Review: Promises Made Under Fire

Promises Made Under Fire
Promises Made Under Fire by Charlie Cochrane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Promises Made Under Fire reminds me why I adore this author so much. The gentle tone and excellent writing always gives me a sense of deep romance without any explicit sex. I think the historical setting and slower pace help develop a deeper sentiment without ever feeling slow or boring. There’s not always a happy ending, but I love Cochrane’s writing so much I can always get over this minor point. I don’t always look for historical books but this is one of the very few authors I know will deliver an excellent book regardless of it’s time period or characters. Continue reading

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Lessons in Trust by Charlie Cochrane


Lessons in Trust (Cambridge Fellows Mystery #7)Lessons in Trust by Charlie Cochrane

Blurb:
He thought he knew who he was. Now he’s a stranger to himself.

Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 7

When Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith witness the suspicious death of a young man at the White City exhibition in London, they’re keen to investigate—especially after the cause of death proves to be murder. But police Inspector Redknapp refuses to let them help, even after they stumble onto clues to the dead man’s identity.

Orlando’s own identity becomes the subject for speculation when, while mourning the death of his beloved grandmother, he learns that she kept secrets about her past. Desperate to discover the truth about his family, Orlando departs suddenly on a solo quest to track down his roots, leaving Jonty distraught.

While Jonty frantically tries to locate his lover, Orlando wonders if he’ll be able to find his real family before he goes mad. After uncovering more leads to the White City case, they must decide whether to risk further involvement. Because if either of them dares try to solve the murder, Inspector Redknapp could expose their illicit—and illegal—love affair.

Forgive him? If our paths cross again I’ll run him over in the Lagonda.

Lessons in Seduction by Charlie Cochrane

Lessons in Seduction by Charlie Cochrane

Blurb:

This time, one touch could destroy everything…

Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 6

The suspected murder of the king’s ex-mistress is Cambridge dons Orlando Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart’s most prestigious case yet. And the most challenging, since clues are as hard to come by as the killer’s possible motive.
At the hotel where the body was found, Orlando goes undercover as a professional dancing partner while Jonty checks in as a guest. It helps the investigation, but it also means limiting their communication to glances across the dance floor. It’s sheer agony.

A series of anonymous letters warns the sleuths they’ll be sorry if they don’t drop the investigation. When another murder follows, Jonty is convinced their involvement might have caused the victim’s death. Yet they can’t stop, for this second killing brings to light a wealth of hidden secrets.

For Orlando, the letters pose a more personal threat. He worries that someone will blow his cover and discover their own deepest secret… The intimate relationship he enjoys with Jonty could not only get them thrown out of Cambridge, but arrested for indecency.

Not my favorite but still fun..

Top Ten List Part One

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

It’s almost impossible to pick a “Top Ten” list. Given that I’ve read over 500 GLBT fiction books and short stories in the past year, I ran into a wall trying to choose just ten. There are the comfort reads that I’ve already read numerous times, regardless of numerical star. Then there are the fabulous, gut wrenching books that are truly wonderful but I’m not likely to read again. There are the thought provoking literature reads, the mind bending spec fiction, fun romps, and the pure porn books.

In the sea of books, I did the best I could to come up with 10 books you should read if you haven’t. Then I threw in 5 series, and 5 favorites. Yea, I couldn’t stay with just 10. Sorry!

So today will be the 5 series you should read if you haven’t.
Best of the best of the c*ck on c*ck…

Lessons in Temptation by Charlie Cochrane

Lessons in Temptation by Charlie Cochrane

Blurb:

He thinks he has everything. Until someone tries to steal it.

Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 5

For friends and lovers Orlando Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart, a visit to Bath starts out full of promise. While Orlando assesses the value of some old manuscripts, Jonty plans to finish his book of sonnets. Nothing exciting…until they are asked to investigate the mysterious death of a prostitute.

Then Orlando discovers that the famous curse of Macbeth extends far beyond the stage. It’s bad enough that Jonty gets drawn into a local theatre’s rehearsals of the play. The producer is none other than Jimmy Harding, a friend from Jonty’s university days who clearly finds his old pal irresistible. Worse, Jimmy makes sure Orlando knows it, posing the greatest threat so far to their happiness.

With Jonty involved in the play, Orlando must do his sleuthing alone. Meanwhile, Jonty finds himself sorely tempted by Jimmy’s undeniable allure. Even if Orlando solves the murder, his only reward could be burying his and Jonty’s love in an early grave…


i hope you are prepared to fight..

Lessons in Power by Charlie Cochrane

Lessons in Power by Charlie Cochrane

Blurb: 
The ghosts of the past will shape your future. Unless you fight them.


Cambridge, 1907

After settling in their new home, Cambridge dons Orlando Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart are looking forward to nothing more exciting than teaching their students and playing rugby. Their plans change when a friend asks their help to clear an old flame who stands accused of murder.

Doing the right thing means Jonty and Orlando must leave the sheltering walls of St. Bride’s to enter a labyrinth of suspects and suspicions, lies and anguish.

Their investigation raises ghosts from Jonty’s past when the murder victim turns out to be one of the men who sexually abused him at school. The trauma forces Jonty to withdraw behind a wall of painful memories. And Orlando fears he may forever lose the intimacy of his best friend and lover.

When another one of Jonty’s abusers is found dead, police suspicion falls on the Cambridge fellows themselves. Finding this murderer becomes a race to solve the crime…before it destroys Jonty’s fragile state of mind.

 

more of noodle head and idiot…

Lessons in Discovery by Charlie Cochrane

Lessons in Discovery by Charlie Cochrane

Blurb:
Orlando’s broken memory may break his lover’s heart.

Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 3

Cambridge, 1906.

On the very day Jonty Stewart proposes that he and Orlando Coppersmith move in together, Fate trips them up. Rather, it trips Orlando, sending him down a flight of stairs and leaving him with an injury that erases his memory. Instead of taking the next step in their relationship, they’re back to square one. It’s bad enough that Orlando doesn’t remember being intimate with Jonty—he doesn’t remember Jonty at all.

Back inside the introverted, sexually innocent shell he inhabited before he met Jonty, Orlando is faced with two puzzles. Not only does he need to recover the lost pieces of his past, he’s also been tasked by the Master to solve a four-hundred-year-old murder before the end of term. The college’s reputation is riding on it.

Crushed that his lover doesn’t remember him, Jonty puts aside his grief to help decode old documents for clues to the murder. But a greater mystery remains—one involving the human heart.

To solve it, Orlando must hear the truth about himself—even if it means he may not fall in love with Jonty the second time around…

This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

 

Review:

 

Continuing my reviews of this series, we’re now into book three. The series has definitely settled into a pattern with good characters that develop slowly in the context of each book while having a parallel light mystery occurring at the same time. The mystery is afforded as much page time as the actual relationship of Orlando and Jonty, yet the focus is firmly on the characters themselves. The solid writing is more engaging in this offering and the humor and light hearted wit bring more entertainment within the wonderfully historical setting. Although this book is a bit of a throwback to the original, this is the most enjoyable of the series so far and has got me hooked for future offerings. This is a reprint so those who have already read this series probably don’t need to re-buy but those new to the author/series definitely should.

 

In this installment Jonty and Orlando are celebrating their one year anniversary in decadent style. It’s been one wonderful year since Jonty attempted to abscond with Orlando’s chair in the Senior Common Room and Jonty proposes the two move into a house together away from St. Bride’s. Reluctant to change, the always cautious Orlando doesn’t immediately agree but has other thoughts on his mind at present. When those distracting thoughts lead to an injury, the entire last year is lost from Orlando’s memory. As part of his recovery, Orlando attempts to solve an old mystery at the college while reconnecting with his best friend and forgotten lover, Jonty.

 

The story is quick and entertaining as the relationship of Orlando and Jonty takes a step back when the shy and gentle Orlando forgets he ever had a friend, let alone a male lover. At the same time, there is the mystery of a missing heir that has become lore within the college. The two storylines share equal page time yet the focus is on the relationship first and foremost. The relationship between Orlando and Jonty harkens back to the first book when Jonty slowly seduces the other man, yet thankfully the development Orlando has had over the course of two books and one year has not disappeared. The changes evident in the man are still there and he reacts rather well to the new information, so much so that the actual injury is almost unimportant. Almost but not quite as it does lend itself well to the story and plays into the relationship in a fun and entertaining way.

 

The mystery is rather light and solved by the characters without much intuition from the reader. The additional information needed is within the set of letters, something the reader can’t deduce, and thus this has a disconnected quality to the story. I was always reminded I’m reading a story rather than experiencing it since all the details are available to the characters but not to the reader. However, the light mystery is engaging and enjoyable to read as it doesn’t overpower the book but introduces the lovely character of Miss Peters. Far from being the token females, her character and that of Mrs. Stewart are delightful and almost steal the scenes.  This combined with the charm of watching Orlando fall in love with Jonty all over again, but thankfully quicker this time, made for a surprisingly quick, thoroughly enjoyable tale.

 

The writing is very affected with the style of speech and even phrasing always being very true and authentic to the historical time period. When reading this story there is no doubt of the time period and the frequent reminders are wonderful, adding to the experience of reading a story fully engaged in that setting. The thorough research is evident and very few – if any – concessions are made for the time in an attempt to accept the relationship. The threat of exposure is always present and the men behave in a suitable manner, yet the humor and love between the two is constant and obvious. An example of what I mean is below:

 

Jonty had readily agreed—if he was to be forbidden some of the usual festive amusements, then a little cerebral exercise would be most welcome. As much as he looked forward to being home again, and for all that he said regarding his mama, he’d missed her enormously while he had been ill. He kept muttering that it didn’t seem like it would be a real Christmas without a proper Hogmanay ball and, although his mother had promised that the event would take place, it was to be a modified version with the minimum of dancing and frolicking. When Jonty had said he was determined to put some sort of spanner in those works, Orlando dreaded to think what the little toad had in mind.

 

This is another well written offering in the series and with several more to come, the possibilities are intriguing. The character of Orlando has developed and changed the most so the next book promises to delve more deeply into Jonty’s personality. Given the wealth of opportunity with their respective pasts, I’m very curious where the author will go next. The romance is not explicit and often uses analogies for any sexual act, giving a very sweet, light feeling to those scenes. So those looking for scorching hot explicit sex are going to be disappointed. However those who enjoy an accurate historical setting with well developed characters and a wonderful romance without needing to ignore the consequences and actions of the time period will be very pleased with this series. Start at the beginning and you’ll likely be hooked as well. One of my few qualms about this piece is that there are numerous editing errors and considering this is a re-released, I’m surprised there are that many. 

Get it HERE!

Book 1 Lessons in Love Review

Book 2 Lessons in Desire Review