Flashback Friday, Giveaways

Flashback Friday and a TNA Giveaway

Flashback Friday

Welcome, one and all, to Flashback Friday, a new feature we’d like to try out on you here at The Novel Approach, a feature aimed at introducing you to some of the older books in the gay fiction and romance genre that you may not have heard about otherwise, especially if you happen to be a newcomer to the community.

During our Flashback Friday segments, which will go on until we run out of topics to talk about, we’ll tell you a bit about the books we’re featuring, what we loved about them, and we’ll even give you the chance to win an e-copy of one of the featured books, winner’s choice, so you can experience it for yourself.

One of the things we readers and reviewers in this genre are often asked, especially we women, is how we came to be so devoted to this particular niche set in the greater world of modern literature. Some of us have been around the genre for years, while others of us are newer consumers. Some of us have given credit to authors such as JR Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series for our discovering gay romance, while others of us can give credit to nothing more than dumb luck and random chance. I happen to fall into the latter category.

Today’s Flashback Friday segment is dedicated to The First—the first book those of us who chose to participate ever read in this genre, why we gave it a go, and what clicked with us that helped us become devotees of gay romance and fiction.

To enter the giveaway, be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below.

And, as always, good luck!

Dividers

TNA_Signature_CHRIS I came to read M/M books through one of my favorite M/F authors, Lauren Dane. Her book Laid Bare is one of the first romances that showed the two men in love with each other, as well as with their third. The first time Ben and Todd kissed, I needed a cold shower. It was hot, sexy, and different than traditional hetero romance. It made me crave more stories that were like it. But there really weren’t any that I could find among traditional publishers. So, I went surfing the internet and found a whole genre to read.

My First M/M book was Without Reservation by J.L. Langley. It changed my life by opening doors to a whole new genre of romance. A genre that didn’t hold back and wasn’t afraid to be a little rough, a lot growly, sugary sweet and fabulously sassy, sometimes all in the same book. There were more diverse characters, more angst, more issues, but also more being able to accept yourself than in other genres. Without Reservation got me because at heart I’m a paranormal addict, I LOVE stories with shifters, witches, magic, and fae-kind. Mostly, though, Without Reservations had some of the best characters I’d read in a long time, and it showed us all that love overcomes. Love doesn’t distinguish eye or hair color, or height or weight, or, in this case, male or female. Love is Love and it shows Chay and Keaton just what that means.

Without ReservationsBlurb: Sometimes love just catches you by the tail.

Chayton Winston is a veterinarian. He is also a werewolf. Much to his Native American parent’s chagrin, he has always dreamed of a fair-haired, Caucasian mate. However, he never imagined his mate would be male. As a heterosexual man, he’s not quite sure what to do with a male mate, but more than willing to find out.

Keaton Reynolds wakes up, in wolf form, and finds himself with a mate. He’s instantly attracted, but not so thrilled to find out the man is straight. Having been in a relationship once before where his partner professed to be “Not gay” left a bad taste in his mouth. Keaton wants to make a break for it and pretend he never set eyes on Chay-but Chay is not ready to let him go.

Together the two work to solidify their shaky relationship and battle the prejudices against homosexuals. Chay must deal with not only his mother’s prejudices against gay men but also her hatred of white people.

When a power struggle in Keaton’s pack threatens Keaton’s life, the two men learn to depend on one another and their relationship to get them through it.

Dividers

TNA_Signature_Kathie My son came out on August 13, 2012. Wow, Kathie, you remember the date? You bet! We have it marked on the calendar and celebrate it each year. My struggle was, how can I support him? What does being gay mean? What kind of culture are we now a part of? We were helping with the Marriage Amendment in Minnesota at the time, spending two to three nights a week on the phones, but now we had skin in the game. I really think “Don’t Mess with a Mom” is so true. After our son came out and I hit the phones at the next phone bank, I was on fire. I know I turned quite a few voters that night, and every night after that, until the election. It was personal!

But really, how do you go up to a gay person and ask question about their sex life, gay bars, and stereotypes they are faced with? I couldn’t ask my son. How embarrassing would that be for a twenty-one year old, right?! So instead, I started looking for reading material and going to PFLAG meetings. In my search, I came upon a bio of an author, Brandon Shire. It read, “Great stories should not depend on gender or sexual preference of a character, but instead upon the strength of the characters and the honesty and urgency of the story. Brandon writes for people who enjoy being challenged, and for those who strive to understand situations they don’t typically encounter. He pens raw, emotional stories about characters which readers will either love or love to hate.”

I started reading Afflicted around 10:00pm one night, an usual reading time for me, and I was still reading it at 6:00am the next morning. Brandon Shire had pulled out every emotion from me. I had nothing left to give that day, so I called in sick! And, I have never looked back. I tried to read some of my favorite het authors after that, but they just didn’t hold a candle to the passion that was written in the M/M Books. I want my children to have all the passion that Brandon Shire writes about.

I read to dream, I read to be exposed to other cultures and places, and I read to connect to fellow M/M Authors and Readers.

AfflictedBlurb: A high-priced male escort and a blind gay man meet by chance. What ensues is a hot, steamy romance by two men looking for something more than a one night stand. But can they reach beyond their own insecurities to grasp what they really desire?

Hunter Stephens is gay, tall, dark haired and scorching hot. But he doesn’t rely on the visual cues when appraising a man because he’s also blind. He listens to the timbre of their voice, trembles at the touch of their skin and luxuriates in the deep richness of the aroma of man. He’s hard of the hand because he’s a black belt and takes no shit, but soft of the heart because he’s lonely and has been for a while.

Until he meets Dillon.

Dillon Chambers is pure man candy. He’s a high-priced male escort that works with an exclusive agency who handles only the wealthiest of clients. But it wasn’t always like that for him. At sixteen, he was thrown out of the house for being gay and struggled to survive, turning tricks on the street and finding food and a place to sleep wherever he could. He met two people that changed his life, but he has never met anyone who could break his heart.

Until he bumped into Hunter.

Dividers

TNA_Signature_Sammy I LOVE mysteries…no, love isn’t the right word…I INHALE mysteries…yes, that’s better! The Mystery genre has always been one of my favorites since I was a young girl. What young kid could not fall in love with Carolyn Keene, Agatha Christie or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? Certainly not me. So it would follow, then, that my favorite book is a mystery novel…but the world of M/M fiction is a far cry from the likes of Nancy Drew, and so I think I should explain first how I came to fall in love with a little book called The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks by Josh Lanyon. Let me begin by sharing a bit of a letter I sent to the author because it will help explain why the book is a favorite of mine. Here is an excerpt of a letter I wrote a few years ago.

Dear Josh,

I feel it important to tell you I’ve never written a fan letter before. Even as a teen I never felt moved enough by anything or anyone to do so.

When my dear friend David passed away some 14 months ago, his former lover Tom and myself helped his mother take care of his estate—which included cleaning out his condo. David had a habit that honestly used to drive me crazy—every time he read a book, he would make a note inside the front cover—first giving the novel a star rating and then a short sentence about how it affected him.

Tom and I must have gone through a hundred piles of books scattered all about his home before I spied one of yours—The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks. It had earned a 5 star rating—a rarity from my friend David—and had this note: “Read this author again—he gets it!! Plus writes a damn good story.”

I am not sure what he felt you got—perhaps how love can be both splendid and require work—I can only guess…

Thank you, Josh! Thank you for writing seriously good fiction that can both transport the reader beyond their own limited existence and still manage to sometimes speak directly to that existence simultaneously—that really is a gift.

And what a gift it was…The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks was my FIRST M/M novel. Mr. Lanyon’s book opened up a whole new world for me—one that has given me a source of some of the most amazing literature I have ever read.

“Perry’s sense of loneliness and loss returned in force, crashing over him like a wave, dragging him out to sea on an emotional riptide.”

From the opening pages of this book, the author pulls us into the story, grabs our heart and attaches it to his creations, his characters, until you are just so sure that you have known these men all your life. Perry, a young and struggling artist, has taken up residence in a Victorian-era boardinghouse, complete with a cast of eccentric and mysterious residents that would rival any cast the likes of which Agatha Christie had ever put on paper. When Perry’s vacation is cut short, he returns to his apartment, only to find a dead body in his bathtub—a body wearing yellow socks. Thus begins an adventure that would include ghost hunting, secret passages, hidden loot squirreled away by the mob and, of all things, love. From one intense moment to another, we watch as Perry falls deeper and deeper in love with Nick, an ex Navy SEAL, who is trying his best to turn his life around. A life that will not include some frail young man with the eyes of a fawn and a laugh that sends shivers down Nick’s spine…such lovely shivers. That’s right—a life that will not, should not, cannot… Oh dear, who are we kidding? Up until the last lines of this novel, we sit on the edge of our seats, wondering just what will happen to these two men. During the course of this novel, a novel so well crafted that the love shared by these two men never overshadows but instead augments the thrill of the mystery itself—all the time we read, we feel more and more like we have known these people all our lives. We have walked these halls, we have felt Perry’s pain, have lived on the cusp of a new and fragile love. This is the power of a great novel…a power that grabs you by the throat and grips your heart and takes you on the best ride you have ever had without ever leaving your living room.

I love this book, not only because my friend David loved it, and not only because it is a mystery. No, I love this book because it dares to say that despite all that life can manage to throw at you, there is love waiting there as well. That no matter how hard you fall, someone will catch you, someone will care for you, someone is watching out for you.

The Ghost Wore Yellow SocksBlurb: His romantic weekend in ruins, shy twenty-something artist Perry Foster learns that things can always get worse when he returns home from San Francisco to find a dead body in his bathtub. A dead body in a very ugly sportscoat — and matching socks. The dead man is a stranger to Perry, but that’s not much of a comfort; how did a strange dead man get in a locked flat at the isolated Alton Estate in the wilds of the “Northeast Kingdom” of Vermont? Perry turns to help from “tall, dark and hostile” former navy SEAL Nick Reno — but is Reno all that he seems?

Dividers

TNA_Signature_Lisa In April of 2009, a book was published that took me until April 25, 2010 to find. The fact I came across this book at all was a minor miracle—a combination of dumb luck, an Amazon recommendation (which, to this day, I can’t explain, since I’d never searched for gay romance on the site before then), a serious reading slump precipitated by a lack of strong and multi-dimensional female protagonists (I can tell you the exact series of books—and the female character—that turned me off of M/F romance forever), and, let’s call it like it is, a raging case of curiosity.

My first gay romance was Jane Seville’s Zero at the Bone, the story of a maxillofacial surgeon in the federal witness protection program, who is set to testify in a murder trial—but someone wants to make sure Dr. Jack Francisco doesn’t live long enough to see the inside of that courtroom.

Enter an assassin named D, the man hired to ensure Jack dies before he has the chance to testify. What begins as a murder-for-hire, though, quickly turns into a hostage situation and then a cross-country trek which proves costly to both of these men; costly, because somewhere along the way they’d lost their hearts to each other, even while knowing there was no way they could ever be together—especially since D has made it his mission to ensure Jack makes it safely to Boston to give his testimony; after which Jack will then, once again, disappear into a new life and identity.

Talk about an opposites attract story… And a little Stockholm Syndrome? Yep, absolutely.

First of all, let me say this book isn’t perfect. The epilogue in particular was an unnecessary chapter tacked on to a story that had already ended in the perfect way. I know there are also some readers who’d found D’s rural patois frustrating to read, though I wasn’t one of them. Rather, I felt it only added to his character, made him more believable as a man who believed his only and last resort was the life he’d fallen into. But even while it’s not perfect, hello, I’ve read it SEVEN times to date. What makes it such a fantastic reread for me? Action, danger, suspense, betrayal, and a man who’d become such a cold and calculated killing machine that he wondered if he was even still human anymore. And then, he began to feel. Jack woke something inside D that made him want, made him need, and I fell in love with Jack and D and what seemed would be an impossible love affair. I still pull it from my Kindle library and dust it off every so often, which I haven’t done since October of 2013. My sentimental feelings toward my first ever M/M read may dictate it’s time to give Jack and D another visit soon.

ZeroattheBoneBlurb: After witnessing a mob hit, surgeon Jack Francisco is put into protective custody to keep him safe until he can testify. A hitman known only as D is blackmailed into killing Jack, but when he tracks him down, his weary conscience won’t allow him to murder an innocent man. Finding in each other an unlikely ally, Jack and D are soon on the run from shadowy enemies. Forced to work together to survive, the two men forge a bond that ripens into unexpected passion. Jack sees the wounded soul beneath D’s cold, detached exterior, and D finds in Jack the person who can help him reclaim the man he once was. As the day of Jack’s testimony approaches, he and D find themselves not only fighting for their lives… but also fighting for their future. A future together.

Dividers

TNA_Signature_Sadonna My first M/M read is slightly out of the norm I would say. I was going through a really rough time personally, and my friend Tina had this group of books on her Goodreads feed. And she rated them 5 stars – which she RARELY does. So I saw they were free, and on-line, and I decided I was pretty bored with my YA, Paranormal, and Historical Fiction fare, so I’d give them a try. I had never heard of M/M before, and I don’t think she had the books shelved that way. I did read the book description and because I grew up in that era towards the end of the Cold War– in fact, I visited the USSR in 1979 as a high school exchange student to Finland, just before the “invasion” of Afghanistan – I was intrigued. I was a history major in college, and studied much of the history of this era – even referring to the Great Soviet Encyclopedia for a few classes. :)

To say that I was absolutely blown away by these books would be the understatement of the year. This is not a love story – this is an epic love saga, filled with obstacles and ultimately a satisfying resolution. This is the definition of enemies to lovers, and angst, and it all happens during a number of armed conflicts. I finished the nearly 1700 pages (around 1,000,000 words) between November 27 and December 7 of 2010, and it was some of the most impressive, brutal, beautiful storytelling I’d ever seen. I barely slept in the days that I was reading these books. I would work for 12 or so hours (I have a 3.5 – 4 hour commute each day), and read and maybe sleep a couple of hours. But I was completely obsessed with these books and these characters. They have vividly stayed with me since then – Vadim being my most revered, f*****d up character of all time. The bar was set pretty high, quite frankly. But I’ve never turned back.

Since then I’ve read probably 2100 M/M books. Obviously I’ve found my home. :) And I did tell Aleks Voinov the first time I met him at GRL ABQ in 2012 – and Tina – that it’s their fault that I have 9,000+ books in my Calibre library now, and will have to live to be 100 to read all these books!

Special ForcesSynopsis: Special Forces is the epic story of a Scottish SAS soldier and a Soviet spetsnaz soldier. Two enemies who meet in the line of duty during the early days of the Soviet Union’s last war in Afghanistan. Behind enemy lines respect and finally love grow… but that’s only the official version.

The reality of these two men is dark, brutal, fueled by aggression and insane lust. Steeped in pain and killing, with death as their shoulder companion, these Special Forces soldiers meet in 1980. Their intense hatred caused by rape, revenge and torture turning into fucked-up lust and years of secret encounters in the rat-infested labyrinth of Kabul and the Afghan mountains. Time, despair and desolation smoothing down the sharpness of hatred, its venom drained with each physical encounter, the lust helping to form an understanding that only two men of the same kind can share. Enemy Mine and Brothers in Arms – on two different sides.

This novel spans across over twenty-five years of their lives. It’s harsh and violent, but life is cruel and they just do what they need to survive.

NOTE: The Special Forces Series is already FREE and download links can be found HERE

Dividers

THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Dividers

The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*No residency restrictions apply
*All comments must be relevant to the prompt question to be eligible in the drawing

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, Giveaways, L.A. Witt, Riptide Publishing

Interview and Giveaway: On the Clock by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

OtC Banner

Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/L.A. Witt/Aleksandr Voinov blog tour for the latest installment in the Market Garden series, On the Clock!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of one eBook off each of our backlists (excluding On the Clock) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 18th, and winners will be announced on July 19th.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Please include your email so we can contact you if you win!

Dividers

TNA: Welcome to TNA, L.A. and Aleksandr. Thanks for stopping by on the tour, and for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. Let’s get started.

“Sex sells” is a well know refrain in the world of advertising. In the Market Garden series your characters sell sex. When it comes right down to it, why do you think there are more socially acceptable uses of sex at certain times and in certain situations than in others?

Mostly because I think sex is a social taboo, not a personal one. Meaning, society has declared what is acceptable and what’s not, and most people go along with it, but secretly, they have fantasies that they know would be met with horrified responses. I think that’s why erotica is so popular—it’s a chance to live those fantasies vicariously and harmlessly. Why does sex sell products? Because a person can be attracted to a particularly sexy model or some erotic branding, and buy the product, but then they can use the product to defend it—I’m buying it because I need/want it, not because they put Gerard Butler on the poster!

L.A./Aleks: As far as using sex for advertising and such, I have a hard time getting my head around why people get so bent out of shape over it, or why there are such double standards. Why female nipples are scandalous and male nipples are on everything. Why it’s okay to tap into that particular primal urge to sell things, but it’s not okay to actually tap into that primal urge to, you know, enjoy it for its own sake.

Market Garden is a place where sex is sold, blatantly and unapologetically. There’s no shame at Market Garden. There’s no deception—when they use sex to sell a product, sex is that product. So I guess for me, in a way, it’s thumbing my nose at the contradictory “sex sells, but don’t sell sex” societal norms.

TNA: One of the things I love about this series is that your characters aren’t working at Market Garden because they have no other choice. They’re all so well suited for the roles they play and are unapologetic for liking what they do… until they find the one person they’re willing to give it all up for. What do you find most interesting about creating these characters in their roles, and then bringing someone into their lives that can make them want to leave it all behind?

L.A./Aleks: To me, (L.A.) there’s something intriguing about someone who’s willing to buck societal norms and say, “No, this is what I want to do, and I’m not going to be ashamed of it just because you tell me to.” Sex is such a taboo, that to brazenly make your living from it takes a type of chutzpah that makes a really, really fun character. It’s entirely possible it’s subconsciously an allegory for brazenly making one’s living writing about sex, but I haven’t dug deep enough into my brain to figure out if it is. LOL

Of course there are absolutely sex workers who are forced into that line of work, and Market Garden isn’t an attempt to paint over them or pretend they don’t exist. This is just a different aspect of the sex industry, and one we chose to focus on for this series—characters who do what they do consensually and confidently.

Naturally, our guys are pretty strong and ballsy, and they make no apologies for what they do. So when someone comes along who rattles their foundation and makes them consider giving up their job, you know that connection has to be a powerful one. And what’s not to love about playing with two characters who can rock each other’s worlds like that?

As far as when they find someone who makes them leave it all behind, that’s the tricky part. It’s important for me that if and when a sex worker gives it up for a partner, it’s on his terms, not because his partner gave him an ultimatum.

I’ve received criticism before for having sex workers give up their jobs at the end of a story because they want to be with the person who accepted them as a sex worker in the first place. After all, if you’ve accepted that someone is a sex worker, why do they have to change to be in a relationship? I’ve also received criticism when a prostitute has continued to work as such even after deciding they want to be with that person because it’s disrespectful to the partner. When it comes to that, I think it really depends on the character if they’re going to stick with it or move on and why. A prostitute can be completely okay with his job, but once he’s got that really strong bond with one person, he might decide he doesn’t want to have sex with other people before going home to his partner. Or he might be the type who can completely compartmentalize—sex with a client is on a totally different plane than sex with his partner, so as long as everyone plays it safe, there’s no reason to give up one for the other.

It really, really depends on the person and on their partner. Just as some people are okay with open relationships and some aren’t, there are people who’d be fine with their partner continuing as a sex worker. I’ve personally known sex workers in real life who have partners at home, and everyone’s happy with the arrangement. I’ve also known sex workers who’ve retired from the trade (whether it’s porn, prostitution, stripping, or what have you) when they settled down with a partner. As long as everyone involved is happy with the arrangement, it works for me.

TNA: Finally, which has been your favorite couple(s) to write, and why?

L.A./Aleks: We both rather love Frank and Brandon from Capture and Surrender. As far as our favorites go, I’d have to guess (since Aleks is traveling while I write this) that his favorite would either be Frank and Brandon or James and Cal from If It Drives.

Mine would be, appropriately enough, Blake and Jason from On the Clock. I’ve been pretty attached to Blake since we first wrote him as Rolex in Quid Pro Quo, and every time he came back for a short story, I really, really wanted to write his happy ending. It’s hard to explain what it was about him that intrigued me, though. Maybe because we both have the same taste in watches.

Dividers

OnTheClock_600x900Blurb: When Blake Raleigh’s favorite rentboys retire from Market Garden, they’re sure their friend Jason will be a perfect replacement. Though Tristan and Jared are a tough act to follow, Blake returns to London to test out their recommendation.

Jason is right on the money. Negotiations turn him on. Getting paid turns him on. The higher the stakes, the hotter things get. Each trip to London is more expensive than the last, and the webcam sessions don’t run cheap, but Jason is well worth the sticker shock.

The more time they spend together, the more Blake wants, and not just sex and transactions. But Jason’s been burned before by men who thought they were in love with him, and he’s not making that mistake again. When the lines between personal and professional start to blur, it’s going to take more than money, jewelry, and sports cars to keep Jason from clocking out and walking away.

Buy Link: Riptide Publishing

Dividers

OnTheClock_TourBanner

Author Bios:

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .

Connect with L.A.: Website | Author Blog | Personal Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Dividers

EPIC Award winner and Lambda Award finalist Aleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London, where he works as a financial editor. His genres range from science fiction and fantasy to thriller, historical, contemporary, thriller, and erotica. His books were/are published by Random House Germany, Samhain Publishing, Riptide Publishing and others.

If he isn’t writing, he studies hypnotherapy, explores historical sites, and meets other writers. He single-handedly sustains three London bookstores with his ever-changing research projects. His current interests include special forces operations during World War II, the history of chess, european magical traditions, and how to destroy the world and plunge it into a nuclear winter without having the benefit of nuclear weapons.

Connect with Aleks: Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Standard
A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, and thanks so much to all of you for stopping by to see who we have store for you in the week ahead. I hope you’ll stop back by to visit with our guest authors and take the opportunity to enter in some of the great giveaways we have in store. And, of course, we’ll have lots more reviews to share with you.

Here’s what’s on tap!

Dividers

Monday – Kicking off our week this week, we’ll be bringing you authors L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov on their blog tour for On the Clock, the next installment in their Market Garden series

We’ll also have author A.E. Via with us today as she stops by on her Don’t Judge blog tour

Tuesday – Today marks the next of our guest visits on the GayRomLit Countdown Celebration, as we welcome author Cody Kennedy

Wednesday – Author J. Scott Coatsworth drops by today on the tour for his new novella Between the Lines

We’ll also welcome author Ingela Bohm on her Not Safe for Work blog tour

Thursday – Making a stop today is author Cari Z., on her Where There’s Fire blog tour, the sequel to Where There’s Smoke

Friday – Closing out our week for us, we’ll welcome author Perie Wolford on his Sam Dorsey and Gay Popcorn audiobook tour

We’ll also have a special Flashback Friday event for you today, when author J.C. Lillis stops by with an excerpt and giveaway of a book I fell in love with all the way back in November of 2012. How to Repair a Mechanical Heart is being released in print format, and we’ll be helping J.C. celebrate

Dividers

And that wraps up the week ahead. Until next time, happy reading!

 

Standard
5 Stars, Aleksandr Voinov, Genre Romance, L.A. Witt, Reviewed by Janet, Riptide Publishing

Review: Lone Wolf by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

Title: Lone Wolf: A Bluewater Bay Novel

Author: L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 358 Pages

At a Glance: The authors manage to raise their own bar with this book

Blurb: Hunter Easton is screwed. Fans, producers, and his agent are all chomping at the bit for the next book in his wildly popular Wolf’s Landing series, but he’s got epic writer’s block and is way behind deadline. Then he reads The World Tree, a fanfic novel by his online friend “Lone Wolf.” It isn’t just a great story—it’s exactly what the series needs.

Kevin Hussain is thrilled when “Wolf Hunter” wants to meet up after reading The World Tree. When Wolf Hunter turns out to be Hunter Easton himself, Kevin is starstruck. When Hunter tells him he wants to add The World Tree to Wolf’s Landing, Kevin is sure he’s being pranked. And when their online chemistry carries over—big time—into real life, Kevin is convinced it’s all too good to be true.

The problem is . . . it might be. The book deal, the sex, the money—everything is amazing. But fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Kevin is left wondering if Hunter really loves him, or just loves his book.

Dividers

Review: This is the fourth book in a universe built around Bluewater Bay, a small oceanside town in Oregon, and a TV production that is being filmed in the town. Each book focuses on a separate couple, but the cast of characters intermingle throughout the books, and that is one of the best parts of reading a universe series, for me. When an author can successfully bring secondary characters into their own stories, and add depth to the readers’ awareness of the characters, then they have displayed their own talents well. L.A. Witt and Alexsandr Voinov do this very well in Lone Wolf.

We are introduced to Hunter, the author of the original books that the TV series is based on, and Kevin, a young, geeky fanboy of the books. They have developed a friendship online while hiding behind avatars in the fan group for the books. Kevin is the administrator of the site, and writes fanfic that he shares with Hunter. Of course, he doesn’t know who Hunter really is. This leads to the two men meeting in real life and therein lies the story. I don’t like to write spoilers for the books I review, but I must say the glimpse into the life of an author and the behind the scenes look at publishing, editing, and promotion was amazing. I loved it and I feel so much more sympathy for my favourite authors who might complain of edits in their inboxes now. In terms of this story, though, it solidified the two MCs for me, made them real and allowed the progression of their relationship to resonate. In a good romance novel, we must feel a connection to the characters, and the authors deliver in this one.

The conflicts that arise are real stumbling steps for a relationship, the walls that each man has, and the softening of the barriers between them, are carefully laid out and explored. Layers are added to the characters as they interact with others, both recurring in the series and newly introduced to us, in a very convincing way. The power of this book comes from the emotional connection that grows between Hunter and Kevin, as well as the joy they find in their physical relationship. These two authors are well known for their erotic stories, but I think they have managed to raise their own bar with this book. The alternating POV they use is an effective tool to emphasise the conflict between the characters, and it works seamlessly to highlight the development of the relationship and adds elements of humor and depth to the book. The reader was gifted with an awareness of the character that adds to our connection to them. The plot, pacing and tone of this book are solid; the authors have taken an unbelievable situation and made it work. This is not a fairy tale, it is a romance, and it left me wanting more… More in the series, and more glimpses of Hunter and Kevin.






You can buy Lone Wolf: A Bluewater Bay Novel here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

Riptide

Riptide

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, Riptide Publishing

Excerpt and Giveaway: A Taste for Poison by Aleksandr Voinov

Title: A Taste for Poison

Series: Memory of Scorpions: Book Three

Author: Aleksandr Voinov

Pages: 224

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Action/Adventure

Blurb: Even a king gets stung when he reaches for a scorpion.

After barely surviving an assassination attempt, King Adrastes is a changed man—one who mistrusts even his allies and friends. He readies his empire for war against an enigmatic enemy, the Elder of Vededrin, but not everyone approves. While courtiers dare only to whisper dissent, an outrider called Death foments rebellion in the mountains, aided by a prophecy that promises he’ll stop the Black King. Continue reading

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Jordan L. Hawk, Kaje Harper, KJ Charles, Self-Published, Tamara Allen

Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway – Another Place in Time Blog Tour: Unfair in Love and War by Kaje Harper

Welcome to another place in time…where one can be swept away into lands and eras long forgotten.

This collection of short stories was birthed because a sworn “I don’t like historicals” reader fell in love with what have become some of her favorite books by most of her favorite writers. Surprisingly, they were all historicals. Determined to make others feel the love, these authors were asked to contribute small tastes of how amazing historical storytelling can be.

Included in this anthology:

“Office Romance” by Tamara Allen
“Introducing Mr. Winterbourne” by Joanna Chambers
“The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh” by KJ Charles
“Unfair in Love and War” by Kaje Harper
“Carousel” by Jordan L. Hawk
“Deliverance” by Aleksandr Voinov Continue reading

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, Rachel Haimowitz, Riptide Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: Bathroom Break by Rachel Haimowitz and Aleksandr Voinov

PicMonkey Collage

Welcome to the Belonging ’Verse re-release blog tour with Aleksandr Voinov and Rachel Haimowitz! We’re very excited to be bringing you edited second editions of our Belonging stories, Anchored and Counterpunch (in the case of Anchored, very edited, with over ten thousand new words and a completely different beginning and ending!), which are finally under the same roof and back in print after about a year out of circulation. Continue reading

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, Brita Addams, Chris T. Kat, Cover Reveal, Edmond Manning, EM Lynley, Ethan Day, GayRomLit, Heidi Cullinan, K.C. Burn, L. Dean Pace-Frech, Lex Chase, Lillian McKinnon, Margie Church, Rachel Sparks, SJD Peterson, Tere Michaels

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Hi, everyone , and welcome back. Thanks so much for stopping by to see what we have in store for the week ahead.

We have the pleasure of not only bringing you more reviews, but we’ve also got cover reveals, blog tours, interviews, and giveaways coming up just for you.

Here’s what’s coming up!


MondayChris T. Kat kicks off the week on her Tidal Change Blog Tour and Backlist Title Giveaway

Lex Chase also drops by on the Americana Fairy Tale Release Day Blitz

Tuesday – Young adult author Lillian McKinnon will be by to do a cover reveal for her upcoming novel A Life In Frames

SJD Peterson brings the Splintered Blog Tour to The Novel Approach, with a Giveaway

Brita Addams also stops by with her monthly guest post today

Wednesday – Today we have the privilege of hosting an Exclusive Cover Reveal for Tere MichaelsWho Knows the Storm

Then Heidi Cullinan makes a stop at TNA on the Fever Pitch Blog Tour, with a Giveaway

Finally, we have the honor of bringing you the Edmond Manning Butterfly King Blog Tour

ThursdayK.C. Burn is our guest today on the Countdown to Coastal Magic Blog Tour

FridayEthan Day drops back by today on the Countdown to GayRomLit Blog Tour

And EM Lynley also stops in today on the Spaghetti Western Blog Tour

SaturdayRachel Sparks is our guest today on the To Be Whole Blog Tour, with a Giveaway

Aleksandr Voinov is also with us today on the Counterpunch Blog Tour

Sunday – And closing out the week, we’ve got Margie Church with us on her The Camera Never Lies Blog Tour, with a Giveaway

And Dean Pace-Frech also stops in with a Guest Post and Giveaway

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

Standard
3.5 Stars, Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Reviewed by Kim, Samhain Publishing

The Past Returns In L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov’s “No Distance Left to Run” – Reviewed by Kim


“Desperation can make a person do surprising things.” ― Veronica Roth


Title: No Distance Left to Run (Distance Between Us: Book Four)

Authors: L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 227 Pages

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: The night before Chris and his best friend Joshua were sent thousands of miles apart on their respective Mormon missions, they finally gave in to their mutual desire. Left trying to make sense of what happened, Chris’s already shaky faith crumbled altogether a year later when Joshua suddenly died.
Continue reading

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Riptide Publishing

L.A. Witt And Aleksandr Voinov Drop In On The “Hostile Ground” Blog Tour, With A Giveaway


HostileGround_150x300(2)


Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/Aleksandr Voinov/L. A. Witt blog tour for our thriller, Hostile Ground!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off our backlists (**excluding Hostile Ground) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 20th, and winners will be announced soon after. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.


Continue reading

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, Brita Addams, Cara Dee, Con Riley, GayRomLit, HAHAT Blog Tour, Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Jaime Samms, Jeremy Scott Blaustein, Kade Boehme, L. Dean Pace-Frech, L.A. Witt, Leta Blake, Rhys Ford, Rick R. Reed, Sarah Granger, Sneak Peek, Suki Fleet, Susan Mac Nicol

Here’s A Sneak Peek At A Busy Week!


Hi, everyone, I hope you’ve all had a great week. We’ve got loads of good stuff coming up in the week ahead, including a couple more guest posts to celebrate the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia and another Countdown to GayRomLit guest visit. Watch for some great articles, interviews, giveaways, and reviews.

But first, I have an introduction to make. As all of you know by now, the LGBT reviewing community is about to lose one of its staunchest supporters, Becky Condit. Mrs. Condit Reads Books will be closing its virtual doors on May 31, 2014, and though it will be a great loss, The Novel Approach is making an equally great gain. Jules Lovestoread will be joining our crew, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her with us, so, without further ado, here’s a little intro to our very own Jules:

Continue reading

Standard
4 Stars, Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Reviewed by Tina, Riptide Publishing

“Hostile Ground” Is Another Successful Collaboration For L.A. Witt And Aleksandr Voinov – Reviewed by Tina


“If he’d expected to be pampered and coddled through his undercover assignments, he would have gone to work for the CIA.” ― Julie James


Title:

Author: L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 362 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Enemy territory is a dangerous place to fall in love.

After the deaths of three undercover cops investigating a drug ring in a seedy strip club in Seattle, Detective Mahir Hussain has been sent to finish the job. He joins the club’s security team in the hopes of finding enough evidence to bust the operation before the men in charge find a reason to put him in a shallow grave.
Continue reading

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Reviewed by Lisa, Riptide Publishing

L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov Score Another Win With “If It Drives” – Reviewed by Tina


“Once you know what you want, you can make the rest happen.” – Aleksandr Voinov


Title: If It Drives (A Market Garden Tale)

Author: L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 221 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: If it flies, drives, or fornicates, it’s cheaper to rent it.
Continue reading

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Reviewed by Lisa, Riptide Publishing

There’s A Sexy And Pretty Romantic “Payoff” In This Market Garden Tale


“Every limit is a beginning as well as an ending.” ― George Eliot


Title: Payoff (A Market Garden Tale)

Author: L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 57

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Tristan and Jared have got it made. When they aren’t raking in the cash together at Market Garden, they’re burning up their own sheets and getting closer by the day. But something isn’t right. Tristan’s on edge, and Jared doesn’t understand why.
Continue reading

Standard
A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Aleksandr Voinov, Brita Addams, Kingett Reads, Lex Chase, Posy Roberts, Rick R. Reed, Riptide Publishing, Sammy Goode, SE Jakes, Storm Moon Press, T. Strange

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


Welcome to another great week coming up, gang, and speaking of welcome, we’ve added a new reviewer to our staff, who we’re so glad to have coming to play in our sandbox! Unlike Robert’s rather spontaneous addition to our crew, this one’s been in the works for what seems like forever now but has actually been more like weeks. Many of you may already know her from her vast repertoire of work for Jesse Wave and Joyfully Jay, but I hope you’ll take a minute to still say hi.

So, without further ado, let’s welcome Sammy Goode to The Novel Approach!



So, what to say about a woman who leads a lovely, simple, ordinary life…

I used to be a stripper and did pole danc…wait….maybe that’s an overshare?

Let me begin again…

I love dogs, but I have a restraining order out against both of my cats…

ok….this is not going as I planned…hmmmm….third time’s a charm?

Hello, my name Is Sammy Goode. It’s lovely to meet you!

I teach small people who never cease to surprise me, and I write plays for them as well…sometimes the plays garner me a boat load of money, sometimes they languish on my “this is such a flop-no one in their right mind will buy it” pile, but always the writing is the thing I enjoy the most.
I read almost as much as I sleep–lots of genres but M/M is by far my favorite.

I am an empty nester except I’m really happy that the nest is, well, empty. I think that either makes me a bad parent or a well adjusted woman. I’m opting for the latter!

And finally? I am so very happy to be here discussing books with you.



And now, here’s what’s in store for the coming week!

Monday – The lovely and delectable Brita Addams is here today with her regular monthly Guest Article. This week she’s discussing the importance of good editing.

TuesdayRick R. Reed is here to answer some very nosy questions about himself and his latest release Legally Wed, and there’s a Giveaway.

WednesdayLex Chase makes TNA a stop on her Conventional Love Blog Tour, and she has a Giveaway too.

T. Strange is also back today with a little Release Day Promo for her new book Amber from Torquere Press.

ThursdayStorm Moon Press is our featured guest with its second installment on the 4th Anniversary Blog Tour.

Friday – Riptide Publishing Presents the SE Jakes Dirty Deeds Blog Tour—you won’t want to miss that.

SaturdayPosy Roberts honors us with her presence on the Flare (North Star: Book Three) Blog Tour, and there’s a giveaway involved

Sunday – Robert is back today with the next installment of Kingett Reads.



And that does it for another week. Until next time, happy reading!

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Riptide Publishing

“Capture and Surrender” To The Men Of Market Garden

“The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.”– Ulysses S. Grant



Capture & Surrender is the fifth book in the successful “Market Garden” series by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov. The series centers around a rent boy club that caters to upper class men in London. Each book in this series seems to surpass the one before it. I inevitably anxiously await the release of the next installment!

In Capture & Surrender, we meet Frank, the owner of Market Garden. Up to this point Frank has been in the background, but this book gives him his time in the sunshine. In the previous volume, Frank’s BDSM “specialist” found his HEA and has left the Market Garden. This leaves a hole in Frank’s ability to provide a full range of services to his clients. The hole is as big as the one in his heart that has been there since his partner died eighteen months ago.

Raoul, Frank’s long time bartender at the Market Garden, knows the perfect replacement. Stefan seems like he will definitely be able to meet the needs of the Market Garden’s clients when he walks in the door like a wet dream. Stefan is former US Military, he is big and hot and dominate. He also immediately sets his sights on Frank. Unfortunately for Stefan, Frank has a strict policy about not getting involved with the rent boys.

As Frank first thought, Stefan does well at the Market Garden. The clients love him and his camouflage wearing, bossy attitude and “services.” Frank is feeling strange about the situation though. He’s not sure what the feeling is that he has every time he sees Stefan go out the door with a client.

A couple of times a month, Frank and a group of friends have a paintball tournament which always ends with sex in one form or another. Either a player is captured and has sex with his captor, or there is a group getting together or partners are watching one another get off with another man. All the participants are gay. Since Frank’s partner dies, he hasn’t participated in the game or the post game sex, he has only served as an referee for the games.

Frank asks Stefan to accompany him to the game, explaining clearly the rules of the game and Frank’s personal no contact rule with the rent boys. Stefan immediately proves that he has no regard for the rules of the game or Frank’s personal life. He sets out to win Frank in both arenas.

As Frank & Stefan get to know each other, it becomes obvious that they have a huge important commonality. It is also clear that they have a lot of obstacles between getting to know each other and getting to love each other. Stefan is determined to get through those obstacles to get to Frank.

The Market Garden series has always been unbelievably hot. The sex is off the charts and leaves the readers fanning themselves. Capture & Surrender was no different on that front. What struck me as very different was the emotional aspect of the story that developed with these two men. There is a depth of feeling and sharing that we haven’t seen before from this series. The combination of the physical and emotional that Witt & Voinov created is perfect. They balanced the pain Stefan and Frank had to overcome and the trust required to do so with the super hot sex scenes we expect and love from them.

The journey Frank & Stefan take is rocky and strewn with landmines, but it is one I was grateful to be able to take with them. Raoul’s intentions in bringing Stefan into the business in the first place are eventually revealed and realized. That crafty bastard needs his own story, and soon!

I was so pleased to see a depth of emotion in Capture & Surrender. It was unexpected, but very gratefully received. It gave Frank’s story a gravitas that he deserved as the owner of the club, not just one of the boys. All this while continuing to keep the heat at an almost constant boil. Witt & Voinov are an amazing team. Although I have a feeling I am not alone when I say, PLEASE can we have more Tristan and Jared? Please? Knowing the sadistic nature of these two exquisitely talented authors, they will make us wait until the final book in the series for our Tristan and Jared fix. I don’t know how many books are planned. I am torn between wanting to get to the last one for T & J and waiting years because the intervening books are so damn good. Hotly, heartily, heavily recommended.

Reviewed by: Tina

You can buy Capture and Surrender here:

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Riptide Publishing

L.A. Witt And Aleksandr Voinov “Unhinge the Universe”

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend. – Martin Luther King, Jr.



Love sometimes comes when we least expect it. Two men who are meant to be mortal enemies are thrown together under the most heinous circumstances, only to find themselves clinging to each other for survival.

WWII, 1944 France. Hagan Friedrichs, a SS German Lt. is trying to find his brother after a mission he’s on goes terribly wrong. He finds himself captured and interrogated by an American Captain named John Nicholls. What happens when the uniform comes off? And there they are, just two men, scared and tired of war.

I loved how the authors humanized these characters. When all is said and done, they are just two men swept up into a war through no fault of their own. They are human beings no matter what uniform they’re wearing. There’s an understanding of compassion between these two men that neither if them is willing to admit. They are both grieving for people they recently lost, Hagan his older brother and John, his lover.

The flow of the story keeps everything moving at a steady pace. There’s no down time. From the tense and sometimes nail biting scenes to the sweet, loving scenes. The shaving scene for me is intense and beautiful all at the same time. It showed that underlying fear and uncertainty that Hagan still has for his captor, and it showed the caring and kindness from John.

I really enjoyed this story all the way through. It was unpredictable, not knowing what was around the corner. The wondering if or when are they going to get caught! It keeps you on your toes the whole time. I found myself wanting these two men who, in reality shouldn’t even be together, to beat the odds and find their happiness. I was rooting for them the whole time.

Even though this story takes place during WWII, the actual fighting isn’t a big part of this story. I highly recommend this for everyone. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Reviewed by: Lynn

You can buy Unhinge the Universe here:

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Riptide Publishing

If It Fornicates You Better Put A Cage On It

If it is the dirty element that gives pleasure to the act of lust, then the dirtier it is, the more pleasurable it is bound to be. ― Marquis de Sade

You remember Nick and Spencer, don’t you? Yes, of course you do, but only if you’ve already read If It Flies. And, if you haven’t, what are you waiting for anyway?

Who could resist, let alone forget, the Market Garden Dom and his quiet attorney, the utterly perfect sexual submissive who brought Nick-the-sadist to his knees? Figuratively speaking, that is. Literally speaking, Spencer is the man who has caused Nick to begin reexamining who he is, what he does for a living, and why doing it now feels so much more prosaic than it ever had before Spencer came into his life.

Love—or something very close to it—will do things to a man, and do those things in such a cunning way that he never sees them coming, let alone providing him with the means to identify or label what those things are. It begins in such an insidious fashion: the need to be with someone, the desire for that someone and everything he gives you, so consuming that you’re suddenly changing habits without understanding why, when all it really is, is the simple fact that you’ve found the one and only person who could ever make you want to change—without really understanding why you want, or even need to, when the person you want to change for has never once asked it of you.

It is the very thing that happens when a man finds perfection—not a person who is perfect but the person who is perfect for him. Spencer is that person for Nick, the perfect gift of complete surrender which makes all of Nick’s other clients slip so far beyond the pale in comparison that suddenly the one place Nick has always wanted to be, becomes the last place on earth he wants to be because Spencer is somewhere else.

Nick is bound.

Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt have delivered once again in this chapter of the Market Garden Tales, and this time it’s the closest thing to a romance I’ve read in the series. It’s everything you’ve come to expect from these two authors: a story that’s sexy and raw and, depending upon your definition of the word, just a little bit kinkay, thank you very much. It’s a down and dirty romance in which Spencer learns the beauty of orgasm denial and Nick learns the beauty of compromise and trust. And maybe the best part of it all is that this installment left me believing in Nick and Spencer beginning.

If you love your rentboys and love just about all the hot sex you can possibly handle in a purely voyeuristic sort of way, now would be a great time to start the series.

Reviewed By: Lisa

You can buy If It Fornicates here:

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Riptide Publishing

If You Don’t Think Doms Need Safewords, Think Again – If It Flies by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

One must do violence to the object of one’s desire; when it surrenders, the pleasure is greater. – Marquis de Sade

Nick is perhaps the baddest of the bad boys at Market Garden, the man who doesn’t mind at all doing a little violence—for the right price, that is. He’s introduced briefly in the first two books of the Market Garden Tales series as one of the kinkier men who services the johns looking for a little, or a lot, of pain with their pleasure, and let me assure you Nick is a Dom and a sadist who really, really loves what he does. He is a master of his craft in much the same way an artist excels in transforming a once unmarred canvas into something that begs to be appreciated for the sweat, tears, sometimes even blood that went into creating it, but how much of what he does is simply part of the act he’s being paid to perform? Oh, there’s no mistaking Nick is a sexual dominant in every sense of the word, but there’s a difference between playing a role because the money dictates it, and fulfilling a need because the mind and body demands it.

That difference is a line Nick has never toed before, but all it takes is one man, a man whose needs as a purely trusting and giving submissive causes Nick to err on the side of fear and caution, because Spencer is the one man who has come along and unintentionally erased all the boundaries of sex for money and sex for the pure and unadulterated want of another human being who is more than simply an outlet for a fantasy. Spencer is the man who blurred those lines with a single kiss, in turn causing Nick to immediately and unflinchingly redraw them; not as mere intangibles but as a wall of silence and distance between himself and the temptation Spencer represents.

L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov are exploring the Gordian knot of sex and love, and sex in which there is no emotion involved at all, only the physical act of pleasure that’s separate from the emotional act of being connected to someone else because it’s a choice and not a career obligation. Jealousy is not a factor in this equation for Spencer; possession is everything in this equation for Nick. For the sub and his Dom, it adds up to the promise that they’ve each found something they want beyond a simple business arrangement.

If you haven’t found the love for the Market Garden boys yet, then don’t start here. Get to know Tristan and Jared in Quid Pro Quo and Take It Off first; they’re very well worth introducing yourselves to. Whenever you do choose to impose yourself upon this world of high priced, top shelf rentboys, I will only say to be prepared for an extreme ride of the erotic variety, in which sex is a game of strategy and is played for maximum effect.

To quote the ever eloquent George Takei, “Oh myyyyy.” That’s pretty much it. Well, that and “Have mercy.” I don’t know who first said that one, but I did, at least a half dozen times while I was reading this book.

You can buy If It Flies here:

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Riptide Publishing, Small Gems

In Which I’m Pretty Sure My Brain Checked Out Somewhere Around The Lap Dance – Take It Off by L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov

Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire. – George Bernard Shaw

Oooh. My. Bwaaah… Yes, that’s me being rather speechless in a very complimentary way, because there’s just not much room for words in my head at the moment. Why? Because I can’t seem to erase the mental picture that L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov left there with this sexy-heavy little episode of the life and times of Tristan and Jared, two of the Market Garden rentboys who are professionals at more than simply pleasing their clients—as well as each other. It would seem they’re also fairly talented at making me want more of them. They’re really good that way.

Some people like to watch other people get down to the business of sex, while some people would rather read about it, then let their imaginations drift to all sorts of places that reality can neither attend nor compare to. If you’re one of the latter, believe me when I tell you to go have a look at Jared getting his sexy on for Tristan and Rolex this time around, then come back and tell me I’m lying about the sex and seduction business. Yes, that’s a triple dog dare. I’m forgoing etiquette and going right for the throat.

Take It Off brings two of my now favorite rentboys together with their wealthy American client again, who seems to love to watch these guys work for it, if the large sums of money he’s willing to lay down for the pleasure of their company is any indication.

I can also say that Take It Off brings together a now favorite writing duo with these two authors, who have penned these two short stories so synchronously that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to detect the seams of each one’s distinct influence. To me, that’s a pretty good indicator that the remainder of the books in the series, even though the next book won’t be focused on Tristan and Jared, will be on my list of absolute must-reads.

You can buy Take It Off here:

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, Rachel Haimowitz, Samhain Publishing

Break and Enter (Red Cell Book One) by Rachel Haimowitz and Aleksandr Voinov

Maxim #35:

That which does not kill you has made a tactical error. – Howard Tayler “The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries”

Cyberpunk! It’s my second favorite punk behind that of the Steam variety, and Rachel Haimowitz and Aleksandr Voinov have delivered some really fantastic steamy Cyberpunk in Break and Enter (Red Cell Book One), the story of a cybernetic Special Forces soldier-turned-mercenary who has been hired to locate and breach a corporation’s security protocols but winds up an unwitting pawn in a game of corruption.

Major Victor “Cyke” Kellermann is part man, part machine, and is wholly endangered by the Judas at SenTech who is bent upon embezzling from the company and making Cyke his scapegoat. Cyke is having a hell of a time accessing the information from the SenTech database that will clear his name, as he’s now been pegged as nothing more than the David who’s attempting to slay the corporate Giant; that label given to him by a law enforcement that may or may not be fully complicit in the SenTech CTO’s illegal activities.

Break and Enter is a page-turning, all-out suspense laden cat-and-mouse thriller between Cyke and the police, one that gets continually more dangerous for the man who is far more than human but certainly not infallible. It’s Cyke’s tenacity and dire need for physical proof of his innocence that unintentionally throws him onto the radar of an EMT known as Bear, the man who will find a way beneath, behind, and inside Cyke’s defenses—and not only those of a technical nature. Bear does some raiding of his own and along the way, steals Cyke’s heart.

This is a dark and atmospheric story; a slink in the shadows, back to the wall, how-will-Cyke-ever-get-out-of-this-one? nail-biter. I loved it and can’t wait for book two to see what these two skilled storytellers have hidden up their scheming sleeves for these two men.

Buy Break and Enter here:

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Riptide Publishing, Small Gems

Small Gems – Quid Pro Quo by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

Please, God, don’t let me be reading too much into this. – L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

I probably am. Reading too much into this, that is. How can I not, though, when there’s so very much there to want? Sometimes I wish there was a magicky button I could push to bend authors to my will, to make them write faster and not tease me with these little morsels of salacious goodness and then make me wait for interminable periods of time for more. But since there isn’t, I guess I’ll just have to take what I can get and shut up about it.

Quid Pro Quo is a lot of sex in a little package and it may well be some of the hottest erotica I’ve ever read. It’s definitely some of the hottest erotica I’ve read so far this year, hands down. This is the first short set in the Market Garden universe, where the rentboys cater to the moneyed clientele and the question arises, at least in this installment, of who really holds all the power in this provocative exchange: Tristan, the prostitute, or the nameless john who is an eager and willing pawn in this bid for control over Jared’s orgasm.

It’s not very often that I’ve considered recommending a book for a single sex scene alone, but for this one I might make an exception. L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov have created the perfect atmosphere of want and need, of dominance and submission, and of temptation and voyeurism and a hunger that may only ever be able to be satisfied within the framework of the job.

All I know is that I’m anxious for the next installment. I don’t know whether it will continue with more Tristan and Jared, or if there’ll be other Market Garden boys introduced. Whichever direction these authors decide to go with the series, though, I’ll definitely be along for the ride.

Buy Quid Pro Quo here:

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, Riptide Publishing

Gold Digger by Aleksandr Voinov

“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” – Helmuth von Moltke

I must be bi-text-ual. How else can I explain why one half of me loves the sort of fairy tale romances that are written with the express purpose of making my wee little heart go pitter-patter, while the other half of me loves combat-sex; the kind of erotic fight for the supremacy of flesh and feelings that Aleksandr Voinov delivers, where men circle and challenge and verbally spar, and then go ahead and get their sweat on? I can’t, so I just had to make up a word. It works.

Nikolai Krasnorada and Henri LeBeau’s sortie begins not on the battlefield but in the boardroom, and eventually ends in the bedroom, where, of course, they flesh out (if you’ll pardon the pun) the lines of demarcation between what is business and what is pleasure and what is the business of pleasure and what that pleasurable business means to Nikolai, who, up to that point, had never found a man interesting enough to make him forget he’s not gay. It’s a tangled web of emotions—the kind you feel in your heart and mind—and feelings—the kind you sense on your skin, the sounds and smells and tastes that burrow their way not only under your flesh but into your psyche, as well; the sorts of things that make you begin to believe your every thought has been hijacked by lust, warring between instinct and intellect.

Set against the backdrop of what was supposed to be an investment meeting between LeBeau Mining and Cybele Exploration, a meeting that soon turns into a bid for hostile takeover, Nikolai and Henri’s simple sexual encounter becomes a confusion of mistrust and loyalty and betrayal and anger; it becomes a matter of sleeping with the enemy, and Nikolai must retreat while at the same time strategizing an action plan that doesn’t include his heart becoming involved. He won’t go gentle into that good night. He will stand and fight—until it becomes clear Nikolai’s friend and mentor and Cybele CEO Ruslan Polunin has other plans.

The surest way to defeat a man in a battle of his own making is to refuse to enter the fray. It’s the kind of tactical maneuver that has a way of deflating an over-inflated sense of self-importance, calling the bluff of a man who has threatened you, then walking away with all your weapons intact, as well as acquiring a new one in the bargain; ready, willing, and able to relocate and allocate in new territory because it’s the parting shot that hits the mark and leaves behind the most damage.

Gold Digger is the story of a man who mines for gold but ends up discovering a far more valuable commodity when he explores his feeling and finds that someone and someplace to call home might be the greatest treasure of all. It’s the story of a man who learns that blood and biology aren’t necessarily what defines a father and son. It is the story of a man who eschews labels and simply goes about the business of claiming the one person who could very well make him happy for the rest of his life.

Nikolai and Henri are shrewd men and clever heroes who know how to push each other’s buttons, and who know that victory isn’t always measured in wins and losses, but in mutual triumphs.

This is pretty much Aleksandr Voinov the way I’ve come to expect him to be—at his provocative best.

Available to purchase in all formats here:

Standard
Aleksandr Voinov, Riptide Publishing, Small Gems

Small Gems – Skybound by Aleksandr Voinov

“You’re alive. If you want I can fly.” – William Goldman

In the midst of conflict and the horrors of war, there is quiet. There is a certain hush, a sense of peace and silence that can be found not in the arms of battle but in the arms of someone who holds the answers to the questions written in the longing for connection.

This is what Aleksandr Voinov has done in Skybound. He has created an image with words that is bleak but at the same time filled with hope among the fear of death. It is a picture painted of victory in the certainty of defeat, where a kiss can give you the wings to fly and surrendering doesn’t mean losing but gaining the promise of a future that might otherwise have been lost.

The year is 1945 and the Second World War is gasping its final breaths. It is a place and time when Felix and Baldur discover there is something more worth fighting and living for than their country’s directives. Skybound was an entirely new experience for me. I’ve read stories from the American side of the war, from the British, but this is the first time I’ve read a story set on the German side, which illustrated to me how easy it is to forget that in battle, regardless of what side a man is on, the casualties are still altogether human ones.

Skybound is an example of the perfect short story: spare because that was the mood and tone of the time in which it takes place, sedate yet filled with a sense of urgency that translates into a raw and undeniable longing to be somewhere, anywhere, as long as it’s on the winning side of life.

I’ve read a lot of Aleksandr Voinov’s work and I have to say that this story is at the top of my very tall heap of favorites.

Buy Skybound HERE.

Standard