Archive | August 3, 2013

Pickup Men L.C. Chase

Pickup Men

Arc provided by Netgalley.

I love Riptide Publishing books. They aren’t the cheapest but always have the best quality writing and novels that will be read and re read and that’s makes them excellent value for money.
First book I’ve read by L.C.Chase and I’ll certainly look for additional ones and look forward to more in this series. Cowboys, the ultimate Macho Male and yet they’re people like the rest of us and share the same sexual leanings, but of course expectation and perception along with influence and the need for sponsorship and the money it brings mean that its not easy to come Out. Marty has a fabulous family, great friends and has been out for years but trip, his secret lover is world champion and not out. He takes great care to keep it that way too, hanging out with homophobes and taking care not to even glance Martys’ way in public. Its heartbreaking for Marty, Tripp always saying he’ll come out at some point but after two years they’re no nearer that point. When Marty has a really serious accident in a rodeo saving Tripps life, Tripp doesn’t even visit til well after hours when everyone has left the hospital. Martys’ friends are disgusted, though Tripp isn’t out they know about him and Marty and this is the last straw for them. They know Marty deserves better, and encourage him to end things. Marty loves Tripp, is sure Tripp loves him and yet he’s reached breaking point and tells Tripp it’s over. Paramedic Eric is waiting in the wings, he’s attracted to Marty just to add complications of course. Can Marty get back with Tripp or will he move on to Eric….
Great characters and a superb book showing just what trails face gay men in a typically hetero environment. It must be difficult even in the friendliest sector being different from peers but to admit it when its a place where gays are regarded with ridicule by so many men takes courage. Marty clearly has the backing of his family and close fiends and that’s given him the strength to do it but for Tripp his background is so different. He comes across as selfish and uncaring of Martys’ feelings, but this book shows us how we need to look beyond surface image to see what produces such attitudes. What happens to him could happen to anyone, and its a sad reflection of society that this book could easily be a story you’d see on the news today 😦 One day people will be accepted for what they are…I hope.
Anyway, a cracking romance, sensual and moving, beautifully written, had me close to tears in places and with such hope that they could pull through. The settings were perfect, I could feel the dust, see the condensation on the beers, smell the sweat from the animals, one of those great, rare books that pull you straight into the scene. Its shows too ,how important family is in shaping the adults people will become, and how some people’s perceptions and actions are so dangerously wrong. Some real surprises at the end too – its not just a romance book but so much more and stayed with me for a while after.

Stars: well its becoming the norm for me with Riptide books to rate them fives, and this one gets the full five πŸ™‚ Testament to Riptides’ quality and care in selection of authors I guess.

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Wicked Beat. Olivia Cunning.

Wicked Beat (The Sinners on Tour)

ARC provided by Netgalley.

I’m always looking for new authors whose work I may enjoy, and last autumn I came across Olivia Cunning. Wow!! I loved Backstage Pass and rapidly bought and pre ordered everything available from her. Sinners on Tour is still my favourite of her two series, though I enjoy the Sole Regret books too, and up until Wicked Beat Backstage was still my favourite of all. Now its hard to decide as this is such a cracker of a book. Its a shame though that the books weren’t released in the order Olivia intended, I can’t imagine why but for some readers knowing what’s happened ahead of the book spoils it. Lucky for me I love to re read anyway so knowing what’s coming doesn’t detract from a book for me.
Anyway – its Erics’ turn this book. I like Eric, joker all the while and one of those rare people who just doesn’t recognise what a talent he has, or how highly people regard him. He always seems to have put himself down a bit in past books, and seen himself as outside the popularity of the group. Meeting Rebekah he’s entranced at first sight…but like so many girls she’s got eyes only for Trey, for about thirty seconds then Eric catches her eye ,and there’s a spark there. Uncharacteristicely Eric doesn’t sit back and let Trey steam ahead, but moves in and manages to get closer to Reb. With Treys’ pushing he quickly starts a steamy and sex romance with Reb.
I’m so glad Eric has his lady, he’s a great guy but I’ve always felt he lives on the fringes of life, existing from week to week rather than taking part in it, and in this book we see more of why that is..and its a really sad story. We’ve read bits of it before but not the whole and it shows his reactions in a new light. Reb is the perfect person for him for reasons that come out in the book, lots of them by way of hot, steamy, sensational, erotic sex. Her answer to his premature ejaculation is so funny, and I wondered if this problem was why he spent so much time as a voyeur in the sex lives of other band members, rather than taking part himself. After all if word got round that would really hit the sex symbol image of the band. Reb’s there as temporary replacement for her brother Dave, one of their back up crew who was badly injured in the road crash the band had recently. There’s some tension with her and Marcus, another member of the crew who thought he’d step up as Dave’s replacement and Marcus at first does everything he can to thwart Reb and make her look inept. She’s tough though and doesn’t let it get her down. Having trained for a number of jobs traditionally done by males she’s used to having to prove herself. I loved Reb, she’s had a hard time with cancer in past, and still needing frequent check ups, and as serious illness does it’s impacted not only on her, but her friends and family. Her family- well- dad, a minister, Erics’ nightmare in a way but he’s actually a kind non-judgemental man, but her mum, what a bitch, a cruel lady and yet when we learn more about her I felt for her as a parent. Faced with her two children seriously ill who wouldn’t try what she did if they believed it may work…..when you love your kids protecting them becomes all important even when they are grown πŸ™‚
A sensational read from Olivia once again, and though its Erics ‘and Rebs’ story we meet the other band members throughout the book. There’s romance and sex ( lots and lots of seductive, sexy, spicy, risquΓ©, ravishing sex…it seems like every interaction between them starts or ends in a session – but there is a really good story behind the sensuality), laughter and loving, and sad bits…tears and heartbreak. As ever though Olivia ties it all up in a fantastic happy ending.
Priced at Β£6.17 for 416 pages its not the cheapest, but Olivias’ writing has so much content and detail its easily one that lovers of the genre will want to read and re read – and that makes it a bargain. I love long books like this, they allow for a much more in depth story than the short 100-150 pages that so many novels consist of 😦 so hurrah for authors like Olivia who deliver these complex and entertaining erotic reads.
Stars: well deserved five of course, how could it be any less??

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