Tag Archives: Dianne

Review: One Under (A Porthkennack Novel)

Author: JL Merrow

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Rating: 4.5 stars

Buy Links: Riptide & Amazon

Type: Novel

Provided by Publisher 

 

Blurb:  London Underground worker Mal Thomas is staying in Porthkennack to recover from a traumatic experience. Getting more bad news from home is the last straw—until big, blond museum curator Jory Roscarrock steps up to offer some comfort.

As a doctor of English literature, Jory should be in a prestigious post at a top university. But a youthful indiscretion led him to abandon academia to come back to his hometown, Porthkennack, and the controlling family he’s never really felt a part of. He’s delighted to find a kindred spirit in Mal.

But Jory’s family hurt Mal’s best friend deeply, and while Jory is desperate to repair the damage, his own mistakes threaten to keep him and Mal apart. Meanwhile, Mal is torn between his feelings for Jory and his duty to his friend—and his fears that a failed relationship could be more than his shattered confidence can take. Jory must convince Mal it’s worth risking everything for their love.

Continue reading Review: One Under (A Porthkennack Novel)

Review: Wild Trail (Clean Slate Ranch #1)

Author: AM Arthur

Publisher: Carina Press

Rating: 3 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb: Welcome to Clean Slate Ranch: home of tight jeans, cowboy boots, and rough trails. For some men, it’s a fantasy come true.

Mack Garrett loves the rolling hills surrounding his Northern California dude ranch. Leading vacationers on horse trails with his two best friends is enough – romance is definitely not in the cards. When a sexy tourist shows up at Clean Slate, he’s as far from Mack’s type as can be. So why is the handsome city slicker so far under his skin in less than a day?

Roughing it in the middle of nowhere isn’t anywhere near Wes Bentley’s idea of fun. Then he lays eyes on the gruffest, hottest papa bear he’s ever seen. But Mack is as hard to pin down as he looks – distant, sharp-tongued, and in desperate need of a shave. Until a campout gone wrong strands both men in the mountains with nothing to do but get to know each other.

Mack intends to keep his closely guarded heart out of Wes’ very talented hands. But for a seven-day cowboy, Wes is packing some long-term possibility. The cold country air can do wonders for bringing bodies together – but it will take more than that to bridge the distance between two men whose lives are worlds apart.

Continue reading Review: Wild Trail (Clean Slate Ranch #1)

Dianne’s Best of ’17

It seems as if I read very few books in 2017 compared to the years directly prior. I’m sure there are many wonderful books waiting on my TBR. With that in mind – here are my standouts from books I did read/listen to last year.

These are in no specific order:

1. Seven Summer Nights (audio)by Harper Fox narrated by Chris Clog

I hadn’t found time to read this one so, being an audiophile, chose to listen. Wow, was I glad I did. Chris Clog’s performance is stupendously brilliant.

You know how the ultimate book transports you to its place and time? Actually has you feeling the ocean salt breeze on your face, becoming steeped in the scent of roses, striding along verdant green earth and ominous dark tunnels? Has you experiencing the sweetest of joys, the devastation of sorrows that befall the characters? This is such a book. Harper Fox possesses a keen ability to make every phrase on a page bloom and spring to life – this book is a prime example. Set in 1946 post-war Sussex, renowned archeologist Rufus finds much more than he bargained for when sent to investigate murals at a church in Droyton Parva. The Reverend Archie Thorne becomes an unexpected complication and touchstone. I am smitten with every aspect of this story. There is mystique, uncertainty, evil, joy, action and adventure, and soul-deep romance. The story deals with reawakening and self-discovery. Of individuals. Of humanity. Of the earth. Of spirituality. Of love. Oh – the renegade vicar on a motorbike bit is a definite bonus! This is one for the ages for me and is now on my list of all-time favorite stories. I wanted it to go on forever.

Continue reading Dianne’s Best of ’17

The Rebuilding Year (The Rebuilding Year#1) (Audio)

Author: Kaje Harper

Narrator: Gomez Pugh

Publisher: self

Rating: 5 stars story and narrration

Buy Links: Audible

Type: audiobook

Received from Publisher

Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins

Blurb:  Losing nearly everything leaves room for the one thing they can’t live without.

A few excruciating minutes pinned in a burning building cost Ryan Ward his job as a firefighter, the easy camaraderie of his coworkers, his girlfriend, and damn near cost him his left leg. Giving up, though, isn’t an option. Compared to the alternative, choosing a new profession, going back to school, and renting a room from the college groundskeeper are simple.

Until he realizes he’s falling in love with his housemate, and things take a turn for the complicated.

John Barrett knows about loss. After moving twice to stay in touch with his kids, he could only watch as his ex-wife whisked them away to California. Offering Ryan a room seems better than rattling around the empty house, but as casual friendship moves to something more, and a firestorm of emotions ignites, the big old house feels like tight quarters.

It’s nothing they can’t learn to navigate, though. But when dead bodies start turning up on campus—and one of the guys is a suspect—their first taste of real love could go up in smoke.

Product Warnings: Contains two hot men wrestling with a shift in their sexuality, as well as a few positions probably listed in the Gay Kama Sutra. But it’s not all about the hot and sweaty—especially when your previously straight life knocks on the door and comes back to visit.
Continue reading The Rebuilding Year (The Rebuilding Year#1) (Audio)

An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities #3)

Author: K.J. Charles

Publisher: Loveswept

Rating: 3.5 stars

Buy Link: Amazon

Type: Novel in a Series

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb:  A private detective finds passion, danger, and the love of a lifetime when he hunts down a lost earl in Victorian London.

On the trail of an aristocrat’s secret son, enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz finds his quarry in a music hall, performing as a trapeze artist with his twin sister. Graceful, beautiful, elusive, and strong, Pen Starling is like nobody Mark’s ever met—and everything he’s ever wanted. But the long-haired acrobat has an earldom and a fortune to claim.

Pen doesn’t want to live as any sort of man, least of all a nobleman. The thought of being wealthy, titled, and always in the public eye is horrifying. He likes his life now—his days on the trapeze, his nights with Mark. And he won’t be pushed into taking a title that would destroy his soul.

But there’s a killer stalking London’s foggy streets, and more lives than just Pen’s are at risk. Mark decides he must force the reluctant heir from music hall to manor house, to save Pen’s neck. Betrayed by the one man he thought he could trust, Pen never wants to see his lover again. But when the killer comes after him, Pen must find a way to forgive—or he might not live long enough for Mark to make amends. Continue reading An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities #3)

Foxglove Copse (A Porthkennack Novel)

Author: Alex Beecroft

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Rating: 4.5 stars

Buy Links: Riptide & Amazon

Type: Standalone Novel

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb: After a massive anxiety attack, Sam Atkins left his high-powered job in the City and committed himself to life on the road in a small van. Six months in, he’s running out of savings and coming to the conclusion that he might have to go home to his emotionally abusive family.

Needing time to think, he takes a walk through a copse by the Cornish roadside, only to stumble upon the body of a ritualistically killed sheep. As he’s trying to work out what the symbols around the animal mean, the sheep’s owner, Jennifer, and her nephew, Ruan Gwynn, come upon him.

Ruan is a kind-hearted young man with a large supportive clan, and since he and Sam feel almost instant attraction, he doesn’t want to believe Sam is a sheep-killing cultist. In fact, the moment he lays eyes on Sam’s miserable solitary life, he wants to rescue the man. But as the killings escalate, he and Sam need to stop whoever is actually to blame before they can concentrate on saving each other. Continue reading Foxglove Copse (A Porthkennack Novel)

Sons of Devils, Angels of Istanbul (Arising #1,2)

Author: Alex Beecroft

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Riptide & Amazon

Type: Duology

Received from Publisher

Blurb:  Sons of Devils

British scholar Frank Carew is in Wallachia to study the magic generator on nobleman Radu Vacarescu’s land. There, his party is attacked by bandits and his friends are killed. Pursued by a vampiric figure, he flees to Radu’s castle for help.

Unfortunately, this is precisely where the vampires came from. If allowed, they would feed unchecked and spread their undeath across the whole Earth, but Radu maintains a shaky control over them and keeps them penned in his tiny corner of the country.

As Frank recovers from his assault, Radu finds himself falling for the young man. But loving Frank and not wanting to lose him leaves Radu vulnerable to his demons’ demands. Can he bear to let them feed on the man he loves? Or must he give in to their blackmail and set them free to feast on his entire country?

Angels of Istanbul

Wallachian nobleman Radu is recently arrived in Bucharest with his vampire parents. Welcomed as an eligible bachelor, he’s introduced to the enchantress Ecaterina, whose salon is Bucharest’s centre of magical expertise. 

But when Ecaterina’s brother dies of a mysterious new plague, it’s clear to Radu that his parents have not been idle. Soon Bucharest is in the grip of an undead epidemic—a less than ideal time for Ottoman Sultan Mahmud, Wallachia’s overlord, to call Bucharest’s nobility to assemble their armies in Istanbul for a holy war against Britain.

The Wallachians have long resented their Ottoman overlords, so Radu seizes the chance to eliminate them while also ridding Bucharest of the undead: he leads an army of vampires to Istanbul and sets them to feed on the Turks.

As Radu’s demons gut the city of Istanbul, their plans become horribly clear. This is only the start. With the Ottoman armies under their control, the undead are poised to suck the life out of the whole world. Radu, his lover Frank, and Ecaterina are appalled at what they’ve unleashed. But they may be too late to stop it. Continue reading Sons of Devils, Angels of Istanbul (Arising #1,2)

The Bones of Our Fathers

Author: Elin Gregory

Publisher: Manifold Press

Rating: 5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb:  Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.

Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?

Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart. Continue reading The Bones of Our Fathers

Lying Eyes

Author: Robert Winter

Publisher: Robert Winter Books

Rating: 5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb:  This bartender’s art lies in more than mixing drinks …

Randy Vaughan is a six-foot-three mass of mysteries to his customers and his friends. Why does a former Secret Service agent now own Mata Hari, a successful piano bar? Where did a muscle daddy get his passion for collecting fine art? If he’s as much a loner as his friends believe, why does he crave weekly sessions at an exclusive leather club?

Randy’s carefully private life unravels when Jack Fraser, a handsome art historian from England, walks into his bar, anxious to get his hands on a painting Randy owns. The desperation Randy glimpses in whiskey-colored eyes draws him in, as does the desire to submit that he senses beneath Jack’s elegant, driven exterior.

While wrestling with his attraction to Jack, Randy has to deal with a homeless teenager, a break-in at Mata Hari, and Jack’s relentless pursuit of the painting called Sunrise. It becomes clear someone’s lying to Randy. Unless he can figure out who and why, he may miss his chance at the love he’s dreamed about in the hidden places of his heart.

Note: Lying Eyes is a standalone gay romance novel with consensual bondage and a strong happy ending. It contains potential spoilers for Robert Winter’s prior novel, Every Breath You Take. Continue reading Lying Eyes