Review: Fraternal Devotion

Fraternal Devotion
Fraternal Devotion by K. Piet
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I’m behind the curve with this anthology. It’s been out a while and well reviewed by several great reviewers but I’ll be honest I didn’t really know anything about that when I read this anthology. I happen to like the incest kick and wanted to read SMP’s take on a complicated issue. Stories in this niche tend to be angst ridden or sex filled, both of which I like, but I was hoping for something more well rounded and nuanced from Fraternal Devotion. Thankfully almost all the stories delivered this and offered a range of interpretations. Not all stories resonated with me as a reader but all are well-written and interesting takes on this particular kink. As an anthology I think the collection works very well and is worth buying. I especially like that this collection offers 5 well thought out stories than 20 extremely short ones. One final point I wanted to add is that the collection as a whole is edited beautifully with a wonderful flow of topics and interpretations. It works well reading them all in one sitting. Continue reading

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Review: Lily of the Wastelands

Lily of the Wastelands
Lily of the Wastelands by Gabriel Belthir
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Lily of the Wastelands has the kind of meaty world building I’ve been craving. The story is very short so the plot and characterizations suffer somewhat for the intricate world building and solid happy ending. There’s simply not enough time and space for an in depth exploration of all the issues brought up but as is, the story is a nice foray into the genre with some creativity. The romance is well crafted and fits with both the shortened space and overall atmosphere. I think the story would have really benefited with a longer length and the ability to flesh out the intriguing concepts and issues brought up but I can’t complain about a tight, well crafted short story either. Continue reading

Review: Chase in Shadow

Chase in Shadow
Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Chase in Shadow is a somewhat typical Amy Lane story filled with angst and emotionally damaged men. There is enough emotional turmoil, tears, and intense drama to exhaust anyone at the end of reading but the ending is definitely and very solidly a happy, deeply in love ending. These kinds of stories have become almost, I’m sorry to say, formulaic for Lane. The individual protagonists are expectedly broken and damaged almost to the point of no return but the deep love of another slightly less damaged but still broken man can help save them both. This only happens after considerable emotional torture and pain but all’s well in the end. There are enough differences in the circumstances and details to make each story interesting so if you’re a fan of Lane’s style, you’ll likely appreciate this addition. Continue reading

Review: Winter Warmers

Winter Warmers
Winter Warmers by Chrissy Munder, Clare London, JL Merrow, Lou Harper, Josephine Myles
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Winter Warmers is an anthology of 5 short stories about the holiday season with an obvious British flair. This collection is exactly what I wanted to get me in the mood for the upcoming Holidays and it’s short, sweet, and to the point. Each story is obviously different with their own tone and mood. I like the variety offered and each author is clearly talented. The stories are also short and often sweet, just a glimpse into the lives of these men and that’s enough for me. I never got bored with any particular story but neither did I want them to continue. I’m good with the stories offered and happy enough to move on. For only a few bucks this is one of the better holiday collections and worth the money. Continue reading

Review: Khyber Run

Khyber Run
Khyber Run by Amber Green
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Khyber Run is a very interesting war novel and definitely kept my attention from beginning to end but it’s very oddly published with Loose Id. The story is absolutely not a romance, there is no discernable evidence of romance anywhere, and there are a few explicit sex scenes based on situations rather than emotion. Instead, this is a very absorbing read about the war in Afghanistan and the personal affect on one family and in particular one person. His quest to avenge his brother is the main theme and if anything this is merely a fictional story about war. Maybe if you squint it could be called gay fiction due to the few quickie rough sex scenes but that’s still a stretch in my opinion. If you’re looking for a very intricately detailed war story from a personal level, this may work for you. Continue reading

Review: Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley

Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley
Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley by S.L. Armstrong
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I love vampire stories, they’re a first and lasting love in fiction and Other Side of Night fits in well with the genre. There is nothing especially new or fresh about the plot and concept, in fact it’s very familiar on just about all levels. The story takes all the existing vampire trends and clichés and puts them together in a decent, entertaining story that holds your attention. It’s not groundbreaking or different but it’s interesting and well written. Vampire fans especially will appreciate a nicely crafted entry in a genre stuffed with fluff. Continue reading

Review: The Holy Road

The Holy Road (Rifter #5)The Holy Road by Ginn Hale
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Rifter #5, The Holy Road, is a vicious and dark installment of the epic fantasy. It also holds a touch of romance and hope between Jahn and Ravishan. It’s perhaps the darkest of the novellas so far and I’ll admit I was pretty disturbed by the end of it. There is a lot of death, destruction, and mayhem offered in graphic and vivid detail. While that’s not my favorite part of fantasy, the problem here is that the story ends on a bloody note without further action to help alleviate the depressing tone. So I ended the story feeling more morose than the well written story deserves. Continue reading