall Inn to a violent, closeted mobster, so he puts up with a lot of things, including the man’s abuse. In fact, when rookie cop Luke Delany meets him for the first time, Sam’s face is black and blue.

In general, Sam doesn’t care for many white men, especially cops who are constantly harassing nonwhites and homosexuals like himself. But Luke is in great turmoil over his own sexuality and needs Sam’s help. Is Sam willing to aid a lawman whom he considers an enemy?

Dividers

Review: D.J. Manly has written a heartbreaking and heartwarming story set in 1969. There is fact and fiction melded together in this story, just a little touch of a mystery too, and it’s very well done!

Samuel Brooks works at the Stonewall as a bartender. The bar caters to a gay clientele, and to anyone who is labeled as different. Here, the customers can be themselves. The bar is owned by a violent mobster by the name of Lewis Marconi, and Sam, in a way, feels indebted to Marconi. The man gave Sam a job at the bar, got his mother a good job too, and promised a decent place for his mother to live. Besides being gay, Sam is also interracial, with blue eyes and straight brown hair, just another reason for the police to harass him. And, he pays a dangerous price in his job—he is abused physically by Marconi.

Luke Delany comes from a long line of police officers: his grandfather, father, brother, and now, himself. He has his own personal issues with his father’s domineering attitude and his Mother’s questionable happiness. Luke wants to make the best of his career and maybe, someday, make detective. He also struggles with the fact that he is gay.

When Charlie Waters, his partner, takes Luke to the Stonewall Inn, he not only meets Samuel for the first time but also becomes suspicious. He doesn’t like the fact that the people in the bar fear the police, and that Charlie is talking with Lewis Marconi, a well-known mobster. Luke starts to get sick and tired of the crude remarks from Charlie and the other officers, the raids and harassment, and the fear reflected on people’s faces. But finally, when one last raid takes place at the Stonewall, we see a change in the people; they are no longer afraid and they fight for their respect and freedom.

The Stonewall Inn: Settling is a well written story of two men—one who already knows he’s gay, the other just facing that realization, but both struggling with telling their families. There’s also a little bonus in the Author’s Note by D.J. Manly. Stonewall Inn, of course, is now a landmark in New York City and was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on June 28th, 1999. Besides the historical facts within the fiction, this novel gives us a look at an “ideal world” for Luke and Samuel.

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3.5 Stars, A.J. Llewellyn, DJ Manly, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Kim

Review: Mirrors by A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly

Title: Mirrors

Author: A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 210 Pages

At a Glance: There are some parts of Mirrors that will reflect kindly in my memories.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: Troy and Aaron Mayer, identical twins separated at the age of two, lived wildly different lives. Aaron struggled to take care of their alcoholic, gambling-addicted mother, while Troy, raised by their father, experienced a life of luxury. After years of silence, Troy asks to see Aaron. When Aaron arrives at his brother’s boat, he finds his twin dead by suicide. In his farewell note, Troy offers Aaron his car, his money, and his life of riches.

On the run from loan sharks, Aaron slips easily into this mirrored life. But everywhere he turns he discovers somebody Troy devastated, including his handsome husband, Dave Alvarez. Pulled into his brother’s life of crime, Aaron is set up for a fall, but he’s too strong to shatter.

Dividers

Review: I’m not too sure how I feel about A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly’s Mirrors, so I’ll start with what I did like about this book:

The writing was smooth—not choppy or overly dramatic—and the plot was interesting enough that I felt compelled to continue reading to see what would happen next. Aaron was likable and I really felt for him, growing up with an alcoholic mother. This woman was a real sleaze when it came to parenting—stealing your kid’s identity is a real low.

I liked Dave too, but the guy was a glutton for punishment. How many times did he catch Troy cheating on him? And still stuck around because he loved the guy! I must say that Aaron was a vast improvement over Troy, although it must have been devastating for Dave to find out he wasn’t sleeping with his husband, that he’d unintentionally cheated too. It’s that moment where one perfectly understands the why someone is soooo POd!

As for the things I didn’t like about Mirrors:

Troy! Yes, the guy gave new meaning to sludge-bottom thinking and actions. What happened to him was karma hitting back. Still, I kind of wished that there had been more interaction between the twins, Troy and Aaron. It’s a shame the parents kept them apart growing up, something that would leave Troy thinking, “Things could have been different,” rather than what eventually did happen. Way to go, Daddy! He wasn’t much better than the mother when it came to nurturing his children.

I also felt the storyline was a bit rushed when Aaron and Dave reunited, and I wish there’d been more written about that, but all in all, there are some parts of Mirrors that will reflect kindly in my memories when I come across it again in my vast library.

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4.5 Stars, AJ Llewellyn, Amber Allure, DJ Manly, Reviewed by Lana

It’s Back To School Time In AJ Llewellyn And DJ Manly’s “Night School Vampire”


“Who would want to be the prey in a world full of hunters?” ― Alexia Purdy


Title: Night School Vampire

Author: AJ Llewellyn & DJ Manly

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 105 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: It’s tough being a vampire. For one thing, there’s so much time on your hands. And for another, being undead for centuries means that you meet way too many stupid people…
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