Personal Demoms by James Buchanan

Hunting a notorious hit man, FBI Agent Chase Nozick and LAPD Det. Enrique Rios Ocha delve into the inner worlds of Santeria, Voodoo and Palo Mayumbe. A missing informant, her murdered brother and a ghost from Chase’s past send them on a hunt through mystics and psychic surgeons to find their witness before it’s too late. Can he rely on leads from a child possessed by Orishas? Do cards hold stronger clues than blood? Chase must conquer his own personal demons to bring the killer of his partner to justice and find the strength to take a chance on Enrique.
From MLR Press

James Buchanan’s vivid picture of LA has heat and dust seeping through the pages. The knowledge of police procedure and law is incredibly apparent and gives Personal Demons a rich and complex setting. Paranormal elements and voodoo, Santeria and Palo Mayumbe provided an added hook and made for kinda spooky reading.

Aside from solid world building what made this such a great read were the characters. Enrique was just so beautiful, inside and out. Charming, clever and his core of strength became more apparent the more I read. But, I was totally wrapped up in Chase’s journey and growth as he navigated his way through the thorny issues of being out as a gay man in his workplace and falling in love with his partner. His struggle with alcohol and maintaining an intimate relationship made for gripping reading.

Sex between the two protagonists was incredibly hot and luscious. James Buchanan writes sex that is realistic, erotic and definitely not cookie cutter romance novel fare.  It is something I particularly like about James’ style of writing and keeps me coming back for more.

This was such a beautiful read, definitely harder on the emotions than perhaps Inland Empire or Cheating Chance, but a great book to get totally wrapped up in and enjoy. Check it out here at ARe and Fictionwise.

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.

When Work is a Pleasure by Alix Bekins

Introverted young reporter Garrett Kowalski is unprepared for the reality of his weekend assignment at the Folsom Street Fair, where he’s assigned to interview porn stars, including Justin. Garrett has no choice but to come out of his shell when Justin and his co-worker tease him up onto the stage for a live demonstration. That might have been that—just a one-off job—but Garrett takes advantage of follow-up fact checking for his article to get to know Justin better… and it leads to an unexpected friendship and flirtation that just might grow into something more.
Synopsis from Dreamspinner Press.

The moment I read the words porn stars I could not resist picking this ebook up. Not only was I interested in how the author would handle a romance between a star and an every day average jones, but I spend an unseemly amount of time stalking following my favorite stars on twitter. This book seemed like all sorts of porn star slash goodness!!; if there is such a thing and after seeing Sam and Dean slash, I do believe anything is possible. O-o

So, the story rockets along, and I’ve been meaning to wash the windows and clean the outside of the house, but I cannot be assed as all I really want to do is read this book. It was really engaging and both characters felt well drawn and I liked the frank approach to Justin’s job. Garrett is less hung up about everything than I expected, which was a welcome suprise as the author could have been pretty predictable in that respect. Not that it’s all a bed of roses and rainbow sparkly unicorns, but there was no sobbing in hankies and other twaddle that could have been a downer.

The sex, as one would expect, is rather delicious and I liked the less than traditional approach the author took to some of the scenes. There were no set moves that one comes to expect in this kind of book. Instead there’s some smokin exhibitionism, delightful frottage and these boys blow each other in what is often a virtuoso head giving performances. Omnomnom!

If I have any whining to do it is about how abruptly the book ended. Leave me hanging much??? The story ended so quick I did feel a little bereft and the story itself did not feel done. I have my fingers and toes crossed that the author is going to write a little more about these two boys.

This was a super quick read of slashy goodness with much smex. Check it out here at Dreamspinner Press or ARe.

If you’ve time on your hands, then check out these twitter accounts. Be aware however, that any of the following links are distinctly not safe for work. (although, srsly reading my blog at work any time?????? WTH?) Reciprocity is expected and if you’ve any twitter accounts worth having a nosey at, then do share!!

Samuel Colt of course, he’s smart, funny and pats tigers in his spare time. Tony Buff – sigh. Rob Romoni, the undisputed King Of Twitter… just sayin! Scott Tanner is just incredibly beautiful. Element, who posts interesting twitpics/twitmovies O-O and is a total grub. I adore his tweets. Chris Yosef has seriously good hair and a great blog. Tony Aziz also pats tigers… and finally gpcrush, cause she’s cool beans. 🙂

Bound and Determined by Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow

When Sterling Baker discovers the wonderful world of BDSM, he’s ready to literally throw himself at the feet of the spectacular Owen Sawyer, but Owen is unwilling to take on someone so new to the scene—or so he says. Determined to get what he wants, Sterling sets out to convince the doubting Owen that he can be the best sub in the world, the fastest learning, the most obedient…
Synopsis from Loose Id.

Beautifully written, Bound and Determined is a book that does not disappoint. I’ve got books by both authors and their styles compliment each other hugely and make for very cool reading.

Sterling is such a brat and I loved his spark and innate cheekiness. It is such a perfect foil for Owen’s more reserved nature and theirs is a relationship that doesn’t always go smoothly as a result. The conflict was well written with the focus centered on the characters internal struggles. It was easy to read and didn’t devolve into any silly BDSM tropes and Nancy Drew and the gang did not make an appearance I was pleased to note. heh.

The relationship between Sterling and Owen is what carries this book. The slow development of trust between both men and the exploration of their boundaries, desires, and the chemistry that has drawn them together, was what made this a cut above other BDSM novels I’ve read recently. Nothing was rushed and the authors seemed to allow Sterling and Owen to stick to their own timetable. The slow building of sexual tension as a result was off the charts and appealed to me immensely. The sex is incredibly good and they nailed that sense of trust implicit within a D/s relationship. Rawr. It was totally hot and made for magic reading.

A lush, intense and engaging read I got totally wrapped up in. If you’ve not read, then I highly recommend you get your backside over to Loose Id and buy it. One of my favourite reads this year. 🙂

Whitney, Kylie and Neapolitan Ice cream.

I admit it. I am just a little bit of a grub, and unapologetically so. I like reading porn, erotica and romance! I am a total book geek. Naked photos, boytoons with big cocks and yes I do have a copy of Dorm Porn. I like it and it’s cool because sex and sensuality, in all its myrriad forms, are beautiful. Not to mention healthy!

Recent ebook reading has been ok. There has been the odd moment of brilliance but several seem to be suffering from some seriously vanilla sex. The good old insert tab A into slot B… fade to the fireplace shot and a whisper of Whitney and how she’ll always love you can be heard faintly in the background. I’m often left feeling like I’ve just watched an episode of The Red Shoe Diaries-porn minus the cock. That crescendo of mutual orgasms and happily ever afters. meh.

See, they should be thinking more along the lines of Kylie and her song Slow. Whitney smacks of a missish mindset whereas Kylie and Slow are just a bit less worried about decorum Slow down and dance with me, Yeah, slow…(and don’t tell me you wouldn’t want to be Kylie lying about with all those men! See here.)
 
There should be celebration of the male body in ALL its glory and I come away feeling a bit dissatisfied with the book if it does not do that. The sex should flow naturally within the story and not be some perfunctory fuck at the end. Some tension and toe curling moments that fit within the narrative might be nice. I understand that some authors have more erotic story lines and content, I get that. But even though I am reading a whole crap load of books at the moment the sex is often the same, and tedious. Would it be of benefit to visit banana boys or sticky pen perhaps?

There is a definite difference, obviously, between porn and something more romantic. When I read porn, it’s porn, erotic and luscious usually minus the romantic entanglements. When I read something that is aimed at a more romantic audience I want to feel that connection between the characters but I also want the sex to be good. Remember, they’re boys and boys can be dirty, which I love. Sex is not clean, it’s dirty, sweaty and hot. Frequently, I am sure there is a certain hesitancy in authors to explore all facets of sexuality in a m/m book. Yes, I know you have a word count and you cannot perform sexual gymnastics all though the story, there does need to be a plot after all. But come on!!

There are some authors who I think that get it right. I am trying to to sound like a rabid fanghirl but JL Langley is one. There is that bit in With Caution-
– Jake pushes Remi against the wall and sinks to his knees and unzips his fly… and then a bit later says, “Be still, pup, and don’t come.” (hot damn)

Or in My Fair Captain-
– Aiden is hiding behind the curtain watching Nate jerk off. (damn hot)

 

 

Jet Mykles in Purgatory-
– Luc comes back to the house and Reese is horny and wants Luc to hurry-
Luc – ...teeth nipped his butt cheek. “I’m getting there.” (dayum!)

I could go on! There are other authors who write beautiful sex in their novels, but I am afraid not everyone does. As this is important part of my why I purchase a book, maybe I need to start being a little more frugal and wait for more reviews. There is nothing worse than feeling like I’ve just wasted up to $7.00 US (appx $11.00 NZ) on Whitney, when what I really want is Kylie and some Slow heat, passion, feeling, romance and well written sex. Less vanilla and more neapolitan please!

Photography is all Joe Oppedisano. Hot are they not?

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