Little Japan by Jaye Valentine and Reno MacLeod

Little Japan by Jaye Valentine and Reno MacLeod

Blurb:
Japan. Land of honor and beauty, crowded streets with neon signs, and exotic markets where ancient traditions still hold fast in modern-day society. As Japanese business people rush about their busy lives, there exists a place in Osaka, Japan where a modern take on the ancient tradition of the geisha thrives.

Kuri and Daichi work at Kingyo Club, a popular host club in the Dōtonbori district of Osaka. After sleeping their days away, the boys’ nights are owned by the host club lifestyle and anyone willing to pay the steep price for a few hours of hard drinking and flirtatious companionship. Kuri and Daichi are lovers and best friends, and along with their roommates Sora and Takumi, they look out for one another in an occupation fraught with both physical and emotional danger.

In addition to the endless bottles of fizzy champagne, expensive gifts, and confessions of false love courtesy of regular clients, every now and then comes a customer with even deeper pockets and much darker demands. Gabriel Hartley is one of these men. After a chance meeting, Gabriel targets the stunning Kuri to feed his obsession with seducing and dominating young Japanese men.

The relationship between Kuri and Gabriel dramatically changes when a traumatic event plunges them from the Land of the Rising Sun into the land of powerful sheikhs and servant boys in the dark underworld of exotic Dubai. As Kuri struggles with the heartache of having what’s most precious to him ripped away, he helps Gabriel learn important lessons about love, honor, and the power of self-forgiveness.

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Soft Focus by Reno MacLeod and Jaye Valentine

Soft Focus by Reno MacLeod and Jaye Valentine

Blurb:

Ethan Bouwer has always been the adventurous sort. A freelance nature photographer, he travels the globe and writes erotica on the side whenever things get a bit slow. Hunting for a topic for his next writing project, he stumbles upon a man named David Turner and the taboo world of BDSM. His curiosity piqued, Ethan discovers that David Turner and his beautiful partner Kiyoshi are coming to town for a convention.

Ethan makes arrangements for them to meet, but little does Ethan know that he is about to embark on a safari into a world more wild and untamed than anything he has ever encountered before.

an oldie but a goodie

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…

Messiah 2: The Page of Wands by Reno MacLeod and Jaye Valentine

Messiah 2: The Page of Wands by Reno MacLeod and Jaye Valentine

Blurb:

In the year 2039, the world is a better place thanks to one man. Humans have all they could wish for, and supernaturals have moved in to peacefully co-exist. Famine, disease, and environmental issues are all but a thing of the past. Earth is practically a new Garden of Eden.

A shame it isn’t going to stay that way. In the sequel to Messiah 1: The Three of Cups, Malcolm Wilder, creator of the HydroGo fuel cell and the world’s new messiah, has begun to feel the weight of the sins that surround him. Levi and Suki do their best to help Malcolm keep the world — and their anointed prince — from falling into shambles. Unfortunately, the jealous tension between the two demons is mounting, and the others have taken notice. Just when things seem their darkest, an unlikely visitor brings the world an unexpected message of hope. 

If Luci ran the world and his only son is gay..

StarCrossed 3 1/2 by Jaye Valentine and Reno MacLeod

StarCrossed 3 1/2 by Jaye Valentine and Reno MacLeod

Angel Tears is a "deleted scene" from the novel StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror. The authors felt it slowed the pace of the story. However, character development and information in this scene will become important and meaningful as the series progresses.

As it should not be missed by fans of the series, this 6,666-word short story is being offered as a FREE READ.

While reading the cemetery scene in StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror, did you wonder how the angel Sariel came to be in John and Matthew Banks’ possession, and how Sariel ended up in the condition he was in at the onset of that scene? If so, you don’t want to miss StarCrossed 3 1/2: Angel Tears.

Spoilers/Sequence Warning: This story contains spoilers for StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror and should not be read out of order.

 

 

Review:

As this is simply a deleted scene and not a fully realized short story, it’s not really appropriate for a review. After all, how can you discuss characterization when it’s a simple scene taken out of context of the book by author choice? As it is, definitely read StarCrossed 3 first so you understand the players and their purpose but this scene absolutely adds to the story created. I have to trust the authors’ choice in taking the scene out yet I think it’s wonderful and allows the reader to see some of the best aspects of the writing and characters developed for this urban fantasy series.

As the “blurb” says, this is a deleted scene that shows how John Banks convinced Sariel to go along with his scheme to trap Jace Barton. It takes a minute to wrap your mind around the setting, since you’re dropped right into the scene and have to remember who these characters are and their connection to the larger StarCrossed story and world. But once you do, the scene is vivid, graphic, and stunning.

One of the best aspects of this short added scene was the depth given to John. Within SC 3, he’s clearly an "evil" force, but he’s not black and white simplistic evil. This scene typifies many of the scenes with John where the authors are able to show his complexity and depth. He’s not a cardboard evil man. He’s been warped by his upbringing and perhaps predisposed to cruelty but no doubt his childhood certainly played a part in creating the man he became. The ability to layer the hints of compassion with sharp cruelty all on the razor’s edge of pain was wonderful. 

The authors delve into the complexities of the “bad guy”, giving him more depth and reasoning. In this scene he has regret, compassion, fear, anger, cruelty, kindness, need, hatred, and even love and truly evil deeds. They all combine to give a fully three-dimensional creation to the character and I personally think the scene would have added to the original story. It does seem to take a side trip too far into John and Sariel, which may be the reasoning for why it was cut but this is one of the best elements of the authors’ writing – which is the ability to create compassion for even the most evil character. No one in their world is empty or a placeholder. Even those who do evil deeds (and arguably Jace is high on this list) have multifaceted personalities shaped by experience as much as nature. The lack of classic heroes and anti-heroes is another strength of their writing.

This scene also allows a good characterization of Sariel, who for all his presence in SC 3 felt unexplored and weak. I liked that this scene added depth to Sariel, showed more to him than simple acceptance or belief; it showed a struggle, compassion, his own mistakes and weaknesses. As one of the “good” angels, Sariel is not wholly good and is subject to missteps you wouldn’t think Angels would be capable of, including the blindness of love. He has his own regrets, failures, and fears as well as desires, needs, and wants. Most stories never delve into the darker side of angels; their sexual needs and desires that may embarrass even them. The authors will pretty much cross any line or taboo.

If you haven’t read the series before, this short scene won’t make much sense but it might give you an idea of the strength of the writing between these two. It’s visceral, gritty, hard hitting and not afraid of blood—literal and figurative—and a perfect example of why I enjoy this series so much.

 Get it HERE!

 

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Messiah 1: The Three of Cups by Reno MacLeod and Jaye Valentine

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Messiah 1: The Three of Cups by Reno MacLeod and Jaye Valentine


Blurb:

In the year 2039, the world is a better place thanks to one man.

Fresh from college, Malcolm Wilder had managed to engineer a cheap, efficient fix to fossil fuel dependence. The new energy-for-all economy allowed for world peace among humans to blossom and flourish. As the Earth and its people began to heal, creatures once thought to be the stuff of myth and legend decided it was finally safe to reveal themselves.

A decade later, Malcolm is a corporate giant living in exotic Dubai on the Persian Gulf. He’s on the cover of every magazine, his name on everyone’s lips. It’s a good life but a hectic one. Malcolm’s business partner and lifelong friend, Levi Tanner, is concerned that Malcolm isn’t getting to enjoy his fame and fortune. Levi finally insists on taking Malcolm to Mortal Sin, a local hot spot that caters to those looking for something a little different in the way of adult recreation.

Little does Malcolm know, but the world still has a few problems of Biblical proportion and all hell is about to break loose.

Warning..religious themes

StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror by Reno MacLeod and Jaye Valentine

StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror by Reno MacLeod and Jaye Valentine

Blurb:

Objects in the Mirror takes us back to the town of Salem, Massachusetts, famous for the witch trials of 1692. In the wake of that tragic time, the town has done everything in its power to be charitable toward its more unique residents. Tarot readers, a nightclub with a twist, and little shops dedicated to magic and New Age arts line the downtown streets. One of every four Salem residents claims to be a witch or to know one. 



What newcomers don’t realize, however, is that witches are hardly the only usual people who might be living next door. 



Jace and Konnor Barton are demon twins, enjoying a much-improved life after narrowly escaping a very rough start. Given a second chance, they live in the protective care of their adoptive vampire parent Gennady Zaitsev, and Fallon Demeter, Gennady’s young werefox lover. Trouble starts with local clergy being brutally murdered, and the Salem Special Council—of which Gennady is the president—is asked to rein in a potentially dangerous citizen. 



Fifteen years should have been enough to leave their past behind them, but it has come chasing after the Barton twins with an unholy vengeance. When one brother falls under suspicion for the clergy murders, it shatters the heart of the other. Only an unlikely union of angels, vampires, were-creatures, and humans can save Jace Barton and keep the secret of supernatural beings living in Salem safe from the outside world. 




The clock is ticking. 



Warning: This dark urban fantasy contains graphic violence and a consensual sexual relationship between non-human twin brothers. Discretion is advised for those sensitive to religious themes.

 

As concise as I can make it..