Category Archives: Read 2012

New Cover for Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling #1) by Nalini Singh *Review and Giveaway*

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Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling #1)
by Nalini Singh

A Paranormal Romance
From Berkley Sensation
Released September 5th 2006

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Have you had the chance to discover and devour the Psy-Changeling world?

 

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”–the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion–and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities–or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…

Read an excerpt from Slave to Sensation HERE

 

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Review

4 stars

This was the book that introduced me to Nalini Singh and to one of my favorites PNR series of all times. According to Goodreads I read this on June 2012 and 3 years later I still remember how immersed I became in this series simply by picking up this book.

This is Lucas and Sasha story and what a doozy it was! There were rampant emotions, bickering and a whole lot of chemistry between these two. I remember enjoying Sascha’s struggles in coming to terms with her emotions. For a woman raised to not feel, having her feel all sorts of emotions, especially her overwhelming attraction to Lucas, sure made for a great treat. And Lucas wasn’t too far behind in his conflicted emotions either. A strong, hard-man he didn’t take it too well when his animal was drawn to his enemy. Like I said, it made for a fantastic read!

If you’re a fan of PNR I would highly recommend picking up this book. Believe me, every book is fantastic in its own right. With intriguing characters, captivating storylines and overwhelming passion throughout the Psy-Changeling series is one you don’t want to miss!

Hmmmm, I think a re-read is in order.

 

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Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1) by Heidi Belleau, Amelia C. Gormley

Giving an InchRating: 4 stars

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (April 15, 2013)

Synopsis: School is back in session.

History grad James Sheridan thinks his biggest problem in life is trying to find a suitable outfit for his upcoming Ph.D. candidacy exam. That is, until he accidentally texts a changing-room selfie meant for his fashionable sister to his ex, the domineering Professor Carson.

James and Carson haven’t seen each since James fled their power games two years ago. Back in his undergrad days, Carson was his Professor, and not just in the academic sense: a man of unusual tastes and extreme sexual demands, James had been happy to sate Carson’s savage appetites. Too happy, in fact. He never could trust himself not to let Carson push too far.

Now James is older and wiser, and sharing some seriously flirtatious vibes with a cute menswear rep. When Carson replies to James’s errant text, ready to pick up where they left off, James can’t help being drawn back into Carson’s control. It’s only when Carson suggests involving the salesman that James has to ask himself how far is too far, and whether he’s willing to go there with Carson again.

Review: James ended his relationship with Carson, a former professor of his, because he didn’t trust himself to set boundaries as to what lengths he would go to please the man. Although he recognizes that Carson helped him not only in getting his life under control but with his academic discipline as well, James is still afraid of how far he can be pushed. These struggles come back to him once he acknowledges Carson’s response to his text and engages in a text conversation with Carson.

Oh my, never I have read such HOT text messages!

I loved how Amelia Gormley and Heidi Belleau went about setting up this encounter. It really gave James the opportunity to inform the reader about his past with Carson and gave insight into why he was having doubts that caused him to hesitate when Carson made demands.

Even though James did participate and complied with most of Carson’s demands I was glad to see that he did set some boundaries and analyzed his responses before acting out Carson’s demands. This showed that although he held a great deal of respect towards Carson and owed him a lot for all he’d done for him, James had indeed matured and was not going into this blind.

I am not even going to talk about what went on in that changing room, that is something that should be experienced by the reader first-hand. I’ll just say that my shopping expeditions are seriously lacking!

Giving an Inch is a great first installment in The Professor’s Rule series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The concept behind the story was interesting and the mix of sexting, humor, sexy man-love and a domineering Professor helped the collaboration between these two authors to go off without a glitch. I can’t wait to read more.

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

Bungalow Nights (Beach House No. 9 #2) by Christie Ridgway

Bungalow NightsRating: 4 stars

Publisher: Harlequin HQN (February 26, 2013)

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Synopsis: Combat medic Vance Smith made a promise to a fallen officer: to treat the man’s young daughter to an idyllic vacation at Beach House No. 9. One month, some sun and surf, a “helmet list” of activities to check off and Vance will move on. But the “little girl” he’s expecting turns out to be a full-grown woman. With silky hair, big brown eyes and smelling sweetly of the cupcakes she makes for her mobile bakery, Layla Parker is irresistible. And Vance shouldn’t lay a finger on her. Honor-and one heck of a scarred heart-says so.

To Layla, Vance is a hero who was injured trying to save her father’s life. She intends to spend their month of lazy days and warm nights taking very good care of the gorgeous soldier-inside and out….

Review: Vance has just returned to the States after being injured in Afghanistan. He’s a man of his word and his promises have never been broken. But when he meets the ‘girl’ he promised to spend the month of July with at Crescent Cove, he doesn’t think he could keep his promise. Suddenly feeling like the out of control guy he left behind after joining the Army, Vance doesn’t think he can survive sharing a house with Layla.

An easy going woman who manages her own business, Layla is not the 10 year old girl Vance is expecting. She’s still trying to accept her father’s death and believes that by fulfilling her dad’s last wish she could find some closure. What she is not expecting, however, is to find herself sharing space with a handsome soldier who pushes all her buttons and makes her heart skip a beat.

This story was enjoyable from beginning to end, especially the main characters. I found Layla to be relatable. Her feelings of loneliness and her pain over her father’s death felt real to me and I immediately connected to her and wanted her to find the closure she was seeking. Of course I loved Vance! I so enjoyed his surprise upon meeting Layla, the way he struggled with his attraction to her and his conflicted feelings over his family situation. I fell for his loyalty and his tenderness within just a few pages of the book.

Christie Ridgway’s writing was entertaining and touching. I enjoyed how Vance’s problems with his family and his struggles were presented. It helped me understand his emotions and where he was coming from.  I enjoyed how Vance’s attraction to Layla conflicted him to the point that he avoided contact with her. It showed what a thoughtful and considerate person he was regardless if it was hard for him to keep away. But most of all I liked Vance and Layla’s easy manner with each other, even when both were fighting their attraction to each other. Vance and Layla’s connection was believable to me. I enjoyed their flirtatious banter, emotional dialogue and explosive chemistry. I loved it when they lost their temper, the times they bonded over Layla’s father and the ever present sexual tension between them.

It was also a treat getting to know the secondary characters. Weaved within Vance and Layla’s story I found a lovely side story about Vance’s cousin Baxton. I truly enjoyed the addition of this side story for it also revealed the history on how the Crescent Cove came to be. Once again, Ridgway did a great job of telling Baxton’s story in a way that it never detracted from Vance and Layla’s story.

A sweet and sexy romantic read with interesting characters, an engaging side story and emotions galore, Bungalow Nights, is the second book in the Beach House No. 9 series.

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

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Transit by Raev Gray, Aleksandr Voinov

TransitRating: 4 stars

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Synopsis: When a snow storm strands Javier Castillo in Italy at Christmas, it almost ruins his chance to win back a client his advertising agency desperately needs. The situation isn’t improved by the presence of his colleague, Andrew Young, a silver-tongued account director infamous for having slept with a client. Javier has a hard time respecting a man who would do anything for an account, but proximity may prove that Andrew is not quite the man Javier thought. They might have the opportunity to forge a successful business opportunity-or even a life together-if they don’t get cold feet.

Review: I liked that this story felt real, even if the declarations of love were given within days. I could easily overlook that since both characters expressed their doubts and hesitations from the start. I enjoyed the characters and their chemistry. They had real problems to deal with and their concerns over their professional future and relationship were valid.

Javier was bit harder to like, but in the end I could understand where he was coming from. I could understand how his mind worked, since I’ve dealt with Hispanic men all my life. Like Javier, they are very proud and come across as inaccessible. I was glad that he was mature enough to realize that he could explore his relationship with Andrew, even if he wasn’t sure about the business side of it. Andrew on the other hand was very open and accessible and my heart went out to him instantly. He had been through hell and back during his last relationship and I wanted him to find that happiness he so desired. I don’t necessarily think he found that with Javier in the span of time the story took place, but I think he did find a suitable candidate. He’ll just need to work a little bit harder is all.

All in all, a very good story with great writing, interesting characters and hot, hot, hot chemistry.

That’s a Wrap (Mine #3) by Liz Borino

That's a Wrap (Ben's Life, #3)Rating: 4.75 stars

Published: December 12th, 2012

Publisher: LazyDay Publishing

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance EBooks

Synopsis:

Love.
Trust.
Vulnerability.
Family.
That’s a Wrap

As the bright lights of Hollywood dim, futures, relationships, and identities are thrown into question. The once successful television show, Ben’s Life, is in big trouble. For Steve Michaels, the director, in a long-term Dom/sub relationship with Zack Greene, the lead actor, this means impending unemployment.

Through training Josh as their domestic slave, coupled with the care he received during recovery from a debilitating car accident, Steve opens himself up to role reversal in his relationship with Zack. The occasional release of control on Steve’s part, and Zack’s adeptness at taking it, grants them freedom and stability to meet challenges as a unit.

But when the life they had planned is put in jeopardy by one phone call, Steve and Zack will need to expand the safe haven they’ve created together to include one more. Priorities shift and a different light shines the way to new beginnings.

Review: Another winner for Liz Borino!

That’s a Wrap is the third book in the Mine Series. In this installment we find Steve and Zack even more committed to each other. In the ending of Cutaway I was left with a lot of questions, mainly how Josh was going to become a part of this relationship and how it was going to affect their partnership.

I thought Josh was a very confused guy. He truly didn’t know what he wanted. He just thought he did because that was what he had done in the past. I think he just needed someone to really steer him in the right direction and I think he received that with Steve and Zack. I won’t say I was disappointed to see him go, since I really could not connect to him, but I do think he made the right decision since what he chose what was best for him.

The writing was very good. It had a lot of the essential elements I look for in a book – humor, great dialog and an interesting storyline. Of course, the characters were amazing. I can’t seem to get enough of Steve or Zack. And the new characters that were introduced were very interesting too. I especially enjoyed the range in emotions Liz Borino brought to the page. All the characters displayed their emotions beautifully and that made it easier for me to connect fully with them.

I enjoyed how the characters developed through the story. I loved how the author managed to make these changes very believable, especially the way Zack become more assertive and Steve submitted to him. Not only was it hot, but very well written. It was believable to me because Steve had it in him from his past and also because in some ways I got the feeling that he needed to do it for himself, especially since the accident in the previous book. The anticipation leading up to it was killing me since Steve first talked to Zack about it and when it happened it was AWESOME! Especially in the end when…well, I’m not going to spoil it for you. Anyway, I think that the switch really fits their relationship, even more now that they have made a greater commitment to each other.

The only concept I was hesitant with was Sunni and her situation. I just wondered how it would all be played out. But I liked Sunni. She broke my heart and I think she came at the right time in Zack and Steve’s relationship. It helped that the topic was well researched and the details that were written were not overwhelming, but just enough for me to understand the situation.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly. I loved seeing how the relationship between Zack and Steve developed more, how Steve  relinquished some control and opened himself to new possibilities – even parenthood! With this one I loved their commitment to each other, Steve’s vulnerable side and the whole role reversal element that they added to their relationship. Ah, and the addition of Sunni made me interested in reading more about how they will manage having a family. Sunni was a complete surprise to me but welcomed nonetheless. With her presence I got to see another side of Steve and Zack, which I appreciated. And now with Drew, well I’m looking forward to it even more.

I would like to express my appreciation to Liz Borino for allowing me the pleasure of beta-reading this title and giving me the opportunity to further my experience in reading and reviewing. I truly did enjoy it!

Strictly Business (Courtland Chronicles #2) by Cat Grant

Strictly Business (Courtland Chronicles, #2)Rating:  3.25 stars

Published: January 1st, 2013 (2nd edition)

Publisher: Cat Grant Books

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks

Synopsis: Eric Courtland is hungry for revenge—at any cost—against the cold, unfeeling father who never loved him, and who drove his mother to an early grave. Tossed headfirst into the shark-tank world of big business, Eric soon learns it’s eat or be eaten, and has no choice but to throw in his lot with ruthless titan of industry Branford Crane.

Still reeling from his mother’s death—and the guilt of not being able to save her—Eric plunges into a dark spiral of self-destruction, rejecting his longtime partner Nick’s love and support in favor of the harsh tutelage Bran offers him, in and out of the bedroom.

But one night, when Bran finally pushes Eric beyond any reasonable limit, Eric realizes how far he’s fallen—and how desperately he needs Nick to help pull him back from the edge.

Review: Once again we find Eric struggling – with himself, his feelings and with life. I love Eric. He is such a tortured soul who has been through hell and back and bears the scars to prove it, but on this installment we get to see another side of him. He is broken and damaged to the point that he can’t see that happiness is staring him in the face. He broke my heart. His every emotion was brought to the page beautifully and try as I might I just could not hate him for his actions. Yes, I was disappointed with the way things went, but I could understand where he was coming from.

The writing was everything I have come to expect from Cat Grant. It was concise and to the point, with every event placed just right, emotionally charged and hot as hell. There were times when I wanted to shake some sense into Eric then there were times where I just wanted to shelter him from it all. There were elements in the story that I am not comfortable with, especially the cheating, but considering Eric’s struggles I decided to overlook it. It helped that Eric struggled with his actions. He was lost and he found some semblance of satisfaction in what he was doing until he realized for himself how wrong it had all gone. I appreciated his regret and his apology to Nick even though I think it was a bit out there on my reality scale, but this is fiction and I’m going with that. I still don’t think that he is fixed, but only time will tell how all this will play out.

I’m looking forward to the next installment even if the excerpt I read kind of freaked me out. I am committed to see this through to see how these two travel their journey, so I will be reading it regardless.

I would like to thank the author, Cat Grant, for giving me the opportunity to read and review this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

Compulsion by Clare London

CompulsionRating:  4.25 stars

Published: October 29, 2012

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Available at: Dreamspinner, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: The past always catches up with you. Max Newman should know—he’s been running from his ever since he dropped out of Uni and made a disastrous move to the seedier side of London. Now he’s returned to Brighton to lick his wounds. Though Max believes the club scene is better left behind him, one night he lets his friends drag him out dancing. And suddenly the simple life he’s tried to lead gets complicated.

At Compulsion, the Medina Group’s newest hotspot, Max meets Seve Nunez, a member of the Medina management and a man used to taking what he wants. The sexual chemistry between Max and Seve immediately leads to an intimate encounter in the backyard of the club—just the kind of dangerous behavior Max tried to leave behind. Despite that, he can’t help but crave more, and Seve seems just as eager.

But Max soon suspects that Seve may not be the scrupulous businessman he claims. Max has seen the Medina Group at work before, and what he saw got a good friend killed. He’s not sure what future he has with Seve, but he’ll have to decide whether to trust in Seve’s innocence or keep running. The wrong choice could land them both in mortal danger.

Review: Max is a mess. He’s been running from his past, feeling guilty about his friend’s death and keeps alienating himself from his friends. He works, he sleeps, he goes through the motions. His only feelings are guilt and disgust at himself. He doesn’t want to give into his impulses and needs as he did in the past, so he vows to leave this kind of life behind.

His friends don’t know the extent of Max’s suffering.  Jack and Louis have been Max’s friends since school and only want to make him feel better. They have had enough of him moping around and take him out to Compulsion to see Louis dance. There he opens himself a little to Jack, but finds that he can’t tell him the whole story. Saved by the start of Louis show, Max runs away to the bar to clear his mind before joining his friend and his whole world is turned on it’s axis.

Seve is the manager at Compulsion. Strikingly handsome and with an aura of authority, Seve knows what he wants and how to go about getting it. He is direct to a fault, sexy as sin and exudes lust in every breath or step he takes. He is everything Max desires and the very thing that Max has vowed to stay away from. He is raw and hard in all the right places, but not where it counts the most – in his heart.

What comes next is a set of sexy encounters where the lust runs rampant and where Max’s impulses are let loose dragging him deeper into the very world he has been running from.

The author, Clare London, brings to the page a story filled with lust, need and overwhelming turmoil, where Max questions his every move. Throughout the story the range of emotions jump from hesitation to determination, from lust to disgust, from despair to hope and back again to lust. Seve and Max’s chemistry in undeniable and their connection only grows deeper with every encounter. Yes, the sex was off-the-charts hot, but necessary. That’s how they connect, how they express themselves. Words are useless, but every moan, grunt and touch mean more to them, for if the truth were spoken this whole bubble of lust could be shattered and that in of itself would be unbearable. After a while, Max questions, prods and surrenders when Seve opens himself to him and together they make sense of the world they have been dragged in.

The writing was excellent, even if to me the beginning of the story dragged a bit. I enjoyed the interactions of the characters and the uncertainty of their situation. I especially liked that there were no immediate declarations of love. They lusted after each other and fed their desires throughout the story and in the end their love came naturally and it was everything I expected. The secondary characters all added to the story in their own right and every event brought to the page added nicely to my enjoyment of the story. I wanted to keep on reading and when it ended I still wanted to know more.

I truly did enjoy this book. From the characters to the plot, everything came together seamlessly to make an interesting, gratifying read. I will be looking for more from this author from now on. My only hope would be to get to read more about these characters.

I received this book from Manic Readers and would like to thank them and Dreamspinner Press for granting me the opportunity to read and review this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

Rent by Rick R. Reed

RentRating:  3 stars

Published: September 28th 2012

Publisher: MLR Press

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks

Synopsis: On the worst day of his life, Wren Gallagher loses his wallet, his job, and his security. Can a stranger met in a bar deliver on his promises of wealth and meeting Mr. Right?

Sex can be a dangerous business. So can love….

On the worst day of his life, Wren Gallagher wants oblivion when he steps into Tricks for a drink. He’s lost not only his job, but his wallet as well. When a mysterious stranger steps up to pay his tab, he also offers Wren the key to fulfilling his dreams of prosperity and true love. But appearances are not always what they seem….

His savior is the owner of the escort agency, A Louer—and he wants the young and handsome Wren to work for him. So down on his luck, Wren figures—why not? He can use the money. When he joins, though, he hadn’t counted on meeting Rufus, another escort with whom he quickly falls hopelessly in love.

But their love story will have to overcome the obstacles of not only trading love for money, but A Louer’s dark—and deadly—secrets.

Review: Wren is having a hell of a week and suddenly finds himself unemployed, homeless and with facing a decision to become an escort in order to survive. After making his decision he finds himself immediately thrust in a world of dark secrets where his only refuge is meeting another fellow escort. Rufus is a handsome man who has had success as an escort and his job is to show Wren the ropes of the business he has joined. Wren is immediately attracted to Rufus and his candid ways and he can’t help from wanting to get to know him better and having a relationship with him. But can these two wounded souls find happiness within the dark world of A Louer or will they connection be severed by something much more serious?

The writing was good, even if it dragged in places. I liked that it kept me guessing and intrigued about what the big secret was behind what was happening. I enjoyed the characters that the author, Rick R. Redd, brought to the page. They were real and complex, each with a rough past that has shaped them into who they are. They have fears and needs and the common desire to connect to that someone special they can depend on.  I enjoyed the characters interactions and especially enjoyed the glimpse I got into Rufus past. In a way, I felt more connected to him that Wren, especially after learning about his past because then I could easily see where he was coming from. And although it is Wren’s voice that tells the story, I did not connect to him as easily. To me he came across as immature, not only because he made his decision without thinking it through, but also because he became so easily infatuated with Rufus. All this made me question his judgment every step of the way.

All that aside, I can say with certainty that I enjoyed this story even if I it wasn’t what I was originally expecting. I look forward to reading more from this author.

I received this book through Manic Readers and would like to thank them and MLR Press for the opportunity to read and review this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

Whipster (Michael’s House) by Dusk Peterson

Whipster (Michael's House)Rating:  4 stars

Publisher: Love in Dark Settings Press

Available at: Smashwords, Amazon

Synopsis: “He could not recognize most of the items before him, which he instinctively knew was a bad sign.”

Michael is an ex-prostitute, which means that nobody in polite society wants anything to do with him. He believes that the only way to help other male prostitutes is to make their working conditions bearable. His friend Janus is an upper-class gentleman who believes that his duty to the gods requires him to fight against sexual immorality. Now Michael wants Janus to help him run a house of prostitution.

This novel is the first volume in Michael’s House, a historical fantasy series set in a Progressive Era slum. Male friendship and gay love intertwine in this multicultural series based on life in America during the Edwardian Era, a time when society seemed as stable as ever, though it was about to be turned topsy-turvy.

Review: The synopsis does a great job of telling you what the story is about, so I won’t attempt a summary but merely focus on the elements I enjoyed the most.

The Setting

The author, Dusk Peterson, does a wonderful job in creating a unique world set during Edwardian times. From the buildings to the wardrobe and the attitude of the people, every detail is described in a way that drew me into the story and made the story come to life.

The Characters

 “The best I can do is see that the boys who are bedded are treated with as much care and respect as is possible under the circumstances.”

Michael was a great character to read. An ex-prostitute who manages to survive to be granted his freedom, he accepts his fate and tries to makes the most of it at the time. He understands the hardships these boys have to endure on the street and other whorehouses and he is determined to help keep them safe, so he turns to his friend Janus for support.

 “You are the other part of me. You are my guide, my conscience.”

Janus has known Michael since they were children. They develop a unique relationship of acceptance and loyalty at a time when a friendship between a prostitute and an upper-class citizen is not the norm. Janus understands his friend’s situation and his desire to help with the boys, but he does not agree that establishing a whorehouse to shelter the prostitutes on the street is the way to go about it.

 “Maybe so,” said the practical whoremaster, “but until you can show me a world where jaded ex-whores live happily in orphanages and boy-drawn men avoid their beds, I’ll stick with my ground-level plan.”

The boys played an intricate part in the story and each one was intriguing in their own right.

Wyll –the first boy to be hired at Michael’s House, he carried himself with confidence but was inexperienced. His first ‘training’ session caused Janus to question his support in this endeavor.

Lann – on his own since he was eleven, he has been living on the streets and working the trade for food. He came to Michael’s House after listening to two prostitutes talk about the new whoremaster in town.

Hasan – in love with Michael since his days at Outram’s whorehouse where they were prostitutes together, he decides to spend his last years as a prostitute at Michael’s House. It is his relationship with Michael and his feelings for him, that help Michael see how closed off he has become.

“We’ll be hiring the finest craftsfolk in the city, giving them hours of training to perfect their much-demanded skills and allow them to perform their tasks to the peak of their mastery – and the peak of the satisfaction of those who buy our goods.”

The Story

Brimming with character interactions, emotion and introspective character narrations, the concept behind the story was brought to the page in an engaging and understanding way. The topic of child prostitution is not an easy one to bring to the page especially one about an ex-child prostitute who opens a male whorehouse, but the way that the author presented Michael’s past and his intentions made it easier for me to understand and accept the content.

Although classified as an M/M Romance, for me this is more of a Historical Fantasy read than a Romance. Yes, there is the love between the characters and the BDSM services provided by the boys of the whorehouse, but since this is all done ‘off-screen’ for me the story revolved more on world setting and character relations.

The emotions that were brought to the page were varied and intense. I could see how conflicted Janus was between his loyalty to his friend and his morals. He cared deeply about Michael, but he also wanted Michael and the boys to leave the world of prostitution behind. And although Michael was so closed off emotionally, I could clearly see where he was coming from. I felt for him deeply, especially after learning what he went through as a child under his whoremaster’s hand.

 “I want to go back to what I really am. I want to find the light at the heart of the darkness.”

I loved to see how these characters developed throughout the story, especially Michael. He discovered that he was missing something within himself and that it affected his ability to express and feel emotions. But instead of just brushing it away as another loss, he was determined to learn how to do it again. He took the steps necessary and asked for help and for Michael to find the strength within him to start getting over that after so many years is something that I have to admire him for.

By no means is this a happily ever after story, but it still did not distract from my enjoyment of this story. These characters still have a heavy road to travel, but I believe that they have changed their attitude accordingly and will make it through this and more.

I enjoyed this story from beginning to end and I was left needing to read more about this journey Michael, Janus and the boys have embarked on.

I would like to thank Dusk Peterson for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book in exchange of my honest opinion.

__________________________________________________________

Enjoy the following excerpt from Whipster.

Michael was kneeling now on the portion of the floor that had been 
cleaned, examining the contents of his package in such a way that Janus 
could not see the objects. Janus forced himself to ask, "What is that?"

Michael said, without looking up, "Necessary expenditures. Expensive 
ones, alas, but I can't afford to acquire shoddy equipment."

"Let me see." Janus knelt down beside him and pulled the cloth back.

He could not recognize most of the items before him, which he 
instinctively knew was a bad sign. He finally let his hand fall on an 
item he recognized – a hunting crop – and held it up toward the light. 
It was stiff, in the manner of whips used by carriage-drivers; the 
leather upon it was soft.

Michael took the crop from his hand, rose to his feet, and swished the 
whip through the air for a moment before bringing it down, hard and 
accurate, upon a cockroach crawling up the wall. The crushed victim fell 
lifeless from the wall. Satisfied, Michael sat down cross-legged and 
began to clean the remains of the insect off the crop with the cloth.

Looking over at him, Janus said, "You almost make me believe the story 
about you."

"Which story?"

"The famous one."

"Oh, that one. Yes, it's true." There was no change in Michael's 
expression. He continued to wipe the crop clean, like a craftsman 
polishing his work.

Janus felt his stomach tighten. Once, early in their acquaintance, he 
had asked Michael tentatively what his work was like. Michael had 
responded in a flat voice, "I'm the one who controls what happens," and 
had left the matter at that, much to Janus's relief.

It was better not to know; Janus had instinctively realized that. Why 
was he committing such folly as to question Michael now? Yet even as he 
thought this, he heard himself say, "I don't understand how you could do 
that. To tie someone up . . . to hurt him . . ."

"They liked it."

Janus heard the change to plural and winced. "How can you be sure of 
that? Just because their bodies reacted . . ."

Michael sighed, placing the crop back with the other equipment. "Janus, 
a whore has a very great advantage over any other person in the world. 
Let us say you're a married man and you ask your wife whether she 
enjoyed her time in bed with you. If she says yes, you have no way of 
knowing whether she is telling the truth."

"So how does a prostitute know what the truth is?" Janus asked in a 
tight voice.

"By a simple test. He waits to see whether the man he has just beaten 
comes back and pays money to be beaten again." Michael rose to his feet 
and gestured to Janus, saying, "The furniture was delivered while you 
were in the servants' wing, clearing the kitchen. Come see what it looks 
like."

Janus could not help but notice that Michael had picked up the crop 
again, seemingly without conscious thought.

__________________________________________________________

About Dusk Peterson

Honored thrice in the Rainbow Awards, Dusk Peterson writes fantasy, 
historical fantasy, and science fiction. Suspense plays an important 
role in many of the tales; the conflict in those tales is both external 
and internal. Peterson's stories are often placed in dark settings, such 
as prisons or wartime locations. The mood of the stories, however, is 
not one of unrelieved gloominess: friendship, heterosexual romance, gay 
love, and faithful service are recurring themes.

Website: http://duskpeterson.com

For more buying options visit: http://duskpeterson.com/michaelshouse/#whipster

Love, Hypothetically (Theta Alpha Gamma #2) by Anne Tenino

Love, HypotheticallyRating: 3.5 stars

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Available at: Riptide, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Paul’s been called many things-graduate student, humanities tutor, jock-hater, even broke-but “forgiving” isn’t one of them. When the new women’s softball coach at Calapooya College specifically requests Paul to tutor his athletes, Paul’s forced to put aside his strict “no athletes” policy for the sake of his paycheck.

Enter Trevor Gardiner, former Major League Baseball player and Paul’s high school boyfriend. Yeah, that one-the guy who sacrificed Paul for the safety of his closet and his future career. But Trevor’s come out and retired from baseball, and now he’s looking for forgiveness and a second chance. There’s no earthly reason Paul should give him one, but he keeps letting the man state his case. And touch him. And take him sailing.

The waters are far from smooth, though, and Paul says awful things to Trevor he isn’t sure he means. Now Paul has to decide: apologize and forgive Trevor for everything, or chalk it up as revenge and move on.

This title is part of the Theta Alpha Gamma universe.

Review: Paul was Sebastian’s not-so-nice roommate in Frat Boy and Toppy. He has been hurt in love and to say that he doesn’t do relationships or doesn’t like jocks in an understatement. His experience with both has left much to be desired, so he avoids them like the plague. Then in comes Trevor, the new softball coach. Trevor happens to be Paul’s high school boyfriend and the guy who broke his heart. He has come back to try a relationship with Paul again, but his apologies and amends are useless. Or are they?

I liked Trevor, I really did. It takes a great man to admit that he was wrong and to do it repeatedly and in an honest way is something to be admired. On the one hand, I was cheering him on and on the other I wanted him to grovel a little more. By the time they went sailing I was a goner. I understood where each man was coming from, but I could have smacked Paul for his stubbornness regardless.

The writing was very good even if the story felt rushed to me, which is the only reason why I stopped at 3.5 stars. The story was filled with all kinds of emotions along with a lot of chemistry and Paul’s neurosis. Although I did find Paul to be somewhat funny, at times he came across as just hurtful, which I attributed as a defense mechanism learned from his horrible high school experience. I was glad to see that after all was said and done, he recognized that he did wrong by Trevor and that he tried to better himself in that regard. I enjoyed their chemistry, especially Trevor’s reactions to Paul’s touch. He was such a big guy and he really let go with Paul when they were together and I enjoyed it throughly.

In this installment we don’t get a lot of secondary characters, but the ones that did make an appearance were great and added to the story. Once again, I enjoyed visiting Sebastian and Brad as well as Toby, the other roommate. He really did catch my attention this time and I would love to read his story.

This was a good follow-up and a great addition to the series.

I received this book through NetGalley and would like to thank them and Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this title in exchange of my honest opinion.