Hotpicks 2014

OUR 2014 HOTPICKS

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December

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Macky’s Hotpick

Broken Ink by Jack L Pyke

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Rating: 5 Stars

Macky’s Review

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Synopsis

Carrying a tattoo on your skin no longer just comes with a risk of infection. Get the composition right, you have the latest mind-control drug on the market. It’s the sex-traders’ dream, or worst nightmare, depending on the concentrated dose of the ink—and just who’s wearing it.

For Kiyen, the ink means he’s able to strip raw the minds of the best and worst of society. He’s one of MI7’s top killers and never more driven to select and take down a target. For Falen, the ink has ensured he’s spent his early years as a willing sex slave and low-grade empath. Hiding out in a small town and trying to bury the needs running through his body, Fal’s hoping to stay under the radar of MI7 and their specialist killers. But the ink itself has a mind of its own, wanting to ignite the natural dynamics driving a Dom and sub, so when Kiyen is forced into Fal’s small world, prejudice battles a pure need to touch. Only problem is: Kiyen’s on the run, and in a world where thought can be the worst crime of all, Fal’s in for a fight for his sanity to find out just what it is that’s making a young killer run for his life. (M/M)

Macky: It's no secret I adore a Jack Pyke tale, so I suppose it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Broken Ink would be my pick for December. But this made it not just because I love how Ms Pyke writes; it made it because yet again the plot was innovative, intriguing, thought provoking, deliciously twisted and totally spellbinding. COMPLETELY different to anything I've read for a long time, this exceptional story and its enigmatic characters kept me glued to its pages throughout. I was truly blown away and once again left feeling in awe of this authors writing skills and talent to always surprise and take me to new, unexpected, awesome places. If you want to go down a darker road, take a walk in Jacks world but be prepared to have your perceptions messed with and your last nerve played! This was SOOOOO good!

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDERMark’s Hotpick

The Bells of Times Square by Amy Lane

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Rating: 5 Stars

Mark’s Review

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Synopsis

Every New Year’s Eve since 1946, Nate Meyer has ventured alone to Times Square to listen for the ghostly church bells he and his long-lost wartime lover vowed to hear together. This year, however, his grandson Blaine is pushing Nate through the Manhattan streets, revealing his secrets to his silent, stroke-stricken grandfather.

When Blaine introduces his boyfriend to his beloved grandfather, he has no idea that Nate holds a similar secret. As they endure the chilly death of the old year, Nate is drawn back in memory to a much earlier time . . . and to Walter.

Long before, in a peace carefully crafted in the heart of wartime tumult, Nate and Walter forged a loving home in the midst of violence and chaos. But nothing in war is permanent, and now all Nate has is memories of a man his family never knew existed. And a hope that he’ll finally hear the church bells that will unite everybody—including the lovers who hid the best and most sacred parts of their hearts.

Mark: I read a lot of great books in December and it was rather difficult to choose, but alas we have to when it comes to our Hot Picks post. So when push came to shove I had to follow my heart and go for Amy Lane’s The Bells of Times Square. Why? Well, this was just so much more than an M/M romance. Pick up a title with Amy Lane written underneath and for me personally I know that at some stage I’m going to be reaching for the tissues, red wine, chocolate, comfort blanket, basically anything that I can cry into. I had only read the first chapter of this book and knew I was going to be in deep trouble sooner or later.

This book takes on a journey, a journey of memories, some beautiful and some not so beautiful, but all the same knowing however extreme the circumstances are, wanting to be loved and being loved by someone is the most basic human need there is. A story that ends on what I can only say is a very bittersweet note. A story that is sad but also gives hope at the same time. A story that made me feel! A story that shows us the rights and freedoms we have today should never be taken for granted or lightly. The rights and freedoms that have been fought for so hard and still need to be fought for every single day. Was I sad at the end of this story? No, not really. It left me reflecting for days though on the things I have mentioned before. Thankful to all those that sacrificed so much during WWII and thankful for what we have today.This truly is a beautiful story, impeccably written, well researched historically and carries a message that is as relevant today as it ever has been.

 

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDERLiza’s Hotpick

Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O’Riley

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Rating: 5 Stars

Liza’s Review

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Synopsis

Kaden Thorn, a dental surgeon who lives a quiet life, has no hope of finding the love he craves. A vicious gay bashing cost him the use of his legs and confined him to a wheelchair. He has given up hope of finding a Dom or even a nonkink partner to love him. When his best friend practically forces him to attend a dinner party, the last thing he expects is a strong Dom who can see beyond his wheels.
Deacon James is an architect and a demanding Dom, but he has spent the past couple of years without a sub or partner. When an employee invites him to a dinner party to meet his girlfriend, Deacon smells a setup but agrees anyway. He prides himself on being an excellent judge of character, and when he meets the younger dentist, he sees past the chair and finds a sweet submissive man who more than piques his interest.
Kade's fears and demons continue to haunt him, challenging Deacon to use everything he's learned as a Dom to earn Kade’s trust and submission. Deacon's determined, though, willing to battle all of it to have Kade by his side and at his feet.

Liza: Take a sweet submissive in a wheel chair, and a devastatingly creative Dom and you have one of the best stories I have read in a long time.  Kade hadn't always been in a chair, and after loosing the use of his legs, he built a life for himself again - alone.  Being submissive and feeling that he would never be able to be all that a Dom would require, Kade had shut that part of his life away, until he meets Deacon.  What follows is sweet, sexy, creative and it had me pulling out my tissues more than once.  Even if you're not a typical reader of BDSM I would still urge you to try this book.  The love that grows naturally between these two men is handled beautifully by this author, and the secondary characters bring a depth to the book that is not often found in the M/M genre.

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Lisa’s Hotpick

Winter’s Fire by Donya Lynne

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Lisa’s Review

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Synopsis

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.

 

Lisa: Winter’s Fire by Donna Lynne is a previously published novella entitled The Arms of Winter she has reworked and turned into a full length novel. This is a heart-warming story about two men who find the courage to finally open up and admit who they are – to the world and to each other. It is a touching novel about embracing who you are and facing the obstacles that may stand in your way head on. After all, sometimes it is in confronting the scorching fires of life that we can emerge into something so sweet and pure it takes our breath away.

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Monique’s Hotpick

Arctic Absolution by Lynn Kelling

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Rating ~ 4.5 Stars

Monique’s Review

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Synopsis

Dixon Rowe is a good man and a good cop who keeps finding himself in bed with the enemy. After he picks up a young ex-con named Jaye Larson for stealing food, Dixon is seduced by the possibility of helping someone truly in need. He tells himself he’s assisting young Jaye out of the goodness of his heart--not because of how sexy Jaye is under all of the tattoos and defiance. But temptation entangles them as the malicious ghosts of Jaye's past returns to haunt their every step. Jaye’s ghosts are bad enough, but the demon from Dixon's past is real enough to put both of their lives in danger. (M/M)

Monique: There are no unicorns and rainbows, or fluff of any kind in this book, it deals with some very hard hitting and painful subjects, abuse, rape and violence, all of which I felt Lynn Kelling dealt with brilliantly. She brings us characters that are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, they are real, flawed, and they make mistakes, bad choices and decisions and in Arctic Absolution it definitely had my moral compass conflicted, with my thoughts and emotions shifting all over the place, much like the dynamics of Dixon and Jaye’s relationship. I found myself anxious throughout, wondering if these men would even make it out the other side. But as the layers are peeled away and we see into their psych to how damaged and broken they both are, we have a better understanding of the why’s.

Dixon and Jaye are both troubled, damaged souls that have lived through some extremely traumatic experiences, ordeals you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. But they survived, because they found strength in each other, a spark that made them want to live again, hope for a future rather than an existence and a cleansing of sorts for all the guilt, shame and fear that had haunted them for so long.

Lynn Kelling is my kind of author and I love her writing, in this book she made me think and analyse my own feelings and emotions. Her characterisation in Dixon and Jaye is excellent and drew me in from the first page, and to be honest… I couldn’t put this book down! She writes raw, gritty kink which very often takes you to the dark side which can be hard to read, and certainly will not be to everyone’s taste, but for me, the depraved soul that I am, a lover of books that make me feel and evoke emotion… this is perfect.

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November Hotpicks

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Macky’s Hotpick

Return to Me by James Oliver French

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Rating: 5 Stars

Macky’s Review

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Synopsis

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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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDERMark’s Hotpick

I Knew Him by Erastes

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Rating: 5 Stars

Mark’s Review

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Synopsis

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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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDERMonique’s Hotpick

Heart by Garret Leigh

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Rating: 5 Stars

Monique’s Review

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Synopsis

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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Lorie’s Hotpick

Night Fever by Jessica Hawkins

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Lorie’s Review

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Synopsis

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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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDERLisa’s Hotpick

Hard to Come By (Ink #3) by Laura Kaye

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Lisa’s Review

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Synopsis

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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October Hotpicks

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Lorie’s Hotpick

Prisoner by Annika Martin and Skye Warren

 

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Rating: 4.5 Stars

Lorie’s Review

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Synopsis

He seethes with raw power the first time I see him—pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell.

But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage—you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think.

And you might crave him more than your next breath.

Lorie: October was a busy reading month for me, but the one book that really stood out is Prisoner from Skye Warren and Annika Martin. It was everything – hot, sexy, intense, thrilling, and a bit dark. Prisoner centers around the forbidden attraction between a college undergrad assigned to teach a writing class and one of her students. But, this isn’t any ordinary student/teacher relationship. Abigail is attracted to one of the most off limits men around – a Prisoner. The intense and fascinating ride that Sky and Annika took me on had me flipping pages until the wee hours of the night. Grayson is dangerous, and he will unnerve and excite you at the same time. Prisoner is a deliciously forbidden “romance” that is absolutely engrossing, and had me wide-eyed from beginning to end.

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDERBecs’s Hotpick

Ruin by CD Reiss

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Becs’s Review

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Synopsis

Antonio is a killer.
He's beautiful, educated, a prodigy of a thief and as violent a motherfucker as ever came of the boat from Napoli.

Theresa knows it, but that doesn't stop her from getting emotionally and physically entangled with him, and this is how, maybe, she got it in her head that she can protect him.

But it's not her job to save him, and she's just not getting that. Every time she tries to protect him, she practically gets him killed, and the tighter he grips her, the more dangerous she becomes.

It's almost as if...well, he'd never admit this....but it's almost as if protecting her the way he does is the one thing he should stop. As if the only way he's ever going to find a moment's peace is to just embrace her as a partner, rather than a defenseless creature.
But he'd never do that. Not this violent motherfucker.

WARNING: This book contains delicious sex scenes with a hot man dirty-talking in Italian; women handling firearms and explosives; and scenes of violence with a crystal Virgin Mary cigarette lighter.

Becs: Outstanding in every possible way and arguably CD Reiss’s greatest writing achievement to date, Ruin is unleashed upon us in a torrent of love, sex, betrayal and revenge. This is a beautifully paced, grippingly written and overwhelmingly well crafted gem of a book that will be forever engraved on my memory as it slowly, inextricably builds towards its pulsating conclusion.

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDERLisa’s Hotpick

Rowdy by Jay Crownover

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Lisa’s Review

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Synopsis

he New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with this sizzling, sexy story of love, heartbreak, fate, and second chances.

After the only girl he ever loved told him that he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and set out to live up to his nickname. A good ol’ boy looking for good times and good friends, Rowdy refuses to take anything too seriously, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Burned by love once, he isn’t going to let himself trust a woman again. But that’s before his new co-worker arrives, a ghost from the past who’s suddenly making him question every lesson he ever learned.

Salem Cruz grew up in house with too many rules and too little fun—a world of unhappiness she couldn’t wait to forget. But one nice thing from childhood has stayed with her; the memory of the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been head over heels in love with her little sister.

Now, fate and an old friend have brought her and Rowdy together, and Salem is determined to show him that once upon a time he picked the wrong sister. A mission that is working perfectly—until the one person that ties them together appears, threatening to tear them apart for good.

Lisa: Rowdy is book five in Jay Crownover’s Marked Men series. I am a hardcore fan of this series and therefore am always anticipating the next book. All the Marked boys have woven their way into my heart and I have come to love their “merry band of misfits” wholeheartedly. This author definitely delivered when it came to the execution of this book. The storyline is both sad and sweet, dealing with coming to grips with the past and beautifully intertwining it with a tender romance. It’s about letting go and embracing life because if you are able to grab hold of that second chance, you may just find a once in a lifetime kind of love....a love that may have always been there to begin with.

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDERMacky’s Hotpick

Acting Out by Scotty Cade

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Macky’s Review

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Synopsis

After one very long tour of duty in Afghanistan and an honorable discharge from the USMC, Elijah Preston comes home to nothing. He barely scrapes up enough money for a cheap motel in Quantico, Virginia, with no money-making opportunities in sight. A chance encounter in a local Walmart finally gives Eli hope for employment. Elijah is ready to sign on with Royce Mackey's proposition... until he hears what’s required. Royce operates a gay military porn site and wants Eli as his next star, never mind that Eli isn’t gay. Desperate and broke, Eli grudgingly accepts Royce’s offer and soon finds himself immersed in a strange new world.

Hamish Turner’s been there before. Taking Eli under his wing, he teaches him everything he can about Royce’s operation. The two quickly become friends, easing the way for their first scene together. Awkward at first, they both ease into it and find there is more of a connection between them than either expected. Curious to see where their mutual attraction takes them, they begin a relationship off-screen. But life gets complicated when a crazed fan of Hamish’s starts sending threatening letters demanding the scenes between the two men stop. Or else….

Macky: There were two novels tying neck and neck for my Hotpick choice this month and each was a joint review with Monique. Two fantastic reads ...Acting Out by Scotty Cade and The Slave by Kate Aaron. It turns out that Monique's choices were exactly the same so we decided to feature one each. The reason I picked Scotty's, even though it didn't quite make its full five stars, was that we just fell in love with the whole package. Scotty's writing style was so easy, all the characters were endearing and lovable, the chemistry between them was palpable; as was the sexual tension, and the sex was off the charts hot but still had lots of "Awwwwww" moments because of its underlying sweetness, that at times brought on those sappy tears you get when something moves you because it's just so lovely! This was one of those stories that wormed its way into mine and my buddy reading friend's hearts. So Eli and Hamish are definitely way up there in terms of being a favourite m/m pairing. A gem of a find that we'll definitely be going back to again because it was pure enjoyment. Weeks later and were’re still tingling thinking about those those delicious love scenes! Gay for pay and gorgeous ex military guys...there was a lot of swooning, sighing and drooling going on!

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDERMonique’s Hotpick

The Slave by Kate Aaron

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Monique’s Review

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Synopsis

At twenty-seven, Tamelik has been a slave more than half his life, having witnessed his family being murdered in front of him when he was just a child. Naturally submissive, although with a petulant streak, he can’t help but fall in love with the master who treats him kindly.

Tam's dreams come true when his mistress walks out, leaving her husband behind. For six glorious months, he and his master get to be together. Then Tam is ordered to purchase another slave.

He wants to hate Kai for being unruly and ungrateful. For being of the same race as the men who murdered his family. For being his eventual replacement in their master’s bed. But it’s hard to hate a man who cries himself to sleep, flinches at the slightest touch, and blushes beautifully when he’s kissed.

Seducing Kai has suddenly become more challenge than chore, and with his master’s encouragement, Tam finds himself falling for his new companion. Except... nobody can be in love with two people at once, can they?

Monique: Macky and I got to pick two books this month, which made us very happy because we reviewed them together, and in all honesty I too was hard pushed to choose between Scotty Cade’s Acting Out and Kate Aaron’s The Slave, two books that bring to light the immense joy of reading, made all the more pleasurable when you can share the experience with a likeminded friend. Both very different, but they kept us turning the pages into the wee hours unable to put them down. So, for this month at least, I didn’t have to have a pouty moment at only being allowed to pick one book as my favourite. WooHoo!

We loved The Slave SooOoo much! It captivated us from the very first page where we meet Tam, and immediately his gentle and caring voice, which was almost hypnotic in a sense that we were totally drawn in, not having the slightest inclination to look away. Initially he comes across as melancholy character, unemotional in a way that lacks passion, it’s as if as a slave, it’s not his place to feel that particular emotion, distancing himself on the surface, but inside his heart is so full of love. And, believe me, we felt every emotion with him, because as we took this journey with Tam we were allowed to see beneath that surface, until what he feels for not only Master but also Kai is so powerful and intense it took our breath away.

The Slave is the first book in a trilogy, a moving rendition of how three men from very diverse backgrounds, through immense heartache, manage to find love (if not happiness just yet) in the arms of each other, where their contrasting personalities only enhance the emotion felt between them. An excellent start to what promises to be a fabulous series!

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDERMark’s Hotpick

Vanished by Carter Quinn

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Mark’s Review

Amazon Buy Link

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Synopsis

Henry Cooley has good friends and a good life. He’s secure in his job and his relationship. He and Tom, the love of his life, are about to celebrate their twenty-first anniversary as a couple. Their son, CJ, is in his second year at Cal Arts. Henry's only problems are his growing dissatisfaction with his job and the fact that Tom's parents still hate him, even after all these years. At least those are his only problems until the morning he wakes up to discover Tom has vanished

Mark: In October I really had a great month with some fantastic, humdinger 5 star reads. But……..above all of these a little book came along that I thought I’d just squeeze in before I start on something longer not expecting anything much, but then…….…… it completely broadsided me with it’s powerful writing and story, it blew my socks off in 78 pages!!! I mean like holy shit, a story that’ll remain with me for a long time to come. I devoured this book in a little under two hours and it had me on the edge of my seat, sobbing my heart out and gasping at the end. Seriously awesome stuff for what is essentially a short story. All I can say is READ THIS BOOK! I beg you. If you have nothing else planned for two hours then sit down undisturbed, take the phone off the hook, tissues at hand or at best a glass of wine and some comfort chocolate, buckle up and be prepared to be taken on an emotional ride that will stay with you for a long time.

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

September

Lisa’s Hotpick

Deacon by Kristen Ashley

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Lisa’s Review

Amazon Buy Link

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Synopsis

Deacon has an ugly history, a history that broke him, leaving him a ghost of a man. Out of necessity, he left the normal world to descend into the criminal world and found he fit. So he stayed. Cold as ice and living off the grid, Deacon has no intention to connect, not with anyone.

Then he returns to some remote cabins in the Colorado Mountains and finds they have new owners. One of them is Cassidy Swallow, a young woman willing to work hard to live her quiet dream in a house by a river surrounded by aspen and pine.

Suddenly, Deacon finds he’s at war. Cassidy’s pull for him to connect is strong. He fights it, but he loses, always coming back for more. But when he does, he gives her nothing.
From the first time she sees him, Cassidy knows Deacon is dead inside. She knows he’s the kind of man who could destroy a woman. But one night when Deacon’s control slips, Cassidy takes a chance.

He might break her. He also might be her dream come true.

Lisa: Deacon is book four in Kristen Ashley’s Unfinished Hero series. This is such a fantastic series and this book was no exception. It was a gorgeous romance that I was easily absorbed into and completely lost myself in. It was truly KA at her absolute best once again proving to me that she will forever reign as the literary Queen of my heart. This love story (and this entire series, frankly) encompassed everything that made me fall into a crazy obsession with Kristen Ashley in the first place – a brilliant storyline, a descriptive and wordy writing style, a sexy and edgy alpha-male, an endearing heroine, witty dialogue, some passionate and erotic sexy times and family dynamics told with a flare that only this author can create. Reading a Kristen Ashley book is always like coming home. I fell head over heels in love with Deacon, Cassidy and their “beautiful war”.

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER Macky’s Hotpick

Clipped by Devon McCormack

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Macky’s Review

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Synopsis

Warning: This title is erotic and contains homosexual content, graphic sex, violence, and strong language. Readers uncomfortable with rough sexual situations should not purchase this book.

Though mortals have been convinced that God cares about their souls, nothing could be further from the truth. He created the world as a gift for his lover, Satan. But when Satan left him, he decided to end what he saw as his most grotesque creation.

Satan and his army of demons are man’s only hope…

The demon Kinzer and his lover, Janka, have been sent by Satan to spy on The Raze, a gang of rogue demons who are working with God to bring about Armageddon. When someone exposes their true allegiances, the Raze clips Kinzer’s wings and murders Janka. Kinzer manages to escape. He tracks down Satan’s allies to warn them about a mole in their midst when he learns that they’ve located the Antichrist—a powerful weapon that could prevent the apocalypse. Now, he’s on a mission to protect the Antichrist and avenge his lover’s death.

Macky: Septembers Hot Pick for me is Clipped by Devon McCormack. Why? Because I just had the BEST time reading and reviewing it with my blog buddy Monique. We both absolutely loved, loved, loved it! The plot was intriguing, surprising, exciting, erotic, perplexing, funny, dark, violent, witty, kinky, touching and sexy as Hell...or make that Heaven...because Devon's take on good and evil, and the angels and demons who populate the two realms, turns everything we think of as the norm, completely upside down. Book two can't come soon enough for me, and I know my reading partner in crime feels the same way. A tale of warring angelic and demonic factions, filled with fabulous characters, including hot bodied, neon thong wearing, stripper angels and of course those unforgettable HUGE COCKS!!! Ouch! Three words...Buttock clenchingly awesome...

... you REALLY want to read it now don't you? Hahahaha......

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

Lorie’s Hotpick

Jag by Stevie J. Cole

 

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Rating: 4.5 Stars

Lorie’s Review

Amazon Buy Link

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Synopsis

WARNING: This is not your tradiational pretty romance. It is raw. It is very realistic. It is the explicit story of an addict - a side of a disease that may be disturbing to some readers. This book contains explicit language, sexual situations, and scenes of drug use.

"My name's Jag Steele. I’m the lead singer and guitarist to the band Pandemic Sorrow and I have a drug problem – well, I mean it's not really a problem – unless you count the fact that I almost made my heart explode from all the blow I shoved up my nose a few weeks back..."

That was my introduction during my first stint in rehab. I'm a f*ck-up. If you ask anybody who I am there’s a list they will go down: Famous, rock star, legend, drug addict, womanizing man-whore… but if you asked me, I wouldn’t have the first idea of what to say, because I don’t know who Jag Steele is. Really, I’m living every other damn person's dream, and all I want is reality.

Roxy Slade, that girl was my reality. My brutally flawed and beautifully broken reality. And she f*cking hated everything I stood for. To her I was just one of “those guys”, and she’d rather be buried alive with poisonous snakes than give someone like me a piece of toilet paper to wipe their ass with. Brutal. Life. Is. Brutal. And it is just a giant pain in the ass, which is why I chase after anything to make it numb, anything that can fill this void. I just want anything that can make me not feel.

Lorie: Argh. This month was such a hard decision for me. But, I finally decided on Jag by Stevie J. Cole. Why Jag and not some other package of awesome? Aside from the fact that I absolutely loved and devoured it, Jag is one of those books that more people should be buzzing about. Jag is an honest and hard hitting look behind the rock star persona. Steve J. Cole shows us the ugly that happens when the encore is over and the curtain comes down. It’s real, it’s raw, and it’s unfiltered. It’s difficult to find a rock star book that isn’t watered down which is why I’m in such awe of this book. I will warn you, Jag isn’t for everyone. But if you want a REAL hard core sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll story PICK THIS ONE UP!! (and make sure you buckle up, it’s one wild ride).

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

Mark’s Hotpick

Sweetwater by Lisa Henry

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Mark’s Review

Amazon Buy Link

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Synopsis

Wyoming Territory, 1870.

Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.

Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is—and for all the ungodly things he wants. But Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push the kid.

When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge, and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life . . . or truly begin it for the very first time.

Mark: I read so many great books in September that touched me in various ways that I would love to list them all here. Unfortunately, I can’t. So after a lot of procrastinating decided to go for Sweetwater by Lisa Henry. Why? Well, because of Elijah! Elijah was a character that stole my heart from the word go and wouldn’t let go, still hasn’t really. Sweet, bullied, kind hearted, hurting, good natured Elijah. I wanted to hold him, hug him, comfort him, adopt him, hold his hand….so I had to make do with my Kindle as a poor substitute instead. This character seriously got under my skin, has stayed there and made his home there, thanks to the powerful writing from Lisa Henry.

Lisa took me on an emotional journey of discovery with this book that will stay with me for quite a while. A roller-coaster ride of emotions. I’ve never experienced so many emotions in one character. If you haven’t read this book yet then I implore you to do so, I promise you won’t regret it. Maybe you’ll come to love Elijah as much as I did.

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

Monique’s Hotpick

Hidden Gem by Lissa Kasey

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Monique’s Review

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Synopsis

Misaki “Aki” Itou is a psi—a person with mutated DNA granting him psychic abilities. He’s also a contracted companion—a whore. It may not be the perfect profession, but having a roof over his head, food to eat, and not being subjected to torture is a dream come true. He is the top companion at the Hidden Gem, and it makes him enough money to buy the prettiest, most sparkly shoes he can find.

Shane McNaughton is an Irishman who survived the Third World War and works as a cop. Head of Missing Persons, he’s good at finding people, but after the plague of the Third mutated his DNA, he has a hard time letting anyone see the monster inside. He’s been paying for Aki’s services for two years, both the psi and the sexual kind, but he wants more from the companion.

Shane needs Aki’s ability to see into another person’s past to track down a serial killer murdering the children of rich and powerful men, but the more they work together, the clearer it becomes that they are linked through a darker past than either of them realizes.

Warning: Contains mild BDSM elements

Monique: An EXCELLENT read and totally deserving of my Hotpick spot this month. This book is a gem in it’s own right, as sparkly and shiny as a pair of Aki’s shoes. I came away from this book excited and exhilarated so happy I had read a book that was a complete surprise and not at all what I was expecting, and at the same time I was gutted it had finished after being so totally captivated, I just didn’t want it to end.

This book is full of substance, something to get your teeth into, it kept me engrossed and the adrenaline pumping with the hunt for the serial killer and the underlying hint of danger to keep you on your toes. Also the emotional impact of this beautiful love story left me with more than a tear or two escaping my eyes from the incredibly moving scenes between Aki and Shane. I was completely immersed in this world Lissa Kasey created, intrigued and mystified, inquisitive and desperate to turn the page for yet more twists and turns in this compelling plot. I was entranced by Aki and lusting after Shane, I want to know more about Paris and Candy, they have stories to tell and I NEED to be there when they tell them, this world has more secrets to be uncovered, more mysteries to be solved and characters to fall in love with. It was thought provoking and so very well executed and written I was in awe, totally happy dancing because I have found a new author that has more than impressed me with her writing and world building. And the good news is we WILL be getting MORE as Lissa plans on brining us both Paris and Candy’s stories… Haha, CAN’T WAIT!

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

Becs’ Hotpick

Unforgiven by Rebecca Shea

 

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Rating: 4.5 Stars

Becs’s Review

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Synopsis

Companion novel to "Unbreakable" & "Undone" and is the final book in the Unbreakable series -- This is Lindsay and Matt's story.

Lindsay Christianson seemingly has it all—the perfect career, the perfect boyfriend, and the best-laid plans for a perfect life—until one phone call changes everything.

With a moments notice, Lindsay must choose between her perfect life and her professional dreams. The choice momentarily seems clear when the opportunity to propel her career abruptly sends her across the country, leaving everything she loves behind in North Carolina.

Navigating a new city with a broken heart and a job where her colleagues will do anything to sabotage her success, the pressure quickly becomes too great. When old habits resurface, Lindsay finds herself chasing demons she thought were long since buried.
With pain and destruction left in her wake, will Lindsay find a way to erase the damage she’s done, or will her sins remain unforgiven?

**This book is a Contemporary Romance and contains mature subject matter. It is not intended for those under 17 years of age.**

Becs: This is yet another heart-wrenching, emotional story from Rebecca Shea to round out the series and I positively galloped through Unforgiven. It’s very compelling – harrowing, yet compelling. It’s a powerful storyline, sensitively handled. This is very much an exploration of addiction and compulsive behaviour and heartbreak. It’s an uncomfortable, if ultimately satisfying, read – poignant, thought-provoking and very sad. I powered through this, even though it’s quite a painful read, it certainly packs an powerful emotional punch and it’s hard to look away. A great way to round out the series with plenty of the previous characters to keep fans of the earlier books happy.

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 JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

August

Lisa’s Hotpick

This is Falling by Ginger Scott

 

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Rating: 4.5 Stars

Lisa’s Review

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Synopsis

First, I had to remember how to breathe. Then, I had to learn how to survive. Two years, three months and sixteen days had passed since I was the Rowe Stanton from before, since tragedy stole my youth and my heart went along with it.

When I left for college, I put a thousand miles between my future and my past. I’d made a choice—I was going to cross back to the other side, to live with the living. I just didn’t know how. And then I met Nate Preeter.

An All-American baseball player, Nate wasn’t supposed to notice a ghost-of-a-girl like me. But he did. He shouldn’t want to know my name. But he did. And when he learned my secret and saw the scars it left behind, he was supposed to run. But he didn’t.
My heart was dead, and I was never supposed to belong to anyone. But Nate Preeter had me feeling, and he made me want to be his. He showed me everything I was missing.
And then he showed me how to fall.

Lisa: "This is Falling by Ginger Scott is a sweet and poignant tale of love about a girl who is stuck living in the past and a boy who pushes her into living for the now and looking forward to the future. I have read one other book by this author prior to this one and was completely enamored by her style of writing and the beautiful love story she penned. This book is yet another example of a story that will touch your heart and make you believe that love does conquer all and how wonderful it is to fall."

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

Lorie’s Hotpick

Within These Walls by J.L. Berg

 

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Rating: 4.5 Stars

Lorie’s Review

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Synopsis

Within these walls, he became my solace, my sanctuary and my strength.
I am not strong. I am just a survivor of circumstance.
Isn’t that what we all do? Survive?
Each of us has our own set of circumstances to muddle through. Mine are just more…complicated.
Born with a severe heart defect, I’ve seen the inside of a hospital room more than my own bedroom.
I was drowning, a prisoner to the illness that owned me, until he appeared. He thinks he’s blocked out the world with his tattoos and hard exterior, but I see the real Jude, the one he so desperately wants to forget.
But is he the answer to my prayers or will he break my already damaged heart forever?
My name is Lailah Buchanan, and this is our story of hope, redemption and sacrificing it all for the one you love.

Read the first chapter here!

Lorie: Within This Walls is about a girl who never thought she’d find love and a guy who never wanted to find love again. Lailah and Jude’s journey is beautiful, emotional, and complicated. This book makes you realize just how much we take living for granted. It will have you counting your blessings, hugging the ones you love more often, and ticking items off your bucket list sooner rather than later. I loved every single minute of this book. Within These Walls is beautifully written, and it’s a story that will stay with me forever.

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

Becs’s Hotpick

Degredation by Stylo Fantome

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Becs’s Review

Amazon Buy Link

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Synopsis

Eighteen year old Tatum O'Shea is a naive, shy, little rich girl. Twenty-three year old Jameson Kane is smart, seductive, and richer. They come together for one night, one explosion, one mistake, and Tate is hurled into space – no family, no money, and no Jameson.

Seven years later, life is going pretty good for Tate, when she runs into Jameson again. This time, she thinks she's ready for him. She doesn't have a naive bone left in her body, and she can't even remember what shy feels like. Jameson has evolved into Satan – sharp teeth, sharper claws, and a tongue that can cut her in half. It all sounds like fun to a girl like Tate, and she is ready to play, determined to prove that she isn't the same girl he conquered once before. A series of games start, each one more devious than the last.

But the devil likes to play dirty, and she learns that playing for souls is playing for keeps. The lines between games and reality, heaven and hell, get blurry. Can she beat Jameson at his own game before someone gets hurt? Or will he leave her soulless, making him the winner, once and for all?

WARNING: contains a wannabe B-rate porn star, an impersonal personal assistant, and the F-word, A LOT. Also graphic sexual situations and sadomasochistic themes.

Becs: This was a debut novel that just burst out of nowhere for me and completely wowed me. I absolutely love it when this happens. I wasn’t asked to review Degradation and just happened to notice it as a new release and just something about the blurb called to me and I bought it from Amazon and absolutely, totally freaking loved it!! I really think this is possibly THE most exciting debut I’ve read in 2014 and I came across it by chance. Now, I’m recommending it to all of you out there who enjoy a dark and edgy romance, one which will push your boundaries and keep you glued to the page. I know there’s a lot of you out there and I’m highly recommending it to all you dark romance junkies.

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

Macky’s Hotpick

Breakdown (Don’t #3) by Jack L. Pyke

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Macky’s Review

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Synopsis

The evidence is there in his hands: the DVD and notepad convincing Jack that Gray is responsible for his kidnapping and torture, tearing Jack and Jan brutally apart. But with Jack trapped in his own mind, lost to blackouts and self-harming, getting away from Gray must take a back seat to getting away from himself.

While locked away in a secret facility run by the Masters' Circle, a new beast is unearthed from the depths of Jack's tormented past. Martin only comes out to play when Jack needs to hide, a psychopath as capable of ruining Jack's life as he is of defending him. Martin is the repository for Jack's most horrifying memories, protecting him from the bloody tasks Jack can't handle. Martin's purpose is to drive everyone Jack fears - or loves - away, before they get the chance to hurt Jack again.

Now Jack hurts more than he ever has before, Martin is back, and Jack has to figure out what Martin knows that Jack forgot, before it's too late.

Macky: My Hotpick this month is a no brainer for me, it has to be Breakdown by Jack L Pyke. The reason being because this series and these three men— deeply troubled, multi layered Jack, dangerous, enigmatic, dominant Gray and the tender hearted, but also conflicted Jan— have all, really got under my skin badly! I admit I'm totally infatuated with these characters.... I can't describe how much I've come to love this hard core, dark, gripping, at times hard to read (both emotionally and physically) set of books. Each one, has grabbed and pulled me under its mind fuckery spell, taking me on a ride that's literally blown my mind, always leaving me mentally exhausted but in a really good way. Breakdown was yet another masterclass in battering the psyche of both the characters involved and us as readers; an emotional roller coaster in more ways than one and once again a terrific read that left me in awe of Jack's amazing writing skills. Despite it's hard hitting nature, this is still a moving love story between three perplexing guys, one that if dark is your bag, is most definitely a must read addition to your collection and a forever keeper. Just amazing!

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

Mark’s Hotpick

Caught by J L Merrow

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Mark’s Review

Amazon Buy Link

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Synopsis

You can run from the past…but the past runs faster.

Shamwell Tales, Book 1

Behind Robert’s cheerfully eccentric exterior lies a young heart battered and bruised by his past. He’s taken a job teaching in a village primary school to make a fresh start, and love isn’t part of his plans. But he’s knocked for six—literally—by a chance encounter with the uncle of two of his pupils.

Sean works in pest control, rides a motorbike, and lives on a council estate. On the face of it, he shouldn’t have anything in common with Robert’s bow-tie, classic-car style and posh family background. Yet Robert is helpless to resist Sean’s roguish grin, and a rocky, excruciatingly embarrassing start doesn’t keep the sparks between them from flaring.

Despite Robert’s increasingly ludicrous attempts to keep his past where it belongs, his past hasn’t read the memo. And soon his secrets could be the very things that drive Sean away for good...

Warning: Contains the alarming misadventures of a pest control technician, a stepsister with a truly unfortunate name, and a young man who may have more bow ties than sense.

Mark: Like Macky August’s Hot Pick for me really wasn’t a tough decision either and the winner is…….Caught by J L Merrow. Oh how I loved this book! What makes it for me is always the characters that JL Merrow portrays. How she does it is a mystery to me, but they are ALWAYS thoroughly entertaining, normal people with their quirks living in a real world. Here we have Rob Emeny. Yes I know, I don’t know how many times I read Enemy too, but that is also a source of fun for the kids in Rob’s class too and even the adults.

I just so loved the multi-facetted side to this story. Robs past, Sean taking care of his nephews, Sean’s sister fighting cancer, Rosie playing matchmaker although with issues of her own, a class of kids that would drive anyone nuts, but you just can’t stop loving them, all with their own stories too. A light and at times funny book with just the right amount of pathos and poignancy to give it a much greater depth of emotion. The balance was perfect.

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

Monique’s Hotpick

BAMF by SJD Peterson

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Monique’s Review

Amazon Buy Link

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Synopsis

With his fauxhawk, sleeve tattoos, and visible piercings, Ridley Corbin has the whole bad ass vibe going on in spades. The image serves him well as the self-proclaimed protector of the underdog, and he wants nothing more than to be Alex Firestone's hero.
Alex, a mild-mannered library assistant, has moved to Slater, a quiet college town, hoping to hide from his past. He keeps to himself, but that doesn't save him from catching the unwanted attention of the campus bully. But not all is as it seems. Alex's past comes calling, and it's time he becomes top dog.

Monique: SJD Peterson has done it again. This isn't just a winner, it's Olympic Gold!!!

Be prepared for some rough, raunchy, hungry, filthy sex, with dirty talking that will have your stomach flipping, and two wonderfully drawn characters guaranteed to steal your heart. I admit... I am totally besotted with Riley and Alex...

Your expectations from the blub and what Ms Peterson so cleverly elicits in this book is captivating. BAMF is a powerful story in so many ways, but what really got to me was the excellent characterisation and the relationship between Riley and Alex, made all the more compelling because things aren’t what they seem. There is also an undercurrent of danger which enhances their story and gives it direction, also creating an element of mystery surrounding Alex, which was another thing that kept me turning those pages. I was desperate to discover Alex’s secret past, where he came from, the whole build up kept me gripped! So, when his past catches up with him, not only threatening his life but Ridley’s too… well, that and the incredible sex these two men have, as well as the very touching and emotional relationship they share, just topped the bar for me with this book… I loved everything about it!

BAMF is definitely one of my best reads of 2014 so far, it was an unexpected treasure chest filled with everything I love about opening the pages of a book and just falling in love.

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

July Hotpicks

Lisa’s Hotpick

Lead by Kylie Scott

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Lisa’s Review

Amazon Buy Link

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Synopsis

Stay up all night with the sexy rockers in Stage Dive, the epic New Adult series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott, author of Lick and Play.

As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it's booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.

Lena's not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.

Lisa: This series is turning out to be one of the best rock-star series yet! In this third installment we see Stage Dive’s lead singer go down the path that two of his bandmates have succumbed to – the rocky road to love.

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JLP2013 - POST DIVIDER

Lorie’s Hotpick

Fallen by Callie Hart

 

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Rating: 4.5 Stars

Lorie’s Review

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Synopsis

Sloane: For over two years, Sloane Romera has pinned everything on finding Alexis. Life was going to get better. Easier. Happier.

The nightmare of having a missing sister was supposed to end, and everything was supposed to go back to normal. However, now that she’s found her sister, Sloane is discovering that life has a way of ridiculing what we expect of it. Nothing is easier.
And ‘normal’ is falling for a man who might never be able to feel the same way.
***
Zeth: A lengthy history of breaking things with his fists has given Zeth Mayfair a fairly good idea of how to get his own way. But when his goal, the one, single woman on the face of the planet that he’s truly ever wanted, can only be obtained by fixing things instead of destroying them, how can he adjust a lifetime of violence in order to make her his once and for all? And how can he make sure that she is safe?
The first part is going to take time. But the second part…
The second part is easy.
He must kill Charlie Holsan

Lorie: Blood and Roses from Callie Hart is one deliciously sexy and highly addictive serial. It is absolutely on fire, and there’s not a dull moment to be found. Fallen is the fourth installment, and time is running out for Zeth and Sloane. The reason that put Zeth and Sloane on a collision course with one another is no longer forcing them to stay together. Someone needs to make a move or risk losing the other for good.

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Tina’s Hotpick

Fit for the Job by Darien Cox

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Tina’s Review

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Synopsis

When fitness professional Jay Capello is unexpectedly offered the job of training a movie star’s teenage daughter for the summer, he thinks he’s scored a fairly cushy gig. But once let inside the locked gates of the actor’s residence, he begins to realize he’s been dropped into a web of family secrets, and the unconventional challenges of this assignment may be more than he can handle. But when he starts to fall for Bodie, the girl’s personal security guard, he tries to stick with it, and his simple summer commitment becomes a struggle to perform his job duties without losing his heart in the process.

Tina: Darien Cox has done it again! Fit For The Job is definitely one of those books I couldn't put down once I started reading. The story took me captive but Darien’s skilful narrative style went one step further, I was glued to the pages and didn't want the book to end. Ever!

It’s an entertaining mix of love, hurt and mystery, brim-full with sexual tension, some absolutely awesome kiss and love scenes, a not too angsty plot full of twists and turns and a lovable cast of supporting characters. The heroes are adorable with their sweetness, their hotness and their flaws. It’s definitely a book that has already gone in my favourite reads of 2014.

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Macky’s Hotpick

The Companion by Lloyd A Meeker

 

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Rating: 4 Stars

Macky’s Review

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Synopsis

Shepherd Bucknam hasn’t had a lover in more than a decade and doesn’t need one. As a Daka, he coaches men in the sacred art and mystery of sexual ecstasy all the time, and he loves his work. It’s his calling. In fact, he’s perfectly content—except for the terrors of his recurring nightmare and the ominous blood-red birthmarks on his neck. He’s convinced that together they foretell his early and violent death.

When Shepherd’s young protégé is murdered, LAPD Detective Marco Fidanza gets the case. The two men are worlds apart: Marco has fought hard for everything he’s accomplished, in sharp contrast to the apparent ease of Shepherd’s inherited wealth—but their mutual attraction is too hot for either of them to ignore.

Shepherd swears he’ll help find his protégé’s killer, but Marco warns him to stay out of it. When an influential politician is implicated, the police investigation grinds to a halt. Shepherd hires his own investigator. Marco calls it dangerous meddling. As their volatile relationship deepens, Shepherd discovers his nightmares might not relate to the future, but to the deadly legacy of a past life—a life he may have to revisit before he can fully live and love in this one.

Macky: I'm being a bit topsy turvy this month with my pick of the month. I've decided not to go with one of my 5 star reads, instead I've chosen to fly with the 4 star book that has probably stayed with me the most because it made me think and question...literally! Not only that, it was a really good, deep story too.

Unusual and thought provoking because of its spiritual sub plots that I certainly wasn't expecting, it actually surprised me. Plus we got a lovely video reading and a chance to meet a very interesting, gracious man. A book I might not have top starred but a reading experience I'll never forget—in more ways than one.

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Becs’s Hotpick

Taming The Storm by Samantha Towle

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Becs’s Review

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Synopsis

Lyla Summers hates men. Okay, maybe hate is a strong word … Lyla intensely dislikes men.
Her father has let her down her whole life. Her brother betrayed her in the worst way possible. And her past relationship experiences with men have been less than great.

Lyla is focussing all her energy into her band, Vintage, so when they receive an offer to sign with TMS Records, it seems that things are finally turning around for her. The last thing she wants is a man getting in the way.
Tom Carter loves women. Okay, love might be pushing it … Tom enjoys screwing lots of women.

When tragedy befalls his best friend, Tom finds himself making a promise to the big man upstairs – he’ll change his ways, if he saves the woman his best friend loves.
Tom’s prayer is answered. Now he has to change. Which means no sleeping around.
After Vintage’s manager breaks her leg skiing, Tom steps in as tour manager, and Lyla finds herself on tour with the man whore of rock.

Put one perpetually horny Tom and one sex resistant Lyla together, equals a recipe for disaster. Or so you’d think…But an unexpected friendship is formed. A closeness neither of them expected. Putting one chastity belt and one lamp that is in desperate need of rubbing, to the test. Will the sex storm that is Tom Carter, finally find himself tamed by the rock chick with a hardened heart, or will he go back to his womanizing ways…?

Becs: I have to confess that I didn’t really know what to expect of Tom’s story – after all he is a total manslut (or mut as Lyla calls him) and I had fallen so hard for Jake Wethers that it was impossible to think that anyone could come close in the fictional Rock God stakes and it’s impossible not to make comparisons so this needed to be special to stand out and it sure as heck is. I fell hook, line and sinker for bad boy Tom and Samantha Towle definitely has another winner on her hands. Tom really does step out of Jake Wether’s lengthy shadow and I loved every second I spent with him and Lyla.

Sam Towle leads us down a tumultuous and incredibly steamy path as we move from simmering sexual tension to something far deeper and so incredibly touching. It’s a beautiful and incredibly sexy love story and it’s so good to see a dedicated player like Tom finally have the scales fall from his eyes and see what is right in front of him – the love of his life!

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Monique’s Hotpick

Running Wild by SE Jakes

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Monique’s Review

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Synopsis

Sean Rush is an adrenaline junkie. That’s why he was in the Army, why he steals and races classic muscle cars . . . and why he can’t stay away from bad boy Ryker, a Havoc Motorcycle Club lieutenant. Fortunately, Ryker can’t seem to stay away from Sean—he’s spent the last eight months breaking into Sean’s apartment and stealing into his bed, leaving Sean physically satisfied but increasingly restless.

Sean has always avoided relationships. He likes to come and go without being controlled. And Ryker is possibly the most controlling man he’s ever known. Still, he finds that he wants more from Ryker than their silent nighttime encounters.

Then one of Sean’s thefts goes bad, and Ryker’s protective instincts kick into overdrive. He takes Sean to the Havoc compound, determined to keep him safe. But Sean’s past threatens the safety of Havoc—and everything Ryker holds dear. Worse, Ryker’s hiding secrets of his own. Soon it’s obvious that the adrenaline rush can’t keep them together anymore. But maybe love can.

Monique: My Hotpick for July is Running Wild by SE Jakes, where Sons of Anarchy meets Fast and Furious… SE Jakes style, meaning you get the full alpha male testosterone infused ride of your life! A high octane, adrenaline rush, emotionally and sexually charged, with strong characters that pull on your heart strings and get your blood racing. It’s engaging, captivating and steeped in emotion, not the kissy face kind, it’s subtle, yet raw and the sex! Oh. My. God… it’s just downright dirty, kinky and hot! Tummy tingling perfection that left me weak at the knees!

SE Jakes’s writing and characterisation is excellent, I just love her style and perfect blend of humour, intrigue, mystery, violence, dirty sex and not forgetting the romance. She makes me fall in love with her characters, whole heartedly, hook line and sinker… What more could you possibly ask for from a book, it’s a gift, which to me is immeasurable.

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Mark’s Hotpick

The Next by Rafe Haze

 

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Rating: 4.5 Stars

Mark’s Review

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Synopsis

Romantic Suspense novel, often called The Gay Rear Window. A romance springs to life as two strangers merge with a common goal: to catch a killer they suspect occupies one of the apartments across the courtyard. But their romance must hurdle the main protagonist's suffocating, unresolved demons as well as encroaching, life threatening danger. But if they make it through, they can both bring life back to their lives. The Next romances Love, Alfred Hitchcock, and New York City in large, creamy dollops.

Mark: The Next by Rafe Haze was a book that completely broadsided me in July with its sheer brilliance. A mystery thriller par excellence with an M/M romance. This is seriously one humdinger of a debut novel.  A psychological thriller at its best within the M/M genre, it lets you get into the mind of the MC and how he perceives things and others through his window. I just loved the whole thing.

As already mentioned in the synopsis it is like reading a version of Hitchcock’s film The Rear Window and comparisons can certainly be drawn. But for me The Next is much more than this, it is almost a character study of various people, with various lives and backgrounds, all living next to or on top of each other in their NYC apartments, all individual but also all connected by the City that is New York. They all have their story to tell and Rafe does this excellently through the eyes of an agoraphobic, failing songwriter whose name we never learn, but experience everything in first person through his eyes. Again another nice plot device to keep things mysterious, but also gives the reader the chance to really experience things through the eyes of this character.

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Mark’s Hotpick

Dream lover by James Ryder

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Rating: 4.5 Stars

Mark’s Review

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Synopsis

Sometimes dreams really do come true. But sometimes they can turn into nightmares.

‘The curse said that anyone who owned the Rockford plantation house would dream of their one true love, whether that love was their wife or husband or not; or indeed whether they had even met the person yet. You would fall in love instantly but when you consummated that love, you would condemn your soul mate to death, for within the next cycle of the moon your one true love would suffer the most agonising, painful death.’

Hard-nosed journalist Ryan Davis didn’t believe in the curse when he’d purchased the run-down Louisiana mansion. He still didn’t want to believe it after falling for Hunter Hampton, despite the fact that he’d had the most intensely sensual dream about him two nights before meeting him for first time. But it’s hard to ignore the tragedies that have befallen the previous owners of the property.

But who set the curse, and why? And more importantly, can it be undone before it’s too late?

Mark: Why did I choose this one as my June Hotpick? Well, I guess it’s the discovery of a little gem of a book that you never reckoned with. I just loved the writing style and the whole plot around the characters. Kept me totally intrigued from beginning to end. The characters balance out well, the chemistry between the two main characters is hot. I had such a book crush on Hunter – OMG! As this is rural, deep south USA, like most small and closed communities the characters are a little suspicious of the out-of-town stranger to say the least. I loved the way James brought his characters to life giving them all the quirkiness needed for such small town inhabitants, but also made them endearing at the same time too.

What I really loved about this book was the combination of mystery-suspense, love story, the characters, its descriptions, the well paced plot, historical aspects and the history of the characters, all woven into one great read.

 

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Macky’s Hotpick

Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder

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Rating: 5 Stars

Macky’s Review

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Synopsis

My sister Julia manipulated my life into a prison to keep me silent about our dirty family secret. Her greed made me a slave and circumstance left me with no way to escape.

Trapped, the only way I could silence the nightmares driving me to insanity was to wrap them in color, hold them with shadow, and stitch them to negative space with line.

But no matter how bright the pigments, no one could see my confession.

Except for Roy Callahan.

I thought he was just another nameless one-night stand in a long line of many.

But I was wrong. Roy could see past the façade of my life and through the veil color over the canvas. He could see what the world couldn’t.

With him I’d find the courage to tell the truth about the boy.

The boy who kissed me.

The boy who loved me.

The boy whose name I couldn’t remember.

Macky: Never an easy pick because (as always) I loved all my reads this month, but Adrienne Wilder nudges into the lead again with 'Complimentary Colors' because I fell in love with Paris and Roy and their rocky ride to love. It was deliciously dark, chillingly captivating, compelling, intriguing, and for me—totally unputdownable. A master class in psychological battering that kept me on pins from beginning to end with one hell of a nasty piece of work as the instigator of all that mind fuckery! We'll plotted and cleverly constructed, I was thrilled and enthralled!

 

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Lisa’s Hotpick

Better When He’s Bad by Jay Crownover

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Rating: 5 Stars

Lisa’s Review

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Synopsis

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover returns with a heart-stopping new series… Welcome to the Point.

There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who’s bad . . . meet Shane Baxter.

Sexy, dark, and dangerous, Bax isn’t just from the wrong side of the tracks, he is the wrong side of the tracks. A criminal, a thug, and a brawler, he’s the master of bad choices, until one such choice landed him in prison for five years. Now Bax is out and looking for answers, and he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt to get them. But there’s a new player in the game, and she’s much too innocent, much too soft…and standing directly in his way.

Dovie Pryce knows all about living a hard life and the tough choices that come with it. She’s always tried to be good, tried to help others, and tried not to let the darkness pull her down. But the streets are fighting back, things have gone from bad to worse, and the only person who can help her is the scariest, sexiest, most complicated ex-con The Point has ever produced.

Bax terrifies her, awakening feelings she never thought she’d have for a guy like him. But it doesn’t take Dovie long to realize . . . some boys are just better when they’re bad.

Lisa: Better When He’s Bad is one of those books that hooked me in, sucker-punched me, and had me completely enthralled. This shadowy new underground world that Jay Crownover has created is complex, raw, gritty and unquestionably riveting.

 

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Monique’s Hotpick

Another Man’s Treasure by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock

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Rating: 5 Stars

Monique’s Review

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Synopsis

Ilia Porter is Chechen mob boss Mikhail Kadyrov’s greatest treasure. After leaving home at eighteen to escape his verbally abusive father, beautiful, selfish Ilia has lived with Mikhail, proud of his ability to bring such a powerful man to his knees to worship. But when Ilia’s father, a police captain, kills Mikhail in a raid, Ilia’s world falls apart.

Entering to pick up the pieces is Mikhail’s younger brother, Nick—impulsive, power-hungry, and dangerous. When Nick tells Ilia he’s taking everything that belonged to Mikhail—including Ilia—Ilia is too lost in grief to fight. Nick takes Ilia prisoner in the apartment Ilia once shared with Mikhail and grooms him for a very important mission: to kill Ilia’s father and avenge Mikhail’s death.

Ilia wants no part in the plot, but being Nick’s ally is preferable to being Nick’s victim, so he begins to warp himself into the monster Nick wants him to be. Hope arrives when Nick takes another captive: Patrick, a shy massage therapist who’s stronger than he seems. Patrick and Ilia must join forces to escape Nick—and to keep each other whole as Nick does everything in his power to break them.

Monique: Those who know me will already be aware that the dark and twisted side of m/m fiction is my favourite genre. I sometimes think I must be some kind of sick puppy to love it so much, and it’s definitely not for everyone, but it captivates me. Even more so when you combine that love for the genre with outstanding writing! Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock put their heads together and came up with a brilliant novel… delving into the dark and nefarious world of the Chechen mafia, its violent, it’s ugly, with unlikable characters that are flawed… but it’s amazing!

Another Man’s Treasure is definitely up there on my outstanding reads shelf.

 

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Tina’s Hotpick

The Price Of Dick by Dan Skinner

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Rating: 5 Stars

Tina’s Review

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Synopsis

His name is Richard but he'll say, "Call me Dick." He's a big, butch, brainy guy in an executive suit, hotter than spit on a skillet. The type of guy you can see fully dressed and imagine buck naked in the throes of an orgasm - every six-feet-two, muscular, sexually intoxicating inch of him. He's an ambitious freshman in a prominent brokerage firm who's figured out he can use more than his smarts to get ahead. He's perfected a surefire method to drive home a hard deal. No one can resist him. And he's got one really big secret. But that will cost you. For photographer J.J. Johnstone, the price of Dick just might cost him everything.

Tina: “Words have power because they become thoughts.”

This month for my June hot pick I'm choosing The Price of Dick from Dan Skinner. Oh boy, this book pushed my boundaries like no other book before!

It’s definitely an experience every reader has to make on his own, it’s like a never ending roller coaster ride or a car crash in slow motion. You just want to leave the wreck but you can’t because your fucking seatbelt is keeping you there, forcing you to face every single detail and every cruel aspect of the nightmare that is J.J.’s life.

Dan just grabs you and makes you feel you are part of the story, the pull is so strong that it feels almost uncomfortable. The writing is brilliant, thrilling, engrossing, excellently drawn.

The Price of Dick is a powerful novel that grated on my nerves, which tempted me to throw my poor kindle against the wall more than once and gives the tale of the wolf in sheep’s clothing an entirely new meaning.

Recommended to those who love a story that is different from the norm, a story of rebirth, a story that is like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. So if you want more than the typical love story go and read it!

 

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Becs’ Hotpick

Twisted Together by Pepper Winters

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Rating: 5 Stars

Bec’s Review

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Synopsis

“After battling through hell, I brought my esclave back from the brink of ruin. I sacrificed everything—my heart, my mind, my very desires to bring her back to life. And for a while, I thought it broke me, that I’d never be the same. But slowly the beast is growing bolder, and it’s finally time to show Tess how beautiful the dark can be.”

Q gave everything to bring Tess back. In return, he expects nothing less. Tess may have leashed and tamed him, but he’s still a monster inside.

Becs: Twisted Together was a stunning and incredibly emotional finale to the Monsters in the Dark series. Very few series have gripped me quite like this one and it's right up there amongst my top reads of all time.

Pepper delivers another powerfully dark romance, chilling in it’s execution with richly drawn characters which I have really come to love and hold dear over the course of the three books. Q and Tess mean so much to me that their ordeal is hard yet compelling to read. Twisted Together is full of horror and darkness and yet there are moments of genuine humour despite everything that is happening to them, Tess and Q remain quintessentially themselves - Q is still a darkly tortured sadist maître and Tess is still his feisty esclave no 58 and you can expect some scorching hot scenes between these two as they rediscover their love of pain together.

The book has everything – moments that will steal your breath away and moments that will make you smile BIG. It’s dark, it’s suspenseful and it’s HOT AS HELL. Just what we’ve come to expect from Pepper Winters.

 

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Mark’s Hotpick

Wide Asleep (Tales from Ballena Beach, #3) by Nick Nolan

 

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Rating: 4 Stars

Mark’s Review

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Synopsis

Arthur Blauefee promised to stay away from Jeremy Tyler forever. But when he learns that his troubled, heartbroken ex-lover has been seduced and swindled out of his inheritance, Arthur is off to the rescue.

After rekindling their passionate affair, the starry-eyed lovers learn that Jeremy’s plight has gone from terrible to worse. Not only has Jeremy been cheated out of his fortune, he’s been framed for murder. Desperate to clear Jeremy’s name, the pair travels to Greece in pursuit of the nefarious conman Lazzaro Sforza and enters a shady world of sex rings, designer drugs, and international intrigue.

Aided by the powerful hallucinogen Sueño Gris, Jeremy journeys into his past lives. Hopscotching through time, from the Civil War all the way back to the Roman Empire, Jeremy discovers that Lazzaro has betrayed him many times before. Can Arthur and Jeremy finally trump the scheming Lazzaro, or are they doomed to repeat their ill-fated pasts?

Mark: This book came as a complete and very pleasant surprise to me. It was a request and after reading the blurb and the cover caught my interest immediately. Well, I really loved it. It combines everything I love in a book. A good strong plot, murder-mystery, historical, all wrapped up into very tight and riveting read.

The characters are all flawed in some way and have their emotional baggage to get over which makes them real and pithy. I loved them, hated them, cried with them, felt angry at them all in equal measure. As with all good plots, the threads are revealed bit-by-bit, letting the reader piece things together and by the end of the book all the blanks are filled and you know what has happened, even in the two previous books Strings Attached and Double Bound.

 

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Lisa’s Hotpick

Edge of The Enforcer (Doms of Dark Haven, #4) by Cherise Sinclair

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Lisa’s Review

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Synopsis

WELCOME TO DARK HAVEN
AND MAY ALL YOUR DARKEST WISHES COME TRUE.

Fleeing false murder charges, Lindsey lands in San Francisco. There she builds a satisfying life until, in the notorious Dark Haven BDSM club, she encounters deVries. Moth, meet flame.

A security specialist and occasional mercenary, deVries needs an adorable submissive like a knife to the gut. Hell, she’s not even a masochist. But here she is, all big brown eyes and sweet body and sassy mouth. Loyal. Tough-minded. Honest.

Or maybe not, considering her ID is forged. If she thinks to lie to him, she’ll learn better. He’s the Enforcer of Dark Haven—his discipline is absolute, his punishments harsh, and his heart untouched...until now.

Lisa: Edge of the Enforcer is book four in Cherise Sinclair’s Mountain Masters & Dark Haven series. But damn was this book full of kinky deliciousness that only this author can conjure up! I am a huge fan of this series and of Ms. Sinclair. I was expecting great things when it came to this fourth installment to this fabulous series. I was not disappointed. No sir. This author has spun yet another fantastic tale of romance, undeniable lust-filled chemistry, BDSM play that makes me squirm and some intense moments that had me on the edge of my seat.

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Macky’s Hotpick

Don’t… (Don’t… #1) by Jack L. Pyke

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Macky’s Review

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Synopsis

"Don't... open me."

Three simple words that tease Jack, taking him places from his dark past. For Jack, BDSM is a way to resist his worst impulses. Yet, the stranger calling himself The Unknown seeks to use that to seduce him.

As Jack slips further down into the abyss, two men hold the power to save him. Will it be Gray, the Master who knows Jack's every secret? Or Jan, the first man to give Jack a reason to hope? With deadly ghosts coming out to play, Jack may lose everything, even his life.

Macky: This might not be a this years release, but for me it's still one of my über Gold Star reads of 2014 and I was so lucky to get the chance to read this for SSBR's BDSM week. This story TOTALLY blew me away to the point where I couldn't stop thinking about it for a long time after and It still gives me thrills and chills when I think about it now. Jack L Pyke is an AMAZING, clever writer who not only fucks with the minds of her awesome characters but also fucked with mine...and I. LOVED. IT!! Then I read the follow up, Antidote, and OMG, it just confirmed exactly why this powerhouse of a series has become an absolute must read. Jack, Jan & Gray have played havoc with my head but they've also buried themselves within my very soul! Deep, dynamic and darkly delicious!

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Tina’s Hotpick

A Threefold Cord by Julie Bozza

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Tina’s Review

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Synopsis

Grae Edwards and his co–stars Chris Willoughby and Ben Clyde work together well. Maybe they even have a chemistry. Certainly they are friends and Grae is tempted to ask for more … After the beautiful tart Chris has the temerity to turn him down, Grae settles into a comfortable loving relationship with the more chivalrous Ben. But the idea of Chris never quite goes away – and when Chris finally suggests the three of them spend a night together, Grae glimpses a solution he hardly dares hope for.

Tina: Julie wove a wonderful, emotional story around Grae, Ben and Chris. Three guys who share one passion: the love of the theatre. It was spectacular, marvellous, wonderful, I was moved beyond words by the beauty of this story. This book was not simply a read, I lived it, breathed it, felt it and experienced it… and it’s still with me. The writing just went straight to my heart, slow and steady, and is still there. I loved the guys from the start. Grae, the story’s narrative voice, an immensely talented actor, but fraught with self-doubt and torn between his love to Ben and his attraction to Chris. Ben, handsome, generous and noble, a great actor and skilled script writer. He loves Grae wholeheartedly and oh did I suffer with him when he assumed the worst… him losing Grae to Chris. Chris, such a cheerful, carefree soul but underlying you feel his loneliness, his sadness, his need to be loved, to be trusted. Love is love and it appears in all colours of the rainbow. When it comes your way, you better be ready to grab it with both hands. And once you have grabbed it, hold on to it, it’s a gift that needs to be cherished and to be held dear. And read this book!!! Do away with your feelings of ‘Three is one too much’. Just think about the love those guys found. Certainly a reason to overcome prejudice, but embrace the love, run with it. Thank you, Julie for a wonderful reading experience.

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Becs’s Hotpick

Bang by EK Blair

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Becs’s Review

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Synopsis

hey say when you take revenge against another you lose a part of your innocence.
But I’m not innocent.
I haven’t been for a very long time.
My innocence was stolen from me. Taken was the life I was supposed to have. The soul I was born with. The ruby heart embedded in a life full of hopes and dreams.
Gone.
Vanished.
I never even had a choice.
I mourn that life. Mourn the what-ifs.
Until now.
I’m ready to take back what was always meant to be mine.
But every plan has a fatal flaw. Sometimes it’s the heart.
**Due to the dark and explicit nature of this book, it is recommended for mature audiences only as some scenes may be particularly disturbing.**

Becs: Bang completely blew me away and traumatised me - very few books have the ability to grip and consume me quite like this one and to truly shock me. And this one’s a shocker!! It’s bold, it’s brave and it’s completely addictive. Once you've begun, it’s almost impossible to put it down. Even now, weeks after finishing, that last final word is still ricocheting around my brain and I think I'm still in shock!

EK Blair really did manage to introduce some deeply flawed characters and, despite everything that was happening and everything that was being plotted, I managed to feel sympathy for every single one of them and the ending barrelled towards my like a runaway train. I could see it coming with horror but could do nothing to stop it.

You don’t read this book – you experience it!

 

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Monique’s Hotpick

Anitdote (Don’t… #2) by Jack L. Pyke

 

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Rating: 5 Stars

Monique’s Review

Amazon Buy Link

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Synopsis

ideo footage of Jack Harrison sleeping with Cutter, a man who has mutilated teenagers, should have stayed dead and buried with the man who had filmed it. Yet when footage to Jack’s past starts appearing on Internet porn sites, Jack’s whole world is again turned on its head. At first the porn links are done to unsettle, to disrupt Jack’s fire and ice world: all the sexed-up adrenaline of being caught between the pleasure to Gray Raoul's BDSM kink, and the gentleness of Jan Richards’ vanilla touch. But when the content of the porn sites force even Gray to turn his back on Jack, leaving Jack isolated and away from the full protection of the Master’s Circle, Jack is left at the mercy of a group of men who are out to alter Jack’s whole perception on his BDSM lifestyle.
As brutally as possible, Jack’s sex life is now live webcam feed for a whole new audience.

Monique: Sometimes an author comes along that blows you away, knocks the stuffing out of you and leaves you in awe. Jack L. Pyke did that to me seventeen months ago with her debut novel Don’t, and just when I thought it couldn't get any better, we have the sequel to that amazing book… Antidote. These two works of fiction are quite simply outstanding! Ingenious in their originality, and in my humble opinion, unrivalled by any other books within the genre of the dark psychological thriller, which I love!

In Antidote... Once again Jack L cleverly manipulates and masterfully creates an atmosphere that will have you second guessing your own reactions, questioning the characters motivations and mentally absorbing each and every word, with no idea WTF is going on or why. Shocking the pants of you when realisation hits. There is not one thing about this book that didn’t completely captivate me… Jack L. Pyke, through her excellent writing wraps herself around my very soul and in Antidote we see Jack’s tentative hold on reality shattered by a mind fuck even Gray can’t fix… adrift, alone and betrayed… it’s not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination… but it is a MUST read!

 

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Every month the SSBR team will be bringing you our Hotpicks of the month. Check out our favourites for April and don’t forget… five lucky readers get the chance to win a Kindle eBook from our list of February Hotpicks. Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.  

Good Luck x

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Mark’s Hotpick

A Hunted Man (Men of Halfway House #2) by Jaime Reese


A Hunted Man
Rating: 5 Stars
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Synopsis

After surviving ten years in prison, Cameron Pierce is attempting to put the past behind him. He tries to adjust to his newfound freedom with a place at the halfway house and a job. But one lesson he learned in prison keeps him guarded: hope is a dangerous thing.
Hunter Donovan, Assistant State Attorney, is a man of justice who loves a challenge. After a lifetime of putting his career first, a milestone brings him to a harsh realization—he's lonely.
Hunter's world changes when he meets Cam. The wary young man intrigues him and awakens a desire unlike anything he's ever experienced. When Cam's past resurfaces and threatens to rip them apart, their budding relationship is challenged and Cam's hope for a future begins to dim.
These outside forces hunting Cam will stop at nothing to send him back to prison. But they'll have to get past Hunter first.
Mark: I was waiting for this book to come out for a while and boy were Macky and myself not disappointed. LOVED IT!! The characters are so real, the plot was well paced and thought out. The sexual tension between the two MCs was hot, I have never read hotter kissing scenes. The whole package worked for me from beginning to end. There was mystery-murder, characters that you can relate to and a book that leaves a silly, happy grin on your face after reading. A true tour de force of M/M romance. Can’t recommend this book highly enough.

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Bec’s Hotpick

Love, In English by Karina Halle


Love in English
Rating: 5 Stars
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Synopsis

He’s thirty-eight. I’m twenty-three. He speaks Spanish. I speak English. He lives in Spain. I live in Canada. He dresses in thousand-dollar suits. I’m covered in tattoos. He’s married and has a five-year old daughter. I’m single and can’t commit to anyone or anything. Until now.Because when they say you can’t choose who you fall in love with, boy ain’t that the f*#king truth.
To a restless dreamer like Vera Miles, it sounded like the experience of a lifetime. Instead of spending her summer interning for her astronomy major, she would fly to Spain where she’d spend a few weeks teaching conversational English to businessmen and women, all while enjoying free room and board at an isolated resort. But while Vera expected to get a tan, meet new people and stuff herself with wine and paella, she never expected to fall in love.
Mateo Casalles is unlike anyone Vera has ever known, let alone anyone she’s usually attracted to. While Vera is a pierced and tatted free spirit with a love for music and freedom, Mateo is a successful businessman from Madrid, all sharp suits and cocky Latino charm. Yet, as the weeks go on, the two grow increasingly close and their relationship changes from purely platonic to something…more. Something that makes Vera feel alive for the first time. Something that can never, ever be. Or so she thinks.
Becs: This book pushed my boundaries for me and I found myself completely swept in a storyline that I normally shy away from - cheating. It's such a tender and heartfelt romance that forces the reader to look beyond the stereotypical norms and see the real people and the genuine emotions involved.
As always, with Karina Halle, you get superlative character development – hers are always very character driven stories and Love, In English is no exception to that. All the secondary characters up on that Spanish hillside come vividly to life and I could really imagine myself under the European sun in that very insular little community that became the whole world to the participants for those four intense weeks. Love, In English is full of deep emotions, Karina’s trademark wit and and an edgy and challenging story line.
So, all in all, another thoroughly excellent read from Karina Halle and with the way that this book consumed me, I could only give it 5 stars and make it a Sinfully Sexy Recommended Read.

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Macky’s Hotpick

My Brother’s Keeper by Adrienne Wilder


My Brother's Keeper
Rating: 5 Stars
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Synopsis

This is book one of three. All books are full-length novels and must be read in order. All books are available now.
The My Brother's Keeper Trilogy.
The town of Gilford has a Big and Terrible secret hidden in the ground. Infecting those it touches. Exploiting their darkness.
Consuming their souls. It’s hungry. It’s vile. It’s evil. And it wants out
.
Book One: The First Three RulesMarshal Jon Foster lost his purpose and his sanity the day he saw the image of his dead brother. The distraction saved Jon’s life but cost the lives of innocent people including his best friend and partner. It was a price for survival Jon couldn’t live with and was sure he’d never understand.
Driven by grief and guilt he tried to escape his past by fleeing to a small town in the middle of nowhere. Only instead of peace, the memories festered.
Then the offer of a stick of gum from a stranger changes Jon’s life and puts him on a road out of the nightmare he’s trapped in.
Ellis Harper has lived the past twenty years isolated from the outside world and sole caretaker for his mentally disabled brother, Rudy. While Ellis loves his brother, he longs for a life he’ll never be able to have.
Shut away, his days consist of chores, endless cartoons, and games of Go Fish. A world that seemed to have no end until an innocent misunderstanding turns Ellis and his brother into a target for a town bully.
It’s a fight Ellis can never win on his own but thanks to a chance meeting with a stranger, he doesn’t have to.
What begins as a new journey in love for both men quickly unfolds into something neither of them could have ever imagined.
Macky: This month for my April hot pick I'm choosing My Brothers Keeper by Adrienne Wilder. I've read and reviewed some exceptional books this month so it was a really hard call to make but the reason I finally chose this was simply because it was a book that came out of the blue and took me completely by surprise. So different to any m/m book I'd read for a long time, I was deeply drawn into its compelling story within the first chapter, after meeting Jon, Ellis and Rudy... a man/child character who utterly and unashamedly stole my heart. The first part of a trilogy that never conforms to the norm, it slowly pulled me in and before I know it I was completely invested in the lives of three very special people and their fight against evil. Adrienne says it's the gay love child of Stephen King and Dean Coontz .... Couldn't have put it better myself.

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Lisa’s Hotpick

It Ain’t Me Babe by Tillie Cole


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Rating: 5 Stars
 Amazon Buy Links
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Synopsis

A fortuitous encounter.
A meeting that should never have happened.
Many years ago, two children from completely different worlds forged a connection, a fateful connection, an unbreakable bond that would change their lives forever…
Salome knows only one way to live—under Prophet David’s rule. In the commune she calls home, Salome knows nothing of life beyond her strict faith, nor of life beyond the Fence—the fence that cages her, keeps her trapped in an endless cycle of misery. A life she believes she is destined to always lead, until a horrific event sets her free.
Fleeing the absolute safety of all she has ever known, Salome is thrust into the world outside, a frightening world full of uncertainty and sin; into the protective arms of a person she believed she would never see again.
River ‘Styx’ Nash knows one thing for certain in life—he was born and bred to wear a cut. Raised in a turbulent world of sex, Harleys, and drugs, Styx, unexpectedly has the heavy burden of the Hades Hangmen gavel thrust upon him, and all at the ripe old age of twenty-six—much to his rivals’ delight.
Haunted by a crushing speech impediment, Styx quickly learns to deal with his haters. Powerful fists, an iron jaw and the skillful use of his treasured German blade has earned him a fearsome reputation as a man not to be messed with in the shadowy world of outlaw MC’s. A reputation that successfully keeps most people far, far away.
Styx has one rule in life—never let anyone get too close. It’s a plan that he has stuck to for years, that is, until a young woman is found injured on his lot… a woman who looks uncannily familiar, a woman who clearly does not belong in his world, yet a woman he feels reluctant to let go…
Contemporary Romance/New Adult Novel.
WARNING: Contains sexual situations, violence, taboo subjects, offensive language and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up*
Lisa: What Tillie Cole has created here is an utterly brilliant and poignant tale of love that had me reeling with its raw, gritty and dark nature. Gone is Ms. Cole’s sassy and fun story-telling. What you get is an edgy, gripping and twisted story about survival and salvation.
 

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Tina’s Hotpick

Heart Knot Mine by Lily Velden


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Rating: 5 Stars
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Synopsis

Despite a successful college teaching career, Noah Daniels has become depressed. He feels he’s leading a monochromatic life: love has eluded him. When he’s offered a chance to teach in London as part of an exchange program, he accepts, hoping a change of scenery will do him good. But once he’s there, his outlook on love and sexuality changes in ways he never expected.
Robert Callinan is Noah’s English counterpart in the program. The men exchange not only their jobs, but also their homes, and it is what Noah stumbles across while staying at Robert’s house that sends him on a journey of self-discovery—both mentally and physically. A journey that puts color back into his life… just not in the way he expected. When the exchange program ends, Noah has to go home, but he doesn’t know if he wants to return to the life he left behind.
Tina: My April hot pick is definitely Heart Knot Mine by Lily Velden. I really enjoyed this emotional and passionate story. Noah's struggle with his sexuality is portrayed realistically. Lily has created two vastly different characters and woven their lives and story together seamlessly, they both have their own strengths and weaknesses, but try to find happiness nonetheless.
The story is a heart-warming yet gut-wrenching read that brought tears to my eyes, along with some big smiles. It’s a sweet, sometimes angsty story of two men who struggle a lot but truly find their place in the world and a great love to complete each other. It has the perfect balance of romance, heartbreak, intrigue and sweaty sex that all us fans of the M/M genre crave. Highly recommended!
 

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Monique’s Hotpick

Powerless (Border Wars #3) by S.A. McAuley


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Rating: 5 Stars
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Synopsis

He was built to be invincible.
Merq and Armise return to the States after their mission to assassinate the remaining Committee members only to find the leadership of the Revolution isn’t as stable as they had thought.
Outside forces come crashing down on a Revolution stronghold, leaving two of their soldiers gravely wounded. Merq’s history with his brothers in arms Simion and Neveed forces him into making decisions that will impact his future with the Revolution.
Merq has always identified as a soldier first. Always known who deserved his loyalty and who didn’t. But with the uncertainty surrounding the leadership of the Revolution, the mysterious disappearance of the jacquerie and increased activity with the PsychHAgs, Merq knows there are few people he can trust.
The only man Merq wants or needs at his side is Armise Darcan. But his reliance on his former enemy may be a miscalculation that will threaten everything Merq stands for.
Reader Advisory: This book contains reference to genetic experimentation on children.
Monique: This Book Powerless and the series The Borders War, I can tell you right now will be up there with my best of 2014! Already I am dreading the day this series will end and can see myself going into morning when it does finally reach it's conclusion... seriously, I just can't get enough of my boys or their creator Sam McAuley.
Every time I read a book from this author she totally and utterly BLOWS ME AWAY! Just when I think this series or her writing can’t possibly get any better she produces yet another piece of writing that is just incredible! …and I know that authors say the characters live inside their heads, but as a reader I can assure you Merq and Armise are firmly planted inside mine and have taken up residence for the near future… I think I may actually be a little obsessed, I LOVE them and the complex and desolate world in which they live.
If you haven't picked this series up yet... it is a MUST READ!!!

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March Hotpicks  
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Mark’s Hotpick

Relief Valve by JL Merrow


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Rating ~ 5 Stars
Add to ~ Goodreads
Buy Link ~ Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK)

Synopsis

It hasn't been all smooth sailing since plumber Tom Paretski and P.I. Phil Morrison became connected at the heart, if not always at Tom's dodgy hip. Neither of their families has been shy about voicing their disapproval, which hasn't helped Tom's uneasy relationship with his prickly older sister, Cherry.
But when Cherry is poisoned at her own engagement party, the horror of her near death has Tom's head spinning with possible culprits. Is it her fiance Gregory, a cathedral canon with an unfortunate manner and an alarming taste for taxidermy? Someone from her old writers' circle, which she left after a row? Or could the attack be connected to her work as a barrister?
Phil is just as desperate to solve the case before someone ends up dead-and he fears it could be Tom. At least one of their suspects has a dark secret to hide, which makes Tom's sixth sense for finding things like a target painted on his back...
Warning: Contains a strong, silent, macho PI; a cheeky, chirpy, cat-owning plumber; and a gag gift from beyond the grave that'll put the cat firmly among the pigeons.
This book has just rocked my socks! WOW - LOVED IT!!!! Tom Paretski has just become one of my all time favourite characters. Once again he gets involved in solving an attempted murder on his sister and lands himself in situations that had me on the edge of my seat, but also had me laughing out loud just reading about the characters and their antics. You need to read Pressure head which is equally as good, so this is why it is my March Hotpick

Link to ~ MARK'S REVIEW
 

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Macky’s Hotpick

Spirit by John Inman

 
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Rating ~ 5 Stars
Add to ~ Goodreads
Buy Link ~ Amazon (US)Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK)Amazon (UK)

Synopsis

Jason Day, brilliant designer of video games, is not only a confirmed bachelor, but he’s as gay as a maypole. One wouldn’t think being saddled with his precocious four-year-old nephew for four weeks would be enough to throw him off-kilter.
Wrong. Timmy, Jason’s nephew, is a true handful.
But just when Timmy and Uncle Jason begin to bond, and Jason feels he’s getting a grip on this babysitting business once and for all, he’s thrown for a loop by a couple of visitors—one from Tucson, the other from beyond the grave.
I’m sorry. Say what?
Toss a murder, a hot young stud, an unexpected love affair, and a spooky-ass ghost with a weird sense of humor into Jason’s summer plans, and you’ve got the makings for one hell of a ride.
This month's hotpick was really hard for me because I've read and reviewed some awesome books in March and I really warred with myself when I was picking, but in the end I had to make a decision and the result is John Inmans 'spirit,' with the adoreable, bratastic little Timmy. I love that little imp! I fell in love with him and the rest of the cast in this hugely enjoyable story, which is a fantastic mix of humour, spooky, suspense, poignancy and swoony romance! Mr Inman wins by a hairs breadth this month but I've got to say, all the others where close on his tail!

Link to ~ MACKY'S REVIEW
 

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Lisa’s Hotpick

Play by Kylie Scott


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Rating ~ 5 Stars
Add to ~ Goodreads
Buy Link ~ Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK)

Synopsis

Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast—at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn’t plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn’t count on finding the one right girl.
Anne Rollins never thought she’d ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls—especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn’t end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?
Kylie Scott returns with the highly anticipated follow-up to international bestseller LICK.
What a fantastically funny, sexy and sweet ride Mal and Anne’s story turned out to be. I loved every word and this book definitely solidified the fact that I am now whole-heartedly a fan-girl of this author. This series is turning out to be one of the best rock-star series yet!

Link to ~ LISA'S REVIEW
 

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Tina’s Hotpick

Guys on Top by Darien Cox


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Rating ~ 5 Stars
Add to ~ Goodreads
Buy Link ~ Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK)

Synopsis

Doug Crandall’s perfect suburban life imploded after his boyfriend’s betrayal and a subsequent lawsuit left him personally and financially devastated. A year later, with a new place in the city and a fresh outlook, he’s back on his feet and ready to start over. Eager to lose his cynicism and heal his battered heart, he immerses himself in the local social scene, which includes a pair of charismatic men engaged in an open relationship. As Doug finds himself becoming emotionally and sexually entangled in their lives, he’s forced to reevaluate his views on fidelity, betrayal, love, and the often calamitous price of happiness.
I fell in love with Darien Cox’s exciting storytelling with Criminal Pleasures, a truly brilliant book! Guys on Top is definitely another winner, I loved it… and the clever title, by the way. If you are wondering (I did), there’s no ménage in this story.
The romance is good and the sex scenes are hot without being over the top. I felt the heated emotions and the sexual tension that ignited a passion that hooked me to both the story and the characters. Guys on Top is one of those books you read in a day or you end up pulling an all-nighter because you have to get it finished. I really enjoyed it, didn’t put it down once - who needs sleep anyways? I’m intrigued with Darien’s writing style and he will definitely be on my watch list.
Link to ~ TINA'S REVIEW
 

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Becs’ Hotpick

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover


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Rating ~ 5 Stars
Add to ~ Goodreads
Buy Link ~ Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK)

Synopsis

At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next.
Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance—and the enchanting music that inspires one young woman to put her life back together. From the author of the New York Times bestsellers Slammed, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, This Girl, and Losing Hope, Maybe Someday is destined to become another bestseller and long-lasting fan favourite.
This month I chose Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover.  It's my first book by Colleen who is, arguably, the biggest author in the new adult genre and it was such a treat.  It's such an incredibly emotional story of forbidden love that completely consumed me and I absolutely lost myself in Ridge and Sydney's story.  
I stayed away from spoilers and reviews before reading and every new revelation came as a genuine surprise to me and I think I got the reading experience that the author intended.  I may have been my first book by Colleen but it definitely won't be my last.

Link to ~ BECS' REVIEW
 

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Monique’s Hotpick

Spencer (Survivors Story #3) by JP Barnaby


Spencer
Rating ~ 5 Stars
Add to ~ Goodreads
Buy Link ~ Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK)

Synopsis

It’s been nearly five years since Aaron woke up in the hospital so broken, he couldn’t stand the sight of his own face. The flashbacks no longer dominate his life, but he’s still unable to find intimacy with his lover, Spencer Thomas. With time, patience, and the support of his family, his therapist, and his loving partner, Aaron has figured out how to live again. The problem is, Spencer hasn’t. His life has been on hold as he waits for the day he and Aaron can have a normal relationship. Hoping to move things forward for them both, he takes a job as a programmer in downtown Chicago, leaving Aaron alone.
Reeling in the wake of Spencer’s absence, Aaron receives another shock when his attackers are caught.
Now, he must testify and verbalize his worst nightmare. Publicly reliving his trauma without Spencer at his side destroys his precarious control. But he finds someone who can understand and empathize in Jordan, who watched his brother cut down in a school shooting. With Spencer gone and the DA knocking at his door, Aaron seeks solace in Jordan, and Spencer will have to risk everything to hold on to Aaron’s love.
My March Hotpick was a no brainer… having waited two years for the continuation of Aaron and Spencer’s story… I couldn’t have been more ecstatic that JP more than delivered with Spencer.
It is a rare talent when an author consumes your very soul with their writing, when they make you feel as though nothing in your world exists outside the pages of their book. Where the lives of the characters are all encompassing and you empathise with each and every emotion as though they were your own, incapable of seeing any further than the next page. For me JP Barnaby is such an author… and although Spencer doesn’t have the same power and overwhelming emotional intensity of it’s predecessor, Aaron… it’s impact never the less is just as outstanding!

Link to ~ MONIQUE’S REVIEW
 

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Mark’s Hotpick

Murderous Requiem by Jamie Fessenden



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Rating ~ 5 Stars
Add to ~ Goodreads
Buy Link ~ http://amzn.to/1dzpAUw
Synopsis
Jeremy Spencer never imagined the occult order he and his boyfriend, Bowyn, started as a joke in college would become an international organization with hundreds of followers. Now a professor with expertise in Renaissance music, Jeremy finds himself drawn back into the world of free love and ceremonial magick he’d left behind, and the old jealousies and hurt that separated him from Bowyn eight years ago seem almost insignificant.
Then Jeremy begins to wonder if the centuries-old score he’s been asked to transcribe hides something sinister. With each stanza, local birds flock to the old mansion, a mysterious fog descends upon the grounds, and bats swarm the temple dome. During a séance, the group receives a cryptic warning from the spirit realm. And as the music’s performance draws nearer, Jeremy realizes it may hold the key to incredible power—power somebody is willing to kill for.
WOW - what an amazing book! This story ticked off all the boxes I love. An extremely intelligent plot that fits so many categories; murder-mystery, occult, supernatural, history and music. I couldn’t have wished for more. Like all murder-mystery novels, this book has so many threads I would either have to write a review as long as my arm or give everything away and then there would be no fun in reading the book. All I can say is that this book is intelligent, well thought out, nicely paced and well researched. An absolutely engaging read. LOVED IT!


Link to ~ MARKS REVIEW

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Lisa’s Hotpick

Transcendence by Shay Savage



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Rating ~ 5 Stars
Add to ~ GOODREADS
Buy Link ~ http://amzn.to/OR25NN
Synopsis
It’s said that women and men are from two different planets when it comes to communication, but how can they overcome the obstacles of prehistoric times when one of them simply doesn’t have the ability to comprehend language?
Ehd’s a caveman living on his own in a harsh wilderness. He’s strong and intelligent, but completely alone. When he finds a beautiful young woman in his pit trap, it’s obvious to him that she is meant to be his mate. He doesn’t know where she came from; she’s wearing some pretty odd clothing, and she makes a lot of noises with her mouth that give him a headache. Still, he’s determined to fulfill his purpose in life – provide for her, protect her, and put a baby in her.
Elizabeth doesn’t know where she is or exactly how she got there. She’s confused and distressed by her predicament, and there’s a caveman hauling her back to his cavehome. She’s not at all interested in Ehd’s primitive advances, and she just can’t seem to get him to listen. No matter what she tries, getting her point across to this primitive, but beautiful, man is a constant – and often hilarious – struggle.
With only each other for company, they must rely on one another to fight the dangers of the wild and prepare for the winter months. As they struggle to coexist, theirs becomes a love story that transcends language and time.
Transcendence by Shay Savage - ADORED this book!
Ms. Savage has created a story that not only captured an epic and beautiful journey of love, but she also wrote a tale that resonated deeply with my heart. I laughed. I cried. I sighed. I swooned. But, most of all, I was completely enthralled with this story that captures what true love is all about and how it can overcome any difference and hurdle. Even such differences that transcend across time….

Link to ~ LISA’S REVIEW

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Tina’s Hotpick

House on Hancock Hill by Indra Vaughn



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Rating ~ 5 Stars

Add to ~ GOODREADS
Synopsis
Pastry chef and bakery owner Jason Wood bakes a mean chocolate soufflé, yet his love life keeps falling flat. He’d blame his past if he wasn’t trying so hard to avoid it.
When his family’s farmhouse burns to the ground, he’s summoned to identify a body found in the ashes. Jason returns to Hancock, Michigan, and reunites with a childhood friend, small town vet Henry McCavanaugh. After fifteen years apart, their rekindled friendship soon develops into much more. But Jason’s baggage threatens their blossoming romance, and he leaves town unannounced to escape his feelings—and Henry’s feelings for him. He has learned the hard way if something seems too good to be true, it’s best to run for the hills. Jason stress-bakes more confections than he knows what to do with before wondering if he’s running in the wrong direction.
How can I explain in a short paragraph why I chose The House on Hancock Hill as my February hotpick? Okay, here we go: The cover is gorgeous, the story is brilliant, the writing entertaining, the guys lovable, the dogs cute, the author exceptionally nice, and the pastry and chocolates recipes terrific. It’s one of those books you close with a smile and the knowledge you’re going to read it again. Highly recommended!

Link to ~ TINA’S REVIEW  

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Bec’s Hotpick

Interview with a Master by Jason Luke



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Rating ~ 5 Stars
Add to ~ GOODREADS
Buy Link ~ http://amzn.to/1fJCYDw
Synopsis
It's the interview like no other.
It's the interview of a lifetime.
It's THE Interview with a Master.
When Jonah Noble reveals details of his life within the world of BDSM, the tale he tells is intensely erotic, profoundly sensual, and brutally honest.
This is His world. His way.
There is only one question the man will not answer…
(BDSM erotica from a man's POV, written by a man. Contains some explicit language)
This book really did offer something very different in the BDSM genre. It's very atmospheric and I was completely captivated and utterly enthralled as I listened to that intoxicating voice telling his story. It's a very frank and very hot account of Jonah's history as a dominant - I found it to be quite haunting and ultimately very sad. It's been weeks since I read it but it still stalks my dreams. Reading highlight of the month for me.

Link to ~ BEC’S REVIEW

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Macky’s Hotpick

A Case of Possession by KJ Charles



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Rating ~ 5 Stars
Add to ~ GOODREADS
Synopsis
Magic in the blood. Danger in the streets.
A Charm of Magpies, Book 2
Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. True, Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician’s disappearing act bothers Crane more than it should. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, Crane knows a smart man would hop the first ship bound for China. But something unexpectedly stops him. His heart.
Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes watching him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. And Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to.
The rats are closing in, and something has to give…
Warning: Contains m/m sex (on desks), blackmail, dark pasts, a domineering earl, a magician on the edge, vampire ghosts (possibly), and the giant rats of Sumatra.
This book had it all for me. Romance, adventure, mystery, magic and a bloody good story. Sometimes its hard to match up to the success of a first book in a series, especially when the first was fresh, original and a real crowd pleaser but I'm glad to say this one more than lived up to its predecessor and once again I was transported into a world that had me glued to my seat with characters who made me fall even more in love with them than I already had. As a reader KJ Charles excites me and I can't wait to see what else she has tucked away in that amazing imagination of hers!

Link to ~ MACKY’S REVIEW

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Monique’s Hotpick

Broken Pieces by Riley Hart



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Rating ~ 5 Stars
Add to ~ GOODREADS
Buy Link ~ http://amzn.to/1n8Lgrj
Synopsis
Can three broken pieces make a whole?
Josiah Evans is the orphan who lost both his parents. He’s sweet, shy, and all heart. He wants nothing more than to be loved.
Mateo Sanchez is the son of a gang leader. He’s seen it all, and never hesitates to do what needs to be done, no matter what it is.
Tristan Croft is the wealthy attorney who clawed his way up from the bottom to rule his own world. He’ll never depend on anyone but himself again.
Three men who couldn’t be more different…and yet, as their lives intersect they find an uncommon balance that calms the storms inside each of them, and ignites fires hotter than they ever thought imaginable.
Told uniquely in three parts and spanning over ten years, BROKEN PIECES is a journey of healing for three fragmented souls, finding love in the unlikeliest of places—with each other.
This book encompasses everything I love about reading… it’s the whole package for me, with dark undertones, plenty of angst, tortured souls, enough emotional turmoil to make you feel your heart will surely explode through the burden of it all… and that’s only me, never mind the characters. There was no quick fix to anything… it’s a slow development of the relationships and trust, the pacing was perfect with each of them in their own way, flawed and damaged by pasts they had no control over. It’s raw and intense, yet profoundly beautiful, my heart bled for these characters, singularly, as couples and as the resulting threesome… Loved every minute of Broken Pieces and so far, the best book I have read this year and definitely on the all time favourites shelf!

Link to ~ MONIQUE’S REVIEW

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January 2014


 

Becs' Hotpick

Reaper’s Legacy by Joanna Wylde


There's a huge amount of MC biker romances around right now but, for me, Joanna Wylde writes awesome biker heroes and heroines that you can really root for and Reaper's Legacy was definitely a fine example. I totally galloped through the story. It was highly compelling and never once did the pace seem to slow. It was was just the perfect balance of badass alpha hero, feisty kickass heroine, super-nova hot erotic sex scenes, real genuine emotions and love and brotherhood. It’s a fantastic and worthy follow up to the truly wonderful Reaper’s Property.

LINK TO ~ Becs’s Review


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BUY LINK ~ http://amzn.to/1cCNn2N
ADD TO ~ GOODREADS
Synopsis
Welcome to the club…In REAPER’S LEGACY we meet eight years ago Sophie who lost her virginity to Zach. It was memorable, but not in the good way. Not only was the sex less than enjoyable, but Zach’s older, heavily tattooed and ripped, brother, Ruger walked in on them. Horribly embarrassing for Sophie, yet unforgettable for Ruger. That night left her with one good thing: her son, Noah. Sophie loves Noah more than anything, but is struggling to support both of them as a single mom and Ruger is furious to discover the pair of them living in near poverty.
Ruger is determined to give his nephew a better life and decides to make Sophie and Noah his responsibility – with the help of the Reapers Motorcycle Club. Living with outlaw bikers wasn’t exactly in Sophie’s grand plan, but Ruger isn’t giving her a choice. He can be a complete ass and sometimes even a little scary, but Ruger will be there for Noah, whether she wants him or not. But Sophie does want him…has always wanted him. Now she’ll learn that taking a biker to bed is worth the risk.

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Monique’s Hotpick

Rare by Garrett Leigh


Garrett Leigh was my Debut Author of the Year for 2013, when she completely wowed me with the first book in the Roads Series, Slide, and then the novella Broken. Rare is the second book in the Roads Series and only confirms my initial impression of this author… she is AMAZING!!! …And, she has firmly cemented her place as one of my favourites. She makes me feel as though the words on the pages are written just for me, and somehow knows what it takes to reach into your heart and pull every emotion imaginable, effortlessly. When you open a book from Garrett Leigh there is an immediate affinity, I just get what she is saying, it is an easy style of writing, almost familiar and I am no longer just reading words, the voices of the characters and imagery become real… So if you haven’t read Slideyet, you need to read it NOW and I can guarantee, you will be one clicking Rare as soon as you’re done.

LINK TO ~ Monique’s Review


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BUY LINK ~ http://amzn.to/1diowiP
ADD TO ~ GOODREADS
Synopsis
Paramedic Pete Adams lived through the year from hell watching his lover, Ash, fall apart, and the precarious balance between work and home is becoming more strained. His heart is always home, with Ash, but the dark side to his job is weighing him down.
Tattoo artist Ash Fagin is recovering from a nervous breakdown triggered by revelations about his traumatic childhood. His battle with mental illness is far from over, but with Pete by his side, he's feeling good again, so good he doesn’t notice something missing until it walks right into his living room.
Ash believes he’s had enough coincidence in his life, but when a voice from the past comes looking for him, it takes the devastating injuries of the one he loves most to convince him to let a ghost become the family he never knew he wanted.

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Mark’s Hotpick

A Minor Inconvenience by Sarah Granger


As you all know I love my historical novels and this one really steps up to the mark, that's why it's my book of the month. A M/M Romance set in the regency period which also must be one of the most romantic periods to set a story in. At a time when the Bronté sisters were at their height, this story takes us back to a time of chivalry, where etiquette was top of the bill. The writing is beautifully done and fits the period perfectly. Read it......you won't be disappointed.

LINK TO ~ Mark’s Review

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BUY LINK ~ http://amzn.to/LlC8Uj
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Synopsis
Duty, honor, propriety…all fall in the face of love.
Captain Hugh Fanshawe returned from the Peninsular War with a leg that no longer works properly, thanks to a French musket ball. Now his fight against Napoleon is reduced to quiet, lonely days compiling paperwork at Horse Guards headquarters.
His evenings are spent dutifully escorting his mother and sister to stifling social engagements, where his lameness renders him an object of pity and distaste. But his orderly, restricted life is thrown into sudden disarray with the arrival of Colonel Theo Lindsay.
Theo is everything Hugh is not—a man of physical perfection and easy yet distinguished address. Surprisingly to Hugh, Theo appears to be interested in making his acquaintance. Lindsay turns out to be a most convivial companion, and Hugh finds great pleasure in his company. Their friendship deepens when they become lovers.
In spite of himself, Hugh falls desperately in love. But when a French spy is suspected at Horse Guards, Hugh discovers nothing is as it seems…and the paper he shuffles from day to day could be the instrument of his lover’s death.
Product Warnings
Contains gallant English officers in love, dastardly French spies, skintight pantaloons (sometimes on the floor) and gleaming tasseled Hessians.

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Lisa’s Hotpick

A Reason to Breathe by CP Smith


Ok, my fave choice for January is A Reason to Breathe by CP Smith. I love books that make me giddy and happy and this one did just that. You take a sexy hot and possessive alpha male and you throw in a sassy and sweet woman who gives him a run for his money and what you get is a FREAKING FANTASTIC novel. Upon finishing this book I had the biggest smile on my face.

LINK TO ~ Lisa’s Review


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BUY LINK ~ http://amzn.to/1dPK7nd
ADD TO ~ GOODREADS
Synopsis
Love at first sight was never so dangerous.
Jack Gunnison has a problem, well, two actually, one is 5'5" and the other...a Killer.
Jennifer Stewart needs a change after losing her husband and sending her daughter off to college.
Moving to the high country of Colorado to restart her life and, follow her dreams, Jenn gets more than she bargained for when she attracts the eye of a killer.
Together, Jack and Jenn must figure out his identity, before he strikes again.
Mature readers only due to erotic content and language.

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Tina’s Hotpick

My Heartache Cowboy by Z.A. Maxfield


Monique asked me why I chose My Heartache Cowboy as my January hot pick. What can I say except that I morph into a puddle of drool when I get my hot cowboys? I love it when a book takes me on a journey I haven't expected and My Heartache Cowboy was no exception. It ripped my heart apart, put it back together and ripped it apart all over again. When the book is a bit on the dark side, hot as hell and even a Ménage!

LINK TO ~ Tina’s Review


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BUY LINK ~ http://amzn.to/19LoNjs
ADD TO ~ GOODREADS
Synopsis
Can love conquer all?
Jimmy Rafferty and Eddie Molina go way back at the J-Bar ranch. They’ve worked together, bunked together, camped out, and drank together. So how has Jimmy failed to notice that Eddie is gay? Eddie has not failed to notice that his friend has a serious drinking problem, and he’s determined to help Jimmy kick the booze cold turkey.
Taking him up to a snowbound cabin to detox, Eddie is confronted with Jimmy’s fierce denial. But the pains of withdrawal are nothing for Jimmy compared with the heartache of denying his true feelings and his deep longing…for the one man who cares for him more than anyone else on earth.

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Macky’s Hotpick

Serenading Stanley by John Inman


I loved all my January reviews but Serenading Stanley is my January pick simply because I lost my heart to every single wacky but oh so loveable inhabitant of the Belladonna Arms. I do love quirky and this had it in spades!
Truthfully. I'm envying everyone who gets to pick this up for the first time and I'm hoping they're just as enchanted as I was. I've loved all my John Inman books up to now but this one has wormed its way a touch deeper into my heart. A little gem that glittered for me just like that magenta apartment sign. Now I'm ready to venture into some of Johns darker stuff because my journey with Mr Inman hasn't quite finished yet. And he says there's going to be sex... Lots of sex! Who can argue with that!

LINK TO ~ Macky’s Review


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BUY LINK ~ http://amzn.to/1gcvlrx
ADD TO ~ GOODREADS
Synopsis
Welcome to the Belladonna Arms, a rundown little apartment building perched atop a hill in downtown San Diego, home to the city’s lost and lovelorn. Shy archaeology student Stanley Sternbaum has just moved in and fills his time quietly observing his eccentric neighbors, avoiding his hellion mother, and trying his best to go unnoticed… which proves to be a problem when it comes to fellow tenant Roger Jane. Smitten, the hunky nurse with beautiful green eyes does everything in his power to woo Stanley, but Stanley has always lived a quiet life, too withdrawn from the world to take a chance on love. Especially with someone as beautiful as Roger Jane.
While Roger tries to batter down Stanley’s defenses, Stanley turns to his new neighbors to learn about love: Ramon, who’s not afraid to give his heart to the wrong man; Sylvia, the trans who just wants to be a woman, and the secret admirer who loves her just the way she is; Arthur, the aging drag queen who loves them all, expecting nothing in return—and Roger, who has been hurt once before but is still willing to risk his heart on Stanley, if Stanley will only look past his own insecurities and let him in.

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1 comment:

  1. Hey I was hoping you could help me find some mm romance books where the lovers are possessive/obsessive with each other much like
    Mine or All kinds of Tied down by Mary Calmes

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete