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Eli Easton Reads

My foray into m/m romance

Currently reading

Catch a Ghost
S.E. Jakes
Forbidden Freshman
Carol Lynne
Racing for the Sun
Amy Lane
Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling, Ginn Hale, Josh Lanyon
Zombie Boyz
T.J. Klune, Eric Arvin, Ethan Stone, Daniel A. Kaine, Ethan Day, Geoffrey Knight
Winter Heat: Erotic Stories to Warm Your Life
Sara York, A.J. Llewellyn, Serena Yates, T.A. Webb, Julie Lynn Hayes, C.R. Guiliano, Patricia Logan, Ike Rose, Donya Lynne, Kimber Kahn, Daniel B. Johns
Steamed Up
Amy Rae Durreson, Eli Easton, Bell Ellis, Kim Fielding, Anka Grace, R.D. Hero, Mark Lesney, Augusta Li, Mary Pletsch, Angelia Sparrow, Layla M. Wier

Blame It On The Mistletoe

Blame It On The Mistletoe - Eli Easton I have 2 Christmas novellas coming out this year. One is "A Prairie Dog's Love Song" and it will be part of Dreamspinner's advent calendar.

The other one is "Blame It On the Mistletoe", which I am self-pubbing. It will be available on Amazon and ARE for $2.99 hopefully by Nov 24th. Word count is around 25K.

You can read an excerpt here:


Spanking Dee-Dee

Spanking Dee-Dee - Fabian Black 3.5 stars. This was an interesting character study about two men who have fixed ideas about what they want in life -- and how those fixed ideas can make you miss out on what's right in front of you. I enjoyed the usual character of Dee Dee and the world that was created in the apartment building. The ending was very nicely done. There isn't much sex on the page here, nor are the MCs together for most of the book. Not my usual romance fare, but an interesting little story.

Taboo For You

Taboo For You - Anyta Sunday, Teresa Crawford, Lynda Lamb, HJS Editing, Caroline Wimmer I've found a few good books through the m/m romance group nominations--and this one was terrific! I have a weak spot for GFY romances, so I'm always happy to find a new one that is well-written and entertaining.

Taboo For You was so much fun to read. It's a friends-to-lovers story about two neighbors--Luke, a gay man, and Sam, a straight one with a teen son. I loved the plot trope, that Sam had a list of things he wanted to do before he hit 30 (he had a child very young, so he feels he missed out on his youth). Luke has been secretly in love with Sam for awhile. He finds the list and is determined to make sure Sam gets to do all the things he's missed. One of the items is to have taboo sex. Of course, this ends up being sex between Luke and Sam, which Sam initially thinks is just a one off experiment in being 'wild and crazy'. But of course, Luke has a lot more invested in it and gets hurt. Sam comes to realize how much Luke means to him.

I just adored the characters and the slow development of the sexual scenario and how the author described Sam's internal thought process about having sex with a man (at all) and then realizing how much he has always loved Luke and how Luke has always been there for him. 5 stars for the developement of both the gfy and friends-to-lovers threads.

It's a very sweet and sexy little story I'll probably reread. Going on my favorites list!

Silent - Sara Alva I want to thank Madison Parker for bringing Silent to my attention. Wow-- what a great read. Honestly, I almost stopped after the first chapter. Alex's life with his mother and her abusive boyfriend was so bleak, and I'm really not a fan of reading books that are angsty and depressing.

Fortunately, because I respect people who love this book, I kept reading. It's not long before Alex finds himself picked up by social services and in foster care, and even if Alex's attitude does't immediately turn around, the book definitely gets more hopeful and interesting at that point.

Yeah, there's a lot of bleak reality in this book--not just with Alex's poverty and terrible home life but with his sister and her little girl, the rest of the kids at the shelter, Seb's backstory, and even the plot. There is one disaster after another for these poor kids. But balancing all that, the love story between Alex and Seb is shiningly wonderful and special. It pulled me through the book at a fast clip, and the dark makes the light that much sweeter. I also really enjoyed the slow turn of Alex's character, and that he choose to seek help in the end.

I would classify this as hurt/comfort because Alex is able to save the mute and withdrawn Seb when no one else can. And I do love a well-done hurt/comfort read.

There was a sort of HEA. We know Alex and Seb won't be separated and that they have a better chance at life at the end. I would have liked to have seen that pushed further, maybe graduating from high school or something, but that is an indication of how much I was attached to the characters. I really wanted to see them have a positive future.

5 stars is a no-brainer. Sara Alva is definitely now on my must buy list!
Social Skills - Sara Alva Wow, I adored this. I'm so impressed with this book. Good writing and very deep characters who grew and changed during the course of the story. The romance was sweet, but I'm especially impressed at Connor and Jared's coming out stories. So often in these kinds of books the hard stuff about coming out is glossed over or left off the page. Jared's coming out was particularly realistic and painful but never angst for the sake of it, and the ending was lovely.

I've a Sara Alva convert--can't wait to read more of her work!
By the Creek - Geoff Laughton This has been on my TBR pile for awhile. I needed a romantic, boy-meets-boy story without cops, mob bosses or too much angst--this really hit the spot! It's a gentle story about a boy who moves to the country and falls for an Amish boy he sees at a swimming hole.

The author's research on the Amish felt pretty solid and I liked that the romance is of a soul-mates kind that overcomes all odds (though I would not call it insta-love). I would have liked a little more intimacy in the book because it was a big deal to both boys, being their first time with anyone. I have a feeling Geoff Laughton aka Andrew Grey held back on sex because it's a YA, but I have seen YAs with much more, and I think it would have worked well in this story.

In any case -- 5 stars from me! Thank you, Andrew.
Out in the Field - Kate McMurray An excellent m/m romance. The love story and characterization were all here, and very well done. But what raises this book above the noise for me was the very detailed and realistic depiction of both men actually coming out to their friends and the public. So many romance books reach the point where the 2 guys have committed to each other but never detail the fallout of that, or the difficult aspects of coming out. This book was never truly angsty but dealt with issues in a realistic way. Very nicely done.
Two Man Team - Jet Mykles Working my way through GR's GFY listopia list. I really enjoyed this one-- well-written, very steamy, light-hearted and fun.

Private Eye (Liaisons #1)

Private Eye (Liaisons #1) - S.E. Culpepper Really enjoyed this one. Very nicely plotted thriller/mystery mixed in with a strong gfy romance. The balance was just for me-- the mystery was maybe 1/4 of the story and just a nice palate cleanser and angst-producer for the main romance. Very fun read.
Nothing Ever Happens - Sue  Brown A very well-written book by Sue Brown. Everything about this was well-done, realistic, and deeper than your typical m/m romance. I enjoyed the set-up with a gay man, Andrew, living in a marriage for the sake of his child and his mother. His wife knows he's gay and they live in different parts of the house. He meets the new neighbor, Nathan, who is young, newlywed, and dewy-eyed. Nathan and Andrew feel an immediate attraction, despite Nathan being straight.

I loved the early development of Andrew and Nathan's relationship and did not mind the cheating on the wives (well, Nathan does, at least, because Andrew's wife knows he sleeps with men). Honestly, marriage is not a panacea and sometimes two people are just not meant to be together so that did not bug me. However, Andrew and Nathan then end up separated for quite some time. There is no resolution of the primary relationship til the very end after much angst. Specifically...

While I didn't mind Nathan cheating on his wife (because he was not in love with her at that point), I did lose a little interest when Andrew got involved with another man, Rich, and then married him. I'm very protective of my primary relationships in a romance novel and the fact that Andrew got so involved with another man after he and Nathan fell in love just put me off a bit. It was realistic, absolutely, and I understood both character's motivations and even the important role Rich played in the story. It was just hard to take and I'm not a fan of drawn-out angst.

Basically, this is an excellent book that objectively deserves 5 stars. But it was angstier than I prefer in my romance so for me it was a 4. Highly recommended though, and I'm very glad I read it.

Born in Sin - Kinley MacGregor An enjoyable 4 star read for me. The 'extremely damaged man finds love' scenario was enjoyable as well as the historical aspect with the Scot's and King Henry. The romance was pretty steamy. The sub plot with the raider was well done. Points off for excessive length, repetitive internal dialogue ('no, I can't possibly trust that she loves me' for 400 pages) and a tendency towards purple prose. It's clear this book was written some time ago. Still, obviously a romance classic and worth a read.
Drawn Together - Z.A. Maxfield I finally tackled this one. I enjoyed it a lot. As always, Z.A. Maxfield is a very strong writer and I highlighted a number of passes that were just damned clever. A few samples:

"It's no lie, Amelia. Yamane's been done more times than the Macarena."

"I could not, would not, let her kill you."
"Who are you, Dr. Seuss?"

"I'm sorry I ever met you. I'm sorry I ever loved you." His strong fingers caressed Yamane's face. "And I'm damned sorry my grandparents are home right now."

"... that was as far as he got before Rory's hands started sliding down the inside of the silk coat he was wearing, and the next thing he new, he was holding Rory's head in his lap and whispering, 'Go, baby, go' to the ceiling of the limousine."

Besides the writing itself, the gfy romance was very solid, the MCs were both super appealing and well-fleshed out, and the secondary plotline of the stalker was very well done and chilling.

A strong 5 stars from me.

Without Reservations - J.L. Langley Just getting around to reading this since it's on a number of m/m listopia lists. I loved J.L. Langley's sci-fi regency series. I can tell this one was written a while ago--2007. At about the halfway point it felt like all porn and no plot. The plot did pick up in the second half and I liked the characters. Overall I give it a 4, though it did have too many repetitive sex scenes for me and I ended up skimming them after awhile. I am curious to read Remi's story now.
The Raven Prince - Elizabeth Hoyt Wow! This is one of my favorite regency romances yet. I found it on the listopia for hot and steamy historical romances and... you ain't a kiddin'. I loved the fact that both MCs were rather ordinary looking (the Earl with smallpox scars and Anne being rather small and 'plain' at first glance). The bond between them was depicted so strongly, and their banter was fun. I loved the main plot trope--that Anne goes after the Earl incognito. Just a hot, lovely read from start to finish. Highly recommended.
Beauty and the Blacksmith - Tessa Dare Very fun and steamy regency novella. The beauty intended for great things falls for the manly village blacksmith. Loved it. Hot, sweaty fun. I quite liked this novella length - at about 120 pages on my ipaad it was long enough to be satisfying but fit in a dreamy afternoon.
The Magpie Lord - K.J. Charles Excellent historical m/m romance with a very good magic/mystery plot and strong writing. A big cut above most m/m books in writing and sophistication of the story.