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Review - The Curse of the Blue Scarab by Josh Lanyon

Posted in Book Reviews on Feb 06, 2017

The Curse of the Blue Scarab: A Monster Mashup

In this retelling of the original 1912 classic “The Mummy”, Dr Quentin Armiston is a middle-aged physician whose Edwardian-era London practice consists mainly of the cooks, chauffeurs, housekeepers and other assorted servants of the upper classes. He is single, but has never really felt lonely, and besides, his true desires are the kind that could land you in jail. More...

Review - Games of Rome by J.P. Kenwood

Posted in Book Reviews on Jan 13, 2016

Games of Rome

Volume 2 of Dominus

This second book of the five-part Dominus series picks up exactly where the first installment left of: with the death of Gaius' old friend, and sometimes lover, Lucius. The mystery of who killed Lucius, and why, is a major theme of this book, although the relationship between Gaius and Allerix remains the core of the story. Allerix seems resigned to his fate as Gaius' slave, although he still plots his revenge against the Roman emperor, and Dominus takes steps to protect his slave's true identity, a secret that could mean death for both of them if it becomes known. Both men have motives for what they do, but Gaius and Allerix are both struggling against their hearts' feeling that the other means more to them than they should. More...

Review - If I Were Fire by Heloise West

Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 02, 2015

If I Were Fire

Kindly note: a proof copy of this book was supplied by the author in exchange for a review.

A world-weary adventuring count trying to salvage his family estate, a bad boy who wants to be good, a local gangster, and a search for hidden treasure. All this is packed into this very short novelette, running less than 60 pages.

Salvesto is the rather down-on-his-luck count. He has returned to Siena upon the death of his father, hoping that the acts which forced him into exile have been forgotten. Unfortunately, his father descended into madness near his end and seems to have sold off or, rumor has it, hidden away many of the family's valuable art works. More...

Review - The Pirate Witch by Damian Serbu

Posted in Book Reviews on Mar 10, 2015

The Pirate Witch

Alexander is born at the worst possible time and place for someone to be different, in early seventeenth century Salem, Massachusetts Colony, where the Puritans are still on the hunt for witches. Alexander's mother is brutally murdered by the townspeople, who think she's a witch, and his father dies of the shock of it. The thing is, she really was a witch, and so is Alexander. His mother's dying wish is that Alexander survive, hiding his powers from prying eyes.

The boy is given into the care of his uncle, a drunkard who makes it no secret that he considers Alexander nothing more than a slave to work his mill. Alexander bridles under the thumb of his uncle, not least because he is sure the man was his mother's accuser. His only protector is Crispin, a man from Boston who is sent by the governor to check on the goings-on in Salem. More...

Review - Dominus

Posted in Book Reviews on Sep 02, 2014

Dominus

Volume 1 of Dominus

General Gaius Fabius returns to Rome in triumph from the Dacian wars, but soon finds himself restless for a new challenge. Somewhat bored with his current stable of pleasure slaves, Gaius finds his challenge in the form of Allerix, a Dacian prisoner put up for auction. Gaius decides to make Allerix his new boy toy, but taming the young man may be more of a challenge than Gaius bargained for. More...

Review - The Dark Farewell

Posted in Book Reviews on May 20, 2014

The Dark Farewell

Reporter David Flynn is on his way to Little Egypt. He wants to see how feelings run a year after the Herrin massacre, and it's a good opportunity to pay his respects to Amy, the widow of his old mentor. Amy's boarding house, where Flynn will stay, is full of eccentric characters, from the matronly Mrs Hoyt and her daughter Joan to the local doctor, Pearson. And then there's Julian and his grandfather, who travel the small towns putting on shows where Julian pretends to talk to spirits. More...

Review - The Affair of the Porcelain Dog

Posted in Book Reviews on Nov 09, 2013

The Affair of the Porcelain Dog

In Victorian era London, former rent boy Ira Adler is living the high life as ‘secretary’ to Cain Goddard, also known as the as the Duke of Dorset Street, a notorious crime lord, although his activities are kept well away from the genteel house on York Street where he has brought Ira to live. In the two years since Goddard invited him into his home, the illiterate child of the streets and workhouses has learned to read and write, and speak like a gentleman.

While Goddard generally shields his young lover from most of the details of his business, there's one delicate matter that he can only trust to Ira. It seems that someone is blackmailing Cain, threatening to expose his ‘unnatural tendencies’. To thwart the blackmailer, Cain asks Ira to retrieve a statue, a porcelain dog, containing the incriminating evidence. If he fails, Ira could well end up in prison along with his mentor. More...

Review - Two Hearts Two Spirits

Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 22, 2012

Two Hearts Two Spirits

Igashu and Helki are two young men in a small native tribe hidden away in a valley of the Rockies near one of the new national parks around the turn of the twentieth century. The two young men are very close, but soon they will face a tribal ritual: the bow and basket ceremony. The boys who choose the bow will become warriors and hunters - men - while those who choose the basket will have a more domestic life and join the Two Spirit people - homosexuals. It's a very black and white choice. Helki knows his place is with the Two Spirit people, and chooses the basket, but he has no desire to dress as a woman. Igashu loves Helki, but he is his father the chief's only son and so feels compelled to choose the bow.

Their choices made, the two young men set out on separate paths. Helki quickly becomes the village's spiritual guide while the conflicted Igashu sets out on his spirit quest, where he encounters his first white men, as well as a creature that haunts his past as well as Helki's. More...

Review - The Celestial

Posted in Book Reviews on Oct 16, 2012

The Celestial

This review originally appeared on Speak Its Name.

As “The Celestial” opens, Todd is working his claim in the mountains near Truckee, about 90 miles northeast of Sacramento. It's about 20 years after the California gold rush started, but there are still a lot of men like Todd staking claims and hoping to strike it rich. Egged on by his irascible uncle, who was invalided in the civil war, Todd has stole away in the night, leaving his mother to care for her brother on their tumble-down farm near Sacramento.

Todd isn't alone on the mountain where he has staked his claim. A group of Irishmen have a camp nearby, where they apparently are working their own claim, among other things. Todd doesn't much care for the rough and tumble men, except for the youngest of them, Breandon. Todd has something of a crush on the other man, who isn't much older than him, but he won't dare admit it. More...

Review - Lord and Master

Posted in Book Reviews on Aug 11, 2012

Lord & Master

This review originally appeared in a slightly different form at BDSM Book Reviews.

Reynold, the next Duke of Wilton, is very attached to his young lover and submissive sex slave, Lord David Litchfield, but the lad is immature and becomes jealous of Reynold's friendship with Lord John. The suspicion erupts more than once in a public argument, so to avoid scandal Lord Reynold buys a commission in the army and leaves for the Americas, where revolution is brewing.

When Reynold returns three years later, his lust for David is undiminished. But Lord David has gotten himself into a very nasty situation. He ran up some gambling debts, which were bought up by a brute named Hale. To keep his father from finding out about his foolishness, David has had to agree to be Hale's sex slave for ten years. Hale is the kind of master who delights in inflicting pain and humiliation without regard as to whether or not the submissive gets any pleasure from it. More...

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