Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mini Reviews: M/M Romance Reading Challenge Part Two

Continuing with the M/M Reading Challenge, this week I'm sharing my impressions of three books I was able to finish. My list includes 20 books within 14 different categories. I have completed 6 to date. I've never read Barbara Sheridan's work, so when I heard she was coming out with a new release, I jumped on it and chose Beautiful C*cksucker - Little Tryst as one of two books under the New Releases Category. T. A. Chase is one of those authors that I've been meaning to read, kept hearing good things about, but for some reason never got to. Here is my opportunity, right? I placed Bound by Love under the I Can't Believe I Never Read this Author Category (yes, I made it up); and Animal Attractions 2 is edited by one of my favorite authors Vincent Diamond, a new release, and I just had to read it -- as my first and only choice, it went under the Anthology Category.

Beautiful C*csucker - Little Tryst by Barbara Sheridan

Set in 1987, New York City, this is a well constructed short story involving two detectives from different cultures whose short meeting impacts both their lives. Ray Watts is a New York City detective whose assignment is to chauffeur a visiting foreign Japanese detective around New York City for an afternoon, and is surprised when he meets a beautiful and sexy female detective that sets his pants on fire. Miki Nabeshima, with a completed assignment and some time for leisure, is more interested in getting to know Ray than the City. An invitation for an evening out on the town reveals to Ray that Miki is a he, not a she. Their meeting sets up the stage and Sheridan takes us on a ride from an exclusive BDSM club to the bedroom. An erotic tale of self-discovery.

Barbara Sheridan writes both excellent insight into the characters and an well-rounded plot in this short story. As readers, Sheridan lets us take a good look at these two men, and we get an excellent idea as to what makes them tick. Although there is not an HEA -- after all this IS a tryst -- we do hope that at some point Ms. Sheridan decides to let us share another one of Miki and Ray's encounters.

M/M Contemporary Erotica Short Story - Grade: A-
Little Tryst can be found at Nobel Romance

Bound by Love by T.A. Chase

T.A. Chase touches on two difficult subjects in this book, PT SD and sibling rivalry. Tyler Newsome is coming home to the Lazy N Ranch, tired of the rodeo, he wants to start his own life and stop feeling as if he is an extension of his twin brother JT. He's had a crush on Ren since forever and is looking forward to seeing him again. Tyler is portrayed as a man who has always been responsible for his family, but most of all his brother JT, who is a self-centered, competitive type of sibling and who tends to project his own inadequacies on to Tyler. Tyler is trying to break away from the hold his twin has on him.

Ren Alston and his two brothers own a successful horse ranch in Montana where they specialize in raising dun and grullo Quarter Horses. He and his two brothers are veterans who all suffer from either PT SD or its after-effects. Ren has dealt with the worst part of it, but still has some residual left over symptoms. T. A. Chase integrated this part of the story line with the romance beautifully and realistically. PT SD is a serious subject and he treated it as such, and although he didn't go too deeply into it, I would say with excellent results. Ren was always attracted to Tyler, but with all his responsibilities and the baggage, he was not sure a relationship was possible. Now that Tyler is coming home without JT, Ren sees the perfect opportunity and hopes that he'll get a chance at love.

This was a beautiful story of two men who despite their short comings, inadequacies and in some instances being short changed by life, bloom and flourish together. I loved seeing Tyler grow and become self-assured and self-reliant, and Ren more than deserved to get his one "true" love. With a bit of control and submission and plenty of riding, T. A. Chase gives us more than just a cowboy tale.

M/M Contemporary Romance - Grade: A
Bound by Love can be found at My Bookstore and More

Animal Attractions 2, Anthology edited by Vincent Diamond

Edited by Vincent Diamond, this anthology has one running theme throughout, you guessed it, animals -- all kinds of animals -- who make a contribution to each love story in this small Romance collection. Elusive Blue by Kelly Kiernan - A story of a small town sheriff whose life is that of a solitary, lonely man who meets his match through a blue tiger. Written with a 1950's "feel" this is a romantic story about both intolerance and acceptance. The Case of the Missing Boa by Aaron Michaels, is a "who-done-it" with a sense of humor, the search for the "perfect man" and how he can be found in the most unlikely of places and under the most unexpected of circumstances. Driven by Destiny by Jane Davitt is set in 1930's Hollywood. A black panther, a smooth manager and a hot bodyguard make up this story. Davitt gives us a hot story with a touch of control and submission.

All the stories in this anthology were well written and worth reading -- I certainly enjoyed every single one of them -- but as in most anthologies, we usually walk away with a favorite or two, here are some of mine. Slow and Steady by CB Potts, a beautifully written story set in the Brazilian amazon, features a scientist on assignment with his companions, a cameraman, the narrator and their guide and white, glowing snails. A story about one man's patience and how it pays off. I swear I could smell the jungle and feel the humidity, the descriptions were so descriptive they sucked me right in.

Rodeo Mafia by Julia Talbot, introduces us to an animal rights activist and photojournalist who decides to take on cattle ranchers and the Rodeo by using his photography to prove how animals are being abused at both places. The give and take in this piece was wonderful. Talbot showcased how different points of view can be appreciated and understood when individuals truly listen to each other. A sexy story.

Hiding in Snow by Sean Michael features a photographer and a scientist, who while in the mountains in Uzbekistan to document the plight of snow leopards, are the victims of an avalanche. Showcasing adventure and survival, our men get to know each other under dire circumstances and forge a bond that neither expected, but both ultimately desire. Sean Michael gives us with the perfect ending to this beautifully edited Romance collection.

M/M Romance Anthology - Grade: B+
Animal Attractions 2 can be found at Torquere

Part of Vincent Diamond's editor's proceeds are being donated to animal charities. For this book the charities are Florida Draft Horse Rescue and Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue, where they work hard to rescue, rehab, retire and hopefully adopt members of these breeds.

6 comments:

  1. Nice reviews! I'm big fan of TA Chase and Barbara Sheridan. You should check out also some yaoi-themed books. Loose Id has some I really enjoy like the Heaven Sent series by Jet Mykles and also Anne Cain's books.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Delia. I'm definitely reading more TA Chase. I have the first of the Heaven Sent series and Katrina Strauss on my TBR pile to try yaoi, I've heard so much about them. I'll check out Anne Cain. Thanks for the recommendations. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hils Thanks for the wonderful reviews. I can't wait to read more of them. Nor to hear what you think about Johnny, Tyler and the men of Heaven Scent.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Mountie! I've read some of Jet's work, but not this series. Looking forward to it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great reviews!

    I love Ta's books and really enjoyed Bound by Love. The other two are in my to read list waiting for their turn.

    Lily

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, Lily! *waving* Thank you. I hope you enjoy Little Tryst and Animal Attraction 2. I'm definitely hitting T.A. Chase's backlist and waiting for new releases. This was a great one to start with, I think. :)

    ReplyDelete