Review of From Top to Bottom by Kevin Klehr

From Top to BottomFrom Top to Bottom by Kevin Klehr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received and ARC and reviewed this book for the Open Skye Book Reviews blog.

Is there such a thing as erotic comedy? Because if there is, this must fit in that genre. Tony, a dedicated top, is curious about bottoming and decides to advertise for likeminded tops, for a little self help group. Butch and Ford reply and the three embark on an adventure of ass and cake.

This is primarily erotica, a smorgasbord of dick and ass, of rimming and blowing and fucking, in different locations and with different partners. We start out with the self help top to bottom group in Tony’s apartment, but quickly relocate to orgies in clubs and saunas.

The lack of length means that we get very little back story or real plot in the book, this means that we never really get to know our main characters or what drives them, which is a pity, because they all had interesting facets, that I would have liked to have known more about. Tony is a dedicated man child, pushing thirty, without any close friends, who only works part time, because that leaves him more time to fuck strangers, Butch is a bear in a very unhappy open relationship who loves to bake, Ford is a cheat, who actually has a supportive boyfriend when it all comes down to it!
I wanted to know more! I wanted their back stories and their characters to grow, but alas, this was erotica. A fluffy steamy bite sized snack, not a full length character driven novel.

I thought the dialogue felt a bit wooden and stiff and to be honest: cheesy porny, and I hate to be a prude, but the complete lack of any sort of safe sex throughout the story, regardless of location and partners bothered me immensely, even for an erotic short, I couldn’t get over it.

But aside from that, it worked well as an erotic short with a few funny light hearted bits to lighten the mood in between sex scenes. However, thinking of the cringe worthy conversation I had with my father about still liking girls, even if he had just stumbled upon my google image search on cock rings, I cannot imagine how anyone could have the kind of conversations Tony has with his father and not die of embarrassment. But that is probably just me.

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Review of True Colors by Anyta Sunday

True Colors (True Love, #2)True Colors by Anyta Sunday

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

***I received a free copy of this book from NetGally.com, in exchange for an honest review***

3-3.5 stars
This is a love story, no doubt about that, there is a romance in there, but it is mainly a story about friendship and forgiveness.

Marco and Oskar have been best friends through all of their childhood, weathering happiness and sorrow, including Marco’s mother dying in a horrific car accident which leaves Marco scarred for life, until 16 year old Oskar betrays his best friend out of fear, right when Marco needed him most to stand up for him.
The boys have been out of touch for four years when our story begins and Oskar returns from Mannheim to Berlin to continue his university degree there. Marco, now twenty, is not ready to let go of his hurt and anger towards Marco or to be truthful to him or his family about who he really is.

This is a slowburn romance and a slowburn getting back to being friends kind of story. The secondary characters, Marco’s Opa and Papa, as well as Oskar’s sister Zoe and Marco’s friend Elena are lovely and it was a very enjoyable read all in all.

I never did really connect to Oskar though, I felt Marco’s pain and humiliation and Marco must be a better person than me, because I couldn’t completely let Oskar’s betrayal go, at least I needed more time.

All in all though, this is a very sweet and quite angsty slow burn romance, which I encourage you to give a try, it is not my favourite by this author though, but I can warmly recommend Anyta Sunda’s work nonetheless.

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Review of An Invitation by Jay Northcote

An InvitationAn Invitation by Jay Northcote

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Steamy little piece of office erotica for you. A HFN ending, but as this story is short, it is mainly just hot office sex. And really, where’s the downside?

An enjoyable night time snack, with a side of spanking, to warm your sheets before sleep.

*I received a free copy of this book from the author, for my reading pleasure*

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Review of Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk

Dating Ryan AlbackDating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2-2,5 stars

I received a free advanced reader copy from NetGalley.com, for my reading pleasure.

This premise and the cover of this story pulled me in, so cute and fun. And to be fair, the story was cute. But that was all it was, unfortunately.

Ryan Alback is a TV-star, who is insanely paranoid about his private life remaining private, yet he is coerced into being set up for a blind date by by his manager. Jason Santos is a middle school teacher, still pining after his ex and annoyed at his friends meddling in his love life. The two end up on a blind date together, but both are loaded down with the issues of their pasts.

This felt so much like an after school special. Just a little too preachy and awkward to get me invested in the story and the characters. The characters had no chemistry, so I never really felt that they were right for one another. The plot was cute, but the conflicts felt contrived and a bit out there, to be honest.

All in all I was left a bit dissatisfied. The premise was great, but the story itself lacked a bit and the ending wasn’t really that satisfying either. It was cute and fluffy and easily read, but completely forgettable the second you close the book.

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Review of Fascinated by Jess Michaels

Fascinated: The Wicked WoodleysFascinated: The Wicked Woodleys by Jess Michaels

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley.com, for my reading pleasure.

This is a pretty standard historical romance: a house party, illicit meetings, parlour games that turns into touches and kisses etc. There is no subplot other than the two men’s own conflicted feelings and their shared connection to Letty, their hostess, Griffin’s sister and the widow of Aron’s deceased lover.

This is the 6th book in The Wicked Woodleys series by Jess Michaels. I have read this author before – though not this series. The blurb promises the book can be read as a stand alone and it does work that way, although I still felt I was lacking something… Not so much information, as build up of this relationship. I just didn’t feel the chemistry and tension between the two men, even if I was told they had been circling each other for years…

The story was easily read, sweet, a little bit angsty and enjoyable enough. Not so enjoyable though that I will return to read the books before it in the series and I predict it will be very easily forgotten too. However, I would read this author’s work again, for days when you need something light and easy for a quick read.

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Review of Lord of Ravens by Amelia Faulkner

Lord of Ravens (Inheritance, #3)Lord of Ravens by Amelia Faulkner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, the plot certainly thickens! Even if we get more knowledge of Quentin’s background and history – not surprising, but still horrid – we also open up so many new and exciting possibilities and directions for both Quentin and Lawrence to move in.

Lawrence and Quentin face new challenges as Lawrence’s gifts are evolving and he starts meeting Herne in the Otherworld in his dreams and tries to take the steps to fulfill his true destiny. Quentin is still denying a lot about himself, but he does try to move forward, but in relation to his gifts and as a functional human being. Add to that that they are now dealing with a house full of teenagers and the fact that Quentin’s father has found out where he is, there is quite a lot going on!

This book cannot be read as a stand alone, you need to read the series in order, to gain the understanding of the universe and the characters. Where book 1 is mainly a kind of introduction, number 2 was so action packed you could hardly breathe. The third book is different once again, more retrospective, although quite a lot happens.

Quentin is still by far, the more interesting character to me – but the little mean cliffhanger-y sneak peek at the end of the book certainly made me very very interested in Freddy too!

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Review of Watching and Wanting by Jay Northcote

Watching and WantingWatching and Wanting by Jay Northcote

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This review is subtitled: Watching and wanking … or: How Jay Northcote came to rescue me.

One week into the new year and I was already 3 books behind on my yearly reading challenge! I was in a book slump of epic proportions, having started – and discarded – no fewer than 6 books, when I received a free ARC of this book for my (one handed) reading pleasure.
Since the release date was still weeks away, I decided to hold off reading this a little longer, but nothing – and I do mean NOTHING – could hold my interest! Readers will understand the severity of a book slump like this! It is a horrid feeling. Also, it makes you fear starting out long awaited books out of fear that your slumpy mood will taint the experience…

But in the end I gave in and decided to start Shawn and Jude’s story. I have loved all of the house mate series so far and, in spite of my slump, felt fairly sure that Jay Northcote would not let me down. And, boy was I right! Jay Northcote to the rescue! I finished this book at 3 am in the morning, having read it in one sitting and for that alone (and also for pulling me out of the horrible ‘book slump of despair’) it deserves 5 stars!

The blurb of this book really says it all, but to recap: Shawn is in a bit of a downward spiral. Nothing appeals. He has recently graduated college but doesn’t know what to do with his degree, so he is working in a chemist stocking shelves. His girlfriend dumped him and he manages to take out his ire at the world on his friends and housemates. Not in a good place. Until he one day accidently walks in on his housemate, Jude, doing a live cam session in his room. Suddenly Shawn cannot stop thinking about Jude or stop watching Jude’s twice weekly cam sessions in his room, whilst jerking off.

Jude does cam boy work to earn money for his studies, and because he likes it. He earns good money getting his rocks off on camera, he is an exhiobisionist and enjoys the attention. His hunky housemate walking in on him is great wank fodder, and he enjoys the fantasy of straight boy Shawn joining him for a ‘gay for pay’ session, even if he knows it would never happen.

Shawn however, may not be as straight as he seems. In fact, he is pretty sure he is bi. And joining Jude in front on the camera, in the guise of making some fast money, seems like the perfect way to explore his bi-curiosity.

The cam sessions are steaming hot – in fact I do believe this must be the filthiest book Jay has ever written. Phew! Talk about a one-handed read. And the boys together are super sweet. Shawn’s sexual identity crisis feels real, so does his denial and lashing out. Even if he acts like a bit of a twat sometimes, it was – at least to me – perfectly relatable behaviour in the situation.

I can warmly recommend this fun and filthy piece of feel good romance. It works well as a stand alone, but the three first books in the series are great too, so do not cheat yourselves out of those.

Watching and Wanting will be out on January 20th, but the pre-order button is live and active now on Amazon.

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