Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: The Haunting of Timber Manor by F.E Feeley Jr

Reviewed by Fehu
The Haunting of Timber Manor by F.E Feeley Jr
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 230pgs
3.25 Pants Off

While recovering from the recent loss of his parents, Daniel Donnelly receives a phone call from his estranged aunt, who turns over control of the family fortune and estate, Timber Manor. Though his father seemed guarded about the past, Daniel’s need for family and curiosity compel him to visit.

Located in a secluded area of the Northwest, Timber Manor has grown silent over the years. Her halls sit empty and a thin layer of dust adorns the sheet-covered furniture. When Daniel arrives to begin repairs, strange things happen. Nightmares haunt his dreams. Memories not his own disturb his waking hours. Alive with the tragedies of the past, Timber Manor threatens to tear Daniel apart.

Sherriff Hale Davis grew up working on the manor grounds. Seeing Daniel struggle, he vows protect the young man who captured his heart, and help him solve the mystery behind the haunting and confront the past—not only to save Daniel’s life, but to save his family, whose very souls hang in the balance.

A haunted house and an heir who isn't aware of his family past, a great setting and a plotline I love, but the ping pong point of view, not so much. Daniel has recently lost his parents and after their death received a letter from his father’s sister, who invited him to visit her for his summer break from law school, an aunt he never heard of before. The story starts like a horror movie, a dark lonely street through the woods, rain and night and just Daniel in his car. A wolf distracts him and he nearly crashes, that's when he meets Hale, a local sheriff who has his suspicions about Daniel’s aunt house and who takes a special interest in Daniel.

Strange things begin to happen, when Daniel arrives, something awakens and gains strength in the house. The reader knows this since one of the switching POV's is the ghosts! I would have understood if the different point of views were from Daniel and Hale, but there was the maid, the aunt, the ghost, Daniel, Hale and the medium, for me it took away some of my focus and distracted from the storyline. It was more of a jumping from point to point than a straight line. The changing POV's might also be the reason why I didn't buy the romance or wasn't really focused on it.

I couldn't say if this was a romance or a bad horror movie, but since the romance was lackluster, I choose to read it for the ghost story. Still I ended frustrated with the book and had to take a break from it.  Why? Well in a horror movie, don't you find it frustrating that the character goes down to the cellar, where the killer is, or opens the door after hearing all the strange noise, in a storm, when the power is out and he or she is all alone. Daniel’s behaving like a character in a horror movie and not the rational one and he wasn't the only one I was frustrated with, his aunt had made me also want to hit something.

So your fiancé dies, in your family house, he is pushed, when no one was home who could have done it, with the ring pushed down his throat. No reason to be suspicious or want to leave the house. Your mother dies, screaming that she saw your dead brother and that he was still around hounding her. Oh, well, why not stay in that charming place. Your brother saw the ghost and fled the house first moment he could. Oh, why don't we invite the son, the only remaining living family member into the house where all your family died, some under very strange circumstances. Reasonable, it's not like his father would have hated the idea, forbidden it or anything, oh no. So your solicitor dies in the house with a look of horror on his face when you find him, no reason to believe something was wrong there. Honestly, she takes oblivious to a new level or just plain delusional, with no shred of logic or self-preservation! She is rich and chooses to stay alone in the house where all her family died. Why???? She admits that after the death of her fiancé she was afraid anyone she'd bring into the house would die. Why then, bring your last living relative there??

Of course Daniel proved their blood relationship by being similarly stupid. No, dreams of one's dead father telling you to get out are not enough reason to leave. BUT when you get scratched, tripped, when no one is there, don't you start wondering? His father never mentioned his family, never visited them and Daniel does not start to wonder why for the most part of the story. Let's just say I would have liked to kick some sense into the characters for a long time.

The story itself was quite interesting and never boring and it's written well enough. I just wish the characters behaved a little less like the one in bad horror movies, because that kept ripping me out of the story, since I was frustrated by their actions. If you like bad horror movies and want one with a gay romance on the side, then this is the perfect book for you.

Review: The Beginning of Knowledge by Anne Brooke

Charlie Harding presents: The Beginning of Knowledge by Anne Brooke
Wilde City Press
Short story
4 Pants Off

When University administrator Alan Castleton meets temporary worker and talented pianist Luke Milton, he doesn't expect to become obsessed with the handsome young blond. But soon he is heavily involved in a passionate and angry affair, and exploring the dark shadows of his own personality in a way he's never encountered before.

The more Alan tries to break free from his obsession, the deeper it entangles him. The dangerous split between his reason and his sexual desires threatens his peace of mind and, when the crisis point comes, he must decide once and for all the kind of life he should lead.

I didn't know what I would be getting when I started this short, but I was expecting great because I have always enjoyed Anne Brooke's stories in the past. There is so much diversity in her writing, like the fun and sexy Delaney's series, the rich characters of The Heart's Greater Silence, and the intense emotional feels of Where You Hurt the Most. And once again another of her stories will remain with me. The Beginning of Knowledge is intense, dark, and deeply erotic.

Alan Castleton is a University administrator and he's unwinding by having drinks with a few friends. That is until he meets Luke Wilton, and his night of relaxation becomes sexually charged. Alan is instantly attracted to the young man but somehow this feels different, more intense and a whole lot of dangerous. Walking away seems like the better option, but he will still have to see Luke at work and just having the man close messes with his choices to make the right decisions.

The men begin this molten dangerous affair that is far from romantic and all kinds of unsafe. Yet, they're attraction borderline obsessiveness for each other is captivating and a little bit sad. It’s a case of something new that is just moving along too fast, and this need that drives them leaves no room for communication which really is the bane of their problem. Their loving is explosive; hot even but because it doesn't feel right with Alan it doesn't feel right with you the reader. Alan is a rich character and his suffering (yep, I'm going with suffering) is palpable and I really just wanted him out of there. It’s a relationship that was dangerous from the very beginning and would have only gotten worse; their need for each other was frightening.

Once again Anne Brooke has pulled off an emotional winning read in so few pages. Her talent for capturing human emotions, kink, and flawed characters never ceases to amaze me. I am glad it was a short story because anymore would have been just too intense to read. The ending is bittersweet but it felt right and I am happy with it (satisfied). If this is the kind of reads Wilde City Press is pushing out, then I am so on board. The Beginning of Knowledge is another winner by the queen of shorts, Ms Anne Brooke. A most fitting title for the story.

"Luke slid off my cock, landed back on his arse from his kneeling position, and looked up at me. His eyes were glazed, as if his mind were somewhere I couldn't reach and I'd been nothing more than a means to get him there. I slapped him. Good and strong with the back of my hand. His head jerked sideways, and he groaned, not with pain but with something far darker and richer I couldn't begin to think about." (Pretty much all of this)...

4 Pants Off

Guest Post & Giveaway: Loving and Writing Anti-Heroes by Avril Ashton

I’ve got a thing for anti-heroes. I’m intrigued by them and unlike the heroines in romance novels, I’ve got no interest in changing them or making them fit into some kind of societal mold. I’m more likely to read a book about a bad boy (and I do mean bad, just because he has tattoos, that doesn’t make him anti-hero) than I am to pick up a book about a doctor or lawyer or whatever. There’s something about a man who does as he pleases, who makes no excuses for who and what he is.

The perfect anti-hero is one with a rich back story, not one being bad for bad’s sake, but one who has a reason. It’s a romance novel, you want to root for him, you want him to find his elusive HEA and be with his other half. Tugging on the reader’s heartstrings despite how horrid they may think the hero acts.

My Brooklyn Sinners series is all about the anti-hero. Every one of them does bad things, horrible things. They’re wrecked and damaged and they lash out, hurt people, kill them even. Now that right there is enough to make you want to turn away, of course. How can you care for and root for a killer? This is where the all important back story comes in. Having an anti-hero is all well and good, but if you want to make readers feel for him, giving him a why is most important. Why is he this way? Why does he do what he does?

Every one of my heroes has demons, they had events happen that made them into the men they are. Events that molded them, sent them to the streets to pick up the guns, to hurt, to do damage. The back story isn’t one that excuses the bad behavior and illegal activities, it explains it. That moment when the reader goes, “Ah. Now I see. I don’t like it, but I understand it.” That’s really want I want, for you to understand why they do what they do. Now you know.

The anti-hero brings with him great conflict, which I love. Naturally, they’re not good men, but are they bad? You can’t paint them all with the same brush. They straddle the fine gray line, and will not hesitate to step over into the dark side. Despite hovering on that line, they’re more comfortable embracing the dark than the light. They have to have a reason to do so, something that makes it okay.

Back story.

Syren Rua fits nicely into the bad guy mold. As the man known as Faro, he’s the face of the Delatorre cartel. He makes the business deals, oversees drug shipments, facilitates gun buys and sees nothing wrong with blackmail, embezzlement and just plain not-nice stuff. Where in there is the guy we’re supposed to root for, to care about, to give his HEA? Who in their right mind would like to see this guy find love, settle down?

Throw in the back story, give him a reason for why he walks that line, why he walks through fire, and somehow that bitter medicine goes down a whole lot easier, does it not? Because Syren has many facets to his personality He’s got a light, flirty side, a dangerous, sharp edge, and a dark, vulnerable inner core that one can’t help but fall for. All of it blends to make him the anti-hero we can’t help but love.

I think the reason I’m so in love with the anti-hero, and will always write them, is because I have my own anti-hero. I fell in love with one, locked him down but good, and made him my muse. Much of his life is retold between the pages of the Brooklyn Sinners. A fantastical tale, to be sure. I took his words, his life experiences, and turned it into a romance novel. He’s not a fan of fiction, so he knows nothing about it except the very watered-down version. I give him one line descriptions since his eyes tend to gaze over mighty quick.

To know an anti-hero, to know the source of their pain, their heartache, to understand why, is to love them. You can’t help but love them.

A Sinner Born
Book three in the Brooklyn Sinners series.

One man buried in secrets. Another still grieving the love he lost. Their worlds collide in a battle between memories, old and new, while trust hangs by a fragile thread.

Syren Rua is at war. He battles painful childhood demons and his intense need for the first person who makes him feel. As Faro, Syren makes deals with the worst while taking the steps necessary to bring his family’s killer to justice. He isn’t one to indulge in selfish needs, but he’ll make the time in this instance. Syren has been watching Kane Ashby, craving the grieving man for his own. He’s always stayed away from temptation, but that’s about to change.

Kane isn’t over the death of his long-time partner. He’s certainly not ready for a relationship, sexual or otherwise, but Syren isn’t a man who takes no for an answer. The unpredictable Syren offers nothing but secrets and brings with him memories so dark, they could wipe out any chance the two might ever have. Syren brings Kane’s heart back to life. But it is also Syren who could inflict the most damage.

Inside Scoop: One of our heroes has a panty fetish. And it’s hot. This book also contains brief references to rape and child abuse.

A Romantica® gay/lesbian erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Buy Link


“There’s this thing called reality,” Faro continued. “I’m not too fond of it, but it has its uses.” He chuckled dryly. “Like now, reality says I should go, leave you alone. It’s a bitch like that, depriving me of what I want. But I know there are a lot of very good reasons to listen.”

“I’m—I don’t date criminals.”

Faro laughed, a sharp burst of mirth that crinkled the area around his eyes and sent the too-serious orbs to twinkling when he faced Kane. “Sim, eu sei.” He shook his head. “Yes, I know.”

“And yet, here you are.” Stood to reason Kane would point out the obvious.

“Here I am.” Faro produced the cigarette again and twirled it around his fingers, gaze glued to it. “Reality, eh?”

“If things were different.” Kane swallowed. “If you weren’t—”

“If only I wasn’t who I am.” Faro met his gaze. “If only.”

“I could’ve—we could’ve tried.” His lips moved, he heard the words, but damn if Kane believed that was him speaking. Yet, they didn’t sound wrong. Only weird.

“Would we?” Faro lifted a brow. “Are you over him then, your dead lover?”

Kane recoiled as if bitch-slapped. “No,” he forced the word out before his throat closed in on him. “Do not. He’s off-limits.” Son of a bitch. Son of a bitch. He knew about Bailey.

“Right, so that’s a no.” Faro nodded sadly.

“Don’t you fucking dare!” Kane lunged at him, grabbing Faro by the lapels. “You have no right to him. Don’t ever bring him up.” His chest hurt, the pressure too much. He felt himself slipping into it, the panic, the despair. Breath rattled from his throat while words fell from his lips. “He was better than you could ever hope to be. He was good and kind and decent and he was mine.”

Faro held still beneath him, his eyes like lasers focused on Kane’s face. Alert. No trace of fear on him, nothing to give away his emotions.

“He’s mine and you don’t ever get to bring him up. I earned the memories, not you.”

“I can respect that.” The faint scent of mint accompanied Faro’s words and Kane dropped his gaze to his mouth, watching his lips move. “My tailor will be very pissed if you mess up the suit.” He leaned closer, warm breath washing over Kane’s face and neck.

Kane closed his eyes on a shudder.

“Breathe, Marshal,” Faro spoke against his ear. “You’re no good to me if you expire from lack of oxygen.”

But Kane refused to inhale, he refused to take the scent of Faro—hot and earthy—into his lungs.

Gentle fingers traced his jawline then cupped his cheek. “Look at me.”

Kane did. He opened his eyes to find Faro now leaned back against the car door. Kane shifted, realizing then he lay across the center console, his lower body draped over Faro’s legs. He moved to get off, but Faro grabbed his upper arms.

“Breathe with me,” Faro coaxed. “Stay right there and breathe with me.” His body moved when he took a deep breath then let it out. Kane stared deep into his eyes. “Do it.”

He took a breath in and let it out, matching Faro in his breathing. They were quiet except for the deep breath in and the whoosh as it rushed out.

“That’s it. Breathe for me, deeply.” Faro’s hand crept up Kane’s arm and over the back of his head, resting on his nape in a gesture that was more than a little possessive. That touch gave him the impetus he needed to move away and mean it. To drag his ass back into the driver’s seat and away from Faro.

“I need you to leave.” There was no anger in his words, no rage or censure. All he felt was drained.

“I recognize that retreat for what it is, Marshal.”

“Stop calling me that,” Kane barked at him. “You know my name.”

“I do. Are you giving me permission to use it?”

“You can do whatever you want.”

“Then I’ll call you Marshal.

Disappointment chilled Kane’s insides. Why did he want Faro to call him by name? That would make things more personal and it was the last thing he wanted.

“You were telling me how good we could’ve been together, if I wasn’t who I was,” Faro goaded.

“I said no such thing.” Kane started his car. “Get out, I have to go.”

“Hot date?” Faro flicked a lock of hair away from his eyes. “Are you dating someone, Fed?”

“That’s none of your business.”

Faro leaned over. “Not an answer.”

“For you it is.” Why was he so close? Why the hell couldn’t Kane get away from the smell of him?

“I’ve seen you with your partner,” Faro continued as if Kane hadn’t spoken. “He wants you.”

Kane shook his head. “I’m not going there with you.” He didn’t even bother asking how and why Faro knew about Vince. Some things he was starting to figure he didn’t need to know.

“But are you going there with him?”


A Caribbean transplant, Avril now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y with a tolerant spousal equivalent. Together they raise an eccentric daughter who loves reading and school (not so much school anymore). Avril’s earliest memories of reading revolve around discussing the plot points of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys with an equally book-minded mother.

Always in love with the written word, Avril finally decided to do the writing in August of ’09 and never looked back. Spicy love scenes, delicious heroes, and wicked women burn up the pages of Avril’s stories, but there’ll always be a happy ending; Av remains a believer of love in all its forms.

Addicted to cake, the ID Channel and the UFC, Avril writes Erotic and GLBT Romance for Ellora's Cave, Evernight Publishing, eXtasy Books, Secret Cravings Publishing and Total-e-Bound.


Friend Avril on:!/AvrilAsh 

Amazon Link:


Giveaway: I’m giving away a copy of A Sinner Born to one of you lovely folks who comments below. Be sure to include your email address.

  • Leave a comment and email
  • Must be 18yrs or older
  • Winner has 48hrs to reply to email or another will be chosen
  • Contest runs until July 3rd 11:59pm EST

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Review: Life of the Party by S.L Armstrong & K. Piet

Overture: Episode 2: Life of the Party (Immortal Symphony #2) by S.L Armstrong & K. Piet
Storm Moon Press
Short Story: 38pgs
3.5 Pants Off

You think you know the story of Dorian Gray, but you're wrong. The real story didn't end the way Oscar Wilde penned; in fact, it hasn't ended at all. The ageless beauty of Dorian Gray walks now in our world of cellphones and lattes and internet porn. His latest conquest is Gabriel Lawrence, a paranormal investigator with a secret or two of his own. But the trouble with a life as long as Dorian's is that the skeletons are threatening to overrun the closet... and not all of them want to stay dead.

Season 1
Overture introduces Gabriel to the truth of a world he had only suspected, where ghost hunting is the least of his worries. And at the heart of it all is the mysterious and fascinating Dorian Gray, as though he'd stepped out of the pages of the book bearing his name. But if he has, he hasn't come through alone. And this figure from a past Dorian had though long behind him bears a grudge nurtured for a hundred years and intends to tear down everything Dorian has built, a piece at a time.

Episode 2: Life of the Party
Gabriel's first glimpse into Dorian's lifestyle was only the beginning, and now he finds himself tumbling further down the rabbit hole. Dorian's birthday party introduces Gabriel to some of Dorian's friends, all as free-spirited and debauched as Dorian himself. Through them, he learns that he isn't the first that Dorian has drawn into his web this way, not even the hundred-and-first. And yet somehow, all of Gabriel's concerns instantly seem strangely inconsequential at Dorian's slightest touch, fueling Michael's fears that there is so much more to Dorian than they could guess.

The second chapter of Overture finds Gabriel agreeing to go and stay with Dorien at his estate. This isn't normal behavior for Gabriel, but he can't deny the sexy pull of the man who had him against the wall of a hotel bathroom. It instantly picks up where the last episode left us, and while I was expecting the plot to thicken I got overloaded with a very sexy orgy. So this episode pretty much served as one long sex scene (a very hot sex scene).

What it does provide is a look into how very superficial and the lack of emotional intimacy between Dorien and his entourage. While Gabriel pretty much lacks common sense in this episode, especially for a man who is a paranormal investigator and has travelled the world. I think him sinking into a night of sex and drugs will provide the catalyst as what to expect in the upcoming episode. Dorien seems like such an open book to me, his challenge is bending others to his will and he gets off on that. So I am just having a hard time understanding the naiveté of Gabriel, plus dude has his dead twin telling him something’s off but at the moment he's thinking with his dick.

I am hands down an open minded reader, and there aren't many things that push my button. One of the things I never enjoy reading about is drug use, it really kind of irks me all over, and so I am very disappointed in Gabriel and his choices. While I'm complaining and all, there is still a lot that I like about Overture. First, I love the hell out of Dorien the manipulative bastard; he is literally sex on legs and its understandable why people do all these crazy things to please him. I love Gabriel and Michael, they provide twin entertainment and its almost bittersweet, because it’s what they might have been if Michael was live *sigh*.

This is still very much in the first stages of setting up the serial. It’s unclear of where the story will be going, but of course tons of mistakes will be made on the way. I am looking forward to being rid of Dorien's groupies. They provide sexy entertainment but are overall very useless (at the moment). And gods I swear Dorien better throw out his intentions of bedding that boy, it rubs me the wrong way cus Dorien is a bit of sleeze-ball with no honourable intentions.

Overall, somewhat disappointed but I still liked it on a whole.

3.5 Pants Off
Review: Overture #1 A Meeting of Fate

Excerpt & Giveaway: Dead Man and the Restless Spirits by Lou Harper

Dead Man and the Restless Spirits by Lou Harper
Buy Link

Dying sucks hairy monkey balls, even when you're not the stiff.

Denton Mills has a secret: he can see dead people. Or rather, how they died. It's quite a drag in a city like Chicago, teeming with the echoes of the no-longer living. Rather than whine about it, Denton has learned to live with his troublesome talent. His adaptability comes in handy when he meets his enigmatic new neighbor.

Bran Maurell catches Denton's eye right away, but unfortunately Mr. Tall, Dark, and Mysterious is as standoffish as he is alluring. However, after an unexpected introduction from Bran's cat brings the two men together, Denton discovers they have a mutual interest in the spirit world. Herbalist by day, Bran moonlights as a witch, performing house cleansings for a fee.

From Bran, Denton learns that his knack for interacting with the dead qualifies him as a necromancer. It makes good business sense for them to team up and rid Chicago of its pesky spirits one grateful client at a time. Amongst ghostly adventures the attraction between the men is impossible to ignore. They seem like perfect partners—unless Bran's not-so-little secret comes between them.

Warning: men loving men, ghosts with attitudes, and a portly feline with hidden talents.

Note: Denton also plays a small but important role in Spirit Sanguine.


This excerpt show Denton talking to his new neighbor for the first time:

The man opening the door radiated a presence more intense than a triple-chocolate fudge cake. Seeing him up close, Denton decided B. Maurell couldn’t be called traditionally handsome—all his features were too strongly drawn for it—yet it was hard not to be engrossed by his face. Sharp cheekbones and a prominent nose contrasted with sensuously full lips. The heavy brows and shoulder-length black hair lent him a somber air, but his eyes made the biggest impression on Denton. They were as dark as the deepest trenches of the ocean where the sun doesn’t penetrate and strange creatures dwell. They also seemed to accuse Denton of unspeakable crimes. Catnapping, to begin with.

Eager to prove his innocence, Denton held Murry in front of him. “I have your cat. He must have jumped from your balcony to my fire escape. I found him sitting on my feet when I woke up.”

Murry, a furry peace offering, hung between them for a beat before his owner reached out and took him. Those eyes focused on the cat for a moment, then back on Denton. “You fed him.”

For absolutely no reason, a shiver ran through Denton, but he heroically ignored it. “It seemed a polite thing to do, and it’s well before midnight. I didn’t let him get wet.”

B. Maurell either hadn’t seen Gremlins or had no sense of humor. “He’s on a diet.” The warm baritone of his voice undermined the gruffness of the words.

“What kind? If it’s Atkins, all’s fine—I only gave him tuna, no carbs.” Denton meant it as a joke and grinned like an idiot to bring the point home, but all he received in return was stony silence. Tough crowd. It was the point to turn around and leave, but he couldn’t—the other man’s eyes pulled him in with the force of magnets. He had to draw out the encounter any way he could. “I’m Denton. Denton Mills. Just moved in a few days ago. Renting the place from Miranda—she had to leave town in a hurry. Nothing to do with the mob, I’ve been assured. She said nice things about you, but not your name.”

Another tick of measured silence hovered between them; then the sensuous lips parted. “Bran. Bran Maurell.”

Such an unexpectedly normal name. Bran Maurell was a man of puzzling contradictions, and Denton loved puzzles. He wanted to know more. Murry, on the other hand, had clearly become bored with the whole affair. He twisted, and a second later, he was on the floor, trotting into the apartment, tail held high.

“Bye, Murry!” Denton shouted after him.

For the first time since the door had opened, the hint of an actual emotion, possibly surprise, registered on Bran’s face. “What did you call him?”

“Murry. Not like Bill Murray. Without the ‘A.’ I asked him his name, and he made kind of a murr sound, so I figured I’d call him Murry. Cat is too impersonal, don’t you think?”

The inner corners of Bran’s eyebrows twitched up. “His name is Murmur, but if he didn’t object to being called Murry, it’s fine.”


“He would’ve let you know.” The words were as solemn as the man uttering them.

“Umm. Okay.”

Bran stepped forward. “Thank you, Denton, for bringing Murmur home.” He held out a hand, and Denton automatically met it with his own.

Bran Maurell had a confident grip. In Denton’s experience, hands were usually just hands, but not in this case. The fleshy pads of Bran’s palms awakened in Denton a sudden desire to feel them on other parts of his body. Sadly, Bran gave one last squeeze and let go. As he pulled back, a tendril of strange scent brushed against Denton’s face—smoke and something fragrant but not flowery. The door closed with a click.


  • Leave email along with a comment
  • Must be 18yrs or older
  • Winner has 48rs to reply to my email or another winner will be chosen
  • Contest runs until June 30th 11:59pm EST

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review: A Cut Above the Rest by Talya Andor

Reviewed by Fehu
A Cut Above the Rest (Appetite #1) by Talya Andor
Less Than 3 Press
Novel: 155pgs
4 Pants Off

Alex always had it easy growing up, indulged by loving, but busy parents as he flitted from one interest to another without settling. Then he discovered the world of fine dining and became determined to be a chef capable of producing such magnificent meals. Despite the doubts of a father who limited his funds, and the difficulties of leaving Germany to live in the United States, Alex stuck to his new goal and graduated the Culinary Institute of America.

Fresh out of school, he is eager to begin work at the restaurant owned by a good friend of his father's, a restaurant well known for the beautiful, innovative meals its chefs create. He is primed to join the ranks of those masterful chefs—until the day he starts, and learns that he is nothing more than kitchen lackey, lower in rank than even the dishwashers.

Worse, his boss is none other than Nik, the beautiful, infuriating, highly talented classmate that Alex could never best—or resist.

So this was my first book by this author and I was nicely surprised. It was good that I didn't expect a lot of romance or any sex, there was none. The romance part, well there is a love interest, but nothing happens until the very end and they agree to wait until they could meet as equals. If you want a hot romance this will not be the right book for you. However if you like slow burn stories, than Alex adventures in his new work place a high dining restaurant as a new cook, is a nice read.

A lot of the book is about food, might not work for all, but it is a nice and well written story and just the first book in a series, so there is the promise of more romance and cooking to come.

Alex is a new graduate from the Culinary Institute of America and is about to begin a new job in the restaurant of his father’s best friend, far away from his home in Germany. In his school there was only one guy, Nik, who was better than him, and it was just his luck, that they had to meet again, when he was visiting his new work place. Of course Nik worked already as a chef and his meals were fabulous. What was worse is that Alex has to work under him (and I don't mean the fun way), because apparently Nik had much more experience in an actual kitchen, than Alex.

I must say, I like it that Alex did apply himself after some difficulties in the beginning. He didn't pout, didn't go back or asked his parents for help, but actually did the jobs he was given and reacted positive to critique. He comes from a well of family, but was not a whiny brat and tried his best in his chosen field of work. Nik well, I didn't get to know him that well and I hope there will be more of them both in the next book. Mostly this story was about working in a restaurant, delicious meals and finding ones way in a new job. Oh and there is some pining for ones fellow chef. Still it’s well written and I hope for more relationship development in the next book!

4 Pants Off

Review: Intercession by Pepper Espinoza

Intercession by Pepper Espinoza
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 206pgs
4.5 Pants Off

After fifty years of searching for his lost brother, vampire David Derringer attempts the unimaginable: he bends his knee in prayer. While he doesn’t believe, his mother’s faith was strong, and her final request—a request made the night she and David died—keeps David on the path to his younger brother, Danny, despite the many obstacles.

David doesn’t expect his prayer to be answered. He certainly doesn’t expect an angel to intercede on his behalf.

Jophiel is tasked not only with helping David find his brother but with saving David’s soul. It seems like an impossible assignment meant to punish him, especially when they must face the Brotherhood of St. Rocco, an organization dedicated to eradicating vampires.

But David has a chance to prove he’s not like other vampires when he meets Arthur, a young man with a secret and a death wish. Following a very steamy encounter, Arthur expects to be bitten. David never even drops his fangs. Which is a good thing, since Arthur might be the key to finding Danny before it’s too late.

My very first time reading Pepper Espinoza, and I do solemnly swear that it will not be my last. At first Intercession started off a little slowly and honestly I wasn't all into it, but in no time it picked up and I was hooked. I am talking sexiness of epic proportions and my new fave hot as hell vampire. It should become a new rule: angels should always fall in love and have sex with vampires, makes perfect sense to me.

David is vampire tormented, tormented by the promise he made to his dying mom and years spent searching for a younger brother out of reach. Yet, he is willing to do anything and that anything finds him in a church praying to god that most likely will not answer his soulless prayers. It’s just his luck when a monk decides to ruin his one on one time with god and try to put a stake in his heart, but David is feeling generous and he lets the monk live. It’s just proof that god doesn't answer a killer's prayer and so finding his brother is something he has to do on his own, but time is running out and every day the trail gets colder and his brother Daniel gets older. He needs a bit of a miracle right now, so when a man appears in his car saying he's an angel sent on a mission of god David is having a hard time believing it but he's willing to take scraps.

Jophiel an angel of the Lord can't believe he got stuck helping a vampire, a soulless evil creature of Satan. How can god demand that he help something without a soul? But it might be a way for Jophiel to redeem himself so he has no choice but to help the vampire David. Being in David's company Jophiel is realizing that there is more to the vampire, and he isn't just bent on killing and causing mayhem. He has a conscience and his deep caring for a sibling long lost sets him apart from the rest. If only he wasn't so attractive, and a key player in all the things that Jo should never have or feel. But he will help him find his brother with all the angel power within him.

Throw in the human Arthur, and the story takes a turn of mayhem, betrayal, and sexy good times. Three men brought together under dire circumstances but form an unbreakable friendship. I can't call this one a ménage relationship though there is ménage sex, but anything beyond that hasn't been established yet. David is the glue keeping them together and without him Arthur and Jophiel relationship seems uncertain. There is some twists and turns, all leading to an explosive ending which isn't HEA or HFN it’s more like WTF. So I now pray for a sequel, and might possibly resort to begging for more David, Jophiel, and Arthur.

I am talking about Vampire/Angel smexing and it sets my pants on firs. The writing is engaging, witty, and just spot on I am going into Pepper's backlist because she has created a fan in me. Intercession is a story about hope and finding love when you least expect it. I don't want to give much away, but that ending...maaaaaaaan it’s like whoa!

Should You Read It? YES!!! A fave read of mine, and I wish I could delete it from my head just to experience the feels of reading it for the first time. Awesome read!!!

4.5 Pants Off

Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: Soul Magic by Poppy Dennison

Reviewed by Fehu
Soul Magic (Triad #3) by Poppy Dennison
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 220pgs
3.75 Pants Off

Blood runs soul-deep. Cormac hasn’t been the same since the night the High Moon Pack was attacked. With his magic weakened, he’s consumed by a bloodlust he hasn’t felt since he first became a vampire. His need to replenish his power makes him a danger to his last remaining family member, and his hunger makes him careless. And that’s just the beginning of his troubles. Feeding from pack beta Liam Benson was supposed to slake his appetite, not leave him craving more.

Simon Osborne and Gray Townsend are trying to fight a being history says shouldn’t exist—one with all three types of magic. The pack must use all of their resources to combat the mysterious triad, even turning to the shady Council of Mages for help. While Cormac struggles to reconcile his past failures with his current desires, Simon must attempt the impossible: an alliance between mind, body, and soul.

This is the third and last book in an interesting paranormal trilogy was very much looking forward to reading or it. Simon and Gray are back and finally we find out about the attacker! Secondly Cormac and Liam are the new couple and I have wanted to read this one for a long time.

The story begins right where the last book ended and it helps a lot to understand and to fully appreciate this story if you read them all in one go.  I began the series after the first book came out and it’s been a while until this one so I did go back and it was nice to read the trilogy without months of waiting in between.

So let’s recap: Simon and Gray are attacked and the members of the were-council are unhappy with what they witness, namely Simon’s abilities to influence the pack with his magic. Mage-council reacts to the plea for help and finally sends a representative. But what has been troubling them all this time? It's Cormac who has the answer to this question or more precisely his past is catching up with him and some event in the past are now explained in a new light. All species have lived separated but it wasn't always the case and the Mage-council at least knows what happened to cause the division in shifters, mages and vampires. New information is brought to light, new alliances are formed, new romances and of course there is a showdown - Good vs. Evil.

Plot wise the final part of the trilogy didn't disappoint, but, I anticipated Cormac’s romance story and to tell the truth from the way it was written, I didn't buy it. Liam is a nice character, but his interest in Cormac seemed rather sudden. Plus Cormac himself is totally OOC (out of character) when he is going out to hunt. First he is dignified old vampire Dracula style and then he is the club slut, seems a bit strange to me. Also the romance part was short, after the entire wait for that pairing, it was somewhat anti climatic. Of course there was the need to finish the main plotline, but still I thought it was a bit rushed in the end. What I didn't like was the ending, not really, all are happy, but it's a big time leap and I didn't feel it was necessary in this case. Still the book in itself was a nice finish for this series.

Should You Read It? Only if you have read the first two books, then it's a must, but it's not a standalone and it would make a lot of sense to read just this one.

Review: Book #2 Body Magic

Review: Flawless by Cat Grant

Flawless (Irresistible Attraction #4) by Cat Grant
Riptide Publishing
Novella: 91pgs
3.5 Pants Off

Steve Campbell used to be a player, until a mid-life crisis opened his eyes to his long-repressed love for Connor, his soon-to-be-married best friend and business partner. Coming out at thirty-eight means learning how to date all over again, and this time, Steve’s not willing to settle for empty one-night stands. He wants the real thing.

Gil Alvarez has never had it easy, struggling through childhood and rejected by his family for a body that didn’t match who he was inside. A skilled driver and mechanic, he’s working hard to make his auto shop a success. The last thing he needs is a rich white guy in a candy-apple-red Ferrari tempting him, but Steve’s ready smile and easygoing manner prove irresistible.

One brief, intimate encounter leaves them both hungry for more. Gil’s not ashamed of who he is, but he’s terrified that Steve will reject him—or worse—when he discovers what Gil can’t find the courage to tell him.

Steve really became my favourite character in Doubtless and in the entire series. A little bit shady in the first book but he proved to be a character with depth that has been in love with his best-friend with no chance of ever getting with him. So yeh, he was all angst and broken and he really touched a spot in me. I was really looking forward to him finding love, and yet I can't help but feeling disappointed in his book. Could be my expectations were really high, but in the end I couldn't feel the connection with pretty much anything in the story, even Steve proved unrecognizable.

Steve Campbell pretty much has it all, he's got money, he's got brains, but sadly he doesn't have game. Finally admitting to liking men could have been fruitful for him, but Steve is over with the one night stands and wants to find his true love. Coming out at thirty-eight is no walk in the park and include his midlife crisis which could mean only one thing. It’s time to get his ass a Ferrari but with no idea how to operate the thing it’s a cool looking car and he's sure he looks just as cool driving it *vroom*.

Well, Steve is clueless and when his beauty refuses to start up (he just has no clue how to get it going) in walks in Gil mechanic extraordinaire who frankly is annoyed by rich white guys with no clue about cars. Yet, he feels a bit of attraction for Steve who's a little goofy and means well. Gil owns a car shop but business is lacking these days but he keeps himself busy by working on his baby, a car he pretty much built with his own two hands. When Steve starts showing up, Gil is delighted but afraid because he is a Trans* and fears that ultimately Steve will reject him when he finds out the truth. He's not ashamed of who is, but past experience has proved that others are not so accepting.

This was a short read, and though while enjoyable I still felt like it could have been tighter. I would say I loved the developing relationship between Gil and Steve but I feel there was no development. No, they did not confess their love but it still felt sloppy and I couldn't feel any connection. A little bit of conflict was introduced (saw it coming) which feels like there will be a sequel, an old haunts type of thing. Maybe then I will feel something for Gil and Steve's relationship. I wanted big things for Steve and somehow this just doesn't add up.

I liked that Gil was a Trans* character but the whole I like cars and not heels thing had me going "huh", I think it’s a little deeper than that. There were some moments where I got that real emotion from Gil in being in a body that didn't match how he felt then it got lost in the "I like working on cars so...” Though I did get that working on cars is not just what he does it’s who he is.

Overall, I liked this story but I can't help feeling disappointed in the story. I wanted more from Steve, wanted more from his love interest, and I just wanted more. Could be that the subject was just too hard to tackle in 91pgs but hopefully there will be more.

Should You Read It? Yes, if you are a fan of the entire series and want to see who Steve ends up with. It's no Doubtless, but an enjoyable story nonetheless.

3.5 Pants Off
Review: Book #1 Priceless

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: The Knight by Kate Sherwood

The Knight (Against the Odds #2) by Kate Sherwood
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 216pgs
4 Pants Off

Things were confusing enough before the revolution, when Adam Challoner was a rich idealist and Remy Stone a jaded prostitute. After months of fighting, Adam has risen to become the leader of the continent. Now he’s responsible for feeding his people and holding the country together.

But without a fight, without a purpose, Remy scrambles to find his place in the freedom of the postrevolution world. When his quest takes him away from the capitol, Adam can’t object. Remy was a slave before the revolution—Adam won’t deny him his freedom now.

Then an attempt on Adam’s life brings Remy back to his side. In his new role as bodyguard, Remy keeps his distance, but neither he nor Adam can ignore the connection between them. For them to be together, Remy needs to free himself from the damage inflicted by his past, and Adam has to fight through the restrictions of his present. But as the political situation deteriorates, Adam and Remy once again find themselves fighting for their lives—and for each other.

The Knight picks up right after The Pawn with Adam being in power after finally releasing the poor from persecution from that of the rich. Adam had to give up all his riches along with that of his council to be on equal footing with the people he's trying to save. At his side is one time prostitute and his lover Remy (I use the word "lover" loosely) who was significant in starting the revolution and gathering the dirty info. Both men have a lot to lose if they fail, because they pissed off powerful people, and with a revolution sometimes unrest follows. And one wrong move is all it would take to lose everything.

Adam never wanted to be in power, but he was neutral territory and they think him the right man for the job. Perhaps, but his mind seems to be preoccupied with all that is Remy his very jaded lover (so jaded he's Jade). With uprising within the colonies, someone is trying to assassinate him, the arrival of his family, Adam more than has his hands full. Yet he can't help feeling like he's losing the one thing that matters most to him, while struggling to be the bigger man he keeps making mistakes while he watches the country he loves hang by a thread.

Remy is...Remy is a sad character and almost robotic at times but his personality is reflection of the life he's led. Yet, he's a strong well thought out character with no quick changes to make the story more sexy/erotic. He's a growing character realizing all his strengths and the story development integrates all of that.

The story is pretty much political intrigue, mixed with a mystery, and following the development of a once somewhat broken character. It also brought the tears with the death of a character that I had come to like very much, and I was heartbroken there for a bit. If you're coming into this series looking for a pretty romance with sexy good times, then this story won't be for you. Its character and very plot driven that comes with a side of HEA and a somewhat bow tied resolution to Remy's sexual hang ups but that's another long story.

Should You Read It? If you're a fan of Kate Sherwood then yes this would be a good fit. I am a huge fan of Kate, and this series was very different from what I've read before. The talent here is well thought out characters (sometimes stubborn annoying characters) with nice world building.

4 Pants Off
Review: Book #1 The Pawn

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Oops! Where Did My Pants Go?? (Widdershins)

I'll try to tell you where my pants went, suckers got lost in Widdershins. There I was minding my own business and reading Widdershins, and suddenly the atmosphere becomes dark and a character is talking about smart stuff and speaks 12 languages but can read more. Then *poof* there was a mention of a flowing overcoat and quote that went a little like this

"oh, and wear something dark" He swept out, his overcoat flaring behind him.

and my pants was then lost me.
I can't even, I don't even understand this power of Griffin.

I got a whiff of Widdershins when author Rhys Ford and reviewer Lisa H from The Novel Approach was raving about it (then again I thought Rhys was making it up so with Lisa I knew that it was all a real book). Jordan L. Hawk has been hiding from me, and now that I am on to her awesome she can't stop the pants losing I'm expecting. Widdershins was dark, funny, and incredibly sexy! Griffin and Whyborne are such engaging and well developed characters I got lost in there awesome (pants WTF, where the hell are you?).

Then throw in the creepy paranormal edge and you have what dreams are made of. This played out like a movie in my head, and I now have fetishes for overcoats, top hats, and scarves *winter here I come cus my gratuitous sexy clothes play is coming*. Yep, in winter shit is about to get real O_o...

So here is to my pants loss and all the pants losing I am expecting from Griffin & Whyborne, and somehow Fall Out Boy's 'The Phoenix' is stuck in my head like some sort of OST.

Right now you can get Widdershins for $0.99 that's right folks its less than a dollar, one awesmazingly entertaining book for less than a buck 'hallelujah' sharing the savings like a boss. More G&W is coming today which is also my son's 7th birthday but it's as if it’s mine cus I am getting a gift. Skadoosh, this shit explosive.

And how about that VILF (Villain I'd Like to Fuck) like seriously I realized I have a thing for cold and clammy dead men a long time ago. The man back from the dead was giving off 'fuck me' eyes from the pages, he totally was being sexy for no apparent reason *geesh dead guys these days*.

Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin #1) by Jordan L. Hawk
Novel: 236pgs
4.5 Pants Off

Some things should stay buried.

Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.

So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.

As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?

4.5 Pants Off

Review: A Meeting of Fate by S.L Armstrong & K. Piet

Overture: Episode 1: A Meeting of Fate (Immortal Symphony #1) by S.L Armstrong & K. Piet
Storm Moon Press
Short Story: 39pgs
4 Pants Off

You think you know the story of Dorian Gray, but you're wrong. The real story didn't end the way Oscar Wilde penned; in fact, it hasn't ended at all. The ageless beauty of Dorian Gray walks now in our world of cellphones and lattes and internet porn. His latest conquest is Gabriel Lawrence, a paranormal investigator with a secret or two of his own. But the trouble with a life as long as Dorian's is that the skeletons are threatening to overrun the closet... and not all of them want to stay dead.

Season 1
Overture introduces Gabriel to the truth of a world he had only suspected, where ghost hunting is the least of his worries. And at the heart of it all is the mysterious and fascinating Dorian Gray, as though he'd stepped out of the pages of the book bearing his name. But if he has, he hasn't come through alone. And this figure from a past Dorian had though long behind him bears a grudge nurtured for a hundred years and intends to tear down everything Dorian has built, a piece at a time.

Episode 1: A Meeting of Fate
Gabriel Lawrence, a paranormal investigator from America, finds himself in London chasing down a supposedly haunted artifact. While there, he meets a man who calls himself Dorian Gray, who may not match the description from that famous story, but certainly has the attitude. And the seduction. And because ghost hunting isn't exactly a lucrative venture, Dorian's invitation into his world of opulence, decadence, and wealth may just prove too tempting for Gabriel to resist!

And so this book opened with a bang, and my eyes and pants went into a sexy coma. I am such a huge fan of K. Piet & S.L Armstrong, and I look forward to their edgy and unapologetic writing. A Meeting of Fate is the first story in a serial involving the infamous Dorian Grey, a character I loathed and also kind of love at the same time. With a modern spin, I have to say I love this vision of Dorian Grey. He's all types of sexy and a whole lot of wicked.

As I said, the book begins with a very sexy bang. Told from the pov of a woman who is getting fantastic sex from Dorian and another sexy man, from the very beginning it clear that sex is a tool for Dorian and it something he enjoys immensely. This power he has over people fills him with such a high, and it is something he just can't get enough of. There is a lot of sex for such a short story but it never feels like PWP, sex is the very foundation of Dorian's character and it builds for things to come. Dorian Grey is a charming, sexy, immortal type of man.

Then comes Gabriel who is a paranormal investigator and has a dead twin Michael who he still talks with. Already, his character is an interesting one and when he meets Dorian sparks begin to fly. As the reader you know what the gist is with Mr Grey already, so I couldn't help feeling like Gabriel is setting himself up for doom but the magnetism of a seasoned seducer like Dorian is hard to resist and Gabriel didn't stand a chance.

As the first in the series its mostly a set up of things to come and man, am I excited. I look forward to emotional progression Gabriel and Dorian's relationship, the excitement of Gabriel's day job, and working in a dead twin with some doubts and you have a intriguing/exciting read. The writing is spot on, and I just can't wait to dive into the second episode and lose myself in the immortal beauty of a Mr Dorian Grey. A fantastic start to a brand new serial by a dynamic duo writing team, a solid 4 Pants Off with a future that looks like I might lose them entirely, and I can't freaking wait. Let the awesome fucking commence :D

HEADS UP: There is female parts, as some of you guys like to call it. So don`t go buying it, then acting all surprised, and then go on and complain. Dorian is fabulously sexually fluid and he loves the pussy.

4 Pants Off

Review: The Counterfeit Clause by Cherie Noel

The Counterfeit Clause (Rescue Twinks #1) by Cherie Noel
Short Story: 62pgs
3 Pants Off

It's just an average day at the local mall's Christmas Village... there's an elf shortage, no manager in sight, and an unknown person hiding behind a big white beard. Still, everything is under control. Mostly. Sort of... until the klutziest elf of all slips onto the scene in slick bottomed, pointy-toed shoes... and slides right into the waiting arms of the Counterfeit Claus.

I found myself very confused by this short, could be I was having a very slow day if you count the amount of times I found myself confused. It could be the writing style or the pace of the story which is more in set up mode but there were many things I just couldn't get on board with.

Devon is about to play Santa, but only as a favour to his friend Michael who suddenly wound up very sick. He isn't looking forward to it, but a man has got to stick by his buddies and there's also the fact he could run into a certain sexy elf he once got a brief backside view of. So Devon is all primped and ready to face the day listening kids wanting gifts from Santa. His day goes from bad to worse when he finally meets Adrien (aka he knows how to wear those elf shorts) who is a walking disaster and with a few injuries under his belt. A slip causes Devon to come to his rescue and most likely have scarred a few children in the process. Seems Santa's village is a little less cheery today.

As I said, I got a little confused during certain parts. Like there's a whole hell of a connection between almost everyone in this story, and with name dropping I was all like "and who is that now?” The insta attraction between Devon and Adrien is hot as hell, but also left me a bit frowny. Like if Adrien's elf shorts are as obscene as it sounds, like why does no one get him a new pair? It seems that Adrien also knows a bit about Devon, which means people have been talking about him (behind is back) which gets me very frowny.

Despite my misgivings, I'm very interested in seeing where Devon and Adrien's new found lust goes. They managed to convince me of their chemistry, let’s see if they can completely pull me in book 2. Also, I am wondering if Devon will ever get to play the Santa he said he would. There's some pissed off parents and kids in the mall folks which is never a good thing. Cute story, but the execution is somewhat lacking yet I still wanna read more.

3 Pants Off

And the Winner Is...


*Winner of the Megan Derr giveaway. Winner chosen by author*