Reading Round Up: January-February 2010

Despite an extremely busy period at work I did manage to do a bit of reading over the months of January and February with a mix of books from some new and familiar authors and a reread of a beloved anthology.

Fool for Love: New Gay Fiction by editors Timothy J. Lambert and R.D. Cochrane (Cleis Press) – Read Review

The Best Gift by Shawn Lane (Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure) – Read Review

Fatal Shadows and A Dangerous Thing: Adrien English Mysteries (Books 1 and 2) by Josh Lanyon (Loose Id) – Read Review

The Hell You Say: Adrien English Mysteries (Book 3) by Josh Lanyon (Loose Id) – Read Review

Death of a Pirate King: Adrien English Mysteries (Book 4) by Josh Lanyon (Loose Id) – Read Review

The Dark Tide: Adrien English Mysteries (Book 5) by Josh Lanyon (Loose Id) – Read Review

Between Brothers by J.M. Snyder (JMS Books) – Read Review

Firecracker by Jaye Valentine (Noble Romance Publishing) – Read Review

The Dark Tide: The Adrien English Mysteries (Book 5) by Josh Lanyon

Myth has it that Adrien’s art deco period building houses more than his bookstore and flat in the form of an unsolved mystery – the disappearance of 1950s jazz musician Jay Stevens. But myth becomes stark reality when construction workers find a skeleton beneath the floorboards during the renovation of Adrien’s bookstore, and all evidence points to the fact that these remains are those of Jay Stevens and that he was murdered some fifty years ago. To further complicate matters, someone has been trying to break into Adrien’s building pointing to the probability that the murder and attempted nightly intrusions are somehow linked.

While the LAPD does show up to investigate, their resources are stretched and focused on current, rather than half a century old cold cases. But the nightly intrusions continue and Adrien is compelled to do something about the mystery himself since the LAPD is lukewarm on the matter. Adrien hires Jake who has quit the force and struck out on his own as a private investigator. Adrien and Jake once again become sleuthing partners, but the mystery is not the only thing that needs resolving. They quickly realize that they must come to terms with the many issues left hanging in their relationship all the while trying to not get themselves killed as they investigate the murder.

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Firecracker by Jaye Valentine

Issac Lang is deeply in love with his live-in life-partner, Baltimore City police officer Jeff Taylor, and has a serious kink for risky role-play sex with strangers. Jeff finds Isaac’s wild ways incredibly hot, and he’s more than willing to help facilitate Isaac’s lustful cravings.

Jeff trusts Isaac to be emotionally faithful despite the sexual experimentation, and Isaac trusts Jeff to watch his back and keep him safe from harm. Not a lifestyle everyone might aspire to or could successfully manage, but Isaac and Jeff make their quest for kink work to keep the sparks flying in their relationship.

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Death of A Pirate King: The Adrien English Mysteries (Book 4) by Josh Lanyon

Adrien English has finally received some recognition for his writing and his book “Murder Will Out” has been optioned by Hollywood actor Paul Kane. As a result, Adrien finds himself at a Tinseltown luncheon with all sorts of Hollywood types. Not his usual crowd, but because there are plans to turn his book into a movie he’s making a concerted effort. During the luncheon, Adrien is seated next to movie financier Porter Jones and forced to endure Porter’s self-absorbed conversation on deep-sea fishing. But when Porter Jones drops dead face down in his soup, Adrien once again finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Adrien receives another jolt when the LAPD shows up and he comes face-to-face with his former lover – Jake Riordan. Now a lieutenant, Jake arrives with an ambitious young dick named Alonzo. As they begin questioning the guests, it becomes apparent that Adrien has been singled-out as a person of interest. Adrien’s connection to Porter’s death is completely circumstantial but with forensic results pointing to murder detective Alonzo remains suspicious. With Jake’s concurrence Adrien is solicited to put his sleuthing skills to work by asking a few questions of the possible suspects. This throws Adrien and Jake together once again working to solve the crime, much to the displeasure of Adrien’s boyfriend Guy. But little does anyone know that bringing Adrien and Jake together to investigate the murder is all part of the master plan.

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Fool for Love: New Gay Fiction by Timothy J. Lambert and R.D. Cochrane

Is romance over in this age of online cruising and anonymous hook-ups? For anyone who believes that love has left the building, here is an exhilarating collection of new gay fiction designed to reignite your belief in the power of romance. Follow the travails of a dog walker enchanted with his new client; check out the restaurant owner who catches the eye of his most loyal customer; don’t miss the blind date fix-up, as they stumble upon romance and a chance at real love. Featuring new work from well-known gay writers, these stories will make you remember what joy romance can bring to your life.

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Between Brothers by J.M. Snyder

Brian Thompson is living a lie. A successful businessman, Brian can’t stay focused in a real relationship and cheats on Timothy, his longtime lover. A phone call from his younger brother Joey, whom Brian hasn’t spoken to in years, makes him recognize the uncanny resemblance between the two men.

Joey is, in a word, perfect. In Brian’s eyes, he always has been. When their mother is hospitalized, Joey asks his older brother to come home. He tells Brian he needs him, which is just what Brian wants to hear. But the long trip north gives Brian plenty of time to think about his brother, and he comes to realize an unsettling truth — he is in love with Joey.

Suddenly Brian admits that he wants Joey in ways he knows he shouldn’t. Can he come to terms with the way he feels before his unrequited love threatens to tear him — and his relationships with Timothy and Joey — apart?

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