3.5 Stars, Genre Romance, L.A. Witt, M/M/M and More, Reviewed by Kim, Samhain Publishing

Review: What He Left Behind by L.A. Witt

Title: What He Left Behind

Author: L.A. Witt

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 238 Pages

At a Glance: I had mixed feelings about What He Left Behind, because no matter how good the intentions, something bad always seems to rear its ugly little head.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: Can you ever have a second first time?

Josh Carver thinks it’s just another lunch with his best friend, Michael—until Michael confesses he just turned down a date with his hot veterinarian crush. It seems Michael’s abusive ex left him more scarred than Josh realized.

Josh and his husband, Ian, have done their best to help Michael leave his horrific past behind, but even Josh is stunned when Ian suggests that Josh help Michael with his fear of physical intimacy. After all, it isn’t like it would be the first time—Josh and Michael were once each other’s firsts.

A hesitant first kiss, and Josh and Michael’s natural attraction eases the way. But with Michael still balking at the prospect of sex with someone new, Ian steps into the breach.

Everything is fine and dandy until emotions become so entangled, their friendship—and a marriage—could be at risk.

Warning: Contains three guys who will do anything for each other, a hot tub that’s always the right temperature, and a cat with an attitude problem.

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Review: What He Left Behind left me feeling 50/50. From the first page my interest was caught, as Michael is telling Josh about his inability to trust in an intimate relationship with anyone after his abusive ex did a number on him. Now, from what I gathered, Josh and Michael were each other’s firsts in everything, but it never really says why these two never became a couple, just that when Josh is telling his husband Ian that Michael is having problems becoming intimate with others because of Steve, Ian suggests that maybe Josh can help out with that problem.

My distrustful nature at this suggestion had me asking myself, “Now, who are you sleeping with, Ian?” Nobody is that good of a friend to suggest his husband sleep with someone without a reason. But Ian’s reasoning is that he cares about Michael as a friend, and that everything should be done to help him out. And, since Josh was once Michael’s lover, who else could be a better candidate to help Michael?

Needless to say, Josh does agree to help Michael out with his intimacy problems, at which point most of the story then becomes an erotic therapeutic journey. Since Michael is doing so well with overcoming his fears about sex, it is then suggested that it’s time to try it out with someone who Michael knows but hasn’t slept with yet.

Ian is then elected for the job.

Like I said before, I had mixed feelings about What He Left Behind, because no matter how good the intentions, something bad always seems to rear its ugly little head. Ian and Josh, not being professionals, really took a chance that they could have done more harm than good with Michael. And, it did cause some problems with their marriage along the way.

There’s a happy ending, but in real life, messing with someone like Michael, who has been traumatized, could have been a disaster, and I can’t help but feel that the ending was resolved too quickly. I think all three of them needed to visit Dr. Hamilton.

TNA_Signature_Kim







 

You can buy What He Left Behind here:

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5 Stars, Bey Deckard, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Release Day Review: Fated: Blood and Redemption by Bey Deckard

Title: Fated: Blood and Redemption

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages

At a Glance: If it’s a measure of how well I loved this series to say it’s one I’ll read again once its end has had a chance to settle, then consider Fated, and the entire series, well loved.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: With the captain’s mind in shambles, Jon and Tom set out to find the passage home through the black mountain range, hoping to find a cure for Baltsaros’s madness. However, when the men are forced to part ways, darkness takes root in the schism created; fate, lust, and vengeance become obsessions threatening to tear apart the fragile bonds holding the three together.

Following on the heels of Sacrificed, Fated takes the pirates on a quest to find those responsible for the captain’s bloody beginnings. But can they survive what awaits them where past and present meet?

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Review: Sometimes starting a review is not only hard but pretty damned intimidating, especially when you harbor such a fondness for a series you’re afraid you can’t do it the justice it deserves…other than telling people just to read the books. I guess a reviewer’s job is the “why” of it, though, so here it goes:

The characters—Captain Baltsaros, Tom, and Jon: One a charming, ruthless and deadly pirate; one a former slave born into nobility, cheeky and irresistible; one an innocent young man kidnapped to be used as a tool of the Captain’s bidding, strong and at the same time, vulnerable. What makes these characters special is their individual charisma. Apart, they are a trichotomy—three individual pieces of a puzzle that perhaps shouldn’t fit together; together, however, they are a troika, an interworking of want and need that works as the completion of a relationship which must have Jon at its center for balance. He is the hinge for Baltsaros, for Tom, and at the intersection he plays the important role of not only loving both men but helping them learn how to love each other, to overcome their own insecurity and jealousy.

The journey these men take isn’t always measured in nautical miles but in milestones which draw them closer together and sometimes threaten to tear them apart. Fated: Blood and Redemption is the completion of the trilogy and marks the turning point where the Captain must freely offer of himself in order to bring deliverance to Jon, Tom, and, ultimately, to himself. Fated has an almost dreamlike quality to it, alternating between the past and the present, and steering readers through the psychological stigmata which threatens Baltsaros’s sanity, not to mention affecting both Jon and Tom in myriad ways. Is Fate at play in this story, are these men simply ghosts in the machine? Is every action, reaction, and decision—regardless of how well planned or impulsive—destined to bring these men through hell and spit them out on the other side as if they had no real choice at all? It would seem so. And through it all, they fuck and fight with intensity, as they have from the beginning, part of what makes these books so fantastic, that visceral tension that runs between the three of them.

The Adventure—This series is cleverly crafted Alt U/Fantasy, a bit of swashbuckling, a bit of mysticism, and so captivating because it’s not only original but draws one in emotionally as well. Each time Baal’s Heart sets sail, these men are affected by that journey, and, on the flip-side, these men affect each journey they undertake. It’s impossible not to become invested in the relationship these men have built, to grin madly at Tom and to sympathize with all three of them, and while the books aren’t necessarily romances, there is a romanticism to them: the idea of each loving two men for different but no less powerful reasons, living by their own rules and answering to no one but themselves and those they’ve chosen to keep close.

Fated brings the trilogy full-circle, the end is the beginning, and one can only assume the cycle will continue for these passionate men until the end of their days together. If it’s a measure of how well I loved this series to say it’s one I’ll read again once its end has had a chance to settle, then consider Fated, and the entire series, well loved.






You can buy Fated: Blood and Redemption here:

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Amazon CA

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5 Stars, Reviewed by Lynn, Self-Published, Varian Krylov

Varian Krylov’s “Dangerously Happy” Is A Wickedly Beautiful Love Story


“The death rate for people who play it safe and for those who live boldly is the same.” ― Patti Digh


Title: Dangerously Happy

Author: Varian Krylov

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 244 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Aidan has always played it safe. Instead of pursuing his dream of creating innovative music that makes his soul sing, he settled for a degree in software, a job in a cubicle, and a spot in a generic band with his buddies.
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4.5 Stars, Amazon Digital Services, JP Kenwood, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

JP Kenwood’s “Dominus” Is Sex And Slavery And A Scintillating Mystery


“I fear that when it comes to you, cățel, I may have inadvertently opened Pandora’s box.” – JP Kenwood


Title: Dominus

Author: JP Kenwood

Publisher: JPK Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 285 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: In AD 107, after a grueling campaign against Rome’s fierce enemy, the kingdom of Dacia, Gaius Fabius returns home in triumph. With the bloody battles over, the commander of the Lucky IV Legion now craves life’s simple pleasures: leisurely soaks in fragrant baths, over-flowing cups of wine, and a long holiday at his seaside villa to savor his pleasure slaves. On a whim, he purchases a spirited young Dacian captive and unwittingly sparks a fresh outbreak of the Dacian war; an intimate struggle between two sworn enemies with love and honor at stake.

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Bey Deckard, Self-Published

Salty Dogs, Spicy Language? What Else Would You Expect From Pirates? Welcome Bey Deckard And A Giveaway!


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TNA: Hi, Bey, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start with the sharing part of the interview? Would you tell us a few things about yourself: hobbies, interests, odds and ends stuff?
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5 Stars, Max Vos, Reviewed by Tina, Self-Published

Hot Vampire Sex Is The Name Of The Game In Max Vos’ “The V Unit” – Reviewed by Tina


“They obviously weren’t trying to recruit us, which was sort of a shame. I imagined a full unit of vampire soldiers and I got a little giddy, and distracted. Bad idea, maybe. But it’d be epic, wouldn’t it?” ― Cherie Priest


Title: The V Unit

Author: Max Vos

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 232 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Only a select few in the human world knew of the existence of the V-Unit, a small group of highly trained Marines – who happened to be vampires.
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All Romance Ebooks, K.A. Merikan, Self-Published

A K.A. Merikan Two-fer Review – “House Warmer” And “An Onanist’s Journey to Reclaiming His Seed”


“Writing is seduction.” – Stephen King


Title: House Warm’d (XXX’d #4)

Author: K.A. Merikan

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 11,000 Words

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: — How to make a house a home —
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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.
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Amazon Digital Services, Kol Anderson, Self-Published, Smashwords

At Its “Heart”, Kol Anderson Delivers More Than Just The Usual



“And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger-something better, pushing right back.” – Albert Camus


Roman Woodrow and Lucas Mayer meet on a plane en route to Vienna. Roman works for his father’s tech company and Lucas’s line of work is something of a mystery. Once they arrive, they spend a week sightseeing and enjoying getting to know each other before having one passionate night together. While Heart starts out as so many other boy meets boy/boy loses boy/boy finds boy and they live happily ever after books do, it quickly takes a dark turn. Roman disappears from Lucas’s life.

After several years, Lucas has been unable to get Roman out of his head or heart. He sees an opportunity to be in the same place as Roman and decides to take a chance on meeting up again. As Roman has made it clear he doesn’t spend more than one night with any one man, Lucas is taking a chance with his already bruised heart.
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JMS Books LLC, R.W. Clinger

Some Sex And Other Stuff Happens “Below the Boarder”



“Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.” – Charlie Brown


Below The Boarder begins like a stereotypical opposites attracting story. Hot, hunky mechanic Dayton O’Hare moves into college professor Noni Spiro’s attic room and becomes a boarder. The attraction is immediate and the seduction dance begins despite the approximately 20 year age difference. The two men fall into a sort of relationship. It is undefined. Are they lovers? Boyfriends? Tenant and Landlord with benefits? Nino would like a little more clarification of what they are, but Dayton isn’t willing to give it a name.
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Dreamspinner Press, Jamie Samms

This Relationship Is “Not As Easy As It Looks”



“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” ― Steve Maraboli


BLURB: Don Jenkins will do anything for a happy, thriving family and home. When he discovers that Griff McAllister, his life partner and love since high school, seems to be losing faith in him, he’s at a loss for how to mend the relationship. Then Howard Campbell is added to the mix, a man Don and Griff both love beyond words, and jealousy and mistrust threaten not just their bond, but even Don’s ability to keep his farm viable.

Nearly losing Howard in an accident serves as a wakeup call. They begin to pull their relationship out of the muck and work to remember why they came together in the first place. If they can figure out how to help one another and make sure each man gets what he needs, the trio might build the loving future they’ve dared to hope for. They have to be brave enough to commit every resource they can muster—especially trust, understanding, and acceptance—and realize true love is never as easy as it looks.

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Max Vos, MLR Press

Max Vos Takes No Prisoners In “P.O.W.”



“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” — Winston Churchill


P.O.W. is a major departure from Max Vos’s most recent bestseller My Hero. I knew it would be, so I wasn’t surprised. Other readers may have been, but I thought both Max and MLR were very diligent in their advisory warnings. In effect, they turn readers away, so you know the publisher only puts them there if they contain really important information to be considered when deciding whether or not to buy the book.

My Uncle Bob (he has since died, so I can use his real name) was a P.O.W. in Vietnam. He came home a damaged, broken and bitter man. He immediately crawled into a bottle of whiskey and never came back out. He died from cancer caused by Agent Orange that his own government dumped on him and told him was harmless. He never, and I mean never, talked about what he experienced for those seven months. I saw some scars once when he was living with us, but I was too young to put everything together until long after his death. I wish I had been a few years older so I could have understood what happened to him and tried to talk to him.
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Sean Michael, Torquere Press

“Pour Me a Triple” Is A 3-Way Shot Of Triple Sex



“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.” — Oscar Wilde


You kind of know what you’re going to get when you read a book by Sean Michael. Sex. Lots of it. Well written sex, not just cheesy come-ons and up against the wall fucks. Though there were a few of those, they were well written. When I first started reading M/M, I wanted to learn all there was to know about gay sex. Books by authors like Sean were what I wanted to read. Then I got bored. I could only read the sex so much without wanting it to involve more. I wanted feelings, character backgrounds, dates, relationships. Plots.

Pour Me a Triple had no discernable plot. There were often paragraphs in between the sex scenes, but they were there strictly for the purpose of directing the mind to why the next sex scene was going to happen. Or how, or where. No actual story involved. This is the kind of book that people who don’t read M/M romance think we read. They think it’s all sex, all the time. Pour Me A Triple would not go very far in changing their minds.
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Cardeno C., Dreamspinner Press

Cardeno C.’s Latest Release Offers “More Than Everything”



“The heart was made to be broken.” ― Oscar Wilde


BLURB: As a teenager, Charlie “Chase” Rhodes meets Scott Boone and falls head over heels in love with the popular, athletic boy next door. Charlie thinks he’s living the dream when Scott says he feels the same way. But his dreams are dashed when Scott moves unexpectedly and doesn’t return.

Years later, Chase meets brash and confident Adan Navarro, who claims all he wants is a round between the sheets. When they’re still together after eight months, Chase is convinced Adan returns his love. But then the time comes to be open about their relationship, and Adan walks away instead.

Time heals all wounds, but when Charlie runs into Scott and Adan and realizes the only two men he’s ever loved are now in love with each other, his heart breaks all over again. Scott and Adan tell Charlie they want him back, but Charlie doesn’t know if he can trust two people who have hurt him so deeply. And even if he can, why would Scott and Adan want Charlie when they already have everything with each other?
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Dreamspinner Press, Tia Fielding

Tia Fielding’s “Positive” Is A Mix Of Mystery And Romance



“Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer.” – Soren Kierkegaard



At the beginning of this story we meet Shawn and Brent, a married couple that are a policeman and a journalist, respectively. The two men have been together for most of the last ten years. About five years in the past, they took a “break” due to a misunderstanding. This break unfortunately led to a life altering event that changed reality for both men. Brent contracted HIV due to a sexual assault, and it changed his and Shawn’s life forever.

In a strange twist of fate, Shawn’s newest case involves a perpetrator that is shooting random people on the street with darts that contain HIV positive blood. Due to the fact that all of Shawn’s co-workers and supervisors know about Brent’s status he is made the “face” of the case by his boss and his boss’s boss. The fact that Shawn is basically forced to appear on a local morning show brings Shawn and Brent to the attention of the serial shooter Shawn has been tracking. With a surreal ending to Shawn’s case that actually helps Brent professionally, the couple moves on to more personal issues.

While visiting Shawn at work one day Brent meets Malik, an undercover narcotics officer, and he recognizes the attraction shared between the three of them. After discussing the attraction Brent noticed between the three men, he and Shawn decide that Malik is interested and they would love to spend one night with the man. I don’t understand why a committed couple that are genuinely happy with one another would want or need to invite another man into their bed, but the scene was well written, and both Shawn and Brent got some comfort from the night with Malik. I think this was one final step for the men to recognize the strength of their relationship.

I truly enjoyed watching this story unfold. Getting to see these two men mend fences with an old friend and make a few new ones was truly entertaining and heartwarming. I also appreciated how Shawn and Brent grew as a couple. The two men learned the importance of telling the whole truth and also saw exactly how the decisions of one person can determine the future of countless others. After the stress of the case is over Shawn and Brent have some very important decisions to make. They both want a family of their own and they find that there are more options then they previously thought.

Tia Fielding put together a wonderful story full of mystery, romance and some downright smexy moments! I hope this book may be the first of a series because I am anxious to find out what happens to some of the wonderful secondary characters that added so much to Shawn and Brent’s story.

Reviewed by: Jackie

You can buy Positive here:

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All Romance Ebooks, Max Vos, Self-Published

In Which “Sasquatch” Finds A Mate

“I don’t know the question, but sex is definitely the answer.” ― Woody Allen



Sasquatch starts out with Jack celebrating his TGIF at the local Oyster Bar. This is not a bar where most gay men would find themselves out for drinks. Jack was just redneck enough where he didn’t care. Jack just wanted to have a beer to beat the heat and get some dinner since it was so hot. While Jack is finishing up his first beer the roar of a Harley pulling into the lot catches his attention. Turns out Dave, aka Sasquatch, a six foot six muscled biker has arrived. Jack knows Dave from high school and he is his closest neighbor. Dave was very intimidating at first sight, but he is actually very quiet and rarely speaks unless spoken to. That changes when Lonnie Cahill arrives at the oyster bar and outs Jack in spectacular fashion. After some rather nasty comments Dave “kindly” escorts Lonnie out and has a drink with Jack before rejoining his buddies. It seems Jack found support from unlikely places.

The next day Jack has a date coming over, Luiz is a hot latino Jack has been seeing. Mostly for hot sex, but Jack is trying to find out if there could be more. After dinner the two men are making out heavily on the couch when Dave shows up saying Mandy, his live-in girlfriend, has kicked him out. There is no way Jack can turn Dave away after he helped him the day before, besides they are friends, you help friends out. Jack and Luiz head to bed and Dave heads to the spare room. After Dave catches an eyeful, and Luiz catches a mouthful of Dave, the three men end up spending the night exploring the limits of their bodies. Luiz then wakes up mad about a threesome he started and Jack has had enough and tells him not to come back.

Expecting Dave to have regrets the next morning, Jack is pleasantly surprised to find out Dave just might have found the very thing he wasn’t even aware he was looking for. The two men end up finding a way, and it just works for them. They find that the people that matter don’t mind and the ones that mind truly don’t matter. Jack and Dave are happy and that is all that matters to them.

Now Max Vos does write with the hearts and flowers, but his stories are also very, very smexy. They are not for the faint of heart. However, if you like the down and dirty with large, muscular hairy men that are into some hot and heavy kink, this is definitely the story for you. Even with the kink, Max gives us the feels and the HEA. I would say the only way this story could have better would be if it was longer. This is definitely a book to keep on the “kink” shelf and I loved every second of it.

Reviewed by: Jackie

You can buy Sasquatch here:

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