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INTERVIEW: Shawn’s Law by Renae Kaye

 Thank you for coming back to visit us again, Renae. And a BIG congratulations on another release.

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Shawn is single, twenty-nine, the full-time carer of his Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, and a frequent victim of Murphy’s Law—although his family calls it Shawn’s Law. Other than caring for mum, his day consists of painting nude men and spying on the guy who walks his dogs along the street every day at four o’clock. When Shawn takes a spectacular fall on his front steps, who is there to witness it other than the man of his dreams?

Harley doesn’t believe in Shawn’s Law—but he soon changes his mind.

The two men make it through a memorable first date and Shawn’s sexual insecurities to begin a relationship stumbling toward love. But when Shawn’s Law causes Harley to be injured, Shawn is determined to save Harley’s life the only way he knows how—by breaking up with him. Not once, but twice. Throw in a serial killer ex-boyfriend, several deadly Australian animals, two dogs called Bennie, a mother who forgets to wear clothes, an unforgiving Town Council, and a strawberry-flavored condom dolly, and Shawn’s Law is one for the books. 

★★★★★

Firstly the cover. Paul Richmond has designed a fabulous cover which seems to capture the spirit of the book (I say ‘seems’ because I haven’t read it yet so I’m just going off the blurb 🙂 ). Can you share with us a little about the cover design process?

Renae: **laughs at this**  For me, the cover design process involves me talking to the cover artists and saying, “I don’t know.”

I’m a firm believer in letting the experts do their job.  My husband stands over the shoulder of the electrician we’ve hired and tells him how to do his job.  Me?  Nah.  I wrote the story.  I let the editors tell me if my grammar is incorrect, and let the cover artists do their job.  My input was “I want the cover to reflect that the story is zany,” and that’s what Paul gave me.  [Great job, Paul!]

I had to provide Paul pictures of what an Australian lake looks like, and a description of the scene, but he is wonderful in giving a great cover.

The story itself sounds intriguing—and dare I say, a little crazy. Where did the inspiration come from?

Renae:  “How many Australian animals can I get to attack my MC before the end of the story?”

I’m not joking.  LOL.  My inspiration for this story was to scare the pants off anyone who thinks that Australia is a dangerous place to live.

But sometimes my own life feels like Murphy’s Law is out to get me.  When everything is going wrong, then that’s the day the car breaks down, the kids come home from school with gastro AND head lice, and my husband tells me he’s invited friends for a bbq.  In creating Shawn and his topsy-turvy, crazy life, I made myself feel better.  Because at least I’m not as bad as poor Shawn.

You are known for the Aussie flavour in your stories. Can you share any secrets about the Australian animals that make an appearance in this one?

Renae:  There are a lot of venomous animals that appear in this book.  Rest assured that no one dies from a bite/sting/attack.

Did you know, that out of the top 25 venomous snakes of the world, 20 of them come from Australia?  Rest assured that no one dies from a snake bite in this story.

Did you know that the most venomous spiders of the world are also Australian? Rest assured that no one dies from a spider bite in this story.

Did you know that blue ringed octopus is so deadly it will kill you in ten minutes?  Rest assured that no one dies from an octopus in this story.

Have I scared you yet?  LOL.

Truthfully, this book will not panic you.  All animal attacks – such as the one of the cover – are treated in a humourous manner that will make you laugh, rather than cancelling your flight to Perth.  We also have a lot of cute cuddly animals in this book – like this fellow: 

Animal

 

She’s a quokka – see the baby in her pouch?  They are about the size of a large pussycat and soooo goddamn sweet.  Quokkas don’t attack.

Some other great animals you can fall in love with in this book are Carnaby’s Cockatoos.  And dogs.  (Two of them named Bennie.)

The blurb talks about Shawn but not so much about Harley. Can you give us some insight into what makes Harley tick?

Renae:  Shawn’s nickname for Harley, before they met, was Hippy-Hotpants.  That describes Harley all over – he’s a modern day hippy, out to save the world one peace protest at a time.  He is environmentally aware – everything from organic food, to endangered animals, to not purchasing clothing that was sewn in a sweat-shop.

In Harley’s own words, “The reason I go out there and fight for what’s right, is because I feel extremely privileged in this life, and therefore I put my support behind those who can’t fight for themselves. I try to make this world a better place. I try to save the planet and the people who live here because of the ones I love. If I had no family, I think I would curl up and die of sorrow. I fight harder because I know there are people in this world I am fighting for. I want to make this earth a better world for those I love.”

The problem in this book is not whether Shawn and Harley like each other, but whether they can live with each other.  Trust and faith in the one you love is vital.  And treating them like an adult.

Was it difficult to write a humourous story that includes someone suffering from Alzheimer’s and their family?

Renae:  Yes.  And no.  (How astute of you, Renae).

I guess the answer to this question comes from my own experience.  My father fought bowel cancer for over eight years.  He fought it.  We fought it.  We all lived it.  One of the most important things I learned from the experience was attitude.  There was no use in visiting my father and spending the whole time crying and morose about the fact he was dying.  We both knew it.  Instead, I would ignore it and speak with Dad about other matters.  My dad could smile and laugh and be happy, and that helped him a lot.

I don’t mean to make fun of people with Alzheimer’s, and the disease is no joking matter.  But how you deal with it can make a huge difference.  A sense of humour when your mother asks you your name for the 60th time will hold you in good stead with Alzheimer’s. 

I’m sure I’m going to have people who tell me that their experience with Alzheimer’s is different, and I will nod and completely agree with them.  This story was written to entertain, not to be an essay on reality. Yes, Shawn’s mother does a lot of crazy things within this story, but it’s a comedy.  It’s fictional.  It’s supposed to be funny.

What book is on your bedside table?

Renae:  The only paperbacks I read these days are either from the library, or older ones from my bookcase.  At the moment I am reading and enjoying two BRILLIANT books from my library:

 Book 1 Book 2

For Colored Boys is a collection of true short stories from gay men over a range of topics such as their first sexual experience, bullying, religion, abuse and coming out.  It is emotional.  I feel privileged to read their stories.

This Book Is Gay is a riot!  I’m not sure who the target audience for this book is, but I feel like it’s teenage boys who are gay (or bi or trans) and don’t know what to do about it.  It’s funny and hilarious and covers a lot of topics like how it is okay to be gay and that you’re not the first person in the world to feel that way.  It gives people rebuttal information to argue with religious fanatics, information about how to have anal sex for the first time, and continual affirmation that being “not straight” is fine.  5 stars all the way.

Renae:  Thanks for having me again Nic.  I’ve had fun as usual.  If your readers are wanting more information, they can contact me on:.

Email:  renaekaye@iinet.net.au

Website:  www.renaekaye.weebly.com

FB:  www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9

Twitter:  @renaekkaye

And of course, the most important bit, is where will they be able to purchase the best book in town?  **cough cough**  Sorry, it was a long interview and I’m high on chocolate now.

Dreamspinner
Amazon
ARe
Barnes and Noble

About the author

Renae Kaye is a lover and hoarder of books who thinks libraries are devilish places because they make you give the books back.  She consumed her first adult romance book at the tender age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped since.  After years – and thousands of stories! – of not having book characters do what she wants, she decided she would write her own novel and found the characters still didn’t do what she wanted.  It hasn’t stopped her though.  She believes that maybe one day the world will create a perfect couple – and it will be the most boring story ever.  So until then she is stuck with quirky, snarky and imperfect characters who just want their story told.

Renae lives in Perth, Western Australia and writes in five minute snatches between the demands of two kids, a forbearing husband, too many pets, too much housework and her beloved veggie garden.  She is a survivor of being the youngest in a large family and believes that laughter (and a good book) can cure anything.

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Review: Hobbled by John Inman

Today we have a guest review provided by Renae Kaye, author of Loving Jay and The Blinding Light.

Hobbled

The blurb…

Thanks to fate and his own lack of good sense, eighteen-year-old Danny Shay is headed into what looks to be the worst summer of his life. It starts with a minor meltdown at work that leaves Danny under house arrest with a cast on one leg and an ankle monitor on the other, courtesy of the San Diego Police Department. On top of that, he’s battling a chronic case of virginity, with no relief in sight.

Oh, and there’s one more little glitch. A serial killer is stalking the city, murdering young men. And when strange sounds are heard in the house behind Danny’s, the neighborhood kids think they’ve found the killer. But not until Danny learns he’s next on the madman’s list do things really begin to get desperate.

Damn! And Danny had plans to come out this summer—maybe even get laid! He doesn’t have time for ankle monitors and serial killers!

Then ginger-haired Luke Jamison moves in next door. Not only does Luke solve a few of Danny’s more urgent problems, he also manages to create a couple more that Danny never saw coming. Gee. If he can survive it, this summer might not be so bad after all.

So what did I think?

John Inman certainly knows how to entertain an audience.  I enjoyed reading this book immensely, despite the fact that throughout the whole last third of the book I was shaking my head in incredulity.

In this book you meet Danny, who is 18 and thinks like an 18-year-old (ie with his penis).  He has moved away from his mother and step-father’s rural farm and in with his father.  He has two goals – to tell his father he’s gay, and to lose his virginity.

Unfortunately a display of temper has given him a broken ankle and a tracking device, courtesy of the San Diego Police Department.  He’s now under house arrest, while his father has to travel for work.  Then Luke moves in next door.  It turns out that the guys have a lot in common – as in they are both 18, both wanting to experiment and both think largely with their penis.

Then you chuck in a couple of neurotic animals (it wouldn’t be John Inman without a couple of crazy animals to cause havoc) and a serial killer.

The serial killer bit was a little hard to believe, but for the sake of reading a fictional novel, I suspended my disbelief and finished off the book.  I have to admit that Danny and Luke’s reaction to finding dismembered body parts, burglars and entering a serial killer’s house, makes me want to drop another star off, but I won’t.  I will happily wrap myself in my bubble and try to remember that these boys are 18 – impetuous and yes, they think with their penises.  And penises don’t have brains.

I bought this book looking for a giggle, and that’s what I got.  Mission accomplished.  If we can believe there is a land called Narnia on the other side of the wardrobe, I can believe that sixteen cops would answer simple house-arrest trespass call.

Don’t look for award winning plot-lines, just read for enjoyment – and since there are two 18-year-olds thinking with their penises, there is plenty of sex. 4 stars!

Renae

❅❅❅❅❅

About the Guest Reviewer

To find out more about Renae Kaye and her books, visit her website.

Renae’s newest story, will be in the Anthology A Taste of Honey, available from Dreamspinner Press and released on 18th August.

Buy A Taste of Honey.

About the Author

To find out more about John Inman and his books, visit his website.

Buy Hobbled.

Dreamspinner Press

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Guest Post: Renae Kaye

We are very excited to welcome our friend, Renae Kaye to Two Men, talking about a topic very close to her heart!

❤❤❤❤❤

Give me some more of that humour!

Everyone has a sense of humour.  But there are a lot of different senses, and a lot of different humours.  As a woman, I don’t get fart jokes.  I just don’t.  Men seem to adore them.  I blink and change the subject, really quick.  Ejections of (often) smelly air from our bodies in loud, noisy ways do not tickle my funny bones.  Yeah.  Umm.

My mother tells me I share the same humour as my father – and I have to concede she is right.  Some of my precious memories are of sitting over breakfast, passing the comics back and forth with my father and laughing so hard I was snorting milk.  We would try to make Mum join in, but she never got it.  Her humour is different from ours.

Humour is often selective like that.  People describe humour with terms such as “dry wit” or “sarcastic comebacks”.  You can be jovial or straight-faced or even droll.  I’m not really quite sure what I am.  I just know that I find humour in all types of places.

The ability to tell a joke or a funny story is something that some people have – or conversely, don’t have.  My mother-in-law cannot tell a joke.  She.  Simply.  Cannot.  We shake our heads despairingly at her.  She’s one of these people who forgets what she’s saying halfway through, and has to stop and think about the joke while we all sit in horrified fascination at how badly she’s stuffing up the story.  When I first met her, I didn’t understand this.  Now, some of the most traumatic moments of my life occur after she speaks the words, “I heard this joke today…”

Sadly for me, my husband is exactly the same.  He often tells the punchline first, completely missing the impact of the joke.  I race to catch up, trying to work out what he’s trying to say.  There’s an awkward pause while I run through the joke in my head (in the correct order), then I laugh.  About twenty seconds too late.  Yeah.  Umm.

Me?  I love telling jokes.  I’m a bit of a performer and in my childhood I did some amateur theatre.  My first role was playing a girl who talked to herself.  Often.  Then I played Dracula’s crazy mother who had to be locked in the dungeon.  I rounded off my acting career by playing a teacher whose students gave her a nervous breakdown.  I guess you could infer that I play the crazy quite well.  Yeah.  Umm.

I think that my humour comes from desperation.  Sometimes, unless you laugh at yourself, you’ll go crazy from the depression.  And that’s never a good look.

So, do I use humour in my books?  Umm, yeah.  Sorry ‘bout that.  I don’t think I can turn it off, and do you know what?  That’s okay.  I’ve heard people say they can’t take any more angst.  Or any more sadness.  Or any more depressive, maniacal horror.  I’ve yet to hear someone say, “Oh, my gosh.  I don’t think I could take any more laughing.  I’ve read three comedic books in a row, and I’m just so sore from laughing, I’m going to burst.”

My second novel, The Blinding Light, was released on the 14th of July, and I am so proud of that puppy!  It has been well received and my heart is glowing from the love it is causing.  It even made the “Movers and Shakers” list on Amazon for its strong sales.  And I am so happy about that, and I love that people love it.  Because love and happiness is what we all need.

So if you would like a dose of happiness today, check out what I’m talking about.  You won’t regret it.

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Buy Links

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★★★★★ The Ghost Slept Over by Marshall Thornton ★★★★★

The Ghost Slept OverThe Ghost Slept Over by Marshall Thornton

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The blurb…

When failed actor Cal Parsons travels to rural New York to claim the estate of his famous and estranged ex-partner, he discovers something he wasn’t expecting…the ghost of his ex! And worse, his ex invites Cal to join him for all eternity. As Cal attempts to rid himself of the ghost by any means, he begins to fall for the attractive attorney representing the estate. Will Cal be able to begin a new relationship or will he be seduced into the ever after?

So what did I think?

You know when you sometimes come across a book where you think something along the lines of “not really sure it’s my cup of tea but I’ll give it a go anyway?” Well this was one of those examples for me. Given the choice I usually go for lots of angst and drama and don’t mind shedding a tear or two over a story. Humour is therefore not usually at the top of my list. However I am so glad I read this book – it was fabulous!

Cal is an actor who suddenly inherits the estate of an ex-lover he hasn’t seen in years. The call from Mac’s attorney came out of the blue but is opportune for Cal who could do with a financial boost. Dewey is the country lawyer who is also involved with the Barnyard Players, a theatre group that was supported by his now dead client, Mac. When Cal arrives in town, so begins an amusing story as he begins to fall for Dewey while the ghost of Mac is determined to win Cal back.

I loved the characters and loved the whole premise of the book. It’s chock full of the most amusing lines as no-one can see Mac and they start to think Cal is not quite right.

Cal suddenly squeaked and said, “Goddammit.” For the first time, it crossed my mind that he might have a case of Tourette’s. It would explain a few things.

And the conversation between Cal and Mac is hilarious..

“I can probably go anywhere I want to. I think I’m haunting you, not the house.”
“New York? You can go to New York City?”
“If you go to New York, I can go to New York. Are you suggesting a romantic getaway?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. I’m hoping that when I got to New York you won’t be able to follow me.”

I am definitely going to check out more books from this author and I have definitely learned my lesson and think I might just check out some other humourous stories too!

To find out more about Marshall Thornton and his books visit his website.

Buy The Ghost Slept Over from Amazon.

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Now for something different! Zombies! Check out the Excerpt

Regular readers of my blog will know that zombies are not usually my thing. But this one has come to my attention – zombies and drag queens!

Queens of the Apocalypse by Rob Rosen – bonus points for that title and check out the cover!

Queen's of the Apocolypse

So what’s it about?

Take three fierce drag queens, plus their undead drag sister, a massive solar flare, and a few billion hungry zombies, toss in the remnants of the U.S. Army and a hysterically funny, frequently-poignant cross-country trip, add a spicy dash of sizzling romance and a helping of mystery and suspense, and what you wind up with is the deliciously campy Queens of the Apocalypse.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

Check out the EXCERPT – it sounds great, doesn’t it! 🙂

“That bitch!” shouted Blondella as a silver can whizzed by me.
 “Which bitch?” I asked with a heavy sigh, Lee Press-ons held up for close inspection as the can rolled around the floor before coming to a rest against my fabulous Jimmy Choos. Knock-offs, yes, but the guy on the corner promised me that no one would know the difference. Or at least no one past the first few rows—when the lights were dimmed, of course. And who could possibly spot the glue that held the heels on anyway? From past the fourth row, I mean.
 “Which bitch?” came her world-weary reply. “Kit. Bitch used up all my hairspray yet again.”
 I turned and glanced her way. Blondella Bombshell had her hair jacked up so high it was a wonder she didn’t topple over. Then again, drag queens frequently wobble, but they never fall down. When they’re sober, at any rate. Which, thankfully, we rarely were. “One errant match,” I made note in reply, pointing at her platinum hive, “and KAPOW!” Then I turned back to the mirror and began my daily moisturizing routine.
 She chuckled as she rummaged around for a second can. “Be that as it may, Destiny, it was mine, not hers, and she is, as I said, a bitch.” The second can was promptly found, another coat applied to the towering, temporarily inferno-less mess that sprouted dangerously above her head like a garden desperately in need of a good pruning.
 I nodded. “She’s only a bitch when she’s low on sugar.”
 The chuckle repeated as the heady aroma of jasmine-infused aerosol wafted my way, an ozone hole seemingly widening above our heads. “And exactly what year was Miss Kit Kat low on sugar? She practically owns half the M and most of the & with a lease on the second M as it is.”
 Blondella had a point. Still, who was I, Destiny St. James, to cast the first stone? Or in Kit’s case, boulder, because one measly stone would barely leave a dent in all that girdle-encased rotundity. Yes, though far be it from me to say it—to her face, as opposed to behind her wide expanse of back—Kit looked like a cross between Aretha Franklin and Jennifer Hudson, pre-Weight Watchers. And by “cross” I mean take Aretha and take Jennifer and mash ’em together, and voila, you get Kit in size, color, and diva-demeanor. Seriously, she should’ve been counting her blessings that the music at the club was so blaringly loud, because otherwise, she’d be lip-synching to nothing but the squeaking floorboards beneath her size twelve feet all night long.
 In any case, in she walked, or at least waddled, a few moments later, the steel door shutting behind her. And yes, I said steel. See, the dressing room had once been a meat locker back in the day, the club itself a converted restaurant located just outside The Castro. Pretty to look at, but, like my shoes, only in dim lighting and from a distance. Or if you weren’t sober. Then again, like us, our patrons rarely were. Thankfully. Because tip ratio equates to drink ratio. In other words, the drunker they were, the better we looked and the more do re mi dough (hairspray, moisturizer, candy bars) for all of us.
 “Bitches!” Kit shouted in cheery greeting, a Snickers bar waved like a wand above her head.
 “Yes,” said Blondella icily. “We already covered that.” She gave Kit the onceover—twice.
 “Girl, you look like ten pounds of potato in a five-pound sack.”
 “Says the queen in her fifties wearing the fifteen-year-old’s dress,” came the snarky reply as Kit took her squeaking seat in front of her makeup mirror. “Was there a rummage sale down at the high school, hon?”
 “Thirties,” came the teeth-gritted reply. “Not fifties.”
 Kit turned and squinted at the ever-shellacked Blondella. “If you say so.” Then she giggled and turned back to the mirror, lipstick tube momentarily replacing the Snickers bar.
 In truth, none of us knew exactly how old Blondella was. None of us, after all, had ever seen her out of drag, out of makeup, or out of her monstrous expanse of wig. If she had a driver’s license, it was about as well-hidden as the pores on her face. Best guess, though, I’d say forties. High-end. Low in the dim light. And yes, there wasn’t anything above fifty watts within the club’s walls. Mandatory. Drag queens’ law. Enacted and brutally enforced by all ten of us girls. Well, boy-girls. Um, men-bitches, really.
In any case, terms of endearment at an end, we went back to work on our faces. With the club opening in a few hours, we barely had enough time to prepare. Especially once the other performers arrived and war promptly ensued. Because ten of us and six makeup mirrors made Vietnam look like a night at Disney.
 So before all hell broke loose, we eagerly primped and preened and glossed and coated and sprayed and glued and—groan—tucked merrily away.Though, of course, all hell did in fact break loose soon enough.
Seriously.
SERIOUSLY!
All hell and a good part of Oakland, for that matter. BOOOOM! we heard first, with a couple of extra vowels thrown in the middle for effect. Then the floors shook, the steel screeched within its brick encasing, and Kit’s belly Jelloooed, again with a couple of extra vowels in the middle.
And then the three of us shrieked, very unlady and certainly unmanly like.
❅❅❅❅❅❅❅
Rob Rosen
Author of the award-winning novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, and Vamp
To find out more about Rob Rosen aand his books visist his website.
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The Case of the Cupid Curse by R.J. Scott & Amber Kell

The End Street Agency series:

  • The Case of the Cupid Curse (book #1) – in this review
  • The Case of the Wicked Wolf (book #2)
  • The Case of the Dragon’s Dilemma (book #3)
  • The Case of the Sinful Santa (book #4)

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

The Case Of The Cupid Curse (End Street Agency #1)The Case Of The Cupid Curse by R.J. Scott

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb..

Book 1 in The End Street Agency series written with Amber Kell.

Sam Enderson is a human detective who inherits a building from where his Uncle used to run a detective agency. He finds himself working for paranormal creatures despite his resolve to stick with humans only. To supplement his income as a new PI Sam rents out rooms in the large house.

Bob is a vampire and turns up on Sam’s doorstep to rent a room. Sparks fly and Sam is attracted to the vampire despite himself.

Sam is cursed by a witch, and has two cases landing on his desk. Werewolves, annoying ghosts and a grumpy gargoyle are enough to drive Sam mad. But somehow in amongst all of this he has to find a missing fae and a missing shifter child.

The End Street Agency introduces a world where paranormals pretty much keep away from humans but they can’t resist pulling Sam in when they find him on the edge of their territory. Everyone has their own agenda and it will be a while before they’re all sorted out.

So what did I think?

This book was so not what I was expecting! I was expecting the vampires and the witches and a bit of mystery as Sam takes over the detective agency. What I didn’t expect was the wonderful humour which was in bucketfuls!

Poor Sam, surrounded by talking gargoyles and mind-reading vampires, placed under love spells, taking jobs from werewolves and propositioned by other paranormals – things just weren’t working out the way he intented them.

I adored Bob, the vampire (with a name like Bob, how could you not?) and his interactions with Sam were hysterical, especially when he read Sam’s mind…
“Tall,skinny and blond, he ticked the boxes for Sam. Well, the old boxes. the one’s he had before he’d met Bob…
Damn, Did I think that?
He chanced a glance at Bob, who nodded back at him. Yep. Clearly he had thought that very thing.”

I was really surprised at the ending which seemed rather abrupt, probably compounded by the fact the ebook ended at 85%, but with so much unresolved it really encourages the reading of book 2!

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about R.J. Scott and her books visit her website.

To find out more about Amber Kell and her books visit her website.

Buy The Case of the Cupid Curse from Amazon.

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The Second Chances series by Susan Laine

The Second Chances Series – an enjoyable series with an injection of humour – a fun, quick read

  • Twice by Chance (book #1)
  • Accidental Chemistry (book #2)

Twice by Chance (Second Chances, #1)Twice by Chance by Susan Laine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

As a teenager, Addy Monroe had a life-changing experience-although technically the “experience” was happening to someone else in the steamed-up backseat of the taxi stuck in traffic next to him. Six years later, at a club in LA, Addy meets rock singer Zak Roscoe-the man who unwittingly taught him who he is-and gets a shot at experiencing Zak for himself. A private and guarded person, Zak finds Addy’s determined advances both annoying and intriguing, and he allows himself to be seduced for a night of pleasure. Unfortunately, some old habits die hard: Zak’s postcoital nature leaves something to be desired, and Addy quickly realizes that sometimes fantasy and reality don’t have much in common. If wishes were second chances….

So what did I think?

The beginning of this book set up for an interesting scenario as 15 year old Addy witnesses two men making out in the back of a cab which confirms he definitely likes men! The scene, and eye contact with the man in the back of the cab, makes such an impact on the young Addy, that he can’t forget and fantasises about the man for years. Eventually Addy runs into Zak and gets to enjoy the man in person.

While an enjoyable story, this was a difficult relationship to believe. Zak is not exactly likable – he is avoids relationships and treats Addy poorly after their one night stand. But Addy is persistent and keeps chipping away at Zak. This is the part where I struggled as I couldn’t fully understand why Addy was interested in Zak, why he wanted the second chance.

Zak is ‘no good at relationships’ but Addy gets under his skin and eventually he can’t deny his feelings. While I wanted them to have a happy ending, and eventually Zak does open up to Addy, it feels more HFN, with not enough insight into the relationship to really believe it will last the long haul.

3 Stars

Accidental Chemistry (Second Chances, #2)Accidental Chemistry by Susan Laine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb...

Zane Roscoe’s evil day job at a musical instrument store is supposed to teach him responsibility. What he really wants is the fun, excitement, and artistic challenge of being a musician. Joshua Norton is in college, training to become a pharmaceutical chemist, and he is Zane’s complete opposite: introverted, intellectual, and quiet. When the two meet at a gay night club, their relationship begins with a case of mistaken identity and a wounded ego.

They try talking but stumble over one miscommunication after another. So Zane decides they better stick to sex—except a series of bumbling disasters, accidents big and small, and minor mishaps leads to frustration. Afterward, Zane wants to apologize for his behavior. But Joshua ran, and finding him turns into a test of character, as does earning Joshua’s forgiveness. Can they find the new beginning they need for a second chance at love?

So what did I think?

It was great to find this story focused on Zak’s (from Twice by Chance) little brother Zane.

The story was sweet as Zane and Joshua commence a relationship filled with accidents and incidents – basically anything that can go wrong, does go wrong. There is no real relationship development, more just these guys trying to have a successful sexual encounter without mishap! However they do seem to have an opposites attract chemistry.

There are definitely moments of cuteness and this makes a fun quick read.

I also like books that contain songs. This one includes “Who Will Love Me Now?” by PJ Harvey. Zane’s band plays the song and Joshua sings “And his voice was divine, echoing such mournful tones and painful longing that I felt my fingers slip and miss a few chords because I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Never had I seen or heard anything as beautiful as Joshua singing, his voice growing stronger and more confident as the song went on.”

 

To find out more about Susan Laine and her books visit her website.

Buy the Second Chances series from Amazon.

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First Impressions by Christopher Koehler

First ImpressionsFirst Impressions by Christopher Koehler

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

The first time Henry Hughes and Cameron Jameson meet, it’s an unmitigated disaster. Cameron reminds Henry of all he left behind when he stopped making adult films, and he cruelly rejects Cameron. When Cameron discovers Henry’s porno-thespian past, he assumes he’s dodged a bullet.

But circumstances continue to throw the two together. Though the physical attraction between them grows, they cling to first impressions, even as a slow dance reveals just how good they could be.

Henry finally realizes how wrong he was, but Cameron can’t cope with “sleeping with the enemy”. It will take a confrontation for Cameron to realize just how wrong he’s been, but unfortunately, he may have lost his chance.

So what did I think?

This book was unusual for me as my opinion kept changing. One minute I was loving it, the next I wasn’t so sure. In summary, I did enjoy the story and it’s laugh-out-loud moments but a little more loving would have raised it just a notch.

The strengths of the book were the wonderful range of characters – most hugely over the top, especially Cameron’s mother – and the humour throughout the story. This is one of those books with some great one-liners. I also adored Cameron’s ‘stories’ about his family.

This is the story of two men who are looking for something more in their lives. Henry is an ex-porn star whose reputation seems to follow him everywhere. He is sick of being known for his huge ‘endowment’ and wants to find a special person to love him for himself. He is a successful business man and philanthropist.

Cameron has tried to be independent and make a life away from his crazy family. He didn’t want to dependent on their money or connections but at twenty-nine, finds himself in a position where he is wondering where his life is going.

An unfortunate first meeting, where Henry insults Cameron based on a misunderstanding of what he thinks of Cameron, results in Cameron disliking Henry. But fate (and their friends) has a way of bring them together. As they keep running into each other, they are attracted and eventually realise they have both may have made a mistake in their first impression of each other.

Throw in some fabulous and strange friends, wacky drag-queen uncles, Cameron’s outrageous mother (“Her son wasn’t the marrying type”) and a bratty teenager and there is lots of fun.

So where did it not come together for me? I think it was the romance angle. I wanted to see Henry and Cameron spend more time together and it just didn’t happen. Because they weren’t together, I also failed to see how their love developed. I guess I just wanted more love.

I definitely think some points are deserved for including character names such as porn star “Hugh Jerection” (corny as that may be) and a kid calling his uncle’s gay friend’s “Uncle Dickrider” and “Uncle Fudgepacker” and them just putting up with it!

3.5 stars

4 Stars

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