In which linkity happens yet again



Congrats to Giselle, who won The Decisions We Make by RJ Scott!

Congrats to Orannia, Eva, Bogusia, SarahM, and Zanara, who all won copies of Fall into the Sun by Val Kovalin!

Congrats to Helena, who won Cinder (A CinderFella Story) by Marie SextonCinder will be released by Silver Publishing on February 4.



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  • This will only be humorous if you live in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN) and are familiar with the controversy over a new Vikings stadium.

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Time To Do (Perfect Timing #3) by Kim Dare. ebook. reread. Excellent m/m romance about two guys – one gay, one straight – who have been best friends since they were small and are now roommates at college. The gay guy’s been quietly in love with his best friend for years, but has been resigned to never being able to touch him… until he finds his friend’s list of things to experience, which segues from kissing and having sex with women (all checked off) to kissing a man (not checked off)… This was my first Kim Dare book, and remains my very favorite. :)
Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan. free ebook short. Smoking hot kinky short m/m story about a timid grad student doing his laundry on a Friday night and the cowboy who comes to his rescue.
Forever in One Second by Finn Marlowe. ebook. Very good m/m paranormal romantic suspense about a rescue worker who can heal with touch. When one of the people he’s healed comes to find and thank him, neither of them have any idea how much their lives will change.
The Yearning by AJ Rose. ebook. Very good paranormal m/m romance told from the perspective of a ghost anchored to a young mortician who is in love with his oblivious best friend. This took some unexpected and enjoyable twists. :)
9:05 by KC Burn. free ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about an office worker who’s the only one moving around while the rest of world is stuck at 9:05 am.
Chapter Five and the Axe-Wielding Maniac by Marie Sexton. free ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about a writer with writer’s block hiding out at his Oregon cabin… and then a young man with a pick-axe knocks on his door with a surprising request.
Carbon & Ash by Chris Owen. ebook short. This was a short but sweet m/m romance about slowing sliding into something other than friendship without being fully aware. And it’s one of my comfort rereads.
A Simple Suburban Murder (Tom & Scott #1) by Mark Richard Zubro. Very good gay mystery about high school teacher Tom, who finds a much-hated math teacher dead in his classroom, and his closeted baseball player boyfriend, Scott.
All the Gear, No Idea (I Blame Brett #2) by Kim Dare. ebook short. Good short kinky m/m romance about a dom who’s asked to look after a clueless new sub.
Not a Whore by Jaime Samms. free ebook short. Good short m/m romance about a young man who’s sleeping with his boss, but things are more complicated than they appear at first…
Method Acting by Clare London. free ebook short. Cute short m/m story about two guys in bed… with a surprising twist.
Death Trick (Donald Strachey #1) by Richard Stevenson. ebook. Good gay mystery set in Albany in 1979, when things were wild pre-HIV. Donald Strachey’s been hired by the parents of a missing gay man suspected of murder, but nothing is quite adding up about the case. (This is such a weird cover! Pretty sure there wasn’t a dog in the book…)
Hair of the Dog by Ashlyn Kane & Morgan James. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about a guy who wakes up covered in blood the morning after his father’s funeral and quickly learns (from the mysterious men waiting outside his door) that he was bitten by a werewolf. It was an interesting storyline, but the timeline was too murky for my pattern-matching brain, leading the story to feel jumpy.
Melting by VJ Summers. ebook short. Good short kinky m/m romance that consists of an extended wax play bdsm scene between a dom and his beloved submissive. I really wanted to read more of this couple’s backstory.
Plan B (A Candyland Story) by VJ Summers. free ebook short. Steamy short m/m story about two guys hooking up in a bar, which appears to be the prequel to Liar, Liar.
Hold the Sky by AC Fox. ebook. Good m/m romance about two architects – one just starting out and the other quite successful – who can’t stop competing with each other.
How Much for the Whole Night? by RJ Scott. free ebook short. Good short m/m story about a guy who picks up a hooker for the first time ever on the night before his final divorce custody hearing. There was just way too much story for the number of pages!
The Librarian by Lee Brazil. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a university librarian who’s had a crush on his former college roommate, now his hairdresser, for ten years. I was going to rate this higher until nearly the end of the book, when it turned out that the entire premise was based on a big misunderstanding. *sigh*
Want (1 Night Stand #81) by Ann Mayburn. ebook short. So-so short m/m about a straight construction foreman who’s been lusting after one of the stonemasons working for him. Via the 1 Night Stand service, he manages to arrange a blind date with the man. The pronoun confusion in this one was painful – I really couldn’t figure out who was doing what to whom most of the time.


I know this is an exceptionally crappy picture, but it amused me so much to see them both sleeping in the same pose. :) (May is closer to the camera, so she looks the same size as Chaos.)

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Linkity: The post-birthday, pre-Thanksgiving edition



Don’t forget to enter the contest for Media Naranja (Other Half) (Petit Morts #16) by Clare London & Jordan Castillo Price! Contest closes 7 pm CST, November 28.

Go enter the contest for Boats in the Night by Josephine Myles! Contest closes 7 pm CST, November 28.

Definitely enter the contest for Private Eye (Liaisons #1) by SE Culpepper! Contest closes 7 pm CST, November 28.


Congrats to Cori and Lilli, who each won copies of Honored Vow (Change of Heart #3) by Mary Calmes! Honored Vow will be released by Dreamspinner Press on November 21.

Congrats to Kelly, who won Texas Winter (The Heart of Texas #2) by RJ Scott! Texas Winter will be released by Silver Publishing on November 19.


Thank you for all the birthday wishes yesterday! :) I took yesterday and today off from work and did absolutely nothing. Tonight, Jeanne and I are going to see The Mountain Goats play at the Fitzgerald Theater – Neil Gaiman is part the event, too.



Contests

  • Cecile’s giving away backlist ebooks from Rachel Haimowitz, Aleksandr Voinov, LA Witt, Brita Addams, or Cat Grant. Read the contest directions carefully! Contests close November 18 at midnight, EST.

Bookity

  • So last week’s AJ Llewellyn drama led to a larger discussion of transphobia and transgender issues. For me, this post by Aleksandr Voinov tied everything together.

Ebookity

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Teh Cute

Reading Update
Stay the Night by Scarlett Parrish. ebook. Very good m/m romance about Kit, an awkward and antisocial computer programmer who is extremely attracted to his new housemate, but manages to push him away at every turn. Kit reminded me all too much of myself…
Boats in the Night by Josephine Myles. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a guy who’s not really doing so well since his boyfriend left him a month ago. He’s dealing with a hangover when he hears a bunch of noise at the base of his garden and discovers a broken-down narrowboat, with a most fascinating owner…
True Colors by Clare London. ebook. reread. (Totally reusing my original reviewette here!) This turned out to be a very good and intense m/m romance after a sort of shaky start – I almost put the book away because there were so many different people introduced in the first few pages and I couldn’t figure out who was important and who was peripheral. But in the end? Totally redeemed, because Clare London deftly tied in those seemingly extraneous introductory bits.
Where You Least Expect It by M. Durango. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a straight guy whose unlikely friendship with a cyclist he almost ran over has him very confused about his sexuality.
Closet (Todd Mills #1) by RD Zimmerman. ebook. Very good m/m mystery about a prominent and closeted tv reporter whose boyfriend is murdered… and he’s being set up to take the fall. As a bonus, it’s set in Minneapolis in 1995. :)
Reclamation (Dominion #2) by Lissa Kasey. ebook. Very good m/m paranormal romance in which Sei’s seeing a Dominion-ordered psychiatrist to help him work through the events of the last book, but he seems to be getting worse instead of better. I would definitely have enjoyed this book more if I hadn’t read the prologue – it made me too anxious to really settle into the story.
Consequences (Dominion #2.1) by Lissa Kasey. free ebook short. Good short m/m paranormal romance about Gabe messing with Sei a bit after Sei gets caught out while shifted.
Touching Wood by Kim Dare. ebook short. Steamy kinky short m/m scene about a dominant and submissive reconnecting with each other in their playroom.
Wight Mischief by JL Merrow. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy who goes to the Isle of Wight to research ghosts with the self-absorbed journalist friend he’s fancied himself in love with for years… a fancy he reevaluates as he keeps running into a sexy and reclusive author with a creepy, domineering guardian.
Drive Safe by Sean Kennedy. free ebook short. Cute short m/m romance about a guy driving home through the outback who stops to help a drag queen whose car has broken down.
Congratulations Lucky Winner by LB Gregg. free ebook short. Madcap short m/m story about a hotel manager charged with storing two very unusual awards that are to be given out at conventions in the hotel.
Speed Dating the Slow Way by Chris Owen. ebook short. Steamy short m/m romance about two guys who become briefly reacquainted during a charity speed dating event, then reconnect some time later.
Pulled Long (Long Shots #3) by Christine d’Abo. ebook arc. Pretty good m/m romance about Ian, a coffee shop owner who’s been fascinated by and flirting with a handsome customer for months… until he found out the customer was in the process of getting divorced. As he didn’t want to be some straight guy’s rebound, he backed off. I was annoyed by the whole martyr thing that Ian had going on – that’s a trait that drives me nuts. If that doesn’t bother you as much as it does me, you might enjoy this more than did I.
Between You and Me by Willa Okati. ebook. So-so m/m romance about two guys who’ve been best friends since college and now, in their mid-thirties, are starting to realize why neither of them have found “the one”. This just never came together for me – the language was convoluted and the whole beach in the rain scenario… *shakes head*
Stroke the Demon by Eden Cole. ebook. Meh kinky m/m paranormal menage about an orphaned 18-year old who discovers that the mysterious benefactors who’ve been paying for his school and living expenses are demons, and that he was basically bred to be their sex toy. This was one of those stories that had way too much sex for the tiny amount of plot.
Love Revisited: Nash & Paul (Nash & Paul #2) by HC Brown. ebook short. I read this out of sick fascination to see if it was as bad as the first book. It was. Maybe worse. It’s hard to quantify levels of badness at this level.
Saving Tate by Will Banks. ebook short. This m/m short was just bad, from using the phrase “gay lifestyle” to the clumsy writing to the excess of poorly executed plot crammed into too-few pages. Not recommended at all.


A classic picture of Chaos from early 2004! How would you caption it? :)

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Linkity lapses



Congrats to Tracy W, who won In His Hero’s Shadow (EMS Heat #10) by Stephani Hecht! In His Hero’s Shadow will be released by eXtasy Books on August 15.

Congrats to Majken, who won the Cross Bones anthology, courtesy of Piper Vaughn and M.J. O’Shea! Cross Bones will be released on August 15 by Dreamspinner Press.



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  • The sad thing about this? It’s totally true for me…

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Ashton and Justice by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Sweet m/m romance about the abused son of a prominent district attorney and the son of a notorious criminal. Their fathers hate each other – how can things possibly work out?
More Than Moonlight by MJ O’Shea & Piper Vaughn. free ebook collection. A collection of three sweet short m/m romances, about two of the band members of Luck in the band’s early days.
Moonlight Becomes You by Piper Vaughn & MJ O’Shea. ebook. Excellent m/m romance about two bands, Luck and Moonlight, going on tour together. The lead singer of Luck becomes fascinated by the lead singer of Moonlight, and is increasingly frustrated because Moonlight’s lead singer treats him coldly and keeps his distance.
A Change of Pace (Change #3) by JM Cartwright. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a guy who moves to North Carolina from Chicago with a chip on his shoulder about the whole thing and then meets a local carpenter he develops confusing feelings for.
Lucky by KM Mahoney. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about a bear shifter who moves to a small town in Wisconsin known to be paranormal friendly and meets an extremely unlucky (but cute!) fairy.
The Tower by Chris Owen. ebook. Good m/m romance, set in the indeterminate nearish future, about a guy who works in an office tower where career advancement literally involves moving up the tower/ladder. When the CEO’s administrative assistant (from the very top of the tower) takes an interest in him, he has no idea what to think.
Seeking Kokopelli by Shelley Munro. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about the lead singer of a band who’s subtly pursuing one of the roadies (a widower), not realizing that his own odd paranormal secret might need to come out.
Change in Attitude (Change of Heart #2) by Kiernan Kelly. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance in which veterinarian and werewolf Dae is called by his brother back to the pack that cast him out, and his human mate insists on going along despite the danger. This felt less polished than other work I’ve read by this author.
Only Yours by JR Patrick. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance about a guy who asks his boyfriend to move in with him… and when he wakes up in the morning, his boyfriend is gone.
The Attorney (The Male Room #2) by Carolyn LeVine Topol. ebook. Ok m/m romance about the lawyer from The Male Room, who’s now trying the gay dating site himself. He’s not doing so well with his picks, though, so one of the site’s owners sets him with someone he’d never have picked for himself.
To Love Again (Bound Hearts, Book 1) by Simone Anderson. ebook. Ok kinky m/m romance about a writer and dominant whose vanished ex-boyfriend turns up on his doorstep as an abused and escaped slave. While the storyline had potential, I never connected to the characters and felt, at times, as if I was reading parts of a research paper or something.
Buried Treasure by DC Juris. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance about a guy who visits his father at the nursing home and one of the orderlies from the nursing home. I just couldn’t suspend disbelief that six months of weekly platonic lunches would seamlessly flow into one dinner date and then moving in together…


Yes, they are built very differently! :) And although you can’t tell from that picture, Chaos isn’t overweight.

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In which I can’t think of anything remotely clever for a linkity title and even begin to wonder if I’ve already used this title before



Congrats to Laura/Adara, who won Cup Check (Blue Line Hockey #3) by Stephani Hecht! Cup Check will be released by eXtasy Books on May 1.



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Reading Update
Carbon and Ash by Chris Owen. ebook short. reread. This was a short but sweet m/m romance about slowing sliding into something other than friendship without being fully aware. And it’s one of my comfort rereads.
The Morning Star (Shadow of the Templar #1) by M. Chandler. ebook. reread. Ok, yeah, so I just read this the first time last month and I already reread it. I’m ok with that.
Lovers Destined by HM Broussard. free ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance fanfic that finally brings together Qhuinn and Blaylock from the Black Dagger Brotherhood!
Hell Cop by Astrid Amara, Ginn Hale, & Nicole Kimberling. ebook collection. Very good m/m urban fantasy/romance collection featuring three related stories revolving around the hell cops – the bad ass sorcerers who try to keep order in demon-infested Parmas City.
Hell Cop 2 by Astrid Amara, Ginn Hale, & Nicole Kimberling. ebook collection. Very good m/m urban fantasy/romance collection about the hell cops (and their guys) introduced in the first book.
Flesh & Blood (In the Flesh #2) by Ethan Stone. ebook. Ok m/m continuing the story of Reno police detective Cristian Flesh as he works on a case that shakes free all of the demons from his past. While I really loved In the Flesh, this sequel felt flat and lacking in both mystery and romance.
Hellbourne 2: Bound & Determined by Amber Kell. ebook short. So-so short paranormal m/m romance, during which I realized I didn’t particularly care about any of the rather shallow characters.
Hellbourne 3: Heart & Soul by Amber Kell. ebook short. Meh short paranormal m/m romance, during which I couldn’t figure out why I kept reading.
Craven by Eden Cole. ebook. So-so m/m romance based on multiple big misunderstandings… not my favorite plot device. This is my favorite sentence from the book: “His cock, which had gone down, hardened immediately, and rushed over to his side of the car.”
Catch/Caught by Vivien Dean. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance about a corrupt cop and a musician who witnesses something he shouldn’t have seen.


“Maybe you should cut back on the nip, hmm?” -Mayhem

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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!


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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

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