Every month the team bring you our Hotpicks, sadly this is the last one to include our M/F choices… however we are delighted that Lisa will continue to bring us her fabulous reviews as part of the M/M team here at Sinfully. Check out our favourites for November and don’t forget… five lucky readers get the chance to win a Kindle eBook from our list of November’s Hot Picks. Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.
Checkout the rest of our Hotpicks for 2014 here –> HOTPICKS 2014
Return to Me by James Oliver French
Rating: 5 Stars
What would you do if the man you loved vanished without a trace?
Kyle and Todd meet at a party in their freshman year at college. They fall in lust at first sight, then deep in love. In spite of Kyle’s melancholy past, their future together looks bright. Then Kyle disappears, leaving Todd heartbroken and alone, and their dreams in ruins. Fifteen years later, Todd is a successful but lonely psychiatrist. He still hasn’t come to terms with the loss of his first love. When a dangerous amnesiac arrives at the hospital, Todd is forced to confront the past, and is driven to find answers to the questions that have haunted him all these years.
Macky: The reason I've picked this out of all the amazing books I've read this month (and I've read some absolute crackers) is simply because of the intense emotional impact it had on me. This bittersweet story got to me on a much deeper level than usual, not only because of its thought provoking, gut wrenching, subject matter but also because this talented author was brave enough to take this in directions that totally went against the usual grain in m/m romance. As a debut novel it really did wow me and It's stayed with me long after finishing. Heart-breaking, cleverly plotted, surprising and memorable. It's going to test your expectations but this is definitely one of my top reads this year, and will stand out as being the one that had me sobbing like a baby—CONTINUOUSLY— for the last 15% of the book. Bravo Mr French!
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I Knew Him by Erastes
Rating: 5 Stars
Harry George Alexander Bircham: Not necessarily an infamous name in the annals of gay fictional characters…yet. But readers of Erastes’ newest historical novel should prepare themselves for many pages of suspenseful intrigue as the miscreant Bircham, a man of Wildean excesses and humours, will do anything it takes to bend Fate to his will. And that sinister will is to keep the affections and attentions of another young English lad. If accidents, if murder, are necessary, then Bircham is just the villain. Or anti-hero, as he is quite the early twentieth century charmer.
“If there can be such a thing as too much fun, this is probably it. It’s Hamlet in white tie and flapper dresses, relocated to the country-house circuit between the wars; but nobody quite acts out the roles laid down for them. This is just too good to miss.” —Chaz Brenchley, winner of the August Derleth Award and author of Blood Waters.
Mark: If there is one book in November I read that impressed me it was I Knew Him by Erastes. First of all this book was a total delight to read. I would like to start with the writing style; Erastes through her writing provokes a wonderful scene of early twentieth century England. The dialogues are a joy to read and almost have a modern day E. M. Forster quality about them but not that they are archaic or difficult to understand. Apart from the wonderfully descriptive writing you get a real feel of the atmosphere of the historical period, setting the scene brilliantly. Through the dialogues you the characters come alive, also the period and attitudes that existed during this time too. Therefore, everything is set for Harry Bircham and his devious machinations…….and oh my, devious machinations is exactly what Harry Bircham is all about. He is positively Machiavellian, taking charm and manipulation to another plane. The murder-mystery was well developed and had me on the edge of my seat. However, you know who the murderer is as you get to read the whole book through the eyes of Harry Bircham. Intelligent, a world class writing style, characters that just get right under your skin, a depth of understanding both historically and character wise, it’s exactly this that makes Erastes for me a must read every time.
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Heart by Garret Leigh
Rating: 5 Stars
Cornish pastry chef Seb Wright dreads the summer tourist season. The cash injection to his artisan fudge pantry is more than welcome, the extra work, less so. Then one summer, a shadowy Good Samaritan catches his eye. Irish Traveller Dex is bewitching, a beautiful sullen enigma who turns Seb's world upside down until he disappears in the night, vanishing like a mystical summer rain.
Twelve months later Dex is in the midst of a dark storm. A slave to his master, 'Uncle' Braden, he spends his days cleaning caravans and his nights working in Braden's other businesses. His short summer with Seb seems a lifetime ago. Lost in the savage violence of the murky underworld, he doesn't dare dream he'll ever find his way back, until one night, a brutal crime opens the door for a chance escape. A new life beckons, old faces emerge, and immersed in the heady vibe of London’s East End, new love begins to heal his fractured heart.
Monique: It’s been twelve months since Garrett Leigh appeared here on SSBR as a debut author, completely WOWING me with her first book Slide. She’s packed a lot into this last year and her novels are truly outstanding, there is a familiarity for me to her writing and from the very first page, this book stole my heart. This is without doubt Garrett Leigh’s finest work to date! The prose is beautiful, the words ebb and flow effortlessly and tore at my very soul, I was moved to tears by the sheer magnitude of the raw emotion contained within the pages of this book… It hurts, as in, real pain in your chest and ugly tears hurt… but, at the same time there is so much joy to be had through the experience, It’s filled with hope, understanding, compassion and… my god, the courage and strength of Dex, who throughout it all remains such a sensitive and sweet boy, prevailing, despite all he endures. This is my book, I think Garrett Leigh wrote this just for me… it’s all mine, honestly, I’m not kidding, I almost don’t want to share it’s perfection, I want to keep Seb and Dex all to myself and enjoy them over and over again. Stand with them through the bad times, fight to the death if I have to, to protect Dex and bask in the sublimeness of what can be realised when you truly have heart…
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Night Fever by Jessica Hawkins
Lola Winters’ heart already belongs to Johnny, but for him, she’d sell the devil her soul. Unfortunately, the devil wants something else.
Beau Olivier is the kind of wealthy that buys anything—even people. When he makes Lola a proposition, she finds herself tempted into a seduction that will have her walking the line between comfort and humiliation, desire and resistance. He would own her—for one night. She would be his—for a price. It was wrong. It was scandalous. It was the opportunity of a lifetime.
Sex, music, neon on the Sunset Strip—right in the middle of it all, he would have her. Come sunrise, he would let her go. At least, that was the plan.
Lorie: Night Fever is the first book in Jessica Hawkins’s new sexy and scorching hot serial. All I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW!!! I was TOTALLY engrossed from beginning to end. It’s filled with great characters, difficult choices, and phenomenal writing. Lola and Beau’s story is sizzling with sexual tension that is absolutely palpable. Dialogue between the pair drives the story. Lola is a sassy and feisty and Beau is smooth and unnerving (in a very good way). And, the sex scenes…. Oh my gosh The. Sex. Scenes. They are off the charts H-O-T, sexual, and arousing. Night Fever is a terrific start to a very enticing, sexy, and emotional story!
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Hard to Come By (Ink #3) by Laura Kaye
Caught between desire and loyalty…
Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team—sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.
When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he's become. Derek’s easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn’t trust.
As the team’s investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away…
Lisa: Hard to Come By is book three in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series. With each book and novella in this series I become more and more enthralled and invested in this “merry band of misfits” who are trying to clear their names. The overall story arc in this series essentially flows from one book to another. For this reason I highly recommend reading the previous books and novellas first if you have not already done so. Five former Special Forces soldiers have rekindled their connection and bond that was severed one year prior when their commander betrayed them all with his involvement in illegal activities. Forced to leave the army with reputations in shambles, the men are now on a mission to uncover exactly what their ex-commander was involved in, to clear their names and restore their honor. The team is searching for answers and as they become more entrenched into the world of organized crime, drugs and the sex slave trade, they discover that more is at stake than what they could have ever imagined. They also realize in this book that all is not what it appears to be. The tangled web of lies and deceit they are attempting navigate is becoming more and more complex.
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