Tuesday, November 30, 2010

REVIEW: You're Invited by Roxy Harte

As the story starts, Bryce is the typical college boy with a future, active in sports, popular with the ladies, and being groomed by his father for a career in politics. His best friend Stanley - a flamboyant dancer and theatre major - is only saved from being the stereotypical gay friend by the fact that he's fully aware of how well he fits the stereotype.

After his first gay experience on the receiving end of a gloryhole at Aunt Tacky's party (not to mention his voyeuristic thrill of watching Stanley being taken by 3 men), Bryce finds his carefully constructed life falling apart.  He can't look at another man without getting hard, and falls very easily into a second gay experience with a stranger in the locker room at school.

Complicating matters is his friendship with Stanley. He knows that Stanley has been in love with him for years, and he's starting to accept the fact that their love may be mutual. As much as Bryce's own fear and insecurities keep getting in the way, causing hurt to them both, Stanley becomes the rock of their relationship and mentors his friend/lover along.

Once Bryce comes out to his family, things begin progressing rapidly. He continues to explore his love for Stanley, even as they become involved in a wildly inappropriate ménage-a-trois relationship with Bryce's godfather (a recently outed politician). A series of anti-gay hate crimes on campus add a little tension to the latter part of the story, and helps to serve as a prompt for Bryce's rather public coming out.

You're Invited is an almost shocking mix of themes, being both a bittersweet tale of coming out of the closet, and a sexually charged tale of gay experimentation. The storytelling is strong, the primary characters well developed, and the sex – wow! Alternately tender and hot, romantic and erotic, Roxy Harte manages to capture both the fear and the joy of realising one's true self.

You're Invited is available directly from the Loose ID site.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

It's Monday, What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with choices at the moment, so I've literally been hopping between books as the mood grabs me. The books I've made real progress on or are likely to finish this week include:

Body Swap by Jerome Parisse (I don't read much YA, but the concept of this excited me, and I am thoroughly enjoying it so far)

Shadowplay by Tad Williams (not sure why I put this one aside, but I devoured about 100 pages over the weekend and Tad has me hooked again)

Candy's Daddy by Cherry Lee (had potential to be a bit creepy at first, but I like where it's going)

Silver: Humanotica Book 1 by Darcy Abriel (I really should be done this by now, but I'm loving it so much that I've been dragging it out, savouring it instead of devouring it)

The Salbine Sisters by Sarah Ettritch (really looking forward to this)

Chick Band by Rakelle Valencia (I need to get cracking on this one)

Well, that's it for now . . . what are you reading?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

The Story Siren

Once again, this week was a very good week for reads.

First (and I'm very excited about this one), graciously provided by the author, Sarah Ettritch, for review:

The Salbine Sisters

As I announced last week, Kayden has provided me with a warm welcome over at Siren Book Reviews. She has a backlog of books she needed reviews for, so I've claimed some Tielle St. Clare, Cherry Lee, Christopher Newman, and Christine d'Abo:

Marvin and the Three Bears      Candy's Daddy     Deviant Ark

Mistress Rules by Christine d’Abo

Purchases from the Kobo Books site (using this weekend's 30% off coupon!) include some Jerome Parisse, Brad Thor, and S.A. Swann:

Body Swap: The world's first text message adventure romance with the other side!     The Athena Project     Wolf's Cross

Finally, my first Kindle purchases from Amazon (Kindle for PC + Calibre = Sony joy!) included some Kathe Koja, Terri Leigh, and Angelika Devlyn:

Under the Poppy: a novel     The Breeders (Shemale Erotica)     Black Ice - The Dark Kingdom Chronicles (Forbidden Lust)

Happy reading!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hops, Follows, and Tag Alongs, Oh My!

It's time for another Book Blogger Hop, courtesy of Crazy for Books!

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question is:

"What is your favorite book cover?"

Kushiel's DartThe Fairy Godmother (Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms)Hmm, that's a tough one. Over the years, I've fallen in love with literally hundreds of book covers, some of them deliciously dark, others wonderfully fantastic, and yet others satisfyingly minimalist. All of the 500 Kingdoms titles by Mercedes Lackey have absolutely beautiful fairy tale covers. These are must-haves on my shelf. I also love the covers for Jacqueline Carey's work, particularly the first Kushiel tale.

It's also time for the Friday Follow, courtesy of Parajunkee's View!

Finally, the 18 & Over Book Blogger Tag Along is courtesy of Bitten by Paranormal Romance!


This week's question is:

Do you have a recent hot m/f/m read? If not just tell us another hot read.

I'm going to have to go with Use Your Illusion . . . short, but very hot.

Hop around to some new blogs, tag along with some new friends, and find some great new reviews to follow. I always find something new to delight me!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

REVIEW: Confessions Of A Transsexual Porn Star by Meghan Chavalier

While this is by no means a perfect book (really, I ask you, is there such a thing?), Meghan's story still manages to succeed in most of the areas where other memoirs come up short.

Meghan’s transsexualism is front and centre, colouring her every experience, and influencing each step on her magnificent journey. It’s not that she calls attention to it or shoves it in your face, it’s just such an integral part of who she is that you can’t escape it. I would have loved even more of an exploration of the transition from male to female, but she definitely does justice to what she does share with us.

As for sex . . . wow, there is a lot of it! For Meghan, sex is something strange - a source of immense pleasure, but a definite addiction at the same time. She deals with (and escapes from) a lot of her issues by throwing herself at hot men, and even a few transgendered women. From romantic encounters, to nights of wild abandon with one partner after another, to full-on bisexual orgies, she is a sexual creature and rightly so.

Her life is one of both struggles and triumphs. An early rape experience is ultimately balanced out by true, lasting love much later on. Bi-polar depression is a constant, haunting spectre behind even her happiest moments. Most impressively, after years of drug and alcohol abuse, she quits cold turkey, and simply turns her back on the whole scene. Ironically, the substance that causes her the most harm is the silicone she has injected into her breasts – a mistake she begs other transsexuals not to share.

There is the obligatory (albeit short) chapter on celebrity encounters, but it’s not a matter of name dropping or bragging. Instead, she chastises the double-faced betrayal of one celebrity who, when caught, turns on the community and brands them freaks. She also takes time to pay tribute to a pair of celebrities who played fair, and never turned on those they lusted after.

Whether you're interested in the transsexual experience or just the human experience, Meghan's story is definitely recommended.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

REVIEW: Demon's Fall by Karalynn Lee

Demon's Fall is a wonderful little novella that begins with an interesting premise: an incubus purchases a caged and collared angel to add to his collection. As you can imagine, there is a great deal of potential contained within that premise, sexually, romantically, and even theologically. A less daring author likely would have used the concept to feed a steamy bit of BDSM erotica, populated with stock angels and demons, but even as Karalynn acknowledges that potential, she carefully steers the story in some surprising (and refreshing) directions.

At its heart, this is a story of romance, of a love that crosses all boundaries – mental, physical, emotional, and psychological. Kenan is a sexual demon, an incubus who seduces mortal women and captures their souls for his collection. He could easily have been presented as a sexual sadist or an absolute rake, but there is a tenderness and honesty to him that rounds out his character. Jahel, on the other hand, is an angel who looks after the innocent and shepherds their souls to safety. Again, she could easily have been presented as a radiant being of pure innocence, but there is a fire and a passion within her that makes her both endearing and genuinely attractive.

Theirs is a slow and gradual courtship, marked more by personal sacrifice than sexual conquest. Both Kenan and Jahel push (and ultimately cross) the boundaries of their established celestial roles in proving their love for one another. Along the way they become embroiled in a fairy tale plot involving evil queens and magic mirrors, as well as a theological storyline involving the horsemen of the Apocalypse and the demoness Lilith.

While this is a serious story, marked with moments of humour and passion, it never gets bogged down in the mythology. Both the fairy tale and religious elements are handled very matter-of-factly, without being granted any special significance or added weight. Karalynn strides boldly through the literary landscape to tell her tale, but the focus is always on the characters and what they’ll do for love.

A little gentler and a little more personal than the cover blurb suggests, this is a lovely story worth picking up.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

REVIEW: Samhain by Kenn Dahll

Good morning, all! Just a quick note to let you know that my announce that my first review is up over at Siren Book Reviews.

Click here for my review of Samhain by Kenn Dahll.

Thanks for Kayden and team for making me feel welcome! Here's to even more reading, reviewing, and sharing a love of books!


Monday, November 22, 2010

NEWS: Interview and Giveaway with Fallon Blake

Diana, over at Book of Secrets, has a great interview with Fallon Blake posted today, along with a giveaway of Fallon's new book, Wrapped Around Your Finger.

Plus-sized fetish model and aspiring chef Indigo Hartley has plenty of tattoos and a fiery attitude to match. When she’s offered a job as a sushi model for one of Miami’s trendiest restaurants, she jumps at the chance. Little does this country-mouse-turned-city-vixen know that what starts out as a modeling job will end up the answer to all of her kinkiest fantasies. Three days serving as a sub to this hot chef is too tempting an offer to refuse.

Banner Faust has worked his ass off and sacrificed his love life to become a rock star in the culinary world. On what should be the biggest night of his career, he realizes something is missing from his life—the submissive woman he’s always craved. The curvy new model with the blue-streaked hair and innate submissive nature just might be the one he’s been waiting for. And when he gets her home—and in his bed—he soon realizes three days will never be enough.

As if that doesn't sound juicy enough (and I do sooo love the book cover), I think I may be crushing on Fallon herself just a little bit (giggle). Among the revelations in her interview with Diana's are: she's weirdly obsessed with zombies and cupcakes; she has a teeny obsession with curvy and sexy pinups; and she is a horror movie fanatic.

Now, if that's not enough to whet your appetite, then you must not be breathing - but that's OK, because Fallon loves zombies! Head on over to Book of Secrets and leave a comment for a chance to win your very own copy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

This week was another very good week for reads, although there was also some sad news mixed in.

J.M. Snyder has chosen to shut down his Rainbow Reviews site, which means no new reads there. Fortunately, to help clear out his current back-log of reviews, he's passed one last read my way - Chick Band (an erotic, behind-the-scenes, lesbian rock-star read) by Rakelle Valencia.

Kayden has provided me with a warm welcome over at Siren Book Reviews, and I've jumped all over Samhain (an erotic tale of witchcraft, pagan ritual, and sexual adventure) by Kenn Dahll as my first read.

I also received my first read from NetGalley this week. Demon's Fall (an interesting tale of sexual slavery between an angel and an incubus), by Karalynn Lee sounds divine . . . if you'll pardon the pun!

Finally, I received my first delivery from Thrift Books this week, including the classics Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt and City of Night by John Rechy; Dr. Adder by K. W. Jeter; and the Age of Misrule series by Mark Chadbourn (which, for some inexplicable reason, is almost impossible to find in Canada).

The Hidden Oasis by Paul Sussman is one I've been anxious to get my hands on for a while now, but couldn't justify the price. Since it's now available in trade paperback, I was able to snag the hardcover at Chapters for under $10 as they clear out the remaining stock.

Happy reading!