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A Cat Named Hercules – KC Kendricks

Author: KC Kendricks
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Word Count: 29,951
Published: 2012

This had the word CAT in the title, which meant I obviously had to read it. From the sexy cover, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, other than some serious hotness and a little kitty thrown in. What I got was a bit different – this is a story of two men coming together because of a cat. New to town, the main character goes with his friend to a charity event and finds a stray kitten calling to him – concerned about the kitten’s well-being, the local vet arrives and the two fall in love with each other.

This main plot of this story revolves around one man finally being true to himself and his courage to finally live as the gay man he always knew himself to be. Through a few misunderstandings, they work everything out and have the kitten to thank for everything.

The sex was very tame and very vanilla – and no, there was no animals involved. 😉 It was a fun and easy read, without the typical angst of coming out stories. The warnings read voyeurism and sex in public places – but I wouldn’t label either incident as such, so if you’re into that, this isn’t the book for you. Overall, a decent love story between one confused man and one patient man, who bond over their cat.

Out of four…
Overall Read: ♥♥♥
Sex Heat:
Plot: ♥♥

This is a great book for a quick lazy afternoon read, or someone who is looking to venture into m/m without any of the “scary” parts.

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Getting Off the Ground & Infinity Pools – L.A. Witt

Getting Off the Ground
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Number of Words: 20,803
Published: 2011


Infinity Pools
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Number of Words: 40,767
Published: 2011

 

I was SO disappointed in the first part of this “series” – “Getting Off the Ground.” It was a super-short story where two people meet while waiting to catch a flight to Hawaii. They instantly hit it off, one character, Elliot, was left at the alter by his fiance the night before and was trying to keep it together and orderly, by making lists. A nearby passenger Derek overhears Elliot’s predicament and decides to start chatting him up. This was a meeting of opposites attract, they had an intense connection, and then it ended 52 pages into the story. I was ANNOYED. It took me awhile to get into the concept and story, which is unusual for me and a Witt story, but I stuck it out and wanted to find out what happened next. As soon as I saw “Infinity Pools” available, I was hoping that it would be better (and longer) than the first one and tell me what happened – and it finally told me what came next! However, these two books such have been published together as one…

The story was a bit basic and very surface level as in none of the bigger issues they were dealing with, were ever really dealt with. The story was a vacation fantasy story with two unlikely men coming together and essentially spending two weeks having sex and falling for each other. Most of the story was carried by the sex which was hot, but got a little boring at times. I found myself drifting and then trying to figure out who was doing who and what was going on. Don’t get me wrong, there was some serious sizzle at times, but about half of the sex scenes could have been taken out of the book and it wouldn’t have been missed.

Out of four…
Overall Read: ♥♥
Sex Heat: ♥♥♥
Plot: ♥♥

This is a great read for someone who is looking for sex, and lots of it. These are two “normal” guys that hook up, and hook up, and hook up – and fall in love through spending time together over two weeks in paradise. It is an easy and engaging read that you don’t want to put down until you get to the end, but it does stay out of some of the areas that would have created deep and interesting characters.

 

Sonoran Heat – Katrina Strauss

Author: Katrina Strauss
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Word Count: 48,547
Published: 2010
Fictionwise: $7.00

The beginning of this story definitely tries to grab you – almost a bit too fiercely. However, I was intrigued enough to continue reading and pleased to find that the beginning scene of a very young trio, was not a main story plot – but the background for the true love story. It did take me some time to be ok with the age difference between the main characters, which was also a theme of the story – a man in his 40s and a 21-year old. They did have a strong connection and bond, and age faded into the background as their love blossomed.

This is an easy and quick read, and probably could have lent itself to a longer story – apparently I think all of the good ones need to be longer these days! There were a few cliches throughout, but presented in a way that wasn’t so in your face; instead, woven into the plot line quite nicely. I am curious if there is a sequel or two, based on some of the characters introduced as there was enough ground work to create more fun in the Arizona desert.

The sex in this story is very tame and vanilla, but hot when it happens as it is filled with passion, trust and understanding. Each character continues to work through their pasts and hopes and fears for the future, that each coming together helps cement their relationship and sense of belonging together. The sex will not ignite any pages, but it is tender and thoughtful and fun to read. The focus here is their relationship, not having sex for sex sake.

Out of four…
Overall Read: ♥♥♥
Sex Heat:
Plot: ♥♥♥

I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys a good love story; interaction between an older guy and younger man; and loves a well-written story (without minding some usual themes). This is a particularly good read for newbies to m/m as it’s not at all scary and quite tame with a “real life” story plot.

 

The Book and the Rose – A.J. Llewellyn

 

  

Author: A. J. Llewellyn
Publisher:  Amber Quill Press
Word Count: 51,023
Published: Janary 2011
Fictionwise: $7.00

A Hollywood writer randomly meets the love of his life who lives on the other side of the world in Barcelona, Spain. Evans just can’t stop thinking about his Spainard – Mio, and is excited to take an extended vacation with Mio when his writing career falls apart. What he finds when he gets to Barcelona is nothing like what he expected! Mio has been keeping secrets from him, and he’s afraid that one of those secrets may be just too much for their relationship to last. Evans celebrates Spain’s version of Valentine’s Day with Mio where they exchange a book and a rose to signify their love – what comes before and after is anything but predictable!

This was an interesting read and not typical of most of the M/M books out there. I was expecting a completely different story based on the opening, and was surprised with how everything unfolded through the very end. This was not a romantic tale in the traditional sense, or rather the typical M/M sense, but the main character was well-developed so it was easy and fun to follow him on his journey. There was a lot of sex throughout, but unfortunately it wasn’t sex that I was able to connect with most of the time – for me, this was a read about an untraditional love story and following your heart.

Be forewarned, there are several different sex partners, scenes, scenarios, and interactions throughout – some scenes may test your imagine from a partner perspective, but very vanilla throughout. Even without the super hot sex and not my typical cup of tea read, I still enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading more from this author. This is definitely a more male-focused/written book, but it’s a great change of pace.

Out of four…
Overall Read: ♥♥
Sex Heat: 
Plot: ♥♥

Read this book if you are looking for a more male-perspective in this genre. It’s also a great untraditional love story in a completely new setting and set of circumstances. And if you’re looking for a bit of a fun or lighter read.