Crossing the Line by MD Saperstein and Andria Large

22596837Parker Hamilton – movie star! That’s what the world knows about me. Oscar winner, prominent bloodline, playboy. But there is so much more to me. My friends are my real family, and they are what matters most. But I’d be lying if I said that I’m not concerned about my reputation. Everyone who lives in the spotlight is.

Listen, I can play any role – drama, comedy, romance. You name it. I can act my ass off, and I have the proof on a shelf in my office. But when my agent calls me into his office to offer me the role of a lifetime, I am hesitant. Not only would I have to act opposite Chance Steele, the most egotistical schmuck I know, but we would also have to pretend to be intimate. Really intimate. As in gay lovers.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I am as open-minded as they come. People can love whom they want, screw whom they want, even marry whom they want. But when you ask me to make out with a dude, pretend to roll around in a bed with him, well, that’s where I draw the line. Maybe.

Sometimes lines are blurry. And sometimes lines are just meant to be crossed.

Crossing the Line is book 3 of the Taboo Love series and picks up where Unmasking Charlotte left off. As with Hey There, Delilah and Unmasking Charlotte, it is a standalone – so don’t worry if you haven’t read them yet – with a HEA. That means no cliffhanger! Oh, and expect to see some of your favorite characters.

BUY LINK: Amazon

REVIEWER: Dolorianne, 4 Continue reading

A Betting Man by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

A Betting Man CoverHow bad could one harmless bet be? Kent Samson is about to find out. Raised in Alabama, Kent has hidden his past and now loves his life as a big time ad exec for a prestigious advertising company in New York. But when he makes a bet with his best friend, Blaine, Kent is thrown for a loop—for Kent has to make the next person to walk through the door fall in love with him.

Terry Barron is hiding out in New York. Raised in England in a wealthy family, Terry escapes to New York to avoid arranged marriages and the lifestyle he’s grown to hate. When he delivers a package to an advertising firm, he meets the unbelievably sexy Kent Samson. Suddenly, secrets and lies complicate everything and both men find themselves in uncharted waters. How will Terry feel when Kent is revealed as a betting man?

BUY LINK: Wilde City Press

Review: Dolorianne, 4.5

I’m not sure I can tell you how much I enjoyed this story.

I grew up on the John Hughes films in the 80’s and the Disney generation teen movies of the 90’s. The friends-make-a-bet-that-backfires plot is not a new one but it catches my interest almost every time. It amazes me how many different ways the theme can be handled. More times than not I find myself identifying with the one being blindsided … and this one is no different … almost.

The thing that I found so surprising in A Betting Man is the connection I made to the cocky ad exec. The contrast as to how people see him vs how he sees himself is very interesting. He has a reputation but almost from the beginning, he lets his competitive edge go in favor of genuine feelings for Terry.

I’m a very cynical reader, but the writing style made it so easy to go with the flow. I think the overall timeline is perfectly paced. The dates are fresh and well timed, the comedy is entertaining, and the romance is obvious. The sex is good and used to deepen the emotional connection that has already formed between them. Supporting characters show up and almost always interfere at just the right moment to keep the couple (and the reader) off balance and interested. Their relationship is a lot of fun to read.

Usually I cringe (in a good way) in anticipation of the scene where the pawn discovers he/she was a bet. I do this because I know the person is going to be hurt and I don’t like it when the characters I’ve become attached to get hurt. I think – for the first time ever – I found myself hoping that scene didn’t happen. I didn’t want Kent to tank himself. He had been doing so well. Please, oh please, can he just keep his mouth shut?

No.

Of course it comes out, as well it should, and now Kent has to fix it. The resolution is a little too convenient and tidy for me. I liked how the immediate supporting characters helped move things along, but the inserted scene with Kent’s boss threw me a little. I know it’s a crazy thing to say, but sometimes too much acceptance can pull a reader out of the story. It’s a romantic comedy, though, so what Kent does is adorable and sweet and just the right thing. Terry is able to forgive and give up a few secrets of his own. Neither set of parents are what I expected them to be.

And the epilogue at the end is fantastic in that I loved seeing the guys solidly back together and having fun with their friends. I love a large cast of characters and these last few pages highlighted one of Kent and Terry’s biggest supporters. Though I’m still not sure how or why Terry became Anna’s wedding planner? Although it was enough to pull me from the story momentarily, it was not enough to lessen my overall enjoyment.

I’d recommend this to everyone. Especially readers who enjoys a sweet romance that isn’t over the top, or more cynical readers like me who might want something a little lighter every now and then.

Review: Lynn, 5

Having never read this author before I didn’t know what to expect. After read the blurb about making someone fall in love with you on a bet, I was very much interested in reading this story.

From the very first page this story draws you in. We first meet Kent and Blaine, who at first glance aren’t very likable characters. Making a bet to get someone to fall in love with them is pretty harsh, if not downright sleazy! Enter Terry, the unsuspecting victim of their bet, who has a few secrets of his own.

I loved how both Kent and Terry had their own voice in the alternating chapters. I felt it gave an insight on how they were both feeling throughout the story. I also loved how the story itself was written. It flowed so easily page after page. There’s not a dull moment in this book. I’m so glad Kent got to redeem himself, at first he came off as an ass, but as the story moved along you realized he was hiding his true self. Terry was adorable, I immediately fell in love with him probably because I knew he was going to be hurt when he found out about the bet, and they always find out.

The secondary characters in this book were so supportive throughout the story. Terry had Spencer, a good friend who was always looking out for him as well as being Terry’s boss. Kent has Anne, his secretary, but also someone who knew the person Kent truly was. There is also a lot of humor throughout but the one scene that made me laugh out loud was Kent and Terry going ice skating. Kent can’t ice skate, so there were a lot of ups and downs and sore bottoms, hilarious!

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book. The only problem, as with all short stories I read and fall in love with, is that I wanted more!! Perhaps we can revisit Kent and Terry in the future when Blaine and Spencer get to tell their story!

Frat House Troopers by Xavier Mayne

FratHouseTroopers State trooper Brandt’s new assignment to infiltrate a sex-cam operation puts him in a very uncomfortable position, especially since he’ll have to perform naked on camera for his audition. Fortunately his partner and best friend, Donnelly, has his back—whether that means helping Brandt shop gay boutiques for sexy underwear or offering Jäger and encouragement while he researches porn.

Despite his mortification, Brandt gives the audition his best “shot”—and becomes an overnight sensation. But to meet the man behind the operation, he’ll have to give a repeat performance, this time live on webcam opposite the highest bidder. Donnelly makes sure to win that auction for his partner’s sake, but their plan has a flaw: faking it is not an option.

In the aftermath, Brandt is a humiliated mess trying desperately to come to terms with what he’s had to do for the job and his own mixed feelings. But Donnelly has been on a journey of discovery of his own. Suddenly everything the two men thought they knew about themselves and each other gets turned inside out. Meanwhile, they still have a case to solve… but it may not be the case they thought it was.
ISBN-13: 978-1-62380-133-5
Pages: 260
BUY LINK: Dreamspinner

REVIEW

I’ve wanted to read this book since the first time I saw it on Dreamspinners’ coming soon page. With cops and the friends-to-lovers theme, it was a sure addition to my TBR pile.

As I sit here nearly a day after having finished, I’m still not sure what rating to give it. I’ve settled on a 4 because instead of this just being a stereotypical story, I think the style of writing and some of the events could really spark some interesting debates.

On one hand, I think there are quite enough differences to make this unique in the gay-for-you category. On the other hand, there were a few plot and POV decisions that had me scratching my head.

There are many reviews on goodreads that will point out how much fun all of the characters are. They also point out the heavy head hopping that dominates the second half of the book. There is definitely a need to suspend a little disbelief when reading this story.

What I’d like to talk about is how straight the main characters are, especially Brandt, whose POV we are in for the majority of the story. A lot of the time gfy stories include repressed feelings and desires … and I think there may have been a very teeny-tiny bit of that here … but very little.

Normally I would be on board for anything new that bucks the trend. But the way Brandt is described, how he acts, what he says about himself, and the extensive amount of inner dialogue within the first 50% portray a VERY straight man. I didn’t see a man opening up to his feelings for his friend. If anything, I saw a man learning to enjoy the attention and spotlight even if it meant is was coming from other men. And again, that was only a small part of the 1st half of the book.

For the most part Brandt seemed utterly disgusted, almost to the point of being offensive. To some extent I was glad to see a more honest portrayal of a straight cop thrown into a sticky situation, but as it got deeper into the story I found it irritating. There was no growth, no understanding, no revelation.

I enjoyed Donnelly being his cop partner; their shopping trips were hysterical. Are the sales staff in gay shoppes really that “hands on” during fittings? Maybe, maybe not. I enjoyed the scenes for their pulp feel, a little throwback to some of the earlier gay fiction. And I really, really liked the character of Nick. In fact, even though I knew ahead of time that Brandt and Donnelly were going to hook-up, I was really pulling for Brandt to pick Nick. Any smidgen of growth and affection Brandt displayed in the 1st half of the book was because of or directed towards Nick, not Donnelly.

Once the AHA moment happens for Brandt and Donnelly, the entire story shifts to sex with a side of sex. The case they were working on disappears from the page as both men embrace their new found – and very sudden – attraction, admitting their love for each other. Too much fluff for my taste, but I really think the romantics are going to enjoy this part.

By the time the case is brought up again, the holes are plugged quickly and the result is nothing like I expected. I wish it had been a little more developed, but I applaud the creative spin.

All in all, I encourage people to pick this story up. It was nothing like I expected but has really kept me thinking. I’d be interested to hear what others think.

Dudleytown

College sophomore Alexander Strauss has one rule: no messing around with straight guys. Especially not his mouthwatering roommate, Shannon. When their ride share drives off the side of a mountain, the two young men find themselves deep in an uninhabited forest searching for their missing friend. Wandering the famously cursed grounds of Dudleytown, Alex figures something truly unholy must be at play, because only insanity could tempt him to break his cardinal rule.