Tag Archives: Dean James

That week when linkity was almost manageable*



Congrats to Renee, who won Danny and Mike by Valentina HeartDanny and Mike will be released by Silver Publishing on September 29.

Congrats to Serentiy, who won Love Comes Silently by Andrew Grey! Love Comes Silently will be released on October 1 by Dreamspinner Press.

Congrats to Victoria H and Marsha S, who each won Dex in Blue (Johnnies #2) by Amy LaneDex in Blue will also be released by Dreamspinner Press on October 1.


*Because a catastrophic Firefox crash took out my plugins and left me VERY CRANKY…



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Reading Update
The Hot Floor by Josephine Myles. ebook. arc. Very good m/m/m romance about a glassblower who’s attracted to the couple living downstairs from him. As they become friends, his attraction only increases, but he respects their rule about not getting involved with people they see all the time. And then things change in a flood of surprising circumstances…
Heart in Hand by salifiable. free ebook/online fiction. reread. Very good m/m romance about two hockey players on rival teams who become friends – and more – through an unusual turn of events. I got sniffly more than once while I was reading this one. What didn’t work so well for me were all the hockey details in the last third of the book, which got to be a bit much. (Note that this is, as Kate puts it, set in an alternate universe and features two real-life NHL players.) Reread: Just as good, if not better, on the reread. My eyes leaked this time, too. Reread the second: Yeah, I read it twice this week. 🙂
If Heaven’s Hypothetical by Shoemaster & Impertinence. free ebook/online fiction. Very good m/m romance about a guy who runs away from home and his minor league hockey team in Canada because he doesn’t think he has a choice. And then he becomes friends with a vaguely familiar guy who keeps coming into the diner where he waits tables…
At the End of All Your Lines by Lake (beyond_belief). free ebook/online fiction. Surprisingly sweet short m/m romance about best friends and hockey teammates who get drunk married in Las Vegas.
Not a Heart of Gold by queeniegalore. free ebook/online fiction. Steamy short m/m romance about a hockey player who becomes obsessed with the thought of his teammate and best friend as a hooker he can buy.
Inferno by Scarlet Blackwell. ebook. Good m/m romance about a closeted cop who’s pissed at a sexy club owner for being tempting… oh yeah, and for being a murder suspect, too. 😉 Over-the-top drama ensues.
Baked to Death (Simon Kirby-Jones #4) by Dean James. Good gay mystery in which an old friend shows up trying to regain Simon’s affections and a medieval fair provides a dangerous distraction. This was the last book in the series and one thing had to happen for me to be happy with how it ended. I’m happy. 🙂
How to Quit Playing Hockey (Hockey #1) by Isa K. ebook. Good m/m romance about two closeted minor league hockey players whose idyllic summer together ends with the start of the new season as one is sent up to the majors and the other faces the possibility of being cut from the team and trying to define a post-hockey life.
There’s Cock in This Book (Hockey #0.5) by Isa K. free ebook short. reread. I should’ve refreshed my memory and reread this before reading How to Quit Playing Hockey! Good short m/m story about a deeply closeted minor league hockey player who survives by keeping his head down and blending in… until the new guy on the team hits on him. With a bit more proofing and a less abrupt ending, this would have been a 4.5 star read.
Another Dead Republican (Tom & Scott #13) by Mark Richard Zubro. ebook. Good gay mystery in which Tom and Scott head to Wisconsin to support Tom’s sister after her loathsome husband was murdered during a gubernatorial recall election. A titch more editing would have helped on this one.
Summerboys by stlkrchck. free ebook/online fiction. Good m/m romance about two camp counselors who don’t communicate with each other very well. I think this one’s probably more fun if you have actual familiarity with the hockey players who inspired the fic.


*admires the unbearable cuteness of Mayhem*

Linkity after a long week


Congrats to Laura, who won the Hearts of England anthology by RJ Scott, Meredith Russell, Chris Quinton, Lisa Worrall, Sue Brown, & SA Meade! Hearts of England will be released by Silver Publishing on September 15.

Congrats to Brandi, who won Holding On by Em WoodsHolding On will be released by Total-E-Bound on September 17.



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Reading Update
Second Hand (Tucker Springs #2) by Heidi Cullinan & Marie Sexton. ebook. arc. Very good m/m romance about a guy whose girlfriend left him for someone who could give her more stuff. As he becomes friends with the pawnshop owner he meets in the course of trying to sort out everything his ex-girlfriend left behind, he’s oblivious to the attraction simmering between them. I must confess that I wanted this book to be one day longer, which will make sense after you read it. 🙂
Steamroller by Mary Calmes. ebook. arc. Sweet m/m romance about a hardworking college student/copy center manager who’s snarky to a rude customer… a rude customer who seems to be everywhere he turns after that. But is that a bad thing… or a good thing?
Decorated to Death (Simon Kirby-Jones #3) by Dean James. Good gay mystery in which Lady Prunella foolishly invites a decorator, famous for his bad manners and extreme room makeovers show, to redecorate the drawing room.
Desert World Allegiances (Desert World #1) by Lyn Gala. ebook. Good m/m scifi romance about a guy who’s put into slavery as punishment and about the priest who realizes that all is not as it seems. This reminded me a bit too much of Dune
Casual (Sex) Friday by Evie Kiels. ebook short. Cute short m/m romance about a guy who went out on a dull date with his coworker, but now keeps saying no every Friday when the coworker asks him out for a drink… until said coworker runs into him in the park after work one Friday…
A Younger Man (Cabin Fever #3) by Cameron Dane. ebook. Meh m/m romance about a fortyish handyman who gets a twenty-something man and his siblings a place to live in exchange for fixing up the place. The handyman doesn’t want to be attracted to the younger man, but… The sex scenes were frequent, lengthy, and excessively euphemistic to the point of being purple prose. “Striated bud”? “Pulsing channel”? Just ugh. I only made it through the book because I finally gave up reading the sex scenes.


“Mom says to please caption amongst yourselves because she’s had a really long week already.” -Mayhem

Leaves’ll be fallin’ when linkity comes callin’



Congrats to AlbertaGirl, SarahM, and Melora, who won copies of Mourning Heaven by Amy Lane! Mourning Heaven is being released today by Dreamspinner Press.

Congrats to Mammarella, who won Sub Zero by Angel Martinez!

Congrats to Sarah S, who won Body Magic (Triad #2) by Poppy DennisonBody Magic will be released by Dreamspinner Press on September 10.



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  • Chaos gets around this by simply ripping the roll into confetti – I haven’t been able to hang up a roll of toilet paper for many, many years. (For future reference, it’s in the cupboard under the bathroom sink. I hope you’re good at opening childproof locks one-handed whilst leaning over from the toilet…)

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Reading Update
The Cat in the Cradle (Loka Legends #1) by Jay Bell. ebook. Very good young adult gay fantasy (with romantic elements) about a young man and his talking cat who head out to experience more of life than what they’ve seen during their sheltered existence. They achieve that in spades.
Finding Fire, Flesh and Blood, and the Loka Legends Sketchbook (Loka Legends #0.5/1.5) by Jay Bell & Andreas Bell. free ebook collection. Finding Fire takes place before The Cat in the Cradle, but you don’t need to read them in that order. Flesh and Blood takes place before, during, and after The Cat in the Cradle; I recommend you read it after. Both (very good) short stories provide additional insight into the events of The Cat in the Cradle.
From Darkness to Darkness (Loka Legends #2) by Jay Bell. ebook. Very good young adult gay fantasy (with romantic elements) about life, death, love, and the responsibilities of power. Hmm. Could I be any more cryptic? 😉
Stained Glass by Jaime Samms. ebook. Very good kinky m/m romance about a guy who’s only recently realized he’s a sub, but who’s been almost destroyed by his dom imploding. He retreats into a bottle, but his friends are not ready to lose him.
Max & Finn (Men of Smithfield #2) by LB Gregg. ebook. reread. Very good m/m romance about a prep school teacher and dorm parent who is discomfited to discover that the security specialist he had an impulsive encounter with will be protecting one of the students in the dorm.
Slow Burn by Dawn Douglas. ebook short. Steamy short m/m romance about a college student whose twin sister blackmails him into doing a dreaded coffee delivery for a financial trust. In the elevator on the way to the delivery, he drools over the handsome older Brit…
Words and Their Digestion by seventhswan. free online short. Very good short m/m romance about a college student who’s probably somewhere on the autism spectrum and whose roommate is one of his few friends. And then his roommate gets a serious boyfriend…
Posted to Death (Simon Kirby-Jones #1) by Dean James. reread. This was a delightful and slightly twisted version of the British village cozy mystery, because Simon is a gay vampire (he can be out in sunlight and doesn’t need to drink blood, as long as he takes his medication) and well-known historian (who secretly writes romances and mysteries under several pseudonyms). Definitely recommended if you enjoy mysteries with a bit of snark and a complicated cast of suspects. (Also, for the wary, I would give this book a no-pepper heat rating – a very safe read.)
Faked to Death (Simon Kirby-Jones #2) by Dean James. Good gay mystery in which vampire and author Simon goes to a retreat for mystery writers, which is livened up a bit too much by murder.
A Road Not Taken by Jennifer Thorne. ebook. Good m/m romance about an eco-house builder who finds a depressed young man along the side of a road in a broken-down car, takes him home, and puts him to work. Things proceeded between them pretty fast – I think it would’ve worked better in a slightly longer format, with more time for their relationship to develop.
Love, Hypoethetically (Theta Alpha Gamma #2) by Anne Tenino. ebook. Good m/m romance about a grad student and tutor who’s never really gotten over his first love from high school, even though things ended in a way that left him horribly bitter.
Out of the Ashes by Olivia Duncan Craig. ebook. Good m/m romance based on Cinderella about a guy who grows up on a remote Texas ranch, basically living the life of an indentured servant. And then one day a handsome young man visits the ranch… This needed a wee bit more proofreading attention.
Murder on Camac (Marco Fontana #1) by Joseph RG DeMarco. ebook. Good gay mystery about a PI who also runs a troupe of male strippers and is hired by a grieving man to find out whether his boyfriend died in a mugging gone wrong, or was murdered because of a book he was writing exposing wrongdoing in the Catholic church.
Crimes on Latimer (Marco Fontana #3) by Joseph RG DeMarco. ebook. Good collection of six short gay mysteries featuring PI Marco Fontana, starting with Marco’s first “case” in high school. I was a little frustrated that a promising thread from “The DaVinci Theft” wasn’t resolved in that or any of the other stories.
Touching Evil by Rob Knight. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance about a psychic who can basically read minds when he touches someone or touches an object someone else touched. This makes him very useful to the police… until a serial killer starts working to get his attention. I found this a frustrating read – too many sex scenes, too many food descriptions, and too many sentence fragments (reminding me that “Rob Knight” is just a “Sean Michael” pseudonym).
It Happened in Buenos Aires (Grave Watchers #2) by Missouri Dalton. ebook short. Huh. I’m setting this to today, but I read this soon after it came out and can’t remember the dates. Perhaps my disappointment in the story blocked it all out?


“You better watch out, big kitty! I am preparing my kitty laser eyes!” -Mayhem

“I’m so scared. Not.” -Chaos

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  • Jessica of Racy Romance Reads is having contests to get rid of her paper books. For your chance to win two of the pictured books, let her know what was the most recent addition to your keepers shelf. Contest closes 2/13.

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Reading  Update
Posted To Death (Simon Kirby-Jones Mystery, Book 1) by Dean James. This was a delightful and slightly twisted version of the British village cozy mystery, because Simon is a gay vampire (he can be out in sunlight and doesn’t need to drink blood, as long as he takes his medication) and well-known historian (who secretly writes romances and mysteries under several pseudonyms). Definitely recommended if you enjoy mysteries with a bit of snark and a complicated cast of suspects. (Also, for the wary, I would give this book a no-pepper heat rating – a very safe read.)
The Dickens With Love by Josh Lanyon. ebook. Very well-done holiday-themed m/m romance about a disgraced book hunter reduced to working for shady and unpleasant clients, one of whom has charged him to secretively and preemptively purchase a newly discovered Dickens’ Christmas story before it goes to auction.
Carol of the Bellskis by Astrid Amara. ebook. Another very well-done holiday-themed m/m romance (Hanukkah this time) about a paralegal who breaks up with his boyfriend (also his boss) because his closeted boss is backing out of their vacation plans. The paralegal heads off on vacation to his aunt and uncle’s kosher B&B alone… and finds himself taking care of all the guests, with his aunt and uncle nowhere to be found.
Falling by Cassandra Gold. ebook short. I really enjoyed this m/m short about a guy who gets accidentally knocked down the stairs at his apartment building and is taken to the hospital by his sexy firefighter neighbor.
Force of Law by Jez Morrow. ebook. Good m/m romance about a mechanic who believes he’s being used by his ex’s billionaire cousin for revenge. For the first third of this, I wasn’t sure I was going to keep reading, because the power dynamics were making me really uncomfortable. Things turned around after that, fortunately.
Melting the Slopes by Ethan Day, William Maltese, and Jason Edding. ebook collection. No surprise that there was at least some skiing in each of these tales of m/m romance, based on the title, huh? Ethan Day’s humorous romance “Snow Ho” was my favorite of the three stories, followed by the romantic suspense of William Maltese’s “Bottom’s Up”.
Let It Snow! by Michael Barnette. ebook. Kinda meh m/m romance – it actually was mostly ok for a while (bit of awkward language, etc, but not too bad), but then the story basically stopped, jumped to the epilogue, and everything was tied up in a nice tidy bow. *blink blink*
The Sound of Cicadas by Tory Temple. ebook short. Decent m/m romance short about two guys who see each other for the first time in ten years at their high school reunion – will they be able to get past their hurt pride and misunderstandings?
The Chocolatier by Elizabeth Jewell. ebook. Sweet (sorry, couldn’t resist…) m/m romance about a guy who makes chocolates that are rumored to make people fall in love. So how comes he’s still single?
To Find and To Keep (Book 1) by Serena Yates. ebook. Well, I won’t be reading the second book… The writing in this m/m romance was awkward and stilted, and the two guys? Read more like chick lit heroines.
The Mask He Wears by Fae Sutherland & Marguerite Labbe. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a lawyer, who has a marriage of convenience, confessing his feelings for his male secretary and really making a mess of it.
Hearts Afire November by Pepper Espinoza & India Harper. ebook collection. Two ok m/m romances about firefighters. The first was about a firefighter who starts to hang out with a street musician whose firefighter father died in a fire. The second is about a firefighter/investigator who becomes involved with the insurance investigator assigned to a series of fires… the insurance investigator who’s a former arsonist. The ending of this one didn’t work so well for me – I thought someone was way too quick to forgive something pretty major.
Silver and Gold by Devon Rhodes. ebook short. Enjoyable holiday m/m romance about a guy in his 40s whose first love wants to get together with him, at the same time he meets a younger man he really clicks with.
Sutcliffe Cover by Ariel Tachna & Madeleine Urban. ebook. Ignore the cover, as there are no mustaches or cowboy hats in this enjoyable m/m romance about a guy who owns a stable and riding school and becomes friends with an accountant who starts taking lessons at the school. If you’re looking for an angst break, this might be it for you. (Is it just me, or does that face look photoshopped in?!)
The Elf and Shoemaker by M. L. Rhodes. ebook. Nicely done m/m fantasy romance about the owner of a new age shop who’s about to lose his business when help comes from a most unexpected source. (If you have a mysterious old mirror wrapped up and tucked away somewhere, I’d really recommend you get it out and hang it up!)
FU by Mia Watts. ebook. This one was for Kris’ m/m rut challenge. I generally don’t read multiple partner books because it just doesn’t make sense to me how it could ever work. In this steamy tale, Parker is mistakenly assigned to a male dorm at Fullerton University (FU f’s up) and things get… complicated while Housing tries to sort it out. Ultimately, things do get simple in the end (whew!), but along the way, part of the story does qualify this for Kris’ challenge. So, I confirmed for myself that, while it was a fun read (Mia always puts together a fun’n’steamy read), I’m still a prude when it comes to multiple partner books, especially in regards to the power dynamics. O_o (I received this book from the author because she’s nice like that.)
Matchmen, Ltd. by T. C. Blue. ebook. Good m/m romance about the employees of gay matchmaking agency, Matchmen, Ltd. The book is split into three parts, each of which follows a specific employee. Hmm. I guess, since one section in this book turned out to be multiple partner, it fulfills the m/m rut challenge, too, because I kept reading and didn’t skip it, as I am wont to do in such situations. (Damn, Kris says no. Hmph.)
Ryland’s Sacrifice by Kim Dare. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about a PhD student who desperately needs money for tuition and food, so allows himself to be “thrown” to a pride of werelions, with unexpected results. Although this might sound like a multiple partner book, it isn’t. (I received this book from the author because she’s nice like that, too.)
A mysterious book that I can’t talk about yet, but which was a darn good read. 🙂


“What? Why are you laughing at me?” -Chaos