Morgan’s Vigil by Sophia Titheniel

Morgan's Vigil (City by the Bay #2)Morgan’s Vigil by Sophia Titheniel

Blurb:
Morgan’s life isn’t that bad. Sure, he’s bullied, but what gay guy isn’t. He doesn’t have many friends, but it’s high school, a notoriously shitty period in the life of every teenager. He’s eighteen, and in just two months, he’ll leave for college, where he’ll major in Modern Literature and Poetry, and he’ll be far, far away from Mission High School.

Until a bullying episode drives him running straight into a speeding car. Morgan’s life is suddenly hovering by a thread. But Morgan isn’t dead — he’s just out of his body. No one can hear or see him but Derek, his red-haired, unapologetic intern who sticks by him and helps him overcome his fears and find his path in life.

Derek’s a keeper, and Morgan’s sure he’s in love. But will those feelings last once he’s back in his body?

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

sex sex more sex… and a random pseudo-ghost but he can have sex!

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2 quickies

Phonebook (Ryan & Scott, #2)Phonebook by Amy Lane

Blurb:
(sequel to Shirt – from the Curious Anthology)

Stuck away from home on business, all Ryan can do is talk with his lover Scott on the phone. But the conservative Ryan finds no comfort in phone sex–he’s far too embarrassed. Fortunately, his playful lover has not only planned ahead, but he can think on his back as well. It turns out that the heart really is where good sex starts!

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

cute but I liked the original story better…

Channeling Morpheus Series by Jordan Castillo Price


Channeling Morpheus Series by Jordan Castillo Price

Summary:
gritty, urban vampire tales

These novelette-length stories are scary as hell and packed with freaky sex. Michael is a waif in eyeliner who’s determined to wipe vampires off the face of the earth. Wild Bill’s got his eye on Michael, and he’s willing to do anything to go home with him. If the romance between Gomez & Morticia gives you goosebumps of delight, if you look forward to Halloween movie marathons all year long, if you’ve got a soft spot for fake fog and black lights, then Channeling Morpheus is the series for you!

more addicting than any of practiced fuck-me eyes

Screen Shots 4: Submission by Willa Okati

Screen Shots 4: Submission by Willa Okati

Blurb:
Skyler, a new recruit to twentysomethingtwinks.com, has one mission in mind: to get Thom, the cool, collected lead cameraman, naked and sweaty between the sheets. Skyler’s used to getting what he wants. So is Thom.

Skyler does know that Thom used to work on the other side of the camera. What he doesn’t know is that Thom specialized in training submissives. If you ask Thom, what Skyler needs is a damn good spanking. If Skyler doesn’t watch out, he’s in for a lesson on how to mind his manners.

Lucky Skyler — that’s exactly what he gets.

 

 

Review: 

I wonder if there can be too many books from an author. Since the Screen Shots series started, a new book has been published every month and the quality is definitely starting to slip. Although the series is about a gay porn company and have very thin plots weaving together a lot of sensuality and sex scenes, the characters are getting more wooden and unappealing with each successive offering. The latest book is the worst of the series and can’t be saved even with hot BDSM sex. Additionally there are several writing errors that make me wonder if these books are being pushed out too soon and ultimately to the detriment of the series. As I like the author quite a bit and want to like this series, I’m pretty disappointed and let down.

Thom is one of the behind the scenes wranglers and directors of the twentysomethingtwink.com company. Although he once was in front of the camera, his intensity and sexual kinks scared too many newcomers away and he transitioned to behind the lens. For six long years Thom has abstained from sex, earning his nickname “The Priest” from the porn cast. Now that long hiatus ends when brand new star Skyler pushes his way into Thom’s life. Thom recognizes the need to be dominated in the young man and happily complies.

The story starts out attempting to show Thom’s great control in the face of a pouting, immature Skyler. Skyler flounces around and tries to get Thom’s attention while he stoically and bravely ignores the young man. Often other porn stars would comment on the actions but do so in a mysterious way, leaving the reader confused over the intentions of the conversation. There is a lot of missed information and context as if there is some big secret that the reader isn’t allowed to know. This is frustrating and also unnecessary since the only secret is Thom’s love of domination, which is stated up front. So all the attempts at subterfuge and misdirection add nothing to the story and in fact create an awkward beginning.

When Thom and Skyler finally get together, all the action takes place over the course of one day. Skyler has so much sex that day it verges into impossible and turns a pouty, stubborn Skyler into the a demure, happy submissive with just a few words and a toy or two in merely one day. The lightening quick change focuses almost exclusively on the sex aspects to the exclusion of either man’s personality. There are brief mentions to Thom’s belief in past lives but this is completely dropped once it’s mentioned so why this information is included at all is confusing. Furthermore neither man is developed, both wooden and one dimensional beyond their sexual chemistry.

As with all the books in the series, the focus on accepting sex with the other stars as normal is a key component. Here after a six year no sex rule, Thom is ready to indulge once again with all the current porn stars. This decision doesn’t make sense for either man’s personality, their dynamic or the entire set up of the company and weak rationale for why the casual sex between friends is acceptable. Yet the book ends with Thom and Skyler happily agreeing to have casual sex with the other men now and even a mention of a ten man orgy. From these frustrating aspects to the various other stars that have all blended together and then adding in writing and editing mistakes, I ultimately was incredibly disappointed and ultimately wish I hadn’t read this book.  

I like this series and am a fan of hot BDSM sex yet with the poor execution of the plot with the holes and lack of depth to the characters, this offering felt like it was pushed out before it was ready. This makes me worried for future books in the series or perhaps this one will simply be the worst of the group and they will go back to the fun, flirty, sex filled fluff the series intends. I sadly can’t recommend this title but perhaps others in the series will improve.

 Get it HERE!

 

Screen Shots: Slinky by Willa Okati

Screen Shots 3: Slinky by Willa Okati 

Blurb:
Ross, the All-American "boy next door," is a long-established star of twentysomethingtwinks.com. He’s settled into his comfort zone. Maybe too much so. He needs shaking up and waking up.

Maddox thinks he’s the perfect man for the job. Unfortunately for him, Ross doesn’t. Ross can’t see anything happening between himself and a crazy punk, but he’s wrong. Ross and Maddox have the kind of on-screen and off-screen chemistry no one can deny. It doesn’t hurt that Maddox is amazingly flexible and can do things in bed that’d blow a monk’s mind.

When vanilla meets Rocky Road, it’s a taste sensation and exactly what Ross discovers he’s been craving. But can he find it in himself to take what he and Maddox have to the next level?

 

[I hate these covers because it looks like a pixelated avatar from the SIMS. Someone also pointed out that using "Directed by" actually violates conditions of the Directors Guild of America. Oops. Nice catch Changeling.]

 

Review:

By this third installment of the Screen Shots series, the pattern has pretty much been established. A newcomer to the twentysomethingtwinks.com group will hook up with an established performer and end up feeling some deeper emotion than just the have sex on camera for cash deal. Sometimes that union is easy and practically seamless and sometimes there is a little drama thrown in. Very likely the series will continue with other various groupings and the only difference are the main couples. While this pattern may become staid and a bit predictable, the fun characters, incredibly hot sex, and witty dialogue make this a highly enjoyable series – even if it lacks much depth and weight. Slinky is no different with some quirky men, page burning sex, and pure unadulterated fun between the pages.

This particular offering focuses on the incredibly flexible newcomer, Maddox, that has entered the group with his eyes on All-American Boy Ross. Maddox is determined to have Ross, both on camera and off, and before Ross really knows what hit him – he’s too wrapped up in the tattooed, crazy hair, utterly insane Maddox to stop.

In this story, Ross and Maddox are the focus to the point that unlike other stories, neither Ross nor Maddox have sex with anyone else within the pages of the book. Other stories in the series are always careful to show that while relationships may happen, the men still engage in casual sex on camera as their jobs. The point is always hammered home that these men are somehow able to separate sex as their job with close friends versus sex at home with someone you love. Here, that is less the focus and the story instead caters to Ross’ initial confusion and wary attraction to the off the wall antics of Maddox. Maddox slowly draws Ross out of his shell and into more adventurous areas but always with the security that Maddox knows what it means to Ross to take those chances and to be with someone outside of a scene.

This does create a relationship between the two, independent of their work. Also the final scene shows the sheer love of men to be voyeurs, well these men anyway. None of them really want to give up their jobs of casual sex – they’re not only good at it but they love what they do. There is no attempt to justify their actions in this story, instead hot sex and a lot of it with some fascinating characters carries the narrative. There are of course scenes with other men from the company that slide in out with quick dialogue and teasing, always reminding the reader of previous matchups and potential ones in the future.

These may be harmless, fluff pieces of fun but they are incredibly entertaining and exactly that – fun. Although the series doesn’t really satisfy my curiosity in establishing how the men differentiate between work and relationships (they’re all friends with benefits), by now I can ignore that qualm and just enjoy the various couplings as they emerge.  Fans of the series definitely won’t be disappointed with a return to the lighter, easier tone of this book and will devour the many erotica scenes included. There are several small editing mistakes, misspellings and etc, but these are minor and shouldn’t impact the enjoyment of the story. I easily recommend the new book in the series. You’ll want to read about the human slinky, especially the soccer scene.

Get it HERE!

Screen Shots 1: Seduced Review
Screen Shots 2: Smolder Review

 

Tokoyo Ink by Ann Vremont

Tokoyo Ink by Ann Vremont

Blurb:
Shimizu ~ the once-glittering glass pyramid in the middle of Tokyo Bay that housed a million people ~ is now a crumbling super-prison owned by Iyashii Corporation. Tetsu Hogosha’s mother was caught in the city’s conversion. In a criminal system where the care and feeding of a child adds time to the mother’s crime, she signed him away to be an Iyashii bond employee as her only chance at freedom.

Now Tetsu is a free man and head of Iyashii’s security forces for the country. But he has a secret sideline that might one day break Iyashii’s hold on Shimizu. For months, he has watched the male dancer serving Iyashii’s executive tea room. Tetsu knows every flawless movement the male geisha will make, from tea ceremony, to fan dance, to the slow revelation of his naked, tattooed flesh before he takes the executives, alone or in pairs, into the bedroom suite adjoining the tea room to satisfy their every desire.

For just as long, Tetsu has tried to convince himself he watches his unwitting accomplice only to record the secret messages embedded in the tattoos’ design. But when Iyashii sends its top assassin after the male geisha, Tetsu is faced with the cold hard choice of protecting the message and its secret language at all costs or rescuing the one man capable of challenging his loyalties.

 

 

Review:

This short novella (only 60 pages) opened my eyes to a potential new author. The story itself is too complex and filled with possibility to really develop in the short space allotted but the great world building and fascinating urban fantasy setting caught my attention and held it throughout the book. Tight writing and intriguing characters keep the action moving swiftly, allowing the quick paced industrial intrigue to shine over the few sex scenes. The relationship development is sacrificed for the storyline and in this case, helped the tale. Although I would have liked this to be a longer, more fully realized story – as a short offering, this entertains.

Set in Japan in a time when industry has taken over the government and imposed some odd laws, Tetsu is struggling to mount a revolution. The world building is very intricate and offers a lot of detail, yet there still seems to be so much more that was omitted and not included. The companies ruling the country are only loosely identified beyond the main culprit of Iyashii. The revolutionaries are equally mysterious as Tetsu is the only character introduced. While this does help in not overwhelming the story with too many unimportant characters, it leaves one essential theme of the book (the revolution) very under defined. The vast network and computer resources included are hinted at and often included in between lulls in action, but there is little understanding offered.

For example, how Tetsu hacked into so many companies and their computer systems as well as how he amassed the seeming underground army he has. Was he recruited or did he start the revolution himself? Other than the downfall of the corporation responsible for enslaving his mother, what were his goals and motivations? What did Tetsu envision once this revolution had occurred? If the twist with Gabe, the male geisha, had not occurred – what was Tetsu planning? All of these questions and so many more are raised in the short story. Although none of these are answered, the engaging quality of writing and fascinating world drew me into the tale nonetheless.

The characters are briefly outlined and given hints here and there as their instant relationship develops. The story is told mostly from Tetsu’s point of view in third person until the very end where Gabe’s point of view is shown in the last few scenes. Unfortunately this doesn’t give much more depth to either character but shows the actions both men take. Their relationship is based on mutual lust and later, shared goals, which doesn’t account for the supposed heavy emotion displayed. However, this is a small quibble as the story is a romance so the connection is expected, even if not quite successful. The erotic scenes between the two are brief and interesting but the action scenes are the most dynamic of the short story.

Some of the writing is slightly disjointed as there are leaps in time and story line that aren’t well described. The story moves incredibly quick and helps with dialogue and descriptions that engage and entertain, but there are some definite holes. However, even with those problems this is a fun, interesting new world with characters that show the dark side very well. The ending leaves so much room for more I can only hope the author will revisit this story line in the future. For fans of hard hitting urban fantasy, this is worth looking into.

Get it HERE

 

Nights in Pink Satin by Sharon Maria Bidwell

Nights in Pink Satin by Sharon Maria Bidwell

Blurb:


Vincent is a vampire of world renown, even if most people believe his story is a fable, but with age comes boredom. Seeking out new silk to line his coffin for his annual Cotillion. he comes across a bolt of pink fabric. Curiosity leads him to a mistake that is about to change his existence. Martin is a newly turned vampire and a lonely gay man. When he finds an extremely good looking and famous vampire in his humble abode, he’s glad of the company even though he’s afraid. When a simple mistake leads to explosive passion, what’s a vampire to do but look forward to a future of gay nights between sheets of pink satin?

 


 

Review:

There’s something about a gay vampire with pink glitter in his hair and lining his coffin in pink satin that just epitomizes fabulous.  This is a lighter story without much depth that focuses on the emotions of the vampires rather than action. Unfortunately problematic head hopping keeps jarring the narrative and the tension and conflict created is solved off page, thus ending the story abruptly and without a satisfying resolution. However, the edgy darker tone and the pop of colorful personality combine for an entertaining, if forgettable short story.  

When Martin returns home with the latest Kylie Minogue CD, he’s surprised to find a legendary vampire in his home. Just as Martin is dealing with his shock and instant attraction to the handsome “older” man, Vincent is equally shocked to find the owner of the pink satin is a man. Although Vincent is thrown off his seduction plan at the change in gender, Martin is equally determined to show the other vampire the delights of sex between two men. When the vampires are stuck in the closet during the daytime, the explosive chemistry ignites both questions and delight.

This is an interesting story where all the action happens within the span of 24 hours. From the time Vincent discovers the pink satin bolt to when both men leave the apartment, only one day has passed. The men are wary of each other as the sexual chemistry between them sparks. Martin is openly gay and lonely even before his transformation to an undead vampire. He is also strong willed and surprisingly dominant in bed, overwhelming Vincent and his protests. Vincent doesn’t protest much beyond refusing to admit he’s attracted, let alone having sex, with another man instead of a woman. Vincent lets the attraction and great sex between the two override his mental protests.

The story has a dark edge with the blood and emotional tone woven into the mental musings of the men. This keeps the characters sharp even as the men lack some depth. The focus on internal musings helps define the characterization but the problematic writing keeps this from succeeding. The narrative frequently shifts point of view, hopping from Martin’s head to Vincent’s head often paragraph to paragraph creating a disjointed and slightly jarring reading experience. Also unfortunate is that the epilogue sweeps all the dramatic tension and progression into a neat bow with a happy ever after ending. This is shifted from a happy for now ending at the end of the story and unfortunately weakens the entire narrative. Vincent’s struggle to accept his sexuality and a relationship with the flamboyant Martin all occurs off page as the reader is simply informed all is happy at the end. This struggle and acceptance would have been very interesting to read and I was disappointed the men and conflict was introduced then dropped off page.

As a shorter beginning to the characters and brief touching on the London setting, this is a fun, sexy story. I’d like to see more of the two in the future as their opposite personalities are sure to cause conflict then heated make up sex. The complex character of Martin is sure to arouse reader empathy even if Vincent is a little too godly for the context. Overall, fans of vampire stories looking for something different and edgy with a splash of cliché gay tropes be sure to check this out. You might find yourself getting some pink satin sheets.

Get it HERE!