Book Reviews

Review - No Flag

Posted in Book Reviews on Feb 27, 2014

No Flag

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

With the new freedoms afforded by the repeal of the army's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, Captain Mike Kelly decided to check out local bar scene near where he is based in Philadelphia. When he spots Will tending bar, Mike thinks he may have found someone he can begin to build a future with, but he still fears exposing his true desires to the younger man.

For his part, Will is fascinated with the army captain, and frustrated. He isn't used to meeting guys who don't want to hop in bed at the first opportunity, but he respects Mike's desire to want to get to know him first. He also suspects Mike has a secret, but when he learns that Mike seeks a domestic discipline relationship, he isn't entirely turned off. Quite the opposite, in fact. He has misgivings, but only one condition: Mike cannot re-enlist when his current tour is up. Mike agrees, but of course the army doesn't cooperate. So, when Mike is shipped off for a year in Afghanistan, Will makes him promise to come back. There will be “No Flag” for Will. Mike does come back, but not all of him, and this brings a whole new set of challenges for their relationship. More

Review - The Opera House

Posted in Book Reviews on Feb 15, 2014

The Opera House

When cancer takes away his young son Jason, it all but destroys Raphael, sending him into a deep depression. He drives away his partner, Warren, who helped raise Jason and ultimately he loses his home and business. He ends up living on the streets, in a sort of limbo of grief, where he splits his time between a homeless shelter and his son's grave.

After nearly a year of this non-existence, Raphael meets Brian, a young boy around Jason's age who was thrown out of his home when he came out as gay. Brian has lived on the streets longer than Raphael, and learned how to make money by selling his body. The boy sparks Raphael's paternal interest, and when he bumps into Warren at Jason's grave, it seems that he might well be turning the corner of his depression. More

Review - The Weekend

Posted in Book Reviews on Feb 09, 2014

The Weekend

A year after his lover Tony passed away, Lyle returns to the country house where he died, with a new boyfriend, Robert, in tow. The house belongs to Tony's half brother John and his rather unstable wife Marian. It's an uncomfortable weekend for everyone, especially outsider Robert.

“The Weekend” harks back to old school gay novels, where all the homos are tragic characters that can't be happy. Of course, almost none of the characters in this story are happy. This is a rather moody piece, although not so depressing you'll have trouble reading on. In fact, the writing is rather simplistic and very easy to read. More

Review - An Arrow's Flight

Posted in Book Reviews on Feb 05, 2014

An Arrow's Flight

In the old legend of the Trojan war, Pyrrhus is the son of Achilles. After the death of his father, Pyrrhus is drawn to Troy and plays a part in the ultimate fall of the city. This retelling of that chapter of the classic tale sets the story in recent history and translates many elements of the story into cultural terms that almost any reader (especially gay ones) will understand.

Bored at home, even as a prince, Pyrrhus runs away to the big city, where he makes ends meet as a waiter, hustler, and even a go-go boy dancing on a bar, which is where his father's old retainer Phoenix finds him to tell him about his father's death and to try and lure him to Troy. More

Review - Magic By Button

Posted in Book Reviews on Jan 04, 2014

Magic By Button

Joe has it all, a successful career as an artist and the love of a man who adores him. The only problem is that, lately, he has been distracted. The ideas for his latest project just aren't flowing as smoothly as he would like. Although he is barely conscious of it, the source of that distraction is his friend Button.

A trip to the southern English countryside that inspired Joe's latest project seems to be just the thing, and when Button invites himself along, Joe's fate is all but sealed. The two embark on a road trip that takes them into the land of ancient myths and legends and alien cows. More

Review - The Green Storm

Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 31, 2013

The Green Storm

In the 1900s, William Guillory builds a home for his wife and two sons on a small island off the New England coast. It's an idyllic existence at first, but then they lose one of their sons to the sea. William's wife, in particular, is devastated by the event and it is not until a few years later that she recovers and bears William a daughter. Tragedy strikes again when both wife and daughter disappear into the ocean. More

Review - The Lord Won't Mind

Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 22, 2013

The Lord Won't Mind

Charlie Mills just about has it all: He is young and handsome and well hung. He can have his pick of any man or woman he wants. In the eyes of his rich eccentric grandmother “C.B.”, he can do no wrong and she lavishes him with money and attention. All Charlie has to do is keep within her good graces, follow the path she has set out for him, and he is set for life.

Peter is a new ‘project’ of C.B.'s. In the rather innocent grand-nephew she sees another young man with the same potential as Charlie. She invites Peter to spend the summer at her home on the New Jersey shore, along with Charlie. Her grandson isn't too sure about having a younger country bumpkin around, but once he lays eyes on Peter he immediately lays plans to seduce the shy boy. More

Review - Rarely Pure and Never Simple

Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 10, 2013

Rarely Pure and Never Simple

Volume 1 of Variant Configurations

In the not too distant future, a new genetic breakthrough has eliminated most diseases and congenital disorders. But in an unanticipated side effect, some children are born with special talents, like the ability to find people or create fireballs. Many of these ‘variants’ join The Guild, which cultivates and makes use of their powers. However, these powers also seems to come with their own drawbacks, from psychological to political.

Damien Hazelwood is an extreme example of the double-edged sword of being a vari. His special talent is being able to find people, especially lost children. But he was so traumatized in his youth that he has a severe case of OCD, which is so bad he can't stand to be around people. He refuses to be part of the Guild, but he still agrees to work for them from time to time. More

Review - Catch Me If You Can

Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 02, 2013

Catch Me If You Can: Romano and Albright, Book 1

Things are looking up for Caesar Romano. The opening party for the new show at the gallery where he works is looking to be a huge success. With that under his belt, he can quit his low-paying job and apply for a much better paying job at a much more prestigious gallery uptown. The only fly in the ointment is the presence of his former boyfriend Shep, a closeted actor who can't seem to stay away. On the plus side, there's a hunky though apparently straight detective on the scene who seems more than a little interested in Caesar.

The picture isn't quite as rosy the next morning, when Caesar arrives at the gallery to find Shep passed out, naked, in the bathroom, and one of the centerpiece busts from the show missing. The stolen artwork is just the tip of the iceberg, as Caesar and his friends are drawn into a web of strange alliances and blackmail. Along the way he finds out that Detective Dan isn't what he seems. More

Review - Fall Hard

Posted in Book Reviews on Nov 21, 2013

Fall Hard

After eight months of recovery from a fall which killed his lover and nearly took his own life, Englishman Paul returns to Iceland to pick up the pieces of his academic career, and try to recover the memories of the year leading up to the accident. Although he lived and worked there for a year, Paul can't remember his colleagues, the places he visited or even, most worrying of all, his lover Sven. He's hoping that by returning to his work at a university, something will jog his memory.

As Paul reacquaints himself with his workmates and some of the people he might have known before, he gets glimpses of the past, but the more he learns, the more confused he gets about the nature of his relationship with his lover Sven, as well as other people he may have known before the accident. And then there's Alex, a visiting ‘student’ from America who isn't what he seems. More

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