Monday, December 18, 2017

Don't Let Me Go by Fanatic_weirdo

Don't Let Me Go by Fanatic_weirdo

Magnus almost loses Alec and can't bring himself to leave his side.

This is such a good story because the author manages to convey a wealth of emotion in a pretty short one-shot. My heart broke for Magnus as he tried to come to terms with the fact that his beloved Alec was so close to death and what it would be like to live without him.

Even though the subject matter is pretty heavy, there is hope and some really touching moments. Give it a try!

~ M

picture credit: Freeform

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Book Review: Secret Santa by Jay Northcote

Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship.

Theo hardly has time to date. Between work and caring for his four-year-old son there aren’t many hours left over. He’s lonely though, so he joins a hook-up app and starts chatting to a guy called Luke. Luke seems friendly and they arrange to meet. Theo doesn’t mention that he has a child. It’s early days and he’s worried about putting Luke off before they get to know each other.

Luke is currently working as Santa at the local shopping mall. He figures Theo never has to know. Christmas will be over soon and Luke will move on to a new, less embarrassing job. He’s surprised when Theo and a little boy visit Santa one afternoon. Theo doesn’t recognise Luke, and Luke realises he’s not the only one with a secret.

Despite misgivings on both sides, they start dating, and the chemistry is amazing. But as Christmas approaches their secrets pile up like colourful packages under the tree. If they’re not careful, they’ll lose the best gift of all—each other.

This is a sweet, relatively uncomplicated Christmas love story. I liked both of the main characters and their chemistry was, in my opinion, very believable. I did find myself a little frustrated with the misunderstandings and lack of communication, although I did appreciate the awkwardness of their first meetings, but once those issues were resolved, the story really took off. All in all, this is a nice read for the holiday season.


I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily provided my honest review.

Buy Link

Amazon

~ M

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Book Review: Unexpected Christmas by Nell Iris

Daniel Erickson stormed out of his family celebration after choking on turkey served with a side of bigotry. Utterly miserable, he reluctantly lets himself be charmed by the hulk of a man and gets into the stranger’s car...hoping he won’t be axed before the night is through.

Axel Wilson -- Ax for short, unfortunately -- is a sweetheart. Really. He may be badass-looking but his heart melts into goo at the mere mention of his four-year-old niece. Surely he isn’t dangerous?

Thrown together by family drama, the two men spend the evening getting to know each other. Axel is nothing like Daniel expected. But it doesn’t matter that he loves poetry, is gentle and patient -- and hot! -- Daniel is absolutely not falling in love at first sight. There’s no such thing.

Right?


This is a lovely Christmas read that I really enjoyed! It's very short, but I was immediately immersed in the world Nell Iris created. Daniel and Ax are very likable characters that made me root for their happiness and success. Neither has an easy life due to society's preconceived notions based on their sexuality and appearance. However, Daniel and Ax manage to rise above and live their lives to the fullest. I do hope that a sequel is written because I would love to learn more about these two characters. I received a small taste and now I'm hungry for more.

If you're in the mood for a truly sweet, short story that will warm your heart, Unexpected Christmas is the book for you!

 I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily provided my honest review.

Buy Links
JMS Books | Amazon

~ M

Monday, December 11, 2017

Invisible by LoveMeThatsAllIAskOfYou

Invisible by LoveMeThatsAllIAskOfYou

As Alec battles a mysterious, debilitating illness, he feels as if his life is at a standstill. He can't work, he's afraid to go out and his relationship with his boyfriend is hanging by a thread. Alec feels so alone...until one day a beautiful soul walks into his life and changes it forever.

This is a really interesting read. While it has plenty of fluffy moments, there are also some painfully realistic scenes, especially as it pertains to Alec's illness. I appreciate that the author does not gloss over what Alec goes through on a daily basis, the good, bad and ugly. Magnus, as always, is a gem, but he also shows great complexity. This is definitely a story to check out!

~ M

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Book Review: Watermelon Kisses by Freddy MacKay

Life hasn't been easy for Amir since he fled Iran after a brutal imprisonment. The trauma experienced at the hands of the guards left a dark spot on his soul. The one constant in his life since relocating to Chicago has been his lover, now husband, Esmail, whose steadfast love and support has soothed his wounded heart.

​But this Shab-e Yalda, Amir wants to be the one giving his husband something special, because even after the darkest nights, the sun will rise again.


I really enjoyed this holiday novella. Even though it contained some serious issues, my heart felt warm and full by the end. The characters are extremely likable and I liked learning more about them, their former lives in Iran and the gorgeous Iranian festival Shab-e Yalda.

My heart broke for both men as Amir dealt with his PTSD and his desire to not only fit in in the United States, but also live freely with the man he loves with all his heart. If you're in the mood for a sweet read that will truly make you feel a myriad of emotions. This is the book for you! Also be sure to read the extra information about Shab-e Yalda at the very end. It's very interesting and enjoyed learning something new. 😃

I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily provided my honest review.

Buy Link

~ M

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot by sanyumi


Oliver is a correctional officer who is tasked with keeping an eye on a new inmate, Connor Walsh, after he was convicted of double homicide. Their relationship starts off professional, but soon evolves through quiet conversations and mindless flirting. Even though he tries to fight it, Oliver can't reconcile the fact that he's falling in love with a murderer.
 
I was very pleasantly surprised by this fic! I've read this author's work in the past and have always enjoyed it. The depth and complexity of the characters is great, which, in turn, didn't make it so far-fetched that they'd fall in love under such dire circumstances. If you're in the mood for a really compelling read, check this one out!

~ M

photo credit: ABC

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I ❤️ Yaoi: Ore to Omae no Stalker Boushihou by Kanbe Gorou & Mongorou

Good morning yaoi lovers! This week's selection is Ore to Omae no Stalker Boushihou by Kanbe Gorou & Mongorou.

When Chino discovers a handsome man potentially stalking a young lady after work, he immediately confronts him and drags him to the police station. Fortunately, it was just a misunderstanding, but to Chino's surprise, Yamada turns his attention to him, bringing him pastries and sweets on a daily basis. Is Yamada a harmless guy with a crush or is he a full blown stalker who should be kept at arm's length?

I'm not quite sure how to take this manga. On one hand, some of the situations are sweet and funny and I root for the main characters to develop a relationship, but on the other, Yamada's actions are very suspicious and I want Chino to run far, far away. 😒 Check it out for yourself and let me know your thoughts.


~ M





Monday, December 4, 2017

Siren's Lure by zero4life

Siren's Lure by zero4life

When Alec is attacked by a siren and injected with a siren's lure, he is immediately taken to Magnus for treatment. Unfortunately, the only way to lessen the effects of the spell is through sexual contact. Alec is embarrassed, but at the same time desperate for relief. Magnus is extremely cautious because they barely know each other and he doesn't want to take advantage of the situation for his own pleasure...even though he would be helping Alec. How will the two men handle the stressful and tense 12 hours together?

Wow! This story is something else! The sexual tension between Alec and Magnus is so palpable that your heart rate will race during each and every chapter. Even though the sexual aspect of the story is at the forefront, there is also a really interesting background story as well. Alec and Magnus are not in a relationship and they don't really know each other that well. It's known that Magnus is attracted to Alec, but he's still in the closet and afraid to live as his true self, which makes the situation that much more tense and difficult. This is an engrossing read that I definitely recommend!

~ M

picture credit: Freeform

Friday, December 1, 2017

Book Review & GIVEAWAY: Jingle Spell by Chris Ethan

It’s the most horrible time of the year.

Smooches under mistletoes and tacky reindeer decorations.
Newly single, Davey has had enough of wasting his love and having his heart broken. Better to be single, he decides. No more dates. No more falling in love. No more dreaming of happy ever afters. Those are for movies.

He’s resolute.

And then Avery steps into his life, bringing care, compassion, and tenderness in his path.

Davey’s so tempted to hope again. But can an online date and a brief encounter turn into anything other than an ephemeral sexual encounter?

Is there a future for them? Will Avery stay? And most importantly, can Davey bear to offer up his heart to the season’s love—just one more time?

This is a delightfully charming story that I really enjoyed. Both Avery and Davey are likable characters and their courtship was sweet to watch. I only had two complaints, and I can't really call them that because they didn't completely detract from the reading experience. Avery experienced insta-love, and I sometimes couldn't determine if Davey truly liked Avery or just the thought of him. We learn very early that Davey is lonely, tired of random hook-ups and has had his heart broken several times. Even though Avery was wonderful towards Davey, I often got the feeling that Davey was caught up in the Hallmark Christmas movie romance of it all, not the reality. Like I said, these things didn't detract from the story for me, just something I noticed.

If you're looking for a sweet Christmas read that's very low on angst, Jingle Spell is the book for you!

The author provided a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily provided my honest review.

Buy Link
Amazon

~ M

Monday, November 27, 2017

Packed My Bags And Packed You Too by Quite_Magical

Packed My Bags And Packed You Too by Quite_Magical

After being disowned when he came out to his parents, Alec has to find his own way in life and create his own family. When his uncle passes away, Alec is shocked to learn that he is the beneficiary of the will, but there's a catch. Alec must get married and live happily with his husband for a certain amount of time, otherwise the inheritance will go to his homophobic father. With no boyfriend (potential or established) on the horizon, Alec enlists the help of his good friend Magnus. They can pretend to be married, Alec will collect his inheritance and Magnus will receive a nice cut for himself. Seems simple, right? It is until feelings get involved.

I have been following this story since the beginning and I absolutely adore it. Not only are Alec and Magnus wonderful and adorable, but I also appreciate the great detail Quite_Magical puts into their traveling adventures. This is more than just a sweet Malec fanfic, it's also a great travel guide. I highly recommend giving this story a try! It will enchant you from the very first chapter. :)

~ M

Monday, November 20, 2017

We're on the Air by gaydemonium

We're on the Air by gaydemonium

Alec is a satellite radio host known for his blunt personality and arrogance. One day he encounters a head-strong barista who couldn't care less about his fame or his quasi-shock jock persona. The two men eventually strike up a tentative friendship with Magnus even becoming a temporary co-host. They soon discover that they click and work well as a team. Cue the inevitable sparks. 😃

This is a delightful story! I really enjoyed seeing Alec as a more exaggerated form of his canon self, but at the same time he wasn't completely out of character. Of course, the chemistry between Magnus and Alec is palpable and quite enjoyable to watch. Definitely give this story a try! I highly recommend it!

~ M

Friday, November 17, 2017

Book Review & GIVEAWAY: Mended with Gold by Lee Welch

A photographer with post-traumatic stress disorder falls for a comics artist on a wild New Zealand beach, but can he find true love when he feels so wounded by life?

Everything changed when the bomb exploded. Forty-five- year old, Alex Cox worked as an international photographer until a deadly explosion left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. Emotionally wounded, and desperate for a sense of safety, he's run all the way to wild and remote Kahawai Bay, New Zealand.


Under the worst possible circumstances, Alex meets Joe, a shy young comics artist. Joe lets Alex into his playful, gentle world of comics, and soon Alex is falling for him, hard. Alex longs for more. Joe is reticent. But is it shyness? Or does Joe not want a much older lover with "issues"? Or is something else keeping them apart?


This is a tender and uplifting story about creativity, adversity, true love, and comics
.

I found this to be a pleasant read overall. The writing is lovely and the author manages to create a tangible, yet realistic, world where the two main characters dwell and deal with the every day struggles of life. So often we were inside the characters' heads, so I often found myself wishing that I could have seen more interaction between the main characters to fully understand the depth of their feelings for one another. Mended with Gold is a beautifully written short story about two men finding their second chance at happiness.

I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily provided my honest review.

~ M

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I ❤️ Yaoi: Ai ni Dekinai Koi wa iya by Hanakawa Chito

Hello, yaoi lovers! This week's feature is Ai ni Dekinai Koi wa iya by Hanakawa Chito!

It must have been fate that brought Okada Yuuma and Yokoyama Naoki together. After helping each other in their times of need, the two men develop a strong friendship; however, things unexpectedly move much faster than they anticipated and now they must decide if they should stay friends or see where their new relationship takes them.

I really enjoyed this manga! These story is sweet and the artwork is lovely. I liked that Yuuma and Naoki's relationship progressed realistically and that they were friends before anything else happened. Highly recommended!


Read Ai ni Dekinai Koi wa iya here.

~ M

Monday, November 13, 2017

This Memory of Mine by Farah_Rose

This Memory of Mine by Farah_Rose

Alec is the victim of a hit and run accident and loses all of his memories. One day he comes face to face with a man who acts like he's seen a ghost and claims to know him. How will Alec deal with his memory loss, meeting his family members again and the guilt he feels for not remembering a certain gorgeous man; a man who was the most important person in his life?

This is one of those stories that rips your heart to shreds, but in the most beautiful way possible. Farah_Rose wonderfully weaves angst, guilt, joy and love into a story that could easily fall victim to cliché and tropes. The emotions she describes are so palpable and powerful that your heart will ache for both Alec and Magnus. Definitely give this story a try! You won't be disappointed.

~ M

Friday, November 10, 2017

Book Review: Vampire Claus by Robert Winter

’Twas the night before Christmas, but what’s stirring is a little more dangerous than a mouse.

Taviano is nearly two hundred years old and never wakes in the same place twice. Weary and jaded, the vampire still indulges in memories of childhood Christmases in Naples. He lingers in shadow, spying on mortals as they enjoy the holiday. 

When Taviano spots a handsome young man in Boston loaded down with presents and about to be mugged, he can’t help but intervene. Soon he’s talking to joyous, naïve, strong-willed and funny Paul, a short-order cook who raised funds to buy Christmas presents for LGBTQ children. Before he knows what’s happened, Taviano is wrapped up in Paul’s arms and then in his scheme to get the presents delivered by Christmas morning. 

A vampire turned into a Christmas elf… What could go wrong?


This is a sweet story with sweet, yet flawed, characters set during the sweetness of Christmas. Taviano is a 200-year-old vampire who basically exists. He's aware of the demon inside of him and basically acts as a host for the creature. It isn't until he runs across a young man with a big heart, that he allows himself to feel again. I found that both of the main characters were very likable. Even though Taviano harbors a lot of self-loathing due to many sources, I found him to be quite endearing. Paul was also a nice character, but I found his use of slang extremely excessive. Even though I'm not that much older, I often felt like I was as old as Taviano, thinking to myself, "do people really talk like that in real life?" Beyond that, this is a cute Christmas love story that's perfect for curling up next to a fire.

3.5 stars
 I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily provided my honest review.

Buy Link
Amazon

~ M

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Book Review: Rough by Hayden Hunt

Leaving was the hardest thing I ever did. That is, until I had to come back...

As soon as I turned 18, I left my old town behind. I wanted a new life, free from judgemental parents, free from the things I was not ready to accept about myself. Unfortunately, in the process of fleeing everything I hated, I also fled the one thing I cared about... My best friend, Aaron.

But now I have to come back and every piece of me is scared. I haven't gotten Aaron off my mind since I left and I both desperately wanted to see him and wanted to avoid him forever. I wish I could see him, but will he forgive me for what I've done? Is our relationship fixable after all these years?  


He makes me feel both amazing and terrible.

I've never been as close to anyone as I have been with Jesse. I had to admit, I missed that closeness. But with closeness comes vulnerability and he took advantage of that vulnerability to protect himself. This is something I'm not sure I can forgive, I never planned to.

But now he is back in my life and I don't know how to avoid him or if I even want to. I've never been so torn. Is he someone I should allow back into my life? 


This is your typical "second chance at love" story. The main characters are pretty likable, but, unfortunately, this book didn't really leave a lasting impression on me. I enjoyed seeing the slow progression of Jesse and Aaron's reconciliation, but it moved a little too fast for me at the end. If you're looking for a pleasant, quick read to pass the time on a rainy day, this is the book for you!

2.75 stars
I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily provided my honest review.

Buy Link
Amazon

~ M

Monday, November 6, 2017

Summer Nights by AlxSteele

Summer Nights by AlxSteele

Alec and Magnus meet while working as counselors at a children's summer camp and have a whirlwind romance that stays with them long after they leave. Both expect to never see each other again (it was just a summer fling, right?), but when Magnus shows up for the first day of school and runs into the guy he fell head over heels for, how will he cope and how will Alec react?

As you can probably tell from the title, this story is inspired by Grease. Your heart will flutter as you read about Magnus and Alec's wonderful and romantic summer, but you will also be on the edge of your seat wondering how they will fare now that they can see each other nearly every day. If you're in the mood for a little humor, angst and fluffy romance, Summer Nights is the story for you!

~ M

Monday, October 30, 2017

Wild Life by crazyellephant

Wild Life by crazyellephant

While on a road trip, Alec encounters a hitchhiker down on his luck. Even though he usually likes to travel alone and enjoys the solitude and quiet, something about the man makes Alec want to help. They set off on an adventure across that country that challenges them and opens their hearts to love.

I LOVED this story! It consists of only a few chapters, but they are quite long and I devoured each and every one them. This road trip AU will make you fall in love with Alec and Magnus all over again, and their interactions felt very realistic and not like they were straight out of a romance novel. I can't say enough about this wonderful story that tugs at the heart strings. Definitely give it a try! You won't regret it!

Wild Life was inspired by a prompt based off of this picture of Harry. ;)


~ M

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Book Review: Another Way (Another Way #1) by Anna Martin

Although he's in a steady relationship with his girlfriend, Jesse Ross goes to others in order to sate his most secret needs. Jesse is a submissive and has been seeing his male Dominant for close to two years unbeknownst to anyone in his life. He harbors guilt, knowing he's doing this behind his girlfriend's back, but he could never ask her to perform the kind of acts he receives from his Dom, Will Anderson. Things change when both men develop feelings for one another. Jesse must come to grips with the realization that he wants to be with a man and he has to figure out how to tell his girlfriend. Will must take a step back and be patient while hoping the man he cares for so deeply chooses him.

LOVED this book! BDSM isn't ususally my cup of tea, but in this story I really enjoyed it. The focus on the relationship between Will and Jesse and the intense emotions they shared is what really caught my attention from the start and made me fall in love with the book. Jesse is confused and scared, but Will's patience, love and compassion allows him to make the right decisions for himself, Will and their evolving relationship. Jesse and Will's "sessions" made my heart race and their more tender, emotional moments with one another warmed my heart. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and know others who enjoy m/m romance will as well.



Buy Links
Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

~ M

Monday, October 23, 2017

Waiting Game by bumblebeesknees

Waiting Game by bumblebeesknees

Magnus has never hid the fact that he's endlessly curious and an unabashed snoop, but the ring he discovers in Alec's dresser is genuinely by accident. He thinks he can wait for Alec to reveal this secret in his own time.

"The box is made out of dark mahogany. When Magnus picks it up with shaking fingers and without conscious thought, he sees that is has the marriage rune seared on the side in deft, elegant strokes.


'But that's just absurd,' Magnus thinks as his mind comes to the only logical conclusion. It can't possibly, possibly..."

I've read a lot of really great Malec stories over the past few months, but I have to say this is one of the very best! bumblebeesknees takes an issue between Magnus and Alec post-2x20 and presents in a very real and visceral way that pulled at my heartstrings in the best and worst ways. I don't want to say much more because I don't want to ruin the plot, but I highly recommend that you read this story. You will not regret it!

~ M

photo credit: Freeform

Friday, October 20, 2017

Book Review: Angels and Man-Beasts by T.L. West

Zachary is an ordinary young gay man. He works for his father, has a crush on his straight roommate, and likes to procrastinate.

While visiting his aunt’s old cabin, he finds a wounded man, and the door to safety is forever closed. At first, Zachary doesn’t know what to make of the handsome stranger dressed as a knight, but he feels a connection with him.

Zachary’s life is turned upside down as his eyes are opened to the supernatural world. Not only must he survive dangerous man-beasts, but he is also forced to make sense of what it means to fall for an angel, and involve himself in a war between the Gods.


This is a very quick read, but I had a few issues with it. I didn't really feel any kind of romantic chemistry between Zachary and Barachiel. Yes, they had physical chemistry, but I didn't believe they had the potential to fall for each other. They barely had any interaction, so it was difficult for me to understand their sudden connection. I also felt like there were holes in the story. Maybe I missed something, but it seemed like the situation involving Zachary was never fully explained. The book just kind of ended and that was that. The sex scenes seemed to be to thrown in to the book and were unnecessary in my opinion. That time could have been better spent establishing the main characters and their connection to one another. The world created by the author was very interesting and a threat of war between the angels and man-beasts captured my attention, but I was left with more questions than answers.


All in all, this was an okay read, but with the help of a good editor or beta, this book could have had real potential.
2.5 stars

Buy Link
NineStar PressAmazon

~ M

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY: In Over Our Heads by CJane Elliott


Hello! Thank you to Slashsessed for having me on today to share my new release, In Over Our Heads, a second chance romance set in Key West. This is the second book in my Stories from the Shore series and follows the events in All the Way to Shore.

A confession: I’ve never been scuba diving myself, although I’ve snorkeled in Grand Cayman (a scene in All the Way to Shore) and loved it. And I’d only been in Key West once very briefly when I wrote the story. So I asked some experts (and fellow authors) for advice. Dev Bentham is an m/m author who also happens to be a certified dive instructor and she ensured that my descriptions of the scuba instruction and dive were accurate. C.S. Poe is an m/m author who happens to live in Key West and she corrected my version of Key West geography. I’m much indebted to both of them!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it? My very first story I remember writing was when I was around 12 or 13. It featured a girl named Bunny B. who goes to a party and sees some racy things happening. The inspiration was me eavesdropping on one of my older sister’s friends who was talking about parties and S-E-X. My ears were wide open! So my interest in writing erotic fiction started early.

Where did the desire to write LGBTQ romance come from? It seems my interest in m/m also started early. In a high school English class we were given a prompt in the form of a picture of man standing in a doorway (either leaving or entering). I remember writing that the man was leaving his marriage because he’d realized he was gay (nowadays I would call him bisexual). And I wanted to give him a happy ending. This was years before I stumbled into the world of fanfiction and found these stories everywhere.

Tell us about your work in progress and what you’ve got planned for the future. I’m plotting the third book in the Stories from the Shore series, which will be the story of Miles from In Over Our Heads. I’m planning to use NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November to get 50,000 words written! We shall see how that goes.

Title:  In Over Our Heads
Series: Stories from the Shore
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 16, 2017
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 67,000
Genre: Romance, Second Chances, Vacation

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