N.R. Walker, Total-E-Bound Publishing

“Elements of Retrofit” Is A Book To Fit Into Your Reading List Soon

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” ― Mark Twain

In N.R. Walker’s Elements of Retrofit, age actually is the matter, or at least Thomas Elkin would like to make it matter when he’s reintroduced to his son’s friend, Cooper Jones—a now very grown up Cooper Jones. At half Tom’s age, Cooper isn’t exactly someone Tom should be giving a second look at, let alone a second thought to, but as we all know, the right thing to do isn’t always the easy thing to do, especially when the wrong thing to do is to fool oneself into believing that ignoring something will make it magically disappear. That’s what Tom tries to do. It doesn’t work.
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S.A. McAuley, Total-E-Bound Publishing

Who Will Be The “Dominant Predator” In The Borders War?

“I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.” ― Stephen Hawking

Welcome to the Revolution.

The fight for dominance in a game of political warfare now comes down not to who is right but to who will be left when the battle is done. It is a question of survival of the fittest in which the dominant predators have been genetically modified to serve as the weapons of destruction. One thing is certain: the fact that they currently fight for the same side weighs heavily against the Opposition’s favor.

Merq Grayson has become the face of the Revolution, though that hadn’t been the original plan when he was chosen for this mission. With one bullet, he assassinated the Premiere of the Opposition. He was meant to be made sacrifice for the greater good, but his enemy-turned-lover, Armise Darcan, was not about to allow for that outcome, turning traitor to his own country in loyalty to the one person he will follow and protect to the end of his days.

For a man who does not trust easily or often, when trusting in someone can mean the difference between betrayal and death, Merq’s faith in Armise is a gift that’s been earned. Whether that will last, however, is anyone’s guess. If it comes down to Dominant Predator vs. Dominant Predator, there will be no winner. The loss would be devastating on a soul-deep level for both men, so it remains to be seen if a father’s prophecy will come true, or if the son and his brother-in-arms, lover, partner will only become stronger as they fight shoulder to shoulder, back to back, one for the cause, the other for the man he loves. They are bound together; let nothing tear them asunder.

The twenty-sixth century is a barren and desolate place, a dystopian landscape where anything that resembles hope has been quashed by political oppression. It is a place where the fight is the way of life, where life itself is expendable if it serves a madman’s bid for power, where that madman is now the target of Merq and Armise’s deadly skills. S.A. McAuley has turned in a brilliant sequel to the stellar One Breath, One Bullet, and my only regret in reading Dominant Predator now is knowing I have to wait for the next book in the series.

If you’re looking for the antidote to the formula romance, this series is it because it’s not romance in even the loosest definition of the word. The Borders War series is raw, it’s erotic, it’s edgy, it’s in-your-face, it’s bloody. This is war and war’s not pretty, but in this case, it is irresistible. The author doesn’t mince words nor over-tell, providing exactly the detail necessary to keep the pacing of the plot somewhere in the edge-of-your-seat range.

Obviously this series won’t be for everyone, but if you love strong male characters who deal in death and prefer bullets and blades to hearts and flowers, I can’t recommend this one highly enough.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Dominant Predator (The Borders War #2) here:

Sue Brown, Total-E-Bound Publishing

Sue Brown’s “Tumbling Blindly” Is A Book I Fell For

“Moving on is easy. It’s staying moved on that’s trickier.” ― Katerina Stoykova Klemer

Matthew Collins has just joined the ranks of the officially dumped. His lover, Milo, has left him for another man. Or maybe the better term is “another sucker”, because that’s the only kind of guy who’d take on a freeloading couch surfer like Milo; though it doesn’t take New Guy very long to cop onto Milo’s ways and kick him out for the leech he is.

Matt never got tired of Milo’s slacker ways. Leastwise, not so much as he’d have dumped the man for his lack of motivation to find gainful employment, so when Milo dumped him, it threw Matt’s world into a toilet-flushing spiral of bed-hermiting-depressional proportions. So much so that the nosy old woman next door calls the police; not for fear of Matt’s demise but because he hasn’t collected his trash can from the curb in a timely manner. But, you know, you can’t really look a gift busybody in the mouth.

It’s the woman’s interference that finally prompts some action from Matt… if by action that means burrowing down under his Bart Simpson comforter and hoping whoever is pounding on his front door will just go away. He doesn’t get his wish, though, and when two police officers find him in his olfactory-offending state of doom and gloom, it finally prompts Matt to realize he’s going to have to, as the old song goes, pick himself up, dust himself off, and start all over again.

Gabe West was one of the two responding officers who showed up at Matt’s bedside to ensure he was still amongst the living and breathing, and it’s a good thing Gabe doesn’t go by first impressions; otherwise, he likely would have ignored Matt when he ran into him at the gym. And Gabe would have got away with it too, because Matt has no idea who Gabe is, apart from being a rather sexy guy of indeterminate age thanks to his silver hair.

Matt’s slowly but surely recovering from being dumped but isn’t anywhere near ready to dive into the dating pool again, so it’s another a good thing for him that Gabe is willing to take things slowly and just be the friend it seems Matt needs more than anything else. And, you know, that works out really well for about a minute, considering how attracted Matt is to PC West.

And, of course, that’s about the time Milo shows up on Matt’s doorstep again, looking for a place to sleep that isn’t a park bench.

Tumbling Blindly is the story of a man who has a difficult time standing up to the one person he really needs just to scrape off the bottom of his shoe, when an overnight couch offer turns into a week of mooching; it’s the story of a man who’s pretty good at manipulating and taking advantage of the man who’d once loved him; and it’s the story of a man who can very much see himself in Matt’s life and is more than willing to be patient until Matt is ready to move on completely.

Sue Brown tells a story I think everyone can relate to here. I mean, who hasn’t cried over a break-up and thought they’d never love or trust anyone with their heart ever again, only to have Mr. Right show up like a sexy silver-haired knight in shining armor? Only Matt? Okay, maybe just the sexy silver-haired knight part is a bit of a stretch for most of us, but the rest is pretty universal, and it was a great way to spend the time reading to find out how long it’d take for Gabe to wear down Matt’s resistance in his pursuit.

If you’re looking for a quick little read with a couple of guys learning how to connect and communicate and fall for each other, give this one a go.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Tumbling Blindly here:

Jambrea Jo Jones, The Joyful Approach, Total-E-Bound Publishing

Jambrea Jo Jones Is Here For The GRL Celebration, And She Comes Bearing Goodies!


After the first GRL (GayRomLit) a group of us headed by Devon Rhodes talked about doing an anthology together. We were all at the first GRL and were coming back the next year. How often can you get an anthology signed by all the authors? It’s kind of rare for them to all be in the same place at the same time. We had so much fun with Unconventional at Best we decided there at GRL 2012 that we wanted to do another anthology! This one we did a bit different. We had connecting stories. Characters from one story would be secondary characters in another. PLUS it takes place IN Atlanta at the hotel we’ll be staying at this year for GRL!


Seeing Him’ by Carol Lynne

Physical and emotional scars drove Jonah to a life in the shadows, but Trevor is determined to draw him out of the dark and into his arms.

After spending months in a military rehabilitation hospital, Jonah returns from active duty only to find himself homeless. Jonah retreats to life in the shadows to hide his facial scars. He takes up residence in the parking garage of The Melia Hotel where he watches a striking black man come and go from his work inside the hotel. What Jonah doesn’t know is that General Manager Trevor Sharp is also watching him.

Trevor spends his days and most of his evenings at the Melia, working hard to prove he is the best man for the job. Unfortunately, between his hours and past heartbreaks, he doesn’t have much time for love. When a handsome man comes out of nowhere to save him from an abusive ex, Trevor makes it his mission to find out who the man is.

Trevor eventually builds a friendship with Jonah and works to draw him out of the shadows and into his arms, but will he stay there?

‘Blown Away’ by Amber Kell

Sometimes love finds you before you think you’re ready.

Chris Garland’s love for glasswork encompasses his life. Between school and working as a concierge at The Melia Hotel, he doesn’t have time for anything else. However, when he sees the handsome stranger sitting in the hotel lobby, he can’t resist introducing himself.

Leo Abbott lost the love of his life two years ago and has yet to recover. Flying to Atlanta for his cousin’s wedding, he couldn’t help but think of his dead lover. When the hotel’s concierge checks on him in the lobby and introduces himself, Leo feels the first stirrings of attraction. Passions he thought long buried flare back to life.

Will two men from separate walks of life be able to find a common ground where they can be together?

‘His Last Client’ by T.A. Chase

What happens when an occasional prostitute meets a client he can’t help but fall in love with?

Gib Schultz works as a bartender at The Melia Hotel in downtown Atlanta. When Gib needs some extra cash, he sells his body occasionally. It’s not the best job in the world, but it keeps a roof over his head. When one of his regular clients asks him for a favour, Gib isn’t sure about the guy he’s supposed to meet. Yet at double his normal price, he’s willing to risk it. Within minutes, he discovers he’s risking more than just his body, he’s risking his heart.

Edwin Masters is back in the States after spending several months reporting in war-torn countries around the world. He’s looking for a night or two of fun, and when he meets Gib, he’s sure it’ll be a great time. Then after spending time with Gib, he realises there’s more to the guy than he thought, and his heart tells him it might be time to take a risk on loving someone.

They’re both risking their hearts, and together, they have to decide if the reward is worth the risk.

‘Where Tomorrow Shines’ by Jambrea Jo Jones

Be All You Can Be?

Kasey Adams will show Quinn Nelson just what kind of man he is. After a couple of dates it’s been radio silence and Kasey wants to know why. He’s ready to settle down with just one guy and start his life.

Quinn is tired. He just wants to do his job and go home at the end of the day with an ice cold beer and something on the TV. He doesn’t have time for a happy shiny kid who wants to change the world.
Can Kasey convince Quinn they are meant to be?

‘Slippery When Wet’ by Stephani Hecht

When opposites attract, the passion ignites like nobody ever imagined.

Ever since Reno started working as the head coordinator for the kids’ centre at the hotel, he’d been harbouring a not-so-secret crush on a lifeguard named Bruce. When he finally has a chance to talk to Bruce and Bruce doesn’t even know Reno’s name, Reno is crushed.

Heartbroken, Reno is forced to admit that beauty is only skin deep and that Bruce is a jerk.
Bruce finds himself intrigued by the shy, yet cute Reno. He decides that he is going to pursue the man. But Bruce has the reputation as a man-eater. Will his reputation ruin any chance he has with Reno? Or will he be able to convince Reno that he really does care for him?

‘Out of Service’ by Devon Rhodes

Being the problem-solver of the hotel is Esteban’s role, but when he breaks his rules to help a guest, things get complicated. Especially for his heart…

Esteban Parks is used to being the go-to-guy at the Melia. As the front desk manager, he’s in a position to see everything that goes on—front and back of the house. Nothing fazes him, until he’s confronted with an appealing guest and instinctively goes into rescue mode.

Jayden Yates has travelled to Atlanta with one goal in mind—to be himself for just a little while. His family and community already make his life miserable and he hasn’t even come out yet. So he impulsively spends part of his savings to come to GayRomLit.

When he finds out that a simple mistake might derail his whole adventure before it even begins, he literally falls at the feet of the most handsome man he’s ever seen. Esteban offers him more than help—there’s an instant spark between them.

But can two men from such different backgrounds and stages of life find any common ground? Or will it be just a holiday romance for the memory books?

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Thank you so much and can’t wait to see you in Atlanta!

Ash Penn, Total-E-Bound Publishing

“End of the Line” Is Only The Beginning

“Dreams are private myths.” – Joseph Campbell

The Cast – David Greene is the invisible man, an unremarkable man who lives for the books he reads and sells in the little antique bookshop he works for. He is largely ignored—unless someone wants something from him, which is usually his roommate Gem, who uses David as a built-in babysitter so she can go out trolling for the next Mr. Right. David is a man who would call himself uninteresting, unattractive, nearly blind, and straight, if pressed to do so, but seems mostly asexual, or at least woefully undersexed, though he is only twenty-one.

Alexander Gray is new in town: mysterious, arrogant, sometimes insulting, incredibly alluring, and undeniably beautiful. He has moved into and is renovating the home that is technically a part of David’s ancestral heritage, though he’s never lived there himself. But that could change now that Alex has found what he wants, and aims to get it by any means necessary. Alex has secrets to reveal, a shocking and unexpected past and a connection to David that will rock the very foundation of David’s existence and cause him to question what is sane and what is impossible.

Valentine Gray is cold, sinister, and should not exist but in legend and imagination and within the pages of fiction…and in dreams, the dreams of a young man obsessed with the lives lived and the story told within a book that weaves together a romance that has more to do with fact than David could ever have dreamt of in his philosophies.

The Story – the book My Darkest Love is the book within the book, the tragic romance that brings David and Alex together—the wish to make real the stuff of one’s imagination—but as David soon learns, he ought to be careful what he wishes for.

End of the Line is the story of a man whose lack of self-confidence is outweighed only by his loneliness, who finds himself overwhelmed and enthralled by a man whose ego is outweighed only by his beauty. But he is also an enigma and a puzzle whose pieces are impossible to fit together because the shape of them is foreign to anything David has ever known before.

The Good – I have to say I was hooked on this story from start to finish. The author threw in plenty of twists and turns among some things that were admittedly a little predictable but not so much so that I was able to see the end from the beginning.

The Recap – Because this is the start of a series, don’t expect a tidy ending, and do expect some places where the pacing is a little slower to allow for the world-building. This is a paranormal story that’s originating some of its own mythology, so it’s to be expected, but I found even in those parts that slowed down a bit, the end-goal was worth the wait.

Book Two is now much anticipated, and I would give this one a recommended read in the meantime.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy End of the Line (Dark Love, Book One) here:

Marie Sexton, Total-E-Bound Publishing

Saviours of Oestend (Oestend #2) by Marie Sexton

“The hardest thing to do is watch the one you love, love someone else.” – Unknown

For Dante Pane, the torture of watching Deacon live with and love Aren Montrell was too much to bear. It caused him nothing but anger and resentment, and it compelled him to do something so destructive that the man Dante loves, the man who loves someone else, sends Dante away in humiliation.

That Dante is incapable of loving women and has learned to be ashamed of his attraction to men—a lesson that was beaten into him when he was just fourteen-years-old—is a misery that leaves him destined to live a lifetime alone. But if you believe the romantics, then you believe there’s someone for everyone in the world, even in a landscape as harsh and unforgiving as Oestend, even for a man for whom both women and men are unattainable; until he finds a woman who is the best of everything Dante needs to be whole and to be healed of the taint and the limitations of his desires.

Cami is that woman, the woman that Aren sends to Dante and the woman who eventually becomes a friend, but who isn’t able to trust in Dante enough to reveal the secret she hides. It seems shame is something both Cami and Dante have in common, and it isn’t until they finally have nothing left to hide that they discover there’s nothing shameful about who they are and how they feel about each other. It doesn’t matter whether or not there’s a label for that person or that love, whether or not she’s different; all that matters is you’ve found someone who gives you everything you thought you’d never have, and you realize the thought of life without that person underscores how very much you love and need the life you’re building with them.

Saviours of Oestend picks up where book one leaves off—with the wraiths still terrorizing most of this remote country in the dead of night and where plagues, the likes of which have only been seen in Ancient Egypt, wreak havoc on the land. Everywhere but the BarChi Ranch, that is, because it and its people have been claimed by Deacon, and that magick now protects the BarChi from the spirits of the dead. But there’s more to be done if the wraiths are to be sent on to their final resting place, more songs to be sung to the ancestors, stories to be spun to honor those who’d come before, and rituals to be performed, rituals where sex and magick and six become one.

There’s a certain fluidity to the relationships in this book, and if I’m being honest, I’d have to say that the dynamics of those relationships played a bigger role for me in this story than the paranormal mysteries of Oestend did. As always, whether that’s a positive or negative will depend upon the reader’s expectations.

Deacon and Aren have always had an open relationship with Frances, who is in love with Simon, who is straight and can’t feel romantic love for Frances but can love him in the only way he’s capable of, and whether that’s good or bad for Frances is up to the boy himself.

There’s Dante and Cami, the woman for whom there was no definition until she learned there was, and she found friendship and acceptance where she never believed there would be. And there’s Dante, the man who loved and lost Deacon, who finds that relationship ultimately healed because they’ve each found love, just not with the other.

These six people whose lives are intertwined become the saviours of the world in which they live. This is not six degrees of separation; this is six degrees of unity—not romance but ritual—and it might not work for those who’re expecting something else.

Saviours of Oestend is the catalyst for change, but I’m not sure if this is the end or the beginning of something else in this world. It feels done in some aspects, undone in others. I can’t say I loved this installment in the series as much as I loved Song of Oestend, but change is sometimes hard to accept until you see where it’s going to take you.

Buy Saviours of Oestend HERE.