Review: The Fear of Surrender (Hampton Road Club #3) by Morticia Knight

Master Thomas sees a submissive man aching for surrender if only Linus can be convinced not to fear The Hampton Road Club.

Linus never wants to return to Hampton Road after being attacked by a Master there. Even though he aches for the attention of Master Thomas—the one who he’d originally wanted—he isn’t sure he can ever trust another Master not to abuse him again.

Thomas is furious with himself for not protecting the beautiful young submissive whose company he’d enjoyed on a few occasions. He’s relieved that there have been some recent changes to help protect the men who offer themselves at the sadomasochism club. It’s about time to bring Hampton Road into the progressive age of the 1920’s. Now that the new rules are in place, perhaps he can woo Linus into giving him a chance.

As Thomas goes out of his way to be kind to him, Linus wonders if he’s misjudged the Master. He’s still not sure if there’s a future for them. What if he never wants to surrender to another man? When he allows Thomas to teach him the joys of Dominance and submission, Linus discovers that he not only wants to surrender, he wants to be claimed permanently. If only Thomas’ old life doesn’t come back to haunt them and destroy their chance of being together forever.

The Fear of Surrender offers the same type of loving master with his sweet, subby boy as we've been seeing in this series. I love it and you really can't go wrong with such a well-matched couple like Thomas and Linus, but I'd really like something different from The Hampton Road Club.

Thomas has had his eye on Linus, but was too late to protect him from a harsher master. But now that he's free, Thomas is going to keep Linus for himself.

Linus was really hurt by Master Preston in the past. (This can be read as a standalone, but I'd really recommend at least reading book 2 first, to get some background on what Linus suffered.) Because of this, Linus is unsure about going to the club and the masters there. But Thomas woos him, shows him what he wants and what they could have.

Linus' insecurities really came through in the writing. He was naive, but at the same time, knew what he wanted. He was needy, but still independent. I enjoyed seeing him get all he deserved with Thomas.

Perfect Master + needy, bottom boy = perfection.

It really does, every time. I think if this weren't the third in the series with that combo, I'd have rated it higher. I love the atmosphere and the feel of these books, this series is a must-read for me. I'd love to see something a bit different in the future though.

 Find out more info in Goodreads!

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Tag Team Review and Author Interview: Sterek fanfic: I Know Where Babies Come From Derek by DiscontentedWinter


Stiles finds a baby on the porch.

It looks exactly like him.

Well, this is awkward.

So several of us unicorns have fallen deep, deep into the rabbit hole of Sterek fan fiction. For the uninitiated this is free, online fiction,pairing Stiles and Derek from the TV show Teen Wolf. Fics can be set up in a million different ways - futuristic, past, canon (set in the universe the series is set), non-canon, werewolves, m-preg, human....there are so many different combinations. The one thing they have in common is that they feature Sterek (Stiles & Derek). Other pairings in this universe are Steter (Stiles/Peter), Jissac (Jackson/Isaac), Stanny (Stiles/Danny)...and probably many more, but Sterek is the main one.

I have read very little fan-fiction before and it was something I could take or leave but so many people were getting into Sterek that I dipped my toe into the water and before I knew it I was full on swimming in that pool. There are some amazing fan-fics out there, AO3 is a fantastic source of stories. 

There are several fan-fic authors I look out for now, but my absolute favourite is DiscontentedWinter AKA Lisa Henry. DW has the knack of writing dark or humorous or cute or smuff, but every single fiction has been amazing. Her recently completed I Know Where Babies Come From Derek completely blew me out of the water...I read it as it was being written and was literally waiting baited breath for each installment. 

Jenni Lea was reading it too and between us we decided that there was no way we could let this story go un-reviewed. This blog is here to share our love of the written word, especially those that we fall in love with, and I fell head over heels for the Sterek in this fiction. Anyway, here is what Jenni Lea and I thought and our interrogation of questions for Lisa.

Jenni Lea
Where do I even begin with this fic? I Know Where Babies Come From, Derek just may be one of my all time favorite Sterek fics - ever. It has everything I could ask for. It had fluff; it had angst; it had snark and sarcasm. Plus! No disappearing babies! <-- major selling point justsoyouknow.

DiscontentedWinter creates the perfect Stiles. She captures the true essence of who he is, that tough, sarcastic, balls-to-the-wall, fearless human amongst supernaturals. All of her other characters were perfectly portrayed as well. And to write a perfect story in only 15 days? That's some serious talent right there!

I have loved every single one of DW's fics (though I still haven't scrounged up the courage to read her Steter fic yet) and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.


It is fair to say that all of DW/Lisa's Teen Wolf fan fics are amazing. I am super envious of this writer's talent, whatever style she aims for she carries off immaculately - from the heartbreaking Promise You'll Look After Him to the super-cute Bite Marks and Bendy Straws. I can't say I have a favourite among these fictions but there was something about the amazing feat of writing I Know Where Babies Come From Derek in fifteen days that made me want to review this here at BMBR.

At the beginning Stiles opens the door to find a baby version of himself on the step...or at least, that's what he thinks. As the fic goes on we find out it isn't baby Stiles but...well, I'll let you discover that. What this fic does so well is embrace the characters we love from the show and capture the best of them.

We see flaily Stiles, serious Stiles, falling in love Stiles, upset Stiles and each incarnation is so perfectly written...he is the most amazing character. Even the actor Dylan O'Brien saw the potential as he decided to try out for the best friend instead of the star of the show. Great characters make great fiction and Lisa takes this amazing creation and writes him in the most wonderful ways.

Derek too, the yin to Stiles yang. So opposite in many ways and yet the perfect complementary character. No wonder there is so much fiction written about these two. I don't even want to think about the issue of whether they should be canon or not - I don' think they need to be, the fiction written about them gives us them in so many ways. Here we see Derek as I like him the best. Gruff, unsure yet so protective. The hurt of his past is never far away from the surface of Derek and fics like this almost let him have some redemption from that. *Happy sigh*.

I can't not mention the Sheriff, Stiles' dad (known as John generally in fic though as yet unnamed in the show). He is, in many, many ways the silent star of the show and fics. I adore the Sheriff and any fic that has him portrayed as the protective, snarky, can't-deal-with-feelings-but-loves-his-son-more-than-life dad wins me over. He is the unsung hero of Teen Wolf, just a secondary character but the show would lose a lo9t without him. besides, this is the man that brought up Stiles and Stiles is the star of the show. Right?

This fic will cover pretty much every emotion possible in the space of one story. Tears - happy and sad. That clenching feeling when you realise they're in love. Stiles and Derek being really is a brilliant piece of work that left me grinning from ear-to-ear and all kinda gooey inside.

Of course, we couldn't fangirl all over this fic without inviting DicontentedWinter to answer some questions. I seriously do not know how she has time to fit everything in but being completely amazing she agreed. Here's what she had to say.

As a well known and loved established MM author, what made you decide to try the Sterek waters?
I’d been reading Sterek for a while – long before I ever watched an episode of Teen Wolf. I can’t even remember the first one I read. I think it was possibly Cornerstone by Vendelin. Anyway, my Goodreads feed was full of Sterek fics and I just ending up clicking on a few… and you know what happens next. Total hopeless addiction. I just fell in love with the characters, in all their permutations.

Then, around the beginning of December, there was a lot of controversy about whether or not fanfics should be listed and reviewed on Goodreads, and whether or not Goodreads reviewers were part of the fandom. A lot of people were understandably upset by this, including me, and it seemed like the best thing I could do to cheer people up was to write a Sterek fic for them. I posted Balloon Animals Are Awesome on December 17, 2014. Since then I’ve written over 130 000 words of Sterek or Steter. It’s been crazy, but also a lot of fun.

Your Sterek/Steter fan fics range from the very angsty to the very fluffy - do you have a particular style you like?
This is something I love so much about fan fiction. If I’m in the mood to write fluff, I can take those characters and write fluff. And then, the next day, I can take the same characters and write something really dark and heartbreaking. I don’t even have that freedom with my own characters, but in fan fiction you get to hit the “restart” button on the universe with each new story. I will always love writing angst, but it’s been so much fun to write the little bits of fluff like Bite Marks and Bendy Straws, or Eyebrows and the Scientific Method. They’re short and fun and ridiculous, and people on Goodreads reward me with gifs. It’s win/win!

This is purely for me...are you planning on writing more to your Steter fic Don't Fail Me Now? This story went against all my instincts of what I would love from Stiles...but I couldn't read it fast enough. I need more, it ended...well it ended where it did and I just need to know all the things that happen later.
I am, but this is a really dark story and I want to be really careful about how I handle it. It’s definitely one I’ll need to think about rather than just launching into it… which is how I usually write. I wrote it because I wanted to write something with Stockholm Syndrome, with no happy resolution. And the end game was always Steter (Stiles and Peter). So I’ll need to come up with a plot that has enough conflict in it to sustain the story, but it won’t be Stiles getting rescued and going back to his old self – the entirety of Don’t Fail Me Now rested on the idea that Stiles could never be the same after being possessed by the nogistune, and Peter was the only one who could save him, in his incredibly twisted way. I agree completely and I cannot wait to read what you come up with. This is an amazing piece of fic.

Do you have a fave fic you've written?
My favourite is Promise You’ll Look After Him. I wrote this one basically as an indulgent birthday present to myself. It’s hurt/comfort, which is one of my favourite things, and it’s written entirely in Second Person from the Sheriff’s POV, and really, everyone hates to read Second Person! But I think it worked surprisingly well, and most people seem to have really liked it. Most importantly it gave me the chance to write Sheriff Stilinski, and I love the Sheriff beyond words. He’s such a great character. I completely understand why this is your favourite. It is so moving. *Considers starting a Sheriff Stilinksi appreciation club* I ADORE the Sheriff - those Stilinski men, yep, I'm all over them. I wonder if anyone would feel like writing more Sheriff fic? *Side eyes Lisa...*

IKWBCFD was written in a ridiculously short amount of time, what a challenge to set yourself - can you tell us more about the idea for this fic and the logistics of writing so much in such a short time?
Fifteen chapters in fifteen days! I’ve decided the alternate title to this is “Suck it, Nanowrimo!”

My biggest secret is procrastination. Seriously. I used IKWBCFD to distract myself from the fact I should have actually been working on the sequel to Dark Space. I got a bit stuck on that for a while (the hazards of being a pantser and not a plotter) and took a little Sterek break to recharge the batteries. Luckily it seems to be working!

Logistically, it wasn’t that bad. There were a few times I worried I wouldn’t get the chapter done in a day, but I was on night shift for a lot of it (which meant down time at work in the wee hours when I could get some writing done) and days off for some of it as well. It actually wasn’t that difficult to hit 3500-4000 words per day as long as I kept the pace up. There was a lot of caffeine involved though, and a few days where I picked writing over sleeping, because Heidi Belleau and I had promised Riptide we’d have our Bliss sequel to them by the end of February. But it was worth it, if only as a reminder to myself not to do it again. I loved posting a chapter a day, but next time I’ll try and actually have the thing written before I start posting.

Where did the inspiration come from?
I decided I wanted to write a kidfic because they seemed like fun, and it was something I hadn’t tried before, either in fan fiction or my commercial stuff. Then, once it occurred to me that of course Stiles would call his werewolf daughter Claudia after his mother, but shorten it to Claude, and totally spell it c-l-a-w-e-d in his head, I had to write it.

Also, I think I need to credit Jenni Lea with this one. When I said I wanted to write a kidfic, she made me swear that the baby wouldn’t magically disappear at the end, which is apparently a thing that happens in a lot of fics. So I agreed that the baby would never disappear – the reasons for which turned out to be the now infamous Chapter 11, which made everyone cry.

And when that sad bit in the middle happened, did you blub as hard writing it as I did reading it?
I never cry when I’m writing something sad. I guess I’m too distracted by what I’m saying and how I want to say it. When you’re concentrating on the actual writing, it’s hard to get lost in the story. Personally, I need to switch between being a writer and being a reader before I get emotional. But I did tear up when I read this chapter a few days ago, and then felt a bit ridiculous because I only had myself to blame.

Do you have a favourite between Stiles (yes, he's mine, hands off) or Derek (seriously growing on me)??
Stiles, of course! He’s so versatile. He’s the sarcastic little human who more than holds his own in a town inhabited by supernatural creatures and hunters. He can be ridiculous, and clumsy, and say stupid things, but he’s also incredibly smart, and has a toughness of spirit that even the werewolf characters can’t always match. And he can go really dark too, which is fascinating. I mean, I love Derek as well—he’s a great character, all brooding and Byronic, and he’s played by one of the most ridiculously attractive men on the planet—but I just find Stiles a much more interesting character.

Oh and your covers, I have serious cover love...just thought I'd mention that!
Thanks! I decided when I designed the first cover that I wanted it to be something easy I could replicate with my other covers: a simple style, white background, and pictures that were in the public domain. Or, in the case of Eyebrows and the Scientific Method, that I scanned myself! I definitely wanted to make all my covers match, and the simpler the better, since I am terrible at photoshopping stuff. But I think they’ve all turned out pretty nicely!

Thank you so much Lisa for stopping by - but more than that, thank you for the wonderful fan fiction, I can honestly say I've adored every word!! For anyone who is unsure of trying fan fiction, I think this is the perfect place to start. You do not have to be a fan of the show by any means, plenty of people read these who aren't (I am!!). There is so much quality reading material absolutely free. I can't speak for the other fandoms, but I know most people who fall into the Sterek/Steter universe take months, if not longer, to emerge!

To find out more visit Goodreads or AO3

Review: Inclination by Mia Kerick

Sixteen-year-old Anthony Duck-Young Del Vecchio is a nice Catholic boy with a very big problem. It’s not the challenge of fitting in as the lone adopted South Korean in a close-knit family of Italian-Americans. Nor is it being the one introverted son in a family jam-packed with gregarious daughters. Anthony’s problem is far more serious—he is the only gay kid in Our Way, his church’s youth group. As a high school junior, Anthony has finally come to accept his sexual orientation, but he struggles to determine if a gay man can live as a faithful Christian. And as he faces his dilemma, there are complications. After confiding his gayness to his intolerant adult youth group leader, he’s asked to find a new organization with which to worship. He’s beaten up in the church parking lot by a fanatical teen. His former best pal bullies him in the locker room. His Catholic friends even stage an intervention to lead him back to the “right path.” Meanwhile, Anthony develops romantic feelings for David Gandy, an emo, out and proud junior at his high school, who seems to have all the answers about how someone can be gay and Christian, too.

Will Anthony be able to balance his family, friends and new feelings for David with his changing beliefs about his faith so he can live a satisfying life and not risk his soul in the process?

This book. Oh my goodness, this book. What can I say? Mia Kerrick does it again, so wonderfully, beautifully well. I have a great love for well written YA books, I feel often times they have more depth to them than adult novels in a strange way. Maybe because the characters are just heading towards their adult lives and independence, maybe because they have the whole world before them, theirs but for the right choices. I don't know, but I find the characters often very engaging.

Mia Kerrick has written about difficult situations before - bullying, domestic many different ways. She always, always, gives her characters a challenge. The fact that her characters are gay can sometimes be the secondary worry amongst the other crap they are dealing with in life. In this book though, the two issues have a direct link to each other, at least in the head of MC Anthony. Anthony is a devout catholic, the ultimate good boy, who is struggling with his own acceptance of being gay and how this affects his relationship with God.

If, like me, the fact that this book is written about religion may seem off-putting, I would urge you to read it because it is pure brilliance. I had some unease when I started reading, the way Anthony is, his belief so strong, is so far from me and my experience that I wondered if I would find it hard to connect to him as a reader. I should not have feared because I understood him perfectly. I was rooting for him from so early on - and not as I thought to ditch his religion and accept his sexuality, and that is because of how clever Mia Kerrick is.

I wanted Anthony to have both. His faith is so strong and important to him, it is as much part of who he is as his sexuality. It is a fundamental part of him and his life, and I loved how Kerrick kept this and didn't write him as someone who loses his faith. Writing as a reader who has no specific beliefs but respects those others have, I wouldn't have found this halfway as believable if Anthony ditched his beliefs. It wouldn't have been him.

That's not to say this book wasn't damn hard to read at times. So hard. Any sort of homophobia is hard to read about. Any form of bullying, of violence, of friendships being torn apart - and really this is the catalyst for this whole story. One devout boy trying to come to terms with the fact he's gay and losing the support of those he trusts the most at the time he is most vulnerable. How often is that the case? Too frequent I'm afraid. In this book, in the space of one meeting Anthony loses the strong group of friends he has had around him since he was young. He comes to realise that they areas much a clique as every other group, but at that moment it is heartbreaking. Even his best friend turns against him. It's so hard to read.

Two things though are there to help Anthony deal with all of his pain. Firstly, I have to mention his family. It would have been so easy to turn them into non-supportive antagonists, yet Kerrick did the opposite and instead they fully support their son, they worked with him to try and make it possible to align their faith in God and Anthony's sexuality. His family were amazing. Like truly brilliant - if only everyone had this support at home, the world would be a happier place.

The second thing - or person - was the second MC, David. David has walked the path that Anthony is on and is there to help guide Anthony to a place of reconciliation. Reconciliation between himself, his beliefs and God. Although religion is the theme of this book it really is about so much more. It is about self-belief, about family and friends, about trust. Mostly though it is about love. Love between Anthony and Jesus, love between Anthony and his family, and the burgeoning love between Anthony and David.

I don't think whatever review I write will do this book justice and I would urge everyone to read it. Please don't feel you need to have a faith to read it, or that it is going to either try and convert you to religion or tell tale of the evils of religion. It shows quite clearly the good and the bad and how much a burning faith is a part of who Anthony is and how he works to make it still the focal of his ever-changing life.
To find out more, check out Goodreads or Booklikes!
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Love's Medicine by Ashley John

Justin White didn't expect to fall in love with his best friend, Sammie Cooper, but he couldn't stop himself. Since their teen years, they've been inseparable, but as each year passes, it becomes harder and harder for shy Justin to confess his true feelings to his charismatic and promiscuous best friend. Keeping secrets has become second nature to Justin, as his love for Sammie isn't the only thing he's concealing from the world. In the shadows of his home, his mother is slowly dying, and despite stealing painkillers from the hospital, there's nothing he can do to save her.

Sammie Cooper never thought his casual and sexual relationship with his boss at the nightclub would ever turn into anything serious, but when Finley offers him a briefcase stuffed with money to follow him to England, he doesn't know if he can resist the lure of the cold, hard cash. Sammie is faced with a decision that he never thought he'd have to make, and things only get more complicated when he makes a shocking discovery about Justin's life.

Can Justin start telling the truth to keep hold of the only man he'll ever love? Can Sammie turn down life changing money to risk it all on the unknown?

One is scared of love and the other is scared of commitment. Justin and Sammie thought they could make it through anything together, but their crumbling lives threaten to rip them apart. Both are faced with difficult decisions, but will they make the right ones?

Ashley John is an author I look forward to reading now. The Surf Bay books are a series of, easy to read, devour in a sitting, stories. Each of the characters are unique, as is each love story. When I open up one of these books I know to a certain extent what I am going to get - but that is part of the charm. I know there will be one lovable MC with stuff going wrong in his life. I know there will be a 'bad boy' MC who we get to uncover and grow to love. I know there will be angst but ultimately an HEA/HFN. I like that I know this. I read different books for different reasons and depending on my mood at the time, and sometimes I just know I need to read this kind of book. Hard, but not brutal. I know I'll fall for the MC's along the way and wish them their happily ever after. 

So what is unique about each book? Well, though they follow a certain format they do all bring different characters to the table...or the town of Surf Bay and I really appreciate this. In this book Justin is the good guy making some super tough decisions. Hiding a secret from everyone, including his best friend Sammie, he is coping the best he can in a crappy situation. He's trying to keep himself together but is barely succeeding. On top of the personal issues he's dealing with the love of his life, best friend Sammie (friends to lovers - YAYAYAYAYA!!) has no idea how Justin feels about him, and Sammie's casual attitude to sex and his own self worth eat away at Justin more and more.

Sammie is getting himself in some hot water. Shagging his boss to keep him sweet and rolling in expensive gifts it seems that Sammie may suddenly be out of his depth. Caught between friendship and an uncertain future that may involve love, or a guaranteed 'high-life' rolling in riches, playboy to his boss, Sammie suddenly doesn't know which way to turn. He thought he knew what it was he wanted out of life but now he's questioning decisions he makes and then questioning them again.

It would be easy to write Sammie off as a bit of an arsehole - in truth he really can be, but I always got the feeling that he was more a confused little boy who really didn't know up-from-down. Yes, at times, his treatment of Justin SUCKED. He was a miserable BFF and the phrase 'who needs enemies...' sprung to mind. When I peeled beneath the surface though I think he was way more scared and unable to cope with life than Justin, however they would outwardly appear. He was screwed up and made screwed up decisions, but I think he started to learn from them and at the end of the day he made the right choices (eventually). Even if he did cut it fine.

Fans of this series will like this book and I would recommend Surf Bay for those looking for a comfort read, the population there is pretty cool!
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
For more information, check out Goodreads.

COVER REVEAL for the much anticipated Fated by Bey Deckard

It's getting closer! The eagerly anticipated final installment in the Baal's Heart trilogy.

We unicorns are thrilled to reveal the cover for Fated!  Some of us are just a wee bit obsessed with this series.

Gimme a "T"!
Gimme an "O"! 
Gimme an "M"!

What does that spell?
Kinky pirates?

That too, but more like… 

Tom, Tom, Tomity, Tom, Tom!!!

We *might* have a favorite.

There's sure to be intrigue, unexpected twists and turns, hotness, kinky fun times and probably a harrowing adventure since they are pirates and all. Bey will deliver the goods on April 11th.


With the captain’s mind in shambles, Jon and Tom set out to find the passage home through the black mountain range, hoping to find a cure for Baltsaros’s madness. However, when the men are forced to part ways, darkness takes root in the schism created; fate, lust, and vengeance become obsessions threatening to tear apart the fragile bonds holding the three together.

Following on the heels of Sacrificed, Fated takes the pirates on a quest to find those responsible for the captain’s bloody beginnings. But can they survive what awaits them where past and present meet?

Strap in, kids! It'll be exhilarating, topsy turvy and probably swashbuckling.

In all likelihood, the level of squeeing, groping, gasping and Ohhhh Emmmmm Geeeee'ing will quadruple in the clubhouse once we get our hands on Tom Fated.

Pre-order link:

Author Info:
Born and raised in a small coastal town in northern Québec, Bey spent his early summers on his uncle’s boat and running wild on the beaches of the surrounding islands, lighting fires and building huts out of driftwood and fishermen’s nets. As an adult, he eventually made his way to university and earned a degree in Art History with a strong focus on Anthropology. Primarily a portrait painter and graphic artist, Bey sat down one day and decided to write about the two things that he felt most passionate about: sex and the sea.

Bey currently lives in the wilds of Montréal with his best buddy, a spotty pit bull named Murphy.


Review: Guns 'n' Boys (#1.2) by KA Merikan

Guns n' Boys needs to be read in order. This is the second part of book one.

--- Love is sour like a Sicilian lemon. ---
The Family is always right.
The Family doesn’t forget.
The Family pays for blood in blood.

Domenico Acerbi grew up in the shade of Sicilian lemon trees ready to give his life for the Family. Ready to follow orders and exceed expectations. A proud man of honor.
When Seth, the younger son of the Don is kidnapped, it’s Domenico who is sent to get him back. The man he finds though, is not the boy he knew all those years ago. Lazy, annoying, spoiled, and as hot as a Sicilian summer.

Seth Villani wants nothing to do with the mafia. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a say when the Family pulls him right back into its fold after his mother’s death. Thrown into a den of serpents otherwise known as the Villani Family, Seth has to find a way to navigate in the maze of lies. But when Domenico Acerbi, the most vicious snake of them all, sinks his fangs into Seth, the venom changes into an aphrodisiac that courses through Seth’s veins.

Domenico knows his life is about to change when he gets the order to train Seth up to the role of future Don. Seth isn’t made for it. He isn’t even made. But a man Domenico knows he would never have to fear might just be someone he’s always needed.

If Seth is doomed to follow in his father's footsteps, he might as well enjoy himself--with the most intoxicating man he’s ever met. Maybe he can even fool himself into believing that Domenico isn’t a handsome sociopath who kills for a living.

The second part of this book was every bit as good as the first. It starts where part one leaves off, again Seth Villani is deep in the middle of something he doesn't want to be, with no way out. At his side is mentor, bodyguard and lover Domenico. The trouble is now they're back on home ground under the watchful eye of the current don and his men. A place where it is not okay to be gay or to fuck another man. Seth's heart is leading him somewhere it is very unsafe to be and he doesn't know who he can trust - not his family and certainly not the man with his heart, Dom.

This book is every bit as dark as the first one and I had no idea who to trust and who not to trust.Not even with regards to the MC's, the tale twisted and turned and loyalties were never as set in stone as they appeared to be. In a culture where even the closest brothers are fools to trust each other Seth is very much alone and fighting against this with all his being. Domenico might be there is person but I don't think even Dom knew where his loyalties lie.

Seth is forced into an arranged marriage with a girl he'd never met. The marriage was deemed to be good for the family so he had no say in it. As much as he dreaded it he could see no way out. His only relief is that he and Dom get to escape back to America for a while after. We know quite clearly Seth's feelings for Dom, despite the fear of being gay and seeing him in this situation, so out of reach of everything he wanted is quite heartbreaking. As well as dealing with this, not understanding Dom's true feelings and trying to be a person he really truly isn't, he has a price on his head.

Dom is the MC who even the reader doesn't quite understand. Until the last page I didn't know how he was going to play out and kudos to the Merikan's for that because sometimes so called twists are in plain sight from page one. I can't wait to read book two of this series and, as I said before, I would highly recommend these. Just be warned, these stories are about as far from sweetness and light as it is possible to get. I savoured every page though.

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.
‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.

Read the warning - but if you dare, read it anyway, the Merikan magic is at work and it is truly fabulous tale.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
For more information, check out Goodreads

Review: Touch Starved by Samantha Lau

Recently removed from the life he knew, from his family, and from the land that saw his birth, Rajnish Nayar finds himself lonely. On this new country, on his birthday, what could have been a fatal accident helps him rediscover himself, and perhaps, find a second chance at love.

Erotica writer Stephen Kouris has trouble keeping friends. He has even more troubles keeping lovers, even though all he wants is someone to be by his side always. When he meets exotic Rajnish Nayar, his interest is immediately piqued. Could this shy man be the one? And could he get him to admit his feelings, despite the cultural differences?

I have to applaud the author for tackling a story that features real life characters and diversity. *claps* We need more characters like Rajnish. He's a 43 year old Indian man, divorced from his arranged marriage (to a woman) and has a teenage son. There are a good number of older hero MM but this one is closer to unique because the author chose to go outside the usual main character box.

And the other main character, Stephen is in his late thirties!

If you like older heroes, sweet romance, you might like this one.

Rajnish or Raj meets Stephen on a chance encounter - drunk Stephen nearly gets ran over by Raj. The men befriend each other over a length of time, taking a vacation together where the friends finally become lovers. Rajnish was interesting, a late in life bloomer of sorts - he always coasted along his life, did what was expected of him and finally at 43, takes the reins and lives his life for himself. He finally touches the doorknob of his closet. He has to first accept homosexuality in his son and then later himself.  Stephen was a patient, friend who took his time, didn't freak Raj out because he saw something special in his friend.

Why this wasn't a 5 star rating?

I'd love to rate this higher just for the different type of character used...but I can't. The story was good, not memorable. Even quiet main characters have the ability to remain on the brain if written to showcase the best characteristics. We sort of get this with Raj but I still don't feel like I got to fully know him and Stephen...I barely knew him. Both men were perfect for each other, I believe they will be partners for a very long time. But I wanted to know more of what made them special, what made them tic. Why was Stephen so rip roaring drunk in the first place? Other than the brief mention of Raj reading Stephen's work (MM romance BTW), why didn't we get to learn how Raj started reading this genre?

The pacing was sedate. For less than 19K, it felt like I read double that due to the slow pace. Don't get me wrong, for Rajnish - he could only have a believable late in life gay moment if the pacing is slow. There is something about this story that needed a little more to make it interesting. It didn't need to be over the top dramatics, I'd have rated this lower if it there was. But something. Raj is an immigrant in a new land, he barely touched on the cultural differences. There is sort of a parallel story with Raj's son, Arun, but he is only there for a few pages to showcase Raj's acceptance of his own sexuality. Also, there was a sense of formality between father and son that tarnished the validity of their closeness in my eyes. Loosen up fellas. :)

There were a few typos but it didn't detract from the story. There were images in the text that didn't really look great on my e-reader. I don't know if it was only a me thing but I just thought I'd mention it. Story didn't need them.

Overall, it was a sweet and slow, no angst, calm romance. Not as intense or deep as I imagined it could be. But I liked.

P.S. this story is set-your-own price on Smashwords, in case you're curious.

For more information on Goodreads or Booklikes!

Review: A Taste of You by Irene Preston

Hell’s Kitchen has nothing on the flames Giancarlo and Garrett ignite at Restaurant Ransom...

Garrett Ransom is America’s hot chef du jour. He has a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City, a hit reality TV show, and a new man in his bed every week. Yes, he secretly thinks his business partner, Giancarlo “Carlo” Rotolo, is hotter than a ghost pepper, but he would never jeopardize their friendship with a fling. Then Garrett overhears some juicy gossip among the crew and realizes he’ll have to break Giancarlo’s cardinal rule, no banging the staff - for Carlo’s own good, of course. Just a taste of Carlo should be plenty. Long-term relationships aren’t on Garrett’s menu.

Giancarlo’s been in love with Garrett forever. He’s sure Garrett will eventually realize they are destined to be more than business partners. But when Garrett installs his latest boyfriend as their new chef d’cuisine and announces plans to leave Carlo in New York while he opens a second restaurant on the west coast, Carlo is forced to re-evaluate his life. 

Can a high-strung British chef and a nice Italian boy from Brooklyn find the perfect fusion of fine-dining and family-style?

LOVED the food!

I'm still thinking about Nonna's tortellini and the scallops and the braised lamb shanks… 

The romance, though, feels a little underdone. 

Garrett is a high-profile, celebrity chef who has to be based upon Gordan Ramsay, who I don't like. I was never able to bridge that gap. Garrett is a diva in the kitchen, goes through men like Kleenex, never connecting with any of them and all of whom are short term, essentially fuck buddies. But it's not just the fuck buddies he doesn't connect with it's everyone. He is completely out of touch with his emotions thereby rendering him aloof, callous and difficult to connect with as a character. 

What I really took issue with regarding Garrett was the way in which his intensity as a chef who strives for perfection was pathologized. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I speak chef. I study and follow them and Garrett is a chef. A diva chef, but all great chefs are flighty, intensely perfectionistic and insecure. I will concede that he, when faced with intense emotions, takes solace in the kitchen to the extreme, but I disagree with the message that being passionate about something equates to a mental illness. 

*stepping off my soapbox now*

Garrett and Carlo have been business partners for years and a misunderstanding/partial deception motivates Garrett to take action. Action which Carlo has been holding out hope for for years. As much as I was happy for them to come together and get their groove on, I never invested in them as a couple. I don't understand what Carlo sees in Garrett nor do I understand why he puts up with being repeatedly taken for granted and oftentimes dismissed out of hand. Like I said, I understand the chef mentality/personality, but you have to pair that with heat, steam or passion none of which was on the page, despite the biting.

The secondary characters didn't add much. The cousin felt like a Brooklyn caricature and the whole Italian-American family of Carlos' didn't pack the punch I was looking for either, but they did make some good food. You start talking mortadella to me and I'll melt like butter. The writing is slightly repetitive at times and I quickly tired of the endearment "sweets", but Preston did a good job with the dual perspectives. I think this was a case of me not being able to connect to a character rather than it being the writing. I found the ending abrupt and the evolution of their romance unbelievable given the history of Garrett and his "relationships" suddenly transforming into the monogamous "non-boyfriend". It was too much telling, not enough showing for me.

But the food was so good as was the restaurant biz stuff. 

I just wish there was a recipe appendix in the back. 

Recommend for foodies.

A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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