Category Archives: Aleksandr Voinov

Tour: On the Clock (Market Garden #8) by L.A. Witt, Aleksandr Voinov *Review and Contest*

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On the Clock (Market Garden #8)
by L.A. Witt, Aleksandr Voinov

An M/M Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released on July 13th 2015

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When Blake Raleigh’s favorite rentboys retire from Market Garden, they’re sure their friend Jason will be a perfect replacement. Though Tristan and Jared are a tough act to follow, Blake returns to London to test out their recommendation.

Jason is right on the money. Negotiations turn him on. Getting paid turns him on. The higher the stakes, the hotter things get. Each trip to London is more expensive than the last, and the webcam sessions don’t run cheap, but Jason is well worth the sticker shock.

The more time they spend together, the more Blake wants, and not just sex and transactions. But Jason’s been burned before by men who thought they were in love with him, and he’s not making that mistake again. When the lines between personal and professional start to blur, it’s going to take more than money, jewelry, and sports cars to keep Jason from clocking out and walking away.

 

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Review

5-stars

As a follower of the series and a fan of the Market Garden guys I could not, in good conscience, miss Rolex’s story. My TBR is not happy that I skipped a couple dozen books to get to it. But screw it! It was worth my sleepless night and some rowdy kids banging at my door.

Rolex. Blake. Love him! There was just something about him that called to me. I loved that he didn’t make excuses for his use of Market Garden or for his admiration of the rentboys there. I especially loved that he didn’t hesitate in admitting he missed Tristan and Jared and was happy for them for what they found in each other. But mostly I loved that underneath the expensive suits and extravagant toys was a man who was aware of his beginnings, who didn’t judge based on social status and who loved deeply and without second thought.

Now Jason, he took a while to understand. Mostly because I could not understand what drove him. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, because if not I would only have seen him as a man who only cared about the material things in life. But true to Team VoinWitt’s work, they proved me wrong and made me a believer! I came to love his wicked grin and the way is arousal spiked when Blake didn’t hesitate to up the ante when negotiating. And I won’t even mention that EPIC sex scenes in the garage…*sigh*

But all the hotness aside I do have to say that the story was also great. I appreciated the way the authors worked the story to bring Jason and Blake together. I liked that I got the chance to get to know them and that their connection wasn’t solely physical. Hell yeah! That aspect was fantastic, but there was also a lot more to them than that. They were funny and shared a great rapport that kept me grinning throughout. I loved their flirty banter and enjoyed their candid moments just as much as I loved the few unguarded moments they shared. The touches, the looks, the shared silence, the gasps, grunts and moans. Every little thing worked for me! And when the emotions came into play? I was sold!

Although this is the eighth book in the series, it can certainly be read as a stand alone. But why would you miss out on all the goodness that is the Market Garden? I wouldn’t. Especially if you like your story steamy hot with a sprinkle of humor and a side of emotions.

All in all, a fantastic story that left me wanting more. Let’s just say that another visit to the Market Garden would not be frowned upon.

*I received a copy of this title (which I devoured in a night!) in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

Jason’s grin would’ve fucked with Blake’s blood pressure if it hadn’t already been screwed up. He leaned closer, laying one arm on the table in that neutral space between their drinks. “I can see why Jared and Tristan referred you to me, then.”

“Is that right?”

“Mm-hmm.” Jason’s eyes flicked toward the table. Toward his own arm, specifically, and when he met Blake’s gaze again, he lifted his arm and reached all the way across. He trailed his fingertips along the side of Blake’s hand, a finger catching on his cuff, then his watch. “They said you’d come looking for me. To be honest, I was starting to wonder if you would.”

“Well, I’m . . .” Blake gulped. “I’m not always in town. Business. I live—”

“In America, I know.” Jason’s grin turned playful. His fingertip traced the edge of the gold Rolex, dangerously close to running across the skin of Blake’s wrist. “But I’ve been intrigued. They told me a lot about you.”

“Did they, now?” Blake watched Jason’s fingers, watched goose bumps rising on his arm as if his skin were trying its damnedest to close that minute distance. “All good things, I hope?”

“Well.” Something in Jason’s tone prompted Blake to lift his gaze, and when their eyes met, the blue-eyed rentboy said, “They said you’re a high roller.”

“Isn’t everyone who comes in here?”

“Some more than others. But as they say, you get what you pay for.” Jason’s fingers left the watch and slid onto the back of Blake’s hand. “And as far as I’m concerned, if a man is willing to pay, I’m definitely willing to play.”

Blake’s body temperature was soaring now, and it wasn’t only from the warm fingertips currently exploring the grooves and contours of his hand. “So you’re saying you’re expensive?”

Jason laughed, the sound soft and mischievous at the same time. “Let’s just say that if they sold me in a department store, I’d be in the ‘if you have to ask, you can’t afford it’ section.”

Oh dear sweet mother of God. Blake’s pulse was out of control. How many men had taken out second mortgages, sold their cars, and lived on ramen noodles to pay whatever price Jason commanded? Money wasn’t an issue for Blake, but damn, sitting across from Jason now while that scorching point of contact drove him insane, he was already cataloguing assets that could be, if the situation warranted, jettisoned.

“So that brings us to the next question.” Jason drew swirls on the back of Blake’s hand because, hell, Blake wasn’t already losing his mind. “What are you looking for tonight?”

Blake swallowed. “Well, um . . .”

Get it together, Raleigh. This is a business negotiation. This is what you do. Close the fucking deal without getting screwed. Err, without getting fucked. Err . . . crap.

He took a deep breath and pushed his shoulders back, channeling the professional side of him that had earned the money that would be going into Jason’s wallet tonight. “You ever driven a Lamborghini?”

Jason squirmed. “Not yet.”

“I have one.” Blake grinned. “Had two for a while, but now I have one.”

“Yeah?” Jason held his gaze, and Blake wondered how close the guy was to licking his chops.

Blake turned his hand over and, with a single fingertip, teased the soft skin on the inside of Jason’s wrist. “Car like that fetches a lot of money. A lot.”

“Yeah, it does.” Jason shifted, as if he were trying not to squirm again, but failing miserably.

What’s that, Jason? Is that a button of yours?

Blake leaned closer, mirroring Jason’s advance from earlier. “So you can imagine that you’d want to be very careful where you invest your money with a car like that. Make sure it’s exactly the right model.” He drew his nail along the side Jason’s hand, and was rewarded with a subtle gasp and some goose bumps. “Make sure the seats are good and comfortable. High-quality leather. Smooth transmission.” He grinned. “Right?”

Jason’s Adam’s apple jumped. He didn’t speak, but nodded slightly.

“So I’m sure you understand”—Blake slid his hand free and laid it over the top of Jason’s—“the necessity of a test drive.”

Jason’s eyes met his, and from his wide pupils to his parted lips, the deal was most definitely struck. “Are you here with your own car?”

“Limo driver.”

“What about this: you’ll take me to your hotel, and if you like what you’re getting in the car, I’ll join you in your room and you pay full price.”

Blake was definitely too interested to haggle about the specifics. Jason struck him as exactly the kind of rentboy to get him over his jet lag and rev his engine, as it were. Settling on anything less was out of the question. “Deal. Let me text the driver.” He fished the cell phone from his pocket and told the driver to be at the curb.

Jason half finished his mojito, and they got up and headed toward the exit. The guard—Brandon—gave them a good-natured I told you so smile, and then they were in the alley behind Market Garden.

The driver pulled up, and Blake didn’t wait for him to open the door—he simply held it for Jason and then slid in beside him. “Back to the hotel, please.”

Jason raised the privacy screen before he turned to face him. Then he took Blake’s hand and pushed it against his stomach, right above the belt buckle, and lifted his hips up to make the invitation doubly clear.

Blake couldn’t decide where to touch him first, how far Jason would let him go and how to make the most of the maybe ten minutes they had until they arrived at the hotel. They were brushing, Jason’s legs wide open, and Blake slid his hand over the very hard cock straining against those leather pants. Long and thick too, and, mingled with the scent of the leather—he couldn’t wait to see it, taste it, feel every inch of it.

“No clothes off.” Jason’s eyes were heavy-lidded, but focused. “No orgasm.”

“You’re too much in control for that to happen after a little touching.”

Jason grinned and grabbed his tie. “Not so sure about you.” He pulled the tie knot a bit tighter. “Italian silk?”

“Uh.”

“Milan, I reckon.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever met a man who can analyze a tie while he’s that hard.”

Jason tugged the tie, drawing Blake to him. “Wait till you see what I can do when I’m naked.”

Oh fuck . . .

Jason groaned, his lips nearly touching Blake’s, and Blake realized that he’d squeezed Jason’s cock harder. And obviously Jason liked it, so he did it again, which brought a string of profanity from Jason’s lips. Before Blake could comment—maybe ask how colorful his vocabulary would get when he was naked—Jason kissed him.

Well. That answered the question of whether Jason was okay with kissing on the mouth. Some of the rentboys weren’t, but Jason was . . .

Holy . . .

None of them kissed like he did. None of them. Maybe he was only making sure the test drive was good and impressive, or maybe he really was that turned on, but all the maybes and the possibilities added up to Blake nearly falling to pieces on the limo seat. Jason walked that fine line between aggressive and overbearing, inching just close enough to the latter to be hot as hell. He kept a firm grip on Blake’s tie, as if he knew exactly how much of a turn-on that was, and demanded access to Blake’s mouth. All the while, he rubbed his hard-on against Blake’s palm, as if to remind him that his hand was still on top of the clothed erection that would be his entertainment for the evening.

Jason’s palm warmed the inside of Blake’s thigh, his body heat radiating through Blake’s trousers as if they weren’t even there.

Panic rippled through Blake.

No clothes off? No orgasms?

He opened his eyes and looked past Jason at their surroundings beyond the heavily tinted windows. They were still a few minutes away from the hotel. Still a few minutes away from moving their negotiations into the lobby, the lift, the room, the bed.

And Jason’s hand was slowly—and not very subtly—sliding higher.

Yeah, Jason was controlled enough to keep himself from coming or tearing off some clothing, but Blake’s certainty about his own control was waning rapidly as Jason’s fingertips traced the inseam of his trousers.

Jason ran his whole hand over Blake’s clothed cock and balls. Blake groaned, and he couldn’t help breaking the kiss as he did. He couldn’t concentrate on things like kissing and being kissed and being halfway decent at kissing when those slender fingers were running along every inch of his uncomfortably hard dick.

“Jared and Tristan weren’t lying,” Jason whispered.

“Yeah?” Blake panted. “What . . . what did they say?”

“They raved about you.” Jason’s lips grazed Blake’s at the same time his fingertips traced the head of Blake’s cock through his fly. “They were certainly”—he squeezed Blake firmly enough to make him gasp—“fans.”

“Any specifics?”

“Oh yes.” Jason’s smile was audible. “So far, it’s all true.”

Blake was too turned on to worry a great deal about whether the prostitutes of Market Garden had their own forum where they rated johns. “Such as?”

“Well, what do you think?”

Blake squirmed. “Good personal hygiene?”

Jason rolled his eyes. “That’s a low bottom line.”

“I was trying for self-deprecating.”

“You must be the only guy out there who can be self-deprecating while he’s this hard.” He grinned at Blake, baring all teeth. “It doesn’t really suit you.”

Yeah. Jason was most definitely rattling his cage, and rattling it thoroughly. But it was hard to care with Jason this close, and them both being this turned on. “G-good taste in music?”

“That was one.” Jason sinuously, fluidly pushed against Blake’s hand. “Any other guesses?”

“Rich.”

Jason grinned and nodded. “But we already ticked that off the list. They mentioned your good taste in watches. Actually, your good taste generally.” Jason kissed him again, as if to drive home every meaning of the word taste, and it made Blake desperate to feel those lips around his cock. But—no clothes off, and no orgasm. He sure as hell hoped he’d last longer than it would take them to reach his hotel.

Blake broke the kiss and kissed Jason’s neck, caught a whiff of aftershave or shower gel—whatever it was exactly, it made Jason smell delicious. He couldn’t wait to get him into bed and get down and dirty with him.

The car pulled up outside the hotel, and Blake separated from Jason, reluctantly. No need to scandalize the driver with particulars. The man had probably seen worse, but Blake didn’t quite know where the lines of sexual harassment in the workplace started in the UK. “Nearly there.”

Jason sat up. At some point, he’d let Blake’s tie go, and Blake pushed a finger into the space between throat and the knot to loosen it again.

“So, how did you like the test drive?” Jason adjusted himself in his pants.

“I think we’d better go in my office and discuss price.”

 

About the Authors

EPIC Award winner and Lambda Award finalist Aleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London, where he works as a financial editor. His genres range from science fiction and fantasy to thriller, historical, contemporary, thriller, and erotica. His books were/are published by Random House Germany, Samhain Publishing, Riptide Publishing, and others.

If he isn’t writing, he studies hypnotherapy, explores historical sites, and meets other writers. He single-handedly sustains three London bookstores with his ever-changing research projects. His current interests include special forces operations during World War II, the history of chess, European magical traditions, and how to destroy the world and plunge it into a nuclear winter without having the benefit of nuclear weapons.

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L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .

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Contest!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of one eBook off each of our backlists (excluding On The Clock) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 18th, and winners will be announced on July 19th.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Please include your email so we can contact you if you win!

Tour: Belonging ’Verse with Aleksandr Voinov and Rachel Haimowitz *Vignette, Review and Giveaway*

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Belonging Universe
by Aleksandr Voinov and Rachel Haimowitz

An M/M Modern-day Alternate Universe Series
From Riptide Publishing

Welcome to the Belonging ’Verse re-release blog tour with Aleksandr Voinov and Rachel Haimowitz! We’re very excited to be bringing you edited second editions of our Belonging stories, Anchored and Counterpunch (in the case of Anchored, very edited, with over ten thousand new words and a completely different beginning and ending!), which are finally under the same roof and back in print after about a year out of circulation.

We’ll be touring for about two weeks, Aleks discussing his slave boxer and the barrister who tries to free him, and Rachel talking about her slave news anchor and the talk show host who covets him, and both of us discussing the world of Belonging at large—which, as you’ve probably guessed, is not a particularly pretty place. But good things can and do happen in this world, and we hope you’ll stick with us to find out what!

Speaking of good things, don’t forget to comment on this post for your chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the Riptide store! Each new post you comment on earns you an entry into the drawing, so be sure to check out the rest of the tour schedule too!

***

Way back when, I wrote a series of vignettes that took place in the spaces between the Anchored prequel (Daniel’s eleven and has just been purchased from a custom clothier by a media conglomerate) and the rest of the story when Daniel’s thirty-six. Originally, they were released as a collection called Where He Belongs. Now I’m giving them away for free. Here’s the very first one. No need at all to have read Anchored to make sense of this, though reading the Anchored blurb will set the scene nicely, so here that is:

anchoredAnchored: A Belonging Novel (Belonging #1)

Network news anchor Daniel Halstrom is at the top of his field, but being at the bottom of the social ladder—being a slave—makes that hard to enjoy. Especially when NewWorld Media, the company that’s owned him since childhood, decides to lease him privately on evenings and weekends to boost their flagging profits.

Daniel’s not stupid; he knows there’s only one reason someone would pay so much for what little free time he has. But dark memories of past sexual service leave him certain he won’t survive it again with his sanity intact.

He finds himself in the home of Carl Whitman, a talk show host whose words fail him when it comes to ordering Daniel into his bed. Carl can’t seem to take what he must want, and Daniel’s not willing to give it freely. His recalcitrance costs him dearly, but with patience and some hard-won understanding, affection just might flourish over fear and pain. Carl holds the power to be an anchor in Daniel’s turbulent life, but if he isn’t careful, he’ll end up the weight that sinks his slave for good.

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And now, on to the story! (Please beware potential triggers: hints of child abuse and sexual exploitation, though none occurring on-page.)

***

He’s a strange boy, quiet and shy for all his clear intelligence—a spark that, even in the three short days he’s been here, has become obvious to everyone but himself. He doesn’t talk much—not to his betters, not even to us—but I can tell he’s always thinking, wondering, watching and listening and touching when he thinks no one will see. He has a book in one slim hand now, the fingers of the other caressing its cover, its spine, its pages. I want to tell him it’s okay, that he can read it if he wants to, that it and all the others in this room are here for the likes of us. But I’m afraid I’d scare him away, and anyway he hasn’t learned to read yet.

But he counts well, knows more math than I do, and I’m two years older than him.

He puts the book down, back on the shelf exactly how he found it with a nervous care that makes something twist inside my chest. I wonder if he had to tiptoe around his old master’s house with such caution. I asked him about that his first night here, in that unobtrusive, therapeutic sort of way they teach us companions. My master’s been dead a long time, he’d said, deftly avoiding my question, eyes down, his long fingers playing at the fabric of his pants. I don’t think he likes those pants. He’d been dressed in real finery when Master Krantz brought him in, but of course we’re not allowed to keep things like that. Despite the clothes, I think he came from a Bad Place. A very, very Bad Place.

His hands are empty now, one trailing across a row of books as he takes slow, measured steps across the study lounge, the other curled over his shoulder, trying to soothe a healing welt. I wonder how those hands would feel on my shoulders. He’s a pretty little thing, skinny as he is. I’ve heard my teachers talking; they want to get their hands on him, too. But Master Krantz says he bought him for Bigger Things.

Still, I’d like to make him feel good. He looks so sad, standing over there all by himself. Lost, too. This isn’t his world, and until he has his letters, it never can be. But the way his calloused fingers caress the books, I know it won’t be long. He wants to be one of those boys studying at the table in the corner, surrounded by history and politics and current events. He wants to learn of the freemen’s world, and service it in ways I never will. He wants those Bigger Things Master Krantz talked of.

But that’s okay. Master Krantz thinks no less of me, of the pretty ones, for the service we give. I’ve been NewWorld’s for as long as I can remember. I give great backrubs. My voice is sweet, and I’ve memorized hundreds of songs on the piano, the guitar, and the flute with which to serenade the affections of my betters. This year I’ve begun to learn other ways, too, to please people. I like what I do. I make people smile.

And oh, how I want to make him smile. To show him he’s no longer in a Bad Place.

So I abandon the classic lit I’m supposed to be reading—companions may never have to investigate the news, but we’re still expected to make good conversation with smart people—and move toward him, slow and quiet, so as not to startle him.

He whirls around when I get too close and folds his hands in front of himself, cringing a little, like he just got caught touching something he shouldn’t have and is now trying to pretend he wasn’t. That invisible thing twists in my chest again, and I touch his arm, softly, and give him my best smile.

“It’s okay, Daniel. You’re not doing anything wrong.”

He seems to melt at that, cling to it, like he was just waiting for someone to say exactly those words. I let my hand slide from his arm to his shoulder, bony and trembling beneath my fingers. “I know it’s hard to be new, in a strange place. It must be scary.” I stroke softly at his neck as I speak, start in on a proper rub.

My teachers have taught me all the Right Things to say to make people feel better, and though I’m only thirteen-and-a-quarter and not always good at it yet, it seems to be working now. He smiles just a little, like he’s not sure he should, and says, “Yeah.” But when I lift my left hand to massage his other shoulder too, he flinches back, and his smile disappears. Bad Place, I remind myself. He seems confused by my kindness. I don’t think anyone has ever touched him nice.

His eyes trail back to the bookshelves, and I remember what my teachers always say: If one technique fails to please, reassess and try another. I want to make him feel good, but he doesn’t know what that means yet. So I pick up the book he was looking at and press it into his hand. “Come on,” I say, taking him gently by the wrist and tugging him toward an empty table. He follows wordlessly, and it occurs to me that he’s relieved to have someone tell him what to do. How big and scary this place must seem to him in our unstructured time, with nobody to obey or please for three whole hours between supper and sleep. “Sit.”

He does so without delay, clutching his book-prize to his chest with both hands. Yet he gives that up too without resistance when I go to take it from him, sit down beside him, and put it on the table between us. I understand now how to make him feel good, and it has nothing to do with all the many skills I’ve learned these past years in my companion training. No, it’s much, much simpler than that.

I open the book and point to the first word, and when his eyes follow my finger, I say, “The. T, h, e.”

He squints at the letters, and then his own pale finger is beside mine, tracing the word. And when he repeats, hesitantly, “The. T, h, e,” that sweet, soft smile is back on his lips, and this time there’s no fear or uncertainty to chase it away.

***

 

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Counterpunch (Belonging #2)

Fight like a man, or die like a slave.

Two years ago, Brooklyn Marshall was a happily married London policeman and amateur boxer with a promising future. Then he accidentally killed a rioter whose powerful father had him convicted of murder. To ease the burden on the prison system, the state sold Brooklyn into slavery. Now he’s the “Mean Machine,” competing on the slave prizefighting circuit for the entertainment of freemen, and being rented out for sexual service to his wealthier fans.

When barrister Nathaniel Bishop purchases Brooklyn’s services for a night, Brooklyn braces himself for yet another round of humiliation and pain. But the pair form an unexpected bond that grows into something more. Brooklyn hesitates to call it love—such feelings can’t truly exist between freemen and slaves—but when Nathaniel reveals that he wants to get Brooklyn’s conviction overturned, Brooklyn dares to hope.

Until an accident in the ring sends Brooklyn on the run, jeopardizing everything he’s worked so hard for. With the law on his tail and Nathaniel in his corner, he must prepare for the most important fight of his life: the fight for his freedom.

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Review

5-stars

Shame on me for having the first edition of this book in my library and not reading it.

I know!!!

Well color me a fool who has seen the light. I loved it!

First, I have to admit that I am not usually a fan of alternate universe-themed book (main reason why I had not read my copy!), but if done correctly and with enough modern-day references I can get lost in the story easily. And that was the case with Counterpunch.

I admit I have a soft spot for most of Voinov’s book. I love his writing style; the way he doesn’t pull any punches in bringing the story to life and making even the most unworthy individual dear to me. He goes into the nitty-gritty, explores every option and makes a reader ponder, question and analyze every little thing.

I admit I was hesitant starting this story, but I found myself immediately drawn into it.

Brooklyn was a great character to get to know and his growth throughout the story was a treat to read. He had his moments of cockiness and his moments of vulnerability. His struggles to come to terms with his slave status was brought about in a way that garnered the most sympathy from the reader while still allowing enough space for the reader to have mixed feelings about sympathizing with a ‘murderer’.

Add in the presence of Nathaniel and everything goes out the window. I loved the rapport of these two. Each one kept himself back initially, but eventually they came to accept that their connection ran deeper than what originally brought them together.

In between Brooklyn and Nathaniel’s initial meeting and reunion, there were events that gave the reader a broader view of the world Voinov and Haimowitz had crafted. I haven’t read Anchored, so I don’t know how the author went about bringing the Belonging Universe to the page, but I can say with certainty that Voinov did it well. Like I said, I’m not easily swayed in that department but I found myself curious about all aspects of the world as the story kept progressing. It was interesting to see how closely related it was to current times with its status-quo’s, discrimination about minorities, corruption and the like.

I must say that this is the second book in the Belonging series, but be assured that it can be read as a stand alone. Like I said, I have not read the first book in the series, but that might change soon enough.

All in all, an interesting story packed full of twists and turns, complex characters and few steamy scenes to rounded it all up.

*I received a copy of this title (2nd edition) in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

About the Authors

Rachel Haimowitz is an M/M erotic romance author and the Publisher of Riptide Publishing. She’s also a sadist with a pesky conscience, shamelessly silly, and quite proudly pervish. Fortunately, all those things make writing a lot more fun for her . . . if not so much for her characters.

When she’s not writing about hot guys getting it on (or just plain getting it; her characters rarely escape a story unscathed), she loves to read, hike, camp, sing, perform in community theater, and glue captions to cats. She also has a particular fondness for her very needy dog, her even needier cat, and shouting at kids to get off her lawn.

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Aleksandr Voinov has been published for twenty years, both in print and ebook. He has ten years’ experience as a writing coach, book doctor, and writing teacher, and until recently worked as an editor in financial services.

After co-authoring the M/M military cult classic Special Forces, Aleksandr embarked on a quest to write gritty, edgy, sometimes literary M/M and gay fiction (much of which is romance/erotica)—the only way he can use his American Literature degree these days.

He’s been published with Heyne/Random House, Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and others, and is an EPIC Awards winner and a Lambda Awards finalist.

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Hostile Ground by Aleksandr Voinov & L. A. Witt *Review*

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Hostile Ground
by Aleksandr Voinov & L. A. Witt

An M/M Contemporary Romantic Thriller
From Riptide Publishing
Released on May 12th 2014

Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/Aleksandr Voinov/L. A. Witt blog tour for our thriller, Hostile Ground!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off our backlists (excluding Hostile Ground) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 17th, and winners will be announced on May 19th.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

About Hostile Ground

Enemy territory is a dangerous place to fall in love.

After the deaths of three undercover cops investigating a drug ring in a seedy strip club in Seattle, Detective Mahir Hussain has been sent to finish the job. He joins the club’s security team in the hopes of finding enough evidence to bust the operation before the men in charge find a reason to put him in a shallow grave.

To protect the strippers, only gay men can work the club. Ridley, the cold and intimidating head of security, knows exactly how to test potential new hires—including Mahir. From the minute they meet, Mahir and Ridley engage in a dangerous dance of sex and mind games. Mahir needs to find his evidence before Ridley figures out he’s a cop—and before they both grow too close to betray one another.

As the game goes on, Mahir burrows deeper into the operation, where he learns there’s much more happening than meets the eye . . . and why every cop who made it this far has been silenced with a bullet.

 

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Buy the Book

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Review
5-stars

First and foremost, kudos to these two authors for always bringing forth intriguing and thought-provoking stories with complex characters. Haven’t read a book from them that I haven’t loved.

With an intriguing plot that had me tapping the hell out of my tablet, I found myself riveted to this story. I love the type of story I can sink my teeth into and this one did not disappoint. Hell, I was so into it that I ranted whenever I got interrupted (see my rant here).

Apprehension. Suspense. Thrills and Chills.

From the very beginning we are drawn into what will become Mahir’s world for the upcoming months. The tension is palpable as Mahir comes to meet the men he will be working with–especially the head of security. Even being a seasoned detective doesn’t help Mahir when he comes face to face with Ridley.

He pulled off his sunglasses, and when he looked Mahir in the eye, Mahir caught himself wishing the man had left the glasses on. His clear blue eyes? Piercing. And enough so to make Mahir tongue-tied and off guard.

Determined to see this job through and get out of it alive, Mahir goes to whatever lengths necessary to prove his loyalty to the boss. It helps that he can get into character easily. ‘Saeed’ is ruthless and desperate to make money no matter the cost, so whenever Mahir felt like he was losing ground he pulled his ‘Saeed’ persona into place. But when both sides of his life clash together not even Saeed can help him through it. Emotions run rampant, chaos ensues.

 

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I loved Mahir. He was such a well-rounded character with many layers to him. He struggled to maintain a balance between his work, his family and his faith. Mostly I loved that he took his ethnicity seriously, but didn’t let it define him in all aspects of his life.

Then there was Ridley. Damn the man for being so…him! If you’ve read this type of story before you have an idea of what direction the character’s role in going towards. But with Ridley–“He is”, “No, he’s not”, “Maybe”–I just didn’t know. But whatever, I loved him too!

 

 

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And then there was the romance. But it was so much more than that. The connection that existed between these two was undeniable. Their attraction for each other was raw and tenacious–it just would not be dismissed by either man no matter how hard they tried. The danger was ever-present but the looks and stolen moments could not be helped. *melting*

Desires. Emotions. Needs. Love?

Do I even have to get into the chemistry between these two? (It’s Voinov and Witt people!)

But I will say, it was everything I was expecting and them some. Although the authors bring their trademark scorching sex scenes, they also brought with them something more. In between the licks, nips and sucks laid the urgency of two men caught up in a situation they can’t get out, the longing to make the moment last and the uncertainty that was a constant in their world. I loved how it all came together seamlessly, moving the story along, bringing these characters closer together. And yes, it was magnificently HOT too!

Mahir pushed Ridley’s lips further apart and deepened the kiss into one that was almost violent, completely incongruous to the slow, steady way their hips moved together. As if anything about this encounter made sense, though. So Mahir embraced it all, fucking Ridley like they had all night while kissing him like they were both starved for each other.

As you can imagine there was a lot more to this story that what I just expressed, but that is something you’d need to experience for yourself. I will say that the story as a whole–the romance coupled with the mystery–worked. The story was paced perfectly with every event that took place adding something to the story and magnifying the thrill of wanting to know what was going to happen next and ending with a well-executed resolution to the conflict. Ah, and the sex scenes were to die for! (just in case you missed that part earlier!)

All in all, a fantastic suspenseful read with complex characters, conflicting emotions and action-packed scenes thrown into the mix to round it all up.  Oh, and a fabulous epilogue that leaves you wanting more.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

About the Authors

Aleksandr has been published for twenty years, both in print and ebook. He has ten years’ experience as a writing coach, book doctor, and writing teacher, and until recently worked as an editor in financial services.

After co-authoring the M/M military cult classic Special Forces, Aleksandr embarked on a quest to write gritty, edgy, sometimes literary M/M and gay fiction (much of which is romance/erotica)—the only way he can use his American Literature degree these days.

He’s been published with Heyne/Random House, Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and others, and is an EPIC Awards winner and a Lambda Awards finalist.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky. This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha.

L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter.

 

 

Review: Payoff (Market Garden #6) by L.A. Witt, Aleksandr Voinov

payoff

Title: Payoff (Market Garden #6)

Authors: L.A. Witt, Aleksandr Voinov

Released: February 3rd 2014

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis

Tristan and Jared have got it made. When they aren’t raking in the cash together at Market Garden, they’re burning up their own sheets and getting closer by the day. But something isn’t right. Tristan’s on edge, and Jared doesn’t understand why.

Before they can hash things out, their services are requested by none other than Rolex. And Rolex doesn’t just want to be a bystander this time. He wants Jared while Tristan watches, and he’s more than willing to pay for it.

But Tristan’s reached a breaking point, and even that huge wad of cash might not be enough to keep tonight’s arrangement from crashing and burning.

Buy the Book
Riptide | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ARe
Review

4 stars

I will not even attempt not to go all fan girl on you because I’d probably fail. It is not everyday that I find an author that I know for a fact it’s going to make my reading time worthwhile, let alone a pair of authors. Witt and Voinov have managed to keep me riveted to this series from the very start and although the main characters have changed and the subject matter have differed, they have still brought the complexity of falling in love with a rent boy entails. Frustration. Trust. Commitment.

But I do admit that although I have enjoyed all of the other participants in the series, Jared and Tristan always held a special place in my little smut-loving heart. Maybe it was the way their chemistry jumped of the page, maybe it was the connection that never failed to grow in strength whenever they were together. Hell maybe it was just watching them lose themselves in their shared lust whenever Rolex came into town. Who cares? I just did.

That is why when I saw that this installment was about them and their relationship stand-still I had to get my hands on it. And hell yeah, it everything I had hope it would be.

Witt and Voinov didn’t pull any punches when they decided to put Tristan through hell. Indecision. Jealousy. Frustration. Realization. Poor Tristan felt them all and all within 50+ pages of story content.

After watching Jared lust after Tristan in Quid Pro Quo and experiencing how deep the connection between Jared and Tristan ran in Take It Off, I was ready to see more from my boys. Confessions. Proposals. Acceptance. It was there for my taking and I devoured it.

I enjoyed the hell out of the encounter. Every thrust, lick, kiss and touch. Yes, I loved them all, but it was the undercurrent of emotions from both characters that kept me tap, tap, tapping my tablet to get to the next piece of goodness.

I’ll shut up now.

If you’ve read the previous chapters in Jared and Tristan’s story then you won’t want to miss on this one. But if by any chance you have not, then I suggest you start immediately.

All in all, another great visit to the Market Garden where lust overflows, emotions run rampant and two of my favorite characters come to terms with their feelings for each other.

*I received an ARC copy of this title through NetGalley from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.

Market Garden Series

Capture & Surrender (Market Garden #5) by L.A. Witt, Aleksandr Voinov

17731296Rating: 5 stars

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (August 19, 2013)

Synopsis: Ever since his partner died, Frank has resigned himself to staying single. He wards off the loneliness by spending time with friends on the paintball field and running his high-end brothel, the Market Garden.

After one of his most lucrative rentboys quits, Frank is thrilled when a gorgeous replacement walks through the door. A former US soldier, Stefan is hot, bold, and perfect for the Market Garden’s clientele, especially those with a thing for camouflage and drill sergeants. He’s perfect for Frank, too, except Frank has a rule about not getting involved with his own rentboys.

During a frisky game of paintball, Stefan makes it clear that he doesn’t care about the rules. Not the rules of the game, and definitely not Frank’s refusal to get involved. He captures Frank on the field using stealth and cunning, and makes it clear that he’ll do anything to keep a hold of him off the field too.

My Reading Progress:

2.0% “yeah baby!!! a little somethin’, somethin’ before real life intrudes. shhhhh…”
92.0% “*sigh* either I’m overly emotional or this is some deep shit or both. Damn you, Team VoinWitt! <3 ;-D”
100.0% “Darn it! no more grins, grunts, thrusts and groans. pfft! back to real life.”

Review: Frank is the owner of the Market Garden. He is not looking for a relationship and is content to hang out with his friend and look out for his rentboys. That is until Stefan sauters into Market Garden for a job. From the moment he laid eyes on him, Stefan stirred some feelings Frank had thought were long forgotten. But Frank doesn’t get involved with his rentboys. Hell, he doesn’t get involved, period.

Stefan is an American ex-soldier trying to find a place where he can fit in. Being a rentboy is not something he set out to do, but it pays well and he’s good at it. Handsome, cocky and sexy as hell, he is determined to hook up with Frank and doesn’t understand why the older man is trying to keep him at bay. Never one to let the opportunity run by him, he devices a plan to get the sexy, older man alone and have him at his mercy. Little does he know that he and Frank share so much more than an intense attraction.

Phew! Now, I went into this story all geared up to get my mind blown to bits by the usual hard core sensual scenes Team VoinWitt has made successful in previous installments. What I was NOT expecting was to be blind-sided with an array of emotions so overwhelming I ended up crying as if this were a tear-jerker instead of an erotic story. Don’t get me wrong, Team VoinWitt brought their expected degree of nuclear-hot scenes. But this time around it went hand in hand with some much appreciated emotions.

Not usually a fan of the insta-love scenario, Team VoinWitt quickly made me a believer. By making Stefan and Frank’s connection something deeper than mere attraction, the authors brought a more believable story to the page. One that had me emotionally invested in Frank and Stefan’s well-being and cheering them on to make this thing something more.

Both Stefan and Frank were interesting characters to get to know. I loved Frank’s sense of propriety, his protectiveness towards his rentboys and his vulnerability. He so desired to be touched and loved, but denied himself thinking that his chance for something meaningful had passed along with his partner. I adored him!

Stefan, on the other hand, won me over with his cockiness and fierce determination to have who he wanted. He was young, but matured beyond his years and it showed in the way he never backed down with Frank. Sexy, tender, funny and assertive – he was everything Frank needed.

Once again, Team VoinWitt outdid themselves with their writing. Their formula is one that has proven to work I always end up wanting more. Well done, Team VoinWitt. Well done, indeed. You managed to draw me in once again, rendering me totally useless for a couple of hours while I was paintballing with the guys, sitting to dinner with friends and enjoying the hell out of Frank’s office.  *shiver*

Although Capture & Surrender is the fifth book in the Market Garden series, it can be read as a stand alone. But truly, who would pass up the chance to read the other installments? I sure din’t. I even think a re-read is overdue.

I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

If It Fornicates (Market Garden #4) by L.A. Witt, Aleksandr Voinov

If It Fornicates (Market Garden #4)Rating: 4.5 stars

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (June 8, 2013)

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Synopsis: If it flies, drives, or fornicates, it’s cheaper to rent it.

Nick is a top earner in the Market Garden, where rentboys fulfill their high-rolling clients’ every sexual fantasy. As a Dom and a sadist, he sets his own price and is experienced enough not to let any client get out of hand. He’s damn good at his job, and it’s easy money.

Or at least it used to be. But now he has a boyfriend. Spencer is a former client, a closeted corporate lawyer, and so beautifully submissive he’s perfect for Nick. He doesn’t even mind how Nick earns a living. He just wants to take care of Nick—something Nick isn’t quite sure how to handle.

In fact, Nick’s clearly off his game these days. Sure, he’s tired from his shift work and his studies, but mainly he’s bored by his clients and distracted by thoughts of Spencer—dangerous for everyone when he’s wielding a whip. Now Nick has to make a choice: give up his independence, or walk away from the only man he’s ever loved.

Review: What an emotional ride!

Nick and Spencer are finally getting into the relationship they hinted at in If It Flies, the previous installment in the series. However, unlike in that story there was so much more emotion, tension and uncertainty in this one. I loved it!

Nick is distracted on his job now that he has decided to be in a relationship with Spencer, something that shouldn’t happen to a Dom or to a rentboy while with a client. He is determined to keep at the relationship and make it work, but he is an independent man who needs the money he makes as a rentboy to make ends meet in order to keep afloat. Needless to say that he is conflicted — about his work, his feelings, his future.

This time around I got to see another side of Nick. He struggles, he withdraws, he opens up, he accepts. It was a lovely journey to see him through and I couldn’t have asked for a better story than the one Voinov and Witt provided. Especially, since I was complaining about my lack of connection to Nick after reading the previous installment. In If It Fornicates, not only did the authors bring Nick to life, they delved into his mind and brought about a whole set of emotions along with it that truly portrayed his struggle to come to grips with what he needed to do in order to be happy.

In this installment the authors did a great job in bringing Nick and Spencer’s connection front and center, they developed it and nurtured it throughout the story. I’m still a bit unsure if it could last, but at least their relationship matured and the happily-for-now ending was enough for me to see that the characters had moved forward and were taking the steps necessary to succeed.

Once again, Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt’s writing was exceptional. These authors complement each other very well and their contribution always leaves me wanting more. From the range in emotions to the sex scenes (especially that one sex scene at Nick’s apartment – Phew!!!), everything came together seamlessly to bring another wonderful addition to the Market Garden series.

These authors have not disappointed me yet. I look forward to the next installments in the series, Capture & Surrender. After his brief appearance in this story, I can’t wait for what’s in store for Frank, the owner of the Market Garden.

I received this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.

Scorpion (Memory of Scorpions #1) by Aleksandr Voinov

ScorpionRating: 5 stars

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (2nd edition, May 27th 2013)

Available at: Riptide

Synopsis: You learn your wisest lessons from your enemies. Assuming, of course, you survive the encounter.

Kendras is a casualty of war: injured, penniless, and quite possibly the last surviving member of the only family he’s ever known—the elite fighting force known as the Scorpions. When a steel-eyed stranger offers him medicine and shelter in exchange for submission and a secret task, Kendras has no choice but to accept. He is a Scorpion; he’ll do whatever it takes to survive.

But his true goal is to rebuild the Scorpions. Neither Steel’s possessive nature nor Kendras’s shattered foot can keep him from finding the last of his brothers… or the mysterious leader of the Scorpions, a man who held Kendras’s heart long before Steel tried to take it for himself. The goal is simple, the situation anything but. To rescue his leader and escape from Steel for good, Kendras must fight through a morass of politics and intrigue, where enemies are allies and even allies have hidden agendas.

Review: I’m not usually a reader of Fantasy, especially in the M/M genre, but come on, this is Aleksandr Voinov. If someone can bring about my change of heart it was him.

I won’t even attempt to summarize the story for you because I will fail miserably at it. There were too many details, so many great scenes and awesome characters for me to do it justice.

In typical Voinov fashion, the character development was exceptional. Complex, flawed characters that drew you into the story, not only because they were violent, harsh men but because underneath all that you could glimpse the honor, the loyalty and the fierceness of  their will. I enjoyed getting to know these men – warts and all. Kendras, especially. His determination to find his fellow Scorpions, the struggles he surpassed along the way, all this made for a formidable character. I do look forward to reading more from him.

The world building along was spectacular. This is what brought about my change of heart. Many authors have tried to lure me away from my little contemporary world, but only few have succeeded. Voinov is among them. With great attention to detail, Voinov took me in a journey through a conflict-torn world. Every gritty detail, every war torn inch of it was there for me to lose myself in it. I even found myself jumping to the little map at the beginning, as if I was truly in the midst of it all.

I loved it!

Scorpion is dark, riveting story about political conflict, alliances, betrayal and loyalty. Add in a cast of complex characters in a ruthless world and sex in many forms and you got yourself another winner from Aleksandr Voinoiv.

I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

Gold Digger (Special Forces spinoff) by Aleksandr Voinov

Gold Digger by Aleksandr VoinovRating: 5 stars

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (September 17, 2012)

Synopsis: Not all that glitters is gold.

Nikolai Krasnorada leads the life of a corporate nomad. Working for a gold explorations company, he’s never put down roots, and he likes it that way. Roots can be dangerous, as everyone from his “man-hating” sister to his manipulative mother to his war-traumatized father has proven.

But when his CEO sends him to Toronto to strike a deal with LeBeau Mining, Nikolai meets Henri LeBeau, crown prince to the resources conglomerate and inveterate flirt. Sparks fly immediately, despite the business deal that threatens to go sour and Nikolai’s own reluctance to give Henri false hope about him being Mr. Right. He’s barely come to terms with his bisexuality, and getting involved with Henri would get messy.

When LeBeau Mining launches a hostile takeover bid, Nikolai and Henri find themselves on opposite sides of the negotiating table. But fortunately—or perhaps unfortunately—for Nikolai, Henri’s not nearly as interested in his company as he is in his heart.

Review: Nikolai is a nomad, going from place to place wherever his work takes him never settling in one place for long. A determined young man who considers himself normal and introverted by nature, Nikolai, has a great heart and is well adjusted, especially if you consider the family he comes from. While in Toronto making his offer to LeBeau Mining’s owner he meets Henri LeBeau.

Henri pulls no punches when he sees something he wants. And he wants Nikolai Krasnorada and everything he can give him. A handsome rich man who’s had many lovers and lives his life to the fullest, LeBeau is instantly attracted to Nikolai. He offers to take him out for dinner while in Toronto, but dinner is not the only offer on the table.

And so it begins – the exploration of new found attraction for a man, the need, the passion, the conflicting emotions. This book had it all and then some. Although Voinov’s writing was everything I have come to expect from him, this story had a lighter quality to it than anything I have previously read from him. I have to say that I wouldn’t have it any other way because it suited the story and its characters seamlessly.

Aleksandr Voinov brings to the page an engaging story who’s main character is strong yet vulnerable and who possesses the perfect combination of passion, need and dominating personality to keep the reader enraptured in the story just to find out what he does next. From his conflicting emotions regarding his family and the turn of events after his encounter with Henri to his determination in establishing a bond with Vadim all through his analysis of his and Henri’s relationship, Nikolai was an exceptional characters to read.

Nikolai considered and questioned every aspect of his attraction to Henri and his hesitation was realistic and in character with who he was. I loved that he never wavered in his honesty to Henri, expressing his intentions and his doubts to Henri regardless of how it would make him look. But what I admired the most about him was his loyalty to his boss and to Vadim.

Vadim, Vadim, Vadim!

Now that was one character I enjoyed visiting. Color me enthralled, that man still does it for me at 60 years old. His quiet manner and his unquestionable acceptance of the man he considers his son only made me fall in love with him all over again. It was such a treat to get a glimpse of his present life. Thank you Aleks for providing the Vadim fix I needed!

Like my friend Lisa stated in her review, Gold Digger is “A very fine stand-alone as well as a must-read for established Special Forces fans”.

City Mouse (Country Mouse #2) by Amy Lane, Aleksandr Voinov

City Mouse (Country Mouse, #2)Rating: 5 stars

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (March 18, 2013)

Synopsis: A magical weekend, a breathless declaration, a happy ever after . . . Right?

Wrong.

When Malcolm Kavanagh took his first step toward emotional maturity by declaring his love to Owen Watson, that was just the first chapter in their story. Anyone who’s ever been in love knows that happy endings take a lot more work than that.

One problem: Malcolm has never been in love. He doesn’t know the rules of a relationship and isn’t confident enough to trust that his is real. He learns the ropes by sharing his life and his flat with Owen, but relationship boot camp proves a challenge. Everything is a struggle, from accepting Owen’s low-status job to putting his boyfriend above his personal trainer.

Luckily, Owen knows a little more about relationships, and labors patiently to survive the first six weeks of their life together. From the art galleries of Cambridge to the tawdry majesty of the Dominion theatre, Owen adapts to England while Malcolm adapts to the whole human race. Maybe, if Owen is patient enough and Malcolm learns to give, the two of them can make it past Relationship Armageddon to a real happy ending.

Review: Apparently I like my books with a touch of angst, a lot of smut and characters that get on my nerves but endear themselves to me regardless because I’ve been on a Aleksandr Voinov and Amy Lane kick recently if my ‘read’ shelf is anything to go by.

So here we are visiting the city slicker and the mellow Yank a week after Malcolm asked Owen to stay in London. Like any relationship everything was going fine during the honeymoon phase until Malcolm started reverting to his routine of late nights at the office. Add to that the fact that he had some issues with Owen’s job and financial stability and you are correct in assuming that everything is not as peachy keen as it looks.

In this follow-up book to Country Mouse we get to discover a different side to both Owen and Malcolm. Although it was clear that Malcolm was a stubborn man with issues it is in City Mouse that we truly get a sense of who he is and why he behaves as he does. On the surface he appears cold and unapproachable, but as I kept on reading I found him to be more like an insecure, confused child. He knew what he wanted but couldn’t believe it was in front of him for the taking. He knew he loved Owen, but he also knew that his behavior was insufferable and that Owen wouldn’t stand for it. Did he try to stop it? Er, nope.

For his part, Owen kept to his laid-back attitude accepting Malcolm as he was even if at times it rankled to khow that the man he loved behaved that way. He tried his best to keep the peace and let Malcolm adjust and learn how a relationship worked but in the end it became too much for him to let it slide and it all exploded in a confrontation that left both men confused and emotionally drained.

As with County Mouse, Voinov and Lane’s collaboration came together without a glitch. This time around there was less of the funny but more of the angst and emotions. From the honest, intimate moments to the explosive flare of the men’s temper through to the hurt each one encountered when confronted with the fact that maybe this relationship was bound to fail, Voinov and Lane’s writing was outstanding. The men’s emotions were clearly expressed on the page to make me connect to them even more than I had in the previous book and the dialogue shared between them was both enlightening as it was entertaining. It was through their interactions and inner thoughts I could understand where Owen and Malcolm were coming from.

Needless to say that their chemistry was explosive. With Voinov and Lane in charge, every time Owen and Malcolm came together (no pun intended) you could clearly see how much they wanted each other, but more than that, you could see how much they cared for one another. Although dominant and appearing in control Malcolm always managed to give into Owen, just as Owen always tried to make Malcolm yield to him on another level. It was such a treat to see them this way!

I thoroughly enjoyed this visit with Malcolm and Owen and would love to know how they fare as a couple now that they have gotten some of the most important issues dealt with. I wonder if there is more to come, because I know for a fact that Malcolm and Owen’s story will always be an interesting one. I guess time will tell.

I received this title from Riptide Publishing through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

Country Mouse (Country Mouse #1) by Amy Lane, Aleksandr Voinov

Country Mouse (Country Mouse, #1)Rating: 5 stars

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (April 23, 2012)

Available at: Amazon, B&N, Kobo

Synopsis: Owen may be a bit of a country mouse, but he’s loving his vacation in London. After a long day playing tourist, he’s on the hunt for some cheap beer and a good burger. Instead he finds a man hunting him, an arrogant prick with only one thing on the brain: the kind of meat that doesn’t come on a bun.

Eighty-hour weeks at a trading desk don’t leave Malcolm Kavanagh much time for meaningful relationships. Besides, in his world, everything’s a competition-even sex. When his newest one-night-sub fails to show, Malcolm sets his sights on the pretty young Yank on the bar stool beside him.

Owen’s all for an adventure with a native, but he’s not the pushover Malcolm thinks he is, and Malcolm’s not as shallow as he tries to be. They both soon learn that nothing’s too intimate to share with a stranger, and the strangest things happen when two people share the most important pieces of their hearts.

Review: I read this back in January and I can’t believe I never wrote a full review. But there are times when I am so overwhelmed by a book that I can’t narrow down what it was about the content that made it so enjoyable for me. Here’s my original review on GR and I thought that I should expand on that now that a follow up book is out.

I loved the story as a whole but it was those sweet moments between Malcolm and Owen that really got to me. Owen, an American visiting London, was adorable with an unexpected sexy side to him. I liked how he stood up to Malcolm and thoroughly enjoyed how he gave himself to him too. He was honest in and out of bed and it was his persistence in getting to the real Malcolm that made this story a funny, sweet read.

Then there was Malcolm. Geez, that guy had so many layers to him that I was surprised he knew who he was in the morning. He would go all Alpha Dom on one page and all melted bottom in the next. It was a treat to see the way he became frustrated by Owen’s laid back attitude and completely flustered when Owen was screwing him.

Malcolm and Owen’s chemistry was palpable and explosive every time they got together, regardless of who was topping. I loved each and every one of those times, not only because it made for a formidable hot read, but because it was a these times that I would come to see different sides to these characters.

Of course, it helped that this collaboration was between two great authors that when together bring the funny, the angsty and the sexy to the page beautifully and seamlessly. I loved Owen and Malcolm’s banter, their honest moments and their passionate moments too. Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov did an excellent job of bringing together the uptight British city slicker and the mellow Yank with a penchant for honesty in a believable way that made me cheer for them to find their happily ever after.

As I mentioned on my previous review Country Mouse has all the elements necessary to make it an awesome read for me –  humor, sweet and hot moments, great dialogue, awesome characters and that emotional edge I love so much.

All in all, a great story by wonderful authors.