Review: “Sexy To Go Gay Romance” by Avery Duran, Leigh Ellwood, Asta Idonea …

TITLE: Sexy To Go Gay Romance
                                            AUTHOR: Avery Duran, Leigh Ellwood, Asta Idonea, Eva Lefoy, Dale Lowry, Jodi Payne, Shiloh Saddler, Sam Thorne, and A.E. Wasp
SERIES: Sexy To Go
PUBLISHER: Sexy To Go
COVER ARTIST: Sexy To Go
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Anthology
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 228 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2017
PRICE: $2.99 -e-book
  

BLURB:

9 Hot MM stories sexy enough to make your blood sing. Find shifters, hunky construction men, mythological heroes and everyday lovers who scorch the sheets with their boy on boy, man on man lovin’. From honey-mooning couples to intense instant hookups, these same-sex couples remind us that love is always worth fighting for, no matter what the cost.

Matzo Ball by Avery Duran

When Jacob’s outgoing best friend talks him into attending a party for Jewish singles, neither man realizes that it’s not a gay event. Things go from bad to worse when Jacob’s friend doesn’t show up. The night turns around when Jacob befriends Ian, a sexy bartender. After a spectacular kiss good night, they go their separate ways. But Jacob can’t forget the chemistry he shared with Ian, and hungers for more. In a city the size of New York, will these men be able to find their way back to each other?

Styx & Stone by Leigh Ellwood

What’s the afterlife really like? Charon the ferryman knows the River Styx like the back of his hand, and he enjoys giving newly departed Stone the full tour.

First Swallow of Spring by Asta Idonea

The first swallow of spring draws Seanán back to the fae circle each year, where he dances with the handsome fae lord, Iorweth. He knows the four rules he must follow if he wishes to be free to leave at the end of the night; however, Iorweth is growing ever more inventive in his attempts to trick Seanán into breaking them.

How Hercules Got His Bruise by Eva Lefoy

Hercules might have completed his 12 labors and become immortal, but he’s still not out to himself. Until he meets Sisyphus, a man who turns him on in ways not even a goddess can compete with. When Zeus threatens to destroy their new bond, Hercules must again rise to the challenge, this time to protect his right to love a man.

Loggerhead by Dale Lowry

Soon after they fall in love, Jake makes Eric a promise inspired by an old track uniform. But demanding work schedules at Jake’s four-star restaurant and Eric’s newspaper keep them from following through. Six years later, they take the honeymoon they never had, heading to the Florida coast in search of sea turtles – and rekindling their passion for each other in the process.

Handyman by Jodi Payne

Danny is haunted by memories of his ex, Peter, who moved out six months ago. He recognizes just how bad off he is when he wakes up to a flood in his condo, a problem Peter would have adeptly handled. Danny can’t find the insurance paperwork, he doesn’t know who he should call first, and he’s about ready to strangle his stoner neighbors. His day starts looking up, though, when the workmen arrive to deal with the water, replace his breaker box and demolish the soaked ceiling. Ken, a handyman, shows up to handle the drywall, but can Danny handle Ken?

Clipped Wings by Shiloh Saddler

When a male swan shifter is captured by a cruel master he develops feelings for another male slave. The master has plans for the shifter that go against every fiber of his being. Will the two men bow down to their station in life or take flight to keep their love alive?

Rebuilding the Future by Sam Thorne

Allen’s peace has been seriously disturbed. As the shy architect takes on the task of extending the home he inherited from his late aunt, his life becomes a battle. The building work is going fine, but he can barely contain his one-way lust for sexy foreman Declan, who’s a one-man generator of testosterone and mixed messages. As the build completion approaches, Allen’s ready to do just about anything to keep Declan around a little longer…

Man in the Mirror by A.E. Wasp

A companion story to the Paper Hearts novel, Man in the Mirror is the first short in a new erotic series set in the world of the Veterans Affairs books. Benny hasn’t let Mikey see him naked in a week, will barely let Mikey touch him. Mikey’s going to get to the bottom of the issue if it takes all night.


This is a true gay romance anthology. Not only do you get a good variety of writers, but also a unique blend of tropes. With that many choices, it is easy to see which writers you’ll want to read more of.
For me, the first two fall into the needs more category. I enjoyed Avery Duran’s Matzo Ball and the main characters Jacob and Ian. It was a good short but would have been a great novella. Styx and Stone by Leigh Ellwood definitely needed to be more. I thoroughly enjoyed the world she created but because of the details needed, Cheron and Stone took a back seat.
Asta Idonea’s First Swallow of Spring was a sweet short story. I’d love to see this author turn it into a series. You can’t go wrong with the fae.
I love stories about the Gods, and Eva Lefoy delivered beautifully with How Hercules Got His Bruise. It’s a great blend of the myth with a romantic spin. I’d love more myth based stories from her.
Loggerhead by Dale Lowry is such a sweet romance. Eric and Jake remind us that life may get busy, but we must take the time for each other. By slowing down and reconnecting, they remember what they love the most.
Full on steam with a sweet side, Handyman by Jodi Payne reminds us why we enjoy reading romance. Danny and Ken show that while they both may have been hurt, they can take the chance to try again. Plus, the amazing sex doesn’t hurt either.
For those who like historicals with a twist, Shiloh Saddler’s Clipped Wings is just for you. While I’m not big on historicals, I did like the writer’s concepts.
I loved Rebuilding The Future by Sam Thorne. The writer’s style and balance were highly enjoyable. Even though it was a short story, you still got a slow burn with angst built into a hot conclusion. Not to mention a very adorable boy named Charlie and the most unpleasant twin sister. I am definitely going to look for more by this author.
Ending out this set is a little catch-up moment by A.E. Wasp. Man In the Mirror takes place after her Paper Hearts novel. I love when authors do this. It gives us a chance to reconnect with characters we fell in love with.

Overall, I find these anthologies a great way for readers to discover new authors and
learn a little about their tastes as well. 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.

***The ARC was provided by Sexy To Go. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Before You Break” by K.C. Wells & Parker Williams

TITLE: Before You Break
AUTHOR: K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, BDSM
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 340 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 26, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $17.99 – paperback
  

BLURB:

Six years ago Ellis walked into his first briefing as the newest member of London’s Specialist Firearms unit. He was partnered with Wayne and they became fast friends. When Wayne begins to notice changes—Ellis’s erratic temper, the effects of sleep deprivation—he knows he has to act before Ellis reaches his breaking point. He invites Ellis to the opening of the new BDSM club, Secrets, where Wayne has a membership. His purpose? He wants Ellis to glimpse the lifestyle before Wayne approaches him with a proposition. He wants to take Ellis in hand, to control his life because he wants his friend back, and he figures this is the only way to do it.

There are a few issues, however. Ellis is straight. Stubborn. And sexy. Wayne knows he has to put his own feelings aside to be what Ellis needs. What surprises the hell out of him is finding out what Ellis actually requires.


OH MY GOSH. These authors have done a spectacular job writing this book into the BDSM lifestyle. This is a spinoff from the Collars & Cuffs series, and I’ll be getting that series. Even though there are appearances from those characters, this is about two new characters and can be read as a stand-alone, and you won’t feel lost. These authors really captured the true meanings of Dom/Sub roles. As someone that knows the lifestyle very well, I feel this book can help people looking into the lifestyle can get a real feeling how it works. A true Dom will always know what best for their Sub better than they know them self. A true Dom is always aware of their role, how the Sub is feeling, how to best push them, how to help them lose problems and, most importantly, make them feel comfort and safety. A true Sub learns how to trust, how to let go and give all to their Dom.

Now to meet Wayne and Ellis. They have worked together for the past 6 years and are best friends. They have stressful jobs as London’s Specialist Firearms Officers and worked closely with a strong group of men. Wayne is out about being gay, and Ellis is straight. The guys are known for teasing Wayne, but it’s all in good fun. Wayne cancels plans to go out with the guys one day because he has other plans. When alone, Ellis asks what his plans are and is in shock to learn that his best friend is a Dom and is going to a grand opening for the club, Secrets. Out of the blue, he shocks Wayne and asks to go with him to know his best friend better.

What you need to know is not all Dom/Sub relationships are sexual, just 95% of them. Wayne has been watching Ellis fall apart at the seams for the past year. Making mistakes at work, always being extremely tired and losing his temper at the drop of a hat. Now that Ellis knows that Wayne is a Dom, Wayne figures it is time to take Ellis in hand and help him get his life back in order. Ellis, of course, fights him on this until he can’t take anymore of life and gets suspended at work. This is where Barb, Ellis’s sister, is brought to life to Wayne. Slowly, Wayne learns about his family and how they had misled Ellis for many years and took everything, including Ellis’s soul. It is truly amazing what happens when Ellis finally lets go and lets Wayne care for all his needs.

The journey a Dom/Sub experience is a wonderful experience of trust, compassion and letting go. These authors have fulfilled this journey for me, and I recommend this to any readers that want to experience this journey. This book contains BDSM, club scenes, punishments and really hot sex. Please Enjoy the journey of Wayne and Ellis.

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

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Review: “Secured and Free” by Z. Allora

TITLE: Secured and Free
AUTHOR: Z. Allora
SERIES: Entwined Dreams
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, MMM; Abuse; BDSM
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 226 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 26, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback
  

BLURB:

An abusive Dom robbed Orion Gordon of his love of BDSM, destroying his confidence and leaving him unsure he’ll ever find peace through submission to another. Still, deep inside, his longing continues.

Marcus Sadir loves Hunter Dixon, yet can’t be the one thing Hunter truly desires: a sub to control. And Hunter can’t find satisfaction in the sadistic aspects of the BDSM lifestyle, while Marcus thrives on inflicting and sharing pain. When Marcus convinces Hunter they should find a third on a permanent basis, they discover Orion might be the key to bridging their differences and joining them on a deeper level.

But they must help Orion move past his trauma enough for him to enjoy new facets of BDSM and kink again. Their journey toward becoming whole—together—won’t be without challenges. Can Orion trust enough to try again?


Secured and Free is the second book in the Entwined Dreams series by Z. Allora. I really enjoyed reading Secured and Free. It was well written and nicely edited. The characters had depth, and I loved all of Orion’s personal growth. I loved getting to see cameos by Andrew and Zach from the first book. Along with some of the old cast that we met from Entwined and some new supporting characters also, like Sophia who is Henry’s paramedic partner and fellow member of Entwined. I have read the first book in the series but the books are very much standalone, and you don’t have to read the first book to understand what’s happening in the second book. There wasn’t as much inner monolog in Secured and Free as there was in Lock and Key which I’m sure made a lot of people who didn’t like it in the first book happy. I actually liked the inner monolog, so I kind of missed it.

Orion’s never had to worry about having a safeword until he found himself in a situation where consensual turned into abuse. He used to enjoy being a pain slut and submissive, but now he can’t even stand to have his hands bound in a scene without using his new safeword. He’s frustrated that he can’t enjoy what he used to love and he’s feeling lost.

Henry’s in an open relationship with Marcus. They love each other, but both have needs that the other can’t fulfill, hence the open relationship. Marcus thinks that they need to find a permanent third partner to bridge their differences. Henry needs a submissive to help grow and push his boundaries, and Marcus needs somebody that likes pain and edging.

Henry and Marcus come into Orion’s life just after he has decided to give up on BDSM. However with Orion’s new difficulties after being abused and his past as a pain slut, he’s potentially perfect for both Henry and Marcus. Henry can’t help but want to help Orion overcome his past and make him happy and whole again. And with Marcus’ ability to distract Orion, Henry might just be able to make that happen.

Making a regular relationship between two people work is hard enough, but Marcus hasn’t had any luck with a triad relationship yet. Henry also has some reservations about adding a third person to their relationship and poor Orion has never been in a relationship at all.

Will they be able to overcome their fears and make everything work out? You will just have to read the book. If you enjoyed Lock and Key, then you will love Secured and Free. I know I did. I can’t wait to read more books by Z. Allora.

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

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Review: “Gone by the Board” by August Li

TITLE: Gone by the Board
AUTHOR: August Li
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Anne Cain
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: NO
LENGTH: 98 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 24, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book
   

BLURB:

The sea is full of jealously guarded secrets, but everything washes up eventually….

Betrayed by a trusted partner, Nathan figures he might as well be lost and heartbroken in the sunshine, and he heads to the coast of South Carolina, to stay with a friend and find a new direction for his life. But despite his efforts, he is lost in the fog, unable to find a guiding light and sometimes unable to find a reason to go on. His only respite from depression and anxiety is the soothing rhythm of the tides and the comfort he draws from proximity to the water.

When the sea sends a lifeline in the form of a strange and beautiful man, it’s easy for Nathan to ignore all the things that don’t add up about his new friend. But the tides can turn without notice, and it’s those mystical traits that will either finally lead Nathan safely to shore or drown him in confusion and despair.


Gone by the Board by August Li was a book that made me feel but not always in a happy way. It has two scenes of attempted suicide so if this is a trigger for you as it is for me then I would probably pass on this book. I wish I had known about it because having lost a brother to suicide I would have passed on it also.

Nathan and Brume go through a lot of pain and heartache, feelings of despair, worthlessness, and loneliness both together and separately. It had me crying on more than one occasion. The book was well written, but it was a little heavy on the purple prose at the beginning for my taste, but it tapered off toward the middle, so that was good, either that or I finally got invested enough in the characters not to notice it anymore. The story was nicely edited and had a good flow to it. There wasn’t a lot of passion in this book. It was more like a PG movie. There was some hand holding and kissing but nothing graphic or lewd. However, the author did do a good job conveying the feelings that the main characters felt for each other. I do tend to judge a book by its cover and then the blurb, and so I was pleasantly surprised that the book wasn’t about mermen as I had figured it would be. I had never heard of the In-between People before, but I found them to be intriguing.

Nathan’s going on 40 and has been married to Brian for 15 years. However, Nathan’s been having problems that he doesn’t want to acknowledge or get help for. He’s afraid that people will judge him for his problems, so he does his best to hide them. And yes, I can understand that feeling. But it also ultimately costs him his marriage as Nathan’s social anxieties and bouts of depression make him want to stay home all of the time instead of going out with his extrovert husband. After finally taking a stand, Nathan packs all of his stuff and moves to be with his college friend Rachelle. Rachelle lives in the small village town of Garden City Beach about 20 minutes away from South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach. Nathan’s still not doing any better with his problems and continues to hide them. And I hate that Nathan’s silently crying for help and nobody notices or tries to help. Nathan’s first attempt wasn’t a planned decision. He just kept wandering out further and further into the ocean and liked how peaceful he felt and decided just to let go. He’s saved by Brume, an In-between Person whose job is to help guide lost people back to shore.

The In-between People only have a solid form after the sun goes down. When the sun is up, they’re drops of water and are part of the ocean, and all of their thoughts and feelings are one big consciousness. Brume has just lost his best friend that has been his companion for over a couple of hundred years. She has made the decision to no longer have a body after dark, so they will still have a connection during the day, but he will no longer have a companion after dark. And Brume’s feeling lost and alone, and it is perfect timing for him when he races to help Nathan who he can feel is lost. He manages to save Nathan and get him home, but he’s been told by his elders that humans can’t handle finding out what they are and so they generally observe from afar.

But Brume and Nathan fill a hole in each other and end up spending a lot of time together over the next couple of months. And Nathan finally starts getting the help he needs by going to a therapist. But a misunderstanding while at dinner will damage their relationship and send them both spinning back to feelings of depression and worthlessness. Will they be able to work out their misunderstanding or will it be too much for both of them?

I did like the ending of the story, but I wasn’t a fan of how they got there. This book unfortunately just kept triggering me, and so it just wasn’t for me.

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

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Review: “Lock and Key” by Z. Allora

TITLE: Lock and Key
AUTHOR: Z. Allora
SERIES: Entwined Dreams
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: K-Koji
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; BDSM; Erotica
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 300 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 15, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $17.99 -paperback
  

BLURB:

Rejected. Heartbroken. Devastated.

Zack Davis wanted to serve only one man, Andrew Nikeman. He was denied because Andrew thought he was too young and because their brothers were together. So Zack crushed his submissive tendencies and focused on being the perfect Dom, giving every sub he played with something he couldn’t have.

After years of denying his submissive side, Entwined’s charity auction “Are you Dom Enough to be a sub?” gives Zack an excuse to get a little of what he’s always craved.

Andrew doesn’t know when his infatuation turned into more, but it kills him to see Zack with a constant parade of submissives. He’d refused to jeopardize his brother’s relationship or become Zack’s regret; however, Zack isn’t a kid anymore, and his brother’s relationship is unbreakable. Now Zack’s popularity and success as a Dom might ruin Andrew’s dreams of collaring him, but he can’t wait any longer to confess his feelings or he risks losing the man he loves forever.


Lock and Key’s the first book in the Entwined Dreams series which is a spinoff of her Dark Angels series. I was not aware of this when I read the book, and it didn’t have any impact on my love of this book. It was a standalone book. The author Z. Allora did a great job of explaining all of the characters in the book, and I never felt like I was missing out on some much-needed information. That being said, I did love the supporting characters enough that I will be reading the Dark Angel series so that I can get to know them even better.

I loved the cover for Lock and Key, and the blurb did its job and made me intrigued enough to read it. This is my first book by Z. Allora, but it most definitely will not be the last. I already have on my TBR the second book in the series Secured and Free. I loved the way the book was written, and I personally loved all of Zach’s inner monologs. Yes, there were a lot of them, and they were repetitive, but I enjoyed them. I also enjoyed all of the details about the BDSM lifestyle and the different types of relationships. I liked that Z. Allora touched on the importance of contracts and safewords and the difference between consensual vs. abuse. The book also had complex characters, and the story had plenty of hot steamy scenes and angst. I did find a couple of editing errors, but they didn’t detract from the story.

Zach knew from a young age that he was attracted to the BDSM lifestyle and wanted to be a part of it. He was kicked out of the house by his mom for his perverse proclivities, and so he goes to live with his older brother Dusty and becomes a roadie for his brother’s band. Zach prefers to work behind the scenes and falls head over heels for Andrew, who he meets for the first time backstage. He instantly knows that he wants to be Andrew’s sub. However, Zach is only 18 and Andrew rejects Zach’s advances because he is too young and also their brothers are dating, and he doesn’t want to jeopardize their relationship. Zach is devastated and does something stupid that he never wants to happen again. He does find a club called Entwined that does workshops and classes to learn about the lifestyle that he wants to be a part of and over the next 3 years learns enough to become a sought-after Dom. He figures that if he can’t have what he wants, then he will focus on giving other subs what they want and becomes a bit of a matchmaker. When the club hosts their first ever “Are you Dom enough to sub” event, he figures that he might be able to finally get what he wants.

Andrew, aka Drew a nickname given by Zach, has always wanted Zach but the timing wasn’t right when they first met. Andrew’s long-term relationship was just ending, and he didn’t want Zach to regret having a relationship with him. And he also didn’t want to jeopardize his brother’s relationship. With the ending of his long-term relationship, he is finally free to explore his Dom tendencies, and he becomes a member of Entwined. Over the years he has had to watch Zach work his way up in the club to become a favorite of the subs. And it is slowly killing him inside. When he hears that Zach is going to be participating in the “Are you Dom enough to be a sub” event, he’s thrilled that he will finally get his chance to be with Zach. And now that all of the reasons that kept them apart when Zach was 18 no longer apply, they might have a chance at a relationship.

Both Andrew and Zach will have to find the courage to work out their problems and be honest about what they want.

I thought this was a great book for readers that are new to BDSM. It was a great romance story.

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

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