Tag Archives: Cassandra Gold

Linkity and a larch walk into a bar…



Congrats to Melinda, who won Owner of My Heart (Mending the Rift #2) by Valentina HeartOwner of My Heart (Mending the Rift #2) will be released by Silver Publishing on July 14.



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Reading Update
Simple Justice (Benjamin Justice #1) by John Morgan Wilson. Very good gay mystery set in the mid-90s about a former newspaper reporter who’s been working the occasional freelance job to make ends meet since it came out he’d fabricated the story for which he won a Pulitzer. When his former editor tracks him down about working on a story, he doesn’t want to… but he slowly gets sucked in.
Revision of Justice (Benjamin Justice #2) by John Morgan Wilson. Very good gay mystery in which Ben gets pulled into researching a Hollywood story that turns out to be very convoluted, but gives him the chance to face some of his own demons… or flee again.
Justice at Risk (Benjamin Justice #3) by John Morgan Wilson. Very good, but very dark, gay mystery in which Ben meets two very different but compelling men, gets some work putting together a documentary on risky sex, and is drawn into investigating yet another convoluted and dangerous situation. This was dark enough that I need to take a bit of a break from the series…
Every Minute (Max & Skyler #3) by Acer Adamson. ebook short. Very good short m/m romance that manages to cover both Max and Skyler meeting, plus meeting each other’s parents.
One Day at a Time by Dawn Douglas. ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about a DEA agent on assignment to a small town police force who decides to help a cop depressed about having had to kill a teen gang member.
Making Camp by Clare London. free ebook short. Cute short m/m romance about two guys who work together and are attracted to each other, but don’t do anything about it until the Country Mouse asks the City Mouse to go camping with him.
Healer (The Institute #1) by Cassandra Gold. ebook. reread. Very good m/m paranormal romance about a doctor who can heal people with his mind. Bad guys who want to capture him and use his power for their own ends are closing in on him when a purportedly good guy offers him a way out.
Touch (The Institute #2) by Cassandra Gold. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about a member of the Delphic Institute who gets captured by a rival organization. When escaping, he takes a hostage and everything starts to change.
Phoenix Rising by Theo Fenraven. ebook. arc. Good m/m paranormal romance about an NYC cop and his partner who are investigating a series of mysterious deaths. When the evidence leads them toward a charismatic singer, things start to get really weird…
Au Bon Pain by Lee Patton. ebook short. Poignant short story about a guy who has the chance to reconnect with his first love – the first love who dumped him and vanished.
The Good Life by Diana DeRicci. ebook. Cute m/m romance about a guy who suddenly finds himself a single parent with a baby daughter when he’d just planned to be the sperm donor. When his best friend offers them a place to live and help with the baby, things get a bit complicated. This had some very oddly phrased bits that seemed to need more editorial attention.
Roadside Assistance by Heidi Champa. ebook short. Pretty good short m/m romance about a week in the life of two friends who carpool together…
Laurel Heights by Lisa Worrall. ebook. Ok m/m romantic suspense two closeted cops who have to go undercover as a gay couple in a small, exclusive gay community in order catch a killer. The plot was implausible, the writing was over-the-top at times, and the epilogue changed it from neatly tied up into a cliffhanger.


“This is my new kitty bed, not a shopping bag! Silly Mom.” -Mayhem

In which I can’t think of a clever title for linkity and so just ramble on in the title box for a while instead



If you’d like to learn a bit more about me, I’m featured on Coffee Time at Coffee and Porn in the morning today. Beware if you stray off that page, because most of the posts are NSFW.



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  • When I told people I was going to drive to New Orleans for vacation, nearly everyone asked if I had a GPS and seemed distressed to learn I do not have one. But it was ok! I have a pretty good sense of direction. Rediscover yours and wean yourself from your GPS. 😉

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Reading Update
Missing Daughter, Shattered Family (David Lloyd Investigations #1) by Liz Strange. ebook. Very good m/m mystery (with a bit of romance) about a cop-turned-PI who’s hired to find a troubled young woman. The case becomes increasingly complex, and he finds himself dealing with unresolved issues from his own past. I’m really looking forward to the next book in this series!
His Last Resort by Devon Rhodes. free ebook short. Cute free short m/m romance about a college freshman who’s decided to come out when he arrives at college. It doesn’t go so smoothly at first…
One More Wish (Wish #2) by Devon Rhodes. ebook. Very good m/m paranormal romance that starts out in parallel with One Wild Wish, although from Benny’s point-of-view. Benny wants to spend time with the shifter he can’t get out of his mind, but why does Curtis keep making excuses not to see him?
In the Wild (Wish #2.5) by Devon Rhodes. free ebook short. Steamy free short paranormal m/m romance about Benny and Rory waiting for their guys to show up.
Healer (The Institute #1) by Cassandra Gold. ebook. Very good m/m paranormal romance about a doctor who can heal people with his mind. Bad guys who want to capture him and use his power for their own ends are closing in on him when a purportedly good guy offers him a way out.
Friction (Dominion #0.1) by Lissa Kasey. free ebook short. Good short paranormal m/m romance that introduces an unusual male witch and his sometimes vampire lover. Set in the Twin Cities of Minnesota! 🙂
Decadence (Dominion #0.2) by Lissa Kasey. free ebook short. Good short m/m paranormal romance about male witch Seiran, who’s preparing to bake a cake for his mother’s birthday when his sometimes lover stops by.
Resolute (Dominion #0.3) by Lissa Kasey. free ebook short. Good short m/m paranormal romance in which Sei starts to work at the bar his sometimes lover owns.
Inheritance (Dominion #1) by Lissa Kasey. ebook. Very good m/m paranormal romance in which someone is trying to make it appear that Sei is murdering other witches. Fortunately, his vampire boyfriend, Gabe, and the mysterious Jamie have Sei’s back. I’m really enjoying this series – the next book is already queued up on my ereader.
Chance’s Vindication (Lost Shifters #13) by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Good m/m paranormal romance about Raven shifter Chance, who feels extremely out of place staying with the Feline Coalition – a situation that his crabby Lion Shifter guardian doesn’t do anything to remedy. I did want to smack Chance for some TSTL behavior later in the story.
A Fix in Time by Jade Falconer. ebook. So-so scifi m/m romance about a guy who works for an organization charged with keeping people from tampering with the past. He’s sent back to the 1800s to fix major time tampering and capture those responsible. He doesn’t mean to get involved with a guy from the past… This had too much infodumping and the writing felt stilted to me.


“You are all in so, so, sooooo much trouble. I saw what you did there. I won’t tell if you give me kitty treats.” -Chaos

A very Potterity linkity



Congrats to SueM, who won Knight Errant by K.D. Sarge! Knight Errant is available for $0.99 through July 31 at Smashwords.

Congrats to Susmita, who won Ranger’s Folly (Lost Shifters #12) by Stephani Hecht! Ranger’s Folly is being released by eXtasy Books today.

Congrats to Renee, who won Dark Sun by M.J. O’Shea!

Congrats to Julie, who won In the Shadow of a Hero by Anna Mayle!

Congrats to Amy, who won the Tea and Crumpet anthology, donated by Clare London!



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  • *snicker* (Thanks, Lea!) (Possibly NSFW, although it is from USA Today…)

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Masochism 101 by Kim Dare. free ebook short, although you’ll need to be a member of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group to read it. The prompt for this excellent kinky short m/m romance was a guy photographed midway through falling in the bathtub…
Trust Me (Cover Me #2) by LA Witt. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense about a cop who’s ready to break up with his boyfriend because he suspects his boyfriend has been cheating on him, but what’s really been going on is a helluva lot more complicated. You also get to see how things are going with the guys from Cover Me.
And To All a Good Night (Life Lessons #1.5) by Kaje Harper. free ebook short. Very good short free holiday-themed m/m mystery that takes place a few months after Life Lessons, right before Christmas, as the out teacher continues to recover from his injuries and learns to deal with dating the deeply closeted cop.
Dirty Kiss by Rhys Ford. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense about a former cop, now PI, investigating the apparent suicide of a prominent Korean businessman when he becomes fascinated by the businessman’s disgraced cousin. Hopefully there’s a sequel… and I’d love to get more of Bobby’s story.
Again by Mary Calmes. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a guy who was devastated when the love of his life, a CIA agent, suddenly left him for someone else, without knowing that their surrogate was pregnant. It’s five years later when he runs into now-former CIA agent… I have to confess that I wanted to smack Dante more than once – he was such a steamroller! I wanted him to stop and actually listen. 🙂
Accidentally in Love by Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a photographer who’s definitely a player, engaging in a non-stop string of one-night stands. When he rents part of a house from a goodhearted computer geek with crappy self-esteem, he decides to help the geek finally get a guy of his own. So why is he unhappy when his plan works? As others have mentioned, the first part of this book was excellent. The last part of it got bogged down by sex and lack of direction.
Tea and Crumpet by UK MAT. ebook collection. Very good collection of United Kingdom-themed GLBTQ short stories, from contemporary to paranormal to historical. I was delighted to discover that there was a Cambridge Fellows short from Charlie Cochrane! And I absolutely love the cover. 🙂
One Night by RJ Scott. ebook. Good m/m romance about a deeply closeted guy who’s convinced that two men can’t have a loving relationship, only a sexual one, so he’s engaged to be married to a woman so his adopted daughter will have a stable home.
Finding Forgiveness (Poconos Pack #1) by Dana Marie Bell. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about a wolf shifter who suffers from debilitating migraines and has no idea why the guy destined to be his mate avoids him at all costs.
Clay’s Challenge by Cassandra Gold. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy going through a crisis in confidence about how he looks after someone he met online isn’t interested in dating him because he’s “too fem.” So he decides to go on a wilderness adventure and prove to himself that’s not the case. (Main character Clay was actually a minor character in Quinn’s Hart.)
Bicycle Built for Two by Jeff Adams. ebook short. Good short, completely angst- and conflict-free m/m romance about two guys who meet during a charity cycling event to raise money for HIV/AIDS research.
From Pack to Pride (Supernatural Mates #1) by Amber Kell. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about a wolf shifter whose alpha brother sends him to stay with a pride of lions in order to keep him safe from a hostile wolf who wants to kill him. (Ok, Tam, you were right – I liked it better than Hellbourne!)
A Prideful Mate (Supernatural Mates #2) by Amber Kell. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance about a lion shifter who sees a picture of jaguar shifter on a shifter dating website and knows the jaguar shifter is his mate. Now he just has to convince his mate to stay… and keep his mate alive.
Not in Kansas by R.G. Alexander. ebook short. Cute short m/m fantasy roughly based on the Wizard of Oz.
Salad on the Side by Karenna Colcroft. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance about a vegan who doesn’t realize he’s living among werewolves until he’s bitten and changed. These were probably the most long-winded werewolves ever – there needed to be a lot less talking in this book. Hopefully the obviously planned for sequel will be less chatty.
The Male Room by Carolyn Levine Topol. ebook. Ok m/m romance about two best friends, one who’s just been kicked out by his boyfriend and the other who’s just been fired, who decide to start an online GLBT dating service together. I need to remember that this author’s stories are too sugary for me…
Semi Precious Weapons by Clancy Nacht. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance about two models in New York City who hook up and hit it off, but then things get messed up between them. This book definitely needed a bit more editorial care – a couple spots were so tangled that I couldn’t sort out what exactly was happening.
Joy & Pain by Celia Kyle. free ebook short. Ok kinky short m/m romance about a stripper who meets and is attracted to an older big bear of a man. This book needed better proofing: “illicit” instead of “elicit”, “spurn” instead of “spur”, etc.


“You know what would hit the spot right now? A crunchy bug. Yum!” -Mayhem

Sometimes I absolutely cannot come up with a clever title for linkity… this would be one of those times



Congrats to Tam, who won Possession (Devlin Island, Book 1) by S. W. Vaughn!

Congrats to Natasha, who won Opposites Distract by Stephani Hecht! Opposites Distract was released yesterday by All Romance Ebooks as part of its Perfect Strangers series.

Congrats to Otter, who won How the Other Half Lives by Clare London! How the Other Half Lives will be released by Amber Allure on February 6.

Congrats to Carmel, who won Chocolate Dreams by Em Woods Chocolate Dreams will be released by Total-E-Bound on February 7.



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Reading Update
Rubbing Vignettes: The Wrong Way and the Right Way by Wren Boudreau. free ebook short. Cute short m/m Valentine’s romance split into two scenes as Greg tries to figure out how to celebrate his first Valentine’s with Finn, and then as they celebrate. I really hope that the first scene was the set up for a sequel to Back to Normal, featuring a couple of guys who rub each other the wrong way…
One Night Stand by Cassandra Gold. ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about a guy whose friends drag him to a club to help him get back out there after a few years. He seems to have a real connection to the guy he brings home… until the guy freaks out about having stayed over night and leaves. (This short story was originally part of the Friction anthology.)
Love Ahead: Expect Delays by Astrid Amara. ebook. Very good m/m romance about two guys driving a 1989 Geo from Seattle to drop off in Boulder, hoping to get there for part of Hanukkah, until the drive turns into the roadtrip from hell.
Half Pass by Astrid Amara. ebook. Good m/m romance about a horse phobic guy who inherits his aunt’s boarding stable and moves back to the small town in which he grow up so he can get the stable ready to sell. Unfortunately, it felt like all the details about the horses and their training and care overshadowed the actual story.
Handcuffs & Spreader Bars (Rawlings Men, Book 5) by Kim Dare. ebook. Very good kinky m/m romance about a dom (and police officer) who’s had his eye on one of the newer constables for a while, but has only just learned that the constable equates submission with being taken advantage of due to a prior bad experience.
MIA Case Files 1: Wolfsbane by K.C. Burn. ebook. Very good paranormal m/m romance about a closeted agent who works in a secret government agency (MIA) that investigates dangerous paranormal activities. While he and his partner are trying to figure out what’s going on in the small town of Rothburg, he meets and becomes fascinated by a gorgeous young man working at a coffee shop.
MIA Case Files 2: Blood Relations by K.C. Burn. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance about another MIA agent who gets involved with a young man who seems too good to be true. I didn’t enjoy the second book in this series nearly as much as I did the first – it was just too predictable.
Del Fantasma: Duck Fart by Jade Buchanan. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about an innocent Siamese cat shifter who just tracked down the best friend he’s had a crush on for years, only to discover that his friend is now mated to someone else. He thinks his heart is broken – so why is he leaving with that duck shifter and that human?!
High Flow (EMS Heat, Book 7) by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Good m/m romance about a medic who was gay bashed and now can’t let anyone get close or touch him. But maybe the handsome doctor in the ER will be patient enough to past his defenses…
True Hollywood by James Buchanan. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about two stuntmen who haven’t seen each other since their breakup years before until they run in to each other at their former mentor’s wake.
Second Helpings (Table for Two, Book 2) by Scarlet Blackwell. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance continuing the story of Luc, the arrogant French chef, and Daniel, the closeted British food critic, as Daniel’s obnoxious mother (who doesn’t know he’s gay) arrives for a visit and ratchets up the tension.
Beach Reading (Book 1) by Mark Abramson. ebook. Ok m/m mystery about a waiter in the Castro who spends a lot of time wandering around stoned and picking up guys. I did enjoy being able to picture the various locations mentioned. I didn’t enjoy the rambling brain dumps from everyone in the story.
A Bid for Love by T.D. McKinney & Terry Wylis. ebook. Ok m/m romance about an FBI agent who participates in a charity auction and is “purchased” by an anonymous bidder he assumes to be a woman. Ah, the surprise that awaits him when he and the bidder meet up in Italy. Sadly, the language was too flowery and overwrought for my tastes.
Knight or Daye by Jude Mason. ebook short. Ok short kinky m/m/m romance about a guy who infiltrates a human slavery ring, hoping that he can reconnect with and rescue the lover he drove away.
Howl by Lacey-Anne Frye. ebook. Ok m/m paranormal romance about a couple who stays at an isolated B&B in the middle of the woods. The proprietor tells them not to go outside after dark… Why don’t people ever listen??
What You See by C.J. Black. ebook short. So-so short m/m encounter between a waiter and an older man who always sits in his section at the restaurant.


“I’m hiding in my Plastic Tub of Invisibility. You can’t see me.” -Mayhem

Worn to a little nub from a crazy week, I still attempt linkity!


Congrats to Courtney, who won Breathe by Sloan Parker!

Congrats to Marie, who won Mistletoe and Submission by Kim Dare Mistletoe and Submission will be released by Total-E-Bound on December 6.

Congrats to Brenna and LadyM, who won His for the Holidays by LB Gregg, Harper Fox, ZA Maxfield, and Josh Lanyon. His for the Holidays will be released by Carina Press on Monday, December 6.


Contests

Bookity

  • Author newsletters: Kim Dare (news, free story, and a contest) and Heidi Cullinan (I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’m sure it’s filled with awesomesauce).

Ebookity

  • Have you been to Brief Encounters yet? It’s a new blog from Tam and Jenre, devoted entirely to reviews of short m/m stories. Congrats, you two! Were you concocting this in San Francisco?!

Think, Do, Learn, Make

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Reading Update
Unspeakable Words by Sarah Madison. ebook. Excellent paranormal m/m romantic suspense about a very precise San Francisco-based FBI agent who’s been shuffled around a lot because he’s not easy to deal with. He gets assigned a temporary partner from Quantico because of a new lead in an old case. When his temporary partner ends up sleeping on his couch, his orderly world is disrupted and things start to get interesting. I’m definitely hoping for more books about these two!!
Beyond Reckless by Ava March. ebook short. Very good steamy short m/m Regency romance about two men who enjoy the thrill of nearly being discovered…
Idaho Battlegrounds by Sarah Black. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a small-town Idaho sheriff who’s also a lieutenant in a National Guard unit that’s been in Afghanistan for the past four years. He’s now up for reelection against the corrupt interim sheriff, while at the same time getting to know a local dairy farmer who has a few secrets of his own…

Pretty Ugly (Petit Morts #6) by Jordan Castillo Price. ebook short. Very good short paranormal m/m story about a photographer who describes himself as “plug ugly”. He’s shooting an event when he encounters the elusive chocolatier Chance, who gives him a very special chocolate…
Sort of Stranger than Fiction (Petit Morts #7) by Josh Lanyon. ebook short. Very good short paranormal m/m romance about a small-town bookstore owner who’s quite intrigued by the scarred guy who owns a nearby dojo.
One Less Stiff at the Funeral (Petit Morts #8) by Sean Kennedy. ebook short. Very good short m/m paranormal story about a guy who helps family members plan services for their freshly deceased relatives.
Critic’s Choice (Petit Morts #9) by Josh Lanyon. ebook short. Very good short m/m paranormal m/m romance about a film critic who gets the chance to work on a dream project and does so, even though he’ll be working with his cheating ex-boyfriend.
Wishink Well (Petit Morts #10) by Jordan Castillo Price. ebook short. Excellent short paranormal m/m romance about a man in a hospice, dying of COPD, who runs into the mysterious and alluring Chance stocking vending machines. This Petit Mort has sharper edge than the others.. and we find out a tiny bit more about Chance.
In a Wolf’s Eyes by Cassandra Gold. ebook short. Good short paranormal m/m romance about a guy who gets lost in the woods and found by a strangely intelligent wolf…
Copper Country Gold by Taylor Lochland. ebook. Good short paranormal m/m romance about a bobcat shifter in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula who’s been limiting himself to one-night stands because there aren’t any other gay shifters in the area and he knows his clan leader will never accept an outsider.
WHAT by Missy Welsh. free ebook short. Good free short paranormal m/m romance about a tattoo artist who has a crush on his straight boss.
Dinner and a Movie by Beth Wylde. ebook short. Steamy short m/m encounter about a couple out for dinner and a very unusual movie…
Strings Attached by Nick Nolan. ebook. Good but uneven m/m romance about a high school senior who discovers, after his alcoholic mother ends up in treatment, that his dead father’s family is wealthy. His transition to a life of privilege while he tries to figure out who he is and what he wants does not go smoothly. The author’s afterward reveals numerous references to the story of Pinocchio, only a few of which I caught. I’d suggest including a forward with an abbreviated version of that story to help the reader…
Double Bound (Strings Attached, Book 2) by Nick Nolan. ebook. Ok m/m romantic suspense that was all over the place. This book focused on the butler/bodyguard from the previous book. Unfortunately, especially the closer to the end of this book I got, it felt like the heir (the main character from the previous book) was back to being Pinocchio, with others deciding things for him.
The Christmas Wreath (Tales from the Bell End Cafe, Book 1) by Fabian Black. ebook short. So-so short m/m holiday romance about a young man who fancies himself in love with the older man who saved his life. I think this is the first installment in a serial story… and those drive me nuts. I’d rather read an entire story, not wait for it to be eked out.
The Perfect Tree (The Forbidden Room, Book 3) by J.P. Barnaby. ebook short. Steamy short kinky holiday m/m romance, after which reading you’ll not look at Christmas decorations the same again!
Twinkle, Twinkle by Josephine Myles. ebook short. DSP Advent Calendar. Good short holiday m/m romance about a doctor who, when treating an electrician shocked while checking the wiring for Christmas lights, realizes that the hunky electrician was the fat kid everyone beat up in school.
Biting the Christmas Biscuit (Broken, Book 1.2) by Dawn Kimberly Johnson. ebook short. So-so short holiday m/m romance in which the couple from Broken go to spend the holidays with one’s dead boyfriend’s family. The ending on this was odd – it just sort of stopped.
Storm on the Mountain (Mountain #7) by P.D. Singer. ebook short. Very good short m/m romance continuing the story of Mark and Allan, this time with a Valentine’s Day blizzard.
On Call: Crossroads (On Call #3) by P.D. Singer. ebook short. Doctors Without Borders Charity Sip Blitz. Very good short m/m romance continuing the story of veterinarian Dante and doctor Keith, as Keith tries to come to grips with losing a patient.
Housesitting by M. Durango. ebook short. Doctors Without Borders Charity Sip Blitz. Good short m/m romance about a guy who’s housesitting for his uncle for the summer, next door to the now-resident who was his teenaged crush.
Little Fishes by Syd McGynley. ebook short. Doctors Without Borders Charity Sip Blitz. Ok short kinky m/m romance about a master taking his slave to meet his family, who aren’t aware of the nature of their relationship.
How Did I Lose My Passport – And Find My Love by JM Cartwright. ebook short. Doctors Without Borders Charity Sip Blitz. So-so short m/m romance about an absent-minded medical researcher who misplaces his passport while traveling and is surprised when his nemesis, the hospital’s COO, turns up to get things sorted out.


“That was tasty. I’m glad Mom left those crackers near the edge of the counter while she was getting something out of the fridge!” -Chaos

Hmm. This was supposed to be a short linkity post, due to my long holiday weekend. FAIL.

Congrats to Kaetrin, who won Beyond Reckless by Ava March! Beyond Reckless will be released by Amber Quill Press on Sunday, November 28.


Freebies

Contests

Bookity

  • Author and publisher news and more from Dear Author and ReadReactReview (including a link to the very expensive official Dark-Hunter dolls).

Ebookity

Think, Do, Learn, Make

Linkity Peeps

Gift Ideas

Cool

  • I can’t believe we didn’t get a chance to see this awesome mural while we were in San Francisco.

Huh

LOL

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Breathe by Sloan Parker. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense about a guy who’s just spent six months in prison and is returning to his home town. I don’t want to say more about it, because part of this book’s strength is how what happened in the past and what’s happening in the present unfold together. Every time I was sure I had things all figured out, I was wrong. 🙂
Last Call Europe: Black Wolf by Belinda McBride. ebook. Very good kinky m/m paranormal romance about a lone wolf shifter and detective who’s been following the trail of a killer around the world. He ends up in London, at the paranormal bar Last Call Europe, where he’s teased by a saucy Siberian Husky shifter…
Caught by Surprise by L.D. Madison. ebook. Good m/m romance (from Loose Id’s Coming Out Day series) about two FBI agents who wake up naked in bed together with no memory of how they got there… My only complaint about this book was a plot thread that seemed to be going somewhere but was dropped.
Hit and Run by Cassidy Ryan. ebook . Good m/m romantic suspense about a guy who witnesses a crime, then ends up on the run, trying to stay alive long enough to testify.
After Hours by Cassandra Gold. ebook short. Cute steamy short m/m story about a guy closing at a bakery, who’s kind of impatient when a customer rushes in at the last minute…
The Hitcher and His Ride by Misty Malone (according to ARe, even though that doesn’t match the cover…). ebook short. Ok short paranormal m/m story about a lost driver who sees a wrecked motorcycle on the road and picks up the injured rider. This was a variation of a pretty traditional hitchhiker ghost story, with a few twists.
Nature’s Own by Nica Berry. ebook. Meh m/m urban fantasy about the fae, with a menagey bit. Alas, this story never drew me in, nor did I particularly care about any of the characters by the end.
Beg for More by A.J. Hardcourt. ebook short. So-so short m/m encounter between an architect and the owner of a construction company when they’re working late one evening.
The Club at Cool Harbor by Christiane France. ebook. Meh m/m romance about two guys who are trying to figure out who’s leaking secrets from an exclusive gay mens’ club. My major problems with the book were a plot based on a big misunderstanding, stalkerish tendencies (after a single date that didn’t actually happen, one guy called, sent letters, etc, for months?! Really??), instalove, and a lack of dramatic tension.
Sleepless in San Francisco by Ryan Field. ebook. PWP based on the movie Sleepless in Seattle. I knew this wasn’t going to be a good book, but it was worse than I expected.


“Everything looks so upside down. I wonder why?” -Mayhem

The Missing Link-ity found!

Congrats to arzu, who won Twice in a Lifetime by Shawn Lane! Twice in a Lifetime will be released on September 5 by Amber Allure.

Congrats to Tara, who won What To Do With Lore by Jade Archer! What To Do With Lore will be released by Total-E-Bound on September 6.

Congrats to kasjo_peja, who won Gay Day! Gay Day! (G-A-Y, Book 11) by Kim Dare! Gay Day! Gay Day! will be released on September 6 by Total-E-Bound.


Contests

Bookity

Ebookity

  • The University of Chicago Press is offering the 1906 edition of the Chicago Manual of Style as a free download this month. Make sure you use the link in the “Update” section of this post to get the DRM-free version! (Thanks, KZ!)

Make, Do, Learn, Think

  • August was the weakest month of car sales since 1983. Maybe people are realizing that they don’t need to replace their cars as often as the automobile industry keeps pushing us to? *sends happy longevity thoughts out to beloved 1997 car*
  • Have an earworm? Unhearit will help you get rid of it… by possibly giving you a new one. 🙂

Linkity Peeps

Cool

Huh

LOL

  • Hyperbole & a Half on social entrapment. Love this quote: “One of the most difficult aspects of interacting with other people is figuring out how to extricate yourself from a conversation without appearing rude or mentally unstable.”

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Unconventional (Conventions, Book 3) by T.C. Blue. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a computer game programmer, not able to work due to a lawsuit, who moves to California to live with his deeply closeted actor boyfriend.
Duet by Eden Winters. ebook. Excellent m/m romance that’s a bit challenging for me to categorize. The first half takes place in the Scottish Highlands 200 years ago and the second half takes place in the present day. This is a story about an English tutor/violinist and about the Scottish heir who despises the English. It’s the story of a love that transcends the ages. Oh, whatever – it’s just a darn good love story. 🙂
Double or Nothing by Cassandra Gold. ebook short. Decent m/m romance about a casino owner whose con artist ex shows up, asking for a chance to prove that he’s changed.
Collared Hearts and Frosted Hearts by Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks. ebook shorts. Very good kinky short m/m romances about an artist with a prissy boyfriend who not only owns the gallery at which the artist shows, but also gives him money for his rent and bills and leaves him feeling like a whore.
Submission Times Two by Claire Thompson. Good kinky m/m romance about a couple, deeply in love with each other, who are both submissive. Will they manage to keep their need to submit from destroying their relationship?
Masked Submission by Claire Thompson. ebook. So-so kinky m/m romance about a submissive PhD student who goes to a club and becomes fascinated by a cruel and mysterious masked dominant. I definitely like Claire Thompson’s more recent books better, because I found this one to be melodramatic and overwrought.
Dark Submission by Shayne Carmichael. ebook short. Ok short paranormal m/m romance about a young man, hired as a live-in secretary, who discovers several unusual and intriguing things about his employer.
Call Me Sir by Stormy Glenn. ebook. Um. Stormy Glenn does D/s. What else is there to say, really?! Well, ok, fine. So-so kinky m/m romance about a club owner who decides, after one look at a young man in his club, that the young man would be his forevermore.
Topping Timothy by Erin O’Niall. ebook short. So-so steamy m/m tale about a young man who’s fascinated by a dominant older man he keeps seeing at the bar he frequents, but who’s also sickened by the thought of bdsm. (And this is one of the ugliest stock photo covers I’ve ever seen.)
Catching a Second Wind by Sean Michael. ebook. This m/m romance about a vet who visits an appealing young psychologist as part of trying to get over the unexpected death of his long-term lover was so sweet and angst free that I confess to being bored… Ok, yeah, there was a titch of near-angst – but seriously, nothing that wasn’t resolved within a page or two.


“I want to sleep now, not be entertained. Go away.” -Mayhem

It’s far too late to come up with a remotely clever linkity title

Congrats to Jase, who won the copy of Gay Pride (G-A-Y, Book 7) by Kim Dare!


Contests

Books & Reading

  • Both Kris and Katiebabs have posts about the difference between comfort reads and rereads.

Learn, Do, Make

  • If you’re not exactly sure how a cell phone call works, check out this infographic.

Wow

Huh

LOL

  • Oh oh… If you’ve been following Brigitte’s quest to not alert Atticus that he’s going to the vet… there’s been a dark turn of events.

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Icing on the Cake by Shayla Kersten. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a guy who’s the man of honor for his best friend’s wedding. She puts him in charge of getting the cake… and oh, that baker is hot. (I wish Shayla Kersten wrote more m/m, because I’ve really enjoyed what she does have out… *hint hint*)
Gaps in Your Soul by Shayla Kersten. ebook reread. Um, yeah, so after reading the previous book, I felt the need to read some more Shayla Kersten. This is a pretty good m/m romance about… Hmm. Having trouble with a summary. At its most basic? I’d say it’s about how the US military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy messes with people’s minds and ultimately messes them up.
The One That Broke Free (One, Book 4) by T.C. Blue. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a soldier who was discharged ten years ago after his leg was permanently damaged. Since then, he’s been living alone in the small, closed-minded Southern town where he grew up, but after being in Boston for his brother and brother-in-law’s wedding, he’s rethinking his life. (I was lucky enough to win this from the author! Thanks, TC! And hey, TC will be giving away an ebook here at SOC tomorrow…)
Out of Balance by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Pretty good m/m romance about a banker who’s been going through a rough time when a hunky customer asks him out.
Two Man Team (Team, Book 2) by Jet Mykles. ebook. Do I hear bodies hitting the floor out there?! 🙂 Sarah reviewed this book and I was intrigued. (No, it wasn’t because of the Candy Cane Guy cover!) It’s an m/m romance that starts as an m/f/m romance and I’m not a fan of menagey books. But this one managed to avoid the big issue I have with menagey books, so it actually worked pretty well.
Vindaloo and the T-Bird by Sarah Black. ebook short. Good m/m romance about an eye surgeon who buys an old T-Bird so he has an excuse to spend time with the mechanic he used to date. There’s one thing that bothered me about this, but it’s a spoiler – we can talk about it in email if you’ve read the book!
Object of His Desire by Ava March. ebook. Good m/m Regency romance (I’ll give you a minute to recover) about a young man who’s been at a debauched house party for a week. He hasn’t participated because he’s been pining for the lord who’s hosting the party. Alas, he knows his affections won’t be returned, as the lord is ostensibly using the week to audition for his next mistress… (And yes, that’s Underwear Guy on the cover!)
Convincing Arthur by Ava March. ebook. Another good m/m Regency romance! It turns out that I don’t mind (and actually enjoy) historicals if they aren’t overburdened with historical details. I know that some love reading elaborate details of the clothes, the furnishings, the food… but that’s what turned me off of historicals in the past. Anyway! Leopold’s been waiting for Arthur to be free from his long-term and unfaithful lover. Now that Arthur’s free, will Leopold’s own debauched reputation keep Arthur away?
Fantasies: Christmas by Cassandra Gold. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy who’s had a really bad week (he gets laid off, his beloved old cat dies, and his boyfriend dumps him by email) until he wins a Hawaiian vacation at the liquor store and invites the helpful guy next in line to go with him.
Cutting Cords by Mickie B. Ashling. ebook. Good m/m romance about two young men who end up as roommates in NYC because their dads were pro baseball teammates once upon a time. One guy is going blind but in denial (about more than just going blind *ahem*). The other is dealing (not so well) with crippling self-esteem issues. This story is told in alternating first- and third-person point-of-view, but I think it would’ve worked better if it had been entirely in third-person.
Poker Night 5: Full House by Carol Lynne. ebook. Well, I had to know how it all ended, since the story of Kent and Marco has been building through the previous four books! I enjoyed it, but I’d recommend reading the rest of the series first.
Theron’s Return (Campus Cravings, Book 11) by Carol Lynne. ebook. Um, I sort of pick these m/m romances up randomly as the descriptions strike my fancy, so for me, this is a completely nonlinear series. This one’s about a guy living in BK House who’s had a really, really bad year and simply can’t deal with it any more. It was ok – exactly the sort of read I needed at the time.
Calendar Boys April: Out of the Storm by Jamie Craig. ebook. Good m/m romance about a meteorologist who’s just been dumped by his boyfriend on a weekend getaway when a hunky ranger shows up at his cabin door, stranded by a surprise storm. (Wait, just how many dumped boyfriend books did I read this week?!)
Calendar Boys August: Scorched by Jamie Craig. ebook. Another good m/m romance – this one’s about a NYC firefighter who returns to Utah to help fight an out-of-control wildfire and runs into his former best friend’s kid brother.
Apotrope by Chris Owen. ebook short. Huh. This paranormal m/m romance about a vampire trying to impress a guy just never came together for me. (It’s part of Torquere’s Spice It Up series and the spice in question was garlic.)
Murder by Design by Jade Falconer. ebook. Um. Well, this m/m romance about a cop investigating the murder of a slutty model’s sugar daddy might’ve been better if half of it was cut out – I’d recommend the extremely repetitive scenes in which our two heroes gushed lovingly at each other over and over and over, ad nauseum.


So my friend CJ went to RT and all I got was… dang. A lot of goodies! Thank you, CJ! And thanks to all the authors who signed stuff for me. 🙂

“Mom, I’m truly alarmed by the large number of naughty boys and utter lack of black kitties.” -Mayhem

Ya wanna know the funny part? I didn’t think I’d have enough links to do linkity….

Contests

Books & Reading

Learn Stuff

  • ModernCat has some great pictures of a cat table (sort of an outdoor garden/platform for your cats to enjoy on your deck or patio), plus a link to how to make one.
  • Ugh. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to eat bagged salad again…

LOL

Teh Cute! It Burns!

Reading Update
My Fair Captain (Sci-Regency, Book 1) by J.L. Langley. ebook. Another book for Kris’ m/m rut challenge. This was a scifi m/m romance, with a Regency flair to it… and I totally loved it. (I’m really glad I totally loved it, because if I hadn’t? I’d be afraid, as this is a very popular book.) I was a little frustrated during the prologue and first few chapters, as I tried to pull the bits and pieces together (that world-building stuff), but after I hit the breakthrough point (where you absorb the background and it doesn’t interfere with the story anymore), I was transfixed. Very steamy, yet very romantic and highly recommended read. (Kris is gloating. I can hear her.)
The Englor Affair (Sci-Regency, Book 2) by J.L. Langley. ebook. Not quite as good as My Fair Captain, but still a very good m/m scifi romance.
Friction by J.P. Bowie, Jenna Byrnes, Jude Mason, Kim Dare, Ashley Ladd, S.L. Majors, & Cassandra Gold. ebook collection. This was an enjoyable m/m romance collection. I thought of all the stories were, at the very least, decent, with one exception. And there were definitely a couple that were excellent.
Running Hot by Stephani Hecht. ebook short. Nicely done short m/m romance about a paramedic and an ER doctor.
GPS by Leigh Ellwood. ebook short. Cute m/m romance about a guy who gets a GPS for his birthday, but what the heck is up with the darn thing?! (Yes, you’re right – that is Candy Cane Guy in the background.)
Sea of Sin (Creatures of Sin, Book 3? Book 2.5?) by India Harper. ebook short. Ok m/m romance short about a police commander who lives a celibate, closeted life except for the one week during which he goes on a gay cruise vacation. Based on the sort of non-ending to this story, I suspect it’s part of the setup for the next book in the series.
629 Miles To Love by Fae Sutherland & Marguerite Labbe. ebook. Ok m/m romance about two former lovers on a drive, talking about what went wrong. (Lost points for lack of condoms and lack of discussion of same.)
Skin Deep by S. W. Vaughn. ebook. Quite good urban fantasy m/m romance that was a bit hard for me to read at points, due to graphic violence in a domestic abuse situation. I am glad I persevered. (No condoms here, either…)
Falling (Hawkins Ranch, Book 2) by Cameron Dane. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about two ranchers, one of whom happens to be a demon, which I would’ve enjoyed more if it had had a bit less torture. Those parts were hard for me to read and I definitely skimmed the more graphic violence.
ReneCade (Hawkins Ranch, Book 3) by Cameron Dane. ebook. Another good m/m romance (no paranormal this time) about a deeply closeted sheriff’s deputy who’s attracted to the sheriff’s son, but very afraid of the potential consequences of that attraction. I’m glad that this was less brutal than Falling, but the angst was flowing more freely and there was cheating, so maybe it was a draw.
Do You Believe in Magic by Drew Zachary. ebook short. Very steamy short m/m romance that was a good antidote to the brutality of Skin Deep and Falling.
Slap and Tickle by Drew Zachary. ebook. So-so m/m romance about a possessive cop and the stripper he’s in love with. I found the nicknames (“Big Daddy” and “Candy Pants”) annoying and the sex-to-story ratio was so skewed I skimmed a lot to find the tiny bits of plot scattered amongst the nudity. Plus a plot point that was played up throughout the book wasn’t resolved so much as dropped, which was odd and rather unsatisfying.


“Fine, Mayhem. Be that way. I was only trying to help. Now you will be shunned because your ears are dirty!” -Chaos

“Whatever, big kitty. I think you have OCD issues.” -Mayhem

Today’s forecast is for sunshine and linkity

Contest Update

  • JessaLu’s celebrating her blogiversary with a big contest – she’ll have five knitting related prizes, one for each year that she’s been blogging. The prizes are wonderful – some of her gorgeous box bags, socks knit for you on her sock knitting machine, or gorgeous sock yarn dyed by Scout. Contest closes midnight EST, February 19… and tell her I sent ya. 🙂

Reading & Beyond

  • What are your reading neuroses? A major one of mine is getting extremely anxious about what’s going to happen to characters in books, to the point that I need to put the book down and have a bit of a lie down.

Yay, Minnesota!

Get Your Geek On

Eh, Canada

  • Music blog Star Maker Machine is focusing on Canadian songs this week in honor of the Olympics.

Yum

Fun & Kitties & Goats, Oh My

  • Aww! How come my kitties have never slept in such a configuration?!

Reading Update
Thanks to jmc of Shuffling through a book-less desert, where I won a copy of the historical m/m romance, Seducing Stephen!

Love Ahead by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux. ebook collection. These two m/m romances were decent, but you can definitely tell that they were older stories from Urban and Roux. And, as Tam pointed out when she read them a week or two ago, how names are used in each story was definitely odd. In the first, both guys mostly used each others’ last names. That was ok, since they knew each other through their work at a construction site. Then, later in the story, when they started to use each others’ first names, it was obviously supposed to indicate their growing closeness and intimacy. I get that. But why the hell did they both have first and last names that could be first or last names?! It was so confusing. So very confusing. And in the next story? The name thing? Really? You never exchanged actual names after talking to each other on the phone for months? *headdesk*
Snow Plowed (Bay City Paranormal Investigations) by Ally Blue. free holiday short. This was a cute’n’steamy m/m Valentine’s short with the characters from Love, Like Ghosts. And if you haven’t read the Bay City Paranormal Investigations series, what are you waiting for?! It’s one of the series that sucked me into reading m/m romance. Hmm… Ok, maybe that’s why you haven’t. 😉
Petit Morts 1-5: Hue, Tint and Shade; Slings and Arrows; Moolah and Moonshine; Other People’s Weddings; Spanish Fly Guy (1, 3, 5 by Jordan Castillo Price; 2, 4 by Josh Lanyon). ebook shorts. These delightful little m/m romances are all loosely based around a mysterious chocolate shop and Chance, its equally mysterious proprietor. Although I enjoyed each and every one, I think that #4 (Other People’s Weddings by Josh Lanyon) was my favorite, with #1 (Hue, Tint and Shade by Jordan Castillo Price) following closely behind. Recommended. (Val at Obsidian Bookshelf has much more detailed reviews of the Petit Morts, as does Jenre of Well Read.)
Holiday Outing by Astrid Amara. ebook. Another delightful Hannukah m/m romance from Astrid Amara! A successful author of gay fiction, still closeted to his family, gets snowed in with his family (and a high school nemesis) for Hannukah.
Fantasies: Thanksgiving by Cassandra Gold. ebook. Enjoyable m/m romance about two guys, one gay, one straight, who have been friends for many years… and then something changes in their friendship. (We’ll be revisiting this cover image at some point in the future, too.)
True North (Lost Boys & Love Letters, Book 1) by Bethany Brown & Ashlyn Kane. ebook. Darn good m/m romance about a deeply closeted petroleum engineer and the new doctor in town, and about how limiting it can be to let your fears control you.
Picture Perfect (Lost Boys & Love Letters, Book 2) by Bethany Brown & Ashlyn Kane. ebook. Ok m/m romance that started out feeling like a freestanding story, but seemed as if, partway through, it suddenly needed to become part of a series (the few paragraphs that were apparently supposed to tie it to True North didn’t seem, to me, to fit)… probably right about the time it detoured into m/m/m for a bit. Very ambivalent about reading the third book.
Hero by Heidi Cullinan. ebook. This was another read for Kris’ m/m rut challenge. This was a fantasy (I guess sort of an urban fantasy, actually) based on the Japanese myth of the kitsune. Intellectually, I could tell it was a pretty good story, but I was fighting against the fantastical elements of the story the entire time. So, basically, I don’t think I can fairly rate this one.
Heart and Soul (The Assignment, Book 2) by Evangeline Anderson. ebook. Ah, this poor m/m romantic suspense got a bit caught in my expectations for it (sequel to The Assignment!) and my discomfort with parts of the story itself. Don’t get me wrong – it was a decent read and definitely worth reading if you enjoyed the previous book (and subsequent shorts) – but I had trouble reading around all the plot holes. *sigh*
Coach, In Bear’s Bed, Office Advances, and A Biker’s Vow (Campus Cravings, Books 1, 7, 8, & 9) by Carol Lynne. ebooks. Reading Carol Lynne is like eating potato chips – not very filling and you know they’re probably not good for you, but you just can’t stop. O_o As you might guess from the name of this series, it’s set on a college campus. (And yes, that is Candy Cane Guy In Bear’s Bed! That naughty boy…) Oddly, at the end of A Biker’s Vow, this series appears to be intersecting with Lynne’s Cattle Valley series.
Sonny’s Salvation (Good-Time Boys, Book 1) by Carol Lynne. ebook. See my comment on reading Carol Lynne books above. 🙂 Sonny quit the FBI to run the family ranch in Nebraska after his dad died. Too bad there aren’t many gay men in rural Nebraska… (And I already know I won’t be reading past the third book in this series, based on the subject matter of the fourth book.)
Rules Were Made To Be Broken by Lenore Black. ebook. Pretty good m/m romance about a guy who recently took over running the family sporting goods store and his (straight) best friend who’s feeling a bit jealous of the store and all the time it takes up. Very nice review of this and Lenore Black’s other works over at Dear Author.
Dead Men Get No Tail by Misty Malone. ebook short. Ok m/m romance about two college roommates, one of whom decides to have a fake funeral for himself. This one left me sort of “Huh?”
Fool for Love by Cassandra Gold. ebook. I’m not a big fan of May-December romances, but Cassandra Gold does a nice job with this m/m romance between a professor and his college student neighbor.


“Sheesh, May, you totally missed this spot by your elbow when you were bathing. What a slob.” -Chaos

*strikes kitty yoga pose #742* -Mayhem