Review: “Demon Heat” by Noah Harris

TITLE: Demon Heat
AUTHOR: Noah Harris
SERIES: City of Sinners
PUBLISHER: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
COVER ARTIST: –
GENRE: Paranormal; Erotica
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 390 pages
RELEASE DATE:April 21, 2017
PRICE: $1.24 -e-book / $14.99 –paperback
  

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It’s summer in the city.

July 1977: New York is sweltering under a record-breaking heat wave. Tensions run high, crime is rampant, and the city seems to be falling apart.

For new arrival Richard Miller, it is both heaven and hell. He has a loving boyfriend, a budding career as a nude model, and a comfortable place in the city’s vibrant gay community. But he knows it is all being threatened by sinister forces that he has not been able to defeat. The cult that tried to seduce him into the occult world is still after him, and Richard’s visions of the seductive demons that want to possess his body become stronger by the day. They threaten to destroy his relationship, his health, and his sanity.

Will Richard give in and become a slave to his temptations, or can he resist the powers of darkness threatening not only himself but his entire community?

Find out in this steamy gay paranormal romance. Can you handle the heat?


jologooptimummThis is the solidly researched and cleverly written City of Sinners, Book Two, by Noah Harris, which is turning out to be a brave, dark, twisted, genre-busting series. Yes, it’s an M/M Romance, it’s also historical, erotic and paranormal, but more than that, it’s a complex occult offering, of the kind I would normally only expect to see from the likes of Stephen King. But this has so much more to offer and the resulting creative, but edgy feel is only a small part of its appeal.

Demon Heat is the continuation of Richard Miller’s roller coaster journey so, although not critical, if you haven’t read book one, Darkest Desires, I would recommend it. Set in 1977 in New York City, amidst the gay community, the depth of research Noah has undertaken, to get the ethos of the era is spot on and awesome. It feels right, incorporating a lot of historical accuracy and detail from that time. The characters, which were fully developed in book one, are expanded further in book two. Richard and Tyrone are still together though their relationship has issues, as does Richard’s career as a nude model. We revisit Steve and Adam, with Steve offering a bit of humor. We find out what happened to Paco after the Everard Bathhouse fire. We’re also introduced to Peter who, like Richard, is new to the city and struggling to find his feet. Cue some hot BDSM scenes. The Knowledge Demon makes a re-appearance as does Anton, head of the power hungry Cult. We are also introduced to a new demon, the Taurus Demon, who has a significant role to play. The occultists are still at large and intent on gaining power through the summoning of The Hooded One, the demon who needs to complete his possession of Richard in order to cross over to this world and so give them the power they crave.

As with book one, the story revolves around Richard’s relationships, his life in the gay community, and his fight against the occult. You’ll need an open mind to read this dark story as some scenes deal with mature themes, but if you’re Okay with the occult, erotic sex, and drug use, as an integral, but not gratuitous, part of a storyline, then you won’t be able to put this down. There are a complex set of interlinked plots which merge together, at significant points in the story, making this a very satisfying and exciting read from start to finish. There’s a lot going on but at no time is it confusing. Noah gives us enough information to understand the plot and yet keep us guessing at the outcome. The ending ties up a good many of the plot themes but, I warn you, not all. It’s a HFN and there’ll be another book in the series. What happens to the evil Anton and his cult? What of Richard’s relationship with Tyrone? I’m waiting with baited breath for book three and, though I’m not usually a fan of long series, this is one I’d love to see continue.

***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***

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Review: “New Lease” by B.G. Thomas

TITLE: New Lease
AUTHOR: B.G. Thomas
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Bree Archer
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 46 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 12, 2017
PRICE: $1.99 -e-book
  

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2nd Edition

Wade Porter spent his whole life in the shadow of a lover who doled out snippets of love and time as he saw fit—and who insisted that love stay deep in the closet. But now that man is gone, and Wade finds the oceanside cottage where they spent so many weekends together in the Florida Keys cold and empty. He has come one last time, not even sure he wants to keep living.

To his surprise, the house next door is occupied by another bereaved and lonely man. Kent Walker is an artist of romantic gay paintings who is open to the future—and determinedly interested in Wade. Kent wants to show Wade the beauty in being an openly gay man and the possibilities for a real relationship.

Maybe Kent can help Wade let go of the past and discover a better way to live—and love.

First Edition published in Two Tickets to Paradise by Dreamspinner Press, 2012


jologooptimummWade was in mourning. He was feeling the loss of Gene, his lover of 20 plus years, even though it had been a while since he’d died.
Wade has returned to the place where they first met, a cottage on the Florida coast and he’s seriously contemplating the pills and alcohol he has with him when he sees a light on in the cottage next door. He has a flashback to his first meeting with Gene and, believing it might be him, he runs to knock on the patio doors…but it’s not Gene, of course, it isn’t and the realisation knocks him backwards. The stranger, who picked him up off the floor, invites him in, to recover from the fall. The hot, younger, man in ‘Genes cottage’ is Kent and Wade, disconcertedly, finds himself attracted to him. Embarrassed at this, he makes a hasty exit only to find the flirtatious Kent at his door early the next day bearing mugs of coffee.
Despite Wade’s reticence, Kent thrusts his way into his life making him question and re-evaluate his entire relationship with Gene. His eyes are opened, and he finally sees it for what it truly was.

Both Wade and Kent have experienced loss, both are lonely, but can they cross that dark divide enough to be together and bring some light into their lives? This is a really short read, but I loved every page. Wade’s character is so emotionally written despite the fact that this book is less than 50 pages and Kent’s character is perfectly described through his actions and words.

Both men quickly stole my heart. From such dark beginnings, light emerges and the emotion I felt for Wade, as he sees the truth and his beliefs are changed, was palpable. The ending is a happy for now and leaves the reader to decide the future, but that feels right for the story and characters. Everything is new for Wade, and he needs time to decide what happens next.

This is well worth the couple of hours it takes to read, and although it starts off dark there is some humour, and the tone gets lighter as the plot progresses.

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

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Review: “Joy” by C. S. Poe

TITLE: Joy
AUTHOR: C. S. Poe
SERIES: States of Love
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 76 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2017
PRICE: $3.99 -e-book
  

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Down on his luck is Gideon Joy’s default state. He doesn’t know why he expected anything different on his cross-country trip, but not surprisingly, the hits keep coming—literally this time. Gideon strikes a moose with his car in New Hampshire, not only totaling his own vehicle, but damaging one belonging to local construction worker Silas Bright. He has no choice but to stay in Lancaster and take a job that’ll pay for the repairs. And in a town so small, Gideon’s always running into Silas. What starts as annoyance between them soon blooms into something much more romantic. But when Gideon’s notorious bad luck rears its head yet again, how many disastrous dates will Silas be willing to weather before realizing Gideon’s not worth it?

Despite Gideon’s desire to remain in the quaint community that has accepted him as one of their own, past fears of inadequacy threaten the very joy he left Los Angeles to discover. If he’s to find a happily ever after with Silas, Gideon must learn that sometimes it’s okay to not be the best. And true happiness might be waiting in a small town nestled among the great White Mountains.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.


jologooptimummGideon Joy is unlucky, or so he believes. He got his life all wrong in California and set off on a road trip to the other side of the country and back. He almost made it…he swears the moose jumped out in front of his car and made him hit the truck! The truck’s driven by a mountain of a man, Silas Bright. At first, Gideon doesn’t really ‘see’ Silas since he’s gruff and quiet! Soon, though, he realises Silas is a good guy, like everyone says he is, and he’s HOT! Gideon’s gay, and he really hopes Silas is too, since he now has to stick around the small town of Lancaster, New Hampshire until he’s found a job and earned enough to pay to fix both cars. Luckily the town has some great, accepting, residents and Gideon comes to think of it as home.

Gideon’s bad luck follows him around like a shadow. The B&B double books his room and he has to move out, and he’s picked on by two homophobic drunks, among other things. He does have two lucky breaks, George at the Eatery gives him a job and Silas, who turns out to be George’s brother, gives him a place to stay. But Gideon’s bad luck persists when his dates with Silas turn out to be a string of disasters. Surely Silas won’t want him now? Gideon is convinced he’s ruined this part of his life too.

This was a really fun read. It’s short but sweet, and I really liked the characters of Gideon and Silas right from the start. For such a short book the characters are well defined and lovable. Although the plot is not complex, it’s cute and satisfying, and there’s plenty of humour in there too. I loved the way Gideon tried to win Silas by turning around his boring eating habits. Who eats peanut butter and marshmallow, or Fluffernutter, sandwiches for lunch every single day? Well, Silas did until Gideon makes him a fish taco! I had to laugh out loud when Silas’s workmates bet on whether he’d kiss Gideon.

The ending was predictable, but this is a short story and anything more complex wouldn’t have been right. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to while away a few hours with a good story.

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

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Review: “Sea Shores of Old Mexico” by BA Tortuga

TITLE: Sea Shores of Old Mexico
AUTHOR: BA Tortuga
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Alexandria Corza
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 55 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2017
PRICE: $3.99 -e-book
  

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2nd Edition

After a bar fight gone horribly wrong, Clint is on the run, tired, hungry, and desperate to get out of Texas and across the border as fast as he can. But more than anything, he needs a place to relax and feel safe—at least for a little while. Searching for work, he stumbles into a cantina on the beach and runs into its owner. Jack might be a little older and a little worldlier, but the two men have enough in common to form a fast friendship that soon spills over into the bedroom.

But Clint isn’t the only who’s done things he isn’t proud of, things he’d rather keep hidden. Both of them have to be ready to drop everything and run if the past gets too close, and that’s no foundation for a relationship—especially since the truth always comes out eventually.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2007


jologooptimummOh, I liked this book, a lot. The writing is very casual, stop-start, lots of one or two-word sentences. I wasn’t expecting it. But wow! Does it work? Well…yeah! The casual language and style suit the short story and the characters perfectly, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed reading it.

Clint is on the run after a brawl, back in his hometown in Texas, left a man dead. He’s passing through a small seaside town in Mexico when he decides to stop for the night. Finding just enough change, on the ground, for a beer, he lands on his feet when he walks into the local bar, Jacks bar. Jack immediately sees a lot of his former self in the young redheaded Clint that he gives him a job and a place to stay. On discovering they’re both gay the two of them set the temperature soaring, in the shower, on the beach…phew! Hot! But, the past was always going to catch up to Clint, and it does, just as he’s become settled and thinks of the place as home. He goes on the run, leaving Jack a note. Can Jack find him and bring him home?

Jack and Clint are awesome, beautifully described characters and although they’re very different, they’re perfect for each other. There’s not too much depth to the plot, it concentrates primarily on the heat between the two men, but the book is short, and the story is good, so that’s absolutely fine. The ending is tied up really nicely.
I was left wondering what was in Jack’s pocket? I think I know and that would be the perfect ending for them.

This is a good quick read that’s easy to get into and easy to read in one sitting. I highly recommend it.

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

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Review: “Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings” by Joe Cosentino

TITLE: Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings
AUTHOR: Joe Cosentino
SERIES: Cozzi Cove
PUBLISHER: Ninestar Press Ltd
COVER ARTIST: Natasha Snow
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 214 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 27, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book
  

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Welcome back to the romantic and magical place called Cozzi Cove, seven guest bungalows on the New Jersey Shore.

This summer, Cal and his new husband, Michael, along with sister, Taylor, and her wife, Carla, prepare for the first in the next generation of Cozzis. To add to the action: Cal finds his great-grandfather’s diary, exposing a shocking surprise; Michael and Taylor weigh new job opportunities that could take them far away from Cozzi Cove; red-letter Christian and new houseboy, Billy Dean, gets his wish when meeting Jesus and John at the cove; summer guest, Nijad, can’t decide which sibling he prefers—Annabel or Andrew; and Jonathan, an occult enthusiast, encounters a sexy vampire.

As usual, nothing is as it seems when romance blossoms once again at Cozzi Cove. What secrets, mysteries, and passions lie waiting to unfold? Find out in Book Four of the Cozzi Cove series.


jologooptimummJoe Cosentino does it again. The fourth outing for Cal and Michael and the characters of Cozzi Cove is yet another winner. A fresh set of guests arrives at the bungalows set for a quiet week. Alongside the guests’ stories, there are revelations about Cal and his tight-knit family and mysteries to be unfolded.

Residing in bungalow 1 is Carla, Cal’s sister-in-law. She’s heavily pregnant, acting as a surrogate for Cal and Michael, the next generation of Cozzis. I loved the scenes with Cal’s sister Taylor behaving like she’s the one carrying the baby, hilarious! In bungalow 2 is Malcolm Wolf an ex houseboy at the Cove from when Cal was a teenager. He’s married but not honest about his sexuality and according to Taylor he used to have a crush on Cal. Malcolm is now senior editor of a magazine and he offers to mentor Michael in his photojournalism career. But does he have an ulterior motive? Bungalow 3 is taken by Jonathan Harper, a tax auditor, who’s there for a local horror convention and who just happens to bump into Vlad Lesti, an actor playing Dracula at the convention and staying in bungalow 4. Vlad says he’s straight but will he still believe that by the end of the week? Their story is beautifully mirrored by that of their dogs which is a nice touch. Bungalow 5 houses Nijad Hadad, a bisexual travel agent who gets entangled with Andrew Urban in bungalow 6. Andrew and his ‘sister’ Annabel are flight attendants, but with a huge secret that may well ruin any future, they might have with Nijad. Two more of Kamael’s Angels (Kamael’s story is in book 3) are in bungalow 7, Jesus and John, who set out to help Cal’s new houseboy, Billy Dean. Billy Dean is a committed Christian and carries a signed virgin card. He fully believes in no sex before marriage, but how will that work when he meets Jesus and John? Some of the most humorous lines in the book are when Billy Dean quotes his grampa, they had me laughing out loud.

As well as the guests’ stories there is, of course, the Cozzi family story running alongside. Cal finds his great-grandfather’s diary from 1937. For me, this was the most poignant part of the book. The way Cal’s great-grandfathers’ story mirrors that of himself and Michael is clever, and the final twist at the end is awesome, bringing a real sense of closure and warmth. The ending not only sees the guests’ stories tied up, as they leave Cozzi Cove but also brings together some of the family members and friends we’ve met in previous books. They arrive for a very special occasion and, no, I’m not giving it away!

I thoroughly enjoyed this outing to Cozzi Cove, as I have the previous ones. If you want characters that win your heart and make you laugh and cry and endings that leave you feeling really satisfied, then these books are definitely for you.

 4.5 OptimuMM's


Links to where this book can be purchased:
http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
https://ninestarpress.com/product/cozzi-cove-new-beginnings/
http://myBook.to/CozziCoveNB
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cozzi-cove-joe-cosentino/1125994867?ean=2940154062005
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/711162


***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***

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