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.

Shorts.

Some quick reviews, cause I’m too lazy and hot (yes the sun is actually out) to write anything longer!

Can’t Hurry Love by M. Jules Aedin was damn fun. Vincent is in trouble at the Easter Bunny Department and gets shunted off to work with a grumpy cupid as punishment. Cuteness ensues. Despite being quite short this was super entertaining and I enjoyed the authors style, quick pace and the romance was just gorgeous. I liked it much; really it gets loads of stars cause one of the main characters has bunny ears and a tail. How cute is that? Check it out at ARe.

Bee Among the Clover by Marguerite Labbe and Fae Sutherland was an interesting read. Set in England when the Romans were still hanging out in London, this was a historical romance between a captured slave and an indentured thrall. The book was rather long with much smex amongst the animal skins and the odd menage with the head honcho. This last element did not get in the way of the romance between our two star crossed lovers, but made the book more feel a little more well rounded and kinda grubby! The 1st half of the book had great pace, but I did find my feet dragging in the 2nd half. There were a great deal of misunderstandings, which is a trope that I can usually cope with in very small doses. Unfortunately, this element made the story too drawn out and I did find my attention wandering at times. It was a little disapointing after such a good 1st half. For all that it was a reasonably good read and one to check out.

Coming Home by Ava Rose Johnson is a cowboy romance and well worth a look. Cade has had the hots for Brett for ages, but it is not until he has to come home to sort the family ranch that their attraction develops into more. The world building was tight and ranchy with good pacing and I liked the boys. This was not just a straight up m/m romance, there is some ménage-à-trois action with a girl no less!  It worked though, which was good because I’ve read another book with the same kind of feel and the chick just felt like a 3rd wheel. I found this to be a pretty entertaining read and think it is definitely one to have a nosey at.

Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan was a cool book. Sam, a young nursing student hooks up with a trucker Mitch and they road trip and find themselves. It was great. While at times I did find the narrative a little patchy and some of Sam’s internal dialog a little repetitive (I’m sooooooo slutty), this was a fantastically grubby read to just check your suspension of disbelief at the door and totally get into. What I found so entertaining was the authors give it a go voice and while there are definitely parts that had me a little WTF?? It was genuinely entertaining. Liked it. Check it out at ARe.

Best paranormal, sci fi and fantasy from 2009

My name is Sarah and I have an addiction to sci fi, fantasy and paranormal ebooks. Just a small one!

Below are my favorites from 2009. Not all books were necessarily published during last year though. Click on the covers for more information.

Shorts.

Despite the busy time of year I’ve found a few moments of reading time. I’ve had a few surprisingly good novels and some rather angsty, which I’ve liked! Normally if there is whining or sobbing the book finds its way into my did not finish pile. I might be getting a bit soft!

Change of Heart by Mary Calmes was a great shifter romance. There was a bit of the old “gay for you* trope going on, but it was well done and nicely wrapped up with the *we’re soul mates* kinda thing. I liked that it was angsty and that there were a few misunderstandings and heart to hearts that made for a nice, sexy wee read. I have a thing for cat shifter romances too, so a bit of were pussy romance was all good! Check it out via ARe.

The Strongest Shape by Tessa Cárdenas is one of the best ménage books I’ve read in ages. No one felt like that odd one out and the boys truly worked together to make their relationship work – with much angst of course!! The secondary characters were well written and while the world building was reasonably strong, it was the interactions between the 3 that held my attention. Honesty, there is nothing better than well written ménage, where all characters feel like they’ve a part to play, as opposed to one being the odd cock out. It was plenty hot too! Wicked, cool read and the cover is gorgeous. Best viewed in a large format. Merow. Pick it up here at ARe.

Cutting Cords by Mickie B. Ashling was an ok read, in the authors last book I found the overwhelming emotional moments a little too heavy. While this was in a similar vein, it felt more balanced. Sloan and Cole are certainly characters you have to grow to like and at times I did find them hard work. But, there is something about the author’s style that keeps me coming back for another go. Check it out here at ARe.

Dark Heart by Thom Lane was an absolutely magic fantasy read. Excellent world building with a sexy, servile slave boy and hot, badass mage. I loved this book and cannot believe I’ve not picked it up before now. The cover alone is enough to send me back for a second look. hehe. I loved the world the author created, even though I periodically wanted the slaves to rise up, the whole in service thing did rather appeal to my kink. I thought the ending was well done too and not wrapped up in a bow. Has me with fingers crossed that there might be more! A very good read that is well worth picking up. You can purchase here at ARe or Fictionwise is particularly cheap at the moment.

An Improper Holiday by K.A. Mitchell was a charming historical romance read. I do think an accurate historical depicting a gay relationship is a particularly difficult thing to do and there is only a certain amount of scope. But, I think the book was well executed and a very sweet read. This author consistently delivers the goods and this gem is no exception. Totally sexy reading and the story has one particularly intriguing secondary character that totally deserves a HEA too. Get the book here from ARe.

If you’re new to ebooks, check this post out for instructions and apps 🙂 Basically, if you’ve got an ipod touch or an iphone I suggest you go large and have a go. It is totally addictive!

Shorts.

Have been reading much in the last few days, weeks, months… but I think I might loose the will to live if I write a multitude of squillion word reviews. (so lazy!) So, in the interest of maintaining my aliveness I’ll keep it brief!

6772564Tabloid Star by T.A. Chase was a pretty good read. I am quite sure the authors description of Josh was not meant to conjure up visions of Samuel Colt, but it did for me. heh. So, with visions of my current crush Samuel in my head I read on with much glee and sweaty palms. While some parts of the book felt less well scripted than others and there was much angst and drama, I did enjoy this for the most part. All that muscled, man chest goodness is good. Get it here.

6782412Warriors Cross by by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux was a cool read, but I did have a few issues with the depth of the world building. At times it felt kinda two dimensional, which was a little frustrating. The character development however, was nicely done and is what kept me reading despite that lack of richness in the surrounding detail. Nice tension was built and it was a very satisfying read. I think these two writers work incredibly well together, their styles mesh beautifully. Get it here at ARe.

angelface1detail1Angelface by Benoît Prévot is one of the most beautiful comics I’ve read this year. The artwork is breathtaking and the attention to historical detail is magic . Gush much? The narrative was tight, clever and I so want more. English sometimes seems like such a coarse language and I would like to see it in French if I can get hold of it. Yes, I am aware I do not speak French. It’s a weird thing I have. I also want to save all my pocket money and buy original art for my bedroom. Think I’d have to eat carrots for a year to afford that! You can pick it up here at Class Comics and if you want a closer look, then go to the mini site. No it is not work safe and yes there is cock and it’s pretty!

mr bensonMr Benson by John Preston was possibly one of the most challenging books I’ve read in a while, but the depth of feeling, trust and sense of belonging was so worth the ride. I have to agree with a comment made to me about the latter parts of the book, which did end up a little bit like something out of Five Go Mad in Dorset. However, by the time I’d actually reached this point in the book I did not really give a rats as I was up at some ungodly hour reading it. I just wanted to see what happened. I think the final chapter was what really set me on my ear. Mr Benson is not BDSM lite, it is the full banana and then some. One of my top reads of the year. If you want to see an decent, in depth review, check out this one.

deadly victor banisThe Deadly series by Victor J. Banis has kept me well entertained in the last month or so. I’ve picked up all 4 books in the series now and I just plain old like Stanley. He’s just such a jerk sometimes and I like watching the development of his character. At times the narrative stalled a little, but  not to the point where I lost my way and ferreted off onto the internet. It felt very human and the last part of the 3rd book is a bit of a tear jerker, so be warned. 🙂 Check out the series here via ARe.

Shorts.

straightboysSexy jocks playing silly chicken games. A hot read, even if I did have to ignore  the repetitious nature of the writing. The smutty bits were worth it. Evangeline Anderson writes such a good build up that by the time they get there, those boys will have you on the edge of your seat. So to speak… a definite re read for the smex. Str8ght Boys by Evangeline Anderson. Samhain Publishing.

jock dorm 2 bobby michaelsI know a few have been put off with the odd moment of jock strap sniffing in the original Jock Dorm, but it didn’t really bother me too much. I’ve re read that wee gem several times. O-O. This second Jock Dorm novel about Drew and Vince is just as hot, but does not quite have the same impact as the first. The story felt rushed in parts, but I think Bobby Michaels does those first fumbling attempts at sex incredibly well. Jock Dorm – Drew and Vince by Bobby Michaels Loose Id.

Horizons dreamspinnerpressHorizons has got plenty of 5 star ratings so I thought I’d best check it out. While the story begins well and there is some great smex, it was the crying that put me off. I know it’s good to be in touch with your emotions, but harden the fuck up! Maybe I am just a grumpy cow. O-o In saying that, I’d so go back and read the grubby bits cause they were rather good! Horizons by Mickie B. Ashling. Dreamspinner Press.

high line ta chaseHigh Line was another must read apparently; so I did. While I enjoyed the first part of the novel the second half had some issues with pacing. It just did not flow as smoothly. I liked the premise immensely, who doesn’t like hot racing car drivers (Hello Jeremy Clarkson. snerk) and there was lots of lovely angsty emotion too. OK wee read. High Line by T.A. Chase. Samhain Publishing.

extreme bull catt fordCatt Ford was another new author for me. Extreme Bull was ok, but the only ass pounding action here was on the bulls these cowboys were riding. meh. Quite short too and wrapped up a little too smartly. Liked the authors writing despite this, so am definitely going to check out some more of her books. Extreme Bull by Catt Ford. Dreamspinner Press.

epistols at dawnePistols at Dawn started with a hiss and a roar. Quick and cleverly written with witty dialog and characters that had me laughing my ass off, it was snarky and funny and then kinda fell flat for me in the 2nd half. Which I guess was a little disappointing as the 1st half read SOOOOO beautifully. Like blindingly clever!!  Nice characters and loved the long hair. Just wanted more in the ending I think. ePistols at Dawn by Z.A. Maxfield. Samhain Publishing.

I am always on the hunt for good books, comics and manga so share away with anything you’ve been reading lately (with links of course) in the comments. I’d love to hear about them. 🙂

Dragon’s Kiss by Ally Blue

In a future ruled by superstition and fear, wanting the wrong man can be deadly.

The rules governing a Pack-Brother’s existence are simple. Love your Brothers. Protect each other and your Tribe with your life. Seek sex only within the bonds of Brotherhood, or your life is forfeit. The laws are harsh, but fair. Or so Bear has always thought. Then he and his Brother Lynx capture a stranger in the Carwin Tribe’s outlying lands—Dragon, a Brother from a distant Pack, banished from his Tribe for the crime of challenging things he shouldn’t…

From Samhain Publishing.

dragons kiss ally blueI spent many hours, when I was younger, ferreting off to read Valley of the Horses and other such gems from Jean M. Auel. All that shagging behind rocks and bushes is apparently  firmly entrenched in my psyche, so I do have a penchant for any book where the main characters are in loin cloths and doing the subsistence living thing. Totally floats my boat.

The sexual tension and dynamic between Bear and Dragon is a winner. They have lots of furtive and longing looks, along with a bit of voyeurism and the old I’ll wash your back shtick. Which all made for some luscious reading! I also liked the sense of size in Bear and the sinewy strength and litheness of Dragon. merow.

The book definitely felt like a start of a series and it was quite short, but I am hoping there will be more Bear and Dragon goodness and smex behind bushes. I have my fingers crossed. heh.

A quick and sexy read that is definitely worth a look. You can check out the book here at Samhain and also All Romance eBooks.

Chasing Smoke by K. A. Mitchell.

ka mitchell chasing smokeAn old mystery brought them together. Solving it could tear them apart.

In the best of times, Daniel Gardner hates visiting his family. With his boyfriend pressuring him for a mortgage-serious commitment, Christmas in Easton, PA sounds, for once, like a welcome escape. His old house holds more than memories of a miserable adolescence, though. It has Trey Eriksson.

At seventeen, Trey was taken in by the wealthy Gardner family after his father was jailed for his mother’s murder. Until he left for the Army, he fought a double-edged battle—for proof of his father’s innocence and against his attraction to Daniel.

Fifteen years later, things haven’t changed. Trey is still looking for the real killer. And Daniel has never forgotten how Trey used to sneak into his room at night.

Now new clues to the murder are resurfacing—and so is Trey and Daniel’s sexual chemistry. Except this time, Trey has come to terms with his orientation.

But their connection may not be enough to overcome the mistakes of the past. Not while a murderer still walks free…
From
Samhain Publishing.

It is no secret I am a bit of a fan girl for K.A. Mitchell and this new book was a gem.

The novel had a great hook with a return home, first love and a tightly scripted mystery that in no way detracted from the central theme of two men falling in love again. The novel has a slow, sexy burn to it and the tension between Daniel and Trey made my toes curl. The flashes back to when they’re younger feels a little illicit as you read about their burgeoning love, but it’s sensual and beautifully written and makes their interactions as adults that much more bittersweet and sexy. And hot, holy shit. O-o

I think what I enjoy most about K.A. Mitchells writing is that she understands the rhythm of a good book. Her pacing is excellent and there are no lulls where I feel inclined to ferret off to check my twitter account, or other assorted internet wankyness. I’m reading till some ridiculous hour and am still desperate to know what happens next, despite my tiredness. This is what a good book should be all about. That and making me laugh out loud at lines like …Ghosts of Erections Past… Imagery? hehe. 🙂 Loved it!

Get it here at All Romance eBooks or Samhain Publishing.

Shorts.

I am slack. RL is busy, so here we go, a few short reviews and thoughts of books I’ve read over the past couple of weeks.

the janitorThe Janitor by Jan Irving. From the cover I went in expecting a boxer type who was kinda blue collar and rough around the edges. Yeah, and maybe a little dirty. heh. I can see what the author was trying to accomplish, but there is a difference between a character who is a little dim, to someone who needs a caregiver. The elements needed to make good D/s pairing were not apparent, the plot required a great deal of suspention of disbelief and I’m afraid I found this a difficult read to finish. Nice cover though! Purchase.

torn sage whistlerTorn by Sage Whistler. Jebus wept. Just go read the blurb and enjoy this supremely pron guilty pleasure. Recommended via Jen and I’m SO looking forward to reading more from this author. Purchase. I am still feeling just a wee bit grubby. O-o

lone rowan mcbrideLone by Rowan McBride. In parts I felt the narrative was a little choppy and needed to be a little tighter. But, for all that I enjoyed the read. Much, much angst and the smex between the two main characters is freakin hot and well worth a read. I think it was the difference in size and body type that nailed it for me. Merow. Purchase.

ThePhoenixTJ3The Phoenix by Ruth Sims. The first two thirds of the book were well written and enjoyable. I’ve not read a lot of historical m/m and think it is a difficult genre to do well. While I did enjoy most of it, the latter part of the book were a little more difficult to like. It could have ended a great deal sooner and seemed to drag on to the point where the story got a little overwrought and melodramatic. This is defnitely an author I’d pick up again as I enjoyed her writing style, but the end to this particular book was a little disappointing. Purchase.

zeroattheboneZero at the Bone by Jane Seville. This is proving a hard one to finish, mainly due to ‘D’ being an incredibly unsympathetic character. I just cannot warm to him. I’ve managed to plow my way through quite a bit of the book and cannot read any more as I can’t see how this character can be redeemed. I love redemption in a novel, it is a great theme. But, some characters just cannot go there without some serious suspension of disbelief. Purchase.

adderallyblueAdder by Ally Blue. I liked this book much, till the last couple of chapters where I had a bit of a WTF moment. Some things in a romance novel just push my buttons and this one sure did that. In spite of this, I really liked the characters and read this delicious bit of goodness in nearly one sitting. Flamboyant rock stars and band drama totally dooo eeet for me! Unfortunately, one characters actions had my eyebrows nearly sitting in my hairline and I cannot say I was pleased with how it ended. It was a happily ever afterly, but….
I’ll definitely been keeping an eye out for more band boy goodness in what I am hoping is a series of books. Fingers crossed. Purchase.

MourningDoveswebMourning Doves by Angela Romano. I am THE shallowest person ever. I brought this book due to the gorgeous cover by Anne Cain. OK, and maybe there was a star next to it at ARE. I like stars, they’re shiny! I am nearly 1/2 way through and I am still not sure who the main characters are as a lot of attention is on others. And plot? There is a lot of extraneous stuff that does not seem central to the story and I’ve found it a little difficult to figure out the story arc. There are no longing looks between anyone really and the occasional bit of dialog has had me cringing. But, boy does that cover rock my wee socks off. Purchase.

With Love by J. L. Langley.

withlove-jl-lanleyAll Devlin wants to do is find a good new home for his business and his pack. He’s not looking for any complications, but he finds something he never expected – a mate. A mate with a whole lot of energy who attracts trouble like a magnet.

Laine Campbell never means to get himself into hot water, but everything has a way of getting tangled up between his feet. He needs more than just a mate – he needs a savior.

This came out a wee while ago now, but it’s a book I’ve re read several times. The writing is fast paced, sexy and I liked the character of Laine tremendously. I was also rather partial to Devlin who was more of a buff, builder type and quite forbearing with Laine’s knack for getting into mischief.  

What I enjoyed most about the book was Laine’s fearless nature and willingness to stand by his man in spite of his lack of size or ability in a fight. He had a sweetness about him as well that I got a kick out of. Devlin is confident and comfortable being in charge, but helplessly enthralled with Laine. The two discover they’re mates pretty much from the get go, so the focus was more on their developing relationship, than the will they won’t they.

The story, while short, shows how good world building makes a story just that much better. They’re werewolves, there is a pack hierarchy and there is day to day business going on in the background, but the focus is on Devlin and Laine and their growing love. I think all of the With or Without series has this delft element of blending characters lives, the everyday and supernatural. Makes for some excellent reading and is definitely a series to consider picking up.

This sweet, short and sexy story is a delight and totally fogged my glasses.

Get it here from Samhain, All Romance eBooks and Barnes and Noble.