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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Loyal Steed: Part One (The Pleasure Hound Series) by Ines Johnson

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Ines Johnson today to introduce her newest novel The Loyal Steed: Part One and to talk about Men of Devotion. Ines is also giving the chance for one reader to win an e-copy of the book, so be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win.

Good luck!


Men of Devotion
If you read my books, you may have noticed a theme. Between the covers of many of my stories you’ll find a man of the cloth, who struggles with his feelings for a woman, and ultimately succumbs to the glories of romantic love.

An Old Testament
My fascination with priests began with the television movie, The Thornbirds. Richard Chamberlain in robes -nuff said. It’s not just priests I’m fascinated with. It was an illuminating experience for me watching the Jedi of Star Wars. I even found Yoda hot! And then there was that string of movies about fallen angels where Christopher Walken was a badass angel and Elias Koteas was a former priest. Yummy. But the priest to end all priests? Matthew McConaughey in Contact!

Why am I attracted to priests, monks, angels, and even cone-headed, Buddha-like aliens? Because these men of devotion have a lot of qualities that women look for in their partners. They’re disciplined, full of grace, devoted, and they understand sacrifice.

A Beautiful Mind
Spiritual men are smart. Monks spend their lives studying ancient texts. Priests have to get a degree from college or seminary school, which can take anywhere from four to eight years. Jedi are taken as children, younglings, into the order. Other than Luke Skywalker, we know they spend all of their formative years training in the mental and physical art of the force.

Hopelessly Devoted
Speaking of Skywalkers, Padme didn’t fall for cute and cuddly Anakin. No, she fell for the grown Jedi who began to tug at the rules of his order as he pursued her affections. We all like a rebel, a bad boy, to some degree. The man of cloth might not be the bad boy, but their situation is definitely a naughty and forbidden one. He’s pledged his loyalty and devotion to another: namely god, a goddess, or some higher power.

The Sexy Priest trope is the perfect love triangle. You have the sexy priest, the first leg of the triangle. The priest is devoted to his vows, the second leg of the triangle. And then in walks another set of legs, the heroine. Admit it: we all want to be the chosen one in a love triangle. And if you can emerge the victor over a god-figure…

I already recognize that I’m going to hell. But that’s okay, because that’s where all of the sexy, fallen priests will be!


91gwceJNgkL._SL1500_Blurb: Jaspir has been in love with Lady Merlyn since they were children, but she has always been out of his reach. Trained as a Pleasure Hound and now surviving by selling his body to rich women, his heart has always remained loyal to his true love.

Liam was promised to Merlyn in their youth, but he’s always known that he’s not the man in her heart. With their betrothal approaching, Liam seeks out Jaspir for help. Eager to ensure the happiness of the woman they both love, Jaspir agrees to train Liam in the pleasure arts.

What starts as rivals in an uneasy truce, soon turns carnal when Merlyn learns of their secret lessons. In a society where men are second class citizens, Merlyn is torn between the attentions of two men who would do anything to rule her heart.

Buy Link: Amazon: The Loyal Steed: Part One | Amazon: The Loyal Steed: Part Two | Amazon: The Loyal Steed: Part Three | Amazon: The Loyal Steed: The Complete Serial


Excerpt: Lesson One: Jaspir regarded his longtime foe. Set in Liam’s pale face was green eyes with thick lashes, a strong jaw and a mouth with a thin upper lip, but full lower lip. Jaspir had hated this pale face for many years. He blocked out Liam’s face and focused on the man’s lips. As he did with his more unattractive clients, Jaspir pictured Merlyn in his head, narrowing his world to what these lips would do for her.

Jaspir grazed his fingers along the lips before him. They were thinner than his own. His lessons would have to account for that. “Lesson number one,” he said. “The bedroom is the only place where a man can truly rule a woman.”

Jaspir clasped the chin that belonged to the lips, eliciting another gasp.

“You need to take charge,” he said. “Be in control.”

Jaspir’s fingers curled about the neck and the lips parted as he did so.

“Merlyn thinks too much. Her head rules her entire body. If you have control of her head…”

His fingers went into the red hairs at the nape of the neck that belonged to the lips. With a firm tug, the head went back exposing the neck. “…you have control of her.”

Jaspir let his focus extend from the lips to the exposed neck. His tongue struck out and he licked. He felt the body trembling in his grasp.

“Lesson number two, never do what’s expected.” Jaspir bit lightly at the chin. “Merlyn will anticipate your every move. She can’t help it. She remembers the sequence of things. If you are repetitive, you will lose her. Do you understand?”

Jaspir watched as the lips tried to form words, but the trembling thwarted them. In the end, Jaspir was given a nod of acquiescence.


Jaspir focused on the lips once more. He nipped at them. He nipped at the bottom lip, which was plumper than the top. He nipped at the corner, flicking his tongue out. He continued this random pattern as the lips tried to anticipate his next move, each time failing to predict it.

“Lesson three, make her chase you. Once you—”

The lips cut him off. The lips Jaspir had thought so small covered his own and tried to devour him. For unpracticed lips they were warm and wanton. Perhaps Liam could please Merlyn after all. But first, he had to pay attention.

Jaspir used the hand still at the nape of Liam’s neck to yank him away. Liam groaned at the loss, his chest panting, his eyes hooded.

“Are you listening, Liam?”

Liam blinked once, twice. By the third blink, he’d recovered himself and yanked away from Jaspir’s hold, embarrassment clear on his face. “All right,” Liam said. “You’ve made your point.”

“I don’t think I have.”

Liam clenched his jaw.

“Show me what you’ve learned.”

Liam’s eyes whipped to Jaspir’s. Jaspir placed his hands in his lap and waited.

Slowly Liam raised his hands. They grazed Jaspir’s chin. The soft, un-callused fingers reminding Jaspir of a woman’s gentle touch. Before Jaspir could process the softness, Liam’s fingers tangled in his hair and wrenched Jaspir’s head back.

Jaspir barely held back his moan of pleasure. He liked it rough from time to time, but that would not do for Lady Merlyn. “Not that firm. She’s more delicate than I am. Just enough to let her know that you’re in control.”

Liam loosened his grip a fraction. He looked to Jaspir for approval. Jaspir recognized the spark of need in the other male’s eyes. How this man lived ten years under Merlyn’s roof and never stole a single kiss was a true mystery to Jaspir.

“Good,” Jaspir nodded.

The spark in Liam’s eyes ignited into the smallest of flames before he dipped his head and put his mouth to Jaspir’s throat. Liam’s movements were unpracticed and hesitant, but the heat of his mouth sent a message to Jaspir’s dick. Jaspir focused on his breaths instead of the heat climbing across his hips.

There was no way he’d be turned on by this soft-hand, unpracticed, First, virgin.

Liam nibbled at Jaspir’s lip now, his hunger making up for his lack of skill. Jaspir knew desire. He understood wanting something that he thought was off limits to him. Jaspir softened and turned his head into the kiss.

For a moment, Jaspir allowed Liam to claim him. Allowed him to taste that thing that he could never possess. To pretend for just a moment that it could be this way; that they could be together always. That they could live on a land away from society and everything tearing them apart. To live in a small cottage surrounded by impossible flowers of red, purple and green.

The kiss turned brutal as both men fought to stake their claim. Until finally, Jaspir gave a tug of Liam’s hair, pulling them apart. Both men stared at the other, panting, eyes clear, realization dawning that neither held the object of their desire.

“That’ll be all for today’s lessons.”

It took a moment, but finally Liam rose. “When do I—” He stopped and cleared his throat.

“When do I come back for our second appointment?”

Jaspir turned to him, his face a mask of unconcern. “Pick any day you’d like. I’ve cleared my entire schedule just for you.”


Ines JohnsonAbout the Author: Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you’ll love her books!

Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she’s contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations.
Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.

Connect With Ines At: Facebook | Twitter | Website



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4 Stars, Evernight Publishing, J.R. Gray, Literary Fiction, Reviewed by Lisa

Review: Veil of Scars by J.R. Gray

Title: Veil of Scars

Author: J.R. Gray

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 100 Pages

At a Glance: Veil of Scars is a single sitting read, compelling and well told.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Steven is tall, dark, and damaged. He doesn’t let anyone close, comfortable on the outside of normal life where he can hide his scars behind a wall so high that nothing gets through…except them. Despite a childhood marred with black and blue, he’s survived and moved in with his two best friends, Sam and Charlie.

Life should get better, but it was Sam who held him when the dark threatened to swallow him whole, Sam who gave him a place that felt like home, and Sam who knew every scar and every broken place.

And it’s all been taken away with Charlie sharing Sam’s bed.

Without his former comfort, Steven realizes what’s been hiding in the deep corners of his heart, and the truth sinks him like a weight. He’s in love with one or maybe both of his roommates. Navigating unrequited love tears Steven apart and brings him to the precipice, and he has to choose: his feelings or Sam’s…and Charlie’s?


Review: Eighteen-year-old Harvard freshman, Steven, is a character who reads like a man standing on the outside always looking in on life. And it seems, sometimes, he prefers it that way. Surviving a childhood marred by a physically abusive father has left him with not only trust issues but an inability to allow anyone, save for his roommates and best friends, Sam and Charlie, close to him in any sort of meaningful way.

Veil of Scars, as it turns out, is the perfect title for this short novel, as it’s the psychological scars Steven brought forward into adulthood that served not only to construct and solidify his close bond with Sam but prevented him from understanding what it is about himself that feels wrong and keeps him on the fringes of a deeper connection with anyone, a connection such as the one Sam and Charlie have with each other. Steven is searching for an elusive sense of “normalcy”, and is trying, with a sense of both desperation and defeat, to find a label that fits his lack of physical desire as aptly as “introvert” describes his personality.

The emotional connection J.R. Gray constructs for readers throughout this story is in Steven’s struggle to understand and then accept he’s in love with Sam, even when he knows Sam’s very much in love with Charlie and can never be more than a friend. The greater design in the construct, however, is Steven’s certainty he’s in some way wired wrong because within his id, the emotional concepts of love and physical desire don’t go hand-in-hand. He works to come to terms with his love for Sam, but it’s the sexual part of the equation that leaves him confused and combing the internet in search of a label that fits him, one which also shows him that somewhere he fits in.

Gray layers Steven’s pain and sadness in a pattern of horrific childhood memories, confusion, guilt, and ultimately, the realization his love for Sam may come at an awful price. He could lose Sam or Charlie, more likely both, and no matter his feelings, those are outcomes he isn’t willing to risk. The substance of this story exists in the understanding that sexuality and gender aren’t a black and white binary, that love and sex are sometimes mutually exclusive, and that as abnormal as Steven believes he is, he isn’t. In the end, and perhaps most importantly, there is the realization that love and relationships of all shapes and sizes take patience and work, and there are no clear cut answers to the myriad opaque questions raised within this story nor in life.

Veil of Scars is a single sitting read, compelling and well told, which delves into the complex and complicated realms of sexuality in an honest and touching way.


You can buy Veil of Scars here:

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Evernight Publishing, Giveaways, J.R. Gray

Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Veil of Scars by J.R. Gray

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The Novel Approach welcomes author J.R. Gray today, with a shared excerpt and giveaway of their latest novel, Veil of Scars, just released by Evernight Publishing. Enjoy the tease, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for a chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Good luck!



Thank you so much for having me on The Novel Approach to talk about my new release Veil Of Scars.

This one was an emotional roller coaster for me to write. I brought a lot of personal experience to it, and I wrote it as an intermix of current scenes and flashbacks to give the readers an in-depth connection to Steve. This isn’t a typical type of romance novel, and I was reluctant to publish it at first because I was worried there wasn’t a market for alternative love stories. I’m so glad my beta pushed me to finish Steve’s book because everyone deserves to be loved for who they are.

There was so much emotion that went into this scene because Steve feels he’s not good enough for Sam, who he’s just realizing he’s been in love with for years. I was going through a rough patch myself at the time, and I really channeled my emotions into the piece, which has made it not only an emotional book for me, but also a piece that holds a special place in my heart.

He loved them both, but he was too damaged to make either of them happy.

Here is a sneak peek from Veil of Scars:

I paced the living room, making rounds around the worn coffee table. It had been three days since the yard. My books were strewn about the room, but I couldn’t focus on anything. My mind couldn’t—no, wouldn’t—hold any more information. The scene with Sam kept playing over and over in my head. My feelings bottled inside me were like a dam about to burst. He was going to be home in the next five minutes. I either had to gather my things and make a run for the library as I had been doing for days, or suck it up and confront him.

I owed it to Sam to be honest. I pressed a hand into my chest, steadying myself as the handle of the door turned and it swung open. Sam walked in, and his shoulders dropped. He tossed his bag down before he looked up and saw me. The shock was written on his face.

“I told Char this morning I thought you had moved out on us. You’ve been a ghost.”

I took a hard seat on the sofa, which sent stacks of papers flying in every direction. “Been a little stressed.”

He shrugged out of his coat and hung it up on the hook, closing the door behind him. “School or…” He trailed off.

“I need to tell you something.” I balled and un-balled my fists to stop my hands from shaking.

“Okay.” He took a seat next to me and looked over expectantly. Wednesdays he got home an hour before Charlie, and we had taken to using that time to watch his favorite reality shows. It usually ended up with his arms around me or my head in his lap.

But not today. I held my ground. I knew I’d lose my edge if he touched me.

“You’re acting like you’ve killed someone.” His brow creased in the center, and he scooted towards me.

I shrank back and didn’t speak. My throat was dry.

“Spill already,” he growled. “You’re scaring me.” I could see the truth in his words in his gaze.

I blew a breath. “I love you, Sam.”

I waited. He didn’t react.

“Well duh.” He reached up to grab me by the shirt pulling me closer, but I held back.

“No.” I pushed him back so I could look at him. “I’m in love with you.”

His eyes went a little wider, and he didn’t say anything. The air between us was thick, and bile rose in my throat. His mouth opened as if he was going to speak, but he closed it again as he knit his brow.

I could see it written all over him. The pity. I hated that look. It wasn’t often I saw it from Sam, which might have been half the reason I let him in. Everyone kept their distance because of the protective walls I had built around myself. He’d ignored them from day one. Not even when I showed up on his doorstep with two black eyes and a swollen lip did he look at me like he was now, but it was there, written clearly across his face. Pain lanced out across my chest, and I dropped my gaze to the floor.

“How can you know that, Steven?” He rubbed his hand over the back of his neck. “You’ve never even been with anyone.”


JR Gray CoverBlurb: Steven is tall, dark and damaged. He doesn’t let anyone close, comfortable on the outside of normal life where he can hide his scars behind a wall so high that nothing gets through…except them. Despite a childhood marred with black and blue, he’s survived and moved in with his two best friends, Sam and Charlie.

Life should get better, but it was Sam who held him when the dark threatened to swallow him whole, Sam who gave him a place that felt like home, and Sam who knew every scar and every broken place.

And it’s all been taken away with Charlie sharing Sam’s bed.

Without his former comfort, Steven realizes what’s been hiding in the deep corners of his heart, and the truth sinks him like a weight. He’s in love with one or maybe both of his roommates. Navigating unrequited love tears Steven apart and brings him to the precipice, and he has to choose: his feelings or Sam’s…and Charlie’s?

Categories: Menage, M/F/M, New Adult, Gay Romance

Buy Links: Evernight Publishing | Amazon | All Romance eBooks


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Author Bio: When not staying up all night writing, J.R Gray can be found basking in the warm glow of the Miami sun, or at the gym where it’s half assumed Gray is a permanent resident. A dominant, pilot, and sword fighting enthusiast, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. Gray frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns, to jot down nonsense. The bane of Gray’s existence are commas, and even though it’s been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder.

If Gray wasn’t writing…well, that’s not possible. The build up of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave or possibly a mental institution where the tales would end up on the walls in crayon and finger paint.

Find J.R. Gray online:

My Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Twitter Book only news / Tumblr (NSFW) / Tumblr (book news)

Other books by J.R. Gray

Legally BoundUKAll Romance eBooksBreach of Contract – UKAll Romance eBooksIllicit Activity Evernight



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Excerpt and Giveaway: The Pleasure Hound (Part Three) by Ines Johnson

Ines Johnson

The Novel Approach welcomes author Ines Johnson back, with another exclusive excerpt and giveaway of Book Three, the final installment in her series The Pleasure Hound.



PH3Blurb: The heart-pounding conclusion to the Pleasure Hound serial

Just when Chanyn believes she has the family she’s always dreamed of, Khial disappears, abandoning her. Chanyn calls on the one man who’s never let her down: Jian.

But even if Jian forsakes his vows, and his brotherhood, to find the grief-stricken Khial, how will he let go of the woman he loves all over again?

Buy Link: Amazon US | Add it on Goodreads: goodreads-button



Maternal Goddess, I seek your presence as I align myself with one of your sacred daughters.

I offer my body as a vessel of your will and your grace.

The desire of my heart is pure and known to you.

I wish to please your daughter and garner your favor.

The miracle that pleases a woman and creates life is of your design, Divine Goddess.

With great anticipation, I align all of the energy systems of my body, my soul, and my mind with you.

I give thanks in advance for your blessings of this experience and know that I walk in the light of your sun and the fertility of your earth.


The monk’s melodic voice decresendoed. Again, Khial wondered how that deep tenor might sound accompanying his violin.

Jian asked for stillness. He and Chanyn closed their eyes in a silent moment of gratitude to the Goddess.

Khial picked at the buttons of his shirt, the itch on his nose. He looked around Chanyn’s bedroom. Large blooms decorated a dresser near the window, beside them teetered the stack of books he’d gifted her. Golden-haired men clenching women with swollen bodices dominated each cover. Khial scratched at his chest.

The monk clasped Khial’s hand. Khial’s dick pulsed in time to the circular pattern the monk traced on the flesh between Khial’s thumb and index finger. Was the monk trying to seduce him? Khial looked for a hint in the monk’s eyes, but they remained closed.

Between them, both men held Chanyn’s hands in each of their own. Her hands were by no means delicate. They were capable and strong. She interlaced two of her fingers with Khial’s, leaving him feeling grounded, tethered. And aroused.

Khial tried to take his mind off his dick and focus on the two people on either side of him. Their fingers were wholly entwined. Their palms pressed together. Suddenly, Khial felt like an intruder. Chanyn and the monk loved each other and he was imposing on their intimacy.

The monk opened his eyes and focused on Khial. The monk —Jian.Khial figured he should start using his name, as they were about to be intimate. Jian’s eyes said he read Khial’s desire loud and clear, but he cast no judgment. Instead, a flicker of heat sparked in the other man’s eyes.

Khial swallowed. It was too soon to think about another man. He was still getting used to the idea of a woman, his wife. He looked over at Chanyn.

“Should you always pray… before?” Khial directed the comment at no one in particular, but he knew who would answer.

“A woman’s body is sacred,” answered Jian. “If you do not prefer to pray, you should at least set an intention.”

“An intention?”

Jian nodded. “Our intention tonight is to pleasure the lady.” Jian turned to Chanyn. “Pleasure her until she begs for mercy.”

A slow, intentional smile spread across the monk’s face. He rose to his feet bringing Khial and Chanyn along.

Jian stood behind Chanyn and turned her to face Khial. She’d dressed in a simple nightgown of light purple silk. Lace ties held the flimsy garment together. Her dark nipples poked against the material.

“Undo the laces, my lord.”

Khial’s hands shook like the strings of his instrument. Not from nervousness—not entirely. Khial trusted Jian to make this experience pleasurable, not only for Chanyn, but for all. Khial’s fingers trembled in anticipation as he lifted them to the first tie.

Chanyn smiled in encouragement as she watched Khial’s progress. I trust you, that smile said. Khial felt his heart expand a fraction.

Jian also marked his progress with the ties. His dark eyes portraying the same trust.Khial was not one to trust easily. He could count on one finger the number of people he’d trusted. The idea that he trusted these two people, whom he’d known for such a short time, astounded him. The hard fact that he did trust them both steadied his fingers, and Khial pulled the last tie free.

Jian swept the garment from Chanyn’s shoulders. Khial’s fingers, his legs, his dick, lost the battle of steadiness. He began to throb from his eyelashes to the space between his toes. Chanyn stood completely bare before him.

Her brown breasts full, her erect nipples pebbled, so dark they appeared black. Her waist narrowed into a sculpted stomach with curves and planes. Her hips flared out to powerful thighs. A dark set of curls lay at the juncture between her thighs.

Khial’s mouth watered. He’d dreamed of that space last night. Of diving in there once more. Of getting lost in the bliss of that warm heat. Of their own accord, his hands reached out, but Jian pulled her away.

Khial glared. Jian only smiled that serene smile of his station. Khial’s blood heated. Was this a trick? He’d seen his fathers fighting over time in the bedroom with his mother. Her door locked while one of them banged at the exterior for entrance. Would this come to a fight?

Jian didn’t look adversarial. “We need to prepare her,” he said.

He guided Chanyn towards the bed. When she turned, Khial caught a glimpse of the orbs of her ass. His dick, already hard as a rock, strained painfully against his pants. Khial took a step to follow, but Jian’s hand stayed him once more. Khial’s glare threatened murder.

The monk, placid as ever, said, “Breathe.”

Khial clenched his teeth.

Jian released Chanyn and brought both hands to Khial’s shoulders. Khial’s instinct was to shove him off. Jian’s thumbs rubbed circles at a point on Khial’s shoulders and, like magic, the aggression seeped out of Khial.

“I need you to be present, my lord,” Jian said quietly, for Khial’s ears only. “I need you to have a clear head. We are going to please her first.”

The emphasis on her snapped the fog from Khial’s mind. A front of shame moved in. He’d gone to Jian for help in making the act pleasurable for Chanyn. In the first minute, he’d let his Neanderthal instincts overpower him.

Jian tilted Khial’s head up so that they looked each other in the eye. Khial wondered how this man could allow him access to the woman he so clearly worshipped. But the woman the monk worshipped was Khial’s wife, now. Khial allowed Jian access to her. Once more, Khial felt Jian read his mind because what he saw reflected in the monk’s dark eyes was gratitude.

Khial leaned into Jian’s touch, grateful for the support. He wanted to rest in Jian’s embrace for a moment longer, but Jian gave his shoulders a final squeeze and then he turned them both towards Chanyn. She lay on the bed like an offering.

Khial came before the bed and kneeled. Jian went to the other side.


Author BioAbout the Author:  Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandolous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you’ll love her books!

Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she’s contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations.

Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.


3 Stars, JMS Books LLC, Lynn Townsend, Reviewed by Rena, Steampunk

Review: London Steam by Lynn Townsend

Title: London Steam

Author: Lynn Townsend

Publisher: JMS Books

Pages/Word Count: 99 Pages

At a Glance: Two loosely related novellas and a surprise M/F ending in the second, make for an overall uneven read

Blurb: In a reimagined 1890’s London, where steam-driven airships rule the skies and monsters roam the streets, the Galileo Observatory’s Club for Gentlemen welcomes all — gwr, shape-changers, vampires, and lords. A high-stakes game leads more than a few men astray.

Poindexter Fitzhughes, renowned hero and scientist, learns just how much trouble a full-blooded gwr can be when he attempts to cure his lover, Lord Seth Maitland, of the disease. But when their backs are against the wall, the two must learn to trust in each other, and more importantly, in their true natures, to prevail.

Meanwhile, Duncan Farnsworth discovers being a vampire has not improved his social life, his chances of finding love, continuing the family line, or getting a bite to eat. Maneuvering his way around a sarcastic butler, his spinster sister, a run-in with an amorous werewolf, and a confrontation with a dead soldier and a French airship captain, Duncan finally finds exactly what he is thirsting for.


Review: London Steam is actually two lightly connected, short novellas in one book. I say lightly because the main couple in the first novella make a cameo appearance in the second, but the plots diverge completely. Moreover, the first novella is clearly M/M, while the second is M/F/M with the M/F elements pretty much overriding everything else. More on that in a bit.

The first novella focuses on Dex and Seth, both of whom have fantastic – albeit tragic – histories that define their lives in pretty unpleasant ways. Dex was attacked by a gwr he was trying to save and consequently walks around with one blind eye and horrible scars on half of his face. Since this is steampunk London, he’s able to make himself a half-mask with its own artificial eye in order to function in society. Seth, on the other hand, is turned into a gwr in a moment that’s uncomfortably non-con. In brief, both men are forever reminded of their pasts, and when they meet, it’s a blessing for both since they can at least find comfort in each other, as well as use what influence they have together to help bring about social changes where non-humans are concerned.

The plot moves at a pretty brisk pace. The coming together of the two – emotionally, that is – happens off-screen following their initial coupling. But that’s not the point of the story, and I’m glad we’re not forced through romantic tangents at the expense of the main conflict. That said, the briskness of the pacing also applies to the conflict in some places that left me wishing for more. The climax scene is more evenly paced, and we get to see a pretty bloody battle from start to finish. The denouement, however, is largely summarized, with events whizzing past that, to me, somewhat diminishes Dex and Seth’s predicament and even the gwr community’s. Considering the long, angst-and-danger-filled buildup leading to the climax, the conclusion felt like a bit of a letdown.

The second novella was a little more problematic to me on a technical and personal level. On the personal side, I was somewhat blindsided by the M/F/M, and I confess to not being a fan of ménage – of any stripe. When I read the book blurb initially, I didn’t see any indications of ménages anywhere and so didn’t expect it to be a part of the story, let alone a significant one. It is a personal bias, however, and anyone who shares it might need to keep this in mind. For those who enjoy both M/M and M/F/M, you’ll find a nice diverse spectrum of relationships from cover to cover with this book.

The technical problem is a curious one. While it’s part of the same book, the second novella is less polished than the first in the sense that I found a number of typos throughout the story, while the first one didn’t have any. A couple would’ve been fine, but seeing more than that can be a distraction after a while.

While the entire book ended up being a pretty uneven read for me, I was glad I took it on, and I loved the setting. There are a number of original touches in the way steampunk London was fleshed out, which really added to the dynamic quality of the plot and character relationships.

You can buy here:

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JB McDonald, Torquere Press

A Little BDSM Is At The Heart Of JB McDonald’s “A Little Weird”

“Right on the edge of fear was where trust could grow.” ― Cherise Sinclair

This story centers around Kel. Ty and London are a heterosexual couple he meets and befriends while working in a pub they both frequent. Kel is ex military who is dealing with PTSD and is somewhat of a loner. Ty and London both trust and like Kel and are very interested in him being their sub.

This is my first time reading this author. The blurb sounded very interesting to me. Having read BDSM stories before, I knew I wouldn’t be uncomfortable reading it. I was also very interested in seeing how the author would write about an already established couple bringing in a third person as their lover who had no previous knowledge of the BDSM lifestyle.

I loved Ty and London as a couple. I loved how we got both of their POV’s in this story even though they weren’t the main characters. We really get to know them. They both knew what they wanted out of their relationship with each other and they were on the same page as to what they wanted in a sub. I felt they were a perfect fit for Kel.

I’m really glad the author showed Kel researching what it meant to be a sub. He had no clue what was expected of him and didn’t really think he could give control over to someone else. I loved how we saw the progress he made in being a sub.

The scenes when all three of them were together sexually were very well done. It was all very well balanced and no one was left out feeling like the third wheel. When they were together they were together as one. Ty was very patient with Kel and cared enough to make sure Kel felt comfortable and was at ease with what they were doing. Nothing felt forced and whatever issues Kel had with anything were dealt with realistically.

The only issue I had with this story was that we didn’t get a chance to really know what Kel’s military background was. I think if I had some backstory I could’ve had a better understanding as to why Kel was having nightmares and seemed to always want to run when things got to difficult for him to handle.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.

I feel this is a great book for readers who have never read BDSM. It’s very light and gives a good understanding and intro to the lifestyle.

Reviewed by: Lynn

You can buy A Little Weird here: