Tag Archives: in closet

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: 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: Parting Shot by Mary Calmes

Parting Shot by Mary Calmes
Title: Parting Shot
Author: Mary Calmes
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Queer
Length: Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

A Matter of Time Story

Life has never been easy for Duncan Stiel. His childhood was the stuff of nightmares, and his day job as an undercover police officer forces him to hide his true self and occasionally lands him in the hospital. So when he finally meets the perfect man, it comes as no surprise that everything falls apart around him. What Duncan doesn’t expect is that the hardest hurdle to get over before he can make a life with Aaron Sutter is the one inside himself.

Everyone thinks Aaron has it all—looks, money, fame, and success beyond measure. Everyone, that is, except Aaron. At the end of the day, the cameras stop flashing, friends go back to their own lives, company business is handled, and Aaron is always alone. The moment he meets Duncan Stiel, Aaron knows he’ll do anything to hold onto the larger-than-life detective. But when he realizes money won’t buy him the ultimate happiness, Aaron needs to find the strength to give Duncan something much more important—his heart.

Review:

Duncan Stiel is a police detective working an undercover sting when things go beyond FUBAR. Shot and left for dead, the only thing Duncan wishes he had was more time to get to know Aaron Sutter. Duncan couldn’t believe how fast he fell for the wealthy businessmen. After dinner with mutual friends, both Duncan and Aaron knew there was more to explore.

Aaron doesn’t understand why Duncan stopped calling. Things were going really well. The fight for power against his father has taken up most of his time, but he still missed Duncan.

When Duncan discovers Aaron’s brother knows more information in a murder case, Duncan knows he’s going to have to deal with Aaron again. He thought he was finally over the man, but it turns out he is a great liar, even to himself.

Aaron and Duncan go undercover to put a nasty piece of rich boy scum. Things get out of hand quickly after Duncan is beaten up. The longer it takes contact someone on the outside, the longer their lives are in danger.

This book is part of the A Matter of Time series. I have to be honest, I haven’t read any of this series, but I’m gonna have to backtrack and discover what I’ve missed!

As anyone who enjoys this genre knows, Mary Calmes is a top notch writer. The woman can seriously write stories that will melt your heart and overheat your tablet. So it pains me to say this story didn’t meet my expectations.

Usually in a Mary Calmes story, the characters are strong and consistent throughout the story. While Duncan and Aaron are great characters, I felt like they were both inconsistent in several places. It took away from the story for me.

That being said, I think the rest of the story was excellent. There is a lot of sex in this story, but I think it adds to the instant attraction these two felt for one another. I am a total Duncan fan! I loved how dedicated he was to his job. He goes on my all time favorite character list.

I give Parting Shot by Mary Calmes four stars. I think her old fans and new fans alike will enjoy this story. If you haven’t read anything by Mary Calmes, then stock up today! This author is simply one of the best authors I’ve ever read.

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: The Song of the Sea by Arielle Pierce

The Song of the Sea by Arielle Pierce
Title: The Song of the Sea (Prequel to In the Lonely Sea)
Author: Arielle Pierce
Cover Artist: Arielle Pierce
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy
Type: Non-Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Short
Heat Rating: ♨♨♨
Rating★★★★☆

Blurb:

Dylan has always been an outsider in the small Welsh fishing village he calls home. He’s smaller, twp, as the villagers would say. Found on the intertidal between land and sea as an infant, he’s always been a bit lost.

Everything changes when a damaged schooner arrives in the village, spilling its crew of exotic men from all over the globe. The handsome captain, Llewellyn, wastes no time letting Dylan in on why he feels so different.

He’s a merman.

Like calls to like, and Dylan soon learns what it is to let the siren song of the sea stir his blood. Llewellyn offers Dylan teaching and freedom from a life he’s never really belonged to. But can Llewellyn offer Dylan what he needs most of all—love?

Review:

It was a quick read for me. I really enjoyed the world the author had built. She wrote the story as if she was drawing the pictures. It was amazing to see how the world she’d had built. It made me feel like I was there watching the story as it happened right in front of me. I couldn’t imagine the pain and confusion Dylan had to go through until Llewellyn came and showed Dylan the path.

My only little tiny bit of complaint about the story, Dylan was quick to call Llewellyn a lover. It has always been a bit of pet peeve of mine when a sex partner called each other lovers without actually known each other on a deeper level. That was just my own personal feeling/opinion.

Overall, the book was excellent. I love the story Arielle decided to write. It made me read another short she wrote for free and loved that story. I sure wish I could read more about what was going on between Dylan and Cain since this one was a prequel to that freebie, which tells me there will be so many stories to share from Arielle for those characters she had introduced to me and to the readers.

Her writing style was wonderful. I didn’t feel confuse while reading at all. It flowed beautifully. She is an author I’d keep my eye on. I especially can’t wait to read the novel length she mentioned in the end of the book. We’re going to get much more from the characters. Especially Rhys. :D

I highly recommended to fans that searched for gay merman story. You won’t be disappointed with the awesome storyteller from Arielle Pierce. :)

Review: Waiting for Forever: Choices

Waiting For Forever - Choices by Jamie Mayfield
Title: Waiting for Forever: Choices
Author: Jamie Mayfield
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Young Adult
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★★★

Blurb:

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Waiting for Forever: Book I

Part One: The Throwaway Boy

As the country’s religious and secular leaders battle over equality in the abstract, Brian McAllister and Jamie Mayfield live in the crossfire. In their little town of Crayford, Alabama, loving another boy is the worst kind of sin. Best friends since childhood, they explore their love and each other in Jamie’s backyard tree house as they hide from the world. They happily plan for the future together—until their lives are rocked when their secret is exposed and Jamie’s family intervenes.

When hatred turns to violence in their sleepy little town, Brian tries to cope with the loss of his best friend, who is stolen in the night. In desperation, he turns to Adam, a new friend with a shared pain. Can Adam fill the hole left by Jamie’s absence? The answer will change everything.

Adapted from the award-winning Little Boy Lost series by J. P. Barnaby.

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

Review:

First of all, I did read JP Barnaby’s version of Lost Boy series and I actually preferred the Young Adult version because it was more comfortable for me to read and follow Brian’s journey. The intimate scenes were much less, which would be an excellent read for any young kids. I remember how heart breaking it was for me to read back then and it still did in this book. It is a story I’d treasured it in my heart because it killed me to see what Brian had been going through. It was more emotional since it was told in first person point of view.

The first part of the story was adorable and exciting to see how Brian and Jamie came to a realization that they were attracted to each other in a more than friendship type of relationship. Since I read the Lost Boy, I kept getting nervous knowing what would happen to them soon. It made it a bit challenging for me to keep on reading since I didn’t want to see Brian got hurt emotionally. And then the physically later on into the book. It was a terrible thing for Brian to go through and it was amazing that he refused to let it ruin his life, even though it almost did.

Being in a small town, I could imagine how hard it would be for a gay person to survive and it didn’t matter how old this person would be. The minor character I adored were Brian’s teacher, Kyle. It was mentioned in the book that he’d had been struggling to survive as a gay teacher, which meant he actually had to bring the lawsuit in order to save his job. He was a brave soul and refused to let the bigots forced him away.

Now, there was Adam and I wished I would be able to read more of him in this book. He was a second person that made Brian much more alive than he used to be before he joined Karate for self-defense and a development of strength to stand up for himself. In other word, Brian needed to find his confidence back. Adam was there in between and he turned out to be a special person to Brian and his family. I hope I would be able to read more about him in the next book since I only read the first book of the Lost Boy series so the second book would be a surprising read for me. I look forward to that!

I definitely highly recommended you to get the book and join Brian and Jamie’s journeys. Just keep in that in your mind, all royalties Jamie Mayfield would receive will all go to homeless LGBT Kids find safe shelters. It is a great cause!

Review: Tuck & Cover by SJD Peterson

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

Blurb:

2nd Edition 
Battle Buddy 

At nineteen, Shane Tucker joins the army. Tucker is gay but not ready to be open about it, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell seems like a convenient way to avoid dealing with his sexuality.

The army suits Tucker; he does well from the beginning. Then, during boot camp, he’s assigned a “battle buddy,” Owen Bradford. Owen is a walking, talking wet dream with no concept of personal space. Tucker only survives the constant temptation by venting to his diary.

Two years later, Tucker—now in the Army Ranger program—is paired up with Owen once again. Getting through training while ignoring the sexual tension between him and his battle buddy might be the biggest test of Tucker’s military career.

Tuck & Cover

You may have read Tuck’s diary entries, but they don’t tell the whole story. Tuck will argue the point, but he definitely got a few details wrong—not that I blame him. He was, if you remember, a little sexually frustrated at the time. He probably wasn’t thinking straight. I’ll never get tired of teasing him about that. Anyway, here’s what really happened.

Rangers lead the way! – Owen

First Editions published by Silver Publishing, March 2012 (Battle Buddy) and November 2012 (Tuck & Cover)

Review:

Battle Buddy and Tuck & Cover are both short stories, following Shane Tucker and Owen Bradford.

In Battle Buddy, the reader experiences everything in Tuck’s POV. Tucker joined the Army at 19. He didn’t grow up where the military was in his bones, like Owen. Not having some knowledge of do’s and don’ts like ‘eyeballing’ made Tucker an easy target by his CO’s. Having the sexy, cocky recruit laughing at you, didn’t make the situation any easier to handle.

Tucker makes it a point to avoid Owen like the plaque. When Tucker and Bradford are paired together as Battle Buddies, avoiding your assigned partner is impossible. Making his life miserable however, is priceless.

When boot camp is over, Shane has resolved to put Owen Bradford far from his mind. Until the sexy beast is among the trainees for the Ranger’s program as well. Once again the pair find themselves tortured by wanting what they know they can’t have.

On leave, Shane decides to let himself explore. Being a virgin, he heads for the clubs. Anything to get Owen out of his mind, he is willing to experience. Shane finds himself pulled against a solid chest, and lets go. The stranger easing Shane turns out not to be such a stranger after all.

The sex scenes in this story are H.O.T. I found myself dying for the time when these two males would finally get together.  The build-up was so wonderfully written that the sex scenes NEEDED to be amazing, and they did not disappoint!

This story does end with a happy for now type of situation, but it will have you begging, pleading for more.

Tuck & Cover is much of the same story we read in Battle Buddy, only told from Owen’s point of view. First off, Owen is one of my all time favorite characters. He is cocky, alpha male, and has an amazing sense of humor.

Hearing the same story from a different POV, had me leery at first. However, I loved learning more about Owen. He sheds some much needed light on scenes that left me wondering about in Battle Buddy. The relentless teasing of Tucker had me laughing out loud. Knowing how much Owen wants Tucker makes the bar scene that much more enjoyable.

Christmas Day is by far my favorite scene in both books. The painting and gift Owen gives Tucker had me laughing one minute and then in total swoon of the big guy’s heart. Owen’s ‘mine’ vibe toward Tucker was sexy and made me want more for the pair.

I give both, Battle Buddy and Tuck & Cover 5 stars. I am madly in lust with SJD Peterson. Her writings are far beyond anything I have ever experienced. Peterson’s passion and love of the genre shine through like a ray of sunshine after a storm. Shane Tucker and Owen Bradford need a full length novel. I have yet to have enough of this alpha pair. I don’t think I ever will!

Review: Running Away From Sunshine by Gwynn Marssen

Running Away From Sunshine by Gwynn Marssen
Title: Running Away From Sunshine
Author: Gwynn Marssen
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Lynn
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Contemporary
Type: Romance
Pairing: Queer
Length: Short
Heat Rating: ♨♨
Rating★★★☆☆

Blurb:

Nobody knows why ER resident Jake Nichols left California to move to cold and dark Calgary, Canada. Nobody knows Jake hasn’t always been a silent loner. Nobody in his new home knows he is gay, and nobody needs to know, since he doesn’t plan to let anyone in… until he meets Gabriel Montgomery, the carefree hockey player with the big blue eyes who just won’t take no for an answer when it comes to opening up and accepting the possibility of love.

Review:

Gabe Montgomery is a hockey star, making several trips to the ER. He finds himself not only coming for X-rays and checkups, but also to check out the local ER resident Jake Nicholas. Gabe is dumbfounded when he learns his hottie doc has never watched a game of hockey.

When Gabe learns Jake is running from his past, he tells Jake that he can’t compete with a ghost and when he decides to move on, to call him. Only….Gabe doesn’t want anything serious.

I really enjoyed the first part of this story; Jake and Gabe were really cute and flirty. I found myself excited to see where the two were headed. When we discover Jake’s past, I was eager to see his character grow and learn to love again. It really annoyed me when Jake finally opens up and decides he is worth loving again only to discover that Gabe is in the closet and can’t/won’t give him the relationship he wanted.

I gave Running Away From Sunshine 3 stars. I think the characters are well formed and worth reading, but I felt like there were plots or threads left hanging. I really hope we get to see more of this couple in the near future!

Review: The Body on the Beach by L.J. LaBarthe

Body on the Beach by L.J. LaBarthe
Title: The Body on the Beach
Author: L.J. LaBarthe
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Sean
Buy Links: Publisher | Amazon | ARe
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novella
Heat Rating:
Rating★★★½

Blurb:

In 1920, a body is found on Brighton Beach, Adelaide. Billy Liang has been living a respectable life as the representative of Adelaide’s Chinese community—with his lover, lawyer Tom Williams, discreetly at his side. When evidence seems to implicate the people Billy represents, he steps up to help solve the murder. He and Tom deal with illegal opium dens, fantan games and gambling, racism, and being shot at. Though Billy’s family accepts the love he and Tom share, Australia’s laws against sodomy and homosexuality pose a constant danger. Now, the body on the beach brings a whole new threat to Billy and Tom’s life in Adelaide.

Part of the Under the Southern Cross anthology.

Review:

It wasn’t a bad read. I guess I expected something a bit more behind the crime scene, but the story from Billy’s mind was interesting. I enjoyed it enough to give the book the deserving three and half stars. The author managed to mix the inspection and Billy’s loving family. I really adored his butler, Jian. To be honest, the blurb pretty much spoiled the story since that was all in the story but of course in a longer version and the mystery characters’ names weren’t included in the blurb. It didn’t do much for me. The only actual part I enjoyed very much was a view on how Billy’s family in his house handled his relationship with Tom. Especially his wife. It would have been better if it showed a conflict scene where their private relationship was discovered. It would make the story a bit stronger, but this one concentrated on the inspection of the body on the beach.

It was a good historical story, though. The author really showed the hard research work and the story wasn’t heavily info dumping either. The author managed to keep story light and interesting. Like I said, I wish the story would showed a bit more of conflict between Billy and Tom’s relationship with the town due to their law on homosexuality. I’d read more of the author’s work. The book ended with me feeling satisfied and there wasn’t any big negative about the story itself either. It’s a book I can easily recommended to historical fan.