Reading Round Up: June 2010

Happy Canada Day! June was quite the eclectic reading month for me from contemporary romance, to horror, to political intrigue. I re-read and finally put pen to paper to review Purple Hearts by Reno MacLeod and Jaye Valentine a contemporary romance that is simply a pearl of a short story. I also read two Amber Allure titles The Delaneys and Me by Anne Brooke an enjoyable erotic romp and Rick R. Reed’s latest horror title The Blue Moon Café a chilling werewolf tale, both of which I reviewed for Three Dollar Bill (TDB) Reviews. And for Rainbow Reviews I read and reviewed the final book in the Condor series by John Simpson, Condor and Falcon.

The Delaneys and Me by Anne Brooke (Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure) – Read Review

Purple Hearts by Reno MacLeod and Jaye Valentine (M&V Tailz) – Read Review

The Blue Moon Café by Rick R. Reed (Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure) – Read Review

Condor and Falcon by John Simpson (Dreamspinner Press) – Read Review

Condor and Falcon by John Simpson

President David Windsor’s former Secret Service agent, Shane Thompson, is now a permanent partner in his life, and David is determined to see Shane receive the respect he deserves as the First Gentleman. Assigned the codename “Falcon,” Shane will be taking on the traditional duties of the First Lady as David, codenamed “Condor One,” continues his administration.

But the tests of the Presidency are still looming as David faces both domestic and foreign political challenges. Just doing his job could mean extreme danger for himself and Shane, the man he loves most in the world—the man David wants to marry, despite all the press and attention it will bring them and the possible repercussions on a run for re-election.

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Reading Round Up: April-May 2010

The business of real life continued to interfere with my reading and reviewing during April and May. Too much work and lack of free time prevented me from reading as many books as I normally would over a two-month period.

On the positive side, virtually all of the books I did read fall into the category of very good to excellent reads. So the theme for Spring 2010 is quality over quantity. I’m starting to get through the backlog of reviews and hope to fall into a more regular pace of reading and reviewing for the month of June.

The Boy Can’t Help It: Sensual Stories of Young Bottoms by Gavin Atlas (Lethe Press) – Read Review

The One That Stayed by TC Blue (Torquere Press) – Read Review

Safe As Houses by Alex Jeffers (Lethe Press) – Read Review

Still The One by Shawn Lane (Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure) – Read Review

Tales From The Sexual Underground: Fact, Fiction and Stranger Than Fiction by Rick R. Reed (MLR Press) – Read Review

Happily Ever Before by Jaye Valentine (Noble Romance Publishing) – Read Review

Tales From The Sexual Underground by Rick R. Reed

“I wanted to write about people who were not just out, but out there, people who lived their sexual lives in ways most of us could only imagine … and for whom the flavor vanilla had absolutely no appeal. I interviewed porn stars, prostitutes, self-proclaimed sex pigs, and delved into bizarre sexual practices. It was eye-opening, arousing, and a lot of fun (but never, never good clean fun). I also include here my favorite dirty stories. They all explore a side of life that exists not in the twilight zone, but in my favorite destination … the sexual underground.” ~ Rick R. Reed ~

Tales From The Sexual Underground: Fact, Fiction and Stranger Than Fiction by Rick R. Reed is a daring and provocative collection of forty-three short non-fiction essays and fictional stories that explore the fringe of gay male sex – “fetishes, porn, misdirected affection, misguided objects of affection, polymorphous perversion or just plain perversion.” Both the title of the book and much of its substance are borne of a weekly column Mr. Reed wrote for a Chicago entertainment magazine called Nightspots. These non-fiction essays are complemented by the author’s favorite fictional dirty stories and the collection represents some of the author’s best writing to date.

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Safe As Houses by Alex Jeffers

When Allen Pasztory discovered he was likely to die before his time, he realized that what he could pass down to the people he loved was stories. Stories of and for his families – the family he was born to and the family he stumbled upon and fiercely embraced.

The hearing child of parents raised in the inhumane surroundings of a state school for the deaf, all along Allen knew he and his family were different. His sister tried her best to become ordinary, as if it were possible, but Allen knew better. He would be ready to offer sanctuary when an ordinary family cast out his nephew Kit.

Allen fell for freelance artist Jeremy’s talent and looks, but it was Jeremy’s unanticipated bravery that supported them through the years while they nurtured their new family. Despite hostility from without and threat from within, they created a secure and loving home for Jeremy’s precocious son Toby and, later, Allen’s nephew.

But safety can’t be guaranteed. Allen must tell himself stories to survive, stories that may explain his life to the boys he’s raised, for “your life is never only your own story, and what you don’t know for sure you must invent, using all the clues you can gather.”

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Still The One by Shawn Lane

Best friends, Malcolm and Dusty, have been together as a happy couple for five years. But now Malcolm’s budding career as a stage actor has taken an exciting turn, sending him across the country to Broadway just as Dustin’s dream of being named Head Chef at the restaurant where he works is coming true.

As the distance tests their relationship, can their love and friendship survive? Can Malcolm find a way to prove to Dusty he’s still the one?

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Reading Round Up: March 2010

March was a relatively productive reading month with two exceptional stories, The Summer Between by Andrew Binks and The Decade of Blind Dates by Richard Alther. I also read and reviewed the latest installment of Andrew Grey’s Love Means Series, Love Means … No Boundaries and a sweet western/cowboy m/m romance by Leiland Dale entitled, When The Blue Bird Calls.

Love Means … No Boundaries by Andrew Grey (Dreamspinner Press) – Read Review

The Summer Between by Andrew Binks (Nightwood Editions/ Harbour Publishing) – Read Review

When The Blue Bird Calls by Leiland Dale (Silver Publishing) – Read Review

The Decade of Blind Dates by Richard Alther (Lethe Press) – Read Review

The Decade of Blind Dates by Richard Alther

Peter Bauman, a forty-five-year-old divorced gay painter, plunges into the personal ads just prior to the Internet in his quest for the perfect partner.

He dates a colorful cast of characters from a Connecticut physician, a rabid Republican, to a Texas-two-stepping, tattooed punk. Next there’s the heavier-than-advertised geek who arrives with a bag of sex toys, but Peter is more serious with a handsome, stern Maine woodsman, followed by a British aristocrat patron who declines further intimacy because of his AIDS.

As Peter negotiates his new gay identity, his best friend, Barry, counsels and supports him at every step, especially as Peter deals with a health crisis. During a decade of sex and shenanigans, Peter, encouraged by his ex-wife, daughter, and son, examines his life and, at last, discovers his soul mate.

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Love Means … No Boundaries by Andrew Grey

Joey Sutherland has found a home with Geoff Laughton and his partner, Eli, living and working at the farm that has become a refuge after a motorcycle accident left him with a scarred face and a lot of insecurities. When Geoff’s aunt Mari convinces them to take in a musician from the National Youth Symphony, Joey is reluctantly roped into picking him up, already anticipating the disgust he’ll see on the man’s face.

But Robert Edward Jameson surprises him: he’s outgoing and friendly, he’s willing to try just about anything around the farm, and he’s blind, which goes a long way toward easing Joey’s nerves.

Joey and Robbie become inseparable and discover the beginnings of love. But summer is coming to an end, and Robbie will return to his home in Mississippi, where his family and servants see to everything he could want or need. Joey can only hope Robbie will take a chance on love and escape the boundaries that have shaped his sightless life.

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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