Hank Edwards & Deanna Wadsworth-Murder Most Lovely

Murder Most Lovely by Hank Edwards and Deanna Wadsworth is what happens when you replace Jessica Fletcher with a gay mortician/coroner, move from Maine to Michigan, and introduce a cat named Mr. Pickles Furryton. And we can’t forget Michael’s grandfather, the aging womanizing former mortician and coroner who loves him some manhattans while trying to peek at murder scenes.

I have to say, right off, that I definitely enjoyed this more than I ever loved any Murder, She Wrote episode. Jessica Fletcher was always a little too wholesome for me. OTOH, there is much less wholesomeness in this story, but a whole lot more wacky ridiculousness.

Michael loves mysteries. He has a favorite author, Russell Withingham, who writes the Brock Hammer books. And it’s just Michael’s luck that the literary festival in his little town just happened to be able to get him in for a signing. So, on the rainy morning that was the first day of the festival, Michael grabs his umbrella and the first 10 books in the series, and stands in line to get them signed. While he’s waiting, he nearly pokes the eye out of the gorgeous man behind him, who then offers to hold the umbrella for him.

Gorgeous man’s name is Jazz Dilworth, which Michael thinks sounds like a name straight out of a Brock Hammer book, and he’s a stylist at the local beauty parlor. And oh yeah, he’s Russell’s ex-husband, and it wasn’t a pretty divorce, as evidenced by the huge fight that Jazz and Russell get into.

Russell really is a douchebag of douchebaggian proportions. I think that Jazz is well shut of him. I mean, seriously. He had a habit of sticking his dick into just about any hole he could, as often as he could, whether or not he was married. It’s just obvious as the story goes on how pathetic he is.

I love the chemistry between Jazz and Michael from the very second that they start talking to each other. They are so sweet and wonderful together. It’s a medium burn story, which works really well for these two. We really get to watch them build their relationship and friendship up, and we definitely get to see how much Jazz cares for Michael, and how he’s willing to take care of him when necessary.

Russell’s PR man Norbert was an asshat and just a creepy mccreeperson from the very start. I never liked him, and then I ended up liking him less, if that’s at all possible. Well, it must be, because that’s what happened.

I really enjoyed this one, if you can’t tell. Mysteries are one of my fallbacks, so this one was perfect. I’m really hoping that this is the first in an ongoing series starring Jazz and Michael. The book says that it’s Case One, so I’m really hoping that they stay the main focus of each book, along with their friends, who are all fun.

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The drug dealer angle seemed a little weird to me. It seemed almost like a tacked on aspect. I mean, I liked how the way that the overall mystery worked, but I think that the chapter that was from the POV of the dealers was just totally random.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go read it and enjoy yourself. Happy reading!

Claire Marta & Summer Stanton-Bane

Claire Marta and Summer Stanton got together and wrote a lovely, intense book that is full of all the feelz and not more than a little bit of angst. Bane is the first book in a new PNR series (NOT PBR like I wrote first, lol). The series looks like it’s going to involve a fairly hefty dose of BDSM of all shapes and flavors. I’m not sure if the next book is going to be Mm, but this one is. There are several existing relationships, Mm, Ffm, and Fm, so I don’t know where it’s going to go, but I’m excited for the ride. There is only one single person who shows up in the book, so maybe he’ll be next?

Bane is a werewolf with one huge issue. Actually, the dude has subscriptions, but right now only one of those issues is the big problem. He can’t shift. He can’t even feel his wolf. Six months ago, he went through a horrific trauma, and by horrific, I mean HORRIFIC, and since then, he’s been left unable to shift at all. His pack and his Alpha, Liam, have tried everything they can to help him, but it’s only getting worse. So, they decide to send him to Mistress Mystic and her club for some therapy. Her club is the paranormal world’s best BDSM club, and they do some therapy, or they have in the past, and Liam has decided that this is going to be the best therapy for Bane. I am not entirely sure why Liam thinks this, Bane is pretty damn vanilla at the beginning, but one does not doubt Alphas, right? Pfft.

Adam is a vampire who doesn’t have a permanent sub. He is the club manager, demos, and DMs as necessary. Mystic has tapped him to be Bane’s temporary Dom, to help Bane heal so that he can get his wolf back and be himself again. Adam isn’t all that happy with the job, but he owes Mystic and they are pretty much BFFs. So, he does it. Of course, he has no clue what he’s getting himself in for.

Bane and Adam are like oil and water at the beginning. Bane, being an Alpha werewolf has a hard time with the idea of submitting. He’s a jerk and he kink-shames people, not necessarily to their faces, except to Adam, but definitely does that. He doesn’t understand BDSM, he’s not overly happy to be there, and he’s really unhappy with the particular activity that Mystic and Adam think would work for him.

I get why Bane is being a jerk, at least part of it. Submitting isn’t easy, especially when you are at the top of the heap. He’s also terribly and tragically broken, and he blames himself for it all. He holds himself responsible for the world, which isn’t easy, and he doesn’t particularly like himself. You put all that together and you get someone who is hurting so badly that he just can’t even focus. And because he hurts so badly, he’s angry. It’s easier to be angry than it is to hurt. It’s also easier to want to make other people hurt because you feel like if you can make them hurt, then you are going to hurt a little less. Of course, it never really works that way, but it feels good in the moment. When it comes to the kink-shaming thing, it’s really easy to dismiss or make fun of something that you aren’t familiar with or don’t understand, and that’s what Bane does. Of course, Adam, being his Dom, isn’t going to let him get away with that.

Adam, him I like from the very beginning. He’s a good man. He’s a patient man. He may be an exacting and stern Dom, but he is not harsh. He doesn’t want to truly break Bane. You know, break him in a never going to be fixed totally harmed kind of way, not break him in a good way and make him cry and put him back together kind of way. There is a difference. He may want to hurt Bane, but he doesn’t want to harm him. And he only wants to hurt Bane in a way that will bring both of them a lot of pleasure. Adam has his own issues too, and he’s done what he can to make his life happy and contented. I, personally, think that he’s not dealt with a lot of the issues, but that’s just my personal opinion on the matter. He’s still a good man who wants to watch out for people around him and has created a family that he loves and who love him.

One of those family members is Elias, and Adam calls him Imp, which I’m pretty sure suits him perfectly. I can’t wait to see more of him, because he’s just so damn cute. Smart too.

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I can’t stand Liam. How you gonna send someone to a BDSM club for therapy and not tell them all the truth? Liam needs to die by burning in a pit of hellfire and lava. I’d be more than happy to arrange it. And you just know that he didn’t do a damn thing to try to help Bane at all. Just the way that he acted when he showed up proved that. And that was really fucking rude too.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check this out! Happy reading!

Claire Thompson-Castaways

You remember how I said that I would be featuring more Claire Thompson? Well, here you go. Castaways isn’t out for Kindle yet, but it is in paperback and the Kindle version is on pre-order and it will show up on your Kindle 2/3. This is different from the other stuff I’ve blogged about from Claire, because this one is vanilla-ish. Yes, she does write vanilla. I qualify it with the -ish because there is some fairly mild power exchange stuff going on, but that could just be because of the nature of the relationship between the guys.

So, here’s the story. Sam is an up and coming artist from NYC. He’s been working really hard to get ready for a big show, and his last one was wildly successful. His friend, Tim, who is also the gallery owner has given him a ticket for a Caribbean cruise. Sam has been spending a lot of time looking at the ocean and taking pictures so that he can remember the light.

Donovan is two years out of law school. He’s an associate at a high powered law firm. His father is a lawyer who helped him get this place, and he’s always pushed Donovan to do better, be better, yadda, yadda, yadda. He’s getting ready for his first big case, but he’s decided that he needs a vacation before his big case because he’s fighting burnout. One night, he bumps into Sam on deck as Sam is looking at the sea.

That chance meeting doesn’t seem like it would be anything, and it probably woudn’t be, if the ship they were on didn’t catch fire and sink that night. Donovan gets swept overboard by a huge wave and the current catches him and sweeps him away from everyone else. Sam gets knocked down and ends up a little out of it and all the lifeboats leave without him. Luckily he finds one last life raft, but he goes the same way as Donovan and fortuitously picks him up, where they find themselves floating further and further away from everyone else and on to their very own deserted island.

Now, this could be considered a first time gay novel, but I think to classify it that way would be a disservice to the book. There is so much more to it than just one guy finding out that he’s attracted to another guy and trying to deal with it. For one thing, Sam doesn’t identify as gay. He doesn’t identify with any label, really. There is a really beautiful passage where he talks about liking men and women and what attracts him to either. He says that he’s attracted to people, but that he emotionally connects with men. I love that whole section because it shows how much time and thought that Sam has put into who he is. It’s not easy to figure all that stuff out at the best of times and being alive is a continuity and you aren’t going to be the same person today as you are a year from now or you were a year ago, so putting a lot of time and energy into figuring yourself out is totally awesome. I love that Claire gives Sam the space to be that person. You don’t see a lot of characters like that, and I really would like to. Donovan is really interesting. He is really confused about what’s going on and his feelings. Sam is right there with him though.

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I know no one wants to think that a disaster like a shipwreck could be good for someone, but I think that I could argue a case that it was almost a good thing for Donovan. He’d never had time to just be or to just connect with anyone, and the month spent on a deserted island with someone like Sam would give him the time to just be and to figure out who he is. Sam is a total superstar throughout the thing, and really sort of guides Donovan through the whole process, but not by taking his hand and leading him, more by just being there. Like I said, totally awesome.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one today. When it releases on 2/3 go check it out or put it on preorder now. Happy reading!

Leah Sharelle-His Man

Leah Sharelle and her Wounded Souls guys were new to me, but they are definitely going to go in my MC rotation, and yes, there are times when I go on MC kicks, so I have collections set up on my Kindle so that I can read them when I want. It is a serial, but the books focus on different couples. The books are part of an overall storyline. His Man is a novella in the series, written because people wanted to know more about Ford, and really, I totally understand why, because Ford is freaking AWESOME.

Before I talk about Ford and Lucky, I need to talk about the real star of the book, Shiloh. She’s the Wounded Souls’ princess, and is 4 going on 21. She’s just a delight, and I really loved every interaction with her. I can’t wait to see her all grown up and to see her in her book.

Anyway, the majority of the Wounded Souls, or at least the base group, were in the same unit in the Australian armed forces, and they went through some shit, and it ended up with friends dead. While they were in the Sandbox, Ford and Bryce, AKA Lucky, had a secret relationship. Well, maybe not relationship so much as a series of encounters. Ford has always been out, and most of Bryce’s brothers in the MC know that he’s gay, but he’s closeted. And now that they’re both back and both in the same MC, there’s a lot of tension. You see, Lucky is engaged to a woman and is playing straight for his family, which is killing him and is hurting Ford so bad.

Like I said, I think that Ford is pretty awesome. He’s really comfortable with who he is. He is also the cool uncle to all the kids of the Wounded Souls, and they all love Fordy, because who wouldn’t? I’m back and forth on Lucky during this book. I think that most of my problem with him is the fact that he’s not comfortable with himself and he’s walking with a foot on each side of the line and it’s tearing him apart as well as a lot of other people. I don’t have problems with him for trying to figure out who he is and where he belongs, I have problems with the way that he is hurting people, I think. I don’t dislike him. I just don’t always like him, if you know what I mean. But Ford? Yeah, love him.

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I hated Ava and I loved it when Bryce finally told her off. She totally deserved it, and she might have deserved even more than what he said.

I loved the idea of Darth watching out for everyone from above. It’s really awesome, and he really wouldn’t want to leave Shiloh alone.

OK, that’s all for this one today. Go check out the whole series, it’s in KU, and find out why I love Shiloh and why I think Ford is teh awesome. Happy reading!

Claire Thompson-Perfect Cover

Over the next 3 or 4 weeks, I’m going to be putting up a lot of Claire Thompson books. Some will be MF, some will be MM, some will be kinky, others will be vanilla or vanilla-ish. Today we’re starting with Perfect Cover. This one is an MM vanilla-ish book. I’m calling it vanilla-ish because there is some light bondage, but nothing more than that. And now, on to the book.

Ryan has been working in the hospitality field, but was recently let go from his job. So when he hears that an all-inclusive paradise resort in the Caribbean is hiring, he’s all for it. When he’s interviewing for the seasonal position at Club Eros, he finds out that he’s basically being hired because he looks pretty in a speedo. His job is to be a gopher for the patrons of the resort. They all like to look at scantily clad pretty boys, as Club Eros is a resort for gays to come and celebrate and be comfortable with who they are. There’s all kinds of sex, both public and private, in couples and more-somes, vanilla or kinky. Pretty much if you want to have sex, there is at least one guy there who will be more than happy to help you with that. For Ryan, though, it’s a real worry. You see, Ryan is straight, and he’s going to have to stay in the closet and pretend to be gay while he’s there. Ryan figures that he can do that, but he doesn’t figure on the patrons and other employees.

Sean is a full-time employee and lives at the resort in a lovely little bungalow. Most of the time he has it to himself, but during the season, he has to have a roommate. This year, his roommate is Ryan. When Sean first sees Ryan, he falls into immediate lust with him, but he keeps telling himself to not do anything, he’s waiting for his one true love to come along. He’s not into casual hookups and random parties anymore, so he mostly stays to himself. He’s a true romantic. Then, he finds out Ryan’s secret and decides that he’s going to help Ryan. He and Ryan pretend to be a couple, which pretty much keeps everyone off Ryan.

At its heart, I think that this story is really about finding out who you are and being happy with that person. Ryan goes on quite a journey. There are some times when I really didn’t like him all that much. He gets surprised by some of the things that the patrons and other employees do to him, but I was like dude, get over yourself, this is stuff that gays have been dealing with in the real world, so just think. There were a few episodes of what I thought was toxic-ish masculinity, but Ryan really did grow and change, and Sean had everything to do with that. It made Ryan a much better person. Claire writes such thoughtful stories, with a lot of depth and layers, which make you think.

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One of the places I didn’t think that Ryan needed to get over himself was when the massage happened or what happened with his boss. Those things pissed me off quite a bit. His boss valued friendship over what he had seen of Ryan and his character. That was so, so, so wrong. And I would hope that the other dude got all kinds of terrible consequences. He needed them. He needed a lot of them.

I also didn’t like Ryan’s dad. His family culture, in general, was highly stressful, but the way that his father pushed him and devalued what Ryan did and what he was choosing to do in his life really annoyed the hell out of me.

Anyway, that’s the first of Claire’s books to show up on my blog over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more. Go check it out. Happy reading!

Loki Renard-Angelo

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you know that I love Loki Renard, that tricksy fox. And, you know that I love her House of Vitali books. I think Angelo is a simply marvelous character. He’s devious, deviant, twisted, tricky, sly, and convoluted. But, we’ve never gotten a lot of his backstory. I mean, something had to turn Angelo into the Angelo we know and love. You aren’t just born that convoluted, at least I don’t think so. But now, Loki has gifted us with Angelo:Making a Monster.

Bobby and Angelo are… well, they are being Bobby and Angelo. Bobby is falling in love with Angelo, you know, as one does. And he wants to know more about his lover. Of course, we know Angelo. he doesn’t want anyone to love him. He wants them all to be afraid of him. Bobby, being Bobby, won’t let anything drop and keeps asking Angelo questions about his past. Angelo, being Angelo, finds a way to stop him from asking questions, but of course, it pisses off Mark.

The story switches between current time and flashbacks. We get to see Angelo’s history through his eyes, as it’s happening to him, instead of him telling Bobby or Mark about it, which you know he would filter and skew. I found his history to be fascinating, and I really want to know about it.

And as always, when it comes to Angelo, you know, he has so many plans on top of plans on top of plans. He always knows how Bobby and Mark are going to act. Always. But here’s my latest question about Angelo. Does he know what they are going to do because he forces them to do it? Because if he does action A he knows that Bobby is going to do action B, which is usually try to kill Angelo? Or does he take into account their personalities and act in a way that if he does something he can predict the most likely action that they will take? We already know that he has plan A-ZZZ set up so that he is ready for anything and everything. There’s no way to trip him up, really. He’s just so damn twisty.

I love Angelo. He’s one of my favorite characters. I’d count him as a book boyfriend, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have the parts that he’s looking for, and well, frankly, I’ve seen what he does to his lovers.

There are no spoilers today because it’s a short read and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. Hit up the Zon and check it out. Happy reading!

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Loki Renard-Taken Boy

So, you remember the last couple of Loki Renard books that I posted, Shamefully Broken and Broken Boy? Well, Taken Boy is another one in that world. It’s related to them, but you really don’t see Ellie or Aiden or any overlapping events, except for at the very beginning.

As a refresher, let’s go over what’s been happening. In SB, Ellie went to Mason, her brother Aiden’s best friend, and asked him to help out Aiden and get him out of trouble. Mason said that he would, as long as she agreed to be his. Well, after calling him a perv, she stomped away, but when Mason saved her life, she ended up going home with him and being his. Mason arranged for Aiden to be safe.

In BB, Aiden is being protected by two of Mason’s guys. They are both Dom-ly types, and Aiden, well, he likes it a lot. He gets protected by his Daddy and his Dom, and the bad guy, Bobby Cornoli can’t get at him.

In TB, we have Bobby’s story. Bobby is 22 and thinks that he’s on top of the world. He thinks that he’s all that and a bag of chips. The biggest problem is that he’s 22 and thinks he’s invulnerable and that he’s a bigger threat that he really is. Mason was really, really, really pissed that Bobby tried to touch Elliot. That was a major goof. And when Mason gets pissed, he gets even. In fact, he gets more than even. When it comes to his girl, he’ll go nuclear. And that’s exactly what he decided to do to Bobby.

Mason arranges for Angelo Vitalli, who really is in the Mob and who really is all that plus the giant bag of chips, to take Bobby. His job is to break Bobby, by whatever way possible, and leave him with absolutely nothing. When Angelo first sees Bobby, he gets ideas. Wicked, dirty, obscene ideas. Ideas that Bobby is going to find painful. In fact, in the first few minutes that Angelo has Bobby, he canes him but good. You would think that Bobby wouldn’t like that, but…

So, this is a pretty quick read. It’s also pretty filthy. But, filthy in such a good way. Angelo is hardcore. He’s pretty much a hardcore sadist, IMO. He likes to break men, and Bobby is actually perfect for him. Angelo is also very smart, and he puts that to work. This is a nice companion piece to the other books. It’s a standalone, so you don’t have to have read them to know what’s going on in this book. Its action is mostly isolated from the other two books, except for in the beginning.

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OK, I thought that Bobby was an asshole a good deal of the time, and he thought that he was a whole lot more than he was. I have a 22 year old son, and 22 year old young men are often assholes and think that they are more than they are. At 22, you’re still growing up. Even though Bobby has been working the streets for a while, the fact is that his brain hasn’t quite finished developing, which science says happens around age 25, so he doesn’t always make the best decisions. His whole reasoning behind going after Aiden just shows that.

There is one time when I feel really bad for Bobby. That’s after he makes a move that Angelo knew would happen. That time period made me feel sorry for him. Of course, I think that time was good for him, even if it was hard.

Ok, that’s all I have to say today. It’s only $2.99 right now on and is on KU on the Zon, so go check it out. Happy reading!