Review: “A Tender Curiosity” by Charlie Cochet

TITLE: A Tender Curiosity
AUTHOR: Charlie Cochet
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: Anthology
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 90 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 15, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book

BLURB:

Take a journey into the past and meet the men who laughed, lived, and loved in a bygone era. This collection includes three short but sweet tales of infatuation, adventure, humor, and even a dash of the paranormal.
When Love Walked In
Private investigator Bruce Shannon’s cases of missing persons and infidelity don’t inspire warm feelings around Valentine’s Day. Luckily Bruce is quite happy with only his cat for companionship—until handsome Jace Scarret wanders off the street and into Bruce’s life.
In His Corner
Former world heavyweight boxing champion Jessie “the Demon” Dalton needs a cornerman, and Eli jumps at the chance, hoping for answers about why Jessie broke his heart years ago. It soon becomes clear that Jessie needs Eli in his corner—and in his life. Now all Eli has to do is convince Jessie.
Believe Me, Beloved
Robert Bradley dreams of singing on the radio, and when he attends the masked ball of handsome station owner Gabriel Chase, Robert has no idea his dream is about to take an unexpected paranormal turn.
In His Corner originally published by Torquere Press, Inc., September, 2012.
When Love Walked In originally published by Torquere Press, Inc., February, 2012.
Believe Me, Beloved originally published in Masks Off Anthology by Top Shelf, An imprint of Torquere Press Publishers, 2012.


In Tender Curiosity by Charlie Cochet, the author invites us to take a journey into the past and meet the men who laughed, lived, and loved in a bygone era. This collection includes three short but sweet tales of infatuation, adventure, humor, and even a dash of the paranormal.

When Love Walked In
Private investigator Bruce Shannon’s cases of missing persons and infidelity don’t inspire warm feelings around Valentine’s Day. Luckily Bruce is quite happy with only his cat for companionship—until handsome Jace Scarret wanders off the street and into Bruce’s life.
I really liked the way the author was able to capture the feeling of the Great Depression for this story. I could feel the humanity’s despair, and she captured the creepy, sleazy, and lazy landlord perfectly. I liked how private investigator Bruce Shannon comes off as a blustery type of guy that doesn’t have a lot of patients and is cranky. But he shows his true colors when he’s ordered by the landlord to kick out the vagrant sleeping on the same floor as his apartment and instead he invites him in, feeds him, cleans him up, and gives him replacement clothes to wear. It showed just what kind of a sweetheart he really is. And that was before he saw how well Jace cleaned up. He even ends up offering him a job. I really enjoyed the chemistry between them. I also loved his advertisement for a replacement secretary.

In His Corner
Former world heavyweight boxing champion Jessie “the Demon” Dalton needs a cornerman, and Eli jumps at the chance, hoping for answers about why Jessie broke his heart years ago. It soon becomes clear that Jessie needs Eli in his corner—and in his life. Now all Eli has to do is convince Jessie.
I liked this short story also. I loved how Jessie tried to protect Eli’s reputation when his reputation was being ripped apart after losing the heavyweight championship title. I liked that his uncle was Jessie’s trainer/manager and Eli got to hang out at the gym and watch his hero as he trained and that they became inseparable. I also liked that Eli came back into Jessie’s life just when he needed him and that they got a second chance at love. I also enjoyed that this story was set during the prohibition era.

Believe Me, Beloved
Robert Bradley dreams of singing on the radio, and when he attends the masked ball of handsome station owner Gabriel Chase, Robert has no idea his dream is about to take an unexpected paranormal turn.
This was my favorite short story out of the three. I loved how naïve Robert is. He works in the mailroom, but all he dreams about is singing on the radio. He would really like to sing for the station owner Gabriel Chase that he has a crush on. When he gets invited as a coworker’s plus one he has no idea that it’s anything but the masked ball that it looks like. He has no idea that paranormal shifters exist or that the color of the masks has any significant meaning to them. Wouldn’t he be horrified to learn that the people in the silver and gold masks are the lowest of the low and are about to be hunted by the paranormals? It’s a good thing for Robert that his boss, Gabriel, has such a big crush on him. However, the only way to keep Robert safe from the guy that brought him to the party is to become Gabriel’s mate and bond with him. Well, I guess there are worse things that Robert could be forced to do besides having to mate with the guy that he’s been crushing on.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading these short stories by Charlie Cochet as it gave me a look at what to expect from her other series. I have a feeling that since I liked When Love Walked in that I will probably like her book Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue. And since I liked In His Corner, I will probably like her Fallen Rose series. And the same with Believe Me, Beloved. I can’t wait to start reading her Soldati Hearts series and her Thirds series. And I’ve already read some of her North Pole City Tales series, so I know that I will love that series. So if you’ve been trying to decide if Charlie Cochet is an author to take a chance on, then I would give this book a try.

It’ll give you a great look into her writing style.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Shadowlands” by Charlie David

TITLE: Shadowlands
AUTHOR: Charlie David
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brad Firmino
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Mythology; Anthology
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 180 pages
RELEASE DATE: Oct 27, 2010
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book

BLURB:

Charlie David’s celebrated collection of short stories explores the heartfelt, and sometimes heartbreaking passion and pain of gay sexuality. Ancient myths are re-imagined with an exciting queer twist masterfully depicting the charged, fragile relationships of urban life today.


“Shadowlands is a collection of heartfelt and sometimes heartbreaking short stories from well-known actor and entrepreneur Charlie David that explore the passion and pain of gay sexuality. Ancient myths are re-imagined with an exciting queer twist, masterfully depicting the charged, fragile relationships of urban life today.
Story genres in this collection include romance, science fiction, fantasy/paranormal, horror, mystery/suspense, and poetry.”

This was a fast read! The stories are short (a few pages) but are more than telling. You get sucked in from the very first word of the story, and all of a sudden you’re in the mind space of our MC.

The author touches many subjects, philosophical questions, ancient emotions we all face in one way or another. This book is categorized in MM genre, but I think I’m safe if I say that this book is not only for those who read his genre.

The subjects of the book touches its fundamental part of our lives, as: loneliness, greed, sorrow, joy, pain, terror and love.
The stories more often end in the dark than HEA. The author is not afraid to write about things that generally you can’t find in other books. Some of the stories are disturbing, but true. There are things out there (and no, I’m not talking about paranormal now) that we don’t like to know about it. It may be an auto-defense mechanism, but we all do it.

These short stories reminded me of dark poems represented as prose.

I really enjoyed reading it!

 

BUY LINKS

Dreamspinner Press: https://bit.ly/1r9Lhnx

Amazon: http://a.co/8uMxS9D

Audible: https://adbl.co/2rWlbYK

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2LljnAi

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2wWuGfn

 

Hi all!  I’m Charlie David and I’m happy to stop by here at the OptimuMM .  I’m excited to share that my book Shadowlands was released as the Shadowlands TV miniseries on Sunday, May 27th!  Whether you like to read a book and then watch a show or the other way round, I’d like to invite you into my world and explore Shadowlands.

We’re at an exciting time when it’s still rare for a book in the M/M genre to be made into a film or TV series.  While Shadowlands isn’t traditional romance it does explore love in three thematically connected stories – a couple renegotiating a relationship, a narcissist grasping to comprehend love, and star-crossed lovers mourning its loss.

I had the pleasure to work with a really talented cast and crew and so today I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Oscar Moreno, one of the stars of the ‘Narcissus’ episode of the Shadowlands TV miniseries.

The Shadowlands gay TV series is comprised of three distinct stories exploring love.  The second episode in the Shadowlands series is titled Mating Season.  In the early 1950s, a couple explore the idea of opening their relationship while on a remote camping trip when they encounter a mysterious stranger.

 

Colombian born actor Oscar Moreno stars as Matteo opposite Nicolas James Wilson in the Shadowlands series.

 

There are story connections between the three episodes of Shadowlands.  You can read about them here.

 

Tell us about your story in the Shadowlands series.  What were the main challenges and fears you had in your role?

 

Oscar Moreno: In our episode , Will and Matteo negotiate the terms of their relationship while on a camping trip. This was my first leading role in a TV production. So initially I was concerned with the filming process.

 

As for the role, I was very excited to be exploring a gay character that was dealing with complex issues. For a long time mainstream gay media has focused on coming out stories. I’m glad to be a part of a story that brings to light issues that arise in relationships through a gay perspective.

 

How much of yourself goes into a character?

 

Oscar Moreno: I think that in order to create a meaningful performance, part of yourself has to go into every character that you play. For me, it was about about exploring my own emotions and thoughts with regards to open relationships. I believe that powerful performances comes when an actor is able to find the emotional truth of each moment.

 

How much were you able to relate your own experiences to create your character in the Shadowlands series?  And how much did you have to research or imagine?

 

Oscar Moreno:  Philosophically I relate more with Nicolas James Wilson’s character of Will. Since I believe that open relationships are usually more progressive. This however was a conclusion that took me some time to come to.

 

So in order to give life to Matteo, I had to think back to how I felt before the idea ever entered my field of view. Ultimately the experiences and emotions Matteo goes through are betrayal, self-doubt, reconciliation and love. These emotions can be very visceral to most so allowing myself to connect to these emotions and apply them to Matteo’s circumstances was a wonderful challenge to tackle. 

 

I also enjoyed learning about artists like Tom of Finland. I was familiar with some of his work but really enjoyed learning about his life and what drove him to draw such magnificent men in a time where homosexuality was condemned.

 

Nicolas James Wilson and Oscar Moreno in the Mating Season episode of the Shadowlands TV series

 

What aspects of the Shadowlands series are you excited for an audience to experience or discover?

 

Oscar Moreno:  The Shadowlands series offers a unique twist to conversations around sexuality and identity. I hope that the audience will get a chance to reflect on their own experiences and learn something new about themselves in the process.

 

The themes brought up can sometimes be challenging but ultimately it’s all about humans in different sorts of relationships. Allowing the audience to get a peak at how others live, we can hope to continue the conversation around sexuality and identity.

 

Each story or episode in the Shadowlands series is unique and has its own world of characters, time and place.  And yet there are connections between them. Were you aware of these connections while filming or was it a surprise to learn later?

 

Oscar Moreno:  During filming i was only aware that we were matching the lying down shot from Pygmalion Revisited but now I’m happy to be learning more though here.

 

Matteo (Oscar Moreno) and Will (Nicolas James Wilson) in Shadowlands ‘Mating Season’Xavier (Marc Devigne) and Rudy (Charlie David) in the Pygmalion Revisited episode of the Shadowlands TV series.

 

Romance between men and between women was common place and written about in Greek and Roman mythology.  Why is it important to continue sharing these types of stories today?

Oscar Moreno: Romance, sexuality and identity aren’t just for the Greeks and Romans. These are universal themes that should continue being explored. But the exploration is only beneficial if we take different perspectives from our own. As humans we tend to fear what we don’t know.

 

So it is up to each and every one of us to share our stories so that others may learn from it and thus fear it no more.

 

What was the hardest scene for you in the Shadowlands series to do and why?

 

Oscar Moreno: The most nervous I got during filming was when we were doing my monologue. Not only was it a lot of text to recall, but the subject matter of meeting Will through means of getting the shit beat out of me was really difficult for me to justify.

 

Who is a major influence for you and on your creativity?  

 

Oscar Moreno: I have been a fan of musical theatre since high school, so I take major influence from that.  I admire other actors that are able to seamlessly create captivating performances on stage and screen.

 

Is there a type of role you dream of playing but haven’t had the opportunity yet?  

 

Oscar Moreno: I would like to continue to explore queer characters dealing with their lives.  I’ve watched enough gay films to say that it’s about time we go beyond the unrequited love story of a suicidal gay teen.

 

Queer people have some of the most fascinating and unique stories. I look forward to being a voice for those stories that are told less often.

 

In addition to acting, tell me about the other areas of entertainment you’re pursuing.

 

Oscar Moreno: Stay tuned for the launch of my Youtube Channels Totesom and Cuddleom. Totesom will focus on fun entertaining videos that will give you feel for how musical the world is through my eyes.

 

Cuddleom is a channel that is be devoted to spreading love and exploring the benefits of touch.   These channels will uplift and empower viewers to take full advantage of their lives while having some laughs along the way.

 

With so much going on in the world today, what’s your motivation to be a performer? Do you act to explain?  To get away?  To move past? To widen our knowledge? To incite a conversation?

 

Oscar Moreno: Originally I started acting to find a safe community where all my quirks would be accepted. Now it has developed into an exploration of what it is to be human.

With the works that I’m part of I always look for the opportunity to give the audience a reflection of themselves while at the same time challenging their conventions. It is only through discomfort that we can truly grow.

 

What’s next for you as a creator/actor/performer?

 

Oscar Moreno: This summer in Toronto, I will be making my Drag Queen debut in this years Fringe Festival in a new musical called The Ding Dong Girls. Come check it out July 4- 15 at the Factory Theatre.

I am also a Professional Cuddling Practitioner in Toronto. If you are a career driven individual who notices they are lacking affection in their lives, take the initiative and reduce feeling of stress and isolation by contacting me for a consultation and cuddle.

 

Learn more about Oscar Moreno’s professional cuddling company:

cuddleom.com

 

 

About Charlie David

Charlie David has been a host for E! Television, NBC, OutTV, LOGO, here! TV, Pink TV, EGO, Fine Living and Slice Networks on such shows as FYE!, SpyTV, Crash Test Mommy and his travel series Bump which shot over 100 episodes around the world and garnered a Hugo Television award. He has appeared as musical guest on VH1, BBC, CBS’s The Early Show, and dozens of radio shows.

 

In 2005 Out Magazine recognized Charlie in the ‘Out 100’ at their gala in New York.  In 2007 the Philadelphia Film Society awarded Charlie with their Rising Star Award.  In 2008 the Festival del Sol in Gran Canaria awarded their Best Male Actor Award to Charlie and the male cast of A Four Letter Word. His documentary and scripted films have won several jury and audience awards at festivals around the world.  Formerly in a rock band… okay, actually it was a boy band, Charlie opened for Destiny’s Child, Pink, Snoop Dogg, Rick Springfield and Black Eyed Peas.

 

A love of storytelling led Charlie to start Border2Border Entertainment, a production company whose film and television credits include Shadowlands, Mulligans, Judas Kiss, I’m a Stripper (series), Studlebrity, Balls, Dating Unlocked, PolyLove and Positive Youth. Border2Border Entertainment’s films have been licensed to Showtime, Vice, Super Channel, HBO Canada, MTV/LOGO, Sundance Channel, Discovery Networks, The Movie Network, Movie Central, Hollywood Suite, hereTV, Encore Avenue, and OutTV in North America as well as finding a worldwide audience through international distribution partners.

 

He is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts and his current passions include travel, encounters with wildlife, SCUBA diving, mosaic tiling and podcasts.  He resides in Toronto and Montréal, Canada when he’s not living out of a suitcase.

 

You can explore Charlie’s films and TV shows on his website at https://border2border.ca or become a part of his social media network by visiting:

 

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/MrCharlieDavid
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/officialcharliedavid
Twitter: https://twitter.com/charliedavid
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/border2border
Audible: http://adbl.co/1K3xhz8
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2895612.Charlie_David
Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/charlie-david
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mrcharliedavid/

 

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Make the Yuletide Gay” by Addison Albright, Nell Iris, Amy Tasukada, Nicky Spencer, Stephen Hoppa

TITLE: Make the Yuletide Gay
AUTHOR: Addison Albright, Nell Iris, Amy Tasukada,
Nicky Spencer, Stephen Hoppa
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: N/A
GENRE: Anthology
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 126 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 15, 2017
PRICE: $0.99 – e-book

BLURB:

Sleigh bells ring—are you listening?
It’s that time of year again, and we have the perfect way to get you in the mood: A free anthology! Five holiday stories that are guaranteed to warm your heart, heat up your cold nights, and most importantly: Make your yuletide gay.

A Christmas Party to Remember by Nicky Spencer
Last Christmas, Cory and Wes made a connection that left them both thanking Santa. But when Cory doesn’t show up for their first date, Wes swears he won’t make that mistake again. This year, can Santa’s magic find a way to bring them back together?

Let’s Not Go Crazy by Stephen Hoppa
The holidays are stressful enough without Ethan’s boyfriend Nate trying to kill him with Christmas cheer. But Nate’s found a whole new way to torture Ethan when he reveals that he wants kids. Will their conflicting desires tear their relationship apart, or will they find a way to ring in the new year stronger than ever?

Captain Jack and the Snack Attack by Addison Albright
Two men determined to win the same treasure at a charity silent auction, a wayward kitten, grumbling tummies, and a dilemma: what’s the correct gift-giving etiquette for a first date that’s mere days before Christmas, and what could possibly go awry with this merry combination?

The Christmas Day Date by Nell Iris
One rainbow Christmas tree in harm’s way and an afternoon spent eating far too many cookies, equals two men with changed holiday plans. But how does that translate into a date?

The Year of the Monkey by Amy Tasukada
The last thing Aoi wants to do for New Year’s is spend it with his boyfriend’s parents. They were far from thrilled when their son came out. Can Aoi warm their hearts making traditional mochi or will they end up in an even stickier situation?

Authors Note: This anthology is FREE! Do not buy it for $0.99 at Amazon – we are working on fixing that! Currently available for free at Smashwords and soon at all other retailers.


Make the Yuletide Gay is a collection of five short holiday stories by some of my favorite authors and to make it even better the collection is free. So why not take a chance on this cute collection of holiday stories and enjoy the holiday happy feelings that they inspire. I especially liked how this collection was put together. At the beginning of each story is the blurb and at the end, there is a little bit about the author and a few links to some of their other books or social media. It makes it very easy to find more books by the authors if you liked the story that you read or if they had other books with the same main characters like Stephen Hoppa and Amy Tasukada’s stories. They both have multiple books with the same characters that are in the short stories here.

A Christmas Party to Remember by Nicky Spencer – This was a cute story about Cory and Wes who meet at a Christmas party and plan to meet up later for drinks. However, Cory never shows up or responds to Wes’ text messages. Wes vows not to let that happen again. So when Cory shows up again at the same Christmas party and wants to explain what happened the year before, Wes doesn’t want to hear it, but his best friend convinces him to listen to him. How was he supposed to know that Cory had been in an accident on the way to meet him and his phone had been destroyed leaving him no way to contact Wes since he didn’t know his last name or where he worked? There wasn’t a lot of depth or background, but the characters were entertaining and loveable. I would read a longer book about them. 4 OptimuMMs

Let’s Not Go Crazy by Stephen Hoppa – This Christmas story was cute. I haven’t read the other three installments of Nate and Ethan’s relationship yet, but it’s on my to-do list since I found them to be an interesting set of characters. I loved the addition of Ethan’s puppies, but I have only one thing to say, and that’s puppy training classes for the destructive but loveable mutts. 3 OptimuMMs

Captain Jack and the Snack Attack by Addison Albright – Another cute short Christmas story about Kenton and Gordie and the ornery kitten, Captain Jack. Kenton and Gordie don’t get off to the best start when they both bid on a signed Captain Jack Sparrow movie poster at a silent auction at a charity ball fundraiser. And even though Gordie was outbid in the end by Kenton, when they run into each other again it won’t stop Gordie from going out on a date with him. However, when their first date is derailed by the disappearance of Kenton’s kitten, aptly named Captain Jack, the men make the best of a silly situation and have a night in at Kenton’s place while they look for the kitten. 3 OptimuMMs

The Christmas Day Date by Nell Iris – Awe, I loved this short holiday story about Julius and Lenny. I would love to read more about them and their next date. I loved how bubbly and emotional Julius is and how honest Lenny is about his past. And the make-out scene was hot! 5 OptimuMMs

The Year of the Monkey by Amy Tasukada – I enjoyed getting to see Aio and Sato as they celebrated New Year’s Day with Sato’s family. Aio is a mess of anxiety and nerves over Sato’s parents not liking him, and so he decides to make homemade mochi. I loved getting to see how they make mochi and how much work it is. 4 OptimuMMs

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

divider

Review: “Myths, Moons & Mayhem” by Clare London, Carl Redlum, Rebecca Buchanan, Rob Rosen, Dale Cameron Lowry, Elizabeth Caldwell, Morgan Elektra, Rhidian Brenig Jones & Greg Kosebjorn

TITLE: Myths, Moons & Mayhem
AUTHORS:
Clare London, Carl Redlum, Rebecca Buchanan, Rob Rosen,
Dale Cameron Lowry, Elizabeth Caldwell, Morgan Elektra,
Rhidian Brenig Jones & Greg Kosebjorn
SERIES: Anthology
PUBLISHER: Sexy Little Pages
COVER ARTIST: Torrance Sene
GENRE: Paranormal; MMM; Erotica; Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 183 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 13, 2017
PRICE: $3.99 e-book / $12.99 paperback

BLURB:

Myths, moons, and mayhem make the perfect threesome—and so do the men in this anthology.
Enjoy nine erotic stories of paranormal ménages a trois fueled by lust and magic, where mystical forces collide with the everyday world and even monsters have their own demons to conquer.

A werewolf gets a lust-fueled lesson on fitting in with the pack, a professor unlocks ancient secrets and two men’s hearts, and a pair of supernaturals find themselves at the erotic mercy of a remarkable human. Ghosts, fairies, aliens, and mere mortals test the boundaries of their desires, creating magic of their own.

Penned by favorite authors such as Rob Rosen and Clare London, as well as by newcomers to the genre, Myths, Moons & Mayhem is an eclectic mix of paranormal lust and polymythic beings that will spark your fantasies and fuel your bonfires.

Inside Man by Clare London—At a London pub, a tear in the veil between the dead and living opens up new possibilities for a ghost who could only ever watch the men he desired, but never touch.

The Secret of the Golden Cup by Rebecca Buchanan—A classics professor finds himself at the center of a magical war. With an unfairly attractive student and a campus janitor as his only allies, can he stave off the forces of evil?

When The Big Moon Shines by Carl Redlum—A college student is intent on hunting down the man who turned him into a werewolf. But his mouthwatering neighbors keep getting in the way.

Careful What You Wish For by Elizabeth Coldwell—Josh dreams of meeting Mr. Right, so his roommate offers help with a love spell. Neither man is prepared for what happens when the spell begins to work.

The Cave by Dale Cameron Lowry—Losing sleep to the sounds of his tent-neighbors’ nightly lovemaking has nature photographer Ethan at his wit’s end. What kind of magic can convince the two men he should join them?

The Endless Knot by Morgan Elektra—The fiery romance between a vampire and a werewolf threatens to burn itself to the ground until a human teaches them to temper the flame.

Squatchin’ by Greg Kosebjorn—Two Bigfoot hunters get more than they bargained for when they set out on an overnight camping trip to trail the legendary beast.

Celyn’s Tale by Rhidian Brenig Jones—A young Welsh farmer is haunted by visions of his future lover, only to discover that the lover is not one, but two—and not exactly human, either.

Close Encounter of the Three-way Kind by Rob Rosen—In this quirky comedy, aliens arrive from another galaxy, but they’re more interested in consensual exploration than invasion. Alien probing never felt so good!.


This was a very enjoyable anthology with some really hot gay erotica. They are short stories that are a menage of sorts. They have everything from ghosts, vampires and wolves, witches, bigfoot and aliens. If you’re looking for something to get your libido going, these short stories are written to do exactly that.

Inside Man by Claire London: This story starts out with a ghost that misses the ability of touch, even touching himself. He’s watching this young couple and admiring them. He notices some tension between them and decides to follow them home. He feels their love and need for each other, but they are fighting against it. With his ghostly abilities, he figures out how to help them and himself at the same time.

The Secret of the Golden Cup by Rebecca Buchanan: Grover Benson is a professor and discovers an authentic Minoan Linear B cup. No one could believe it was found in the school’s basement. All he had to do that day was get to the lecture room, collect term papers from the students and grade them. Then he could get started on interpreting the cup. As usual, the hot student that sat in H 12, was there and wrote his term on homoeroticism. This student had invaded his dreams all semester, and this paper did not help his libido. Dominic is student H 12 and Steffan is his significant other. This was where they get crazy over the cup and how these three men save the day while it ends very hot and sexy.

When the Big Moon Shines by Carl Redlum: Henry’s parents have moved him to the middle of nowhere to protect him and any victims at the full moon. They have to put him in shackles to keep him locked up so that he and others can survive. As his parents left for the day, they told him to not leave the house. Well, just like most children, he did not listen and he roams through the woods around his house. As he’s exploring, he picks up a scent and has to see where it is coming from. He discovers a sexy man chopping wood, and after a bit, sees his lover as well. He believes he gets away unnoticed, but as nightfall begins to descend, after he is locked up in his basement, he learns why the scent was so heady. These wolves are super-hot and are sexy together.

Careful What You Wish For by Elizabeth Coldwell: Josh is a lonely guy wanting to find love. His roommate, Aaron has Eric, and Josh is sick of hearing about their great sex life, how big Eric’s schlong is and so on. He’s surprised when his roommate comes walking in one evening because Aaron and Eric were supposed to go out. After a few drinks and sitting around shooting the breeze about love and all, Aaron tells Josh how his family history deals with spells, and he has a love spell that he wants to try on him. They head up to the attic and get everything ready for the spell. What comes next is shocking and hot as hell.

The Cave by Dale Cameron Lowry: Ethan is part of a paleontological expedition team and is sitting next to Heather by the fire after a hard day. He’s always tired after having to use magic. They’re getting worked up listening to Mendrika and Joseph going at in their tent. In fact, Ethan is half hard listening to the sweet sounds, and the more he gets turned on, his magic makes the fire spark up. After Heather heads to bed, Ethan lets his imagination grow wild with his fantasies about these men having sex. The fire begins to rise and dance to his fantasies. The heat these three create is smouldering hot.

The Endless Knot by Morgan Elektra: Jackson is a vampire that is not a fan of human blood. He prefers the tangy flavor of wolf blood. That is until he runs into the sexy little human known as Beau. Only once before has he felt this intense lust he has going on right now. He immediately wants to kiss him and is so turned on watching his sexiness swaying towards him. As these two are getting acquainted, Jackson smells the all too familiar wolf scent. This scent is the first scent that causes so much lust, he can’t control himself. It’s Rafael, his favorite wolf. These two go way back but always end up fighting and going separate ways. Well, Beau has plans for these two sexy studs, and he plans to never let them go.

Squatchin by Greg Kosebjorn: Jason and Dan have been together for a couple of months and are totally smitten with each other. Jason is obsessed with finding a live Sasquatch. They are in the Oregon woods in search of one. They get to a point of traipsing through the woods and decide to set up camp. After some hanky-panky in their tent, they hear, and then see, a large subject outside their tent. Jason gets all excited, and Dan is scared but soon realizes it is just a man as the man opens their tent and flashes a flashlight in their faces. They end up going back to Martin’s place and learn that his lover and love of his life died last year. When they console Martin, things heat up.

Celyn’s Tale by Rhidian Brenig Jones: Celyn often dreams of the fair folk dancing in the woods with these intense set of green eyes and set of blue eyes. These two always encouraged him to touch himself and get a release. He can kinda make out these men in his dreams, but they are just that, dreams. One day, he is going about his day and goes in for supper. Both his parents try to convince him that he needs to settle down with a nice maiden and start having children. He does not want this and is scared he will be alone forever. As he is walking, he realizes he’s ventured further than he should, but then there they are. Those sets of eyes from his dreams. Cai and Taliaris introduce Celyn to such intense pleasure, he never wants it to end. Well, he has a tough choice to make, but their offer is oh so appealing.

Close Encounter of the Three-Way Kind by Rob Rosen: Aliens have invaded earth and have settled in Africa and Europe. The deal was they would stay there, but humankind had to move from those locations. Luke is at home one day watching his sexy German neighbor, who runs around naked with the blinds up and is stroking himself. Suddenly, he’s interrupted by a loud noise in his backyard. Spandex, the alien, sensed high arousal and wants to study this sexuality. They end up going to the neighbor’s house, Hans, and they explain the need for this study. Plus, the difference between them and this alien and why the alien needs both of them.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

divider

Review: “SuMMer Heat Anthology” by Toby Aden, Shea Balik, Maia Dylan, A.M. Halford, Ashley Malkin, Lisa Oliver, Frey Ortega, Cree Storm, Maggie Walsh

TITLE: SuMMer Heat Anthology
AUTHOR: Toby Aden, Shea Balik, Maia Dylan, A.M. Halford, Ashley Malkin,
Lisa Oliver, Frey Ortega, Cree Storm, Maggie Walsh
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: JP Graphics and Design
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Paranormal ; Anthology
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 666 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 25, 2017
PRICE: $ 2.99 -e-book
  

BLURB:

9 stories from today’s hottest MM authors!

The sound of the water rushing onto the beach. The sunrises and sunsets that are reminiscent of a stunning postcard. As perfect as the idyllic setting is, there is still something missing that you can’t quite put your finger on.
Then across the beach, the bar, the pool, you catch sight of the man you let get away, or the first sight of your destiny, and your mind travels along a road that you don’t want to end.
But a summer love is just for the summer, isn’t it?
Join these NINE Best Selling MM authors as they take you on a journey of summer love at its best!
Twenty percent of all proceeds donated to The Trevor Project. Trevor provides valuable resources to LGBTQ youth who may not have anywhere else to turn.
WARNING: This title contains adult themes


Join these NINE Best Selling MM authors as they take you on a journey of summer love at its best!
Twenty percent of all proceeds donated to The Trevor Project.
There is a little bit of everything in this collection, so there is sure to be something that will tickle your fancy. From contemporary romance to paranormal romance and even a sci-fi romance. I know that I enjoyed reading the stories. There were even a couple that sounds like they could be the beginning of a series. I also loved that at the end of each story is a little bit about the author and links to their other books.

Summer with My Billionaire Captor by Toby Aden – I liked this contemporary romance story, but I would have liked a little more storyline in-between sex scenes, like what they are doing to try and find Shane, stuff like that. The story also ends in an HFN. 3 OptimuMM’s
Billionaire Alejandro’s pissed when he realizes that his accountant Shane has embezzled ten million dollars of his money. He’s determined to teach him a lesson, but when he goes to the address listed for him, he is shocked when the person he apprehends isn’t Shane but his estranged gay twin brother Shawn. Not believing Shawn that he hasn’t had any contact with his twin in over 5 years. He abducts Shawn as leverage until he can find Shane and get his money back. He takes him to his private island, where they get over their animosity for each other and have lots of sex.

House Party by Shea Balik – I loved this contemporary romance story. To me, this story alone is worth the price of the collection and definitely made up for the first book in the collection. 5 OptimuMM’s
Scotty is tired of having wall to wall neighbors and having the cops called when he has friends over and they party. So he buys a house with a pool so they can throw their summer parties in peace and he invites all of his neighbors to his first party. However, the neighbor that lives behind him isn’t so keen on his new loud neighbors. Ashton’s antisocial and focused on his crusade to have food companies stop poisoning them with processed foods and GMOs. He’s also a geneticist and is a workaholic. So, of course, he’s going to have a problem with the loud thumping music when his new neighbor throws his first summer party. All he wants is for them to turn down the music, but instead, he manages to piss off Scotty’s friend Fritz, who retaliates by turning the music up even louder. Scotty tries to apologize the next day with a brownie peace offering, but he has no idea that he’s about to offend Ashton even more by offering him a processed treat. But Scotty’s determined to make Ashton like him and maybe more.

His Fated Summer by Maia Dylan – I also greatly enjoyed this paranormal shifter story about bear shifter Vaughn and his human mate Luca. I loved that Vaughn finds his mate while going clubbing on his vacation. But Luca is on the run from his past and doesn’t want Vaughn to get hurt because of his past. Will he allow Vaughn and his friends, Tent and Miles, to help him with his problems or will he run again? 5 OptimuMM’s

Rendezvous in the South Pacific by A.M. Halford – I liked this BDSM story about Zane and Kacey, but for me, the pacing of the story was very slow, and I kept falling asleep. I wished that it had more dialog instead of inner monologue, more showing instead of telling. I did like the Dom/sub dynamic between Zane and Kacey and how they had gone to school together, and both had a secret crush on the other. 3.5 OptimuMM’s

Simon’s Wolf by Ashley Malkin – I really liked this paranormal shifter story. It did start out a little slow, but by the end, I was in love with the characters. 4.5 OptimuMM’s
Hayes is a lone wolf that comes back to challenge the alpha of the pack he had left. He’s then poisoned and betrayed by the son of the alpha that had begged him to challenge the alpha in the first place. Sick from silver poisoning he’s challenged by the son, Peter, and left for dead. Simon is a veterinarian and just moved to the area. He’s had a hard time fitting in and making friends. He almost runs over a badly hurt wolf in the middle of the road and takes him back to his clinic to fix him. Hayes knows instantly that he is his mate. Once his mate has saved his life, smoking hot chemistry and scenes follow.

If You Can’t Stand the Heat by Lisa Oliver – I loved this paranormal shifter story about Omega on the run, Wyatt and mercenary for hire Alpha Stone. Stone was offended when he was hired to bring back a runaway omega. He considered it beneath his abilities, but he agrees to do it anyway. But nothing is as he was led to believe. He definitely didn’t expect to find his fated mate or that he would have his 4-year-old sister with him. Wyatt and his little sister Madison have been on the run from his uncle and pack alpha who wants to mate him even though they are related by blood, and his uncle already has three bond mates. He would rather die than go back to his uncle and Stone will do anything to protect his mate and new family. 5 OptimuMM’s

Break Free By Frey Ortega – I really liked this story about merman Yi and his human mate Alex. The storyline has a little mermaid feel to it that I really enjoyed. 4.5 OptimuMM’s
Yi is the prince of the sea and has a fascination with the land and its inhabitants but his overprotective mom the queen wants him to stay safe at home. Alex is an accountant that works for his father. He’s stressed and over worked and books a month long vacation in the Philippines at a 5-star resort on the beach. While exploring the scuba diving entrances at the resort, Alex comes across Yi, and the two hit it off. But Alex isn’t sure if it is worth the trouble to have a new relationship when he’s only going to be there for a month, and Yi has to sneak around his mom and risk her displeasure. I liked how the author ends the story with the line “The end—or rather, The Beginning.” I really hope it’s just the beginning because I would love to read more. The story ends with an HFN.

Mechanical Heart by Cree Storm – I liked this Sci-fi story, but it could have benefited from another round of editing or beta reading to help tighten up the story and fix the wrong verb tenses and the various random drops of info that wasn’t important to the story. I did like the chemistry between Valkin and Bryton, and the sex scenes were hot. The author also sometimes forgot about the major height difference between Valkin and Bryton. Valkin’s seven feet three inches and Bryton is only five feet two inches tall. So Bryton would have only come up to around Valkin’s waist so kissing while standing up would have been uncomfortable at best. I did find the storyline intriguing, so I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Which looks like it will be about Bryton’s best friend Marty and Valkin’s best friend Faruke. 3.5 OptimuMM’s

Cirque de Carnival by Maggie Walsh – I loved this paranormal shifter story about Cameron and Thorn. This is a fated mate book, and this book does the genre justice. Cam and his brother Jordan run away from home when their father finds out they are gay. They decide to find their mother who had left when Jordan was two. They know from their abusive, alcoholic father that she ran away to join the circus and they even know the name of the circus—they just have to find it. Thorn is the heir and nephew to the owner of the circus, and he’s protective of his circus family. So when he sees two young men lurking around the big tent, he detains them to find out why they are there. Imagine his surprise when he realized that Cam is his fated mate. 5 OptimuMM’s

***I would like to thank the authors for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

divider