Posted in Book Reviews on Jan 02, 2013
Hundreds of years in the future, humanity has grown beyond the confines of earth to occupy many worlds in their part of the galaxy. But then an alien species, the Flense, show up and decide they want the same worlds for themselves. It isn't really a war. With vastly superior technology, the Flense can simply take what they want. They're not really interested in wiping out humanity, but those who can't or won't leave the worlds the Flense want are killed without mercy. The scattered remains of humanity are left with just a few isolated refuges, on worlds that are too hot, too cold, or simply too inhospitable to interest the Flense.
One of those worlds is Frostbite, a frozen rock where the small human colony lives in a hollowed out mountain. Rogan is what passes for the city's mailman. He maintains the sophisticated antenna which provides the tenuous link with other refuges, downloads the daily batches of messages and distributes them to their intended recipients. It's a hard life, which requires him to venture out onto the ice almost daily to maintain the equipment and download the messages, but it's all Rogan has ever known. He has a close circle of friends, and the colony is very much like any small town, where everybody knows everybody. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 27, 2012
James is a stereotypical gay party boy. He dropped out of college and works as a waiter to earn just enough to pay his share of the rent, buy the right clothes, and pay for drinks on his weekly nights out. He appears to drink too much when he's out, and his love life seems to consist mostly of guys he picks up at the club or hookups found on the web.
One of those hookups is Dan, a nerdy heavyset guy that James nonetheless clicks with. The two end up seeing a lot of each other, but James has commitment issues and backs off if there's any sign things might get serious. James' main issue is AJ, the man he dropped out of college for and followed to Europe and back on a sexual adventure. AJ uses men and then tosses them aside, just like he did with James, only it seems AJ hasn't quite forgotten his former lover either. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 22, 2012
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
Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 18, 2012
Lucien and Amédée are two young men, aged 19 and 20 respectively, in a well-to-do household of a busy port town. Amédée is the stepson of the master of the house, while Lucien is the master's nephew, and Amédée's squire. The two young men have a close bond, but just as they're about to take their relationship beyond brotherly love, they're discovered by the head of the house. The old-fashioned man sends the boys off to a “reformatory” run by the enterprising Viktor, who subjects the two men to extremely cruel torture.
Fortunately for Amédée and Lucien, a demon - Belial - takes pity on them (or rather, sets his sights on them for his own plans) and puts things in motion to get them released from their torture. However, Belial decides to separate the two and send them each on their own path to discovering their inner desires. Amédée is taken by Viktor while Lucien becomes the treasured pet of the son of the commander of the attacking army. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 11, 2012
Volume 1 of Acclamation
Still stinging from the loss of his lover four years ago, Michael Cassidy takes a job as an English teacher at a Catholic school in a small English town. Although only 28 years old, he's more or less given up on life and is hiding away from it, thinking that his one great love is already behind him.
However, life isn't quite through with Mr Cassidy. One day he discovers that he lives next door to one of his students, Dominic Butler. He hadn't really taken notice of the young man in his upper sixth form (a high school senior, for you non-English folks) class before, but as circumstances conspire for the two to spend time together, Michael finds himself ever more attracted to the young man. As it becomes clear that the feelings are mutual, Michael is torn between his feelings of love, the pain of his memories, and his responsibilities as Dominic's friend and teacher. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 01, 2012
This is a difficult book to summarize without spoilers, so I'm not going to try. The blurb, as blurbs will do, only tells you half the story, and in this case it's possibly misleading. It might make you think that this is a mystery, or perhaps a psychological thriller, and that's what you may be thinking up to about halfway through, but then everything changes.
It's at about the midway point that you find out this story isn't exactly about what you think it is. Then again, maybe it is. The revelation is something of a soap opera cliché but the author handles it somewhat deftly. Which isn't to say it might not make you angry, although at this point you may already be ready slap the main character, Blain, around a little bit. Yes, he's crazy - perhaps literally - with grief, but while you will sympathize with his situation, you might also want to yell at him for the terrible way he's dealing with it. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Nov 27, 2012
Auri is a young man determined to go places. He has risen through the ranks in the service of the Empire without the aid of any family connections, and now he is a first lieutenant on a diplomatic starship. Auri has gotten where he is by being stern and demanding. He gets things done. But there's nobody on his current assignment that he can call a friend. Even his own captain thinks he is a little too uptight. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Nov 23, 2012
Volume 1 of Power Exchange
Gavin DeGrassi is a St Louis homicide detective. As “Power Exchange” opens, he and his partner Trent are called to the scene of a gruesome killing, where a Dom has been brutally murdered in his own play room with his own toys. The case awakens some feelings and desires that Gavin has long suppressed, as well as exposing him to some new ideas he has never considered. The detectives know nothing about the BDSM scene, so psychologist Ben Haverson is brought in to consult. Ben is not just a shrink who knows about the lifestyle, he's a Dom in his own right. As Gavin's personal and professional life are turned upside-down, another body appears. Can he and his new partner solve the case before it's too late? More
Posted in Book Reviews on Nov 20, 2012
Joe has indeed, as the title says, woke up in a strange place. The strange place is heaven, or rather, the afterlife. There aren't exactly any pearly gates and Saint Peter is nowhere in sight. Joe is, at first, alone in a golden field of barley, with no memory of his former life or how he died, but soon he meets his quirky guide, Baker, and together they set out on a journey to rediscover the key people and events of his earthbound existence.
Joe's challenge is to truly find himself, in almost the very literal sense, as he explores a world where the only limits are those that people place on themselves and the only real dangers are the things left undone.
“Woke Up in a Strange Place” is a very episodic tale as Joe meets the key people and remembers the experiences that shaped his life. Some of the reunions are joyous, some are bittersweet, and a few are downright melancholy. The prologue gives us an idea of where Joe needs to end up, but while there are a few surprises in store, in some ways it's the journey that's more important than the destination in this tale. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Nov 12, 2012
Connor Smith works for Primrose, a super-secret organization tasked with controlling the alien presence and their artifacts in the UK. As the personal assistant to one of the team leaders, he's right in the thick of things, from hunting down six-armed monkeys run amok to cataloging artifacts for the archives. It's a job that can sometimes be 24/7, which doesn't leave much time for a private life. So, when Connor's best friend and coworker Isa introduces him to Jason, a man who doesn't give up easily, it seems like a match made in heaven.
Noah Jones is an alien, a Rei, stranded on earth more than 300 years ago. Forced to take human form so he could fit in, a slight misunderstanding about human lifespans means he has outlived all the people he ever cared about. The Rei live for, even need, to bond with another and it has been 200 years since Noah has found any human that he has any connection with. More
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