Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Re-release & Review : The Little Things by Jay Northcote

Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press (self published). Previously published by Dreamspinner Press
Length: 75,000 words approx
Genre: contemporary gay romance
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Release Date: Nov 21st 2013. This edition May 2018
Series info: This book is a standalone
My Rating(s) : 4/5 Stars

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make you appreciate what you have
There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter Evie is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.
One cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside-down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.
Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?

I can't believe I have miss reading this book when it first released, so when I notice that this book will be re-release with new cover I think it's about time!

And I falling in love instantly with little Evie. She's a lovely and adorable little girl with pure innocent child wisdom that will melt your heart.

The story is about Joel and his journey to find his true love through pain and loss.

Joel has almost perfect life with a young and handsome boyfriend, Dan and sharing the custody of his three years old daughter with Claire, his bestfriend and also the mother of his child. 

But in just one night, Joel’s life is turned upside-down...

Everything changes...and now he must raised his daughter by himself and grieving of losing someone he care had affected his already fragile relationship with his boyfriend...

No one know the sadness he felt, no one understand the grief he felt inside...not until fate then made him meet Liam who also bore the same guilt and grieve of losing someone he loved. The instant connection he felt with Liam felt so comforting but also frightening for Joel.

When Liam trying to stir what they have into more deeply relationship, Joel couldn't face his own feeling and decided to end what had just started and leave...


Well, I must admit that even I do understand with what Joel feels, but what he did to Liam was definitely not something I would agree. Thank god Liam have a very tender heart and way more mature than Joel and what he did to Joel was wonderful.

I also can't blame Dan for what had happened, but he's still young and definitely not ready for serious commitment. I just hope he'll find someone who love him more and find their own happiness.

Overall, the story was really good with a bit slow pace, but the way the author writing it and playing the readers emotions was good. And I enjoying reading the story very much!

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. Jay has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and he also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as Audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Review : C*cky Writer by Mark Trade

Title : C*cky Writer by Mark Trade
Genre(s) : Contemporary gay romance
Publication Date : May 7th 2018
My Rating(s) : 4/5 Stars

From the Author Note : Proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to help authors hurt in the wake of #cockygate and/or to legal funding to fight bogus trademarking of the word in question. Authors in all genres should lift each other up, not tear each other down. There are plenty of readers (and words!) to go around.

Matt Cockalorum quit his job in finance to follow his dream of becoming a romance author. His books are turning the publishing industry on its head with their originality and changing things for the better with their sexy and unique covers, titles, and character names.

At least they would be. If he could sell any.

It isn't Matt's fault. His books are great. His covers are fantastic. But his ex-favorite writer Nelson Storm is stealing all of Matt's readers.

Nelson's books are the reason Matt wanted to become a writer in the first place. No one writes kinky gay romance like Nelson Storm... except Matt, of course. But Nelson never responded to any of Matt's fan mail, and now Nelson's bestselling new book Naughty Dogwalker is a total rip off of Matt's book Naughty Doorman.

Sort of.

They have similar titles, that's for sure. What are the odds of two different romance novels both featuring characters who are chefs? Not very good.
After several snifters of brandy, Matt's ready to exact some writerly revenge. He sets a disastrous drunken plan into motion that finally results in Nelson Storm responding to him.

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

But now that he has Nelson's full attention, Matt is about to get way more than he bargained for. And exactly what he deserves.

A silly, sexy, satirical short story where someone gets spanked.

For fans of #CockyGate. Approx 14,000 words. 

Accidentally saw this book popped up on my timeline and I can't stop laughing when I read the title!!!

I've been following this #cockygate #dramaggedon for days and feels kinda silly for what that #cockyauthor did and claimed. So when I saw the title for the first time and reading the naughty blurb, I can't stop laughing then one clicking it without any doubt and read it in one sit!!!

The story was surprisingly full of hilarious things that will make you couldn't stop laughing right from the first page. The satire the author use in writing the story was totally hitting the spot with the current situation. 
It was fun, fast and definitely entertaining reading, and I enjoying the very short reading so much. 

And to Mark Trade, whoever you are, I salute you! *tips the imaginary hat*

Let's support what this author has done by buying this book, and here's the Amazon buy link.


Review : The Deal by Zach Jenkins

Title : The Deal by Zach Jenkins
Genre(s) : Contemporary gay romance, LGBTQ+
Publication Date : May 2nd 2018
My Rating(s) : 3.5/5 Stars

Fake marriage with a gay man? 

I want to help him out with his money problems, but I've burned so many bridges that a marriage is the only way I can get access to my trust fund. So this is just a convenience thing, for both our sakes, and maybe I'll even learn to settle down and become less of a broken man.

All thoughts of healing fade fast when I see him walk around without his shirt on. All I can think of is whether his skin is as smooth as it looks.

But I'm straight.

Fake marriage with a straight man? 

My life is a mess. I'm out of money. My business is failing. My love life is gathering dust. So when he offers to fix both our problems with a phony marriage, it seems the answer to both our prayers. It should shake things up, too.

Yeah. It's shaking me up all right. Instead of high-fives, his tender touch melts my bitter heart, and releases a powerful need I learned long ago to ignore.

But he's straight.

When our lips meet, nothing feels fake any more. 

The Deal is a steamy, standalone gay for you, 35k word romance novella with a HEA ending and a fake marriage that refuses to believe it is anything but true love.

“You make me happy, which makes me want to make you happy.”

Well, I must admit that it IS the cover of the book that attract my coverslut eyes at first, but it's the blurb that made me curious and decided to read it in one sit.

Zach Jenkins definitely another new author to me and I feel so excited and also a bit nervous because the anticipation each time I start a new book from a new author.

The premise of the story was very promising and fake boyfriend/fake marriage turned real was definitely one of my favorite trope, and that what made me so excited to read the book. The story start with such an interesting plot, sounds a bit cliché at first but still promising enough to follow. The two main characters also very likeable and sweet. Their changing feels and interactions until their both reach the moment of truth was well written with good pace, but even it's all look perfect, I must admit that I still can feels that there's something is missing with the story. 

The execution was a bit cheesy to my liking but since I'm in the cheesy mood when I read this book, I think I still can handle it.

Overall, I gave this book 3.5 stars because of the fact that I DO love the story and both MCs, but I must admit that the story not gripping me enough as I expected. But still. I will recommended this book to everyone who love sweet, fun and light reading about fake marriage that turned real. Because Icarus and Harley heart warming story still worth your time.

And I really can't wait for Shane's story!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Review : The Skin I'm In by Jenny Wood

Genre(s) : Contemporary gay romance, LGBT+, Transgender (FTM)
Publication Date : February 20th 2018
My Rating(s) : 3.5/5 Stars

Every Friday, evening, just around closing time; is the highlight of my week.
Gage Conner: Police officer, 6'3, 235lbs, green eyes, black hair, and an organ donor.
He comes through my line, with his charming smile and massive chest and asks to cash his check.

I'm just a bank teller, Briyana Smith- formerly Brian Ashley.
With too many loans, no family to speak of, and a massive crush on our local boy in blue;
he'd never give me the time of day if he knew ALL there was to know about me.
Cosmetically, and socially, I'm Briyana Smith, but, biologically and medically, I'm still Brian Ashley.

He doesn't give up, and I just cannot tell.... so, where do we go from there?
A liquor store robbery, the death of a parent, and a big ol' dirty secret, just waiting to come out.
What could possibly go wrong?.
What if it could possibly, go right?
I guess you'll have to wait and see..... 

Well, I didn't even notice this book, not until one day someone posting a recommendation read to one of M/M group which I'm in as one of the members and stir a bit 'controversy' due to the way that person wrote the caption that following the Amazon link he/she post that later triggered some harsh comments from the other members.

I, myself actually felt a bit offense too with the way the caption that person shared, but choose not to interfere further with the 'conflicts'. But I couldn't denied the curiosity that caught me after the posting. I'm looking for the blurb before finally decided to give this book a chance because aside from the controversy posting, the blurb itself had caught my full attention.

This is actually my first transgender story with a MTF person as a main character in it. This is also my first book from this author, so yeah....can you imagine the double excitement and the nervousness I have?

Even when the cover of the book really don't please my coverslut eyes BUT surprisingly the story was really interesting enough to follow. 

The way the author wrote the interactions between the MCs was very smooth with good pace. The writing also good enough with likeable characters that will stole your heart right from the start. And that's why I like the story and felt satisfied with the reading.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

ARC Review : Robby Riverton ~ Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton

Title : Robby Riverton ~ Mail Order Bride
Author : Eli Easton
Genre(s) : Historical Western Romance, Gay Romance
Publication Date : April 26th 2018
My Rating(s) : 5/5 Stars

Being a fugitive in the old west shouldn’t be this much fun.

The year is 1860. Robby Riverton is a rising star on the New York stage. But he witnesses a murder by a famous crime boss and is forced to go on the run--all the way to Santa Fe. When he still hasn't ditched his pursuers, he disguises himself as a mail order bride he meets on the wagon train. Caught between gangsters that want to kill him, and the crazy, uncouth family of his "intended", Robby's only ally is a lazy sheriff who sees exactly who Robby is -- and can't resist him.

Trace Crabtree took the job as sheriff of Flat Bottom because there was never a thing going on. And then Robby Riverton showed up. Disguised as a woman. And betrothed to Trace’s brother. If that wasn’t complication enough, Trace had to find the man as appealing as blueberry pie. He urges Robby to stay undercover until the danger has passed. But a few weeks of having Robby-Rowena at the ranch, and the Crabtree family will never be the same again.

Damn, what a kerfuffle. If only Trace can get rid of the fugitive while hanging on to his own stupid heart.

...he took Robby’s face in his hands. “Ya gotta know that I will do anythin’ to protect you.”

Well, the blurb of this new book by Eli Easton had caught my full curiosity since the author shared it even before I saw the cover. And when the cover finally revealed, I just knew that this book will gonna be hilarious! I mean, look at the cover and try not to laugh!!! 

Robby has bright carrier as an artist and about to expand his wings to the major role on the theater when he accidentally saw a murder scene by Mose “The Terror” McCann, leader of the Bowery Boys and the most notorious gangster in New York. Knowing that his life is in danger, Robby then run and hide to save his life.
Robby didn't know how long he'll be running away from the people who want his life. Fate then brought him to a wagon on away to Santa Fe and accidentally befriending with Miss Rowena Fairchild, a woman who about to marry a guy from a small town called Flat Bottom, but later bailed herself from the deal when she met another man and runaway together.

When Robby think he would be safe, the Bowery Boys already back on his tail. In the short chaotic moment, Robby decided to take Rowena role as the Mail Order Bride to save his throat from being slit by the gangster.
Before he even had the chance to leave from his chasers, fate then brought him face to face with Sheriff Trace Crabtree who turned out to be his 'soon-brother-in-law' !
With no way to escape or explain what actually happen, Robby hopelessly must keep his charade as Miss Rowena Fairchild a bit longer before he make another plan to escape. But will he could free himself from the Crabtree family and his future husband to be?

I found the story very entertaining and hilarious funny covered with some suspense at nearly end of the book.
It's so fun to see Rowena uhm...I mean Robby, charmed and winning everybody heart at Crabtree family, include Pa Crabtree heart!

I keep wondering what will happen next to Robby and Trance 'relationship', will they get caught? Will they succeed keeping the 'secret' until Robby safe from the bad guys?

This is a very interesting, charming, hilarious funny, heartwarming and entertaining story you shouldn't miss!!!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Review : Daddy Issues by Seth King

Title : Daddy Issues
Author : Seth King
Genre(s) : Contemporary gay romance, LGBTQ+, May-December
Publication Date : April 10th 2018
My Rating(s) : 2/5 Stars

Eliot Prince is falling hard for someone…
His former stepfather.   

Their bond is forbidden. Their relationship could upend lives. But their love? It’s a force of nature…  

Ten years ago, a desperate and confused Robert Glazer briefly married a woman before confronting his sexuality and starting his life as an out gay man. They divorced and lost contact –until now.   

Today, a sudden family death throws Robert and his ex-wife back together for the first time. That’s where Robert meets her son Eliot, who was raised with his own father and is now a gorgeous –and openly gay –adult. And to Robert and Eliot’s surprise, sparks fly.   

Passion ignites, then threatens to explode. Soon Eliot knows three things. One: Robert is not his father figure, and never was –in fact, he barely remembers him. Two: news of their union would still rock his whole world. And three: he craves Robert more than anything he has ever wanted. And as suspicions arise, their attraction only grows…

My whole life, the world told me the only thing that awaited me was sadness and despair. Gays didn’t get happy endings. Every gay movie ended in tears. Every gay book ended in a funeral. But Eliot is making me think, for the first time, that my story can be written in sunlight.

I have very huge expectations about this book due to the buzz from the author and from few people that already read the book.

So, when the book finally release, I one clicked it and start to devour it eagerly....

But soon I must faced the fact that it seems the book turned out not as good as I expected. I've tried to find the vibe like what everybody saying. I mean I'd seriously tried to find the interesting part from this book that I could enjoy, but turned out I'm failed miserably. Because until the very last page I found the book ended just as a so-so reading for me. Disappointed? Oh hell yeah! Because like I said before I have really HUGE expectations about this book.

Daddy issues was actually one of my favorite trope, but sadly I must say that this book didn't have that 'magic' works on me.

The author trying so hard to make the reader feels the emotional conflicts that happen between the MCs about the past family relationship issues, the dilemmas that comes between them, the people prejudices with their relationship, etc, but so sadly I didn't feel any of those emotions during the reading except the constant 'Duh' moments almost the whole reading!
Instead of grabbed or hold my emotions like what it should be, what I felt is a massive downhill feeling til the end of the book. I even had decided to DNF-ing the book so many times, but since I'm a very responsible and determined reader, I keep push myself to finish the book so I can have the right to post the review!

For story with dual POV from two people with huge age different, I think the author had failed in showing the age different through what had shown from their inner thoughts or their behaviors because it's looks like both characters are on the same age and have similar stage of maturity. It's hard for me to picturing Robert as the older one here when what impression I get he's no older than Eliot in so many ways.

And about the surprise POV thing, I still didn't get it on WHY the author suddenly put Mary Kate POV (Eliot's mother) and David POV (Eliot's Ex) into the story, it's really weird and kinda ruined everything! As if the author desperately NEED to emphasize something that I thought not necessary enough to be put in there.

Last but not least...

I don't know what others thinking, but for those who had read Call Me By Your Name, this book kinda give me that déjà vu feeling with André Aciman book. Like from the way the author set the title on each chapters which look similar with CMBYN book, the way the author wrote the characters inner thoughts like what Aciman did with Elio's thoughts on CMBYN that revealed what's conflicts that happen in Elio's mind, and oh the daydreaming scenes! It reminds me of Elio and Oliver meet up scenes twenty years later at Elio's house (while in this book the similar scenes happen nineteen years later at the same place they decided to go on their 'separate way' years ago!). And don't forget the similarities between the younger MC name, Eliot which sounds similar to Elio (maybe if the older guy name was not Robert but Oscar, it would be close enough to Oliver eh?)

Well, as a HUGE CMBYN fans and had read the book more than once, I must admit that it's kinda annoying for me to find out about this fact, but perhaps that's all because the author was kinda obsessed with Aciman's book like I do and get a bit inspired or influenced by the book, right? Right?

So, maybe I'm a minority here, but that exactly what I felt about this book and I don't want to sugar coating my review just to comfort the author feeling. You asked for my honest and unbiased review, right? And here's what I can give...

The saddest thing here is the fact that I used to love the author and adored one his book Honesty wholeheartedly and praise the book above the stars, but this book, man....
It's an epic failure...

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Review : Conned by Charity Parkerson

Title : Conned
Author : Charity Parkerson
Genre(s) : Contemporary gay romance, Novella
Publication Date : April 9th 2018
My Rating(s) : 4/5 Stars

Four months. Countless calls, texts, and steamy nights. All lies.
All Army wants is to meet his biggest TV obsession, Tanner Murray. He’s watched the man playing one of Primetime’s sexiest vampires for years. When he learns his celebrity crush is appearing at a local comic con, Army doesn’t waste any time getting his ticket. After getting lost, making a new friend, and standing in the world’s longest line, Army gets one fan experience he’ll never forget.
Tanner, A.K.A. Brit, meets men and women everywhere he goes. Being a celebrity means there’s no shortage of willing bodies. The only difference between Army and the rest is that Army is the only person Tanner has ever slept with more than once. That doesn’t mean the man has him tied down, or that he knows Tanner at all.
After Army walks away from Tanner, he never expects to see the man again. In fact, he hopes he never will. The only thing Tanner has ever done for Army is break his heart. When circumstances land Tanner on Army’s doorstep, Army vows this time things will be different. He has no idea how right he is.

He couldn’t breathe. His eyes burned with unshed tears. He’d been conned. Brit had stolen his heart with pretty words and lies...

I must admit that I'm in between glad and feeling 'awful' when the author successfully fools me into their 'trap' without even seeing it coming. I thought I KNOW what will happen in this book, but actually I AM NOT!!! Lol.
After I thought - well more likely assume that Tanner or Brit maybe has serious mental or drugs problem, then BHAM! The truth revealed.
Gosh! I can't stop laughing to myself for didn't see it coming!!
The surprise twist at nearly end of the story was really something! 
And no, I will NOT give you any spoiler at all! But I can assure you that this book totally worth to try....
Really nice work Charity Parkerson! 
Oh, and I'm soooooo GLAD that you didn't change the genre into MF like what those people want when they asked you to change the story into what they want!