Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Date: 26/02/2014
Grade: 3.5
Details: Received from Amber Allure
            Through Love Romances and More
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“For two years, James Hunt has been lusting and longing for his co-worker Daniel Dumaw. But the older, more sophisticated Daniel doesn't seem to have a clue as to how James feels.

He will this weekend, though, since James is going to do what he's been dreaming about for ages--he's going to seduce Daniel.

But James is going to find out that things aren't always what they seem. And that he might not be the only one with seduction on his mind...”


This was a rather sweet seduction story. James has been working with Daniel for two years and for all that time he’s been lusting after him, never believing that the older and so very sophisticated man could possibly be interested in him, a younger small town ‘boy’. When Daniel rather unexpectedly invites him to spend some time together on a drag race track, James escapes the family wedding he’s attending as quickly as he politely can, determined that this is his opportunity. He’s going to take this weekend to make the dreams he’s been harbouring for two years come true.

Daniel, at the race track, is a revelation. Not only would James never have imagined Daniel being involved in drag racing, he can’t believe how incredibly sexy the man is in jeans and a tight T-shirt. James may have been planning on seducing his handsome co-worker; in reality it is nowhere near as easy as in his fantasies. Every window of opportunity is closed by James’ nerves. With the racing already over for the day when James arrives, it seems that he’s too late anyway. Until, that is, Daniel invites him to diner and the seduction plans are back on.

But is James really the only one with seduction on his mind or does Daniel have some fantasies of his own he’d like to fulfil?

Like I said, ‘Seducing Daniel’ is a rather sweet story. James’ nervousness and the way he gets tongue-tied every time he sees an opportunity to make a move were adorable. Daniel on the other hand seems far more suave and relaxed, taking every opportunity to touch James or flirt with him, even if James is blissfully unaware of it.

“I’ll admit I usually get what I want.” – Daniel

The story reaches the heights of sweetness when the two men are back in Daniel’s travel trailer after their dinner. While it has been clear to the reader that both men are seducing each other from the start of the story, it comes as a complete but very welcome surprise to James. The fact that Daniel is as insecure as James when it comes to seduction takes the story to a new level of cuteness.

This is not a very explicit story. As the title suggests this is a story about seduction more than what happens afterwards. And in a story this short that was just about perfect. If the sex between the two men had been described in more detail it would have been to the detriment of the charming seduction taking place earlier. While I like my (M/M) sex scenes graphic and detailed, I didn’t feel short changed when I finished this story. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have enjoyed more detail, but I didn’t feel as if I had been robbed by the time the story ended either. There are times when imagining the scene works just as well as reading a detail description of it. Especially when you’ve developed a bit of a liking for the two characters involved.

Charming, well written and fun to read, this story was a delightful way to kill an hour.


Pages: 284
Date: 26/02/2014
Grade: 3.5
Details: Received from Text Publishing
            Through Nudge

Some books are harder to review than others and ‘All the Way’ certainly falls in the harder category.

This is the story of Solange’s sexual coming of age. It is told in three parts and while you might think that it gets easier to read about her dreams, fantasies and actions as she gets older, it didn’t quite work that way for me. In fact, there was a lot in this story that really disturbed me. That is significant because I read a lot of erotic books covering a range of topics and rarely find myself wanting to look away from what the author is trying to show me.

Solange’s story is told in three parts: Getting It, Doing It and Doing It Again and follows her from age 10 until a few, unspecified number of, years later. Solange is the daughter of a father she hero worships but who is rarely around and appears to be having affairs. Solange isn’t really aware of her father’s escapades although his behaviour does manage to embarrass her at times. The girl’s mother doesn’t seem to play an active role in Solange’s life. She is around but appears to be suffering from depression and migraines; something that appears to be connected to the photo of a young boy she keeps on her bedside table. With her parents being less than present in her life, much of Solange’s care is left to a neighbour, Monsieur Bihotz.

The reader follows Solange as her body and her interests change. She evolves from an innocent and happy young girl into a sex obsessed teenager with little to no guidance and guessing her way through discoveries and experiences. Everything the girl thinks she knows has either been found in an encyclopaedia or picked up from girlfriend gossip and neither can protect her or those around her from the devastation her transition will cause.

This book managed to disturb me on several levels. In the first part of the story the interactions between Solange and Monsieur Bihotz gave me the creeps. While it is never suggested that the man abuses Solange, the descriptions of him tucking her into her bed and, especially, the fact that the young girl can describe his penis in various states of arousal really got to me.

He has two dicks. The one for pissing and the other one. The other one is much bigger, the colour of a turkey’s comb, like the canna lilies.

In the two subsequent parts of the story Solange is a few years older, although the reader is never told exactly how old, and throws herself head first into a sex obsessed world. It was her desperation to experience everything as soon as possible that really got to me. On the one hand I was very impressed with the descriptions of all the insecurities teenagers go through when it comes to relationships and intimacy. On the other hand the way she throws herself into everything is so far beyond my level of experience that it shocked me to the core. It might have been easier if Solange’s age in those later years had been specified. Because the reader is only told she is a few years older than 10 it is up to them to imagine whether she is say, 13, 15 or 17. The fact that everything described in this book might have been happening to a girl aged only 14 made this a hard read.

Having said all of that, there were a few things I really admired about this book. The story is told in a rather fragmented fashion, jumping from thought to thought. Of course, that is exactly the way the teenage mind works and while it made the story a bit hard to follow at times, it also meant that the reader never had the opportunity to forget that they were living inside a teenage mind. The selfishness of teenagers and their capacity to make everything that happens about them was brilliantly portrayed, even if it made Solange a very hard character to like on occasion. I was also really impressed with some of the descriptions of Solange’s changing body.

Her nipples feel like they’re on fire. As if two eyes were opening in her chest, agonizing, blind and exposed to scrutiny.

Just as there were one or two times when her emotions struck a chord.

Oh, to be a child again. When she was little, the external world didn’t seem to weigh so heavily on the surface of her being.”

Maybe this was such a hard book to read because it is too realistic. It brought back memories of all the insecurities, confusing longings and pitfalls of adolescence with too much clarity. Some of Solange’s thoughts and experiences were so recognisable they might have been written about me. That combined with the fact that a lot of what she actually experiences goes way beyond anything I encountered during that time in my life may well explain why I feel so ambivalent about this book. One thing I do know for sure is that I’m happy I don’t have a teenage daughter living at home. I think this story would give any parent of a teenage daughter nightmares – even a mother who was kind of wild at that age herself.

Over all I would call this a very explicit, at times shocking, coming of age story written by an author who has an exceptional insight into the teenage mind. The writing in this book is brutally honest and at times poetically beautiful. This is the sort of book that will shock and disturb many because it shows us a part of the teenage experience we would rather deny. I defy anybody to read this book and not walk away from it with strong feelings. Whether those feelings are positive or negative very much depends on the sensibilities of the reader in question. This reader finds herself both impressed and disturbed.

Monday, February 24, 2014

LOVER ENSLAVED - 24 Hours in Mumbai

          24 Hours in Mumbai
Pages: 44
Date: 24/02/2014
Grade: 3.5
Details: A 1 Night Stand Story
            Received from Decadent Publishing
            Through Love Romances and More
Own/ Kindle

The blurb:

“Stranded for twenty-four hours in Mumbai, India, contract negotiator, Thomas Barkley searches for a man who can make him forget his pain. When a trip through the red light district leaves him cold, he turns to Madame Eve’s service and finds a shot at redemption—but first, he has to survive it.

Indian male prostitute, Arjun Mukesh, begged Madame Eve to set him up for one night of real pleasure. He knows better than to expect anything but a brief hiatus from his miserable life. When Thomas showers Arjun with tender and very real affection, his heart begins to ache for more than a taste of the life he cannot have. Unfortunately, his boss Ranjeet won’t to let him go without a fight.

Amidst a spray of bullets, Thomas must convince Arjun to take a chance on a new life in America before it’s too late for both of them.”


My thoughts:

“His moans sounded like sobs from a long-forgotten, sad story.”

This was my third 1 Night Stand novella in a month and I have to admit I’m quickly turning into a fan of this series. I love the premise of these stories; two people desperately looking for that elusive love connection turn to Madame Eve to set them up with a perfect partner for one night. If all goes to plan that one night will be the basis for a happily ever after, but not without some obstacles to overcome first. I mean, what’s not to like?

In this book American contract negotiator Thomas Barkley finds himself stranded in Mumbai having just been made redundant. Thomas has lost the man he loved under tragic circumstances 18 months earlier and hasn’t been able to be intimate with anyone else since. He’s almost forgotten the request he sent to Madame Eve months ago when he’s notified that his one night stand will take place in his hotel that night.

Arjun Mukesh has been a rent boy all his life. Since it is the caste he was born into he never expected to be anything else and can’t imagine a life that wouldn’t involve giving himself to men for money or the violence his pimp, Ranjeet inflicts upon him. All he’s asked Madame Eve for is one night of real pleasure since love is a dream he can’t afford to indulge himself in.

When Thomas reaches the room where Arjun is waiting for him he walks into a violent scene. He manages to scare Ranjeet off, but is heartbroken to discover that this is what Arjun’s life is and always will be. The night the two men share is a revelation for both. While Thomas discovers that he can develop feelings for somebody other than the lover he lost, Arjun experience real pleasure and intimacy for the very first time. Arjun has never been with a man who is as anxious to make sure Arjun gets his pleasure as he is for his own.

More violence follows the two men while they explore each other’s bodies as well as life-stories. When Arjun disappears the following morning Thomas knows that he has to find the man he’s begun to fall for as well as a way of bringing him back to America with him.

This was a charming little story even if there seemed to be a bit too much happening for such a short tale. Personally I would have liked to see a bit more of the two men discovering each other and a little bit less of the violence. Having said that, everything we were shown about the two men was well written and clearly painted. I especially appreciated Arjun’s story and his inability to believe that somebody might want to give him pleasure for no other reason than to make him happy, and his reluctance to believe that it might be something he could hang on to.

Some of the writing in this story – like the sentence I quoted at the top of this review – was so beautiful it took my breath away. I also liked that the book came with an epilogue, giving us a small glimpse of the future and the happy ending Madame Eve had once again managed to create for two of her clients.

Now that I’ve found these ‘1 Night Stand’ stories I find myself rather addicted to them, so it’s just as well there seem to be a lot of them and new ones are being published quite regularly. Sometimes a hot quick read is exactly what this reader needs; at moments like that I could do a lot worse than turn to this series.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Pages: 62
Date: 23/02/2014
Grade: 4+
Details: No. 3.1 Inside Out
            Received from Gallery, Threshold
            Pocket Books through NetGalley
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“In a world where my only escape has been my art, Sara has been the light in my darkness. And there is darkness, the kind of inky black that can bleed from my life to hers.

She doesn't see it. She doesn't understand what I've shown her. And my biggest fear is that soon...she will.


My thoughts:

““The painting isn’t about you getting covered in tats. I lower my voice. “It’s about you being covered in me.””

I don’t know what it is about Lisa Renee Jones but she always manages to touch me. This woman has a way with words that reaches some place inside me and evokes emotions. And that’s the reason this review will probably end up being more about the quotes than the story-line or my thoughts on it.

Unlike the main books in the ‘Inside Out’ series, in which we follow the story from Sara’s perspective, this novella is told in Chris’ voice.

Sara and Chris are still in France but getting ready to travel back to America and the trail for Rebecca’s murder. It seems that they have dealt with everything Chris felt he had to share with Sara better than he feared they would and have found a balance. Chris needs to be in control of his life and those who share it with him. Just as Sara needs somebody to hand control over to.

“I need this control. She needs a safe place to give it away.”

And now that Chris has asked Sara to marry him, and she has accepted his proposal, it seems that they may be able to look forward to a less turbulent future together once the deal with the issues still waiting for them back in America.

“I told you once that if you stayed with me, I’d own your body. Every last inch of it. Marriage seals that deal.”

Sara has seen all the damage pain can cause. She’s witnessed the need it can create in people and the turmoil resulting from that. And yet, she can’t resist the lure of sensual pain when Chris introduces her to it. She trusts her man, and while Chris isn’t sure how he earned that trust or that he deserves it, he can’t resist using it to enhance their relationship.

“There are two kinds of pain, Sara. Pain meant to create pleasure, and pain meant to be just pain. You’ll never know that kind with me. Never.”

As far as Sara is concerned Chris has shared his dark secrets with her and she’s discovered she can deal with them and still love him. Chris knows better though; there are still levels to his darkness that she isn’t fully aware of and while he’s ready to leave France behind without sharing them, his past isn’t ready to leave them alone. When Chris’ past intrudes on their happiness yet again, Chris wants to confront it on his own but Sara won’t let him. Chris is sure that once this last secret has been revealed to the woman he loves, she’ll leave him.

“But if you run, run fast. Because I’m going to come after you. That’s just the kind of bastard I can’t seem to help being.”

The scenes Sara is forced to witness are dark and disturbing and yet she doesn’t run. The real problem, as far as Sara is concerned, is not that Chris has darkness in his past or even that life can still trigger a reaction and need in him. What bothers her is that he doesn’t trust her to use her own judgement and doesn’t believe in her strength when it comes to dealing with everything he and his past can throw at her

“You told me to see you once before, Chris. I’m begging you to see me now. I love us and you. And I love where you take me, and what you make me feel.”

If I’m perfectly honest I have to say that this book didn’t add a lot to the story so far. There are no new revelations about Chris’ past, and I was expecting something along those lines. Having said that, I did enjoy this story and loved the opportunity to hear Chris’ voice. In fact, I’m enjoying these views from other character’s perspective so much that I’m sorry we don’t get more of them, or longer versions. Still I’m completely invested in this story and can’t wait until I can read more of it. Regardless of whose perspective it will be told from, I know I’ll find myself engrossed in the story and collecting another set of quotes.