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Review - Unspoken

Posted in Book Reviews on Jun 12, 2012

Unspoken

This review first appeared at Speak Its Name.

“Unspoken” is told from the point of view of Stefan, a 30-something working class man in a small-ish Dutch town. He is married with three children as the book opens, and if you asked him, he would probably say he's happy, except for the problem of finding work to provide for his family in the middle of the depression. Stefan has done what was expected of him; he got married to a good woman, fathered children, and does whatever work he can find to put food on the table for them. He doesn't know any better.

Then, one day in the dole queue, Stefan meets Adri, and it changes everything, or nothing. Stefan doesn't understand his feelings at first, and Adri for his part takes things slowly. Unlike Stefan, Adri has always known that he prefers the company of men, and only men. His stepfather threw him out on the street when Adri's predilections became clear, and he's managed to survive thanks to the mentoring of other men like him. More...

Review - Stealing Some Time, Volume 2

Posted in Book Reviews on Jun 02, 2012

Stealing Some Time, Volume 2

Volume 2 of Stealing Some Time

I read the first volume of Stealing Some Time in print several years ago, well before the ebook era. I liked it enough to want the read the second volume, but by the time I got around to wanting to order it, the book had gone out of print. Fortunately, the book was re-issued in both print and ebook, so I've now finally be able to download Volume 2 for a read. The only problem is that I've forgotten most of the details for the first book, although I do remember the broad outline of the story. So, for both our benefit, here's a summary of Volume 1, from the author's web site:

It is 2477 CE. Much of the world has long since become desert due to the unchecked use of fossil fuels in centuries past. But the world of the 25th century is an advanced one, where technology rules, where ruthless leaders have the upper hand, and where water is the limiting factor for all of civilization. Eighteen-year old Kallen Deshara is entering his obligatory 5-year stint in the North American Alliance’s Air Defense Force. While in boot camp, Kallen comes to terms with the fact that he’s gay. He even finds his first gay relationship with a fellow graduate recruit, but is dumped shortly thereafter. While nursing his wounds, he finds his second relationship in a fellow student while in the ADF’s Schools Division. After being dumped again, Kallen is shipped off to his first duty station in the mountains at the edge of North America’s Great Central Desert. There, Kallen becomes a force to be reckoned with as his natural talent in photronics, the 25th century form of software, comes to the fore. Another relationship follows. This time with an officer. But it falls short again. When called to Central Security, he’s sure he’s walking into a court-martial due to finally being found out. Instead, he finds that he’s been called for a secret mission to 1820. Time travel! He and his team have been called to rectify a problem caused by the very device that opened the portal to the past. Not expecting more than to do his duty, Kallen isn’t prepared for what awaits him.

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Review - Cawnpore

Posted in Book Reviews on May 30, 2012

Cawnpore

This review originally appeared at Speak Its Name.

Cawnpore picks up more or less where the author's previous work, The White Rajah, left off. Like the first book, this one takes the form of a memoir of the fictional John Williamson. Williamson has parted company with his employer and lover James Brooke after the inquiry into the battles that firmly established Brooke as the “White Rajah”. While Williamson is still in love with Brooke, the ghosts of all the people killed in Brooke's name has driven a firm wedge between them.

With a generous severance from Brooke, Williamson could easily return to England and a quiet life, but he's not quite ready to settle down and, intrigued by Brooke's own stories of India, he decides to stop there before going back to Britain. In Calcutta, he applies to work for the East India Company and is surprised to find he is readily accepted and assigned the post of Deputy Collector in Cawnpore. While Brooke did not have a very high opinion of “the Company”, they have certainly heard of his exploits in Sarawak, and have a high opinion of him, and by extension, Williamson.

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Review - The Viking in My Bed

Posted in Book Reviews on May 12, 2012

The Viking in My Bed

This review first appeared at BDSM Book Reviews.

College student Bailey wakes up with a heavy weight on his shoulders, quite literally. There's a viking in his bed, who seems to know every little secret spot on Bailey's body that will make him shiver with lust. He assumes the naked Norseman is some kind of prank by his roommates. The blond bronzed god is out of his league. But the viking, Frey, insists he is there for Bailey. Frey is the Guardian and Bailey is the Guide.

It all sounds like part of the joke to Bailey, and fearing the powerful emotions Frey brings out in him, he flees to his classes. As the day wears on, strange things start to happen, which make Bailey believe that, however impossible it may seem, Frey really is a warrior from the past, or another dimension, sent to protect and help him. The two must work together to banish the demons that have been let into Bailey's world.

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Review [sort of] - Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Posted in Book Reviews on May 06, 2012

This movie came up the other day, in the very tangential way that things do on Twitter. I decided it might make a good topic for a blog post, since it is one of may favorite movies, which might help explain a few things.

This movie came up the other day, in the very tangential way that things do on Twitter. I decided it might make a good topic for a blog post, since it is one of may favorite movies, which might help explain a few things.

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Review - Needful

Posted in Book Reviews on May 02, 2012

Needful

Volume 3 of Remastering Jerna

Another year or so has passed since the events of the last book, Games & Consequences, and things are not going well for Jerna and his family. His youngest daughter is fighting cancer while the older one is facing bullying at school. Love and honor compel Jerna to spend more time with his wife and children, and less time with his lover Ria.

Ria feels lonely, and although he tries to understand Jerna's situation, he can't help but wonder if he can ever be really happy sharing Jerna with his wife and family. It doesn't help that Ria's old flame Orlan has reappeared to create mischief in both Ria and Jerna's life. For much of the first half of this book, it seems that Needful is going to be the story of the end of a relationship, as conflicting demands tear Ria and Jerna apart, but then this author excels at painting her characters into a corner from which it seems they can't escape without giving up something dear to them.

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Review - More Fun With Dick and Shane

Posted in Book Reviews on Apr 25, 2012

More Fun With Dick and Shane

Volume 2 of Memoirs of a Houseboy

The houseboy is back, and he's still in good form. Like the first book, there's no real plot to this 'memoir'. It's mostly in the form of a diary with a few longer stories interspersed in.

'Gilli' is a 25 year-old houseboy and submissive 'boy' lover to two older 'daddy' doms, Dick and Shane. It isn't always easy for the impulsive and headstrong young man to live up to the expectations his daddies place on him. Gilli has a hard time controlling his emotions, and sometimes jealously or resentment gets the best of him. However, in this sequel, it seems to me that Dick and Shane have mellowed a bit and are somewhat more understanding of Gilli's feelings of insecurity, although they still don't stand for any bad behavior and are quick with the spankings when he gets out of line.

What I loved about the first book was the light-hearted style in which much of the story is delivered. In this second volume, there are again many laugh-out-loud and face-palming moments as Gilli gets into all sorts of new situations that get him into trouble.

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Review - Games & Consequences

Posted in Book Reviews on Apr 16, 2012

Games & Consequences

Volume 2 of Remastering Jerna

Games & Consequences picks up the story of Remastering Jerna. It's a couple years later, and Jerna is happy in his life, with its somewhat unusual domestic arrangements. He spends four days a week as a manager at the exclusive Winds of Paradise hotel and bordello, while those nights are spent with Ria, the highly placed police inspector who helped set him free from his wrongful conviction in the first book. Ria gives Jerna the domination and pain he needs, as well as love. His weekends are spent with his very understanding wife and two children.

Jerna's job at the hotel means he occasionally has to deal with some unpleasant situations and customers. In the opening sequence, titled "Games", we're treated to a scene where one of the hotel's women sex workers, Mawe, is unwittingly used in a plot by a man named Darr to punish his assistant and lover Pavine. Darr is a powerful government minister who abuses Pavine regularly. When Jerna learns what happened to Mawe, he asks Ria to have a word with Darr to inform him he's not welcome in the hotel. This infuriates Darr, who takes it out on Pavine. Fortunately, fearing for his life, the young man has the sense to run away.

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Review - Aquamarine

Posted in Book Reviews on Apr 06, 2012

Aquamarine

Russell Grant is a scientist, a geneticist in fact, and the son of a geneticist who helped create the 'Aquarians', a new human subspecies able to live in the water, almost like a fish. That's important because the polar ice caps have melted and the world is almost completely covered in water.

Russell's lover of many More...

Review - Frost Fair

Posted in Book Reviews on Mar 29, 2012

Frost Fair

Gideon Frost is a man skating on thin ice, almost literally. The young printer is barely keeping his business together, and his creditors are circling outside his door. He's only just getting by, and when the need arises he's not above selling his body for a few shillings to make ends meet. His one More...

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