Review: “Two Natures” by Jendi Reiter

TITLE: Two Natures
AUTHOR: Jendi Reiter
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Saddle Road Press
COVER ARTIST: Don Mitchell
GENRE: Come To Age, Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: YES
PAPERBACK: YES
LENGTH: 376 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 15, 2016
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book / $22.00 -paperback
  

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Jendi Reiter’s debut novel offers a backstage look at the glamour and tragedy of 1990s New York City through the eyes of Julian Selkirk, an aspiring fashion photographer. Coming of age during the height of the AIDS epidemic, Julian worships beauty and romance, however fleeting, as substitutes for the religion that rejected him. His spiritual crisis is one that too many gay youth still face today.

This genre-bending novel couples the ambitious political analysis of literary fiction with the pleasures of an unconventional love story. Vivid social realism, enriched by unforgettable characters, eroticism, and wit, make Two Natures a satisfying read of the highest sort.

Perry Brass, Amazon bestselling author of The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love and the novel King of Angels, says of Two Natures: “If you want to know what life is like in Nineties New York, when Style has become God, sex has become a contact sport, and jobs, money, and survival are always around the corner someplace else, then this late coming-of-age novel is a good place to start.”


This was one of the most difficult books I’ve read. I’m not a religious person, so I found it hard to empathize with Julian’s struggle with the religious faith of his childhood but the description of the LGBT scene in New York City in the mid-1990’s is spot on. Set against the early days of AIDS. Julian’s story takes us from his college days through his struggle to make it as a fashion photographer, with all the shame and glamour of that world. He’s already escaped his narrow-minded and abusive father and his family crop up regularly in his life. We witness a hilarious scene when they come to visit, and he throws an impromptu dinner party with some friends. He engages in an open relationship with Phil, a gym monkey who he falls for, who turns to…well, an alternative career. I’m not going to give the plot away.

Julian’s career slowly builds as his personal life descends into a nightmare. He indulges in a drug-fueled night which ends up with him deciding whether to take an AIDS test or not. He’s persuaded by Peter a ‘friend’ with an alter ego, who comes to mean a lot to Julian. But it’s not Julian who succumbs to AIDs, and he ends up as a carer for someone he loves. I wasn’t keen on the open attitude to unsafe sex and drug taking but I recognize it was honest and reflective of the culture and time in which the story is set, it’s integral to the story and not at all gratuitous. It also gives the story a gritty realism that I found compelling.

This is a very detailed orientated and wordy book. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a deep look into the spiritual, political and sexual impacts of that era.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC.  My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “The Eye of Ra” by Dakota Chase

TITLE: The Eye of Ra
AUTHOR: Dakota Chase
SERIES: Repeating History
PUBLISHER: Harmony Ink Press
COVER ARTIST: Anna Sikorska
GENRE: No Sexual Content; Adventure; Come To Age;  Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 107 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 16, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback
  

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What do you do when you accidentally destroy your history teacher’s prized collection of historical artifacts? If you’re teenaged delinquents, Aston and Grant, this is more than just a rhetorical question. They’ve made a huge mistake, one that might cost them everything. Adding to their misery, their history teacher’s name is Merlin. Yes, that Merlin, and the answer to their dilemma is deceptively simple according to the old wizard. You go back in time to replace the items you destroyed! Aston and Grant find themselves in ancient Egypt, where their first task is to find and retrieve “The Eye of Ra,” a golden amulet owned by none other than King Tut, the boy king of Egypt. Neither of them is all that versed in history, so they have to play it cool and learn as they go. It’s not just the amulet that’s causing them trouble, either. They soon become friends with Tut, and find that they want to help him out. Surrounded by enemies, needing to survive in a primitive world, Aston and Grant quickly learn one basic truth. History isn’t dead when you’re living it.


levilogooptimummWell, this was a short and fun read.

I would recommend this book to the youngsters as it has no sexual content at all.

The story is about Aston and Grant who ends up in a boys’ school. Actually, they were sentenced by a judge as a result of their doing. They come from opposite poles of society and end up as roommates.

They don’t really have time to be roomies because, against all the promises, Aston swore to keep his head down, not even after 24 hours he and his roommates end up in ancient Egypt.

They become fast friends with Tuk the young pharaoh of Egypt. Well, let’s just say I don’t think its really easy to get near to a Pharaoh but I don’t think that going back in time is easy neither, so there you have it…

Aston is gay, a real bad boy who doesn’t think further then next second. This kind of behavior lands him where he is now. Grant is no different, maybe a bit more diplomatic but he is hotheaded too.

Back in Egypt, they must face politics and wars and those things are not really their forte.

The book, as I said I dedicated for young readers between 14 till 18.

****The ARC was provided by Harmony Ink Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book****

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Review: “Salvation’s Song” by Pearl Love

TITLE: Salvation’s Song
AUTHOR: Pearl Love
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Harmony Ink Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Fantasy, Come To age, Gay for You
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 326 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 16, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $17.99 -paperback
  

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An ancient evil threatens the world, and only the chosen few can save it: the Singers, the Seekers, and the Saviors….

Tyrell Hughes enters his junior year of high school at Winton Yowell with everything going for him. He’s popular, he has great friends, and he has the eye of the hottest girl in school. Jeremy Michalak is a transfer student hoping to escape the bullying he suffered at his last school. All he wants is to keep his head down, make it to graduation without any trouble, and pursue the thing that makes him happiest: playing clarinet.

Tyrell and Jeremy have nothing in common except their homeroom assignments and a mutual attraction each is determined to keep hidden. That is until a dangerous mystery draws them inexorably together. Young people all over the city are dying of seemingly natural causes, but Tyrell and Jeremy discover there are dark forces at work that only they can stop. Now the boys will have to put aside their differences and accept their feelings for each other if they are to fulfill their destinies and become the city’s salvation.


I was always wondering, about those scenes in books when teenagers stop at making out because they are minors. Well, in my opinion, its bullcrap. When two 14-year-old or 16-year-old boys starts to fool around, there is no way they stop at just making out. There is sex baby, hot, quick and ohsoogood. Although we know those things are illegal, and I can respect that about the author when they write those scenes, but it’s not how life works.

Well in this book that’s not the case. I must say that we will not have sex till almost the end, but it’s happening.

That said, the book is not erotica at all. Actually, is a very sweet in-closet and an out-and-proud, interracial story about two high school boys.

I must say, I admire what Harmony is trying to makes here, creating sweet love romance books for a young audience. I can hardly recommend this book above 14-year-old.

We are in Chicago where young people seem to die often. The cause is natural death. So, there is no suspicion about those cases, until both Tyrell, a 16-year-old African-American (well I don’t like this term. I don’t want to enter in details. I’m from Europe and I never saw the problem calling a dark skin colored man or woman black… it’s just the color, there should be no offense in that, but as I’m just an ignorant European) and Jeremy a 16-year-old very white (there again, skin color you see) very blond, non-conformist boy, has the same kind of experience.

There are ancient evils that hunt and feed on the life energy of their victims. Apparently, Tyrell and Jeremy are chosen to destroy those evil beings. How? Well, them being connected, nearby, creates a sound, a sound only heard by these creatures and the chosen ones. This sound carries a power that annihilates these evil forces.

I really liked this book, I couldn’t put it down. Through Tyrell’s struggle with his feelings toward Jeremy, and Jeremy, who was several times harassed and bullied for being gay you will find yourself falling for this two teenagers…

I want to congratulate the author for this very fine story …

***The ARC was provided by Harmony Ink Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “After the Romance Novel” by Susan Laine

TITLE: After the Romance Novel
AUTHOR: Susan Laine
SERIES: Before… and After Book
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: AngstyG
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Bisexual; Come To Age; Gay For You
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 96 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 22, 2017
PRICE: $3.96 -e-book
  

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Romance novels always end with a happy ever after. Right?

Evan and Adam are best friends, but they don’t know everything about each other. For one thing, Adam doesn’t know Evan writes and publishes gay romance novels until he discovers one while snooping on Evan’s laptop.

This revelation changes their relationship in ways neither could’ve imagined. Adam’s reaction to reading Evan’s stories is not what he expected, nor is the new way he’s looking at his lifelong pal. After all, Adam is straight, or so he’s always thought, and that is what Evan believes about Adam as well.

When Evan admits he might be bisexual, Adam suggests he try dating girls to find out for sure, but when Evan follows his advice, Adam is caught off guard by his feelings of jealousy. And when the date proves Evan isn’t bisexual, but gay, Evan’s request that Adam find him a guy might be the last straw.

How can Adam admit he wants that guy to be him? His epiphany will either end their relationship—or change it into something wonderful in their very own friends-to-lovers romance.


jologooptimummThis was a quick read, heavy on the ‘will they, won’t they?’ suspense! What would you do if your best friend read a personal file on your computer? What if that file was gay, erotic fiction that YOU had written? What if the characters had the same names as you and your best friend? Well, that’s the position Evan finds himself in when his best friend, Adam, gets bored waiting for him to get ready to go out and decides to look at his laptop! Adam finds himself in the reverse situation of having broken Evans trust by looking in the first place. Will their friendship be able to survive the subsequent upheaval?

Of course, Adam is a good friend so he has to read all of Evans books. He then has the added complication that Evans books turn him on when he reads them! Evan decides to tell Adam everything, about his writing, his research, watching gay porn and discovering along the way that he thinks he may be gay or at least bisexual.

Adam doesn’t quite know how to handle this new version of their old relationship, and he’s not actually sure of his own feelings either. Is he jealous, afraid of losing his best friend to another guy, or is there more to it? I liked both Adam and Evan and the way they tiptoe around their feelings for each after the truth comes out, it feels right for two seventeen-year-old, teenage boys. The angst and misunderstandings are spot on as is their emotional journey on the road to discovering who and what they are. Look out for the bathroom scene when Adam makes up his mind to act on his feelings, it’s hot!

For a short book, the plot and characters are well developed, and the sex is steamy! The ending ties up the plot lines well, even if it’s a bit predictable, but that was OK. I enjoyed the book a lot, and I immediately empathized with both Adam and Evan. It was easy to understand their emotional confusion and motivation. The plot is original, and it really works with the characters which isn’t easy in a book of this length, credit to the author.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Darkest Desires” by Noah Harris

TITLE: Darkest Desires
AUTHOR: Noah Harris
SERIES: City of Sinners
PUBLISHER: Books Unite People
COVER ARTIST: Stefan Morgan
GENRE: Paranormal; New Adult; Come to Age
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 508 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 1, 2017
PRICE: $2.99 -e-book / $17.99 –paperback
  

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New York City, 1977

Disco. Gay liberation. The Son of Sam. Urban blight. It was a wild time in a wild city, and no one wanted to get wilder than a young man from a hick town in Missouri. Fresh out of high school, Richard Miller has come to the Big Apple to take a big bite of forbidden fruit.

But among the dark corners of the city’s cruising scene stalks an ancient evil. It is hungry for virgin male flesh, and it knows just how to tempt a young man eager for thrills and new experiences.
As Richard learns, this temptation threatens his new community, and even the city itself.

Darkest Desires is a dark romance with steamy scenes and bad language. It’s only recommended for readers 18+.


jologooptimummThis book is not just maturely and cleverly written, it’s a unique vision of dark desire, twisted with snippets of, well researched, historical fact and erotic imagination. I warn you this book is not for the faint hearted! However, if you’re open minded and strong hearted enough it carries you, slowly at first, into another world. It’s like climbing the first incline of a roller coaster and then, when you reach the top, hold onto your hats as you’re plunged over the edge into a descent the likes of which you rarely get to experience in a book.
It’s 1977, Richard has just left high school and moved to New York City to get away from the small-mindedness of his hometown. He’s finally able to openly shout ‘I’m gay!’ Noah takes us on Richard’s tortured journey as he finds lodgings, is mugged and tentatively takes his first steps in a seemingly open, gay environment. He eventually makes good friends within the gay community and quickly finds out about the reality of life as a gay man in a big city. In the process, he also loses his virginity and learns so much more about his own desires and needs!

The 1977 Everard Bathhouse fire is part of his journey, and Noah offers his own fictional explanation as to the origins of the tragedy. Noah also gives the reader an eye opening, incredible sense of life as part of a minority often persecuted in the 70’s.
Although it actually starts out as a typical gay ‘coming of age’ tale it quickly becomes a much more mature, darker and more erotic, paranormal offering than even Noah’s usual stories. The plot includes, among other things, drug use, demons, the occult and rape, which some may find disturbing. However, they’re not gratuitous and add, deliciously, to the edgy feel of the book. There are so many incredible layers to this story it’s hard to put into words what I felt when reading it, which I did in one session as I couldn’t put it down. Time meant nothing as I was carried away on a tide of emotion, erotica and yes, horror!

The ending is well finished off, and the final chapters are a real high as Richard fights his demons, literally, realises his potential and comes into his own as a powerful, gay man. Noah also very cleverly leaves enough open for a second book! This is Noah’s mature, creative talent, clever intellect and twisted imagination working at it’s very best to create something much bigger than the sum of its parts. I believe I’m going to enjoy this series immensely and can’t wait for book two. Miss out on this book and you miss out on an awesome reading experience! But…as I said before, this is not for the faint hearted!

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC.  My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “It Started With a Dare” by S.L. Danielson, Julie Lynn Hayes

TITLE: It Started With a Dare
AUTHOR: S.L. Danielson, Julie Lynn Hayes
SERIES: Southern Comfort
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER ARTIST: Carmen Waters
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Come To Age
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 231 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 13, 2017, 2nd edition.
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book
  

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Boredom at the Junior Prom leads to a dare that leads to a kiss between two seventeen year old boys. Being gay in rural Georgia is no picnic. As circumstances force them together, Mark and Blake uncover truths about themselves, embarking on a daring relationship. But they’ve got one major strike against them already—Mark is unwilling to come out about his sexuality, and Blake doesn’t want to live in a closet.Can they fan the flames of their relationship, or will it sputter and die?


I had such a good time reading this book.
The story it develops in New Liberty where Dylan, Mark’s friend dare him to kiss the nerdy Blake. Mark being Mark just does that in the middle of prom in front of everybody.

Blake, mortified, runs out. That’s where the story begins…

Mark is living with his grandpa George. Nobody knows, not even his best bud Dylan, that his grandpa is regularly disciplining him, sometimes with belts and sometimes with his fist. That makes Mark have anger issues. He’s hot headed and he’s harsh with everybody.
Summer comes, and he finds a job in a burger house, not that there’s many offers in the small town of New Liberty. But there is Todd, his coworker, who’s teasing him about his “boyfriend”. Words lead to action, and Mark finds himself suspended from work for a week. Later, when Todd comes along to apologise, things become even worse. George comes to find out that Mark got suspended and he kicks him out of the house. He ends up in Dylan’s parent’s house.
Blake is a shy guy, and ever since Mark kissed him, he’s been battling between hating him and wanting to be kissed again. When all his hope is gone to have a summer job, him having applied late, he got a call that he can start at this burger house he likes to go. He doesn’t know just yet that he will end up being coworkers with none other than Mark.
With them being forced to work together, they call a truce…and that truce moves forward to friendship…and that friendship moves forward being…more.

Reading the book, it brought me into that hot summer lazy atmosphere, where you can hear the fly buzzing. It’s a sweet story about two teenagers finding themselves and each other in a small town where being gay is not accepted. Through losing family and friends, they manage to fall in love and be intimate for the very first time in their lives…

***The ARC was provided by eXtasy Books. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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