Icebound by Corinna Rogers

23123330The first book in an intense, thrilling and erotic, m/m urban fantasy series from an exciting new author in the genre!

It’s been ten years since Shane Conell sold his soul to the Ice King in order to save the life of the man he loves. Correction, loved.

After ten years, it’s growing difficult to remember love, and hate, and laughter – until a chance appears to get back the only thing his frozen heart still wants…

Drake Young is doing fine. Really. He’s got a good job, nice benefits, and the soulless husk of his old lover only comes by to torment him every so often. However, it only takes the appearance of a creature from the Etherworld wreaking havoc on the decidedly nonmagical city streets to drag him out of retirement, forcing him to team up with the one person he can’t bear even to look at!

Now, Drake and Shane must race against the clock to keep their city from being destroyed, even if it means working together. And no matter how difficult it is to catch the creature, it’s a hell of a lot more difficult to resist the urges that ten years haven’t managed to kill.

BUY LINK: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

REVIEWER: Dolorianne, 1.5 Continue reading

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Imaginary by Jamie Sullivan

coverAaron is a lonely, unloved boy when he first meets James. Their friendship seems like a dream come true—or perhaps just a dream, because no one else can see or hear James. Aaron stubbornly clings to his new friend, however, even when the friendship makes him an object of scorn and ridicule. No matter the years that pass, or the challenges they face, Aaron refuses to give up on his best friend—but life might just find a way to take James from him anyway.

BUY LINK: Less Than Three Press

Reviewer, Dolorianne, 5 Continue reading

Mechanical Magic by Lorraine Ulrich

Description
When Aster Genisov, a creator of mechanical novelties, is asked to help a wounded elf, his special talents and painful past could be the key to the elf’s survival.

Y’rean was born to touch the sky, but when his wings are destroyed by a cruel master, not even the life he begins to build with Aster can assuage his despair. Aster has the means to help him—it’s written in his gypsy blood—but is love enough for Aster to face his past and embrace his talent for mechanical magic?

Buy at Dreamspinner Press

Review
130 pages of solid story telling.

The story blurb grabbed me right away and I’m not real sure why. I’m not a big Fantasy/Steampunk reader but I must have been in the mood for gypsies and elves that day. Such a cool find that I may be seeking out other steampunk titles in the future.

The length is just about perfect. Nothing can tank a short story/novella for me quicker than trying to pack too many elements in the pages allotted. Ms. Ulrich chose her elements wisely. The pace flows well and the timeline is fairly simple. There is plenty of time to get to know the main characters … their relevant past history, as well as who they are now and their motivations.

The Steampunk element of this story is, at once, both understated and necessary. For readers who find themselves put-off, unfamiliar, or just plain confused by Steampunk then I would suggest they give Mechanical Magic a try before completely dumping the genre. While the ending would not have been possible without the mechanics and technology of Steampunk, this story never feels weighed down by science. The imagery is clear and easy to follow and adds a nice bit of color throughout.

The contemporary aspect of the story is just as easy. You’ve read 20 pages in the blink of an eye. I believe it is because the characters are truly developed and the reader cares about their happy ending. Aster is just a shopkeeper who keeps his nose clean and tries to live his life as best he can. Y’rean is a rare elf who has accepted his lot in life with grace and had been punished poorly for it. Tragedy has touched both men before the story ever starts so they are well starved for some kindness. Their road to happiness depends on Y’rean’s recovery, leading Aster to do his own healing. The length both men go to in order to help the other makes this a great romance. I’d be surprised if it didn’t make it on quite a few lists for the best romance of 2012. Very well written. And because sex does not automatically equal romance for me, I am happy to say that most of the intimacy either fades to black or kept subtle. There is enough build-up and tension to satisfy most readers, but the story itself relies on the couple’s everyday moments to convey emotion and affection.

If I had any criticism at all, I would be the choice made at the very end. As-is, the story ends well. Both men are healthy and happy, a previous wrong has been righted, the bad guy is taken care of, and there is the only graphic sex scene in the story. It is interesting and well written. My problem with the sex scene is that I was much more interested in how the bad guy was going to be handled. In my mind, Aster and Y’rean were solid, having accepted the strength of their relationship based on the previous tone of the story. Witnessing their full lovemaking at this point didn’t bring too much more to the story for me. I would have preferred the focus be on the man responsible for harming Y’rean. The included scene was clever, impactful, and could possibly be an open door for a second Aster and Y’rean story down the road so I’m not sure how, if at all, it could/should have been altered. I guess my only real issue with it was its placement, making it a quick wrap up after an expanded sex scene, instead of giving it the importance I felt Y’rean deserved after all he’d been through. I’d be very interested to hear how others feel. Maybe I’m just nit-picking since the rest of the story was so fabulous.

Overall, I would recommend this story to everyone and look forward to new stories by Lorraine Ulrich.

Mother Earth Series

1 – Dragon’s Kiss
The rules governing a Pack-Brother’s existence are simple. Love your Brothers. Protect each other and your Tribe with your life. Seek sex only within the bonds of Brotherhood, or your life is forfeit. The laws are harsh, but fair. Or so Bear has always thought. Then he and his Brother Lynx capture a stranger in the Carwin Tribe’s outlying lands—Dragon, a Brother from a distant Pack, banished from his Tribe for the crime of challenging things he shouldn’t.

Dragon intrigues Bear from the start, and not just because of his exotic beauty. Interest in the decadent old world is discouraged in this post-Change society. Dragon is the first person Bear’s ever known, other than himself, who’s curious about the vanished past. That kinship sparks a forbidden attraction between them. An attraction which is, if they give in to it, punishable by death.

In the space of a day, everything Bear was raised to believe is called into question, and he must make a life-changing decision—follow the law, or follow his heart.

2 – Shenandoah
Bear has never regretted leaving his old life behind for his exotically beautiful lover, Dragon. Following his heart, though, has left them in need of a home. There’s only one place he can think of where they can be together and be happy. Shenandoah. A place of myth—until he encounters signs that it’s a real place that lies somewhere to the north.

Dragon doesn’t share his lover’s faith that it even exists, much less that it will live up to Bear’s high expectations. Yet they are Brothers now, bound by love and so much more. No hardship will keep Dragon from Bear’s side. Even if it means nothing but disappointment waits at the end of their journey.

Danger lurks in the wilderness, the ruined cities of the lost Old World, and especially within themselves. As Bear’s quest for a new home becomes a spirit journey of mystical power, Dragon doubts his own strength—an unbearable shame he tries to hide deep within. But when a chance encounter turns into a fight for survival, Bear’s life depends on Dragon’s ability to put his doubts aside…and dare to hope.