Each week, I’m convinced that I won’t have enough links to bother with linkity…

Contests

Bookity

  • New releases: Lily (m/m romance), KB (romances that caught her eye), and Literary Escapism (UF/PNR, includes interviews and more).

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  • If you have an iTunes account, go right now and look at your purchase history, to make sure yours wasn’t one of the accounts hacked recently.

Linkity Peeps

Huh

  • We’ve all heard of sporks, but have you heard of knorks?!

LOL

  • Metaphor or simile? (Make sure you hover your mouse over the comic to get additional text.)

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Gay Friendly (G-A-Y, Book 9) by Kim Dare. ebook short. Very good sweet m/m romance about an innocent young man staying at a gay friendly hotel who isn’t at all prepared for how “friendly” (and groping) the other guests are. Fortunately for him, an older, more dominant guest takes pity on him and offers his protection… but does the young man actually want more than just that safety? (If you don’t see a bookcover for this one, it means Total-E-Bound is down.)
Handcuffs and Glory Holes (Rawlings Men, Book 2) by Kim Dare. ebook short. Very good sweet’n’kinky short m/m romance about a mistreated sub who’s used to being pimped out and doesn’t dare believe that things can be different.
Gaymes by Jenna Byrnes, Gwendolyn Cease, Kim Dare, Carol Lynne, Jude Mason, Devon Rhodes, & Lisabet Sarai. ebook collection. Overall enjoyable collection of m/m romances, each focused around a game of some sort, such as Highland games, pool, Scabble, and flag football. Five of the six stories were good or better and one story was kinda meh.
Samhain Enchanted Evening by M. King. free ebook short. Ok freebie short m/m romance about a guy whose life feels very dull to him these days and he doesn’t see that changing at the Halloween party he has to attend.
Thirteen Maidens by M. King. ebook short. Good m/m romance short about two guys who are taking a week to visit standing stones, including the mysterious standing stones known as the Thirteen Maidens.
The Dream Thief by M. King. ebook short. Good fantasy m/m short about a guy who has incredibly realistic feeling dreams of a dream lover that start when he’s a teenager and gain power through the years.
Spam! It’s What’s for Christmas by Lenore Black. ebook short. Very good short m/m holiday romance about a guy who was fired and then dumped by his boyfriend. He hasn’t had any luck finding a new job while he pines for his boyfriend… until he answers a modeling ad. *ahem*
Because It’s True by Willa Okati. ebook. So-so m/m romance about a guy who’s given up on dating since his last boyfriend ditched him while they were traveling to Canada to get married. This never came together for me – the guys never seemed like actual guys and the book could easily have been half as long as it was. Also, I wanted to slap characters. Frequently. But hey, I like the cover! 🙂

From the Midsummer’s Nightmare Daily Dose…
Charlies Chuckles by Clare London. ebook short. Very good short paranormal m/m romance about two guys who live in the same building, but have never spoken until a morning of small disasters sends them careening into each other.
I Can See Right Through You by Zahra Owens. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about a writer who’s staying in his aunt’s old house after she had to move to a care facility. He discovers that the house has a ghost… a ghost he comes to care about deeply.
Oubliette by G.S. Wiley. ebook short. So-so historical paranormal m/m short about an Englishman who was captured by Spaniards after his ship was wrecked.
Careful What You Wish For by Elizabeth Copland. ebook short. Ok short paranormal m/m romance about a guy who’s had a crush on his oblivious roommate for a long time.
What’s Past Is Presence by Lori C. Hawkins. ebook short. Meh short m/m romance about a couple who discover that their house may be haunted… or is it? A large part of the meh on this one was the choppy, simplistic language.


“Napping. Or trying to at least. Go away. All of you.” -Chaos

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My eyeball, let me show it to you (now with more linkity than you’d expect from that title!)

Due to the holiday weekend here in the States, the Misadventures in Stock Photography will be on Tuesday instead of Monday next week.


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LOL

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Fall Down the Mountain by P.D. Singer. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a guy who works as a ski patrol at a fancy resort and who’s having a hard time getting over both his crush on an unavailable man and not having been able to save someone from dying in an avalanche. Will the sexy chef who lives down the hall from him be able to help him move on? I must confess to getting a titch frustrated with the main character’s clinginess during part of the book, even though I completely understood why he was acting that way.
The Best Man by L.A. Witt. ebook. Good m/m romance about two guys who become involved in a casual affair as they’re both getting over being dumped. This was one that I thought could’ve been very good to excellent with a bit more editing to tighten up the story. (And, hey, stalker alert!)
His One and Only (Only Forever, Book 4) by Shawn Lane. ebook. His One and Only was a sweet finish to this m/m romance series centered around the partners at a California law firm.
Poisoned Ivy by Scott Ryersson. ebook. This so-so historical paranormal m/m romance about students at Yale in the early part of the 20th century just never really came together for me. Between the language (aping Jane Austen? or trying for a more literary feel?) and the WTF ending, I never warmed to the story.
Straight as an Arrow by Sean Michael. ebook. Good kinky m/m romance about a guy who travels a lot for his job. He’s in a long-term relationship, but starts to surf D/s chat sites while he’s away from home. Typical Sean Michael fare, although one of the major aspects of this book was so implausible that it definitely detracted. (All that eye rolling I had to do, you know.)
Bound Together by Jane Davitt. ebook short. Very good m/m romance about a book collector who discovers his dominant tendencies after a younger man shows up on his doorstep selling a rare book. (Yes, that is Candy Cane Guy in the back. Good show, you!)
Aftermath by Angel Martinez. ebook. Good m/m romance about a long-term couple who struggle to recover after one of them is betrayed by a friend and assaulted. I did have a bit of a niggle about the couple not using condoms after such an assault…
Mastering Toby by Jan Irving. ebook. So-so m/m romance about a straight actor on a gay soap opera who has some confusing feelings for his gay costar (and best friend). This book never really came together, for all sorts of reasons: pacing issues, an odd tangent from the main storyline 2/3 through, and a mixture of Eastern mysticism and D/s that just didn’t work.
Strange Carnivorous Flowers from Outer Space by Matthew Vandrew. free ebook short. Cute short scifi m/m romance about a guy who’s taking his alien boyfriend home to meet the family.

From the Dreamspinner Midsummer’s Nightmare Daily Dose…
One Wild Wish by Devon Rhodes. ebook. Very good paranormal m/m romance about a band hired to play several shows at a mysterious lodge, with a contract that has some very unusual clauses that they sort of fudge.
Romanus by Mary Calmes. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about an exhausted firefighter who gets lost driving home after his shift and whose life will never be the same.
Beneath Lake Redemption by Libby Drew. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about a guy who rents a houseboat to check out a mysterious area of Lake Redemption because he suspects it hides a secret government operation.
Give the Devil His Due by Zoe Devlin. ebook short. Good paranormal m/m romance about a guy who tries to avoid emotional entanglements because the Devil takes away those he loves.
Reverie by Dawn Kimberly Johnson. ebook short. Cute paranormal m/m romance about a guy who saves someone’s life in a dream one night, then starts to wonder if it was actually a dream.
Halfway House by Lisa Worrall. ebook short. Pretty good paranormal m/m romance about two college students who don’t really know each other and are just sharing a ride home for Spring Break… and then the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere.
The Man in the Woods by Ashleigh Brannigan. ebook short. So-so paranormal m/m romance about a guy who gets a flat tire while driving on a desolate road through the woods and is rescued by a very bossy and slightly creepy guy. And what the heck – this is at least the third story I’ve read from the Midsummer’s Nightmare Daily Dose that’s based on a car breaking down on a deserted road!! Hmph.
The Min Min Lights by Barry Lowe. ebook short. Ok m/m historical romance about a relatively innocent young British man who interviews with a more worldly Australian who’s looking for a tutor for his children. The ending was a bit abrupt and left me “huh?”
The Gray Ghost by J.J. Levesque. ebook short. So-so m/m romance about a couple who have just purchased a house that no one’s stayed in for longer than a week.


Last week, I woke up to discover my eyeball looked like this:

I was, understandably, somewhat freaked, but it turned out to be very minor – a subconjunctival hemorrhage, which can happen when you’re sleeping, sneezing, coughing, or simply stressed. It’s quite a bit less dramatic now (because the red bits are mostly above and below my pupil), but probably won’t fade completely for another week.

Due to a new store in my neighborhood, things have been a bit noisy as July 4th draws near. Make sure you embiggen the photo to read the signs. Truth in advertising indeed!

Speaking of fireworks…

“I really, really hate all the loud noises outside, Mom. It’s probably your fault, so knock it off!” -Mayhem

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These are a few of my linkity things (well, ok, more than a few)

Congrats to Deanna, who won the copy of A.M. Riley’s recent m/m romantic suspense, Son of a Gun!


Contests

Reading & Beyond

  • For info on new and upcoming releases, contests, interviews, and more: Lily (m/m romance), Literary Escapism (paranormal romance, urban fantasy), Katiebabs (all sorts of romance), and SciFi Guy (urban fantasy, paranormal romance, etc).
  • Both KMont and Katiebabs found examples of cover art reuse last week!
  • Jenre did a really interesting series of posts at Desert Island Keepers on category romance themes in m/m romance: historicals, westerns, and others.

Learn-Do-Make

Sad

LOL

WTF

Squee!

Reading Update
Jude in Chains by K. Z. Snow. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a gay journalist who attends a “reparative therapy” camp pretending to be a straight journalist.
Out of the Blue by Josh Lanyon. ebook. Very good m/m historical romance about a British and an American pilot in France during World War I.
The One That Stayed by T.C. Blue. ebook. Poignantly sweet m/m romance with characters who will be familiar to those who’ve read TC Blue’s The One That Was Lost and The One That Got Away. The story is told in a mixture of present day and flashbacks, with perhaps a bit too much headhopping.
Cinnamon Dreams by Vic Winter. ebook short. Cute short m/m romance a guy who ditches his hated office job to work in a bakery, where he spends a lot of time drooling over the hunky baker…
Officers in Need and Uniform Hardness by John Simpson. ebook shorts. These short m/m stories had some of the most stilted, least natural sounding dialogue I’ve ever read. They weren’t meant to be humorous, but I laughed out loud more than once. Ouch.
Man Down by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Enjoyable m/m romance about a paramedic student with a secret past and a paramedic who doesn’t really want to find him intriguing. While the characters from Running Hot do make brief appearances in this book, I think either book could be read first.
Still the One (The Best Gift, Book 2) by Shawn Lane. ebook short. This sweet m/m romance takes place five years after The Best Gift. Malcolm and Dusty are deeply committed to each other, but what will happen when they end up on opposite coasts for their careers?
Until the End of Time (At Long Last, Book 2) by Shawn Lane. ebook. Good m/m romance follow-up to At Long Last. Prescott and Scott have been together for seven months, but is Prescott ever going to admit to his parents and friends that Scott’s not simply his roommate?
Finding the Divine by J.L. Jensen. ebook short. Good m/m romance about a nurse who becomes friends and roommates with the sexy new doctor at the hospital. They’re attracted to each other, but neither knows the other is gay. This was part of Torquere’s “Arcana” series and was the first one I’d read in which the Tarot played a major part in the story instead of just being added as an afterthought. Also, it was set in the Twin Cities, which is always fun for me to read.
If I Must by Amy Lane. ebook short. reread. After reading the great review of this sweet m/m romance short at Reviews by Jessewave, I had the urge to reread it myself. Just as good the second time as it was the first!
The New Client by J.M. Snyder. ebook short. Meh short m/m mystery about a PI who’s hired by woman to find her missing twin brother. Not much of a mystery, plus a pretty glaring condom gaffe.
Savage Awakenings (Lost Shifters, Book 3) by Stephani Hecht. ebook. I have to confess I’ve put off reading this m/m paranormal because it’s Rat’s story; since I’ve always had this urge to punch Rat in the previous two books, I wasn’t sure I could make it through his book. Instead, I got totally sucked into the story. 🙂
Bound by Nature (Force of Nature, Book 1) by Cooper Davis. ebook. I really liked Boys of Summer by Cooper Davis. Alas, this m/m werewolf romance does not measure up well. While I don’t mind books in which flashbacks are used well (such as in Amor en Retrogrado and Son of a Gun), the alternating chapters of present and past in this book drove me nuts. As did a glaring continuity error in which one character puts on his glasses… and then picks up and puts on his glasses a paragraph later. How many simultaneous pairs of glasses can one person wear?! *ahem* Anyway.
To Hate and To Hold by Dakota Rebel. ebook. Good m/m paranormal romance about two vampires who hate each other and get bonded together as part of a mysterious curse. Their cursed bond forces them to get very, very familiar with each other… (Yes, that’s Slouching Open Black Jacket Guy on the left!)
A Pint Light by Devon Rhodes. ebook short. Enjoyable paranormal m/m romance about a vampire who’s expected to mate with a mage and is somewhat surprised to discover the mage is male.
Love Me Dead by A.M. Riley, Lex Valentine, & William Maltese. ebook collection. Good m/m paranormal romance collection about ghosts. (That cover scares me more than any ghost would…) I particularly enjoyed the two stories by A.M. Riley. Lex Valentine’s story was pretty good, but maybe a bit too sweet for me at the end. And, as is par for the course, I skipped the story by William Maltese.
Fire Season (Tales of the Darkworld, Book 3) by Lex Valentine. ebook. Ok m/m paranormal romance about a straight dragon shapeshifter whose fated mate turns out to be male. I thought the strongest part of this story was the time it spent showing how Holden dealt with (and didn’t deal with) his sudden attraction to a guy, which gets glossed over in a lot of fated mate stories. I didn’t like that Garrett made a lot of pronouncements, but never followed through on them. I also really wish I hadn’t read the epilogue, which suggests that their story isn’t finished… and I definitely won’t be reading the rest of it, based on that.
Caging the Tiger (Animal Attraction, Book 4) by Michelle Houston. ebook short. Ok m/m paranormal romance about a tiger shifter who’s finally going to meet the magician with whom he’s been corresponding for years. I think I’m done with this “series” of unrelated shorts, though – I just don’t care enough.
Guardian by Kalita Kasar. ebook short. Ok m/m romance about a guy who has no memory of his life before he was hit by a car when he was ten. And why does he have a recurring dream, from which he wakes yelling for Ben? He doesn’t know anyone named Ben… (Oh, good eye, you! That is BBG on the cover!)
Laying a Ghost by Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow. ebook. Very good paranormal m/m romance set on a Scottish island, about a fisherman who’s lived there all his life and a guy who comes to the island to live in the house his uncle left to him. Even with the insta-love aspect of the story, I really enjoyed this book. I know there are two additional books (and I have them already), but I’m not not sure I’ll be reading them soon because this really felt like a complete story unto itself.


“But I don’t want to use the other portable kitty cave, big kitty. I want to use this one.” -Mayhem

“Tough luck, May. I got it first and I’m prepared to defend it with my laser eyes!” -Chaos

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Supercalifragilinkalicious

Contests

  • 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.

Books & Reading & Stuff To Think About

Make, Learn, and Do Stuff

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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

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