Shorts.

Lord of the White Hell is out! Woot! If you’ve not ordered it then do. It’s such an amazingly cool book and one of my favourites from this year. I’ve been reading a little – mainly paranormal and mystery paperbacks. I find I have very little patience with TSTL female characters though. The ending of the last Rachel Gibson I read nearly sent me over the edge. Bleh! Currently I’m reading free stuff via Aleksandr Voinov. Titled Special Forces, so far lots of violence (stabbity, punching muscle stuff) and very little sexy time. Am hoping for more sexy time soon…

I’ve not read Josh Lanyon in a while, so this was a cool pick up. I always enjoy Josh’s deft plotting and smart characters. In Fair Game he’s created an ex cop who is forced to give up a career he’s loved and take up a more desk bound job. The dynamics between Eliott and his lover Tucker were pretty tense and steamy, although at times I wished Tucker was featured a little more prominently. I think the focus was more on Elliot’s journey and the mysterious disappearance of the young men, kinda like his scooby swan song. Cool read and worth checking out.

Life, Over Easy by K.A. Mitchell was very cool. A sexy college boy paranormal with great world building and spooky bits which were suitably eerie! The romance between John and Mason was sexy and the scenes between them had loads of lovely tension and drama. There was much angst about moving on with life after loss and coping with change. I liked this book hugely. K.A. Mitchell’s books are always incredibly entertaining, hot and honest. Get it here from ARe.

His Hearth by Mary Calmes was an interesting piece. They dynamics between the boys were a little hard to figure out initially and I felt like their actual personalities and motivations took a long time to become clear. If I’d real the blurb more closely, I might have been less surprised by the paranormal elements that seemed to appear out of left field too. There was little building of tension and the book at times felt too short to get any real sense of the world and characters. While I usually enjoy this authors lovely, imaginative and fresh voice, this one missed the mark for me. Available here via ARe.

Shorts.

I seem to be doing more reading than reviewing lately. This is not such a bad thing as I’ve read some truly wonderful books in the past couple of weeks.

Strange Fortune by Josh Lanyon was a great fantasy read. I did find it a little difficult to get into initially, but after a couple of chapters I was totally sucked in. Unique world building aside, it was the characters and their budding attraction that kept me engrossed. I liked Valentine Strange and his lithe good looks, snippy comebacks and that he did not suffer fools gladly. He was a good foil for Aleister, who seemed rather vulnerable at times. Not in such a way that was irritating to read, but he definitely had a fragility about him that belied some of his actions. Characters with many facets always make for wonderful reading and I think this is something that Josh Lanyon does particularly well. Great read. Get it in paperback here at Blind Eye Books.

Broken Boundries by Evangeline Anderson is a bit of a weird one for me. There were definitely some bits that I liked, but lots of the book just drove me a little bat shit. I am willing to whip out my big ole suspension of disbelief undies for a good story, but unfortunately some of the world building and details of the ship flying were a little over the top. I liked some of the tension between the characters and the whole I don’t wanna be different thing, but the way some of the sexual stuff was dealt with and the non con just got on my goat. So, some good, some bad. Parts were definitely a guilty pleasure. Definitely an author I’ve enjoyed, but this one was just not my cuppa tea. Get it from Ellora’s Cave.

Immortality is the Suck by A.M. Riley was a seriously cool read. I did not pick it up initially as I was feeling a little over the whole vamp genre, but I really like the author so eventually gave in and brought it. Despite there being a very obvious romantic relationship between Adam and Peter, most of the book is seen through Adam’s POV and is about him dealing with waking up a bit dead and wanting to snack on people. I liked that Adam is a total shit and needs a boot in his ass, but it’s his underlying goodness that peeked through every now and then that kept me totally wrapped up in this book. Loads of drama and fast paced action that does not miss a beat. That and some seriously smutty sex. Loved it. Buy it from ARe and Loose Id.

Gatekeeper by Rayne Auster was an interesting read. The descriptions of Duiem, the Land of Earth and Fire, were reasonably well developed and provided enough detail to give you a good picture of the characters and their lives. Mystery over where Aniol comes from and how he and Kaji are going to save their respective lands provided pretty standard fantasy fare. The authors characterization and slow building of tension between the leads was nicely done and the book proved to be rather entertaining. Loads of wonderful secondary characters and adventure, definitely a pretty cool read. Check it out here at ARe.

The Dark Farewell by Josh Lanyon.

Don’t talk to strangers, young man—especially the dead ones.
It’s the Roaring Twenties. Skirts are short, crime is rampant and booze is in short supply. Prohibition has hit Little Egypt, where newspaperman David Flynn has come to do a follow-up story on the Herren Massacre. The massacre isn’t the only news in town though. Spiritualist medium Julian Devereux claims to speak to the dead—and he charges a pretty penny for it.
Synopsis via ARe.

The 20’s is such a wonderful era, I do happen to have a bit of a penchant for books set in this time. Add in some paranormal elements and sublime characterization and I am not sure how you could go wrong!

Flynn is really put together and his own man. He knows who he is, but there was an underlying sadness about him that drew you in. I liked the opening few chapters and that slow unfolding of his character, without launching into his romance with Julian straight off the bat. Julian is svelte and lithe and gorgeously engaging. He was such a great foil for Flynn’s more brusque nature and I just loved him. I guess in some ways you feel almost protective of him due to his upbring, but he’s not helpless. Just not afraid to need someone. I liked that and he wore a dressing gown for goodness sake!

They mystery was cool and, as all Josh Lanyon’s books do, it had me ferreting off online to check out historical facts and interesting stuff. The balance of erotica and story telling was nicely done and I was left, as always, just wanting a little more. Not sure this is such a bad thing though!

Awesome read and well worth picking up. Check it out here at ARe and Samhain Publishing.

Best contemporaries from 2009

Contemporary ebooks are my main squeeze. I love books that will make me laugh and give me that big sigh of satisfaction at the end. Sometimes a hint of angst is nice and I love a broody hero. While there are many established authors in this group, it is great to see some incredibly cool new talent coming through. 🙂

Below are my favorites from 2009, click on the covers for more information.

Best historicals from 2009

Many historical romances caught my eye in 2009 and some have been brilliant reads. I think it’s a difficult genre to do well, with some struggling to find that all to important believability factor which I find essential in making a book memorable and entertaining!

Below are my favorites from 2009, click on the covers for more information.

Shorts.

Some good reads in the last week or two and one crushingly bad hardcover.

I Spy Something Wicked by Josh Lanyon was an absolute gem. His books are like presents. You unwrap the first few chapters and there is always untold goodness underneath. 😀 After enjoying the first book in the series so much, this was a delightful follow up to I Spy Something Bloody. Stephen and Mark are now living together, but when Mark gets the call to go on one last final mission their relationship is jeopardy. Apart from the gorgeous drama the smex was incredibly hot. Merow! Loved this one! Get it here from Loose Id.

Blood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton, Dear lord, this book sucked the will to live right outta me. I skipped pages, I rolled my eyes and worst of all… I skipped the sex scenes. ME! I love grubby were or vamp pron, but this book blew goats and I just could not bring myself to read it in the end. I’ve been assured by a friend that the next one is better, so fingers and toes crossed.

Bit late to the party, but I finally got round to reading Beautiful C*cksucker #1 & #2. While I felt the 1st novel ended rather abruptly and needed more fleshing out, the 2nd book was quite enjoyable. After reading some internet discussions I was not sure that everyone feels that the BDSM content was authentic, but you know what? It is fiction. Come on!!!! It floated my boat in an older, austere man kinda way and I liked it muchly. Check them out at ARe.

Sacred Fate by Eresse is set in a hermaphroditic society with lashings of fantasy and rather epic world building. The story was pretty engrossing and a lot of that is down to the world she’s created and solid story telling. I did get a little lost when I started it due to the many characters initially introduced and it was difficult to distinguish between them. I liked the story for the most part, but found the Lassen very hard to warm to and Rohyr almost too overbearing. An interesting and unique story. Get it here from Liquid Silver Books.

Out of the Blue by Josh Lanyon.

outoftheblueAfter the death of his lover Bat is a man who seems to have no reason to carry on other than leading his squadron into battle. There he takes unnecessary risks and is filled with despair. Things get even worse when, on the verge of being cruelly blackmailed, he accidently kills the man trying to extort money from him. Cowboy, an American pilot proves to be an unlikely ally after witnessing the crime and comes to Bat’s aid. Cowboy has his own agenda however and exacts a high price for his assistance and silence.

The book had such a taut opening, a murder, a lover dead in tragic circumstances and an incredibly lonely man. I wondered just how the author was going to achieve a romance between Cowboy and Bat under such difficult circumstances. Surely to make Bat a sympathetic character and not seem a little flighty in his affections there had to be mourning? But, somehow he manages to pull it off. Josh Lanyon does it without making light of Bat’s grief and captures the essence and urgency of the time period precisely. Where living in such a desperate era, grief was dealt with and not dwelt on as tomorrow it might be you.

Bat and Cowboy have incredible chemistry, even if Bat is a bit, “No, no, no…awww ok,” at times. Oh the angst! I kinda liked that though. That whole reluctance and sense self preservation kicking in, because he doesn’t want to be hurt again. Even when he just knows deep that this dangerous American is going to fry his brain with dirty and oh so rocking sex up against a wall, or wherever is handy! I was most impressed with the total hotness of the writing. I KNOW, supposed to focus on the higher nature of their feelings for each other, but Lanyon so nailed it in this book. Hello fogged glasses. O-o

I’m finding I have a bit of a yen for historical novels at the moment. As long as they’re well done and don’t jump the shark and try and wrap everything up in a bow! This is not the case with Out of the Blue though. It was an absolutely magic read that delivered several hours of deliciously good reading. Smart, hot and clever with beautiful historical detail and attention to the time period, which left me wanting more.

Check out the ebook here at Liquid Silver Publishing.
Josh Lanyon’s website and blog. AND if you’ve a PS3, then do check out Red Baron an arcade game. Hours of fun!

Don’t Look Back by Josh Lanyon.

Museum curator Peter Killian wakes in the hospital, accused of ripping off his own museum. He doesn’t remember stealing an artifact or tough, sexy police Lt. Mike Griffin. But Mike remembers him and is determined to see Peter behind bars.
From Loose Id.

don't look back josh lanyonPeter was defnitely a character I grew to like. His initial amnesia seemed more of a defensive mechanism, a shield if you like, to keep a barrier between himself and having to deal with the painful reality that his life has become. Mike is very still waters run deep kind of guy and doesn’t let a lot go initially. He’s a cop, stoic but with warmth and a protective streak that runs a mile wide.

The mystery was nicely written and segued in well with Peters dawning realization that not everyone is as they seem. I enjoyed the secondary characters a great deal and they really made parts of the book.

While my focus was mainly on the romance of the story, I often find myself noting stylistic features. Although far from being an expert on the subject I know what I like. I enjoy Josh Lanyons writing because there is a certain sensibility about it. Sparse, well paced , with a leanness that makes you feel like no word is wasted. An absolute breath of fresh air.

Don’t Look Back was a pleasure to read, another wonderful story from one of my favorite authors. Get the book and it’s boobalicious cover here at Loose Id.

Partners in Crime 4 by Josh Lanyon and Jordan Castillo Price.

Lovers and Other Strangers by Josh Lanyon.
Recovering from a near fatal accident, artist Finn Barret returns to Seal Island in Maine to rest and recuperate. But Seal Island is haunted with memories, some sweet, some sad; three years ago Finn found his lover in the arms of Fitch, Finn’s twin brother. Since that day, Finn has seen neither Conlan nor Fitch. In fact, no one has seen Fitch. What happened to him? Did Fitch run away, as everyone believes? Or did he meet a more sinister fate? To put the past to rest – and see if there’s any chance of a future with Con – Finn must discover the truth. But the deeper he digs, the more reason he has to fear Con is the only one who knows what truly happened to Fitch…

Body Art by Jordan Castillo Price.
His lover has betrayed and swindled Ray Carlucci out of everything he valued, including a tattoo business. Hounded by creditors, weary of heart, he accepts the job of chauffeur and body man for the dying owner of a remote estate. The island, minus its wealthy summer colony, is colorless in winter and Ray thinks he understands why staff on the estate periodically desert. But, he’s baffled by, then drawn to, Anton, the eccentric artist who haunts the forest, bringing strange life to bizarre and disquieting sculptures amidst the ice and trees. When the body of a man who once held Ray’s job rises from the frosty earth, Ray wonders what part Anton’s wildness has in the escalating violence.
From MLR Press.

partners_in_crime4I was lucky enough to have this sent to me in paperback by LB at Nose in a Book. As a total bibliophile the book itself is nicely bound, has a pretty classy cover and looks damn fine on my shelf. Pats.

Lovers and Other Strangers was such a pleasure to read. I like the love rediscovered shtick and Finn and Conlan have a poignant story that was very readable. If anything it was a story of the two brothers that I found myself enjoying more than the romance. In his usual sparse style this sad tale of sibling rivalry and love was beautifully told by Lanyon and leaves you thinking. Which is fine unless you’re stuck being a bit snively  at all hours of the night.

Body Art is the first story by Jordan Castillo Price that I’ve picked up in a while. I am a big fan of her PsyCop series and did like this new story from her. I enjoyed Anton’s quirkiness, but did find the explanation behind his condition a little loose. Despite this it was an entertaining crime read and I do recommend her PsyCop series if you’re looking for more books from her.

You can get the paperback version here via MLR Press.

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