Review: Single Malt by Layla Reyne

Reviewed by Jen

Feeling nostalgic for the Cut & Run books I loved so much, I asked Twitter to give me some recommendations of books with a similar feel and this one rose to the top. I can see the similarities for sure and they were close enough to scratch my itch, but there were enough differences that no one would confuse the two.

Like my beloved C&R books, this series centers around two FBI agents who are paired as unlikely partners. But these two guys are markedly different from Ty and Zane, who were always on the edge of spiraling out of control. Aidan is one of the FBI’s best agents, but he is just returning to work after an eight-month leave to recover from the accident that killed both his partner and his husband. His boss, Mel–his dead husband’s sister–assigns him to work with Jamie, a brilliant cyber-agent who is also a handsome former NCAA basketball star. Aidan is tasked with evaluating Jamie for field work. [Read more…]

Review: If the Fates Allow (An LGBTQ Romance Anthology)

Reviewed by Joanna

This anthology features Christmas shorts from a number of LGBTQ+ authors. All festive, romantic and in most cases super sweet.

Gracious Living Magazine Says It Must Be a Real Tree by Killian B. Brewer

Marcus works in a small-town diner. He loves his job, his boyfriend Hank, who’s the local mechanic, and he adores his deceased grandmother’s interfering friends. As Marcus never knew a traditional Christmas, he’s determined to make this year perfect. Suspecting Hank is going to propose, Marcus freaks out, and his grandmother’s friends only make it worse by giving him too much advice on exactly how to perfect his proposal scenario. [Read more…]

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Reviewed by Joanna

I don’t usually bring YA to this site, for the reasons our name suggests, but this is just so adorable and lovely I want you all to read it then go see the film with me next March, m’kay?

Simon is a sixteen-year-old high school student, who is gay and hasn’t told anyone, and he recently started chatting via email with an unknown boy at his school in similar circumstances. Blue, the mystery boy, intrigues him, and they quickly fall into a screen-based friendship.

He talked about the ocean between people. And how the whole point of everything is to find a shore worth swimming to. I mean, I just had to know him. [Read more…]

Review: Hamilton’s Battalion by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, Alyssa Cole

Reviewed by Jen

This anthology cashes in on the popularity of Hamilton with a trio of love stories against the backdrop of characters marginalized by race, religion, and sexuality. I haven’t seen the musical that has captured the hearts of so many, but you really don’t need to be familiar with it to understand what’s going on here. Eliza Hamilton is collecting stories from her husband’s soldiers after his death about their history with him. Hamilton, the Yorktown, and the Revolutionary are the threads that hold the novellas together. [Read more…]

Review: Golden by RL Mosswood

Reviewed by Ronelle

Elin is golden in a land of tan skin and brown eyes and hair. As such, his life as a harem boy in service to The Dragon was set from a very early age and he’s never known anything else. The only problem is, he’s never seen any appeal to intimacy or sexual acts. Nevertheless, he’s content enough with his life of uncomplicated, if restrictive, luxury… until an unremarkable chore becomes a case of love at first sight.

Mysterious newcomer Hathar, a roguish “merchant adventurer” from far-off lands, ignites an exploration of Elin’s first taste of physical desire, as well as a desire to experience life beyond the palace. Now, they must find a way to escape before Hathar’s ship departs, stranding them forever in The Dragon’s harem. [Read more…]

Review: Surrender the Dark by Tibby Armstrong

Reviewed by Jen

I had high hopes for this book. The premise was so intriguing. It’s a male/male romance between mortal enemies. One hero is a blind, scarred vampire hunter; the other, is the War King vamp who slaughtered the hunter’s entire family. It has two of my favorite tropes rolled into one, a scarred, tortured hero and a forbidden romance. It sounded dark and edgy and fully of sexy angst, and it was all of those things. But it didn’t work for me.

I generally enjoy an enemies to lovers story. My problem with this one is that these two wanted to have hate sex and that is not my bag. I’m all about holding on to the idea of hating someone while falling in love with them against your better judgement and those messy feelings –including attraction– leaking all over the place. That is not the same thing as wanting someone dead and still wanting to give them a blowjob. Does not compute. [Read more…]

Review: Hello Forever by Sarina Bowen

Reviewed by Joanna

Axel and Caxton were best friends from the age of eight, when they met at church camp. At age sixteen, their friendship took a turn, and they were caught kissing by a pastor.

Theirs was not a progressive church.

The boys’ parents were called, and Cax’s father came down on him like a ton of bricks. The man is a nasty ‘phobe, and it was the last time Cax got to see his friend. For the sake of staying with his family, he gave up all contact with Axel, leaving them both heartbroken. [Read more…]

Review: Incubus Touch by Siryn Sueng

Reviewed by Ronelle

Valyn enjoys the snow-covered city of Tromsø, Norway. The long nights are painted by the northern lights, whose energy fuels magic and the potential for intense pleasure. As a siren looking for a mate, this is both a blessing and a source of intense frustration. But when he meets an incubus named Jakai, his long search comes to a blissful end. He’s finally found the man to share his life with. Jakai is mysterious, but kind, and the sex is better than Valyn could have dreamed.

But along with the aurora, the darkness harbors new dangers. The fae have come to town, and they’re not looking to play nice. [Read more…]

Review: Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen

Reviewed by Joanna

This is a rerelease, as Sarina Bowen originally published this story under a different author name. I’d never heard of it so jumped right on the ARC when the email came through.

It’s the tale of Joshua and Caleb, two young men raised in a remote cult in Wyoming. The sort of place where the elders, the men who run the place and have all the power, take lots of wives, picking the prettiest teenagers as they become grown. And the kind of place where young men are of no use if they can’t keep up with the harsh field work. Which Joshua can’t. [Read more…]

Review: Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Reviewed by Joanna

The sequel to Him sees Jamie and Wes several months into their relationship. Their secret relationship, I should say, as Wes’s rookie NFL career is underway, and he doesn’t want it overshadowed by him being outed as the first openly gay ice hockey player in the league.

Jamie has given up his own playing career and taken up a coaching post, teaching elite kids how to be goalies. It’s his calling and he loves it, but it doesn’t go easily. He’s also having to navigate the new world where he’s suddenly bisexual and in a gay relationship. Whereas his family and friends are happy and supportive, it’s a lot for him to deal with, and he hates not being able to be with Wes publicly. Plus he’s in a new city and the isolation adds to his woes. [Read more…]