Tag Archives: Carolyn LeVine Topol

Linkity and a new tattoo!



Stop by and enter the contest for Barging In by Josephine Myles! Contest closes 7 pm CDT, September 19.


Congrats to Cayce, who won Love is in the Title (Love #1) and Love is in the Hallways (Love #2) by RJ Scott!

Congrats to D, who won Galen and the Forest Lord by Eden WintersGalen and the Forest Lord will be released by Torquere Press on Saturday, September 10.



Contests

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Think, Do, Make, Learn

  • If canning looks to be the only way out of your CSA veggie overload, check out these five canning websites.

Cookity

Crafty

Cool

Cool or Wha…?

Wha…?

LOL

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Lullaby for a Stolen Child (Stolen Child #2) by Anna Mayle. ebook short. Very good short m/m/m dark fantasy about a human stolen by the Fae as a child, the Redcap who took his place, and the golden Fae hunter who’s been entranced by him for years.
In Darkness Bound (The Society #1) by Christine Price. ebook. Very good m/m/m paranormal romantic suspense that I had to read after reading The Usual Apocalypse. And maybe I was more forgiving of its faults than I might’ve been if I’d read it first, but it totally sucked me in and worked for me.
Not Knowing Jack (Regularly Scheduled Life #2) by KA Mitchell. ebook. Very good m/m romance about Jack, a chef, and Tony, Jack’s younger bartender boyfriend. When Jack begins to act mysteriously, Tony realizes how very little he actually knows about Jack, even after living together for a year. This book had the potential to be a five-star read; however, I found the ending rushed and thus rather unsatisfying. (“Wait, where did the previous year go?!”)
Bullied by Jeff Erno. ebook collection. Very good, if somewhat heavy-handed, collection of short stories about gay teens being bullied in school. The stories are told primarily in first person, from a variety of perspectives: the student being bullied, the bully, the parent who’s been lying to herself about her open-mindedness. While the stories are painful and moving, the overall message is hopeful: things can get better, but not without help.
The Hunting Moon by Evelyn Shepherd. ebook. Good but inconsistent paranormal m/m romantic suspense about two cops, a powerful psychic and a werecoyote, on the Columbus Preternatural Task Force. As the werecoyote pursues the mutual attraction that the psychic denies, they’re also trying to solve a string of murders and capture a deranged stalker from the psychic’s past. Several things kept me from rating this book higher: an ongoing issue with word usage and substitution (“saddled” instead of “sidled” being the most memorable) and inconsistencies in the psychic’s powers (if he could lock and unlock doors with his mind, why couldn’t he get out of handcuffs?).
Ash Swan (Cob Brothers #1) by Amber Kell & Stephani Hecht. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance loosely based on the fairytale of the Six Swans. In the first installment of this series, the crown prince, who’s living on Earth for a few years before taking the throne, rescues a handsome bike courier who’d fallen into a pond while feeding ducks and geese in the park, then proceeds to get to know the courier better…
Hey, There’s Fur in My Wedding Cake (Lost Shifters #12.5) by Stephani Hecht. free ebook short. Good short paranormal romance about an exiled wolf shifter who returns to the pack that exiled in order to attend a wedding reception, where he meets a very intriguing feline shifter…
Change on the Fly (Blue Line Hockey #5) by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Sweet m/m romance about an NHL player who sustains a career-ending injury and isn’t doing so well until his best friend from high school shows up at his door.
Swept Away (Beach Bums #2) by Diana DeRicci. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy who’s retreated to his beach house to try sorting out his thoughts after he drunkenly kissed a guy in a bar on a dare… and enjoyed the kiss so much, his fiancee ended their engagement after he told her about it.
In From the Cold by Mercy Celeste. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a sheriff’s deputy and a country singer who were each others’ firsts in high school, but who’ve taken different and equally self-destructive paths since then… and that doesn’t end when tragedy brings the singer back to their hometown. This book had a lot of unrealized potential, which was unfortunately overshadowed by somewhat choppy writing and the absolutely worst case of pronoun confusion I’ve ever encountered.
The Playwright (The Male Room #3) by Carolyn LeVine Topol. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a playwright whose writing partner and roommate signs him up for The Male Room online dating site, hoping to help him get over a broken heart years before. The insta-love was more insta-lovey than usual in the this one.


I got a new tattoo on Sunday. 🙂 This one first, so you can see where it’s located:

And a close-up, so you can see the bright green eyes!

(Please ignore the bruising…)

My other tattoo is located in the same spot on the back of my left arm.


“May and I have noticed that your new tattoo doesn’t look like us, but instead some freaky black cat. Any last words?” -Chaos

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.



Contests

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Make, Do, Learn, Think

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Cool

Cool or Wha…?

Wha…?

LOL

  • 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.

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!



Contests

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Crafty

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Cool or Wha…?

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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

Drip drip drop, little linkity showers…

Congrats to Lucy Beugeling-Ramos, who won 72 Hours by Clare London! 72 Hours is being released by Dreamspinner Press today.

Congrats to Leni and Sarah M, who each won copies of Wicked Cool by Val Kovalin! Wicked Cool will be available from Amber Quill Press on September 19.


Contests

  • Katiebabs is celebrating her blogiversary with a contest. For your chance to win some pretty cool bookity prizes, leave a comment by September 22 and let her know which blogs you’ve particularly enjoyed during the past year.
  • Author LA Witt is holding a NaNoWriMo contest – if you successfully complete NaNoWriMo this November and submit your validated word count by December 10, you’ll have the chance to win a signed paperback or ebooks.

Bookity

  • Lily rounds up this week’s m/m romance new releases.

Ebookity

Learn, Make, Think, Do

Gluten-Free

Linkity Peeps

Cool

Huh

  • As someone who gets motion sick very easily, the movie theater bus doesn’t sound like much fun.

LOL

Teh Cute

Reading Update
In the Flesh by Ethan Stone. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense about an out cop who lives according to a list of rules that protect him from getting close to anyone. When he’s accused of a crime he didn’t commit, his rules slowly start to fail him.
Cover Me by L. A. Witt. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense about a paramedic who is consumed by guilt over a judgment call that left someone dead and put his own life in danger. Maybe. If he’s not just being paranoid.
Twice in a Lifetime (Sutter’s Bay, Book 2) by Shawn Lane. ebook. Very good m/m romance about Jude from Sweet Reunion, who hasn’t gotten past his lover being murdered five years earlier. He surrounds himself with color in his small flower shop and doesn’t get involved… until he meets the new vet in town.
The Swap by Devon Rhodes. ebook. Very good m/m romance about two machinists who’ve become good friends over the several years they’ve worked together. When one is laid off at the same time the other buys a house that needs fixing up, things start to get a bit complicated.
Tommy’s Blind Date by Anne Brooke. ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about a guy who’s been on a series of spectacularly unsuccessful blind dates when his actor best friend suggests that they go out on a blind date together, so he can evaluate his friend’s blind date technique… Something that was nice about this story is that the guys were very average blokes – no amazing bodies or model looks to be seen.
In the Crease by Stephani Hecht. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about a guy who’s back in town for his sister’s wedding, trying to figure out how to stop her from marrying one of the two brothers who terrorized him in high school.
Resistance by L. M. Turner. ebook. Really good m/m romance about a bouncer who never hooks up with the same guy twice as part of not feeling and not getting close… until he does hook up with the same guy more than once, which scares him and sends him running. This had me sniffling more than once and I would’ve rated it higher, but… it’s (slightly inconsistently) in third person present (my least favorite tense), which kept pulling me out of the story.
Seasons of Change by Carolyn LeVine Topol. ebook. So-so Jewish inspirational m/m romance (my categorization) about a rabbinical student whose boyfriend dies in a subway accident just a few months before their planned wedding. I felt like this was a story with potential, but as written, I never connected with the characters.
Revenge Is a Dish by Stevie Woods. ebook. So-so m/m romantic suspense about two coworkers and friends who are kidnapped for an unknown reason by an unknown person. The writing was choppy, the timeline didn’t feel plausible, and I never connected with the main characters.
He Scores by D. J. Manly. ebook. Meh m/m romance about a young guy who gets together with a pro hockey player in town for the summer. I still haven’t recovered from sorting out all the unclear pronoun references.


“What?” -Mayhem

“We don’t really like each other. It’s just getting cold here.” -Chaos

In which Mayhem taunts all of you and I include a few links

Contests

  • Karen’s trying whip her knitting WIPs into shape. Answer the questions (how many WIPs will she have left at the end of April and will she be able to resist starting any new projects during the month) in her comments by midnight (Danish time), April 20, for your chance to win two skeins of Malabrigo worsted.

Books & Reading

  • Nicole found some great links – make sure you follow the one to Librarysarie’s post about her new favorite Dewey number.

Learn & Do

Things I Found Amusing

Cute!

Reading Update
Admit One by Jenna Hilary Sinclair. ebook. Wow. This m/m romance gutted me, because it was such a powerful read. And yet… I can’t tell you much about it, because part of its power and impact is in how the story develops and in how things are revealed. At the most simple level, it’s the story of a deeply closeted high school teacher in conservative rural Texas, who very occasionally drives to Houston to hook up with someone – but never the same someone twice. It’s a story of being afraid, of having extremely valid reasons to be afraid, and of living a life so constrained by those fears as to barely be alive. Definitely recommended.
Give and Take by Anne Brooke. ebook short. Good m/m romance about a guy who, two years after his partner of 13 years died, is out at a bar trying to connect with another guy for the first time in a very long time – and he so doesn’t want to have to make all the decisions…
Journey to Compromise by Mara Ismine. ebook short. Good paranormal m/m romance about a guy following an itch to travel. He’s had a bad year (lost love, lost job), but maybe things are starting to look up…
Healthy Obsession by Carolyn LeVine Topol. ebook short. Meh m/m romance about a player who’s finally decided he needs more out of life than one-night stands. While he’s at the gym, he meets a guy in the process of getting divorced and coming out and it’s twue wuv. (Hmm. Kinda snarky there. Possibly because I wanted to slap characters while I was reading.)
A Promise Given by Stormy Glenn. ebook. The usual m/m romance fare from Stormy Glenn in this follow-up to A Promise Kept. Can Alec possibly have a good reason for vanishing from Cooper’s life ten years ago? And if they have that pesky serial killer behind bars, who’s killing guys that fit the same profile now?
Blue Skye and Ryan’s Harbor by Viki Lyn. ebooks. After reading and enjoying Viki Lyn’s paranormal m/m romance, Last Chance, I decided to try this pair of m/m contemporary romances. Meh. Blue Skye was about an out artist and a closeted architect who meet again as adults. They were friends in high school, until they acted on their attraction and the architect fearfully rushed back into his closet. Ryan’s Harbor was about the architect’s gay assistant and the architect’s straight brother – this was a better read than Blue Skye, but be warned that the HFN ending suggests there could be more books in the future… *sigh*
Rescue by Sean Michael. ebook short. A quick little m/m about a guy who lost everything in a fire going home with one of the firefighters.
Purple Pen Diaries by Julia Talbot. ebook short. Fun m/m short about a mystery writer on a cruise who hooks up with a security guy trying to solve a mystery.
Landing with Both Feet (Thatcher Brothers, Book 2) by Julia Talbot. ebook. So-so m/m romance that had way too many flashbacks, between the Jed/Eli and Ross/Kevin stories. Too confusing. And I spent a fair amount of time being upset at people. Hmph. This felt like “Hey, that other Thatcher Brothers book did well – how about another one? Let’s mess up their lives to justify this sequel!”
Taking the Leap (Thatcher Brothers, Book 3) by Julia Talbot. ebook. Ok m/m romance tying up the last bit of the mess from the second book. After that angstfest, this book has no angst whatsoever.
Turguoise: Something’s Gotta Give by Kiernan Kelly. ebook short. Ack! Another stalker! Other than that, this was an ok romance about a guy who gets involved with a cop that he met when giving a statement about his ex stealing all of his stuff.
Texas Hold ‘Em, Slow Play, Pocket Pair, and Different Suits (Poker Night, Books 1-4) by Carol Lynne. ebooks. Decent m/m romance series about a group of guys who play poker together every other Saturday night. Each book focuses on one of the poker players as he finds love. As EH has commented, while you always know what you’re going to get with a Carol Lynne book, sometimes that works just fine.
Wild Raspberries by Jane Davitt. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a young man who runs away from home, then heads into the woods after some bad experiences on the road, where he runs into a cranky landowner.
Artistically Yours by Z.A. Maxfield, Andy Slayde & Ali Wilde, and C.T. Piatt. ebook collection. I enjoyed each of the three short stories in this collection of m/m romances about artists getting much, much closer to their models.
Rock Bottom by Celia Kyle. ebook short. Lyrically written m/m romance short about a guy whose partner died in a car crash and who’s been drinking to forget, until he hits rock bottom.
Night at the Office by Drew Zachary. ebook short. Nicely done, steamy short m/m encounter between a night watchman and a guy working late.
Playing the Market by Drew Zachary. ebook. Good m/m romance about a workaholic stockbroker and a footloose construction worker who find unexpected common ground.


“You know you want to rub my very soft and fluffy tummy! But you can’t! *neener neener neener*” -Mayhem