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Beneath the Stain
Amy Lane
Maurice
E.M. Forster

The Foxhole Court

The Foxhole Court - Nora Sakavic

Blurb: Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He's short, he's fast, he's got a ton of potential—and he's the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.

Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn't need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.

But Neil's not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil's new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can't walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he's finally found someone and something worth fighting for.

 

 

Summary Review: Frenetic, frantic and fantastic college sports epic with extreme characters and full emotional commitment.

 

 

Review:

 

This has that fabulous genuine self published vigour, that you just know when it stares you out, with characters so far off the wall they are not even bothering to look for their sanity. 

Park your disbelief and enjoy......it is raw, has crazy characters, no sex, no romance but so much passion and belief in this story about nonconformist misfit college sports team, oh and the sport is actually peculiar to this book, lots of links with crime families and brutal retribution. Go team go! I went straight on to second book.

Honestly, it has all that great individuality of the writer who loves the characters- the best of times.

Blue Skies

Blue Skies - Tamara Allen

BLURB: In modern day Manhattan, preservationist Susan Lennox saves history for a living. Her long-standing battle with developer Joe McGowan brings a fragile Bowery rowhouse to her attention, and she's as determined to protect it as he is to tear it down. During an inspection, Susan discovers just how unique the property is when she comes across a frightened and apparently homeless man bearing a tale of time travel neither she nor her brother Neil believes—until they find they themselves have traveled three days into the future. 

Professor Robin Winfield learns too late the mistake he made in agreeing to help Joe's great-great-grandfather, Victor McGowan, decode a family journal connected to the rowhouse, a place once used as a laboratory for electrical experiments. When Robin is inadvertently transported one hundred and twenty-six years from home, Neil and Susan take him in, hoping to get him back where he belongs before anyone else learns of his presence. But Victor's will has already spilled those beans and Joe thwarts the attempt to send Robin back—only to end up trapped with Susan in 1887. 

Broke and homeless in the not-so-ideal past, Joe and Susan struggle to find common ground—and they aren't the only ones, as Neil and Robin join forces in a desperate search to rescue Susan before Victor figures out the secret to time travel. But a secret Victor's keeping is the one destined to change the future—Neil and Susan's—for all time to come.

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SUMMARY REVIEW: An uneven but still entertaining historical / time travel romance.

 

REVIEW:

 

Tamara Allen is the author of one of my favourite M/M historical novels, ' Whistling in the Dark ' a subtle, sensitive and completely delightful read. I completely admire the finesse of this writer's work. With regards to this new work I have to confess that in general historical novels are along with time travel among my least favourite genres within the M/M romance world. ' Blue Skies ' is a slight departure from her previous works in that it has both a m/m and a m/f relationship.

 

I found that while I enjoyed the gradual buildup to Neil and Robin's re, I couldn't connect with Susan and Joe in the same way. I thought Susan was a strong well written adversarial character, but Joe felt less likely as a partner for her; their initial antipathy towards each other and the whole opposite attraction didn't quite harmonise for me. Indeed this was the slight problem I had with this book, for everything I admired; fluid descriptive writing or nuanced historical detail, something slightly off key; irritating lightening restricted time travel and dizzying use of it, threw the story into unevenness.

 

The creation of a historical New York was particularly successful, the details and atmosphere are to be relished. Susan's painful adventures in the past were particularly effective, but were given too much time in the overall scheme of things. The built in tension of the time travel plot kept me turning the pages, I particularly liked the way things were resolved and would have liked more time to recover with the main characters post the sensational happenings.

 

I received this book as a free copy in exchange for a fair review. I would grade this as 3.75 rounded up to 4.

Accepting the Alpha

Accepting the Alpha - J.J. Black

BLURB:
When it comes to shifters, if you’re not the predator, you’re the prey. For years, the shifter community has rejected the reality of gay shifters, classifying homosexuality as an incurable defect that needs to be culled from their ranks. Ostracized and abused, those shifters were forced to hide what they were or face a death sentence. 

Thankfully, change has come and shifters are prepared to come out of the closet, in more ways than one. In the Great Lakes Region and across the country, old leadership has been cast aside, and a new, more progressive regime has come into power, allowing all shifters the freedom to be true to themselves, without fear of repercussion. 

Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to accept this change. Convinced that this new course will lead to the downfall of the shifter community, they have plans to take the packs in a new direction and will do anything to insure their success. When the true horror of their plan is revealed, it will take the entire shifter community, working together, to protect their way of life or risk becoming slaves to this group’s evil machinations

 

SUMMARY REVIEW: Really poor effort at werewolf erotica.

 

REVIEW: 

 

I am really rather fond of werewolf m/m romance, I have read many different varieties; violent, erotic, romantic and sometimes even funny- where writers try tenderly to bring something new to their characters or established werewolf lore. This book is none of these things, it is a derivative piece of unimaginative and unambitious twaddle.

 

The language uses every erotic cliche available and consequently builds no atmosphere except one of alienation for the reader. The characters are distasteful stereotypes acting out recycled themes including OFY, and the tedious insta mate bond.


It is a series I will be avoiding.

 

The Duality Paradigm

The Duality Paradigm (Book 1) - Lia Cooper

 

BLURB:

Everyone knows magic users and werewolves are intrinsically diametrically opposed...



Seattle Police Detective Ethan Ellison, born into a long line of Quebecois magicians, leads a fairly unassuming life working Theft and consulting on magical misdemeanors. He's spent eight years building a life for himself in Seattle, far from his father's shadow. He works hard, lives under the radar, and fucks whoever catches his eye.



Detective Patrick Clanahan, beta-heir to Pack McClanahan, is a tightly wired bundle of rage and guilt, still trying to come to terms with the murder of his last partner.



When a human woman is murdered in werewolf territory under suspicious circumstances, Ethan is reassigned to work the case with Clanahan in the hopes that he'll be able to balance out the wolf's rougher edges.



Too bad they mostly just rub each other the wrong way.



SUMMARY REVIEW: A quality werewolf / detective read; strong antagonistic characters, atmospheric Seattle setting - good times.

 

REVIEW: 

 

Book 1 in ' Blood and Bone ' trilogy.

 

( Review copy in exchange for a fair review. )

 

The main characters are both part of the Seattle Police Dept, Ethan, a mediocre Mage refugee from an abusive powerful magic family and Pat whose happier family birthright is of werewolf aristocracy. There is an instinctive antagonism between these two groups, mage and werewolf, which works to add an edge to their interactions.

 

This is a well established AU Seattle, with magic being part of the status quo, albeit with resulting prejudices and power struggles. The descriptions of the settings were imaginatively detailed and I liked this careful grounding of magic within an ordinary reality,

 

"The Seattle South Precinct worked out of an old worn down red brick building fronted by large windows that let in too many stares during summer and too much cold air in winter."

 

The detecting element of the story was straight forward and perhaps a little easily solved. However the well paced journey to the solution was very enjoyable with some interesting secondary characters joining in the fun.

 

The slow build up of the work partnership between Ethan and Pat, was very nicely drawn. Ethan's haphazard feckless loner life is compared to Pat's situation with a close knit pack, a more traditional kind of family. These guys are very believable and appealing. I particularly liked Pat's way of dealing with the world partly through his nose. This not least because the descriptions avoid the literary werewolf obsession with overwritten olfactory imagery which can sound like the out pouring of a manic wine writer. Initially Ethan's unwashed smell is simply of spunk and sweat and still offends Pat on many levels. As the guys learn to work together and their personal relationship deepens delightfully, I did have some problems with Ethan's wilful silliness over some blatantly obvious developments. I am putting this down as a sacrifice on the alter of the necessary evils of series development.

 

Which brings me to this book's inconclusive ending, which I found unfortunate as it pushed Ethan's silliness into the realms of bloody minded stupidity. Nevertheless in the main I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining introduction to the series and I am looking forward to the next book.

 

This was a review copy given for a fair review. I would rate this as 4.25 stars.