Every month the Sinfully team brings you our Hotpicks. Check out our favourites for September and don’t forget five lucky readers get the chance to win a Kindle eBook from our list of September’s Hotpicks. Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.
Keep up with all our Hot Picks –> HERE.
Better Than Safe by Lane Hayes
Rating: 5 Stars
Paul Fallon is a fashion advertising guru. He’s a genius at dealing with difficult editors, art directors, and designers alike. He thrives on the chaotic atmosphere and constant challenges. But in his personal life, he’s hoping for peace and stability. Settling down with a nice doctor or lawyer sounds perfect. Anyone but an artist. He’s been there, done that, and he doesn’t want to relive the heartache.
Seth Landau is a model, occasional guitarist, and aspiring painter. He’s quirky, flighty, and wise beyond his years. Life has taught him some tough lessons, then given him opportunities he never dreamed of. He’s learned to appreciate the fragility of life and to express it in his work. Seth’s flare for the absurd combined with a supple mind and a beautiful body are too alluring for Paul to ignore. Against his best intentions, Paul is drawn to the younger man whose particular brand of crazy challenges Paul to accept that things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes taking a chance is better than being safe.
Macky: This opposites attracts story had pretty much everything I crave in a contemporary m/m romance. Engaging, enigmatic characters who generate the type of sexual tension that sparks on page, enough conflict to make the emotional connection I need to really connect with the MC's, and classy, sensual love scenes that personally made my toes curl!
I fell in love with the beautiful, elusive, quirky Seth and the more mature, solid (but still compelling) Paul in this installment from the Better Than series, and being a self confessed fan of Lane Hayes it was another five star read from her, that kept me engrossed from start to finish. A definite keeper for me; I Loved it!
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Let the Wrong Light In by Avon Gale
Rating: 5 Stars
Avery Hextall, a junior architect at a prestigious firm, is thrilled when his design is chosen for a new performing-arts center—even if it means working closely with his insufferably uptight project manager, Malin Lacroix. When a chance encounter in the boss’s office proves that Lacroix is anything but cold, Avery is determined to learn more about the real man beneath the aloof veneer.
Despite their growing attraction and their increasingly kinky encounters, the enigmatic Malin remains as emotionally distant as ever. Worse, Avery’s friends are convinced Malin thinks of Avery as a dirty secret and nothing more—a secret that might destroy both of their careers.
But the real secret is a single moment in time that haunts Malin and keeps him from committing to the life he wants with Avery. In order to move on, Avery must help Malin come to terms with the tragedy in his past before they can work on building a future together.
Debra: September was another great reading month for me which made it tough to pick just one book, but since the Hot Pick rules are very strict about that my choice is the book that was the biggest surprise of the month, Let the Wrong Light in by Avon Gale. This first novel by the author was funny, kinky, sweet and Avery’s character grabbed me from page one!
This is an opposites attract, workplace romance with great secondary characters and fresh writing. Avery is snarky and Malin may be a jerk (and just happens to be Avery’s older supervisor), but the sparks ignite leading to some angry sex in the office. The men find a shared kink and their encounters get more and more intense, but it’s clear they are both fumbling through and don’t know what they are doing, which leads to some risky scenes. Soon Avery realizes his heart is involved and needs to figure out how to move from occasional secret sex to something more with the mysterious Malin. Luckily Avery’s friends have a much better view of what is going on and what he needs to do and they aren’t afraid to tell him what’s what.
This was a stellar debut novel and I can’t recommend it enough!
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Vanished 2 by Carter Quinn
Rating: 5 Stars
It's only been three weeks since Henry woke up to discover his husband, Tom, had vanished. He's still struggling to come to terms with his new reality when he receives a haunting phone call: “Henry. Help me.” It’s Tom's voice, but Henry is afraid to believe. His world has already come crashing down around him twice in the last six months. Is Tom really alive, or is Henry losing his grip on reality again?
Mark: September was seriously a difficult month for me to choose a Hotpick as I was lucky enough to have had a good number of 4 or 5 star reads. However, I can choose only one and decided on Vanished 2 by Carter Quinn. Why? Well, I guess for me it was the most anticipated release of the year, the sheer joy of getting it in my hands and then once again to be blown away by a series that has seriously rocked my world. Only one more instalment to go and then the story will be complete. Already making puppy puddles at the prospect!
Henry’s loss is still palpable and the question is still out there as to whether Tom is alive or not. I had so better get an answer in the 3rd book. Just when you think that there maybe an answer to all of Henry’s troubles in book 2 we are left at the end tearing our hair out with another revelation. I LOVE this series. If you haven’t started then it’s not too late. Each book will only take you about 3 hrs to read. So why not start now so you’ll be up-to-date when the final book comes out before Christmas!!!
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Scorched Edges by L.M. Somerton
Rating: 5 Stars
Love forged in fire is unassailable.
Fireman Salter Beauman, Beau to his friends, has had his eye on cute Marty Standish ever since he helped rescue Marty and his boss from the bombed out rubble of Temple Church. An analyst for the security services, Marty is cute, geeky and submissive through and through—even if he doesn’t know it yet.
With a serial fire starter making inroads into Beau’s life expectancy, he decides that there is no time to waste and introduces Marty to the D/s lifestyle. Marty responds with wide eyes, an insatiable desire to learn and the ability to turn Beau on with nothing more than a wiggle of his slim hips.
But Beau has a second, far more malevolent admirer. ‘See me dance’ is the message left at a series of increasingly dangerous fires. Beau and Marty must work together to catch a psychotic arsonist before their love goes up in flames. Literally.
Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene that includes sexual abuse.
Liza: I adore a good geek story and Marty definitely qualifies. Sweet, adorable, with a tendency to babble about the weirdest things, in this story Marty is introduced to the BDSM thanks to Beau. Beau, a firefighter, meets Marty after meeting him during a rescue, and can't get the little guy out of his mind. So he invites him out for dinner.
This book had me laughing, almost crying and the love side of things stole my heart. There is a bad guy in the book, just to make things doubly interesting - a serial arsonist who has a thing for Beau. Totally loved this book and the conclusion had me smiling through my tears - I hate it when I fall in love with the characters and then the story comes to an end. Definitely in my favorite pile.
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Bane: A Strain Novel by Amelia C. Gormley
Rating: 4 Stars
The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.
Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.
Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.
For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?
Sally: An exciting densely plotted adventure that brings the trilogy to a tense and satisfying conclusion. Gormley has constructed a fascinating world and some all too plausible scenarios of how people might react to the sudden dissolution of their civilisation. Necessary exposition is there but is applied with a light hand. The action scenes are fast and furious, the sex scenes are sometimes brutal [consensually thank goodness], sometimes tender, there are even occasional flashes of humour. Characters from the first two books appear providing links to past plots. Superb secondary characters abound. Tension ebbs and flows as each minor climax is succeeded by a major upheaval.
I enjoyed the whole story arc enormously, and am sorry that the tale is over even though I found the ending both plausible and satisfying. It’s a world I most certainly wouldn’t want to live in but it was great fun to observe.
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Alan’s Hot Pick
The Deep of the Sound (A Blue Water Bay Story) by Amy Lane
Rating: 5 Stars
Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great uncle with Alzheimer’s, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He’s got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they’re killing him one responsibility at a time.
Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf’s Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he’s worried he’ll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.
Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal’s fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery “until we can’t”—and the cost of changing that to “until forever” might be too high, however much they both want it.
Alan: If you read one book this year, “The Deep of the Sound” should be it. In the past, I’ve always been ambivalent about Amy Lane’s books, some I’ve liked, some not so much. The same might be said for the Bluewater Bay Series, a series by various authors (sort of “guest authors”) of varying combinations and quality.
The settings, characters, moods, conflicts, obstacles and loves, in this book, are each unique, beautifully rendered, vivid and authentic. Every word of dialogue, every action, every moment is both real and captivating. This is exactly how a gay romance novel should be written.
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Lisa’s Hot Pick
Signs of Life Melanie Hansen
Rating: 3.5 Stars
A Resilient Love Story
Successful lawyer Jeremy Speer has it all—a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cherished dream that’s about to become reality. He’s learned not to take happiness for granted, meeting the challenges of life and love head-on with unwavering commitment and fierce devotion. A series of tragic events leave Jeremy shattered, adrift on a sea of unimaginable pain. He’s able to piece his life back together, but instead of embracing it, he merely exists, using isolation and punishing physical exertion to keep the world at bay.
High school teacher Kai Daniels has a heart for at-risk kids—he was one himself, and a teenage brush with the law and some troubled years behind bars left him scarred inside and out. With courage, hard work, and the support of friends, he’s built a fulfilling life that leaves no time for a relationship.
An intense encounter with Kai at a gay club ignites a spark in Jeremy that he thought was extinguished forever, but he’s unwilling to destroy the fragile peace he’s managed to create, and he leaves Kai humiliated and disappointed. Things should have ended there, but a bizarre occurrence brings the two together in a way neither of them expected.
Lisa: Signs of Life is the second book in Melanie Hansen’s Resilient Love series. While we do get a glimpse at how the couple from the first book is doing, you can certainly read this book as a stand-alone. It’s an emotional tale about being brave enough to take that second chance at love.
When you have experienced a devastating loss that leaves you questioning how you will go on it takes a lot of courage to emerge from a grief-ridden state and open your heart once again to possibilities. There may be a light at the end of your dark tunnel; however, sometimes you need a push in the right direction. Perhaps that little push is gorgeous, has dark hair and beautiful golden eyes…..