Friday, January 29, 2010
Saying I Do by Cameron Dane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fairy tale endings should exist for everyone! For Adam and Rhone, that fairy tale ending may come with several interruptions, a case that they literally stumble across while planning their wedding in Vermont and several interrupted make-out sessions but it exists... and how awesome is it to be part of that experience!
Summary: When Rhone Quinn caught Adam Reyes picking his pocket in Finding Home, he never dreamed the young man would become his best friend, his business partner, or that, as that friendship grew, Adam was secretly gay and falling for him. What really knocked heterosexual Rhone on his ass was discovering Adam’s feelings, and realizing he felt an equally fierce attraction and love for Adam.
Fast forward two years. Rhone and Adam are engaged and headed to Vermont for their wedding. Nothing can mar this beautiful occasion. Right?
Wrong. A bride staying at the hotel fuels Adam’s fears of losing Rhone to a woman; a feuding couple that Adam and Rhone run into every time they turn around sparks disagreements between them; and a hotel employee’s strange behavior spurs Adam’s professional curiosity and later rouses his protective juices.
What was supposed to be a week of celebration and hot lovin’ quickly turns into a Quinn Security investigation.
Now all Rhone and Adam need to do is get a bickering couple to admit they’re in love, help a sweet young man out of a terrible situation, and maybe, just maybe, Rhone can get his fella to the chapel on time to say “I do.”
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices.
I can't tell you how much I love the Quinn Series! I'm hoping several characters get their own stories as well! But we're talking about Adam and Rhone! Their love is so intoxicating, it affects you as a reader as much as it would be if you were a physical bystander in their world. Every life they touch is forever changed and I love it when characters come to life in such a way that they forever stay within your psyche.
Excerpt: Rhone slammed Adam into the wall of their apartment and shoved his cock up his partner's ass. Adam cried out, and Rhone moaned as his lover's passage closed in tightly and suffocated his dick. Goddamnit, it felt good to finally fuck his man. Being rock hard during the long el ride home had nearly killed him. Once they made it inside the apartment, and Rhone tore Adam's clothes off and his own jeans down, he just couldn't hold off another second to get them to the bedroom.
I have to celebrate. And I don't want to do it with anyone except Adam.
Shoving a hand into Adam's dark, silky hair, Rhone yanked his head back and fused their mouths together in a searing kiss. He held Adam to him and pumped his prick through the snug embrace of Adam's hole. It felt like, with every deep in-stroke he made, Adam massaged each nerve ending in his cock. And on every shallow withdrawal, he licked Rhone's length with a million tiny tongues.
Christ. He's steaming and tight…and perfect.
Rhone breathed against Adam's cheek and worked hard to control the depth and pace of his fucking. He brushed his lips across Adam's jaw, met his gaze, and trembled. “What you do to me.” He pressed his forehead to his lover's and didn't look away from the intensity in his gaze as they made love. “I love you.”
“Love you too.” Adam's eyes burned dark as onyx, and he clamped his arms and legs even tighter around Rhone's shoulders and waist. He flicked his tongue into Rhone's mouth and branded him all over again with that split-second touch. “Now fuck me like you mean it, and make me come.”
Rhone held Adam to him, and his balls swelled just thinking about pounding Adam into oblivion. “Whatever you want.” He took a big stride in the direction of their bedroom, forgot he still had his jeans around his knees, and sent them both crashing to the floor.
Shifting just in time, Rhone took the brunt of the fall. With a grunt, Adam landed on top of him, straddling Rhone's hips and still riding his cock.
“Are you okay?”
A chuckle escaped Adam. Then a smile hit his pretty lips, a twinkle made it look like the moon danced in his eyes, and his chuckle turned into a full-on belly laugh. He wiggled his ass on Rhone's dick and waggled his brow. “I think we stuck the landing. We're gonna get all tens from the judges for sure.”
Looking up at his partner's handsome face, Rhone shook his head with ease, but his chest constricted hard on the sight. “Stuff like that is why I fall for you more every day we're together.”
Fingers grazed lightly on Rhone's stubbly cheek and into his hair. “You are my world, Rhone.” Adam folded himself down on Rhone and pressed a gentle kiss to his lips. “Always will be.”
Damn it. “Ohhh fuck.” Rhone's balls squeezed hard, and he lost his shit. He dug his fingers into Adam's hips and drove up into his tight passage one last time. The pleasure of taking Adam overwhelmed him, and with a hoarse noise, Rhone unloaded his seed into Adam's ass, marking him deep inside.
Adam reared up with a gasp as Rhone filled him, and he quickly took his own cock in hand. With eyes closed, he tilted his head back and rode Rhone's dick with long, sure strokes. His sleek, muscular frame undulated in a wave of solid, olive-toned flesh, and the sight of it stole what little breath Rhone had left in his body.
“Christ, you are something special to see. Here.” Rhone spit in his palm, brushed Adam's hand aside, and circled his own around Adam's straining prick. Adam opened his eyes, and Rhone finished, “Look at me, baby, and let me help you come.”
Rhone started to pull on Adam's rigid length, and Adam bunched Rhone's jersey in his hands, immediately picking up the pace of his ride. “Oh yeah…” He bit his lip as Rhone alternated between jerking him off and tugging his nuts, and his chute rippled so damn much that Rhone's cock remained almost completely hard in Adam's ass. Adam groaned and whipped his seat back and forth on Rhone's penetration. “Harder, Rhone, harder.”
With a surge into a sitting position, Rhone bit Adam on the shoulder—and delivered his lover straight to heaven. Adam locked in place and then convulsed and spewed hot lines of cum onto Rhone's stomach. His channel milked Rhone with every tremor that went through his frame, and Rhone hissed as his prick mightily enjoyed the handshake.
The tension and trembling eventually left Adam's body. He gently pulled himself off Rhone's cock, leaned back on his elbows, and smiled in that sweetly wicked way he only did for Rhone. “Damn,” he said with a grin, “the Cubbies need to get into the postseason more often.”
“Amen to that.” Rhone laughed too, and he wondered how many people had gone home from that baseball game earlier tonight and fucked in celebration of the huge win. Rhone bared his teeth like a wolf and looked Adam up and down as if he were cornered prey. “Imagine what I'll do to you if they ever win the World Series.”
Adam groaned and covered his eyes with his hand. “Don't torment me with something you're never gonna be able to make happen.”
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Lift Me Up by Rayne Auster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I must admit that this book was originally an impulse-buy. I loved the cover, found the blurb amusing and thought, "meh if I don't like it, I at least enjoyed the cover". Sometimes, we find great stuff on impulse. :)
Summary: Hurt and betrayed by his best friend, Avery is not exactly on a quest to find love when it literally stumbles upon him in the form of Dylan Kincaid, his new, sexy neighbor. Avery is quick to forgive the fact that Dylan's arrival brings with it a series of unfortunate events hairy enough to keep the most optimistic person down, and he sets about trying to get into Dylan's pants. But love isn't so easy to catch, and Avery will have to face Dylan's past and his own aversion to elevators on his way to happiness.
What I liked about this book: This book has a great voice! Avery tells you this tale in first person without holding any punches or letting his inner monologue derail the conversation... completely. :) The very first paragraph completely drew me in:
EVER encountered the cliché tale where a couple finds one another while stuck in an elevator? You know the drill. Enter protagonist one, followed by protagonist two, followed by the elevator doors closing oh so slowly, almost as if the electronic devices themselves were lost within the sensuality of the moment to come. The elevator starts to move up and the audience holds its breath in anticipation waiting for the moment when, yes, you guessed it, the power cuts out and the elevator stalls.
The story moves quickly and Avery's quirky commentary keeps you in stitches while still maintaining a great erotic mood when the mood strikes.
Excerpt: With the promise of victory in my sight, I was not about to give up. I changed tactics and swung my leg over his, effectively straddling his lap. It was not the most graceful of movements, seeing as I was hindered by additional weight around my ankle, but I didn’t care. Once in position, I thrust aggressively up, pushing my erection directly into his groin. Remember that little interesting ten-second fact I dropped a little while back? Seems there may be some validity to it.
Dylan was every bit as hard as I was. His breath escaped him with a hiss. He groaned and instinctively grabbed my hips (I think he intended to push me away, but it didn’t quite work out like that). His hands held me in place and his eyes glazed over. Then he thrust up against me, rubbing his erection over mine. “Ay-very.” I didn’t take offense at the emphasis he put on my name this time. In fact, I found I quite liked the sound of it on his hoarse breath. “We should finish talking first.”
“Time for talking is over.” I twisted my hips out of his grasp and rubbed up against him, returning the jagged thrusts of his hips. Reaching into his hair, I grabbed his scalp and leaned in towards him. “It’s time for action now.” I allowed my breath to linger on his lips for but a moment before yet again claiming his lips in an aggressive kiss. I was, after all, tired of waiting for him to make a move. I sucked his bottom lip into my mouth and was surprised when his lips parted, granting me the entrance I was seeking earlier. I slipped my tongue into the warm heat of his mouth and savored the taste of vanilla within. He let me explore his mouth, his tongue brushing against mine to encourage the embrace, and I took full advantage of it. I thoroughly delved into every corner I could reach: his teeth with the crooked kink just to the right, his palate, the lining of his cheeks. I left no stone unturned, or more specifically, no nerve un-stroked, and the sheer sense of power that coursed through me was addictive.
All too soon, I felt the need to breathe. I reluctantly pulled back from the mind-boggling kiss and rested my forehead against his shoulder, a hungry whimper escaping my lips. I thrust up against him again and groaned, nearly unraveled by the rough texture of the jeans he wore. The single motion was not enough, so I repeated it, pushing harder with each thrust only to cry out when his hands upon my hips halted my motion once again.
“Pushy little bottom, aren’t you?” His breath was as heavy and ragged as mine was, and the warmth of it ruffled my hair. I never would have thought warm air drifting through my hair could be sensual, but it was. Everything about Dylan was sensual, and I couldn’t help but crave him. I lifted myself up in an attempt to escape his hold on my hips once again and the motion brought me level with his ear. “Who says I’m a bottom?” I breathed directly into it, unable to resist the urge to steal his seduction tactic from
“I do.” With that said, he slid his hands down and palmed my ass cheeks. Checkmate. I win.
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Saturday, January 23, 2010
Replacement Guitarist by Lori Toland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First-time-author, Lori Toland's breakout novel, Replacement Guitarist, scheduled for release on February 1 from Dreamspinner Press. I didn't think it would be easy to review a book I'd seen grow from the very first manuscript through it's approval process. But it was so wonderful fall into the Jason-and-Blaze world that I kept forgetting to make notes to myself for this review. I just basked in their afterglow and well... see for yourself.
Summary: Blaze Shinozuka, a hot talent who auditions as a replacement guitarist for world famous pop star Cassie, is thrilled when he draws the attention of celebrity manager Jason Stockton—and not only because it could make his career. His instant attraction to Jason sends his world careening off its axis and drives him to make a move. But Jason reacts by trying to put distance between them, and Blaze finds himself thrust into the gritty world of rock 'n' roll while falling for a man he shouldn’t touch, let alone love.
Straight-laced Jason Stockton is always professional and never dips his pen in the company ink. But there's something about Blaze that leaves him wanting what he shouldn't, and the guitarist’s exotic beauty and compelling innocence turn out to be the temptation Jason can’t resist. But just one lie in the national media sets off a chain of events that pushes Jason and Blaze apart. Can they find a way to be together in the cutthroat, jealous world of rock 'n' roll even after the music stops?
What I liked about this book: It's a rock-n-roller's life and yet... it's not out of reach! I like that even though much of the celebrity aspects of being on tour with a famous singer are in the periphery of the story, the main focus is on Blaze and Jason.
The instant Blaze sets foot in Jason's office, it's instant attraction and a whirlwind courtship begins. While this is not uncommon in romance, what I love about these characters are the quirky things that make them real to the reader. I love Blaze! I really do! He's young and headstrong with a good head on his shoulders and a penchant for life that's invigorating while still being rather naive about a few things. It doesn't hurt that he's a hot, Hawaiian-born Japanese rockstar! The manga lover in me had hearts in her eyes the minute he set foot in my head. :D
Excerpt:JASON tried not to smile. Blaze looked adorable as he hemmed and hawed over his words, developing a posture to hide his desire for someone, something Jason hadn't used since he was a teenager. Jason licked his lips, his mouth going dry.
He was sure Blaze would say something as he stood there looking at the floor, but instead, he looked up, his pupils dilated, the need so clearly written on his face as words seemed to escape him. Jason felt himself moving. Blaze was as well, and they collided in the middle.
Their lips met, and the guitarist tasted sweet like apples, his lips moist as Jason sucked on Blaze's full bottom lip. Jason dragged his teeth across it enticingly, and Blaze moaned, opening his mouth. Jason pounced on the opportunity to slide his tongue inside the other man's mouth.
It was his turn to moan as their tongues met, sliding against each other. Jason couldn't believe how good this felt, how passionately the other man was kissing him. His arms left Blaze's shoulders and went to his hips, pulling their bodies flush against each other.
Jason groaned loudly as their cocks touched through their pants and slid against each other. Passion flooded him, and it took a while for the waves of desire crashing within him to ebb. It slowly dawned on him that Blaze's body had stiffened. He pulled away briefly and realized as he looked into those gorgeous eyes that Blaze was shocked and looking uncomfortable.
BLAZE looked up at the manager to see need plainly written on his face. He'd thought about seeing it as he was in his hotel bed last night, his cock hard as a rock as it begged for relief. He had jerked off once when he got to the room and again this morning in the shower, both times while he thought of the other man sucking him off and Blaze returning the favor.
He was so hard now that it was painful. The ache in his groin was slowly eating away at his good sense. Blaze knew he had to walk away from this. They worked together, and he tried to tell himself again that if it went sour, things could get really bad, really fast. And it wouldn't be Jason leaving, it would be the new guitarist, and that reputation would no doubt follow him everywhere.
Blaze wanted Jason so much he could nearly taste the desire. Even though Jason's lips weren't on him, he could still feel the pressure of the manager's mouth against his. He must have hesitated too long, because he felt Jason step away, and he made a split-second decision. He closed his eyes and tilted his face up. He was offering himself, hoping beyond hope he would be accepted, pushing aside his fear of rejection.
The other man lips were tentative on his own, slightly gentler than before. Blaze felt a surge of excitement mixed with surprise. He was sure Jason would take him hard and fast, bending him over the desk and fucking him senseless. He seemed like a person who took what he wanted without regard, but instead, his touch was gentle. His fingers were warm and soft as they touched his cheek. They were so different from his own, which were thick and callused from the strings of his guitar.
Those fingers were trailing along his jaw, stroking gently as they moved to the back of his neck. Blaze sighed against his lips, opening his mouth when he felt Jason's tongue probing again. He heard a groan, and he realized it wasn't his own, but Jason's.
A hand on Blaze's hip, making its way to his zipper, shocked him into facing what Jason was doing. The older man was trailing his knuckles along his bulge, and Blaze felt his cheeks begin to burn. He was scared of Jason seeing his desire for him. There would be no turning back from this moment.
When Blaze didn't protest, Jason pulled down his zipper and deftly unsnapped his jeans. Blaze thrust his hips against the older man's hand, a moan flowing from him into Jason's mouth. The kiss was broken, and the older man looked down, fumbling with the waistband on Blaze's briefs. Then Jason's hand engulfed him, and Blaze let out a strangled cry.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Summary: Danger. Fur. Fangs. Bared claws, ready to defend territory and mate. The stories in this collection have all this and more! In Sean Michael's pirate story Law of the Jungle, Captain Marco is delighted with his crew's gift of a big, emerald-eyed cat. He's even more happy when he finds that the cat is also beautiful as a man. Will danger end their relationship before it begins? In Snake Oil, by BA Tortuga, old west drifter Haskell is just passing by the snake oil salesman's traveling show when he senses the presence of an old friend. Can he teach Truett to be human again? Lost Tiger, by Sean Michael, has were-tiger Torao escaping from the circus. Greyson finds Torao and decides to help this strange man, but will Torao's old Keeper find a way to drag him back to the circus? Finally, in Alpha, by BA Tortuga, werewolf Cage thinks he's found a safe place in his cabin in the woods, at least until the former occupant, alpha wolf Roman comes back for it. Will they be able to get along, and survive the attack from outside their brand new pack?
What I liked about this book: This collection of short stories is fun to read (and a quick read too) but because the stories are short, the conflict is readily resolved with a very sit-com feel. In a way, I'm pretty glad the stories had happy endings because as you're reading them, the angst is sometimes so heady that you wonder how the author is going to pull off the happily-ever-after... after all. Of the four stories in the book, I enjoyed the last one the most and yes, it's because I'm partial to the wolves over the kitty cats.
Law of the Jungle: I had trouble following the speech a bit on this one even though it had Spanish words in the dialogue. I do fault Stanza on some of my issue with the dialogue as this book did not convert well and most of its formatting went out the window when I loaded it to my iPod Touch. The sensuality in this story was as furry as Marrrrrrco's cat and while I tried not to picture Johnny Depp (he's my go-to pirate image) it was difficult with this one.
Snake Oil: I really enjoy BA Tortuga's works and this short story had all of the elements of a great, erotic story. The almost fable-esque way of the prose was beautifully done and the basic lovestory at the very root of it made this story a vividly delicious read!
Lost Tiger: This one was a fun read especially when we see Torao's point-of-view as a caged tiger. How many times have you looked at your pet and swore you could read its mind? Torao's outlook on the Man's world is not just fun, but enlightening and while he's learning how to be a man, he teaches Greyson how to be a mate. The long, sensuous lovemaking scenes in this one will definitely have you purring and panting!
Alpha: Yes, I'm partial to the wolves but that also means I'm more critical of their storylines and how they're written. Boy, did this story not disappoint! Not only was the wolf pack behavior written with such stark reality that you forget you're reading shifters, the love story between Cage and Roman is sizzling from its first claiming. Don't miss out on this one!
Excerpt from Alpha: Okay, maybe he needed to get the kid sorted out now. Setting the eggs aside, Roman pounced, covering the kid's ass and back with his body, his teeth sinking into the back of that vulnerable neck.
The cub yelped, hands scrabbling on the counter, body arching underneath him, trying to throw him off. Roman just went almost boneless, putting all of his considerable weight behind his teeth, pressing down. He could feel the panic, the fight as Cage panted and struggled, even as that compact body sank to the ground.
Smart cub. So smart. Roman went after him, covering him, just pressing down all the way to the floor. He knew the kid needed total submission to understand, to really know.
Breath coming quick and harsh, Cage finally stilled under him, just the softest noises filling the air.
"Shhhh." He bit down gently before moving back to turn Cage to his back. He nuzzled the throat, then the belly, and then the soft, fuzzy balls, Cage shivering under him but holding still. "Good. That's good."
He got a quiet little sound --not quite a moan, not quite a whine. The cub's scent was hot, strong, male, and promising. The only thing that might burn was the bread, so Roman covered Cage with his body again, rubbing back and forth, their cocks pressing. His whole body rocked at the feel, involuntary but so, so right.
All those muscles bunched, arching beneath him and rubbing back. Cage's lips parted on a growl, eyes rolling and wild. Roman bit down against the skin of Cage's throat, feeling it nearly split beneath his teeth, licking it to soothe after. He just kept rubbing, needing so bad.
Cage's cock started leaking, leaving wet lines on his belly, his prick, this new scent filling his nose and making his lip curl. His mouth watered, making him reach between them and pull at both their cocks, rubbing his own pre-come into Cage's skin, too, pushing them back and forth.
Cage pushed up, long tongue sliding over his shoulder, tasting him, licking at him as Cage humped up into his hand. He growled. So long. Too long. Grunting, he smacked down against Cage, biting, licking, snarling his fucking joy. His teeth scraped along Cage's throat, the thin skin catching, the salty taste filling his mouth. Heat sprayed over his hand, Cage howling with it, the sound almost surprised.
There. Right there. Roman came so hard he saw stars, his head snapping up and back, his vision filled with nothing but Cage and the look on the cub's damned face...
His hands were busy, even as he came floating down, rubbing his scent into Cage's skin. Marking the cub. Claiming. His.
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Thursday, January 07, 2010
Falling by M.L. Rhodes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've had this book on my shelves for a while and never seemed to get around to reading it. I can't believe I waited so long. M.L. Rhodes has sucked into me a world I want to read more of.
Summary: As the leader of an elite British group that hunts criminals of the magic world, Christian Wetherly comes to the U. S. undercover, posing as a British cop, to investigate a series of murders he suspects have been committed by a dark mage. He never expects, however, to find himself intensely attracted to the American police detective in charge of the case. Christian has long struggled with his hidden desires and hasn't admitted them to anyone. But Alec Anderson stirs something deep within him that's difficult to ignore.
Still...even if he could master his fear of coming out, Christian's dedicated himself to protecting the world from magic terrors. It's a dangerous life an ordinary human could never understand or accept. And to complicate matters, Alec's emotionally vulnerable, still grieving the death of his previous lover, a fellow cop killed in the line of duty. So Christian's determined to keep his true occupation and powers hidden from Alec.
Neither man can deny the powerful chemistry that burns between them, and both realize they're falling hard for one another, yet with so many secrets and complications, a relationship seems impossible.
When the two men becomes the target of the dark magic, however, and clues about an ancient legacy come to light that indicate Alec may not be exactly what he seems, can they find the strength to tear down all the barriers between them and risk their hearts in order to save each other's lives?
What I liked about this book: This is romance at its most romantic without being too schmaltzy. Yes, that sounds rather odd but as I sat here trying to put words to what I've loved about this book, I kept coming back to "romantic... utterly romantic". With lines like: "So you see, the only cure for what ails me is... I think... you."-you can't go wrong!
The attraction between Christian and Alec is not just immediate, it's powerful and completely overwhelming for the pair in the best ways and while the reader can easily see where the story is headed from the very beginning, it's still a deliciously wonderful ride! Add to the powerful love they share, several incredibly erotic "magical" dreams and this book will have you going over the edge in romantic ecstasy in no time!
Excerpt: At the thought of Christian leaving, at never getting a chance to see if there could be anything between them, all indecision fled. In two steps Alec crossed to where Christian stood, cupped the other man's face in his palm, and kissed
him, cutting him off mid-sentence.
Christian stiffened in obvious surprise. But then he was kissing back. Tentatively at first, as if he weren't sure Alec wasn't going to pull away any moment, but finally surrendering to it.
The first thing that struck Alec was how very different kissing Christian was from kissing Drew. There was no sense of being dominated, as there had often been with Drew. This was an equal and passionate coming together that stirred more than Alec's libido. Their mouths melded and tongues met with an odd familiarity, as if they'd kissed dozens of times before, yet it was new and thrilling at the same time.
And, my God, it was heaven. Christian's warmth—from his mouth, his tall, lean body, his hand that moved up to tangle in Alec's hair—speared through Alec until he felt like he would melt, inside and out.
When they paused for air, Christian's blue gaze met his, full of intensity, pleasure, but also caution.
Alec stared back, a million things running through his head.
Fine lines formed across Christian's forehead and around his mouth. "You okay?"
The knot in his throat was back, nearly choking him. Alec shook his head. "I haven't been okay since you came here."
Christian's eyes widened, then he winced and his gaze filled with sad apology. "I'm sor—"
Alec pressed two fingers against his mouth to silence him. "No. I don't want you to be sorry. There's nothing to be sorry for." He slid his fingers off Christian's lips and stroked his fingertips along the man's lightly stubbled jaw. "I just want you to kiss me and make it better."
He very nearly heard Christian's heart stop beating. Or at least he thought he imagined it. Christian started to speak, and Alec knew it was going to be a protest, so he silenced him again.
"You don't understand what I'm saying. You're all I can think about. When I'm away from you, all I want is to see you again. When I'm with you, all I want is to be close to you. Every time I close my eyes, I see you, feel you, dream about you, fantasize about you. My past, Drew ... I can't even
picture him in my mind anymore. Thinking about you, wanting you ... it's making me crazy, Christian."
Christian dragged in a slow, shaky breath. Then another.
Alec's voice was barely above a hoarse whisper. "So you see, the only cure for what ails me is ... I think ... you."
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Tuesday, January 05, 2010
An Improper Holiday by K.A. Mitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was such a delectable quick holiday read! K.A. Mitchell delivers again with a steamy historical romance that keeps the fires in the heart as warm as the ones in the hearth.
Summary: He followed all the rules…until one man showed him a dozen ways to break them.
As second son to an earl, Ian Stanton has always done the proper thing. Obeyed his elders, studied diligently, and dutifully accepted the commission his father purchased for him in the Fifty-Second Infantry Division. The one glaring, shameful, marvelous exception: Nicholas Chatham, heir to the Marquess of Carleigh.
Before Ian took his position in His Majesty’s army, he and Nicky consummated two years of physical and emotional discovery. Their inexperience created painful consequences that led Ian to the conviction that their unnatural desires were never meant to be indulged.
Five years later, wounded in body and plagued by memories of what happened between them, Ian is sent to carry out his older brother’s plans for a political alliance with Nicky’s father. Their sister Charlotte is the bargaining piece.
Nicky never believed that what he and Ian felt for each other was wrong and he has a plan to make things right. Getting Ian to Carleigh is but the first step. Now Nicky has only twelve nights to convince Ian that happiness is not the price of honor and duty, but its reward.
Warning: Just thinking about reading this book in 1814 could get you hanged, so the men in this book who enjoy m/m interaction of an intimately penetrative nature are in a hell of a lot of trouble.
I love when one character is oblivious to his own feelings and what they mean while the other is hellbent on making sure they stay together. Add to this storyline the need to keep true to honor and duty and you've got a pairing for the history books. Nicky and Ian's attraction is palpable and while it's easy to see how the book will turn out early in the story, the journey there is no less enjoyable.
Excerpt: Ian tugged at his cravat, itching to be free of the starched cloth and the high collar of his coat. What the devil was taking Simmons? Every bit of sinew and bone—both real and phantom—ached for a chance to settle into the mattress and forget the whole blasted holiday.
He wished he could lay the fault for his pains on the ride this afternoon, but Rowena had a softer gait than he deserved, especially after his dash pell-mell for land unpeopled by the heir to Carleigh. Upon his return, he had stayed with a groom to be sure she had not suffered from his ham-fisted treatment and seen to her getting a soft warm mash as a reward for the exercise.
No amount of mash or currying could excuse either his behavior toward a creature under his care or his assault on Nicky. Whatever the provocation—and Ian should have realized a man like Lewes could scarcely be counted on to speak the truth—Nicky hadn’t deserved the violence of Ian’s temper any more than had the gentle bay mare.
When at last the door opened, Ian spun ’round to be relieved of his coat, sufficiently irritated by Simmons’ delayed arrival to forgo his usual greeting.
Perhaps the fellow had been overindulging in whatever libations were being offered to celebrate the day in the servants’ hall because the valet was clumsy rather than deft, struggling just to ease the coat from Ian’s shoulders.
“And I shall be retiring, Simmons.”
Instead of the expected “Very good, sir,” the man left his arms pinned behind his back and brushed his fingers beneath Ian’s cravat. The unanticipated contact awakened Ian’s skin, his flesh alight with delightful ripples of sensation.
“What the devil?”
He would have turned to face the man, but Simmons stepped closer, hands moving to remove the starched tie while pressing his hips intimately against Ian’s arse.
The shock and terror in his gut, even the pain of his confined shoulders, could not dampen the rush of arousal evoked by the touch, by the strength of another man’s embrace.
“Simmons. I must ask that you remember yourself.” Ian twisted free, retreating to place a wall at his vulnerable back, but his all-too-vulnerable front was exposed to—Nicky.
The identity of his assailant did little to mitigate Ian’s dismay.
“Are you mad?” Ian struggled with his coat, anger lending him sufficient strength to tear one of the sleeves from the body.
Nicky locked the door and removed his own coat. “It is Boxing Day, after all. Simmons has the evening off, as do almost all of the servants. Surely you would not deprive the man of his well-earned holiday.”
“It is not Boxing Day for another hour,” Ian asserted as the solemn toll of the chapel bell made him a liar. He flung his torn coat to the floor.
Nicky’s cravat parted company with his shirt, revealing a neck still defined with the strong tendons Ian had once traced with his tongue. Quelling thoughts of other flesh his mouth longed to revisit grew more impossible with each piece of clothing Nicky dropped onto the Aubusson rug.
“What are you doing?”
“I am preparing for bed. That bed.” Nicky indicated the four-poster in the center of the room.
“Is the castle so crowded the son of the house has been turned out of his rooms?”
“If it pleases you to think so.” Nicky straightened, torso bared to Ian’s gaze.
Firelight gilded Nicky’s skin, gleaming on the fine hairs of his breast, drawing Ian’s eye to the waist of Nicky’s breeches where the hair thickened and darkened. The garnet on his signet ring flashed as Nicky’s hands moved to those buttons.
Ian shut his eyes. “No.”
“No?” The amusement in Nicky’s voice had Ian looking again, forgetting what imminent danger had prompted his action. But Nicky only bent to remove his shoes and stockings, gifting Ian with the sight of the firm curve of his backside under the tight kerseymere breeches.
Nicky brought his hands to rest above his hips, fingers disappearing under the waistband. “Is it truly no or is that what the good soldier, the dutiful second son, feels compelled to say?”
Ian’s throat burned as it tightened, but he could not look away.
“Whom do you seek to save with your denial, me or you?” Nicky persisted. He stepped closer, but made no move to touch Ian. “Why are we to be denied pleasure when you must know how precious and brief life is?”
“The risk of—”
“You threw yourself against a wall of French rifles in service to your father’s idea of honor. Can you not permit yourself something your own honor knows is right? How can it be wrong when we both desire it?” Nicky shoved his breeches down and stepped free, the proof of his desire standing proud and hard.
As swiftly as snow falling off a steep roof, Ian’s body dropped into a pit of raw need. He made a last effort to find any handhold which might keep him from the abyss.
“I do want…” you “…this, but only what we did before. We cannot, I will not…” He tried making a gesture to communicate the specific deed.
“Bugger me?” Nicky grinned. “Fuck me?”
Despite Ian’s shock, the coarseness of Nicky’s words brought a faster beat of blood to Ian’s prick. That unabated grin suggested Nicky knew damned well what effect he had wrought. His next step brought Nicky close enough to try the truth with his hand. Fingers traced the outline of Ian’s prick beneath a layer of wool and linen, a light pressure that offered nothing beyond exquisite torment. A quick hard rub against the crown, dragging the linen across the damp skin until heat pulsed from the tip, the touch as unerringly accurate as Ian’s own.
Pleasure stole his breath as surely as a fist to the stomach. Sucking the air through his teeth, he reached a hand to Nicky’s shoulder, hips tipping into the caress.
Nicky leaned forward until his breath moved against Ian’s ear. “While I find your concern utterly charming, what makes you believe you could take my arse if I didn’t allow it?”
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Monday, January 04, 2010
I don't know who Christian Sancho is, aside being an Argentinan actor/model, but I bet he is very good... yes, yes, I can say that, and no, it's not for the cute bum! (fingers crossed since I'm a liar...)
Joke aside it's really interesting to see what happens behind a photo shoot... wouldn't you have wanted to be the one to take of that towel or to wet that... all right, let the images speak:
He's starring in the telenovela Las alas del amor... Ángel. He plays the role of an angel, who's looking for a heart that's pure. And he is very sexy as face for Carlo Pignatelli:
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My first review of the year is a 5-star! I'm so excited!
There's a reason Tigers and Devils was selected as one of the best M/M Romance reads of 2009 at Goodreads.com. I could NOT put this book down!
Summary: Football, friends, and film are the most important parts of Simon Murray's life, likely in that order. Despite being lonely, Simon is cautious about looking for more, and his best friends despair of him ever finding that special someone to share his life. Against his will, they drag him to a party, where Simon barges into a football conversation and ends up defending the honour of star forward Declan Tyler -- unaware that the athlete is present and listening. Like his entire family, Simon revels in living in Melbourne, Victoria, the home of Australian Rules football and mecca for serious fans. There, players are deemed gods and treated as such - until they do something to cause them to fall out of public favour. Declan is suffering a horrendous year of injuries, and the public is taking him to task for it, so Simon's support is a bright spot in his struggles. In that first awkward meeting, neither man has any idea they will change each other's lives forever. As Simon and Declan fumble toward building a relationship together, there is yet another obstacle in their way: keeping Declan's homosexuality a secret amidst the intrusion of well-meaning friends and an increasingly suspicious media. They realise that nothing remains hidden forever... and they know the situation will only become more complicated when Declan's private life is revealed. Declan will be forced to make some tough choices that may result in losing either the career he loves or the man he wants. And Simon has never been known to make things easy - for himself or for others.
Despite the book's story being set in Australia (a completely foreign country to me) much of the story didn't get lost on me. Sean Kennedy did a fantastic job in keeping the reader tied to the story while still including elements that would be very geo-specific for natives without alienating those of us who are outsiders to the Aussie Footy leagues.
The book is beautifully written and I found myself thinking of my best friend Fred while I read the story. The humor was not lost on me and while the dialogue (at times) was difficult to follow (especially on an eReader that sometimes messes up the formatting) I was able to still follow the conversations well and enjoyed the banter between the characters.
Loved this book and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a true romantic comedy.
Excerpt: “So it’s the traditional dream you want?”
“No,” I retorted. Then I bit my lip. “Maybe. Well, the thought crosses my mind sometimes. Doesn’t it with you?”
“Of course. I always think about the future.”
“But it’s not so easy with us.”
“Which explains probably why you don’t like to think about the future.”
“It’s scary enough dealing with life day to day without taking into consideration the hugeness of the future.”
“There’s nothing to say we can’t have that kind of life. Just it will come differently.”
“How much do you think about it?” I asked.
“As much as anybody else does.”
“The home in the suburbs? The kids?”
“No, with the guy I’m going to dump you for.”
I yawned, sleep wanting to take me again. “Do you think about the logistics?”
“Dreams aren’t meant to include logistics. This is where you think too much.”
“Somebody has to in a relationship. For example, how do we get kids? Do you and Jess enter an arrangement where she has a kid for us and then a kid for herself?” Lost in trying to imagine such an arrangement, I continued, “but then if she’s using your soldiers, that means the kids are split up, which isn’t fair on them.”
Humouring me, Declan grinned. “We’ll use your soldiers, then.”
“Same problem. Or to try and ensure we get something resembling a child from both of us, maybe your sister can bear us a kid.”
“Now you’re making me scared.”
“See, this is why you should think day to day.”
“You’ve convinced me for now.”
“I guess we could always buy a baby.”
Declan winced and tried not to laugh. “I’m so glad you’ve never said anything like this in your interviews.”
“Well, your humour is pretty selective.”
“It’s what most celebrities or rich people do, isn’t it? We could buy a little African toddler and call him Senze-tonguecluck-niña.”
“Simon, shut up!” Declan was now holding his stomach.
I rested one of my hands over his and whispered, “I’d love to have a family with you one day. One day far away. Far, far, away. But one day.”
“Got it,” Declan said. “It’s good to hear, though.”
It sounded good to me too.
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