Dirty Deeds (The Dirty: Book 1) by HelenKay Dimon

Dirty Deeds (The Dirty, #1)

Title: Dirty Deeds

Author: HelenKay Dimon

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: August 8th, 2017

Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance

Number of pages: 250

Series: The Dirty

Dirty Deeds – Book 1

Dirty Games – Book 2 (expected publication date: March 13th, 2018)

Where you can find Dirty Deeds: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Alec Drummond didn’t make his billions by playing nice—or by playing much at all. When it comes to pleasure, Alec only has time for whatever’s quick and easy, which is exactly what he gets from his company’s hot new computer genius. But Gaige Owens isn’t some pushover. He pushes back, and it’s giving Alec a rush. The question is, could Gaige be the one who’s leaking trade secrets? Just to be safe, Alec keeps him close at hand . . . night and day.

Gaige never thought he’d roll over for a man like Alec again, but who could resist sex this mind-blowing? Then there’s the draw of Alec’s mysterious side: his cutthroat ambition, his covert CIA connections, and the murder in his past. For Gaige, a deeper look proves an irresistible temptation. But when Gaige and Alec are stripped of their defenses by an unseen danger, everything they don’t know could bring them closer together—or tear them apart. Only one thing is certain: Before it’s all over, someone’s going down.

Trigger warnings: Suicide

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Love is Love by Mette Bach

Love Is Love

Title: Love is Love

Author: Mette Bach

Publisher: James Lorimer & Company, Real Love

Date of publication: August 1st, 2017

Genre: LGBTQIA, Young Adult

Number of pages: 176

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find Love is Love: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Overweight and unhappy at home, Emmy gets sexually involved with a popular classmate so that people will think that she is worth liking. When she realizes that he is just using her, she decides to leave her home in Winnipeg to stay with her uncle’s family in Vancouver. Emmy has always been intimidated by her perfect cousin Paige and Paige’s cool friends, so she is surprised to find that the coolest of them is transgender. Emmy is instantly attracted to Jude (who used to be Judy), and starts hanging out at the coffee shop where he works. She even performs at the poetry slam Jude hosts there.

Emmy is never sure where she stands with Jude, and can’t believe that such a confident, charismatic guy might actually be interested in her. Both her mother back in Winnipeg and Paige warn her away from Jude, saying that he will just use her and she will get hurt. But it’s not until she almost falls again into the trap of casual sex to boost her self-esteem that Emmy realizes it’s worth it to put your true self out there for real love.

Trigger Warning: None

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Same Love by Tony Correia

Title: Same Love

Author: Tony Correia

Publisher: James Lorimer & Company

Date of publication: August 1st, 2017

Genre: LGBTQIA, Young Adult

Number of pages: 184

POV: 1st person

Where you can find Same Love: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

At seventeen, Adam has suspected for a while that he might be gay. His sketchbook has become full of images of good-looking men, and he isn’t attracted to any of the girls he knows. When he reveals his feelings to his devout parents, they send him to a Christian camp, warning him that there will be no room in their lives for a gay son. The last thing Adam expects is to meet someone he is deeply attracted to; unfortunately, Paul is more committed to his Christian faith than Adam is.

Adam tries to bury his attraction to Paul by concentrating on his art and his new friends Rhonda and Martin. When it becomes clear how unhappy Rhonda and Martin are at Camp Revelation, Adam and Paul are both forced to question what the church tells them about love. But with a whole camp full of people trying to get Adam to change who he is, what kind of chance do Adam and Paul have to find love and a life with each other?

Trigger Warning: None

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Misconduct (Birmingham Rebels: Book 4) by Samantha Kane

Misconduct (Birmingham Rebels, #4)

Title: Misconduct

Author: Samantha Kane

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: July 25th, 2017

Genre: Erotica, LGBTQIA

Number of pages: 288

POV: 3rd person

Series: Birmingham Rebels

Broken Play – Book 1

Calling the Play – Book 2

Jacked Up – Book 3

Misconduct – Book 4

Where you can find Misconduct: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The Birmingham Rebels play both sides of the field, proving that the hottest action isn’t always in the arena.

Rookie running back Tom Kelly loves the perks of football stardom. Men, women—there’s no shortage of companionship for a pro athlete who’s hot, young, and willing, and Tom is definitely willing. But deep down he wants a committed three-way relationship, especially if the female in the middle is Carmina de la Cruz. The undeniably sexy Army veteran may not say much, but her body speaks loud and clear.

After a traumatic tour in Afghanistan, Carmina is struggling to regain her speech and rebuild her life. More than anything, she wants to feel like a woman again. Tom may be a wholesome All-American, but he knows just how she needs to be touched—and he’s not the only Rebel who arouses her interest. With his scorching intensity, Tom’s best friend leaves her wondering if two players might be better than one.

Danny Smith is no stranger to his team’s kinky reputation. He gave in to temptation once, but he’s not going down that road again. Sure, Carmina’s curves promise pleasure, but her eyes guarantee it comes with baggage—and Danny has enough of his own. Still, giving up control can feel so good. And when it comes to everything Danny craves, Carmina and Tom make the perfect team.

Possible triggers: None

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An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities: Book 2) by K.J. Charles

An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities, #2)

Title: An Unnatural Vice

Author: K.J. Charles

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: June 6th, 2017

Genre: LGBTQIA, Historical Romance

Number of pages: 250

POV: 3rd person

Series: Sins of the Cities

An Unseen Attraction – Book 1 (review here)

An Unnatural Vice – Book 2

An Unsuitable Heir – Book 3 (publication date–October 3rd, 2017)

Where you can find An Unnatural Vice: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In the sordid streets of Victorian London, unwanted desire flares between two bitter enemies brought together by a deadly secret.

Crusading journalist Nathaniel Roy is determined to expose spiritualists who exploit the grief of bereaved and vulnerable people. First on his list is the so-called Seer of London, Justin Lazarus. Nathaniel expects him to be a cheap, heartless fraud. He doesn’t expect to meet a man with a sinful smile and the eyes of a fallen angel—or that a shameless swindler will spark his desires for the first time in years.

Justin feels no remorse for the lies he spins during his séances. His gullible clients simply bore him. Hostile, disbelieving, utterly irresistible Nathaniel is a fascinating challenge. And as their battle of wills and wits heats up, Justin finds he can’t stop thinking about the man who’s determined to ruin him.

But Justin and Nathaniel are linked by more than their fast-growing obsession with one another. They are both caught up in an aristocratic family’s secrets, and Justin holds information that could be lethal. As killers, fanatics, and fog close in, Nathaniel is the only man Justin can trust—and, perhaps, the only man he could love.

My review:

An Unnatural Vice in the second book in the Sins Of The Cities series. I had previously read and reviewed An Unseen Attraction and really enjoyed that book. So when I saw that book 2 was available on NetGalley, I had to request it. I am glad I did because this book was fantastic.

I am going to come right out and say that this book is not a stand-alone. You need to read An Unseen Attraction to follow the events in An Unnatural Vice. The events in An Unnatural Vice closely intermingle with the events in An Unseen Attraction. Actually, the storyline in An Unnatural Vice is the same time as the events in An Unseen Attraction. Several scenes from An Unnatural Vice were rewritten to be from Nate and Justin’s point of view. I know it sounds confusing, reading what I wrote, but it actually worked. I got to see what was happening to Clem and Rowley from another point of view….along with Nate and Justin’s main storyline. It was different and again, like I said above, it worked.

I enjoyed reading about mediums in that time period and the length’s that they went through to convince their clients that they were actually talking to spirits. From the setup to picking their apprentices to the real senace, it just fascinated me. Justin was pretty good because he had me, a reader, convinced that there was something supernatural going on for a couple of chapters…lol.

Nate was still grieving for his lover, Tony. Tony died in a freak accident 7 years earlier and Nate was devastated, as any normal person would be after losing a loved one. So when he attends a senace to expose Justin Lazarus as a fraud, he wasn’t expecting to be attracted to him and it threw a wrench in his plans. While I felt bad for Nate, I absolutely loved seeing him come alive in this book. Not only was he hell-bent on exposing Justin as a fraud but he was working to help Clem with what I will call family issues (read the book because it is so much more). But both of those worlds collide, in a big way.

I did like Justin, even if he was a fraud. He was doing the only honest work that he knew how to do. So he is intrigued when Nate keeps coming around. I did have a giggle over how much of a foul mouth that Justin had, which again was a breath of fresh air. Also, he protected those he considered his….which meant that Sukey and Emma (a 12-year-old and a mentally challenged 15-year-old) were under his protection. It showed that under his façade of not caring, he was a very caring man. The scene where he was panicking over the girls being in the house was very telling because, at this point, the author chose to portray them as only servants/apprentices.

The romance between Justin and Nate was not a slow burn. I wouldn’t dare say that it was Instalove but it bordered on it. To be honest, it was pure lust. The first sex scene was mad sex. The men were arguing and one thing led to another. They were even arguing during sex, which did made me giggle. It was almost like they were having makeup sex while fighting. The other sex scenes were just as hot.

The storyline with Clem and the storyline with Justin did merge about halfway through the book. Like I said above, it was pretty interesting to read the events of An Unseen Attraction from another angle. It answered a lot of questions about certain events. I have a feeling that book 3 will do the same and honestly, I can’t wait to read it.

The end of the book was an HEA, for the most part. The book did wrap up, for the most part, Justin and Nate’s storyline but left Clem’s wide open. I can’t wait to see where it goes in book 3!!

How many stars will I give An Unnatural Vice: 4

Why: Great characters with a compelling storyline.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, violence, and language

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Surrender the Dark (The Dark: Book 1) by Tibby Armstrong

Surrender the Dark (The Dark, #1)

Title: Surrender the Dark

Author: Tibby Armstrong

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: May 23rd, 2017

Genre: Romance, LGBQTIA

Number of pages: 251

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Dark

Surrender the Dark – Book 1

Taste the Dark – Book 2 (expected publication date: December 12th, 2017)

Claim the Dark – Book 3 (expected publication date: May 8th, 2018)

Where you can find Surrender the Dark: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

As a provocative series of paranormal temptation begins, a vampire king seduces the supernaturally gifted man hunting him. But when the stakes are literally life or death, their struggle for control is no game.

Benjamin Fuller is a hunter, born and bred. Blinded as a child by the vampire who slaughtered his family, he’s blessed with a second sight that allows him to catch and kill his quarry. What his gift can’t help him see coming is his fierce, almost carnal attraction to the mystery man who claims to be a fellow hunter and whose touch triggers both lust and revulsion. When he gains the upper hand, Benjamin vows to bring his enemy to his knees.

After many years spent in exile, the only one who can help restore Tzadkiel Dragoumanos to his rightful place as War King is a blind hunter with golden curls, a lithe dancer’s physique, and distinctive facial scars—scars Tzadkiel gave him two decades ago. The mere scent of Benjamin Fuller provokes an unwelcome rush of insatiable desire. Yet to win an all-out supernatural war, Tzadkiel must resist the ravenous hunger to possess his prey—for now.

My review:

Hunter born, hunter bred

Kill the vampires or you’ll be dead

I really didn’t know what I was getting into by reading Surrender the Dark. I knew, from the blurb, that the book was going to be dark but I really wasn’t expecting how dark it got during the book. Not that I minded because that darkness made the book so good to read. Also, take a look at the cover. Normally I don’t comment on the cover of books but I had to on this one. It fits the book perfectly. The half-naked man standing, with his back to the reader, his arms out at his side and looking up at whatever is beyond the cover. Love it!!

Benjamin was a very interesting character to read. The book actually starts off with a prologue when he was 8 years old and taking “lessons” from his uncle. What lessons is he taking? How to kill vampires and these are lessons that Benjamin do not enjoy. On that particular day, his Uncle decided it was the time that Benjamin made his first kill and left him in the dungeon with an incapacitated vampire. Which was a mistake, of sorts, because Benjamin, in a moment of sympathy for the vampire, decided to give him some water and that set off a series of events that ended with his parents and uncle getting killed, Benjamin losing his eyes and the vampire escaping. So to say that he has some issues is a huge understatement.

Fast forward 20 years and Benjamin is avenging his parents and uncle’s murders by taking out vampires one by one with the help of his friends: Nyx: a half faery, half witch and in hiding from her parents, The Morgan who is the powerful head of the coven and Lady Morgana, who is the queen of the fae, and Akito: a regular human who Benjamin met while in the psych ward and who wanted to be a superhero. While Benjamin is blind (acid in the eyes can do that to you), he can see auras. Which does come in handy while fighting vampires.

Tzadkiel is the vampire who Benjamin’s parents and uncle had in their basement all those years ago. After murdering Benjamin’s parents, Tzadkiel goes into what I can only describe as hibernation mode for 20 years. The last thing that he thinks about is Benjamin and has a thirst for revenge. He finds Benjamin in a bar, drinking away the memories of his family and the vampires that he killed. His thought of revenge is put on the back burner when a greater threat is revealed that threatens every single supernatural being in Boston.

The world building and character building were fantastic. I love it when an author is able to suck me into a story right from the get go and when I finish the book, leave me wanting for more. The fact that this book is set in Boston cemented the deal for me. I grew up around Boston and it thrills me to no end when an author makes an effort to actually get the geography and the feel of a city right off the bat and this book did that. And the character building….oh my god. Each character, even the secondary ones, had layers to them and it was wonderful to see Tzadkiel and Benjamin’s layers pulled back and their true selves revealed.

Now the all important sex scenes. The author let the sexual tension build in the book until the characters couldn’t take it anymore and then the fireworks happened. What I loved is that Tzadkiel and Benjamin had sex only a few times in the book and so much was conveyed with a look and a touch. The sex was off the pages hot. I had to fan myself after the first scene because it was so steamy. But what got me even more into it was that the feelings that both characters started having for each other. I think I fell in love with Tzadkiel before Benjamin did.

The end of the book was a bit of a surprise. I felt awful for Akito and actually can’t wait to read his story. The HEA with Tzadkiel and Benjamin was fantastic.

How many stars will I give Surrender the Dark: 4

Why: Great world and character building, great subplots and a romance that took my breath away.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Language, violence, and sex. There is a pretty horrific scene where Benjamin loses his eyes.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities: Book 1) by K.J. Charles

An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities, #1)

Title: An Unseen Attraction

Author: K. J. Charles

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: February 21st 2017

Genre: Romance, LGBQTIA

Number of pages: Unknown

POV: 3rd person

Series: Sins of the Cities

An Unseen Attraction – Book 1

An Unnatural Vice – Book 2 (Expected publication date June 6th, 2017)

Can be read out-of-order from series: Yes, first book in series

Where you can find this book: Amazon|Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

A slow-burning romance and a chilling mystery bind two singular men in the suspenseful first book of a new Victorian series from K. J. Charles.

Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship. . . .

Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding . . . it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.

Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.

My review:

This book took a while for me to get into. I almost DNF’d it about 16% into the book because it just dragged and I was wondering when the romance was going to start. But, right after I made that decision, everything happened. The book went from being boring to being very interesting. I couldn’t read it fast enough!!

The storyline was pretty good. Clem is the bastard younger brother of an Earl. 8 years before, when the former Earl died, he made sure that his legitimate son and heir took care of Clem. And by that, the new Earl bought a lodging house and made Clem the proprietor of it. Clem liked his job and liked most of the people who lodged there. With the exception of Lugtrout, a pastor who has lived there indefinitely and is a drunk. Lugtrout is the otherwise black spot on Clem’s happy life.

If Lugtrout is a black spot on Clem’s life, then Rowley Green is a bright, bright yellow spot. Rowley is a taxidermist who owns the shop next to Clem’s boarding house. In the 8 months that he has lived at the lodging house, Clem and Rowley have become fast friends. They share a nightly tea and have really gotten to know each other. Clem, though, is very attracted to Rowley but is afraid to say or do anything.

This is Victorian England and male/male relationships are not only frowned on but can constitute in 10 years of jail time. So, Clem has to be very careful about who he approaches. Luckily, he found a club called the Jack and Knave that is for men of Clem’s inclination.

Luckily for him, Rowley is also very attracted to Clem and on what I guess you could call their first date, he told Clem that he was attracted to him and shortly afterwards, they had their first kiss. It was during that first kiss that Lugtrout started screaming that he had been robbed. After calming him down, Clem sends word to his brother about Mr. Lugtrout’s behavior….only to be told, in not so many words, “Deal with it”.

It is when Mr. Lugtrout is found murdered outside of the lodging house and then Rowley is attacked and his shop burned, is when the book picked up pace. From then on, it was Clem and Rowley trying to figure out why Lugtrout was killed, who attacked Rowley and who tried to burn down Rowley’s shop. All on top of keeping their relationship super secret.

The sex scenes weren’t anything remarkable and I actually kinda disconnected from them in most scenes. I don’t know why. Maybe because it had to be super secret and the doors had to be shut and locked before anything was done. The oppression of that time was awful.

While I say that the sex scenes weren’t remarkable, I did think that the romance between Clem and Rowley were. Both had overcome a lot in their life and both were willing to make their relationship work….not matter what. What I thought sucked is that they couldn’t let on that they were in love. The only safe place was the club.

Now what I thought was refreshing was the club that Clem belonged to. There was a trans woman who tended the bar and I have never, ever read a historical romance book that is LGBTQIA that had a trans woman featured. And I loved it. I hope that Phyllis (aka Phil) makes more of an appearance in the other books.

The whodunit storyline was pretty predictable but I do like that the author did throw in a couple of curveballs. The main one being at the end of the story which threw things up in the air on Clem’s end.

Speaking of the end of the book, the author did a great job wrapping up the storylines. But, like I said above, the curveball at the end threw me. And it left for a great opener for the next story.

How many stars will I give An Unseen Attraction: 3

Why: While I liked the story, I had an issue getting into it. The characters were really hard for me to connect to at first but once I did, I really enjoyed them. Besides the book getting off to a very slow start, there was also a lull in the middle of the book. The author was able to get back on track but the lull was for a couple of chapters (when Clem and Edmund met) and I was pretty certain that the book wouldn’t recover from it.

Will I reread: On the fence about rereading it.

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex and some mild violence

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**