Category Archives: 5 Stars

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: Stealing the Wind by Shira Anthony

Stealing the Wind by Shira Anthony
Title: Stealing the Wind
Author: Shira Anthony
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Fantasy
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

Mermen of Ea: Book One 

Taren Laxley has never known anything but life as a slave. When a lusty pirate kidnaps him and holds him prisoner on his ship, Taren embraces the chance to realize his dream of a seagoing life. Not only does the pirate captain offer him freedom in exchange for three years of labor and sexual servitude, but the pleasures Taren finds when he joins the captain and first mate in bed far surpass his greatest fantasies.

Then, during a storm, Taren dives overboard to save another sailor and is lost at sea. He’s rescued by Ian Dunaidh, the enigmatic and seemingly ageless captain of a rival ship, the Phantom, and Taren feels an overwhelming attraction to Ian that Ian appears to share. Soon Taren learns a secret that will change his life forever: Ian and his people are Ea, shape-shifting merfolk… and Taren is one of them too. Bound to each other by a fierce passion neither can explain or deny, Taren and Ian are soon embroiled in a war and forced to fight for a future—not only for themselves but for all their kind.

Review:

I found the book to be a great read. It was something original, something I hadn’t read before. I didn’t read much of mermen stories to compare, though. I can assure you that Stealing the Wind was good.

I was with Taren from the beginning to the end. He had gone so much and he remained such a strong man. He refused let anyone pulled him down even though it almost did quite a few times. The tortures he had to deal with were a difficult scene to read. I kept hoping somehow he’d use his power or whatever to protect himself but he was entirely new to his kind. He never knew he was a merman until Ian rescued by him. Taren had a wonderful heart and he’d not give a crap about himself in order to save someone. In other word, he had the purest heart of all. Which was why I loved him in the book.

All other characters were fun to read as well. The author made the characters as real as possible and kept the story balanced with reality and fantasy. Not many authors had the skills to be able to do that in my opinion. It was a difficult task to meet. The author succeeded! Also, it even got better when the book was actually a book one to the series, which mean I will have a chance to read more of the awesome world the author had created.

What I like—

The originality, the world the author created, the balance between reality and fantasy, the obstacles Taren faced, and characters were described really well good and bad people. The sex didn’t take over the book. The plots won this time, which was perfect.

What I didn’t like—

I’ll have to be honest, the beginning of the book was about sex scenes, it made me thinking that it was what the book will be all about, but I was wrong. In the end, I didn’t have anything that I didn’t like in the book except for the fact it had ended and have to wait until book two. J

Overall, I definitely highly recommended you to check this one out for its awesome originality, balance between reality and fantasy, and world/character build.

Review: A Broken Kind of Life by Jamie Maxfield

A Broken Kind of Life by Jamie Maxfield
Title: A Broken Kind of Life
Author: Jamie Maxfield
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Jay
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating:
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

With a foreword by Cody Kennedy.

Aaron Downing is broken, barely clinging to the hope that one day, he will be normal again. His life remains a constant string of nightmares, flashbacks, and fear, but he perseveres and starts college, determined to move on.

Then Aaron gets assigned to work with Spencer Thomas for his programming project. Aaron doesn’t want Spencer to think he’s a freak, but as he gets to know his new deaf friend, he figures out he doesn’t need to be “normal.” If he could just learn to control his fear, that could be enough to find his footing again.

Or so Aaron thinks until his parents begin talking about institutionalizing him to give his brothers a more stable life. He searches desperately to find a way to cope or even to fake normalcy. But his new shrink’s instability makes conquering his demons that much more difficult, and his attraction to Spencer threatens to send Aaron spinning out of control.

Adapted as a YA edition of the novel Aaron by J.P. Barnaby.

100% of the author’s royalties are being donated to help homeless LGBT kids find safe shelter.

Review:

A Broken Kind of Life makes you stop and think about life and how quickly things can change.  It tells of two young men. One struggles to come back after a completely horrific attack and the other struggles with how he is treated for being deaf. The subject matter is hard and the struggles these young men endure are heart wrenching.

Aaron is a popular 16 year old high school student, plays soccer, and is a talented member of the debate team.  Aaron and his best friend Juliette are your average middle class teenagers.  Everything changes when they are brutally attacked on their way home from debate practice one night. Two years pass and Aaron is a broken person unable interact socially with others including his own family.  Starting college Aaron meets Spencer who is deaf and fighting his own social demons while dealing with his alcoholic retired psychologist father.

In college Aaron and Spencer are assigned a team project together and their story unfolds as these two build a friendship.  The journey is not easy for them, having to deal with the repercussions of Aaron’s attack and the limitations and social ramifications of being deaf.  Many of the details about the brutal night are conveyed to us when Aaron flashes back reliving the attack in is mind.  The relationship and the care and support between Aaron and Spencer is truly heartwarming. The author has written their story in such a way that you truly feel the emotions of these guys.

This was not an easy story to read and is definitely not for everyone. However, I absolutely loved this book. There were moments when I laughed, wept with sadness and joy, got angry, and where my faith in mankind was lost and restored. I highly recommend this book just be prepared for extreme disregard for a human being and the consequences left in the wake of that disregard.

Review: Hanging by the Moment by H.B. Pattskyn

Hanging by the Moment by H.B. Pattskyn
Title: Hanging by the Moment
Author: H.B. Pattskyn
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

Pasha Batalov has lived his whole life doing what a good son is expected to do. He dropped out of school to help run the failing family restaurant, and ever since he’s put up with his difficult business partner, who also happens to be his father. And, of course, he keeps his sexual orientation a secret from his conservative Russian family. After being closeted costs him his first serious relationship, Pasha resigns himself to one-night stands and loneliness.

But after a chance encounter with lost delivery truck driver, Daniel Englewood, Pasha starts to question all of his assumptions about life. Daniel is sweet, funny, smart, drop-dead gorgeous—and for the last six years, he’s been living with HIV. Pasha worries that he won’t be strong enough to help Daniel if HIV turns to AIDS, but he can’t walk away from their deepening attraction. He also doesn’t know if he can be strong enough to face the hardest task that a relationship with Daniel demands: coming out to his family and friends, and risking losing everything else he holds dear.

Review:

This is my first time reading anything for this author and I definitely will be looking to read more from her. I was a bit apprehensive about reading Hanging by the Moment, I knew the subject matter was going to be a tough one but H.B. Pattskyn did such a beautiful job handling it, I’m in awwe.  This book is about finding love but when you find it it’s not being exactly what you planned on. Learning that the man you think is ‘the one” has HIV is confusing and so scary that you wonder if you should run for the hills but come to realize that no matter what you want to be there for that person.

Pasha is a twenty-five year old that you will want to wrap your arms around when you read how sad his life seems to be. He works with his father in the family diner but things are not easy for Pasha, you see his father is Russian and comes from the old school of raising your children, the one where they are always right and the kids are expected to do what they say no questions asked and definitely no talking back. My heart broke for Pasha after his mother has to be put into a home and his older brother leaves to attend college he realizes someone has to stay with his father to help keep their family business alive so he drops out of school. He has a younger sister whose life is such a mess all the responsibility lands on Pasha to keep things going.

Daniel is a truck driver that stops one day at the diner when he becomes lost and meets Pasha. The flirting between these two was so sweet it put a smile on my face and I knew these two just had to get together. Unfortunately their relationship isn’t a smooth one, Daniel has HIV and these two wonderful men must find a way to make it work.

I loved this story, it was so well written and Daniel and Pasha were so endearing you can’t help but fall in love with them and rooting for an HEA. Of course there are characters you’ll want to hate, some you’ll want to shake and some you’ll want to slap but there will be some you just love and surprisingly one character that you’ll probably not like most of the way through the book ends up being an amazing person. All these characters make this a story what it is, a story about family and friends, true family and friends the ones that stand behind you and love you for who you are no matter what.

I highly recommend this story even to those who can’t read about HIV and AIDS in the end this story will warm your heart.

Review: Bread, Salt & Wine by Dev Bentham

Bread, Salt & Wine by Dev Bentham
Title: Bread, Salt and Wine
Author: Dev Bentham
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs
Publisher: Loose Id
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

Some wounds never heal. George Zajac grew up in a religious family with a father who beat “the swish” out of him. Now he’s a troubled man. At thirty-eight he moves across the country to start a new life in Los Angeles, working as the catering chef for a prestigious French Restaurant.

Kenny Marks, a writer who’s currently waiting tables, is everything George cannot be–flamboyant, proud and sexually confident. Enthralled by Kenny, and against his own better judgment, George agrees to a date. Sparks fly. The sex is better than good. But even after the two get close, George remains crippled by humiliating sexual hang-ups. Still haunted by his childhood, he lingers in the closet and can’t commit to a relationship with Kenny.

Love is the great healer, but is it enough? George’s emotional scars could drive Kenny away, and with him, George’s last chance at happiness.

Review:

I don’t know how to express how much I loved this book! Bread, Salt & Wine is very sweet, sometimes funny, sometimes sad but has the perfect HEA ending.  This is a story about 2 men, George is a Chef who heads to California to start a new life and Kenny is a waiter. George handles the catering and after working closely with Kenny they find themselves falling in love but there are some big hurdles to get over to reach their HEA. It’s about George’s struggle to overcome what happened in his childhood that won’t allow him to come out of that closet and be happy with who he is. He’s resigned to the fact he will never be in a relationship no matter how much he wishes it, until he meets Kenny.

Kenny, what can I say about Kenny…..I LOVED this funny, flamboyant, very sweet and very out young man. Kenny has no inhibitions and that terrifies George he’s not looking for a relationship, he’s hoping for a friends with benefits scenario with Kenny and against his better judgment Kenny accepts that kind of relationship and the rules George puts up. This is an accident waiting to happen.

The angst broke my heart I found myself reaching for a tissue more than once but it also had a lot of moments that had me laughing. Even with their age difference, George is heading to 40 and Kenny is younger by more than just a few years, their relationship works. It was never George taking care of Kenny it was actually the other way around and I loved that, it really shows how the abuse George suffered in his childhood has destroyed his confidence and kept him firmly in the closet.

Bread, Salt & Wine is book 4 of the Tarnished Souls series. It can be read as a standalone but I would recommend reading at least the first book where you get a glimpse of George and Kenny. I knew after reading Learning from Isaac that I wanted a story about George and Kenny so I skipped ahead to book 4 and got my story. Now I’m going to go back re-read the first book, read the next 2 then re-read Bread, Salt & Wine where I can spend more time with my new loves George and Kenny.

I’m sure book 2 & 3 will be just as beautiful so I highly recommend reading the Tarnished Souls series.

Review: Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson

Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson
Title: Beyond Duty
Author: SJD Peterson
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Queer
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell didn’t come soon enough for Gunther “Gunny” Duchene and Macalister “Mac” Jones, career US Marines who met at boot camp in the 1990s. They’ve been somewhere between best friends and lovers in peacetime and wartime both, but as the clock ticks toward Mac’s and Gunny’s retirements, the guys have much more to worry about than coming out.

Whether their relationship will survive outside of the closet they’ve had to shove it into for over two decades is a big question mark. Gunny questions why a hot military man like Mac—who could get any guy he wanted, including a younger, sexier one—would want him. But as Gunny and Mac navigate emotional waters as choppy as any they saw on duty, they just might learn Semper Fi applies to more than their careers.

Review:

Mac Jones and Gunny Duchene are about to retire from the Marines. Having met in boot camp, for these best friends moving on is easier said than done. They’ve never called what they’ve built a relationship, but how they feel for one another can’t be denied. With DADT no longer in existence, Mac and Gunny no longer have to hide in the closet afraid of being discovered.

Before their retirement ceremony, there are parents to tell, wedding/honeymoon plans to make, and decisions each man must make about what comes after retirement.

What I enjoyed…

First off, I love Gunny and Mac! I love them together as a couple and on their own. These characters are so well written, that I had a hard time remembering they were just characters in a book.

There were several scenes where I totally swooned like a school girl. For instance, when Mac and Gunny finally say, I love you. One of my favorite moments came when Mac’s parents were coming over for dinner…

He stroked his hand soothingly along Mac’s stomach. “I’ll hold you together if you start to fall apart.”

I also loved how raw and cracked open Gunny and Mac are in each of their situations. These tough Marines faced many missions, but love has them both more exposed than they have ever been in their lives.

Clare Jones. This world needs more mothers like Clare.

There is a scene is this book where I completely wept like a baby. Gunny and Mac’s wedding was so beautiful. Like Gunny, I found myself holding out hope his parents would show.

What I didn’t enjoy…

I absolutely cannot think of one single thing that I didn’t love about this book.

I give Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson 5 stars. If you have never picked up a book by this author, then start with this one. Every time I read one of Miss Peterson’s books, I feel like I’ve gone home. Truly stunning material by spectacular author.

Review: Haffling by Caleb James

Haffling by Caleb James
Title: Haffling
Author: Caleb James
Cover Artist: Alan M. Clark
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating:
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

First in the Haffling series

All sixteen-year-old Alex Nevus wants is to be two years older and become his sister Alice’s legal guardian. That, and he’d like his first kiss, preferably with Jerod Haynes, the straight boy with the beautiful girlfriend and the perfect life. Sadly, wanting something and getting it are very different. Strapped with a mentally ill mother, Alex fears for his own sanity. Having a fairy on his shoulder only he can see doesn’t help, and his mom’s schizophrenia places him and Alice in constant jeopardy of being carted back into foster care.

When Alex’s mother goes missing, everything falls apart. Frantic, he tracks her to a remote corner of Manhattan and is transported to another dimension—the land of the Unsee, the realm of the Fey. There he finds his mother held captive by the power-mad Queen May and learns he is half-human and half-fey—a Haffling.

As Alex’s human world is being destroyed, the Unsee is being devoured by a ravenous mist. Fey is vanishing, and May needs to cross into the human world. She needs something only Alex can provide, and she will stop at nothing to possess it… to possess him.

Review:

The blurb provided a perfect summary of what the book was all about. I found it interesting and original, therefore, it had wounded up on one of my favorite books list. It was truly an adventure read. Very well balance between reality and fantasy. The author did wonderful at story telling about the universe the author had created. The novel supposedly to be a long read, but it was that good making it a quick read for me. It was an easy read as well. There weren’t anything that could confuse or complicate things for me while reading the adventure Alex went on.

Alex was a wonderful gentleman who worked his butt off to protect his family and his age was what controlled him when his mother went missing. He wasn’t old enough to be a legal guardian for his young sister. Alex had done so many things for his sister, which meant he would do anything to protect her even if it cost someone’s lives. Seeing how vulnerable Alex could get was what made him a wonderful flaw character in the novel. He grew up with an annoying fairy that chose to live on his shoulder and constantly nagging to his ear. No one could see the fairy on his shoulder so he had to be careful how he reacted when he lose his temper with the fairy in the public. Otherwise, he’d be sent to the mental hospital.

Once he found his mother, his whole world had changed from what he normally known to absolutely nothing. He had to go through plenty of obstacles to be able to protect his family. He soon discovered he wasn’t what he thought he was—nonhuman. Instead, he was half human and half fairy, which was where the title came in:  Haffling.

The novel was more of a dark fantasy because it did have some horror to it. It was a perfect young adult with an exciting adventure throughout the book that could easily made my heart raced every time Alex faced an unavoidable obstacle.

What I like—

I pretty much loved the book. It had plenty of horror that made me keep on reading with a desire to know what was happening to any of the character. I especially love the pairing the author chose for Alex. That boy (his love interest) did give me a couple gasped and hoped he would be okay. The novel wasn’t predictable either. I kept trying to guess how Alex would overcome the obstacle he experienced at the very near ending of the novel. It kept me entertaining, which was important.

What I didn’t like—

The book ended.

Overall, I think everyone should give this book a shot. It had originality to it. The world building was excellent. If you loved dark fantasy, then this book was a perfect pick because it focus on the plots rather than just limiting the story to the romance. Highly recommended!

Review: Whiskey and Wry (Sinners, #2) by Rhys Ford

Whiskey and Wry by Rhys Ford
Title: Whiskey and Wry (Sinners, #2)
Author: Rhys Ford
Cover Artist: Reece Notley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

Sequel to Sinner’s Gin
Sinners Series: Book Two

He was dead. And it was murder most foul. If erasing a man’s existence could even be called murder.

When Damien Mitchell wakes, he finds himself without a life or a name. The Montana asylum’s doctors tell him he’s delusional and his memories are all lies: he’s really Stephen Thompson, and he’d gone over the edge, obsessing about a rock star who died in a fiery crash. His chance to escape back to his own life comes when his prison burns, but a gunman is waiting for him, determined that neither Stephen Thompson nor Damien Mitchell will escape.

With the assassin on his tail, Damien flees to the City by the Bay, but keeping a low profile is the only way he’ll survive as he searches San Francisco for his best friend, Miki St. John. Falling back on what kept him fed before he made it big, Damien sings for his supper outside Finnegan’s, an Irish pub on the pier, and he soon falls in with the owner, Sionn Murphy. Damien doesn’t need a complication like Sionn, and to make matters worse, the gunman—who doesn’t mind going through Sionn or anyone else if that’s what it takes kill Damien—shows up to finish what he started.

Review:

This is the second book in the Sinners Series and in my opinion the better of the two. I loved Sinner’s Gin but Whiskey and Wry really did it for me, I loved the balance of romance, mystery and drama in this one just a bit more. Maybe that’s because now that I’ve read both I feel like the Sinner’s Gin was the set up and Whiskey and Wry was the conclusion one cannot be read without the other.

We learn in this story that Damien didn’t die in the accident but is shuffled off to a mental institute he’s given another name and because of his huge memory gaps he doesn’t know who he is but he knows something is wrong. The mystery takes a darker turn in Whiskey and Wry thankfully there are a lot of light moments to temper the dark ones. In parts I felt almost like I was reading a horror story, one that made me want to close my eyes but didn’t dare in case I missed something important.

Like Miki and Kane from Sinner’s Gin, Damien and Sionn seem like an unlikely pairing. I can’t really believe how well they worked together but the love between them is strong and beautiful. Yup, they made me swoon! I only wish there was more of Damien’s background I wanted to know a lot more about him and I would have liked to know what happened to Sionn to make him be where he is when he meets Damien, a broken and confused man, not sure what to do with his life.

I loved having Miki and Kane in this story as much as they were, unlike in a lot of sequels where the MC’s of the first book don’t really have anything to do with the second Miki and Kane played an important part but I never felt they overshadowed Damien and Sionn’s story. Unlike Sinner’s Gin this does have an ending. The mystery is solved and the two couples have their HEA. The story of this family isn’t over though in the next installment Connor will get his story which looks to be a rather interesting one.

Both books are well written and the flow is just right. There is no insta-love or hoping into bed immediately, there is a slow and satisfying story to the conclusion though, perfect!

Review: Anatomy of a Wish by Hayden Chance

Anatomy of a Wish by Hayden Chance
Title: Anatomy of a Wish
Author: Hayden Chance
Cover Artist:
Publisher: Dorje Inc
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Amazon
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating:
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

Griffin Gallagher has several problems. He’s just lost his job. He can’t pay his bills. He has no passion for anything. And worst of all, he’s hungry as hell and can’t afford to eat…. Until he finds a coupon for free soup that draws him to the strangest place he’s ever been: The Catalpa Diner, a North Side Chicago eatery where nothing is as it seems, and everyone has a secret.

There he finds the most peculiar group of people he’s ever met. Reina, the stunning and compassionate waitress who takes her profession a little too seriously. Héctor the angry and bitter cook who all the customers, for some reason, adore. Theo, the busboy who shows a strange interest in what all the customers are drinking. And the boisterous and tactless Jimmy Catalpa: the dark-sunglass-wearing owner who makes a deal with Griff that leads him further and further into a bizarre, mysterious and deadly world that most humans are never aware of, but exists right under their noses.

Join Griff on his hilarious, terrifying and tender journey through a spectacular and mystical Chicago landscape to discover exactly who he is inside and what he’s been hungering for all his life. And learn, as he does, how dangerous it is not to know there’s magic at work in the world…

Review:

What an amazing story! I don’t know if it’s a fairytale or a paranormal with the magic of a fairytale, either way I LOVED it.

Anatomy of a Wish has quirky characters that end up in funny situations, I found myself smiling and laughing out loud a lot. The story does have some heart stopping scary moments and it is somewhat angsty. There is a love story, one that spans lifetimes, but circumstances keep these two apart. I loved how in amongst the craziness of this story there is a forever after love story between the MC’s. The whole story is ultimately their journey back to each other and their much deserved HEA!

Griff is down on luck, he loses his job and the place he lives now eating has become an issue. He’s given a coupon for dinner at a diner, a very special diner where odd and magical things happen.

Jimmy is the owner of that diner. He takes a liking to Griff and offers him a job as a delivery person of not just food but of wishes too which has Griff wondering if all these people are insane.

Reina is a waitress at Jimmy’s diner, she’s snarky, sarcastic and so much fun and Hector the gruff and angry cook was a favorite of mine, all the way through I thought Reina and Hector would make the perfect couple. These secondary characters are just as odd as everything else in this story which makes them and this story a hit for me but difficult for me to write a review without giving away anything in the story, the saying “be careful what you wish for” pretty much sums up what’s in this story. It’s definitely one of those stories you need to read without knowing very much about it except that it’s brilliant and in my opinion a must read!

There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about Anatomy of a Wish. From beginning to end it had me, the pace was just right and the eventual outcome couldn’t have been more perfect.

Review: Easy Ryder by Deanna Wadsworth

Easy Ryder by Deanna Wadsworth
Title: Easy Ryder
Author: Deanna Wadsworth
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Monika
Buy Links: Publisher | Easy Ryder | ARe
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

It’s July 3, 1976, the beginning of America’s bicentennial weekend, and everyone seems to be celebrating their freedoms except eighteen-year-old runaway Michael Ryder. Fresh from rural Pennsylvania, Michael is doing whatever and whoever it takes to get to San Francisco, where he hopes to find a new life with the freedom to love without fear.

While hitchhiking, a mysterious, tattooed biker named Snake offers him a ride west—on the back of his customized Harley chopper. During their journey across Route 66, Snake introduces Michael to new and steamy pleasures, leaving Michael aching for more than just a physical relationship. But a violent encounter with a cruel biker gang and a harrowing secret from Snake’s military past might destroy their unlikely relationship long before they reach the end of the road.

Review:

This story isn’t a historical, not to me at least I lived this era but for some it might be. It takes place in the 70’s when being gay was unacceptable to a lot of people but it’s also the time when gay community’s started standing up for the right to live openly without fear of repercussions. I remember the city of San Francisco being the forerunner.  It’s also when the Vietnam conflict was just ending and damaged young men came home to a less than enthusiastic welcome. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for young gay vets returning and having two huge strikes against them. All around the 70’s wasn’t one of our shining moments but this story is a jewel.

Easy Ryder is about two young men, heading west, meeting and deciding to take their journey together. I thought the MC’s, Snake and Ryder were the most unlikely pairing but somewhere in the story I realized how perfect they were for each other. I expected Snake, being the Vietnam Vet and physically stronger of the two to always be the dominate one but Ryder surprised me. Even though physically he couldn’t stand up to the hate and prejudice against himself he is the stronger of the two emotionally when it’s needed and Snake is in need of someone like Ryder. They are two total opposites but each having what the other needs to make their world bearable. There are a lot of dark and horrible things that happen to these two on their journey west. Their love story isn’t sweet, easy or romantic but a strong bond forms after all they endure on their trip.

This was a hard story to read but so worth every emotion it put me through. It is one of those stories I couldn’t stop reading once I started. Sex plays a major role, there is a lot of it and while I usually want more plot than sex all the sex in Easy Ryder works, in a strange way it’s what made me see why Snake and Ryder worked and I don’t mean because the sex between them was good for both it was the emotion behind the sex. There was only one negative for me and that was the time these two spent together. Their story takes place in just a few days, I would have liked to have seen it be a longer time frame, with everything that happens it all seemed too much but I loved the story so much I just ignored that part.

This is this author’s first full length novel and she hit it out of the park. She truly blew me away and I’m looking forward to what else she has coming.

I highly recommend Easy Ryder. If you only read sweet and easy with little or no angst and limited sex this story probably isn’t for you but I do hope some of you will give it a try it’s truly an amazing story.