REVIEW: Vicious by L.J. Shen

Book CoverKristie J’s review of Vicious (Sinners of Saint, Book 1) by L.J. Shen
Contemporary Romance published by Amazon Digital Services 27 Dec 16

I imagine as a writer one of the hardest kind of characters to write is the anti-hero.  The character has to be bad, almost bad enough to be repulsive, yet have enough glimpses of another side to the character as to draw the reader in with some sympathy for that anti-hero.  I think one of the best ever written is Heathcliffe from Wuthering Heights.  He is one nasty dude and some of the things he does are cruel.  But every once in a while the reader feels for him and his doomed love for Cathy.

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REVIEW: Women by Chloe Caldwell

Book Cover Stevie‘s review of Women by Chloe Caldwell
Lesbian Literary Fiction published by Fourth Estate 08 Mar 18

In spite of this book’s uninspiring cover and its less-than-helpful blurb, I decided to give it a chance. After all, it was being re-released by a reputable publisher of literary fiction, who seemed to be taking a chance on something a little more innovative than their big-name authors. Although the author teaches ‘creative nonfiction writing,’ this novella is pure fiction, albeit told in the first person and in a memoir style with plenty of references to well-known queer literature and media. So it ought to have been just the book I was looking for.

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REVIEW: Saphhire Nights by Patricia Rice

Book CoverVeena’s review of Sapphire Nights (Crystal Magic, Book 1) by Patricia Rice
Paranormal Romance published by Book View Café 27 Mar 19

Ms. Rice is a long-time romance author and I can’t put my finger on why I never read any of her books in the past. Sapphire Nights is an interesting story with a strong element of the supernatural. Who is Samantha Moon and what is her relationship with the zany town of Hillvale?  read more…

REVIEW: Baking Lessons by Katie Allen

Book CoverStevie‘s review of Baking Lessons (Off Guard, Book 2) by Katie Allen
Contemporary Erotic Romance published by Carina Press 01 Mar 18

It wasn’t until I’d read the book and started my review that I noticedthe publisher classes it as erotic romance, and Amazon tags it as erotica, either of which might well have put me off reading it; however, the sex scenes are no more explicit or frequent than I’ve seen in a number of recent contemporary romance novels. Classification issues not withstanding, the book’s blurb grabbed me from the outset. I love books about characters who make a living from baking or sweet-making, and I’ve enjoyed a fair few series about former military personnel forging new careers and relationships in civilian life. I was also intrigued by the concept of a virgin hero, particularly when said hero was ex-military, and wanted to see how both he and the heroine would handle discussion of the situation.

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REVIEW: Running the Risk by Lea Griffith

Book CoverVeena’s review of Running The Risk (Endgame Ops, Book 2) by Lea Griffith
Romantic Suspense published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 03 Apr 18

Jude and Ella were inseparable until that fateful mission when things went to crap and Ella was captured and killed by the enemy.  So who’s the Ella lookalike? Could it be possible that Jude’s eyes deceived him? But then Jude’s Ella would never play for the enemy.  Get ready for an exciting tale when all these questions are answered, along with all the ones you never thought to ask.

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REVIEW: How the Light Gets In by L.H. Cosway

Book CoverKristie J’s review of How the Light Gets In (Cracks Duet, Book 2) by L.H. Cosway
Contemporary Romance published by Create Space 18 Feb 18

I am so glad these books came out within days of each other, because I would have gone nuts if I had to wait weeks or months.  The first book ended with the parting of Evelyn and Dylan.  They were young and still very much in love with each other, but they were on different paths.  When this book opens, it’s eleven years later.  Since her grandmother passed, Evelyn no longer had to stay to take care of her and has moved to New York to once again live with her much loved aunt, Yvonne.  Yvonne is the manager of a restaurant/bar and Evelyn is working there.  She has come back somewhat from the tragedy that occurred years ago, but she’s not all the way back.  There is still a huge missing piece of her heart that she gave to Dylan many years ago, and, while she’s moved on in some ways, he still holds a large piece of her.

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REVIEW: Somewhere Over Lorain Road by Bud Gundy

Book CoverStevie‘s review of Somewhere Over Lorain Road by Bud Gundy
Gay Mystery Fiction published by Bold Strokes Books 13 Feb 18

I don’t know whether it’s a UK vs. US linguistic or cultural difference, or just my general immunity to certain forms of pun, but it took me until the middle of this book to realise that its title is a play on a certain Wizard of Oz song. Puns aside, this is another of those small-town mystery stories that may or may not work for me, from a new-to-me author, revolving around a series of unsolved murders – and a disappearance assumed to be a murder – almost forty years before the story begins. I was drawn into this one mainly because of the protagonist, the same age as the victims at the time of the murders, who is therefore somewhat older than the average gay romance hero.

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REVIEW: X-Ops Exposed by Paige Tyler

Book CoverVeena’s review of X-Ops Exposed (X-Ops, Book 8) by Paige Tyler
Urban Fantasy published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 03 Apr 18

Zarina and Tanner have captured many readers’ imaginations as their romance has simmered under the covers for some time. It all finally comes to a head when Tanner disappears, after horrific events at the DCO center cause him to lose control.  Poor Tanner, all he’s done is jump from the frying pan into the fire, because he’s now in the midst of a lot more trouble than he ever imagined.

As the name suggests, this is a pivotal book with the secret doings of the DCO and the existence of hybrids and shifters exposed to the public.  read more…


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