Category Archives: Reviews

My Name is Ayla

This is a story that is both uplifting and heartbreaking. It could have been ripped from the headlines of nearly any civilized country in the world. When families won’t let go of centuries of conditioning in the name of religion, whether Islam or Christian, atrocities happen.

Ayla has been living as a woman for four years while she was away at school. When she comes home and her family sees her for the first time as a woman, they cannot accept her and her uncle and cousins nearly kill her.

Peter is the cop who investigates the incident. For a short time, they have an idyllic life of love and happiness. As a pansexual, Peter is completely accepting of what Ayla is.

However, her family won’t let go.

It’s a shame that the ones who should love us unconditionally are so wrapped up in ‘tradition’ they can’t accept who we are. So many young LGBT children are thrown away by their parents.

The author has done a wonderful job of capturing the angst and heartbreak of a young person who just wants to live her life honestly.

I wish I could give this story more than 5 stars.

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Matthew’s Present

Matthew’s Present by Sarah Hadley Brook

I won a copy of this book in a drawing and I couldn’t be more pleased. I not only read a delightful story, but was introduced to a new author.

Who doesn’t remember their first kiss? I remember mine, and it was sixty-two years ago.

Matthew and Tyler both remember that day back in high school even though they never saw each other again. It took a six-year-old’s whisper into Santa’s ear to bring them together.

Although it’s meant as a story about two men falling in love, I saw more in it than that. I saw a sister who accepted and loved her brother enough to teach her six-year-old daughter that Uncle Matthew would rather have a boyfriend than a girlfriend. Admittedly, I guessed what Hannah asked Santa for, but didn’t know how he would deliver it.

My rating – 5 stars

Power Play – A. J. Marcus

Naga Industries wasn’t Calvin’s first choice of a place to intern. It wasn’t even his tenth. But when every other internship spot is taken, he finds himself at the mercy of Draeke Lindwurm and he’s way over his head.

Draeke doesn’t want an intern, but his go-to man is threatening to revolt if he doesn’t get them both some help. Calvin is everything Draeke doesn’t like in men. He’s too young, too average, never on time, doesn’t dress well, and worst of all Calvin is human which makes things complicated between them when he becomes a pawn in a power play with the world’s dragon elite.

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I’ve followed the career of this author for several years and thoroughly enjoy reading and reviewing his books. There are several elements one comes to expect from a Marcus book: drama, excitement, mystery, a growing emotional tenderness between the main characters, and erotic sex. And all of these elements are present in Power Play. However, I was a little disappointed regarding the erotic sex. It felt as if the author realized he was at the last chapter and needed to add some sex to fulfill the publisher’s requirement. I would have been okay with the scene being omitted.

I could feel Calvin’s confusion as to just what he’d gotten into when he became an intern for Naga Industries. I felt the growing emotions between him and Draeke Lindwurm. I felt the heart-racing excitement when Calvin is kidnapped and Draeke is looking for him – will they find him before something happens to him. I’ll admit I figured out who the villain was before he was named, but that didn’t lessen the drama of the chase to find him.

Did I enjoy the book? Of course. Would I recommend this book? Definitely. Will I read another Marcus book? Most certainly.

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The Cowboy’s Clown – A. J. Marcus

Scott wasn’t looking for more than a quick evening’s enjoyment when he picked up Luke while driving home for the rodeo and livestock auction. Luke makes a big impression on Scott and when a people around them start turning up dead, he hangs by Scott and does what he can to help out. But as the bodies continue to pile up, Scott begins to wonder who he can really trust. Will the emotions he feels for Luke survive as they struggle to find the answers to who’s trying to kill him, and why?

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I do a lot of reading of what are called romantic books, some erotic and some not so erotic. To my way of thinking, there are two types of erotic books whether they are gay or straight. In one type, if you take away the sex, there’s no story left. In the other type, take away the sex and you have an interesting and exciting plot. Thus it is with Cowboy’s Clown.

When Scott gives Luke a ride, it could be just another erotic sex book. But the mystery surrounding the death of Scott’s foreman, Rich, creates a whole different type of book. When a number of bodies are found in Scott’s manure heap, he wonders just what his foreman has been up to. After several attempts on Scott and Luke’s lives, they find Rich was a member of a group of people intent on keeping Mexicans out of the country. The surprising twists and turns while seeking the killers will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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Hunted by Caitlin Ricci and A. J. Marcus

Malik Converse’s life changed dramatically when vampires showed up in pack territory and killed every werewolf they could find. He was out with a hunting party and escaped the worst of the attack, and now he and a packmate are on the run. They’re doing their best to evade the vampires who attacked them while plotting their vengeance.
Aren Ibsen has roamed the vampire courts for centuries, keeping his finger in the pot of vampire politics but never straying too deeply into those tormented waters. When the king of North America is killed by a werewolf, the new king leads the vampires on a crusade to wipe the werewolves off the continent. Aren and some of the other vampires wonder if this brash move is wise.
Aren and Malik cross paths, and they suddenly realize they have similar goals and a mutual attraction. With forces rallying against them, can they survive as fate pushes them to take on roles they never expected? If they do survive this, will the vampire and werewolf communities accept them and the love that blossoms between them?

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It was with some trepidation I agreed to read and review this book after receiving it as an ARC. As a general rule, I don’t care for vampire stories because they are usually full of ‘blood and gore’. I’ll have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. In this day of everyone painting all members of an ethnic group with the same brush, Hunted proves that all groups have both good and bad members.

Aren goes against the conceived stereotype of ‘vampire’. He really doesn’t like killing people in order to drink their blood. When he meets Malik, he finds more in common with the werewolf than with many of his own kind, particularly his new king.

The pace of the book is exciting with not too much blood, and just enough sex without going overboard on either.

I have to say, I look forward to more adventures starring Aren and Malik as they strive to unite the vampires and shifters.

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The Fool – A. J. Marcus

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When the past comes back to haunt them, can these two men rekindle the flame they thought they’d lost and the magic that comes with that love?

When Arron Carmichael and Ramsey Roland broke up it devastated both of them, but Ramsey couldn’t handle Arron’s family secret. When the family business brings them together, they discover Ramsey has a secret larger than any Arron thought possible.

Arron is part of the Gardener family, a group of witches who have protected the world from daemons for thousands of years. Ramsey couldn’t deal with the magic that was an intricate part of Arron’s life, so he told Arron they were finished, and he needed to leave. His decision left two hearts broken.

When Ramsey is mugged while going to a bar to hang out with friends, it opens him up to the world Arron had hinted at, but it also brings Arron back into his life. Arron does his best to save Ramsey from the dark forces that are hunting them both. When they learn the reason Ramsey is being hunted, it shocks them both to their cores but brings them closer together. Only together can they hope to defeat the forces working against them.

 

As a reviewer, sometimes you’re asked to review something in a genre other than what you normally would read. Such it is with A.J. Marcus’ “The Fool”. I personally don’t care for what I call ‘blood and gore’, and this book has some.

I am giving it 5 stars because:

The story line is good. The writing is good. And I can recommend this for people who are into this type of story. A story of a fight between daemons and witches.

The relationship between Ramsey and Aaron is sweet and at the same time erotic as to be expected from Marcus.

 

From Extasy Books

Familiar Spirit – A. M. Burns

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Familiar Spirit – A. M. Burns

Halloween is fast approaching in Steamboat springs Colorado. Lugh McNeal is adjusting to a life away from the beaches of Florida. It’s not an easy time, but his new family and boyfriend make things easier. When a spirit mistakes him for his father, Lugh scrambles to understand how the spirit found him, and what she means to him and his new life.
With his boyfriend Wyn, his familiar Bran, and his cousin Abby at his side, Lugh does his best at surviving the dark magic that is welling up against them. The balance of power between the light and the dark is tipping toward the dark, can Lugh and his friends prove strong enough to overcome the darkness before it swallows them whole?

 

In the first book of this series, “Familiar Path”, we met young Lugh McNeal. When Lugh turned fifteen, he learned he was a Magus, or magic user. Now it is a few months later. Lugh’s powers have grown, along with his relationship with new-found relatives and a new boyfriend.

While Lugh and Wyn are on a camping trip, they meet the spirit of a teenaged girl who knew Lugh’s father.

With the help of other Magi, they work to set Espe’s spirit to rest.

Once again, Burns has woven an intriguing mystery about witchcraft and youth.

Available at Amazon