All posts by WoDFReview

Where to look?

I’m here to tell you what you’ll see from this site and in addition to it, I’ll share a couple links where you are able to request to have your book review, where you can request to do a guest blog post (blog tour included), and contact me for anything.

This site is all about old reviews that had been reviewed in the year of 2013. It had been categorized as much as possible and hopefully you wouldn’t have any issue looking up the old reviews from this site.

As of right now, http://sean-norris.com is no longer in use. It had been removed and I’ve set it automatically redirected from http://sean-norris.com to brand new review site: http://www.wodfreview.com.

Currently reviews can be found at http://www.wodfreview.com.

To request to have your book review: http://www.wodfreview.com/book-review-request.html.

To request to do a guest blog (or blog tour): http://www.wodfreview.com/blog-tour-request.html

Any general question, you can contact by using this form: http://www.wodfreview.com/general-questions.html or email us at WoDFReview(at)gmail(dot)com.

I hope this post help lessen the confusion as it may have for some of you. :) Oh, to make another decision– I’ve decided to disable comments for this archive blog only but at the current review, the comments are open. :)

Cheers!

World of Diversity Fiction Reviewers

Review: The Backup Boyfriend by River Jaymes

The Backup Boyfriend by River Jaymes
Title: The Backup Boyfriend
Author: River Jaymes
Cover Artist: Killion Group
Publisher: Self-Pub
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Amazon
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

Professionally, Dr. Alec Johnson has almost reached his goals. As this year’s recipient of a humanitarian award with his ex, Dr. Tyler Hall, Alec’s work with the homeless is about to be recognized. Unfortunately, his personal life sucks because now he has to attend several events alongside Tyler—with his ex’s new boyfriend in tow. In an attempt to lift his mood and break out of his rut, Alec purchases a motorcycle he has no idea how to start.

Dylan Booth doesn’t have time for Dr. Clueless and his fickle 1964 Harley, but the cocky mechanic can’t say no to the request for help. Having spent his teen years on the streets, and losing his best friend to HIV, Dylan decides teaching the do-gooder how to ride is the least he can do. But watching Alec flounder in his ex’s company throws Dylan into protector mode, and the confirmed hetero introduces himself as Alec’s new boyfriend.

The ex suspects Dylan is lying.

Alec claims Dylan’s plan is insane.

And Dylan’s not sure he can fake being gay.

But Dylan’s a master bullshitter, and the phony PDA soon turns ultra-hot. Alec can’t afford to get attached, and Dylan’s learned everyone eventually leaves. Unfortunately, playing the backup boyfriend is starting to feel way too real…

Review:

As GFY stories go this one was a sweet read. I’m not a big fan of the GFY storyline but I’m glad I decided to read this it’s a bit different from the usual GFY storyline.

Alec and his ex Tyler run a clinic together and after a break up things are awkward for Alec especially when they are to receive a Humanitarian award for the work they do at their clinic. You see, Tyler has moved on and will be bringing his new boyfriend to the awards ceremony and to add insult to injury Alec’s parents will also be there which puts a bit of pressure on Alec. His mom still thinks the two can fix things and get married like she was hoping.

After the breakup Alec spontaneously buys a bike, a 1964 Harley-Davidson, unfortunately it’s not in tip top condition and is in need of work. He takes it to Dylan a mechanic specializing in classic bikes, he’s also the one that told a mutual friend that Alec needs get himself a starter bike….oops too late. Dylan finds himself helping Alec with his bike and more, he suggests he be Alec’s Backup Boyfriend for a party and a friend’s and for the award ceremony. This begins the friendship that eventually leads to something special.

I loved their interaction calm, patient Dylan is the perfect friend for Alec who can be just a tad high strung which had me laughing more than once. I loved the slow easy way they went from friends to lovers and I loved Dylan’s easy acceptance when the relationship turned sexual. He doesn’t freak out just the opposite he wants to explore this new situation he finds himself in. I loved how he had an aversion to labels and he didn’t feel the need to be pigeon holed and I loved their HEA.

Overall I really liked The Backup Boyfriend; there were a few small glitches but nothing major. The men were hot, the sex was hot and the story was engaging.

I recommend this to everyone.

Review: A Little Night Murder by J.S. Cook

A Little Night Murder by J.S. Cook
Title: A Little Night Murder
Author: J.S. Cook
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★☆☆

Blurb:

In 1942, Pearl Harbor has been bombed and the war is very much in evidence, but it would seem to have little to do with Frank Boyle, a respected Bronx born insurance investigator. He’s a man who can keep secrets, and no one suspects that his boyhood friend—local mob boss Nicky Brooks—is his lover. When Brooks accidentally kills Frank’s younger brother in a shootout, Frank must choose between his affair with Nicky and revenge for his brother’s life.

After Frank betrays Nicky, police detective Sam Lipinski, a Bronx native who has long carried a torch for Frank, makes a move against the mob and lands squarely in the way of Nicky’s plans. Sam smuggles Frank out of New York to keep him safe, and sets him up him in a small northeastern city. But there, a messy insurance investigation involving the Roarkes, who may or may not have killed their own mother for the insurance payout, places him in danger again. Dodging bullets, shady characters, and fallout from the war, Sam and Frank will need far more than luck on their side if they’re ever to see a loving future.

Review:

A Little Night Murder is a good story and I enjoyed reading it but something was missing for me and I don’t know what that something was. It starts out great, the story works, I liked the MC’s and all the secondary characters but unfortunately I never found myself connected to any of them.

It’s a historical about the mob and what happens when you get involved with them. It spans a couple of decades but the early years are told in flashbacks. Frankie Boyle is in hiding, he testified against his boss and lover Nicky Brooks after a shooting sanctioned by Nicky kills Frankie’s little brother. Frankie ends up in Newfoundland where he finds a pretty good life working as an insurance investigator until Nicky gets out and comes looking for Frankie.

When Nicky heads to Newfoundland to find Frankie, Frankie’s long time friend and sometimes lover Sam comes to Newfoundland to watch out for him….or so he’s led to believe. Sam is Frankie’s love interest but at a time where being gay can get you killed and Sam is somewhat unsure about how he feels and what to do about their relationship. Theirs isn’t an easy one but they do want to be together.

This story is full of mystery, intrigue and most of all revenge, there are twist and turns with a lot of ‘who done it’.  It’s well written and it moves at a good pace. The romance part is secondary but it works. Everything falls into place with this book and that makes it confusing to me as to why I didn’t fall in love with it. I did learn part way into the story that it’s part of a series and I wonder if reading the other two before this one would have made a difference.

It is a good read and I do recommend it for those that love to read historicals with a mysteries.

Review: The Ranch Foreman by Rob Colton

The Ranch Foreman by Rob Colton
Title: The Ranch Foreman
Author: Rob Colton
Cover Artist: Leah Kaye Suttle
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Queer
Length: Novella
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★☆☆

Blurb:

When Madison “Matty” Ward finds himself out of work and without a place to live, his cousin comes through with a job on the Gates cattle ranch. Despite not knowing anything about herding cattle or taking care of horses, Matty does his best to impress the older hunky foreman, Baxter Hollingsworth. Baxter is drawn to the new young hand, but he’s deeply closeted, and after an openly gay veterinarian shows he’s interested in Matty, Baxter’s repressed feelings lead to an explosive encounter. Baxter then withdraws—leaving Matty feeling angry and used—until an accident forces him to confront his fears.

Review:

After Madison Ward could no longer take care of his ailing Aunt Martha, his cousin Brian Ward not only found him a job, but a place to live on the Gates ranch as well.

Never having done ranch work before, Matty starts out as the low man, as a stable boy. Being out of the closet isn’t always possible in ranching. When an unwanted pass by a fellow coworker leads to more, the only man Matty has eyes for steps in.

Baxter Hollingsworth is not use to showing anyone but his stallion his emotions. Allowing the man that has captured his attention to escape due to his fears of being out, leads him to be drastic changes.

What I enjoyed…

I loved watching Matt find his place on the ranch. A city slicker in tennis shoes learns not only how to wear cowboy boots, but how to fill them as well.

What I didn’t enjoy…

I really think this book could have used a few chapters from Baxter’s point of view. I would have loved to hear what was going through his mind when Matt Ward walked into his life. Most of the time Baxter comes off as a jerk. Having his POV could have added to his character.

Overall, I give The Ranch Foreman by Rob Colton three stars. I think the story will be devoured by cowboy fans. I just felt the story was too one sided. The plot felt rushed to me. This took away from getting to really know the other characters in the story as well as we got to know Matt.

Review: Positive by Tia Fielding

Positive by Tia Fielding
Title: Positive
Author: Tia Fielding
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Jay
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

Even after a decade, the life that journalist Brent Walsh and Milwaukee homicide detective Shawn Mackey have made together is far from boring. But when a new case cuts a weekend getaway short, they aren’t quite prepared for how it will impact their personal lives. Suddenly there’s too much to juggle: Shawn will be working the case of the sharpshooter who is trying to infect random people with HIV, Brent needs to cover the story but fears a conflict of interest, one of Shawn’s colleagues is attracted to him, and Brent sincerely needs to mend the painful break with his childhood best friend, Ollie, and heal their broken hearts.

Though the case comes to a close, it’s not the end of their troubles. Shawn and Brent still face a past of old white lies, a present possibility of inviting another man to their bed, and a future with children, not to mention health issues and national fallout from the case. It’s enough to make them want to run away—until they realize they have to face those challenges head-on so they can get on with the life of love they’re hoping for.

Review:

Tia Fielding has written an engaging story about Love, the choices we make along with the ramifications, and the feeling of being wronged in some way.

Milwaukee Detective Shawn Mackey and his husband journalist Brent Walsh, have been together for years with the expectation of a short breakup that changed their lives forever. Ben Sutherland has lived his life with a prostitute for a mother and the resentment of being wronged.

The plot is really two fold. The lives of Shawn and Brent are intertwined with the despair that causes Ben to use blood tainted with the AIDS virus as a weapon.  Ben takes his frustration out by shooting individuals, that don’t see what they have, with darts filled with the tainted blood.  This hits home to Brent and Shawn who have been living theirs lives with the apprehension of spreading the virus that Brent contracted one drunken night during their breakup.

While there was definitely some holes in the plot I enjoyed this story along with the development of the characters.  The ups and downs shared by this guys led credibility to the story and it was engaging to see them work through them and come out stronger.  All of the characters were well developed including their sisters, Brent’s long time best friend Ollie, Shawn’s partner Ashley, narcotics officer Malik and shooter Ben. The wrapping up of Ben’s story by comparing it to Brent’s was very well done.  In the end the book gave the reader closure in an elegant manner.

All in all I would recommend this book.  It is not your typical love story, but the elements are there and these guys are an adorable couple who deal with the challenges of their lives quite well.

Review: Moral Authority by Jacob Z Flores

Moral Authority by Jacob Z Flores
Title: Moral Authority
Author: Jacob Z Flores
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Sci-Fi
Type: Romance
Pairing: Queer
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are prescribed ideals in America of 2050. The Moral Authority, the nation’s newest branch of government, has virtually eliminated crime, poverty, and most social ills, but it also rules the land with a tyrannical fist, championing ignorance and brandishing fear.

Mark Bryan is a gay man whose existence brands him an outlaw; Isaac Montoya is a charming stranger, who entices Mark to defy moral law; and Samuel Pleasant runs the Moral Authority and plans to punish moral offenders and a rebellious uprising—no matter the cost.

Will liberty and justice return for all?

Review:

The year is 2050. For the past thirty years, America has been ruled by the highest branch of government called the Moral Authority. The Moral Authority wields its control over their society by fear of criminalization if any law is broken.

Mark Bryan is a college student and journalist. Mark not only disagrees with strict moral standards of the Moral Police but their harshly enforced punishments as well.

The outright ban the government has placed on homosexuality makes life for a gay man even harder. Mark, like every other gay man is deeply closeted from fear of the Moral Police stings, setup like a gay witch hunt.

In the midst of a suppressing government, Mark still finds himself attracted to a man, with whom he starts a relationship with. Mark is found guilty after being subjected in a sting.

While Mark is in prison, a national rebellion soon begins. The media can’t help but show the well-coordinated efforts of its citizens demanding freedom.

The prisons scattered throughout America resemble Hitler’s Nazi prison camps. The prisoners are often beaten, raped, starved, and tortured. Every last scrape of dignity these prisoners have is forcibly removed.

Hope is the last thing you would find in a place like this, but Mark still holds out hope that one day America will once again seek liberty and the right to the pursuit of happiness for all.

When I first read the blurb for Moral Authority, I honestly didn’t expect a debut author to capture the emotion and plot development needed for a story like this. I was so wrong!!

Jacob Z. Flores has not only made this story believable but has made it a MUST READ. I honestly couldn’t put down this book. If I had to describe this book, words like: heartbreaking, horrific, gritty, intense, hopeful, and thought provoking, come to mind.

I give Moral Authority of Jacob Z. Flores five stars. Don’t just put this book on your to read shelf. Buy it and make the time to read it immediately. Mr. Flores will make you cry, make you cringe, and will open your eyes. This book is a stunning masterpiece.

Review: High Concept by Whitley Gray

High Concept by Whitley Gray
Title: High Concept
Author: Whitley Gray
Cover Artist: Mina Carter
Publisher: Loose Id
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★¾

Blurb:

Denver homicide cop and shooting survivor Beck Stryker lives to solve the case that left him with PTSD, chronic pain, and killed his co-investigator four months previous. Now his career hinges on his ability to work with the man who shut down his advances two years ago.

After last parting ways with Beck, psychiatrist-turned-FBI profiler Zach Littman never anticipated seeing the detective again. Being sent to Denver to work on a series of killings that have continued after the only suspect died is bad enough. Discovering the detective in charge is Beck leaves Zach gritting his teeth and girding his loins.

The last thing either of them needs is romantic entanglement with a fellow investigator, but danger is a powerful aphrodisiac. The case heats up, and friction between them ignites a fire neither can ignore, first at work and then in the bedroom. As they zero in on the plot behind the murders, the crosshairs zero in on Beck and Zach.

Review:

This is my first time reading Whitley Gray and while I didn’t love this book I did more than like it. High Concept started out strong I thought I had a 5 star book on my hands but as I got into the story it lost me in places.

At the beginning of the book we meet Beck Stryker a Homicide Detective just recently back to work after being involved in a on the job shooting that left his partner dead and Beck severely injured. Along with his physical injuries he’s suffering from PTSD not a good combination but he’s desperate to get back to work so he can pursue the case that killed his partner. When it appears there are 3 cases that have the same MO a FBI profiler is called in to help. Zach Littman is that profiler and as chance would have it Beck and Zach have met, two years before they shared a kiss, a kiss that neither man has forgotten unfortunately at the time of the kiss Zach was in a relationship and Beck was deep in the closet.

Now they are together again working this case. Zach is no longer in a relationship but he is suffering from PTSD from a previous case and Beck doesn’t have any real reason to stay in that closet anymore. They are two damaged men trying to make life and their budding relationship work. I did like the dynamics of their relationship but I had trouble accepting that these two have been thinking about each other all that time over just a kiss. As it turned out that was fairly easy to ignore because this story isn’t about their romance it’s about the mystery, their budding relationship is a side story, a good one but not the focus of the book.

If High Concept had stayed on this track I’d have been ecstatic, unfortunately a case in Zach’s past comes to play but it has nothing to do with the case Beck and Zach are working on. Having another case thrown into the mix like that was distracting and at times annoying, not for any other reason than it was like reading two separate books that was written as one story. If the stories had somehow ended up related in some way that would have been great, I just didn’t like being pulled between both and I didn’t think enough information was given on Zach’s case. I kept wondering if this was book 2 of a series and I needed to read Zach’s story to understand what was going on but it’s not and that whole story line just didn’t work for me in this book. I think it would make an excellent book on its own, Zach’s case was dark and intriguing, perfect for a mystery.

If you’re looking for a book where the romance is the focus this may not be the book for you but if you don’t mind the romance being secondary and the mystery being the focus you might want to give it a try. I will definitely be picking up another book from Whitley Gray.

Review: Life in the Land by Rebecca Cohen

Life in the Land by Rebecca Cohen
Title: Life in the Land
Author: Rebecca Cohen
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Fantasy
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novella
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

The magic of the Sawyer family’s extremely green thumbs comes straight from the land. But Bobby Sawyer’s expected superpowers don’t become a reality until he kisses his best friend, Mike Flint. That kiss moves the earth—literally.

When he moves to the city, leaving Mike behind, Bobby keeps his green thumb nimble by working in a garden center and uses his superpowers to help fight crime. He’s on a mission when a bomb explodes, leaving him seriously injured, forcing him to return to the family farm—the source of his strength—to recuperate.

While attempting to recover, Bobby realizes Mike is still the love of his life. But Mike is leery: Bobby left him once before. What if all Bobby needs is one more magical kiss?

Review:

I found the book to be a cute romance story and happened to be a bit too short for my taste. Between first part and second part, it skipped way too much. Nearly lose my interest in the book hence the losing star. The first part hooked me so well until I start the second part and got so confused when the author skipped a couple years later without any explanation but it soon finally explained later into the story. I thought the author would have make the story stronger if the author added a part between first and second to let the transition goes smoothly.

What I like…

Original idea for how character gets its magic. I like the idea of how Bobby brings the life from a seed when he attempts to be a hero of the town. It nearly costs his life and it brings him back to Mike and makes me fall in love with the book again. The relationship between Bobby and Mike are realistic in the book. They’re making for each other very well.

What I don’t like…

The fact that author skipped so much in between the part one and part two. I don’t feel any pain for Mike when Bobby chooses to leave him to live in the city. I don’t see any pain in the book until Bobby returns to his hometown and sees Mike again. That was the only thing I don’t like about the book and it being too short, too.

Overall, it is a good magic book I think everyone should check it out. If the author writes more similar book to this, I’d pick it up without a hesitance.

Review: Pitch by Will Parkinson

Pitch by Will Parkinson
Title: Pitch
Author: Will Parkinson
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Jay
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★½

Blurb:

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

The day Jackson Kern walks into Taylor Andrews’s classroom is a momentous day in Taylor’s life. He’s had crushes before, sure, but as time goes on, this is starting to look a whole lot more serious. Still, Jackson doesn’t return Taylor’s feelings.

Taylor has his own admirers, though. Kevin Richards is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants right now is Taylor, so when Taylor rejects him, Kevin retaliates. At first Taylor’s entourage rallies around him, but then Kevin takes his deception one step further and Taylor sees his support dwindle, teaching him the valuable lesson about who he can truly consider a friend.

Review:

Will Parkinson has created an enjoyable young adult/coming of age story centered on the lives of five high school students: Taylor, Benny, Jackson, Addy, and Becca.

  • Taylor is the primary character of this story.  He is a talented artist who falls in and out of crushes quite frequently.
  • Benny has been Taylor’s intelligent, witty, and level headed “straight” best friend since kindergarten.
  • Jackson is the new kid and an athlete that excels playing baseball.  His life has been lonely due to the constant moving around caused by his father’s job.
  • Addy is the adopted child whose biological parents abused him physically and mentally.
  • Becca is the self-centered, attention grabbing, high school cheerleader who wants to be with those that improve her popularity.

 

Between these five they run the gamut of issues and live experiences including bullying, obsession, fitting in, the new kid, crushing, pressure for good grades, gay bashing, outing, homophobia, and abuse. The lives of these five intertwine through a multitude of happy and sad events dealing with what life dished out.

Keeping the age of these kids in mind and remembering that they are high school age makes their actions understandable and believable.  There is the typical teenage reaction to life along with some profound wisdom and adult reactions. The story tugs your heart in all directions. The drama is over the top at times and the issues dive pretty deep. Simply though, it all works together and weaves a sweet story with enjoyable characters and a dash of angst.