3.5 Stars, Kari Gregg, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published, Short Story

Review: Sightings by Kari Gregg

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Sightings

Author: Kari Gregg

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 42 Pages

At a Glance: Sightings is a sweet romance with a nice little twist.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Quinn Laramie moved to Mill Valley to care for his sick Aunt Betsy. After her recovery, he invested hours once spent in hospitals hiking and exploring the surrounding hills rather than returning to an empty apartment in the city.

Patrick, a photographer and self-proclaimed paranormal expert, saved Quinn from tumbling into a flooded creek where a bridge had washed away years ago, taking a pair of doomed lovers with it. Quinn and Patrick meet for other creepy jaunts thereafter: a derelict one-room schoolhouse, an abandoned cemetery, the burned-out shell of a home… Quinn hasn’t seen any ghosts yet, but Patrick’s shy kisses haunt him after each paranormal adventure ends.

Quinn wants more, and with their next spooky tour set to begin, Patrick is finally ready to give in. But what surprises wait them in the eerie manse atop Warner Hill?

Dividers

Review: Kari Gregg’s Sightings is a romantic and sexy paranormal story, with a bit of a twist to keep things interesting. The story is so short that summarizing the plot even a bit would risk giving away too much, the blurb serves just fine for that, so I’ll just say that I really liked the way Gregg brought Quinn and Patrick together. Patrick’s shy hesitance and Quinn’s longing for something more with the man who’d become a friend, and who’d even saved his life once, kept me wondering what the conflict was.

I also liked the role Margaret Warner plays in the story. She was a bit mysterious and I couldn’t help but be curious about what her significance was in helping Quinn to understand Patrick, which then plays right into the nice plot twist. While it’s no big secret something supernatural is at play in this story, I still liked the “what” of it, and once all was revealed, I thought it was a sweet resolution to the romance between these two men.

If you’re looking for a quick little ghost story that will tug at your heartstrings a bit too, Sightings will fill that need.

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You can buy Sightings here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Kari Gregg, Self-Published

Kari Gregg Serves Up Some “Pretty Poison”


“We become that which we love.” ― Saint Bridget


Title: Pretty Poison

Author: Kari Gregg

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 147

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Deadly poison…or exquisite cure?

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Kari Gregg, Loose Id

Eek! Humans… The Other White Meat – Half a Million Dead Cannibals by Kari Gregg

So when the last and dreadful hour This crumbling pageant shall devour, The trumpet shall be heard on high, The dead shall live, the living die. – John Dryden

My experience with zombies pretty much begins and ends with the movies Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, which not only gives you a good idea of my highly warped sense of humor, but also clues you in to the fact that I…am pretty much a wuss. If I can’t laugh at the zombie apocalypse, then I don’t want anything to do with it. I like my brain exactly where it is, inside my cranium, thank you, and I have no desire to pollute my denial of the looming undead disaster with visions of the boogeyman tapping my noggin like a keg and sucking my gray matter out through a straw. It’s a personal preference, what can I say? So for me to actively choose to read a zombie book is kind of rare. Not unheard of, mind, but rare.

Half a Million Dead Cannibals is a zombie book. I read it. And I purposefully chose to read it because Kari Gregg, if you’re not familiar with her work, writes some really good erotica interspersed with great characters and the ability to tell an absorbing story, and this book did not at all disappoint in any of those departments. The only place this book failed me was in that it wasn’t long enough, and now I want a sequel but don’t know whether I’ll ever get one.

HaMDC is the story of a global plague that strikes a few months before the story begins, a plague that wipes out scores of people around the world—now, if only those folks had just stayed dead… But no, this particular brand of Armageddon morphs and mutates its victims into slavering, lurching, mindlessly aggressive monsters that belly up to the all-you-can-eat-people-buffet and start to munching.

This is the story of two men, Riley and Graham, who meet in the worst of circumstances and then stay together, because having someone at your back who isn’t trying to eat you as a tribute in this version of the ultimate hunger game means the difference between living and not being alive.

Graham is big, butch, and ex-Navy. Riley wears nail polish and eyeliner. They are virtual opposites, but to underestimate Riley simply because he doesn’t look like a man who is capable of taking care of business is to be as wrong as is humanly possible. Riley is a force, and Graham, as straight as he may be, or at least seems to be, is attracted to that force in a very human way. This is the story of Riley and Graham’s fight for survival, but it’s also the story of how the two men come to need each other in a visceral way, ultimately becoming each other’s reason for fighting and surviving.

This is a story of the complete deconstruction of humanity, not only of the undead population but also of the survivors who now live in a state of vigilante rule; society has devolved into a survival of the fittest, kill or be killed mentality where having simple things like basic necessities makes a man a target for death of the permanent kind, not of that other far more gruesome kind.

Riley and Graham’s flight from the city to take to higher, and far safer, ground was a study in nail-biting action and edge of my seat tension. This is one of those books that for better, or sometimes very much for the worse, plays out like a movie in the imagination. It was pretty much everything I was anticipating it would be, but Riley and Graham and the chemistry between them was very much a nice bonus. Theirs is a relationship that was bred in the need for human companionship in an inhumane world, but grew into the simple but no less profound need of loving someone who can give you faith in any future at all.

You can buy Half a Million Dead Cannibals here:

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All Romance Ebooks, Kari Gregg, M.J. O'Shea, Piper Vaughn, Small Gems

Small Gems – Three Free Shorts From Kari Gregg, M.J. O’Shea, and Piper Vaughn

It’s no big secret that I love short stories. What can I say? I’m an instant gratification girl. I have an immense amount of respect for the art of storytelling, but that awe and respect escalates just a tad for the short medium. Why? If I had to point to one thing in particular, I’d have to say it’s because it seems to me–someone who has a difficult time rubbing two thoughts together, let alone putting those thoughts into words–that an author who can create a world and characters with whom I can become fully engaged; characters with whom I can fall in love; want to spend more time with; want to know better but feel grateful to have known at all even for a short time is faced with a pretty daunting task, attempting to do that in anything less than hundreds of thousands of words.

The following three stories were offered as part of the Goodreads M/M Romance group’s Hot Summer Days (2011) Anthology. Of the ten stories I’ve downloaded so far from the various authors who have offered their shorts as standalone reads on All Romance Ebooks, these three are the ones that made me sit up and take notice.

The Importance of Being Denny by Kari Gregg is the story of stepbrothers Denny and Matt and the series of life altering events that led to Denny fleeing his home, penniless and orphaned, after his father’s death.

Borrowing the idea from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Matt led a double life for years, assuming Denny’s identity when it suited him to hide behind that mask. Matt’s facade is his heterosexuality and being Denny allowed him his hook ups with other guys while still remaining hidden deeply in the closet. Selfish, self-serving, cowardly? All of the above. But self-preservation was Matt’s priority, and it all came crashing down horribly when Anna, Matt’s mother and Denny’s stepmother, discovered the truth and more–discovered that Matt and Denny had engaged in a sexual encounter–then Anna drives Denny away. Denny’s identity is literally stripped away as he changes his name in an effort to outrun Anna’s relentless pursuit to make his life hell.

This is a story of second chances, a story of redemption and attempting to make restitution for a past betrayal in the only way Matt knows how, by giving Denny back what is rightfully his, and proving that the feelings and desires the two men share have not faded away.

I was immediately drawn into this story, transfixed from start to finish by Denny’s pain and Matt’s overwhelming need to prove himself worthy of Denny’s forgiveness. Kari Gregg succeeded in relating the physical need Denny and Matt have for each other and I couldn’t help but be caught up in it. Beyond the sexual tension, though, lies an honest emotional connection that never diminished in spite of their circumstances, and that’s what drew me in.

DOWNLOAD HERE

Wanting by Piper Vaughn is the coming-of-age story of Jonah, and the events that occurred during the summer between high school graduation and his freshman year of college. Jonah has, for years, had a crush on his older brother’s best friend Laurie, but has been left frustrated time and again by the fact that Laurie has always seen Jonah as nothing more than Marcus’s little brother. In a last desperate bid to gain Laurie’s attention before school begins in the fall, to prove to Laurie that Jonah’s not the kid he believes Laurie sees him as, Jonah makes an unexpected request of Laurie that leaves the older boy speechless, but becomes the catalyst for a sweet and poignant summer love story full of promise and happily-ever-afters.

Secrets and communication breakdowns provide for some roadblocks on the way to happiness for Jonah and Laurie, and Marcus wins the award for most outstanding brother and best friend ever. I loved the characters and couldn’t help but cheer them on through all their ups and downs. This story left me with a big smile on my face.

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The best friends to lovers theme has been done so frequently and often quite well in the M/M Romance genre, but in Bridges by M.J. O’Shea, the author takes a turn at the bitter enemies turned lovers theme, and does so with winning characters whom the Fates seem destined to bring together at every opportunity in spite of their less than promising beginning.

This is a story that follows Dallas, a New Jersey transplant to a small Texas town, and Brooklyn, the boy who takes an instant disliking to Dallas, from the third grade until the day Brooklyn discovers that Dallas is the boy he loves.

Being gay in a backwater town, coping with the breakdown of family, and attempting to decipher their attraction to each other after years of animosity provide the foundation for this sweet coming-of-age story of two boys who come to discover love hidden among the turmoil of growing up and gaining their independence.

M.J. O’Shea made me love these boys, plain and simple, start to finish, even when the only emotion they could muster for each other was loathing. It made their loving all the more satisfying in the end.

DOWNLOAD HERE

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