Genre: Gay

FIRST AND FIRST by Santino Hassell

FIRST AND FIRST by Santino Hassell

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
FIRST AND FIRST by Santino HassellFirst and First by Santino Hassell
Series: Five Buroughs #3
Published by Dreamspinner Press Genres: Contemporary, Erotic, Gay
Reviewed by Cheryl

Nearing forty, Caleb Stone has never been comfortable with his sexuality. Coming out later in life met with his father’s disapproval and curtailed any youthful adventures for the uptight scion of a wealthy New York family. Rather than risk the potential of awkward failure, he hides his desires behind a prickly, controlled facade. All that changes at a New Year’s Eve party where Caleb, still smarting from his ex’s new relationship, finds himself alone in a crowd of couples.

 

Enter Oliver “Oli” Buckley. Disowned by his own wealthy family at eighteen for his sexual adventures, Oli had to make his own way in life and is unapologetically independent. Shameless and daring, he is Caleb’s opposite, and a kiss at midnight leads to an explosive tryst neither can forget — even if Caleb’s memory is a bit hazy. Libertine Oli is happy to facilitate Caleb’s hedonistic escapades, but he’s nobody’s Prince Charming and doesn’t believe in monogamy.

 

As they delve further into a sexual relationship, the two become friends, business partners, and Caleb finally comes into his own. Caleb knows what he wants, but will his newfound courage push him to discover Oli’s true desires?

 

First and First is a fantastic addition to the Five Boroughs series. The second installment, Sunset Park, may still be my favorite, but First and First is a close second. After meeting Caleb in Sunset Park, I was a little apprehensive of him as a leading man, but he and Oli are delightful. Prickly but deep, Caleb is just waiting for someone wild and blunt as Oli. Told exclusively through Caleb’s point of view, I enjoyed watching him develop his confidence and act upon it. I also appreciate the bits of Oli’s personality that peeked through even when Caleb wasn’t fully catching onto what Oli was showing him. I don’t always prefer a limited perspective, but here it was presented in such a subtle and intriguing way that I didn’t mind not reading Oli’s POV. I wouldn’t say no to a short story from his POV, though.

 

Intensely erotic, First and First blazes off the pages. Caleb and Oli’s relationship evolves through multiple scorching sex scenes. While kinky and debauched, those scenes work together to push the story forward with a purpose. Caleb is so buttoned down that he needs wild experiences in order to come to terms with his true desires. Oli, the hedonist, needs to find the person who will accept and fight for him. I also enjoyed the modern feel of their relationship and the story’s backdrop. It wasn’t simply a standard, normative tale. Caleb and Oli were finding love in a world where people hookup but aren’t necessarily exclusive or renting U-Hauls after a few weeks. It’s refreshing to read a contemporary romance populated with characters that act as people of today. The secondary characters help make the Five Boroughs world more vivid and alive. I lived for the storyline featuring Raymond and David. I can’t get enough of them, even though I know they already have their own book. There were also quite a few other characters I would love to have Santino explore further. Charles deserves his happy ending at some point! Honestly though, I just want to read more of this world and the series, no matter who the characters are.

 

First and First could be easily read as a standalone, but I would suggest reading the previous books first. Readers will get a much fuller, richer story if they explore the earlier installments. Since I loved the previous book even more, let me assure you, you will thank me after reading it. Santino Hassell knows how to provide a thoroughly modern, utterly wicked, completely delightful read. I can’t Joyfully Recommend First and First enough!

FIRST STEPS by Sean Michael

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
FIRST STEPS by Sean MichaelFirst Steps by Sean Michael
Published by Dreamspinner Press Genres: Contemporary, Erotic, Gay
ReviewedbyNannette

Peter Boone is a single father of infant twins Daniel and Ellen.  Peter is vacationing in the country with the babies hoping to stay permanently.

 

Chad Bristow is a ranger who stops by to warn Peter about the dangers of forest fires.  The men hit it off right away and Chad invites them to dinner, then to spend the night.  Chad is wonderful with the babies and with Peter, but is there room for another in Peter’s unique and loving family?

 

Babies, bottles and strong emotions fill the pages of First Steps.  It’s different from any of Sean Michael’s previous works; he proves he can do endearing as well as erotic with this tenderhearted story. Ellen and Daniel are adorable and Chad and Peter are loving, passionate men.  First Steps is a very sexy, tender, and heartwarming story.  Wonderful.

TRICKS by Rick R. Reed

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
TRICKS by Rick R. ReedTricks by Rick R. Reed
Published by Dreamspinner Press Genres: Gay, Suspense
ReviewedbyCassie

Depressed and lonely after a recent breakup, Sean goes to a bar called Tricks on a whim.  There he sees a young, sexy dancer. Despite his attraction, Sean is convinced that the younger man couldn’t possibly want an average, middle-aged man like himself, so he leaves.  Later that night, Sean meets the dancer again, and he finds that the attraction is mutual.

 

Arliss dances at Tricks to pay the bills, but he’s not into random encounters anymore.  He wants something more, and Sean seems perfect for that.  Then a porn producer shows up, looking to cast Arliss in one of his films.  Will Arliss give up the only real love he’s ever had to follow a dream?  And more importantly—what if the dream becomes a nightmare?

 

Rick Reed can always be counted on to provide an unusual, suspenseful twist to his romances, and Tricks is definitely no exception. By turns gritty, sweet, and suspenseful, Tricks is a real page-turner.  I really liked Sean.  He’s not young, or super hot, or really rich. He’s just a nice, regular guy who wants to be loved.  I couldn’t not root for a guy who was so easy to identify with.  When he meets Arliss, he assumes the sexy dancer won’t be interested.  Arliss is young and really great looking, but underneath his sexy façade is a man who is actually a lot like Sean.  He also wants to be loved, and he hasn’t had much of that in his life.  The only thing standing between him and happily-ever-after with Sean is his desire to be in a porn movie.  I admit I didn’t get that at all.  Give up love to be in porn?  Wh-whaaaa?  I had the urge to smack some sense into Arliss when the porn producer came around trying to get Arliss to be in his movie.  I guess that just goes to show that everyone has different dreams.

 

Unfortunately for Arliss, the movie the producers have in mind is not at all what he imagined.  This is made clear to the reader very quickly, but not to poor, star-struck Arliss.  I figured out part of the moviemakers’ nefarious plan right away, but the other part took me by surprise.  Once the suspense kicked in, Tricks kept me on the edge of my seat.  I couldn’t stop turning pages because I had to find out if Arliss would get out of his desperate situation.  The last section of the book holds many nail-biting events I won’t spoil here, but let me just say my heart was pounding a few times.

 

Romance readers who haven’t tried Reed’s work before might want to start with this one, as there is a lot more emphasis on the romance here than in the other Reed books I’ve read.  Suspense fans, take my word for it: pick up Tricks.  You won’t be disappointed.

FLAX’S PURSUIT by Bellora Quinn & Angel Martinez

FLAX’S PURSUIT by Bellora Quinn & Angel Martinez

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
FLAX’S PURSUIT by Bellora Quinn & Angel MartinezFlax's Pursuit by Angel Martinez, Bellora Quinn
Series: AURA #2
Published by Totally Bound Genres: Gay, Menage, Paranormal
ReviewedbyLisa

A bizarre accident caused by scientists at Berkley tears a hole in reality.  Strange creatures of myth and fairy tale literally drop from their reality into our own without rhythm or reason.  It was termed RARE or Random Anomalous Reality Events.  To deal with these beings who are torn from their lives into ours AURA is created to help them – the Agency of Unnatural Resettlement and Assimilation.

 

Recently a battle with a deadly lich queen left the ranks of officers at AURA badly decimated, including the loss of their leader.  Elf Valerian Hartgrove has tentatively taken on the position and responsibilities as the new acting Captain.  His human lover Quinn also agreed to jump from larceny to legitimate employment at AURA.  Bursting with magical power Quinn will no doubt become a valuable asset once he can truly control his gift.

 

The latest event brings a pair of battle Elves onto the streets of Tokyo.  Sage Blackdrake and Ash Bloodroot were fighting an enemy with swords one minute and dropped onto a city street the next.  Understandably disoriented the Elf lovers are at least at the moment very dangerous.

 

To stop a disaster in the making young Elf Officer Flax Wolfheart, a skilled hunter and tracker for AURA is sent through their version of a wormhole to Tokyo.  Flax is a good warrior and valued team member.  His unfortunate infatuation with Val is a bit of a problem, especially now that he’s been told to train Quinn, but aside from that he’s a very good officer.

 

With so few officers left and the new recruits green it’s all hands on deck which is weighing Flax down.  He’s responsible for bringing in the battle ready Elves, training Quinn, and working with Quinn to find a killer turning humans to stone.  And no one is aware that he has a sealed record of drug abuse and rehab.  The young Elf seeks the Captain’s approval as well.  But at what cost is the question.

 

Complications abound and an Elf begins to make all the wrong moves in Flax’s Pursuit, the second intense story in the refreshingly unique AURA series.  Twists and turns and spooky killers pop up to fuel Flax’s Pursuit.  The lead characters are quite a handful, yet each has their own strong, vibrant voice exactly at the right time.  This original storyline intrigues and keeps the reader thoroughly engaged.  Hooked from beginning to end I Joyfully recommend Flax’s Pursuit.  Seriously addicting.

FORGIVEN by Megan Slayer

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
FORGIVEN by Megan SlayerForgiven by Megan Slayer
Series: Haven House Vampires #3
Published by Changeling Press Genres: Gay, Menage, Paranormal

Acknowledgement of the existence of vampires brings about more danger for the human population than anyone imagined possible.  It isn’t until Andreas is defeated and Julian takes control that the threat lessens.  The vampires of Haven House are given strict orders to not kill their food source.

 

Vampire partners Micah and Ivan chafe at the restrictions, yet manage to abide by the new rules.  Especially when the human Landon is willing to do anything they want.  Landon has no sense of self worth at the best of times.

 

Even other vampires steer clear of Terrance who doesn’t abide by the new edicts.  He flaunts his vicious nature whenever Julian is away.  His interests in Landon will prove deadly unless Micah and Ivan are willing to intervene.  A tug of war between three vampires is not a place for a self destructive human to be.

 

The world is a scary place for humans in the latest Haven House Vampire story of Forgiven.  Self loathing has led Landon spiraling down so far there’s barely a chance at redemption.  Explicit interactions and a very bad vampire color Forgiven with darkness.  Only a bit of back story explains the current situation the threesome find themselves in.  A great deal of chills and thrills before Forgiven ends.

BLOODLINES by Jessica Lee

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HEAT RISING by Jessica Lee

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MAKE ME by Jessica Lee

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THE BUTCHER AND THE BEAST by Sean Michael

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RISING FRENZY by Brandon Witt

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CHANNELING MORPHEUS FOR SCARY MARY: Payback; Vertigo; Manikin; Tainted; Rebirthby Jordan Castillo Price

CHANNELING MORPHEUS FOR SCARY MARY:
Payback; Vertigo; Manikin; Tainted; Rebirth
by Jordan Castillo Price

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SHIFTING THE VEIL by Ellen Cross

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SOME RULES FOR SUCCESS IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS by Mina MacLeod

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A BOND OF THREE by K. C. Wells

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WOLF RUN by B. A. Tortuga

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HUNT by Bailey Bradford

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FINAL ENCORE by Scotty Cade

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THE ARSONIST’S APPRENTICE by India Harper

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CADEN’S DILEMMA by A. C. Katt

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BROKEDOWN HEARTS by Cameron Dane

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