Spotlight: Loser Takes All by Kora Knight

Loser Takes All Part 1Title & Author: Loser Takes All by Kora Knight
Series: Up-Ending Tad: A Journey of Erotic Discovery #1
Release Date: September 5, 2014

Publisher: Self-published
Length: 63 pages

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):

Tad’s weekend started out like any other; hitting a college frat party with a handful of buddies. But just as the evening hits its peak, things get up-ended fast. Ditched by his drunken, trolling friends, Tad winds up getting hustled by three jocks playing poker. Now he’s forced to pay his dues in the most outlandish of ways; accepting a couple broken bones or spending an hour with his victors’ favorite flogger, Scott. But the guy’s tantalizing torture quickly proves to be the least of Tad’s worries… and the kickoff to a night of raw, shocking lust.

Experience the graphic, minute-by-minute account of that hour spent at the hands of Tad’s insatiable tormentor. Addicting chemistry lights the stage as Scott ignites Tad’s reluctant desires into a frenzy of forbidden need.

My Thoughts:

“You’re a fucking perv.”

Scott laughed. “You have no idea. But don’t worry. I’m a fun perv. You’ll like what I do to you.”

Boy, did I ever!

Okay, so the novella’s premise is a little ludicrous – I’ll give you that – but I’m going to overlook that fact (and you should too!), because this book was HOT. Like, have your honey or your favourite battery-operated boyfriend on standby levels of hot. 😉

I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on Volume 2, which is set to be released October 8, 2014.

My Rating:

1 Smooch3 SmoochHalf

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About the Author:

Kora Knight is a woman of mystery. No, really. A new author, Kora is too busy writing sexy morsels of porny perfection to write an “About the Author” blurb for social media or her books, so I’ve got nothin’. But if you want to connect with her (read: gush about all the dirty things her book has you fantasizing about happening to Grey Shirt Guy), check out the links below:

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8529860.Kora_Knight 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authorkoraknight/timeline

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Review: Awakenings by Jayson James

AwakeningsTitle & Author: Awakenings by Jayson James
Series: N/A
Release Date: June 2, 2014
Publisher: Self-published
Word Count: 17, 068

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):
This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s FREE “Love’s Landscapes” event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

Dear Author,

I’d always considered myself sort of asexual up until now. In high school no one interested me and I was too busy with schoolwork to date anyway. I figured I didn’t have a big sex drive or I just hadn’t met the right girl. However, the more time I spend with my roommate, Ben, the more I’m reconsidering everything.

The more he walks around half dressed the more I keep noticing him. Even if I am attracted to him, which I’m not sure that I am, I don’t think he would be into me. He seems like the type of guy that girls flock to. He couldn’t be interested in me, could he?

Requests: Clearly I’m angling for a gay-for-you here, folks! It can be a double or single GFY, lots of sexual tension (please!), slow build romance, lots of heat. I would rather no BDSM but some light stuff wouldn’t bother me.

My Thoughts:

Firstly, I want to thank the author for taking time out of his busy life to participate in the Love’s Landscapes event. Without people like you willing to give your time and creativity freely, asking for nothing in return but feedback from your readers, the M/M reading community wouldn’t have this wonderful event each year. So THANK YOU!

My appreciation for the author’s efforts aside, however, this story just did not work for me. I love a college-aged GFY as much as the next girl, and I found the idea behind a character who self-identifies as asexual finally experiencing a sexual awakening for that one special person (a sexy man, of course!) intriguing. Unfortunately, all of that was laid out in the prompt and it was the overall execution of the story that I found lacking.

While both likable enough, I didn’t find that either Solo or Ben drew me in and demanded that I become invested in them or their relationship. There just weren’t enough deeply emotional and angsty or sweet and gooey moments between the characters to build that sense of connection between them and me, and I found the constant stripteases awkward and repetitive. So, when the story ended with one lackluster kiss and a HFN, I just kinda *shrugged* and moved on.

I think my biggest difficulty with the story was that the narration and the dialogue seemed overly formal for a story about two college guys in their early twenties. It was also the exact same voice for both characters, so you wouldn’t have been able to distinguish which man was talking at any given moment without the “Ben said” or “Solo said” bits. The lack of contractions and overly concise use of language made the story feel stiff and stilted – like the story had been edited within an inch of its life. Not good.

On the upside, I believe the author’s still relatively new to the publishing world and this is a career with a pretty steep learning curve; he may find a more relaxed, natural rhythm to his writing with time and experience (let’s hope).

My Rating:

1 Smooch

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Review: Starfish and Coffee by Kele Moon

Starfish and CoffeeTitleStarfish and Coffee
Author: Kele Moon
Release Date: February 28, 2013
Pages: 302
Read: January 2-4, 2014

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):

On the island where they first met two lovers from opposite sides of the tracks are reunited. Now jaded and broken, Alex and Matt still can’t deny their sizzling connection or the memories of one perfect, uninhibited year together.

At twenty-two, Matt Tarrington is rich, good-looking and destined to be powerful, but behind that confident exterior lurks a man who resents the life his family thrust upon him. Desperate for an escape, Matt heads to Mirabella Island off the coast of Florida for a year of relaxation and some wild nights with vacationing party-girls.

Matt never expected to find real passion in the arms of Alex Hunter, a handsome, laid-back local.

Alex is gay, but closeted. Matt should be completely off limits, but Alex finds the deeply in denial rich boy too tempting to ignore. Especially when a bet has them working together, fighting the heat in the rundown, beachside cafe where Alex sweats for every dollar.

Their love felt inevitable until youth left them vulnerable to hatred and greed. Now after six years of hating the lies they live, Alex and Matt will have to risk it all for the second chance they both desperately need.

My Thoughts:

Ohhh. I have my first very favorite for the year 2014.

A new favorite for all-time.

This, for me, was pure magic. I loved every word, every page. I was enraptured by Alex and Matt’s story. By the end of page three (according to my phone), my heart had broke into a million pieces. I got a little sniffly, a little teary eyed, and I was already demanding that this Alex and this ‘Matty’ have their happy ending; I wouldn’t accept anything less.

I honestly can’t explain why this story affected me as profoundly as it did or what it was about it that made me love it so hard. Something, whatever it was, just clicked.

While I had wanted to write a rational and thoughtful review that would clearly express just how much I loved this book, it’s been three days since I completed Starfish and Coffee and I know that such a review will not happen. What will happen is me fangirling. (To be fair, I did warn you that this would happen.)

And I’m going to fangirl the hardest way I know how . . . also known as Star Trek style, so heads up, I’m about to get really geeky here.

This is what the prologue did to me:

This is how I felt when Alex and Matt see each other after six years:

Oooh, I’m gonna like you two . . .

This is how I felt when I realized that this book had a GFY vibe (also known as my crack):

Mmmm, yes, please. Carry on.

This is how I felt every time Alex and Matt were heading toward kissing, having sex, fucking, or making love–whatever you want to call it:

Please . . . ?

And this was me because of the last couple of chapters:

And, finally, this is what the epilogue did to me:

Awwww . . .

I really do wish I could put all the feels that I had because of this book into words, but I can’t. All I can say is that I wanted to turn into a puddle of mush every time Matt called Alex “Lex” or “Lexie” or Alex called Matt “Matty”. I sighed dreamily as I watched two men who are so far a part in likes become friends, then friends who had really hot sex, and finally into friends who had fallen in love with the other and wanted to be together (and had really hot sex).

seethed when Matt’s mother does what she does, which makes Alex become afraid, and when Matt just leaves. I understood why Alex became afraid, and I understood why Matty left, and I knew that, in some ways, this separation had to happen, but damn it! That doesn’t mean I wanted it to or that I accepted it.

As I stated previously, I don’t know what it was exactly about Starfish and Coffee that made me fall in love with it as completely as I did (Catherine happened to be reading it at the same time I was and while she liked it, she didn’t love it to the level that I do, so there you are). I just know that it gave me this sense of calm while I was reading it (except when it pissed me off those couple of times). It’s like it cleansed my soul for the new year, getting me ready for all the shit that could happen; it gave me a safe haven for a couple of days that, in the long run, will surpass the number of days it took me to read it. And I’m thankful for that.

Now you should give it a chance. Maybe it might offer you the same calm it offered me. You never know.

Quotable Quotes:

Holly thinks I should tell you I love you,” Alex whispered once he caught his breath. “At a time when it actually counts.”
Matt’s chest tightened, and he had to clear this throat. “Now would probably count.”
Alex reached up and brushed at Matt’s wet hair; then he pushed up and whispered into his ear. “I love you, Matty.”

My Rating:

1 Smooch1 Smooch1 Smooch1 Smooch1 Smooch

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Review: Superhero by Eli Easton

SuperheroTitle: Superhero
AuthorEli Easton
Release Date: July 25, 2013
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 136
Read: January 1, 2013

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):

It’s not easy for a young gay artist like Jordan Carson to grow up in Jefferson, Wisconsin, where all anyone seems to care about in middle school and high school are the sports teams. But Jordan was lucky. He met Owen Nelson in the second grade, and they’ve been BFFs ever since. Owen is a big, beautiful blond and their school’s champion wrestler. No one messes with Owen, or with anyone close to him, and he bucks popular opinion by keeping Jordan as his wingman even after Jordan comes out at school.

Their friendship survives, but Jordan’s worst enemy may be himself: he can’t seem to help the fact that he is head-over-heels in love with a hopeless case—his straight friend, Owen. Owen won’t let anything take Jordan’s friendship away, but he never counted on Jordan running off to find a life of his own. Owen will have to face the nature of their relationship if he’s to win Jordan back.

My Thoughts:

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my first GFY of the year! Look what it did to me:

This is my second book by Eli Easton, the first being Blame It On the Mistletoe—*sighs* Fielding—, and I’m pretty sure that I have a new auto-buy author because this was just wonderful. Jordan and Owen were the perfect couple to welcome me into the New Year. Their friendship made me smile, and awww, and just feel all warm inside (and right now, with it being as cold as it is where I am, I welcome all the warmth I can get be it from hot chocolate, extremely soft blankets, or awww inducing GFY reads).

Superhero is one of those books that has been on my TBR for so long that I’m kind of ashamed of the fact now that I’ve read it. As a lover of many genres, my very favorite are contemporaries, or, as I learned in elementary school, realistic fiction, and this guys—this book right here, these two young men—are the definition of real. Easton has a gift of weaving stories and characters that are so real they feel as though they were happening to people I knew and cared about because you can’t read Superhero and not, in the very least, end up caring for Jordan and Owen. It’s just not possible.

Told from both Jordan and Owen’s perspective you get to see their friendship grow from the very beginning when they meet in the second grade and Owen sits next to Jordan. Even at the tender age of seven, Jordan knows that Owen is something special. He’s different. By the looks of him, he could be the kind of guy that picks on you, but Jordan knows that with Owen that isn’t the case. He wants Owen to be his friend, he needs Owen to be his friend, and so, without realizing it due to his age, he sets off on his first seduction. How? With toy cars. And he succeeds.

And so it begins.

Owen and Jordan have the kind of friendship that everyone needs in their life. They’re each other’s everything. Owen loves two things in his life: His Jordy and wrestling. Jordan loves two things in life: His Owen and art. Everything is perfect . . . until Jordan realizes something . . . he’s in love with his best friend.

Owen, though he loves Jordan, doesn’t love Jordan. He’s straight . . . right? Right. Kind of.

I know this might not be some people’s cup of tea because of the fact that it is a YA/NA (young adult/new adult) read, but that shouldn’t deter you from picking up this book and reading it right now. One, because everyone should become introduced to Owen and Jordan, and two, because there are a couple of scenes in Superhero that are decidedly not young-adult (which is the G-rated version of me telling you that those scenes were hot as fuck).

The only complaints that I have with the story is that one, it is much too short and I wanted more Owen and Jordan sexy time, and two, the ending felt just a little too abrupt with me. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it’s because the ending isn’t shared with Owen and Jordan but Jordan and Owen’s mother. I loved what she was saying to him, but I would have loved it even more if Owen had just walked into the room, kissed Jordan on the cheek or something, and just smiled at him. I don’t know. It was a nice ending, just not what I wanted.

In any case, go do yourself a favor and read this gem because it is so worth it.

Quotable Quotes:

“I noticed some of the wrestlers and football players eyeing Owen at the table and not looking too thrilled about it. I almost flipped them off then remembering that I’m, like, twenty pounds shy of the right to be cocky. I kept my finger to myself.”
~✺~✺~✺~

“No one’s going to come shopping if the ‘for sale’ sign isn’t on the door.”
~✺~✺~✺~

“What you are to me is the guy that I’ve been madly in love with since sixth grade. You’re the guy I think about every night when I’m in bed by myself. You’re the one who doesn’t want me but insists on keeping me tied so close that I can’t have anyone else, who keeps one hand on my collar and the other hand up his girlfriend’s skirt. And I can’t do it anymore!”
~✺~✺~✺~

“Say, yes, Jordan,” he said, shifting closer.
“No,” I said.
Owen smiled. “Close enough.” And then he kissed me.
~✺~✺~✺~

My Rating:

1 Smooch1 Smooch1 Smooch1 Smooch

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