Tag Archives: Madeleine Urban

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Due to the US holiday, there won’t be a Misadventure on Monday!



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Cool or Wha…?

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Teh Cute

Reading Update
The Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger. Very good epistolary historical fiction about a 12-year old Jewish boy living in Brooklyn in 1940 who starts corresponding with the New York Giants third baseman, beginning a life-changing friendship for both of them. This was touching and funny and had me in tears at the end.
Gambling Men: The Novel by Amy Lane. ebook. Very good m/m romance about two guys who’ve been best friends and business partners since college, but suddenly up the ante to maybe being much more. I really enjoyed this… other than the pervasive sense of dread that things were going to become an angstfest at any minute. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
Divide & Conquer (Cut & Run #4) by Abigail Roux & Madeleine Urban. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense in which Ty and Zane are kept continually off balance, by each other and by a series of bombings and bank robberies. I am very, very glad that I’d heard this was something of a cliffhanger and waited to read it until the next book was available.
Armed & Dangerous (Cut & Run #5) by Abigail Roux. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense in which Ty and Zane are sent to bring in Julian Cross (from Warrior’s Cross) for an old home week sort of read that ties things up well enough to end the series… but doesn’t.
Switch (True Colors #4) by Clare London. ebook short. arc. Very good steamy short m/m romance in which Zeke and Miles reconnect after Miles being out of town, returning just in time for Zeke’s gallery show.
Bomber’s Moon (Under the Hill #1) by Alex Beecroft. ebook. Very good paranormal m/m romance about a guy who contacts a paranormal investigator after an unsettling encounter with the Fae. This ends on a cliffhanger, so make sure you have the second book handy!
Dogfighters (Under the Hill #2) by Alex Beecroft. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance that pulls together the threads from the first book for a dramatic, bittersweet finale. (There are three MCs, but only two end up together.) I think this book should’ve been part of the first book – and maybe it was at one point. There were also a few parts that felt as if they muddled rather than advanced the plot.
Learning the Ropes (Sex Sells #3) by Kim Dare. ebook. Good kinky m/m romance about an ad agency employee who’s assigned to put together an advertising campaign for a leather club owned by one of the agency’s partners. Although the employee isn’t into bdsm, he offers to do a scene so he has a better idea what the club is about.
Queen’s Man by KD Sarge. ebook. Good m/m scifi romance about Joss, a bodyguard who sees his one-night stand gunned down, then saves the guy’s daughter and spends the rest of the book protecting her, his boss, and his “stalker”. While it was a fun read, I couldn’t relate to Joss’ over-the-top perfection.
Event Horizon (Theo Bourne #2) by Evelyn Shepherd. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance in which Detective Theo Bourne and his partner (in every sense of the word) Carlos Ramirez have to face both a mysterious mystical monster and Theo’s attraction to someone else.
Diva and the Frat Boy (Men of Holsum College #2) by Daisy Harris. ebook. Pretty good m/m romance about the rather serious president of a gay fraternity who finds himself unexpectedly attracted to a very flamboyant junior. While this story touched on issues like prejudice within the gay community, there wasn’t any real follow through. I also never got a sense of emotional connection between the main characters.
The City of Counts by Keira Andrews. ebook short. Short m/m paranormal about a tax accountant who meets a sexy guy while waiting at the DMV, then goes out with him. This felt more like a tease for a longer story than a complete story. πŸ™
After the Fall (The Right Choice #1) by Talia Carmichael. ebook short. Ok short m/m romance about a bookstore owner who just wants to have sex with the contractor renovating his store, not start a relationship. But the contractor has other plans…
The Wolfing Way (Lifting the Veil #1) by Susan Laine. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance about a guy about to graduate from college who discovers he’s the fated mate of a werewolf and is afraid that all his choices are about to being taken away. As others have noted, this started promisingly, but deteriorated into near-purple prose and cliches.


Stylized May is stylized! πŸ™‚ (Embiggen for best effect.)

In which we have linkity and no one is surprised at all



Congrats to Lora G, who won Smart Ass: Close Quarters from LB Gregg!

Congrats to Marie, who won the Uniform Appeal anthology, courtesy of Dreamspinner Press! Uniform Appeal will be released on April 11.



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Randonymity

  • Long ago (in the mid-1990s), I lived with a guy who made videos for local bands. I have a very, very tiny cameo in one of them: I’m at 44 seconds in the video for “Smile” by Arcwelder. Check out my long, spiral-permed hair (complete with crazy white streak from the sun) and my Lennonesque glasses. πŸ™‚

LOL

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Taste (Horizons #2) by Mickie B. Ashing. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a San Francisco architect visiting friends (Jody and Clark from Horizons) when he meets a cute tattooed guy working at Taste of Chicago.
Mandarin Orange: Sweet and Sour by T.C. Blue. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy who eventually realizes he might not be as straight as he’d always believed after he meets the guy who will be living in the apartment downstairs.
Three Alarm Fire (EMS Heat #8) by Stephani Hecht. ebook. Sweet m/m romance about an EMT who was in an abusive relationship a few years ago and since then has been afraid to let anyone that close to him.
Wrong Number, Right Guy (Celebrity #1) by Mia Watts. ebook. Cute m/m romance about a guy who misdials and doesn’t realize that he’s talking to a closeted movie star in town for a film shoot.
Getting Off the Ground (Postcards from Paradise #1) by L.A. Witt. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy who was left at the altar by his live-in boyfriend of six years. He decides to use one of the honeymoon tickets to go to Hawaii by himself and meets a very intriguing man in the airport when their flight is delayed. Please note that this is just the first part of the story – the second part will be released in a few weeks.
Anything in a Skirt (Gay Until Graduation #2) by Kim Dare. ebook short. free. Very good short kinky m/m romance following up on the two guys from Gay Until Graduation (G-A-Y #3). (I took that photograph at Twin Cities Pride 2010!)
Handcuffs & Ball Gags (Rawlings Men #6) by Kim Dare. ebook short. Good kinky short m/m romance about a police constable who gets upset when his flatmate attends a potentially dangerous environmental rally, which leads to a most interesting discussion…
Cut & Run (Book 1) by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux. ebook. reread. Good m/m romantic suspense about two wildly different FBI agents who are tossed together to try to catch a serial killer. I think this would’ve been a better read if it had been tightened up – parts of it seemed to drag.
Sticks & Stones (Cut & Run #2) by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense two FBI agents who can’t go back out in the field until they pass their psych evals, so their boss sends them on vacation to relax for a few weeks… Usually Urban & Roux’s headhopping doesn’t particularly bother me, but it did a few times in this book.
Fish & Chips (Cut & Run #3) by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux. ebook. Excellent m/m romantic suspense in which our two FBI agents are sent on a cruise to impersonate a high rolling couple. As usual, nothing much goes as planned.


“Put the computer down and feed me now and no one gets hurt… much.” -Chaos

Let linkity leech away your life!

Congrats to Kaetrin, who won Priority One by Stephani Hecht! Priority One will be released on August 1 by eXtasy Books.


So, last Saturday evening CJ (aka urban fantasy author Carolyn Crane) and I sat down in my living room with some gluten-free beers, our laptops, and Google Docs to polish up a (hopefully) humorous post with a paranormal romance theme. Thanks to CJ’s tireless efforts, our post has been published at Tor.com. Stop by and check it out if you get a chance!


Contests

Bookity

Ebookity

  • Confused about all the different varieties of epub? This primer might help.
  • If you’d like to digitize your print books and aren’t in a hurry to do so, here’s a setup you can put together yourself.

Learn, Make, Think, Do

  • Snickerdoodle cake! I don’t see why this wouldn’t work with a gluten-free cake mix…

Linkity Peeps

Huh

LOL

  • This is why the toilet paper at my condo is in the vanity and not easily accessible to people… or Chaos.
  • A little Frogger humor – make sure you hover your mouse pointer over the comic to get additional text!

Teh Cute

Reading Update
Bound and Determined by Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow. ebook. Excellent kinky m/m romance about a college senior who realizes he’s submissive, which is simultaneously difficult for him to accept and something he craves.
Blinded by Our Eyes by Clare London. ebook. Very good m/m mystery about a gallery owner who discovers an artist murdered in his gallery and slowly begins to realize that nothing he’d believed about the people in his life is as he thought it was.
Fair Game by Josh Lanyon. ebook. Very good m/m mystery about an FBI agent turned professor after being injured in the line of duty who’s asked to look into the disappearance of a student on campus. (I received this book via NetGalley. Fair Game will be released on August 2 by Carina Press.)
A Game of Chances (Farmingdale Gentleman’s Club, Book 1) by T.C. Blue. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense with lots of little twists and turns. The Farmingdale Gentleman’s Club is a private grey ops organization. And I don’t want to tell you anything else because being surprised by the twists and turns was a big part of what I liked! I’m definitely looking forward to the next book.
Safe in His Arms (Wicked Hearts, Book 2) by Claire Thompson. ebook. Very good kinky m/m romance about the seemingly irredeemable cruel and controlling “best friend” from the previous book, who’s slowly spiraling toward rock bottom. If you’d told me after I finished reading Wicked Hearts that Claire Thompson could make me care about and like this guy, I would not have believed you.
Ports of Call by Sean Kennedy. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about a couple on vacation at the beach, trying to get past one of them having been mugged.
Two Steps Up by Sean Kennedy. ebook short. Cute short m/m about a teen standing across the street from where a gay teens support group meeting will be held, trying to work up the nerve to go to the meeting.
Protests and Proposals by Sean Kennedy. ebook short. Another cute short m/m romance about two guys protesting Proposition 8 being repealed.
Blue Skies by Diane Adams. ebook short. Decent short m/m romance about a conservative businessman who’s very attracted to a flaming younger man, but stays away because he thinks being “so gay” brings the wrong sort of attention to the gay community.
Gay Best Friend (G-A-Y, Book 10) by Kim Dare. ebook short. Good kinky short m/m romance about an allegedly straight guy who kisses his gay best friend on a dare from his obnoxious coworkers, then realizes that he might not be as straight as he’d always believed.
A Limited Engagement by Josh Lanyon. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about an actor who gambles everything when he outs his closeted lover to end his lover’s engagement to a woman.
Bargaining by Rhianne Aile & Madeleine Urban. ebook short. Steamy short m/m romance about two friends who finally get together, only to discover they’re both tops. This story will work best for those unconcerned about realism in refractory periods or condom use.
Lilacs by Megan Derr. free ebook short. Ok free short paranormal m/m romance about two guys who hate each other due to a big misunderstanding… and then discover they’re about to become stepbrothers.
News at Eleven by Jack Greene. ebook short. Cute’n’steamy short m/m romance about a tv station manager who’s been admiring the very out star news anchor from a distance.
Cold Steel by Morgan Lee. ebook short. So-so kinky short m/m interlude about an undercover cop who’s “arrested” by his partner at the end of his assignment. This teetered on the edge of purple prose… and I’m pretty sure those handcuffs would’ve messed up the finish on the cop car…


“This is an advanced technique. Don’t try this at home without the assistance of a qualified kitty.” -Mayhem

Pink fluff of linkity (I have no idea what that means, either)

Thanks to Ralph at The Dancing Dove, where I won a copy of Journey To Compromise by Mira Ismine, and to Kim Dare, at whose blog I won a copy of one of her books for only being a sort of bad guesser.


Contests

  • Authors Bronwyn Green and Paige Tyler gracefully dealt with both having released books called Just Right based on Little Red Riding Hood by having a joint contest! Visit both blogs by March 29 for your chance to win copies of both books.

Books & Reading

  • Really excellent post about DRM over at An American Editor. My favorite quote from the post: “Right now Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and publishers are able to ignore the consumer in the nascent ebook market. But the backlash is coming.” (As an aside, I’ve chosen to reward publishers and bookstores that make and sell DRM-free books and avoid those that don’t have DRM-free offerings.)
  • Nice post over at Dear Author reacting to the complaint that ebooks and “the loss of the public nature of the physical artifact will result in the loss of culture.”
  • Gizmodo had a blurb about “online music industry giants” making a plea to stop music piracy. I couldn’t help but read the following sentence while thinking about the publishing industry and authors: “…it’s tough to take an earnest plea for buying music seriously when it comes from business middlemen rather than, you know, musicians.” So, authors, keep spreading the ebook anti-piracy message, because you are the people most likely to be heard.
  • Emily candidly discusses that topic we all avoid – book addiction (and there’s a great comic included!).

Learn Stuff

Moment of Silence

Knitting

Things That Amused Me

  • Do you ever read The Bloggess? Insanely funny, sometimes heavy on the insane. πŸ˜‰ (Discovered via CursingMama.)

Cute Burns

Reading Update
Reading Update Update: I’m slowly working on adding my wee reviewettes to my LibraryThing. (Would that I had thought of this quite some time ago…) Depending on the tone and formality of said reviewettes, they’ll either be in the Reviews or the Comments field. When you view my LibraryThing, click on the various available styles until you find one that shows the comments. (Which letter that will be varies by browser, weirdly.)
The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny (Nightside, Book 10) by Simon R. Green. PI John Taylor’s back in another dark noirish urban fantasy; what else is there to say?
Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger. Excellent m/m romance told in epistolary style about two boys (a nerd and a jock) who fall in love in high school and then lose touch with each other after going to college. I’d heard nothing but good about this book, yet I still wasn’t prepared for how it sucked me in. Highly recommended.
Hideout by Katie Allen. ebook. This excellent m/m romantic suspense is about a cop who’s guarding one of the characters from Private Dicks for seven months until he can testify in a trial. Really, why aren’t there more witness protection books that include remodeling the safe house? πŸ™‚ Highly recommended. Hopefully, now that Katie’s writing full-time, she’ll give us some more of her excellent m/m romance soon. (Oh, and you really need to read Private Dicks first to get the most out of this book! I promise, it won’t be a hardship.) As if you hadn’t guessed, highly recommended.
Sex and Sexuality by Willa Okati. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a professor who went through “homosexual deprogramming” when he was younger and is now trying to follow the straight life, complete with evil bitch fiancee (more caricature than anything else). Published in 2007, this is definitely not one of Okati’s stronger books.
From Afar by Ava March. ebook. Very good historical paranormal m/m romance about a vampire obsessed by a young lord who has to change the lord into a vampire to save his life. The ending was a bit abrupt – perhaps there’s to be a sequel? (I know, I know, another historical!)
The Hit List by Anne Brooke. ebook. This m/m romance was a mixed read for me. I found the first third very frustrating, not really knowing what the heck was going on. In fact, I put the book aside and read the previous two books. When I returned to The Hit List, the middle third wasn’t quite so frustrating, and the final third was quite good. In fact, I started to suspect that the first third was meant to put the reader into the very confused headspace of the narrator.
Paul’s D’Marco by Leiland Dale. ebook short. Ok short m/m romantic suspense about a police detective and the psychic that’s called in to help the police find a serial child killer. A titch more editing and fleshing out the story would’ve moved this from ok to good.
Persistence Pays by Mara Ismine. ebook short. Very cute m/m romance about a martial artist who’s been trying for years to avoid spending too much time with his irresistible but slutty best friend.
Emergency (A City Hospital Novel) by Drew Zachary. ebook. Typical sweet’n’steamy m/m romance from Drew Zachary about an EMT who’s good friends with a doctor going through a divorce and questioning his sexuality. Very low angst.
Caught Running by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux. ebook reread. Good m/m romance about two guys who went to high school together who are now teaching and coaching at that same school. (I noticed headhopping this time, but don’t remember noticing it the first time I read the book.)


“Pink fluff, I devour you!” -Mayhem

Today’s forecast is for sunshine and linkity

Contest Update

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

Reading & Beyond

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

Yay, Minnesota!

Get Your Geek On

Eh, Canada

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

Yum

Fun & Kitties & Goats, Oh My

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

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

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


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

*strikes kitty yoga pose #742* -Mayhem

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

Be Amused

Get Your Cute On

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. πŸ™‚


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

Whole lotta linkity goin’ on

I’m going to experiment with this post and I’d like your opinions – is it easier to read linkity posts with or without bullets? Discuss. (And thank you for your input!)

  • J, Kaye’s giving away a $25 US Amazon gift certificate or up to $25 at the Book Depository in three separate contests: Canada, US, and outside the US/Canada. Read the rules carefully! Winners will be announced January 30 and are responsible for checking the blog to see if they’ve won.
  • If you sign up for the 2010 M/M Romance Challenge by January 31, you’ll be entered for a chance to win $15 ebook bucks from All Romance eBooks!
  • Author Marta Acosta has all sorts of fun blog sidebar badges, such as for the Naked David Boreanz Club, the Association for the Admiration of Edward Cullen, the Gerard Butler Is Hawt Society, and the Jacob Black Society for Werewolf Acceptance.
  • Do not click this link if you are easily offended by graphic ice sculpture. Please. I implore you. Yes, I took the featured photo, but you’ll notice I haven’t featured it on my blog. Consider the various book covers I have featured before you click, ok? (It is not a cat picture, if that helps.)
  • Although the experience of reading a physical book is different than that of reading an ebook, does it really matter to readers? (I gotta say that I’m liking reading ebooks more than physical books these days.)
  • TeleRead reports on the most pirated books of 2009The Kamasutra and Adobe Photoshop Secrets held the top spots. The only best-selling authors to make it into the top 25 were Dan Brown, Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer, and J. K. Rowling. None of Rowling’s books have even been released as ebooks, which instead of protecting them seems to be a lost revenue opportunity.
  • Even though I told Trek that I suck at guessing contests, I won not only her guessing contest of some months ago (dollar value of an unknown number of quarters that fit into a particular tea tin), but also Nicole’s recent contest (how many books she’d read by the end of the year). Hmm. Perhaps I don’t suck at guessing contests after all? (Thanks to Nicole and Trek!)
  • This DIY magnetized coffee cozy is very cool and very clever! Heck, I can see the potential for sticking my coffee to my car when I’m rummaging for my keys. (And, wait, I already have a coffee cozy from Caribou Coffee with a mysterious zipper pocket on it – this might actually make the pocket useful!)

Reading Update
Chicken Soup for the Soul, and All That Crap: A Tigers & Devils Short by Sean Kennedy. free ebook short. Very sweet short that takes place while Declan’s recuperating from his surgery.
Warrior’s Cross by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense about about a waiter and the mysterious guy who sits in his section every Tuesday evening. I cried more than once while reading this. My only complaint is that I wanted just a little more substance (or maybe detail or maybe time) at the ending.
The One That Got Away (Second Edition) by Rhianne Aile and Madeleine Urban. ebook. Excellent m/m romance – I’d read the original version, but who could resist the new version with added scenes? (Although, sad to say, the second edition still has inconsistencies about David’s age – he fusses about how awful his 45th birthday was, but then is referred to as 42 for the rest of the book.) One of the differences I noticed was that Trace’s cat was now named Mabel instead of Gail and and she had an entire enjoyable subplot devoted to her. (Plus she’s a black kitty. Really, what’s not to like?)
Rules of Engagement by L. A. Witt. ebook. Very good m/m romance (that I had a hard time putting down) about a recently divorced guy who finds himself powerfully drawn to a guy he meets playing pool in a bar. Yes, I got sniffly, so you know there was some angst. I think my only complaint was the abruptness of the ending. I really liked this quote from one of the other characters: “If I knew how a lot of my relationships would have turned out, I never would have gotten involved in them…. And I would have missed out on some of the best times in my life.” (Of course, for me, I would also have missed out on some of the worst times in my life – you?)
Uncorked by Andrew Grey. ebook. This m/m romance is set several years after Bottled Up; Sam and Sean of Bottled Up play more of a peripheral role in this one. I’ll confess that while the beginning of this story didn’t really grab me, the middle did, but then I just wanted to smack heads together at the end. Make of that what you will. πŸ™‚
Just Like Scrooge by Clare London. ebook short. Imagine The Christmas Carol redone (and redone well) as an m/m romance set in modern times.
In the Closet by Clare London. ebook short. Cute m/m romance about two feuding guys whose coworkers lock them in the cleaning closet to work out their differences… although maybe the coworkers didn’t expect the form that process would take…
Special Delivery by Cassandra Gold. ebook short. Sweet m/m romance short about a secretary and a delivery guy.
Fantasies: Independence Day by Cassandra Gold. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy who’s finally had enough of his father running every aspect of his life, so he escapes to work as a waiter at a Hawaiian resort. (Total points for style on that one.)
Reunion by Vic Winter. ebook short. In this enjoyable m/m romance, the ostracized high school nerd returns for his ten-year reunion as a fit, handsome millionaire ready to shove his success in his former classmates’ faces.
Christmas for Gary by Vic Winter. ebook short. Gary’s spending some time with his very active grandmother and her friends, who are determined to find a boyfriend for him, no matter how much they embarrass him in the process.
A-Viking by Kiernan Kelly. ebook short. Ok time travel m/m romance about a Viking who mysteriously washes up on a contemporary Florida beach after his longboat capsizes.
Re-Ignition by A.R. Moler. ebook short. Good m/m romance about a former FBI agent who’s not doing so well after a career-ending injury, until he wakes up hungover, in bed with someone he doesn’t recognize.
When Work Is a Pleasure by Alix Blevins. ebook. While this m/m romance was well done, I had a problem (my very own problem and not necessarily that of the book) with how relatively easily a reporter dealt with his new boyfriend’s career as a pr0n star.
InDescent by K.Z. Snow. ebook. Another very good m/m romance that I had trouble with – this time, it was because of one of the main character being emotionally and physically involved with two other people. Not a menage (which I hate), but still – I kept getting stuck there. However! This was still a very cool story about a wizard/woodworker living in Milwaukee who notices that there’s suddenly an awful lot of paranormal activity in the city… (And really, what’s not to like about a story that has Baba Yaga’s hut in a Milwaukee city park?)


My life sucks.” -Chaos

“Once in a very blue moon…”

Tonight – a very rare and special, once in 20 years blue moon! Looks like we’ll have cloudy skies here in Minneapolis, but maybe you will be luckier… Happy New Year!

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the contest post by 7 pm CST, January 6 for your chance to win a copy of Wren Boudreau’s new m/m romantic suspense, Ice Cream on the Side!

Janna’s giving away an ebook copy of Bronwyn Green’s steamy romance, Cuffed and Dangerous – leave a comment by midnight, January 7, for your chance to win.

Don’t forget to stop by Sweet Vernal Zephyr for her near daily updates on new book contests.

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) shows us that it’s a big week for urban fantasy and paranormal romance releases. And SciFiGuy covers both in his weekend update, along with all sorts of other fun things. Don’t miss his overview of the January paranormal, urban fantasy, and scifi releases, either.

This is a great time of year to get reading ideas as people post their favorite books of 2009 lists. I’m sure we’ll see many more of these over the next few weeks. I might even put one together.

Keira’s got some great book links over at Love Romance Passion. So does Dear Author, including a link to free ebooks at All Romance eBooks.

Certain ebook readers make it very easy to track your reading habits – how much does your reading privacy matter to you?

Shrink Pic looks like a really useful Windows program to resize pictures on the fly.

HP ink costs more than blood?! This graph makes oil look like quite the bargain, doesn’t it?

How did I not know that the magnetic north pole now is shifting nearly 37 miles a year?!

Gizmodo has another handy flowchart of inappropriate times to use your smartphone. Plus a little Snuggie humour

Unsurprisingly, one of these calendars is on its way to me right now.

Evidence continues to mount that Chaos isn’t simply a minion, but is actually Basement Cat.

Those wacky engineers are at it again – this time they’re playing laser tag with cats.

I think we all need an antivirus kitten, don’t you?

Cute burn warning! (I know you’ll all click anyway…)

Reading Update
Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter. Kresley Cole’s story is part of her Immortals After Dark series, featuring vampire Murdoch Wroth and Ice Queen (literally) Danii. Since this story ties up all sorts of open storylines, it’s a must read if you follow IAD. This was also my favorite of the two stories. Gena Showalter’s story is part of her Alien Huntress story, and it too ties up some open storylines. While it was pretty good, I didn’t feel as invested in this one.
Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy. ebook. Excellent and highly recommended m/m romance about an Aussie Rules football player, a film festival director, and the complexities of getting involved with someone famous and closeted. If you’ve put off reading m/m romance because you’ve heard it’s all sex, sex, sex, Tigers and Devils would be a very good introduction to the genre – it’s touching and heartfelt: at times I was laughing out loud; at times I was sniffling. I did have some trouble with the Aussie phrases – famed Aussie m/m blogger Kris (and nearly neighbor of Sean Kennedy) directed me to several sites that helped with the lingo barrier.
Thaw and The Stroke of Midnight by Jordan Castillo Price. free ebook shorts. Two sweet holiday PsyCop shorts – one from Vic’s perspective, the other from Jacob’s.
Patient Eyes by Andy Eisenberg. ebook. Good m/m romance about a college freshman who is nearly starving until one of his housemates gets him involved in gay-for-pay pr0n. While I really liked the first 2/3 of this book (I figured I’d be gushing about it without reserve here), I found the last 1/3 disappointing – several critical scenes were skipped, then glossed over in brief flashbacks. There also was a sort of extraneous plot element (hello, stray stalker) that just didn’t feel fully integrated into the story.
Unrequited by Abigail Roux. ebook. Ok m/m romance about multiple unrequited love situations.
Caught Running by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux. ebook. Very good m/m romance about the star high school jock and the nerd, now back and teaching at that same high school ten years later.
Cut and Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux. ebook. This m/m romantic suspense about two wildly different FBI agents had a lot of potential, but it just didn’t quite work because it dragged on. Since I know that Urban and Roux can write some great stuff together, it was particularly disappointing.
Pyromancer by Amanda Young. ebook. After mentioning that Young’s m/m books haven’t seemed to really grab me, Tam convinced me to try Pyromancer, which is about a man who can control fire, but only to a certain extent. He can also be incredibly dangerous to the people around him. While I did like this more than the non-paranormals, I ultimately didn’t get completely drawn into this one either.
Burn Card by Laura Baumbach. ebook. So so m/m romance about a crime scene investigator and a guy who owns a security company. I did wonder whether this was part of a series… but not enough to go figure it out.
Seducing Light by K. C. Kendricks. ebook. Ok m/m romance – the title touches on one character being a photographer and the other a famous actor whose last name is Light. The next two books are also by Kendricks – I’ve concluded that while I may find the storylines intriguing, the excessively gushing language always ends up putting me off.
Tango in the Night by K. C. Kendricks. ebook. Another ok m/m romance, this time about two law enforcement agents, one of whom was seriously injured a year ago when his life partner was killed taking a bullet meant for him.
Taming Triton (Southern Cross Resort, Book 1) by K. C. Kendricks. ebook. Again, an ok m/m romance about a guy who’s always suspected that he’s bisexual, but has never acted on his attraction to men until he takes a vacation at the Southern Cross Resort.
Grey’s Awakening by Cameron Dane. ebook. Steamy m/m romance about a high-powered businessman who’s always kept his emotions in tight check. Will that change when he meets a sexy truck driver/artist while taking a vacation?
Time After Time, Liar, and Date Night by Jane Seville. free ebook shorts. These all take place after Zero at the Bone and provide some insight into life after the epilogue.
Tom or an Improbably Tail by Ruth Sims. free ebook short. This was a very cute m/m paranormal romance about a stray cat who isn’t always a cat…


“Ok, deep thoughts are boring. I wonder how this bag will taste?” -Mayhem

In which May discovers the wonders of white sparkly feathers (and there are lots of book links)

Congrats to Dana, Kelly B, CC, elaing, and Marjorie, who all won copies of Lisa Dale’s It Happened One Night! (I’m amazed at the number of readers I have from Ontario. At least one, but usually two Ontarions have won in each of my Hatchette Book Group giveaways.)

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) is giving away five Nancy Holder books (plus a tin of Wicked mints) – leave a comment by 8 pm CST, November 27, for your chance to win.

Donna’s also got a great list of bookish giveaways – head over and check it out. Sweet Vernal Zephyr keeps up with many of the latest contests in her Contest Bar (in the sidebar).

The latest Bookworm’s Carnival is up over at Literary Escapism.

Eeeek! How desperate are you for a free ebook? Desperate enough to read Shatnerquake (oh, bummer, looks like it isn’t available for free anymore). Maybe it would be less painful to sign on with Fang-tastic Books as an ebook reviewer.

Beware – Fictionwise has (for an unknown amount of time) all of their er0tica ebooks on sale for 30% off… and they categorize all their m/m as er0tica. (Tangentially, I’m amused that my m/m meme post from Friday is zooming up in page views, albeit low in comments. I can hardly wait to see the search terms on that one…)

The Minneapolis Public Library’s Holiday Clearance Sale runs from Wednesday, November 25, through Saturday, December 19, at the main library downtown.

Hee hee – the shortlist for the bad s3x in books award is out and includes such authors as Philip Roth, Paul Theroux, and Nick Cave.

Wow – too bad this ebook reader from Qualcomm is only an early prototype.

Interesting comic about ebook reading.

Check out the Gizmodo list of gift ideas for readers.

For you iphone people, this sounds like a fun app. Too bad you can’t add your own cats.

This wedding cake caused a spit take (definition 1, people!).

Oh, how I wish I could’ve attended this book signing event

I am not surprised.

Squeee!!!!

This would definitely be May’s idea of paradise.

Completely how I remember it when Chaos ate a coffee bean as a kitten.

Tofurkey and gravy flavored soda. Bacon flavored envelopes. *blink blink* Please,  just say no.

If you’re poking around in my archives, trying to find posts with Reading Updates, I’ve added a “Reviewettes” sub-category to the “Reading” category. I’m working backwards to update posts and 2009 is done.

Reading Update
So Into You by Sandra Hill. I have the sense that this is probably one of a number of related books set in the Louisiana bayous? (I haven’t read any Sandra Hill before.) Anyway, this was a well-written contemporary romance and it totally sucked me in… even though I wanted to slap the main female and male characters more than once. Or twice. Or three times. πŸ™‚ (I received this copy from the publisher for review.)
Loves Me, Loves Me Knot (Chicks with Sticks, Book 2) by Heidi Betts. This well-done contemporary totally sucked me in – I sniffled more than once while I was reading it. I definitely recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a bit of yarn’n’steam with their romance reading. (Interesting. I see that the Kindle and mass market pb versions are $6.99, but at Diesel Ebooks, the mobi version’ll set you back… $12.03, after $1.97 discount. WTF?!)
To Serve and Protect by Chris Owen, C. B. Potts, Tory Temple, and Alexa Snow. ebook. Decent m/m romance collection about firefighters and cops.
Man of Mystery by Madeleine Urban. ebook. Happy father and downtrodden househusband Alan transforms into Terence, man of mystery, after an accident leaves him with amnesia. Recommended – Madeleine Urban definitely knows how to write an intense m/m romance.
Old Poison (Dangerous Ground, Book 2) by Josh Lanyon. ebook. Very intense and very well-done m/m romantic suspense from Lanyon. You definitely need to read Dangerous Ground before you read this. Both are highly recommended.
Another Dream (Dreams, Book 2) by Addison Albright. ebook. Good m/m romance. Really, my only complaint about Albright’s books are the number of times the characters use each other’s names in conversation. Way, way more than is normal – and enough to be annoying.
Surrendered Victory by K.C. Kendricks. ebook. Nicely done m/m romance about two guys who work for rival construction companies – one who has been afraid to admit that he might be gay, the other very comfortable being gay.
Somebody To Love by Carolina Valdez. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a helicopter pilot/firefighter who is very intrigued by the masked Chippendale dancer who wanders over to kiss him after the show (at a combined bachelor/bachelorette party in Las Vegas). (I bet this cover rates way up there on the MamaTulip Abs Approval Meter.)
Son of a Preacher Man by Jamie Craig. ebook. Ok m/m romance about a man who returns to the town where he lived briefly as a teen, hoping that another encounter with the son of a preacher man will help him sort out his confusion over his sexuality.
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys by Lynn Lorenz. ebook. Fun m/m romance about a New Orleans dress-up party in which attendees are told whether to attend in drag or stag.
Superstar by Rick R. Reed. ebook. A story of obsessive love unfolds through flashbacks as a man standing on Seattle’s “Suicide Bridge” tries to decide whether to end things.
Through the Closet Door by Rick R. Reed. ebook. Touching story about a married man in his 20s who’s struggling with coming out.
Man-Amorphosis by Rick R. Reed. ebook. Amusing, tongue-in-cheek tale of a gay man who wakes up to discover part of his body has changed its configuration, so the first thing he does is get into drag and head out to bag straight guys. Dang, Reed is definitely a versatile writer!
Mind F*cked (Faerily Imperfect, Book 1) by Mia Watts. ebook. Very nicely done and ever-so-steamy m/m paranormal romance about a stunning half-fae security expert who can read minds and a bank manager who doesn’t believe in magic or that anyone so gorgeous could find him attractive. Recommended.
She’s Got Balls by Mia Watts. ebook. Enjoyable m/m romance about an FBI agent and a cop who have to go undercover as a married heterosexual couple. My only complaint was that the story needed a bit more fleshing out near the end.


“Pretty sparkly feathery snowy toy!! Yum!!” -Mayhem