All posts by Ann

Liesmith by Alis Franklin

liesmithRating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: Liesmith
Author: Alis Franklin
Genre: Fantasy/horror
URL: Random House
Price: US $5.97
Other Information/warnings: Horror, gore
Summary [from the publisher]:
Working in low-level IT support for a company that’s the toast of the tech world, Sigmund Sussman finds himself content, if not particularly inspired. As compensation for telling people to restart their computer a few times a day, Sigmund earns enough disposable income to gorge on comics and has plenty of free time to devote to his gaming group.

Then in walks the new guy with the unpronounceable last name who immediately becomes IT’s most popular team member. Lain Laufeyjarson is charming and good-looking, with a story for any occasion; shy, awkward Sigmund is none of those things, which is why he finds it odd when Lain flirts with him. But Lain seems cool, even if he’s a little different—though Sigmund never suspects just how different he could be. After all, who would expect a Norse god to be doing server reboots?

As Sigmund gets to know his mysterious new boyfriend, fate—in the form of an ancient force known as the Wyrd—begins to reveal the threads that weave their lives together. Sigmund doesn’t have the first clue where this adventure will take him, but as Lain says, only fools mess with the Wyrd. Why? Because the Wyrd messes back.

My review: Continue reading Liesmith by Alis Franklin

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Think of England by K J Charles

think-of-englandRating: 9.5/10 ★★★★★★★★★½ 
Title: Think of England
Author: K J Charles
Genre: Historical m/m, country house mystery
URL: Samhain Publishing
Price: US $4.50
Other Information/warnings: violence, anti-semitism, racism, explicit sexual content
Summary [from the publisher]:

Lie back and think of England…

England, 1904. Two years ago, Captain Archie Curtis lost his friends, fingers, and future to a terrible military accident. Alone, purposeless and angry, Curtis is determined to discover if he and his comrades were the victims of fate, or of sabotage.

Curtis’s search takes him to an isolated, ultra-modern country house, where he meets and instantly clashes with fellow guest Daniel da Silva. Effete, decadent, foreign, and all-too-obviously queer, the sophisticated poet is everything the straightforward British officer fears and distrusts.

As events unfold, Curtis realizes that Daniel has his own secret intentions. And there’s something else they share—a mounting sexual tension that leaves Curtis reeling.

As the house party’s elegant facade cracks to reveal treachery, blackmail and murder, Curtis finds himself needing clever, dark-eyed Daniel as he has never needed a man before…

My review: Continue reading Think of England by K J Charles

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The Douglas Fir by Anyta Sunday

The-Douglas-Fir_final-187x300Rating: 7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 
Title: The Douglas Fir
Author: Anyta Sunday
Genre: m/m romance
URL: Author’s site
Price: US $2.99
Other Information/warnings: explicit sexual content
Summary [from the author]:
Somehow, someway, Jason Kress will find Noah the most unique and clever gift ever. A gift that will surprise him, and win his heart.

A gift that just might be magic . . .

My review: Continue reading The Douglas Fir by Anyta Sunday

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Four worthy free reads

Like London buses, you wait ages for a review from me, then four of them come along at once 😉

These were among the recent free offering from Smashwords. Two were out and out excellent, the other two well worth your time.

And I am happy by R. Cooper is a gorgeous little steampunk/Edwardianish story about an ex-kept boy turned valet, and his disabled war hero mster who is now in Parliament, though still struggling with the effects of the war, lost chances for love, and his amputated leg and arm. Wonderful angst yearning, and tenderness, and kudos for a maimed hero who is given dignity and agency, without being a vehicle for able-bodied pity.
Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 

Butterflies (The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal) by K J Charles is Victorian detective/horror pastiche done with the skill and panache this author demonstrated so devastatingly in A Charm of Magpies. A proper yet blisteringly angry narrator is forced to work with the man he thinks has spurned him, on a case as menacing as it is dangerous. A side story to The Caldwell Ghost, a novel unfortunately published by Torquere Press, it nonetheless stands alone, and if you want to see more of Ms Charles’s work out, well, let me not dissuade you.
Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 

Right Hand Red by Danni Keane follows two boys from the age of four to young adulthood, through their friendship, their difficulties, and their sexual awakening. Sweet but not without angst, and I may have grown a bity teary-eyed at one or two points.
Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Stag: a Story by Ben Monopoli is not romance but instead an all too realistic window on the world of a thirteen-year-old gay boy, going to his first school formal, and trying to avoid the whole issue of a partner. Nice writing, and may tempt you to seek more out by this author.
Rating: 7.5/10 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 

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A Charm Of Magpies by K J Charles

MagpiepieLord-The72lgRating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 
Title: A Charm Of Magpies
Author: K J Charles
Genre: Alternate worlds, Victoriania
URL: Samhain Publishing
Price: US $4.50
Other Information/warnings: violence, explicit sexual content, reference to incest and suicide, supernatural content
Summary [from the publisher]:
Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn’t expect it to turn up angry.
Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude…and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.
Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn’t the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.

My review: Continue reading A Charm Of Magpies by K J Charles

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Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza

butterflyhunter-182x300Rating: 6/10 ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 
Title: Butterly Hunter
Author: Julie Bozza
Genre: M/m romance, contemporary
URL: Author’s site (with links to retailers)
Price: $5.95 USD (at Amazon) / 3.75 UKP
Other Information/warnings: explicit sex
Summary [from the publisher]:
It started as a simple assignment for Aussie bush guide Dave Taylor – escort a lone Englishman in quest of an unknown species of butterfly. However Nicholas Goring is no ordinary tourist, his search is far from straightforward, and it’s starting to look as if the butterflies don’t want to be found. As Dave teaches Nicholas everything he needs to survive in the Outback he discovers that he too has quite a bit to learn – and that very often the best way to locate something really important is just not to want to find it…

My review: Continue reading Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza

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The Other Guy by Cary Atwell

theotherguyRating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: The Other Guy
Author: Cary Atwell
Genre: m/m, contemporary, humour
URL: Smashwords
Price: $3.99
Other Information/warnings: no explicit sexual content
Summary [from the author]:
Emory James is, by his own admission, not the type of person the adjective exciting would ever deign to touch with a ten-foot pole. Cautious, reserved and staid, however, all crowd around him like best friends. Still, he gets by — or at least he gets by up until his fiancée dumps him at the altar. Out of spite, he takes a solo honeymoon to Thailand, where he can pretend to be someone better than himself for a little while. In meeting Nate, a fellow traveler, Emory slowly discovers how to stop pretending.

My review: Continue reading The Other Guy by Cary Atwell

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Tigerland by Sean Kennedy

Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 
Title: Tigerland
Author: Sean Kennedy
Genre: m/m, gay romance, contemporary
URL: Dreamspinner Press
Price: US$6.99/$17.99
Other Information/warnings: weaponised sarcasm
Summary [from the publisher]:
After an eventful and sometimes uncomfortably public courtship, Simon Murray and Declan Tyler settled into a comfortable life together. Now retired from the AFL, Declan works as a football commentator; Simon develops programs with queer content for a community television station.

Despite their public professional lives, Simon and Declan manage to keep their private life out of the spotlight. Their major concerns revolve around supporting their friends through infertility and relationship problems—until Greg Heyward, Declan’s ex-partner, outs himself in a transparent bid for attention.

Though Simon and Declan are furious with Greg and his media antics, they can’t agree on what to do about it. Declan insists they should maintain a dignified silence, but both he and Simon keep getting drawn into Heyward’s games. Simon and Declan will once again have to ride out the media storm before they can return their attention to what really matters: each other.

My review: Continue reading Tigerland by Sean Kennedy

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Shadowboxer by Paula Sophia

This isn’t a review as such. The author kindly sent me her book after I indicated an interest in her request for a review but I just haven’t been able to make myself read it because of my personal circumstances and mood. The book is not a romance, and may be difficult for some readers as it deals with heavy themes of homophobia and transphobia, but as books about trans* people are rare, and this one is well written, I felt I should at least draw it to your attention.

It’s published by Etopia Press and available in digital and paper formats.

About the author:

Paula Sophia is a twenty-year veteran with the Oklahoma City Police Department, a graduate from the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Central Oklahoma, and an avid motorcycle rider trying to find Zen on the back roads of Oklahoma.

Summary:

Willie Guyles has a secret he’s been fighting to keep, something he thought he’d boxed up a long time ago. When he meets a drag prostitute while patrolling the streets of Oklahoma City, the old feelings return, and he can’t force them back into the box.

A story about identity crisis, the horrible consequences of bullying, and the detrimental effects of self-loathing, Shadowboxer descends into a world altogether familiar yet strangely askew.

Find Shadowboxer here:

Barnes and Noble
Amazon
All Romance eBooks

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Latakia by JF Smith

Rating: 7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 
Title: Latakia
Author: JF Smith
Genre: military romance
URL: Smashwords
Price: US $0.99
Other Information/warnings: violence, homophobic language
Summary [from the author]:
Matthew likes his life in Richmond. He has his friends and his softball and his volunteer work. And he has a very good-looking boyfriend, Brian, who he’s been happily dating for over a year now. So what if his friends tend to question just how good his boyfriend is, and so what if Brian tends to have inexplicable mood swings. And so what if Brian seems to invite Matt’s suspicions on occasion. If he just shows a little faith and trust, he’ll appreciate what he has with Brian the way he should. Right?
But suddenly, Matt finds himself in a desperate life-or-death situation on a trip overseas, and he realizes just how much he misses home, and Brian. He’s luckily rescued by a team of US Special Forces, only to immediately find out they’re a bunch of bigoted jerks. Worse, a quirk of his situation forces him to spend time with them that he’d rather not. And that’s when he finds out that first impressions can be misleading. When called upon, he steps up when every fiber of his being tells him not to, and discovers something deep inside himself that he didn’t realize was even there. And his life will never be the same. He finds that he can, after all, make some very overdue changes in his own life.
What Matt doesn’t realize is that the bond of brotherhood runs both ways. And he winds up changing the lives of several of the men on that Special Forces team as much as they changed his.
All it takes is faith and trust.

My review: Continue reading Latakia by JF Smith

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