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★★★★★ Inferno by Scarlet Blackwell ★★★★★

InfernoInferno by Scarlet Blackwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The blurb…

In Inferno, passion burns hotter than hell… After the murder of a notorious rent boy in the relatively new gay nightclub Inferno, Moonlight Cove cop Zack Stewart and his partner Claire Keaton are presented with a bewildering array of suspects, all with links to the dead man. Zack’s chief suspect is arrogant club owner Dante Jardine, a man not so easy to unravel, and even more difficult to pin down. Soon the cops are knee-deep in bodies and Zack’s priorities become more muddled the longer he is around Dante. When his professional and personal lives begin to merge, Zack finds himself walking a dangerous road between being a good cop and giving in to his growing desire…

So what did I think?

Okay, so let’s put aside the fact that sexy cop Zack, broke every rule in the policeman’s handbook. Let’s not worry that he didn’t stick to police procedure and just be grateful his lust for nightclub owner Dante won out!

Zack meets Dante when he investigates a murder at a gay nightclub. The attraction between the two simmers from the minute they lay eyes on each other, to the point where Zach loses all control where Dante is concerned.

This story blends the mystery of the murder investigation, set against the background of the Inferno nightclub, with the smoldering relationship between Zach and Dante. Their attractions is wild and passionate, their sex is hard and fast and desperate. The main characters are complex and theirs is not an easy journey – a love, hate, push, pull emotional journey, fraught with drama.

I loved the mystery and drama and adored Zack’s partner Claire, but I read this story for the smoking, hot romance. It was the interaction between Dante and Zack that had me turning the pages, initially for the amazing sex, then for the pursuit as Zack fought for his man and finally waiting for the happy ending. (Once again, park the realism, it was romantic and wonderful!)

5 Stars

To find out more about Scarlet Blackwell and her books visit her website.

Buy Inferno from Amazon.

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As Spring Rain by Valentina Heart

As Spring RainAs Spring Rain by Valentina Heart

My rating: 2.5 to 3 of 5 stars

The blurb…

Michael only wants for his twin brother to be safe as he picks one bad boyfriend after another, never even lingering on the thought of loving Michael the way Michael loves him.

All Gabriel wants is Michael, each morning when he faces the day, and each night when he pulls a stranger’s face in for a kiss instead of the one he wants the most.

Fixing Gabriel’s boyfriend problems is a way of life for Michael, but what he doesn’t know happens behind closed doors, where Gabriel welcomes each kick or hit, and where he numbs his pain with the sharp edge of a razorblade.

Can they find a solution to their situation and make both of them happy?

So what did I think?

“Maybe I would dream again, that dream where he is not my brother but my lover and where it is perfectly normal to hug a man who looked just like me, but wasn’t me at all.”

This is one of those books where I have very mixed feelings.

Firstly let me start by saying it’s twincest. This is okay by me. I am perfectly fine with twincest although I understand lots wouldn’t be. So if the twincest doesn’t put you off, keep reading…

I bought this book months and months ago and it has sat unread on the Kindle since then. I finally started reading it this week without reading the blurb (although I assume I must have read it at some point). I think if I’d read the blurb I would have put off reading the book for a bit longer.
The reason for this is very personal. In recent months I have become aware of some people in my personal circle dealing with self-harm. So this one was a bit too close to home. I found it really uncomfortable to read about Gabriel’s cutting. Knowing it was only a short book, I persevered through these bits.

The characters were frustrating in their actions. Although twins they had very different characters and very different ways of dealing with their feelings toward each other. Michael protects Gabriel and Gabriel keeps putting himself in harm’s way with a series of abusive relationships.

I wanted them both to be happy and wanted them to get together but in the end, the way this happened was a bit out of my comfort zone – too much pain and sadness and blood.

Maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind but I just felt depressed reading this. So a warning, be aware it contains self-harm in the way of cutting and maybe check out some other reviews to see if this is a story for you.

2.5 to 3 stars (this was difficult for me to rate and I find it hard to say I liked it)

To find out more about Valentina Heart and her books visit her website.

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Blind Blondie by Scarlet Blackwell

Blind BlondieBlind Blondie by Scarlet Blackwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The blurb…

Sam Campbell is a struggling artist and playboy beach bum who pretends to be a taxi driver to take a good-looking blind man home. Blondie is not impressed and calls the cops on Sam…

Artist and playboy beach bum Sam’s life is turned around when he meets blind Kieran and falls hard for him. Kieran is fiercely independent and doesn’t need a man like Sam in his life. But Sam needs a man like Kieran and it’s up to him to persuade Kieran he’s worth a shot.

So what did I think?

Direct, blunt, honest – that’s the way Sam is. He sees a gorgeous blonde guy, who happens to be blind and uses a slight deception (okay, so maybe it was a really, really silly thing for him to do!)to give him a lift. No malicious intent, just an unique “pick-up”, which sets the two men on an interesting journey.

Independent, a bit snarky, dismissive – Kieran keeps trying to give Sam the flick. It doesn’t work. “The way to my heart isn’t in my pants,” he said tartly but I wasn’t sure I believed him. I’m a man after all. I know these things.”

Sam is persistent and doesn’t give up. Keiran is the catalyst that causes Sam to change – rather than just thinking about himself and living the life of a beach-going artist, he wants to look after and protect Keiran. And Keiran, being so strong and determined, is supportive and encouraging of Sam’s art. They are very good for each other.

The story follows the emotional growth of the couple as they gradually let each other in, combined with some dramatic elements which help propel them together.

Overall, I enjoyed this short and sweet story with it’s happy ending.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Scarlet Blackwell and her books visit her website.

Buy Blind Blondie from Amazon.

Buy Blind Blondie from Silver Publishing.

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The Oasis by A.J. Llewellyn

The Palm Springs Diaries series:

  • The Oasis (book #1) – in this review
  • The Haven (book #2)

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

The Oasis (Palm Springs Diaries, #1)The Oasis by A.J. Llewellyn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Elias and his best friend/roommate Josh take the plunge and head to Palm Springs for one of the notorious gay circuit parties that take place in the lavish desert resort called The Oasis on holiday weekends. After a disastrous start, they find all the sex with all the hot bodies they could want. However, they find to their surprise that the real oasis… was right under their noses all along. Elias and Josh realize there is something else between them. Could their real oasis be… each other?

So what did I think?

This is one of those books where I’ve had a hard time actually deciding how much I really liked it. Yes I did enjoy it, yes I would recommend it as a quick enjoyable read, but I don’t think I’d rave about it.

There were some elements that were great – some humour and a light-hearted touch plus the inclusion of Elias’ son Julio (I love stories of men who love their children and place their happiness above all else).

But the story felt a bit disjointed. Elias and Josh are best friends and roommates and this is a friends-to-lovers story with a lot of other stuff happening. The story jumps from the men planning a weekend away, discussion about Elias’ struggles with work and pleasing his father, long scenes at Josh’s work where he films gay porn, a trip to a resort for basically a huge sex party, worry about Elias’ weight and his obsession with pie, bumping into Elias’ ex, the leather scene, custody issues regarding Elias’ son, Josh and Elias falling in love, work troubles and run ins with the police for Josh……it’s almost too much to cram in to a book of this length!

And did I mention the sex? Sex at the porn studio, sex at the resort, sex in their apartment – sex with so many people it was a little like watching porn – and most of them were porn stars! I enjoyed the sex between Elias and Josh but not so much the sex with the others, except for when jealousy started to rear its head giving some indication of the feelings between the men.

However, overall I did enjoy the story and read it in one sitting and will read the sequel The Haven.

On a final note, I did find the cover slightly misleading. It shows three gorgeous men and I fully expected a story between the lead characters and a significant third. This was more like sex with a lot of other men although I believe that one of these will make an appearance in the next book. I should have paid more attention to the blurb so as to not have been influenced by the cover!

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find about more about A.J. Llewellyn and his books visit his website.

Buy The Oasis from Amazon.

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Forbidden Fruit by Edward Kendrick

Forbidden FruitForbidden Fruit by Edward Kendrick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The blurb…

When PI Sam Young takes on the case of a philandering wife he has no clue it will lead to theft and murder. And when he stops for supper at his favorite diner, he doesn’t know he’ll end up meeting Jamie, a young man with aqua eyes who lives in terror of his ex-lover.

It will take all that is in him for Sam to discover who killed his client, while at the same time trying to protect Jamie. In the process, will he be able to convince emotionally battered Jamie it is possible to truly love, and be loved in return?

So what did I think?

This one was a bit of mixed bag for me. While I enjoyed the mystery of the investigation of the case and I really liked the characters, I wanted to better understand Sam and his motivations.

In this book there are a couple of things going on – solving the mystery and the romance. Sam/Sly is a PI and involved in a couple of cases over the course of this story. The main case involves murder and missing money. As Sam is trying to solve the riddle, he meets Jamie, the new waiter at his local restaurant.

Jamie has been badly treated by a ‘boyfriend’ (I say that lightly as the boyfriend is really an abusive and controlling bully not a lover) and has been on the run from him for six months. Unfortunately he is found but luckily he has Sam to protect him.

The connection between Sam and Jamie really works and the strength of the story lies in the wonderful way Sam treats Jamie. He is gentle and caring and doesn’t rush him. This is not a book about sex, there’s hardly even any kissing and what kissing there is, is not really even the passionate kind. It is more a story about love and trust.

I guess what I didn’t like was the lack of professional treatment for Jamie. For someone with his issues, not even able to be touched, he really should have gotten some counselling. Aside from this, which for some reason really stood out for me, I think his relationship with Sam was presented very well – Sam is unhurried, reassuring, loving and supportive. It was lovely how he was willing to accept a platonic relationship if that was the only way he could have Jamie in his life.

Buy Forbidden Fruit from Amazon.

View all my reviews