Studs and Spurs by JL Langley, Dakota Flint, Kiernan Kelly, Angela Fiddler

 Studs and Spurs by JL Langley, Dakota Flint, Kiernan Kelly, Angela Fiddler

Blurb: 


Saddles, spurs, Stetsons . . . and love? Sexy cowboys grab hold of more than a saddle in these entrancing stories from four talented authors of the genre. Kiernan Kelly takes us on an adventurous cattle drive to the Oregon Territory with a greenhorn and an old hand. Angela Fiddler’s retired rodeo men accept each other and the black riders. Two men overcome grief, rebuild a ranch and find love in Dakota Flint’s story. And JL Langley offers a light-hearted tale of a city boy and a rancher filled with love, laughter and a marriage of convenience?

 

 

Cowboy sex the only requirement…

Without Reservations by J. L. Langley

Without Reservations by J.L. Langley

Blurb:

Sometimes love just catches you by the tail…

Chayton Winston is a veterinarian. He is also a werewolf. Much to his Native American parents chagrin, he has always dreamed of a fair-haired, Caucasian mate. However, he never imagined his mate would be male. As a heterosexual man, he’s not quite sure what to do with a male mate, but more than willing to find out.


Keaton Reynolds wakes up, in wolf form, and finds himself with a mate. He’s instantly attracted, but not so thrilled to find out the man is straight. Having been in a relationship once before where his partner professed to be “Not gay” left a bad taste in his mouth. Keaton wants to make a break for it and pretend he never set eyes on Chay—but Chay is not ready to let him go.

Together the two work to solidify their shaky relationship and battle the prejudices against homosexuals. Chay must deal with not only his mother’s prejudices against gay men but also her hatred of white people. When a power struggle in Keaton’s pack threatens Keaton’s life, the two men learn to depend on one another and their relationship to get them through it.

 

 

Review:

Without Reservations is a typical JL Langley book – solid story, tight writing and a very satisfying romance. It’s not my favorite of hers but it comes fairly close to the keeper shelf.

Chay is likeable and personable with his stubborn charm and charisma. He’s wanted a mate since he was four when he dreamed of his future mate as a man with white hair and blue eyes. Little did he or anyone know just how accurate that prediction would be. Instead he’s been waiting for the perfect woman to cross his path that his hormones would recognize and then complete his life. Instead, he is presented with an injured Keaton whom Chay mistakes as a female wolf until closer inspection. Yet his hormones never lie and the tiny male wolf in front of him is indeed his mate.

Chay’s ease in accepting a male wolf as a mate is almost too casual yet his easygoing mannerisms combined with werewolf mechanics allow the reader to slide over what could be too easy of a transition. The author has set up this new world so that werewolf mates recognize each other on an elemental and genetic level. Meaning not only is there no choice in the matter, but mates are inexpiably drawn and desire each other, even if they wouldn’t normally be attracted otherwise. This means the acceptance of a gay mate for an otherwise mostly straight Chay is a rather quick transition with no angst or drama. Keaton is his mate and well, he’s male but what can you do?

Although normally this would cause all sorts of character drama and angst, enough to progress the plot and relationship itself, the author offers a refreshing turn in that neither man really puts up more than a token resistance. They easily come together with a minimum of problems, either internal or external, and the only drama comes from repeated attempts on Keaton’s life from an unknown source. These attempts are realistic and not overly complicated nor is there a plethora of evil-doers who are implicated in the attempts. The twist at the end of the resolution was a bit over the top but it was humorous (although I don’t think it was supposed to be) and fitting with the story so far. It’s not perfect but it was enjoyable and easy to accept.

As is Keaton’s character whom, although small, is quite powerful as a werewolf and fiercely independent on top of an explosive personality. Keaton’s stubborn nature is tempered by Chay’s more mellow personality, although both men are certain to have head butting moments with equally recalcitrant personalities. Keaton initially tries to protect himself and his emotions from yet another “straight” guy experimenting with men, but due to Chay’s quirky and charming courtship, he gives in to the desire and attraction he can’t avoid. Together both men have warmth and depth as characters and their relationship is fun and engaging to read.

There are plenty of sex scenes in this book, powering a good portion of the relationship through their steamy and sexy love scenes without feeling either overwhelming or too few. Langley has excellent timing and pacing, able to add in enough heat to satisfy without turning the book into a long sex scene with different backgrounds. I found it especially entertaining to read Keaton’s role reversal in his first attempt to top during sex. He was likeable and charming in his eagerness and the sex was pretty hot.

Several secondary characters were introduced and a few were clearly intended for future books in this world/series. Remi and Jake are introduced and although Remi is not altogether a successful character, the pairing of the two men together is interesting enough that I look forward to the next book. Remi initially starts as an obnoxious, antagonistic and chauvinistic ass that actively tries to insult and demean those around him without much recourse from his friends. He has an acceptance of “oh that’s Remi, just ignore him” that seems to excuse and ignore poor behavior. However, towards the end of the book his actions turn around completely with a quick explanation and not much understanding. Hopefully in his story, he’ll develop as a much more complex character.

Overall this was a pretty enjoyable read with hot, sexy men who have a caring and almost adorable relationship. Chay’s nickname for Keaton is almost too cute, as is the couple themselves, yet it works as light but well-written romance with more complexity and interest than most authors are able to produce. Without Reservations is an example of a satisfying romance without copious amounts of drama or angst, delivering fun and sexy characters with a light mystery done right. 

Get it HERE!

 

 


var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);
document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));

try {
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-9211734-1”);
pageTracker._trackPageview();
} catch(err) {}

My Fair Captain by J. L. Langley

*In all the reviews about this book I think the phrase “gay regency in space” seems the most used and most apt. I’m not sure who came up with the phrase but it’s all over the reviews for this book and I had thought perhaps it’d be a space opera; kind of but not really. Instead the author offers a historical setting of Regency period with an all-gay society where the young men of royal blood are treated very similar to young virginal women of old. Throw the entire setting into futuristic space to explain the acceptance of same sex marriages as well as covering any historical missteps and you have a historical gay bodice ripper with a female in disguise character. But you know, I still loved the book.


My Fair Captain by J. L. Langley

Blurb: 
Talk about a compromising situation!

A storm of political intrigue, murderous mayhem and sexual hungers is brewing on planet Regelence.

Swarthy Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins ran from a past he had no intention of ever reliving. But when his Admiral asks him to use his peerage, as an earl and the heir to a dukedom, to investigate a missing weapons stash, he’s forced to do just that. As if being undercover on a Regency planet where the young men are supposed to remain pure until marriage isn’t bad enough, Nate finds himself attracted to the king’s unmarried son.

All Prince Aiden Townsend has ever wanted was to be an artist. He has no interest in a marriage of political fortune or becoming a societal paragon. Until he lands in the arms of the mysterious Earl of Deverell. One look at Nate’s handsome face has Aiden reconsidering his future. Not only does Nate make a virile subject for Aiden’s art, but the great war hero awakens feelings in Aiden he has never felt, feelings he can’t ignore.

After a momentous dance at a season ball, Aiden and Nate find themselves exchanging important information and working closely together. They have to fight their growing attraction long enough to find out who stole the weapons and keep themselves from a compromising situation and certain scandal.

(and again… cuz yea) 

Review:

Nathaniel Hawkins killed the son of a family friend in a duel on his home planet of Englor and was subsequently disowned for his actions. Leaving that world and past behind, Nate embarks on a new career and life within the “IN”. An intergalactic monitoring group – think the United Nations but in space. When IN weapons go missing on the planet of Regelence almost twenty years later, Nate is asked to investigate as he’s familiar with the customs of the planet so similar to his home planet. Nate agrees but finds his focus more on the king’s son than the investigation, unable to control his physical reaction to the young man.

Aiden Townsend has very little time and interest in anything outside of his art endeavors. Thankfully not the heir to the throne he can indulge these whims and focuses so heavily upon them, he cares little for anything or anyone else. His repeated denials of a career and consort fall to the wayside once he falls in Nate’s arms, literally. From then on, Aiden can’t fight the physical attraction anymore than Nate can and begins to see the future he’s always denied he’d have.

Aiden is the third of five sons to the king and his gay consort. All the sons genetically engineered to have the majority of the DNA between the two men while effectively eliminating any pesky X chromosomes that are unwanted. The sons are also genetically manipulated to be gay before birth. While there is a bit of sketchy explanation offered based on Greek warriors, this idea is discomforting to say the least. The concept of genetic manipulation involving a variety of characteristics and genetic markers is not so futuristic but the idea of tailoring your perfect child to include how you would like their sexual orientation to be would be just as disturbing if it was a gay child forced to be heterosexual. It’s unfortunate the author choose to go this route to explain her gay society instead of a more permissive society.

That aside, Nate and Aiden were charming, developed and charismatic men. Their chemistry is immediate and obvious as is their physical reaction, which is uncontrollable and pops up repeatedly and often. The sex between the men is smoking hot with a slight D/s kink to give it flavor, which fit slightly with the differences in ages. Aiden’s quirky and entertaining personality left little doubt to his own charm and strength as a compliment to the gruff and serious yet caring older man. Their relationship developed quickly and without much artificial tension or drama, more so the progression was swept along on the tide of supporting characters, mystery subplot, and sexual chemistry. Thankfully there was a lack of the usual hue and cry over age and acceptability. Instead, this relationship was encouraged to grow and flourish from every corner.

Helping that relationship is the cadre of secondary characters that are plentiful and engaging. From the king and consort, who deserve their own prequel, to Aiden’s various brothers who all have scene-stealing personalities, each secondary character adds to the flavor of the story in a unique and captivating way. This includes Nate’s adopted son Trouble, who for all his name suggests really shone in the brief confrontation with Raleigh, showing a surprising depth and interest that had hereto been lacking in the outwardly immature and impertinent rascal. Jeremy, aka Trouble, was flat as a character until that scene where he showed hidden intensity and appeal, which grew for the remainder of the novel.

Additionally the ball scene with the various young men and dance cards was entertaining, witty, and appealing. The show of masculine ingenuity and defiance was a refreshing change from the overly feminine undertones to the role-reversal society. A serious caveat to the story hinged upon the young men in the traditionally feminine roles of coveted, virginal prize until they are wed or reach twenty-five years old. The young men alternate between witty, engaging men with a definite masculine feel to giggling men who gossip, oogle uniforms, and linger at closed doors. Often feminine characters could replace these men with no more than a change of pronoun. However, for all this was occasionally detracting, the author tempered it thankfully with scenes of humor, chemistry, and irresistible characters that allowed the disbelief to flow easily along with the fast pace and inviting prose.

Overall, I admit – I devoured this book. It certainly was not without its missteps and problems but the strength of the author’s writing shone in the ability to keep an interesting plot and likeable set of characters moving even while these problematic elements occurred. The sex scenes in the book were hot and explicit but thankfully spread enough that they neither overwhelmed the book nor were absent, it was just enough to keep the temperature of the romance well above the typical bodice ripper. Nate and Aiden, while not favorite characters, were certainly charming and appealing with an allure unique to their situation and relationship. The supporting cast all beg for their own stories which no doubt will be forthcoming. I’m sure the same problems will exist in future editions of the family saga, but as with this one, I doubt it will bother me enough to stop reading and enjoying.

 

Finally, in summary of a complete rambling review –  this story delivered on well-written characters, developed relationships, humorous and witty dialogue and an interesting, albeit anemic, mystery to keep a consistent thread throughout the series. No doubt lovers of the author’s work and even new comers will enjoy this book, you won’t want to put it down.

Get it HERE!

var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);
document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));

try {
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-9211734-1”);
pageTracker._trackPageview();
} catch(err) {}