Congrats to AlbertaGirl, SarahM, and Melora, who won copies ofÂ Mourning Heaven by Amy Lane! Mourning Heaven is being released today by Dreamspinner Press.
Congrats to Mammarella, who won Sub Zero by Angel Martinez!
Congrats to Sarah S, who won Body Magic (Triad #2) by Poppy Dennison!Â Body Magic will be released by Dreamspinner Press on September 10.
Think, Make, Do, Learn
Cool or Wha…?
- Chaos gets around this by simply ripping the roll into confetti – I haven’t been able to hang up a roll of toilet paper for many, many years. (For future reference, it’s in the cupboard under the bathroom sink. I hope you’re good at opening childproof locks one-handed whilst leaning over from the toilet…)
The Cat in the Cradle (Loka Legends #1) by Jay Bell. ebook. Very good young adult gay fantasy (with romantic elements) about a young man and his talking cat who head out to experience more of life than what they’ve seen during their sheltered existence. They achieve that in spades.
Finding Fire, Flesh and Blood, and the Loka Legends Sketchbook (Loka Legends #0.5/1.5) by Jay Bell & Andreas Bell. free ebook collection. Finding Fire takes place before The Cat in the Cradle, but you don’t need to read them in that order. Flesh and Blood takes place before, during, and after The Cat in the Cradle; I recommend you read it after. Both (very good) short stories provide additional insight into the events of The Cat in the Cradle.
From Darkness to Darkness (Loka Legends #2) by Jay Bell. ebook. Very good young adult gay fantasy (with romantic elements) about life, death, love, and the responsibilities of power. Hmm. Could I be any more cryptic? 😉
Stained Glass by Jaime Samms. ebook. Very good kinky m/m romance about a guy who’s only recently realized he’s a sub, but who’s been almost destroyed by his dom imploding. He retreats into a bottle, but his friends are not ready to lose him.
Max & Finn (Men of Smithfield #2) by LB Gregg. ebook. reread. Very good m/m romance about a prep school teacher and dorm parent who is discomfited to discover that the security specialist he had an impulsive encounter with will be protecting one of the students in the dorm.
Slow Burn by Dawn Douglas. ebook short. Steamy short m/m romance about a college student whose twin sister blackmails him into doing a dreaded coffee delivery for a financial trust. In the elevator on the way to the delivery, he drools over the handsome older Brit…
Words and Their Digestion by seventhswan. free online short. Very good short m/m romance about a college student who’s probably somewhere on the autism spectrum and whose roommate is one of his few friends. And then his roommate gets a serious boyfriend…
Posted to Death (Simon Kirby-Jones #1) by Dean James. reread. This was a delightful and slightly twisted version of the British village cozy mystery, because Simon is a gay vampire (he can be out in sunlight and doesnâ€™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 â€“ a very safe read.)
Faked to Death (Simon Kirby-Jones #2) by Dean James. Good gay mystery in which vampire and author Simon goes to a retreat for mystery writers, which is livened up a bit too much by murder.
A Road Not Taken by Jennifer Thorne. ebook. Good m/m romance about an eco-house builder who finds a depressed young man along the side of a road in a broken-down car, takes him home, and puts him to work. Things proceeded between them pretty fast – I think it would’ve worked better in a slightly longer format, with more time for their relationship to develop.
Love, Hypoethetically (Theta Alpha Gamma #2) by Anne Tenino. ebook. Good m/m romance about a grad student and tutor who’s never really gotten over his first love from high school, even though things ended in a way that left him horribly bitter.
Out of the Ashes by Olivia Duncan Craig. ebook. Good m/m romance based on Cinderella about a guy who grows up on a remote Texas ranch, basically living the life of an indentured servant. And then one day a handsome young man visits the ranch… This needed a wee bit more proofreading attention.
Murder on Camac (Marco Fontana #1) by Joseph RG DeMarco. ebook. Good gay mystery about a PI who also runs a troupe of male strippers and is hired by a grieving man to find out whether his boyfriend died in a mugging gone wrong, or was murdered because of a book he was writing exposing wrongdoing in the Catholic church.
Crimes on Latimer (Marco Fontana #3) by Joseph RG DeMarco. ebook. Good collection of six short gay mysteries featuring PI Marco Fontana, starting with Marco’s first “case” in high school. I was a little frustrated that a promising thread from “The DaVinci Theft” wasn’t resolved in that or any of the other stories.
Touching Evil by Rob Knight. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance about a psychic who can basically read minds when he touches someone or touches an object someone else touched. This makes him very useful to the police… until a serial killer starts working to get his attention. I found this a frustrating read – too many sex scenes, too many food descriptions, and too many sentence fragments (reminding me that “Rob Knight” is just a “Sean Michael” pseudonym).
It Happened in Buenos Aires (Grave Watchers #2) by Missouri Dalton. ebook short. Huh. I’m setting this to today, but I read this soon after it came out and can’t remember the dates. Perhaps my disappointment in the story blocked it all out?
“You better watch out, big kitty! I am preparing my kitty laser eyes!” -Mayhem
“I’m so scared. Not.” -Chaos
Congrats to Carla A, who won her choice of A Guitarist in the Fae Queenâ€™s Court (Fae Connections #1) by Amber Kell or the Unconventional At Best anthology!
Congrats to Andrea, who won Dead Shot by JL Merrow!Â Dead Shot will be released August 26 by JMS Books.
Over the next five to six weeks, I’m going to be buried in a big work project, so I won’t be commenting on blog posts as much as I usually do. My never-very-under-control inbox is now completely out-of-control. And we’ll just see how well linkity goes… 🙂
Think, Learn, Do, Make
Cool or Wha…?
Point of No Return by NR Walker. ebook. Very good m/m romantic suspense about a closeted cop who’s attracted to the new boxing coach at the gym, who turns out to be equally closeted. How handy! 🙂 As they become closer, will they be able to survive the dangers involved in a cop’s job? I’ll definitely look for more from this author in the future.
No News Is Good News (Florida #3.5) by KA Mitchell. free ebook short. Good kinky short m/m encounter between Aaron and Joey from Collision Course that ends right as But My Boyfriend Is starts.
But My Boyfriend Is (Florida #4) by KA Mitchell. ebook. Very good m/m romance about a deeply closeted guy with a lot of guilt about his straight identical twin being gay bashed. Can he keep lying to himself about the attraction he feels to the guy who stepped into the fray and saved his twin’s life? This started out a bit rough for me, as I wasn’t feeling much sympathy for the closeted twin until about halfway through the book. Anyone want to bet that the next book’s about Tate? 😉 Later: The more I think about it, the more I feel like I got cheated out of a couple of chapters that should’ve been between the last two chapters, or the last chapter and the “I’m really an epilogue, but I’m called the final chapter” chapter… 🙁
Bad Boyfriend (Bad in Baltimore #2) by KA Mitchell. ebook. reread. I needed a reminder of how good KA Mitchell can be… Excellent kinky m/m romance about a teacher who’s dumped by his closeted boyfriend of ten years, then picks up a hot younger guy at a bar to take along to the baptism of his ex’s baby. Things just sort of spiral from there. 🙂
Drunk Text by seventhswan. free online. Very good m/m romance about a straight college student who wakes up hungover one morning covered in finger paint with a text on his phone that suggests he had sex with a guy the night before… Reread. I enjoyed this just as much as the first time I read it in February.
The Square Peg by Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow. ebook. Good kinky m/m romance (with more potential than was realized) about an accountant who inherits a share in a bar from his estranged father and gets off to a rough start with the other owner.
Finding Forever (Sutter’s Bay #4) by Shawn Lane. ebook. Sweet m/m romance about Galaxy’s younger brother Leo, who meets a closeted guy with an abusive, homophobic father. Unfortunately, this felt rushed and incomplete, or maybe not fully developed. The amount of story definitely needed more pages.
Theory of Attraction by Cleon Lee. ebook. arc. Sweet m/m romance about a hunky teaching assistant who becomes fascinated with one of the other more geeky teaching assistants. Alas, the object of his interest rebuffs him and flees at every opportunity. Unfortunately, the choppy style (not enough sentence opening variety) started to wear on me after a while, but that’s something that may improve with more writing experience.
Little Squirrels Can Climb Tall Trees by Michael Murphy. ebook. Extremely uneven but ultimately meh m/m romance set in NYC about a short and excessively exuberant guy who woos a much taller and rather naive doctor from Oklahoma. The biggest problems I had with the book were the ludicrous number of exclamation points and the tendency to go into excessive detail during scenes that didn’t seem to belong in the book, then skim quickly over things that merited more detail.
Deadly Secrets (Dark Kings of Eternity #1) by Savannah Hartley. ebook. The saddest thing about this book is that there’s the hint of an interesting story buried deep, but even though this ended on a cliffhanger, I’m not inspired to read more.
“Your training is coming along well, young Mayhem.” -Chaos
Since I never heard back from the first winner, Jaime Samms is the new winner of Ambush (True Colors #2) by Clare London!
Congrats to Dorome, who won The Rare Event by PD Singer! The Rare Event is being released today by Dreamspinner Press.
Congrats to Cole, who won For the Living by L.A. Witt!Â For the Living will be released on April 1 by Amber Allure.
Congrats to Erica Pike, who wonÂ Queenâ€™s Man by K.D. Sarge!Â Queenâ€™s Man will be released by Turtleduck Press on April 1.
Think, Learn, Make, Do
Cool or Wha…?
A Ring and a Promise by Devon Rhodes. ebook short. Very good short m/m romance about two guys in the military who start a friends with benefits relationship as cadets… but what will happen after they’re commissioned and sent in different directions? I got a little sniffly on this one.
Cold Turkey by Zebbie. free online. Very good m/m romance about two guys who dance around their attraction to each other, but are too stubborn and proud to admit to any such weaknesses. Be aware that this just barely has an HFN ending.
No Other Life Than This by podga. free online. Very good m/m romance about a fifty-ish guy who’s resistant when his best friend wants to set him up with a date for said best friend’s third wedding. This could’ve used a bit of groveling and explaining near the end, but it managed to work without that.
A Year Full of Days by seventhswan. free online. Very good m/m romance that follows up with Nate from The Side Effects of Forgetting, who isn’t doing very well at all watching Kellan date Will.
I Know What I’m Doing by AzanianHeat. free online. Very good m/m romance about a guy on holiday who unexpectedly runs into the straight guy he once made out with in university five years prior… the straight guy who fled, but hasn’t been able to forget their encounter. Set in South Africa, which was a refreshing change of pace.
Gambling on Maybe (The GlitterBomb #1) by Fae Sutherland. ebook short. reread. Very good short m/m romance about a delightfully flamboyant guy who decides he needs to add some sparkle to a closeted cop’s life. My only complaint was that I wanted more!
Games Boys Play (The GlitterBomb #2) by Fae Sutherland. ebook short. Cute short m/m romance following up on “the gayest of the gay boys” Zach and “Officer Hotness”. As others have mentioned, it was just too short – these two could’ve filled a novel. 🙂
Coming Out With the Truth by zolia_lily. free online. Good m/m romance about a writer who moves to a small town after he’s dumped by his boyfriend for a woman, then gets involved with someone deeply closeted.
The Good Old Boy by Carson Shepherd. free online. Good m/m romance about a guy who returns to the small town he grew up in (and fled years ago) after he loses his job, gets dumped by his boyfriend, and breaks his arm.
I Read a Lot by lill_street_writer. free online. Sweet m/m romance about an intense guy who mostly reads during his free time, not really needing to be around others until he meets an intriguing bookstore clerk. This story had some missing words and letters that were an ongoing, lowgrade annoyance.
Life Between Day and Night by podga. free online. Good, but very short, m/m romance about dancing around the edges of attraction, not wanting to ruin a friendship.
All That Matters by podga. free online. Good short m/m romance about two closeted colleagues, one of whom is married, who work for an international corporation and travel a lot.
Chicks Just Get in the Way by Carson Shepherd. free online. Steamy short m/m/m scene that takes place when things don’t go at all as the scheming friend planned. Be aware that there’s dubious consent in this one.
Happy World by Kiernan Kelly & Tory Temple. ebook. Good m/m romance about a guy who works at Happy World (basically Disney World) and rigidly follows the rules until a free-spirited trainee disrupts his routine and gets under his skin.
Dharma Cafe by Jessica Freely. ebook. Good paranormal m/m romance about sorcerers and demons and food magic and dreams that you should possibly not read if french fries are your favorite food. The writing was very simplistic, but I got sucked into the story anyway.
Po’ Boys by Lydia Nix, Kiernan Kelly, TC Blue, Julia Talbot, & BA Tortuga. ebook. Ok collection of m/m romance stories (one paranormal) set mostly in New Orleans. I mostly kept reading because I was feeling too lazy to not keep reading…
Fire by DWSimon. free online. Meh short m/m romance about a closeted firefighter who never sleeps with the same guy twice. There was plenty of poorly written sex, instalove, and the arson subplot wasn’t resolved.
“This spot was a lot more pleasant when the heat was on…” -Mayhem
Congrats to Juliana, who wonÂ Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane! Chase in Shadow is being released today by Dreamspinner Press.
- You’ll notice I read a lot of free online fiction this week. I actually read the stories as ebooks. Sometimes I create my own ebooks from the online stories, using Word (rtf) and Calibre. Sometimes, if the story has a lot of sections, it’s just easier to have Story Master do the compilation and conversion for me. (Thanks to the GRs friends who told me about Story Master!)
Think, Do, Make, Learn
Protection by SA Reid. ebook. Excellent historical m/m romance set in a British prison in the late 1930s. This isn’t going to be for everyone – it’s gritty and violent, as befits the setting… and that violence includes rape. But if you can get past that, you’ll find a powerful story that had me in tears at the end.
WMSmoker Seeks Seclusion by PirateGrrl. free online. Very good m/m romance about Clyde, an incredibly defensive and intentionally unpleasant guy who’s really only nice to his dog. He’s knocked for a loop when a guy who works in the same building persists in talking to him and asking him out… and finally wears him down. Being inside Clyde’s head felt like living inside of a non-stop anxiety attack!
The Pirate’s Gamble (2nd ed) by Eden Winters. ebook short. Very good short time travel m/m romance about an archeologist who travels back in time and rescues artifacts that are about to be lost forever, then returns home to the man he loves… but who keeps him a secret.
Drunk Text by seventhswan. free online. Very good m/m romance about a straight college student who wakes up hungover one morning covered in finger paint with a text on his phone that suggests he had sex with a guy the night before…
The Morning After by Magalina. free online. Good m/m romance about a guy who wakes up hungover (hmm, this is starting to look like a reading theme this week) next to one of his friends – the friend he’s been in love with for years. This one had a twist to it. 🙂
The Side Effects of Forgetting by seventhswan. free online. Good m/m romance about a college student who wakes up in the hospital with amnesia – everything that makes him himself is missing). He basically has to rediscover himself, including his sexual orientation. This is a story that actually needed an epilogue or an additional chapter.
Plastic Jesus by Poppy Z. Brite. ebook. Good short story about a band modeled on the Beatles, only the two main singer/songwriters are gay and together.
Accidental Love by Shae Connor. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about two college roommates, one who’s sworn off sex and the other who spends his weekends having anonymous sex with guys he picks up at clubs… and then he realizes how attractive his roommate is.
A Rare Thing by Alex Douglas. ebook short. Good short m/m romance about a guy who’s gone back to college and needs to sell some of his grandmother’s old jewelry to make ends meet. It doesn’t hurt that the guy at the counter of the antique store is so attractive…
First Time, Forever by KC Burn. ebook arc. Good m/m romance about a couple in a long-term relationship who, after seeing their son off to college, hope to reconnect with each other, but… they don’t talk to each other about it, both too afraid that they’re losing the other. Sometimes I’m frustrated by stories in which the major conflict could be solved by a simple conversation, but with this one, I could see myself behaving exactly as did the main characters, so it felt realistic to me.
Safe Harbor by Derek Adams. ebook. Good m/m romance about a single dad who works at a marina, where he runs into the only guy he’d ever been attracted to. This would’ve been rated higher, but between the characters using each other’s names in conversation way more than was realistic and some rather silly euphemisms…
The Principal Cause of Death (Tom & Scott #4) by Mark Richard Zubro. Good gay mystery in which Tom has an altercation with a student and accused of murder.
An Echo of Death (Tom & Scott #5) by Mark Richard Zubro. Good gay mystery in which an old friend of Scott’s shows up, bringing trouble along with him.
Rust on the Razor (Tom & Scott #6) by Mark Richard Zubro. Good gay mystery in which Tom and Scott go to rural Georgia after Scott’s dad has a heart attack. They are not at all prepared for the bigotry and hatred they encounter.
Are You Nuts? (Tom & Scott #7) by Mark Richard Zubro. Good gay mystery in which a conservative running for union rep is found bludgeoned in the school library and one of Tom’s friends is the top suspect.
Lone Wolf by Shelley Munro. ebook. Ok paranormal m/m romance about a rebellious young artist who attends a getting in touch with your werewolf camp in Yellowstone and falls for one of the instructors. When he has to return to LA at the end of the course, his father tries to force him to become an architect. This had a number of loose ends, which will perhaps be tied up in the obviously planned sequel… Or perhaps not. I don’t plan to read it.
Starting Over (1 Night Stand #27) by Starla Kaye. ebook short. So-so short m/m romance about a divorced guy who knows he’s gay, but isn’t exactly sure how to hook up with another man so decides to go through the 1 Night Stand dating service. Apparently unclear pronoun references are a constant with this publisher.
“Just loafin’ around…” -Chaos