on m/m romance, baking, knitting, and occasional smut

Tag Archives: Dev Bentham

2254Hello again everyone and I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! I finally finished Lost! And OMGOMGOMG I loved it!!! I know that some of you are Lost fans as well, so I will tell you that I was worried about how the series would end. I ended up making it 5 years?? now (something like that) since it ended and still not learning much about it, which is good. I hate getting spoilered, especially about something that I spent years really caring about. But I was worried because the middle seasons lost the thread of the story a bit and even I could see that when it was happening, not just in retrospect. But from the middle of Season 5 to the end of Season 6 it was go.go.go.go and right on target. That’s why I spent several days this week finishing it instead of reviewing 😉 But, I will say that I LOVED it to pieces and I cried like a baby. It would be worth watching again, that’s for sure!

I have a lot to update you about, so let’s get going 🙂


take_a_breakFirst off, this week is going to be a slow week for us. We’re taking a week off — sort of. We still have a few guest posts this week and a few reviews and giveaways that were intended to go up, so those will still be on. But it’s a naturally slow week and since we have a large group of reviews we’re working on for the next few weeks, we’re going to use this slow week to try to get a bit ahead.

samhainbannerNow, this is exciting 🙂 We’re now going to be posting reviews from Samhain Publishing! While we often review books that we’ve bought or acquired from authors, we get the bulk of our books from the publisher for review. And until now that included just about all of them except Samhain. The good news about this is that because our books acquired for review take precedence over books that we buy and might decide to review, that means that we’ll be posting a lot more reviews of those Samhain books. First review up this week is Burden by Annmarie McKenna, reviewed by Sadonna.

This Week’s Wrapup

cover3_frontAnyta Sunday stopped by this week with a really great post called “On (Not) Coming Out as a Gay Romance Writer” that generated a lot of really interesting comments. Her book, Taboo for You is available here from Amazon!

03 SurfeitTalya Andor visited for a third time to talk about her third book in the Appetite series from Less Than Three Press, Surfeit For the Senses (all 3 are now on sale!). Every time she visits to talk about these books I have a day or two of severe cravings! But this was a really interesting post talking about the evolution of a multi-course meal in relation to writing a series. Read her post, “Themes of Progression”, here.

CH_BeginningOfKnowledge_cvrThe lovely and talented (and my friend) Anne Brooke visited this week for the first time here at The Armchair Reader! Her post, “Erotica or How to be Fully Human” generated a lot of interest and I love the insight that she has into writing about sex! Check it out and get her book The Beginning of Knowledge from Wilde City Press here. Or, read my review here.

CH_TruckerFucker_100dpi_cvrBarry Lowe was here to talk about why he writes the erotica he does and I really liked seeing his views on his own work (that I’m addicted to, which I said in my review). This is Barry’s first time at The Armchair Reader and you still have a chance to win Trucker Fucker by commenting in the post! Ends tonight at Midnight! Buy Trucker Fucker here at Wilde City Press.


Dev Bentham, Clare London and Jordan Castillo Price (three of my favorite authors!) stopped here on Thursday for the last stop in their 3-part Art Appreciation Blog Tour! The other two stops were at Joyfully Jay and Book Reviews and More by Kathy. At TAR, they answered a whole group of random art questions and talked about their characters and their feelings about art. It’s a great tour, so check our their post here and make sure to check out the others as well!

dance only for meAnd last this week in a full week of guest posts and visits from authors, Megan Derr stopped by to talk about her new release in the Dance with the Devil series (one of my all time favorites!), Dance Only for Me,talking about the origins of the series in her post, “How Did We Get Here”. I loved this book like I loved the others so make sure to look out for my review, coming soon! Buy the book here at Less Than Three Press.

Here’s what we reviewed this week:

Find a Way (Prince and Trader #2) by RG Green – Pretty Good
Sky Hunter (Skybound #3) by Fae Sutherland – Pretty Good
Audible by Dawn Kimberly Johnson – So So (Sadonna)
The Buyout by Bru Baker – Really Liked It (Nikyta)
Running Up That Hill by Barry Brennessel – LOVED it!! (Sadonna)

Coming Up This Week – 7/28 – 8/3

On Tuesday, Carole Cummings and J Tullos Hennig will be here for the first post in their new series about Spec Fic: “Two old Speculative Fiction Nerds walk into a bar…”. It’s going to be wonderful so make sure you look for it!

rulesforsuccess400On Wednesday, Mina MacLeod is visiting to talk about her new release (on that very day) from Less Than Three Press, Some Rules for Success in the Music Business (available now for Preorder!). I’m excited to read and review this one!

thornlessrose_tcmillAnd lastly, Friday brings us a post from TC Mill, who has a new release from Storm Moon Press, Thornless Rose available now! Look forward to my review of that one as well!

Here are our reviews for this week:



Look forward to these giveaways this week!


These giveaways both end tonight at Midnight. Click on the covers to enter!

03 SurfeitCH_TruckerFucker_100dpi_cvr


  • For updates on all the posts, click on the button at the top right of the page (first in the right column) to get email updates so you don’t miss anything!
  • Be sure to look out for a new update soon. I’m going to be putting the covers of our best reviewed books (monthly) in the right column so you don’t forget the wonderful books that are newly released!
  • And lastly, our Author List is newly updated

Thanks everyone! Have a wonderful week and we’ll see you around 🙂


Click the covers to buy!

These three lovely authors have each offered to give away one of their books, so I drew three names. I’m contacting them in order of the draw and they can then pick which book they’d like. The winners are:

First Drawing – Ann


Second Drawing – Barbra

(Painting in the Rain)

Third Drawing – Christopher Hammel

So, in order of the draw, I’ve written Ann and after I hear back from her and she picks her book I’ll contact Barbra, and so on. If I don’t get a response from my email after 48 hours, as per usual, I’ll have to move on to the next name. In the event that you (the winner) already has the book(s) left, I’ll move on to/draw another name. Any questions?

No? Alright. Congratulations to Ann, Barbra and Christopher Hammel 🙂 I’ll be contacting you second two soon!


Congrats to these winners!

Sonata by AF Henley: Karl
Freeman by Clare London: Andrea M
King Mai by Edmond Manning: parisfanca

I’ve written both Andrea M and parisfanca, but if you didn’t get my email, please email me at armchairreader[dot]coleriann[at]gmail[dot]com to get a copy of your book. I’ll have to draw another name if I don’t hear from you in 48 hours.

Thank you to everyone who commented and read all three of these really wonderful posts! AF Henley’s guest post (“Kids in Fics”), Clare’s guest post (“The Unreliable Narrator”) and Edmond’s guest post (“Opening a Man’s Heart”).

Buy Links:

King Maihttp://www.amazon.com/King-Mai-Lost-Founds-ebook/dp/B00DXMVCO0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374860796&sr=8-1&keywords=king+mai+manning

cover3_frontCH_BeginningOfKnowledge_cvrpaintingintherainblindedbyoureyessympathy03 SurfeitCH_TruckerFucker_100dpi_cvr

Click the links to enter these still open giveaways!

Taboo For You by Anyta Sunday – Ends Tonight!
The Beginning of Knowledge by Anne Brooke – Ends Tomorrow (7/27)
The Art Appreciation Blog Tour – Ends Tomorrow (7/27)

  • Painting in the Rain by Dev Bentham
  • Blinded by Our Eyes by Clare London
  • Sympathy by Jordan Castillo Price

Surfeit for the Senses (Appetite #3) by Talya Andor – Ends 7/28
Trucker Fucker by Barry Lowe – Ends 7/28

For our last stop on the Art Appreciation mini-tour, we thought we’d ask and answer some random art-related questions. So here goes….

Does anyone have memories of an interesting art opening they’ve been to?

Clare: I remember the opening of the Tate Britain and taking the Sons to see this prestigious exhibition of modern art. We spent several minutes in front of a large canvas painted solely in one shade and texture of blue. I’ll remember the bemused look on Son#1’s face for the rest of my life.

Dev: I haven’t been to an art opening since I moved to the country but my main memories of openings are free cheap Chablis. Yes, I’m THAT much of a philistine.

Jordan: The last time I showed was in a gallery called Hook Torture that was in a friend’s loft. For the opening, as a performance piece, there was a nude woman wearing frosting, lying on a table of fruit, and theoretically people were supposed to dip the frosting off her. In reality, though, it turned out to be more awkward than any of us expected.

Art noticed in an unlikely spot?

banksyClare: A perfect example are the Banksy graffiti pictures across London. I believe he uses stencils and spray can paint, and they’re fast and striking and bold. Now they’ve become part of the artistic heritage of London. One was recently peeled away from its wall, and someone tried to sell it! (it was returned in the end *g*)

Dev: I’ve always loved the troll under the Freemont Bridge in Seattle.

Jordan: The film Exit Through the Gift Shop made a lot of Americans more aware of Banksy. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who’s interested in street art.

In the loft above the cafeteria in art school, someone drew a hand in pencil on one of the tables. There was something about the fit of the hand into the wrist that was so utterly right that I can see it in my mind’s eye to this day.

Your character’s favorite album cover art.

davidbowieheroesClare: For Charles it would be David Bowie / Heroes

walkmenDev: Gabe’s favorite album cover is Walkmen/Everyone Who Pretended to Like me is Gone

stickyfingersJordan: David would’ve been a kid when Sticky Fingers by the Stones came out, but I think he’d appreciate the simplicity, the shock value, and the unexpected inclusion of the real zipper. I could see him flipping through a record collection as a pre-teen, pausing, taking it in, and thinking, “Hey, now.”

Your character’s favorite famous artist and how it differs from yours.

caravaggioClare: Charles’ would be Caravaggio / Amor Vincit Omnia.

I think that personally I tend to an easier on the eye, more fussy and romantic style like the pre-Raphaelites. But I like art to be striking, to make an emotional impact, to keep the eyes fascinated.

agoldsworthyDev: Gabe is very drawn to Andy Goldsworthy, the British nature artist. Goldsworthy makes beautiful, ephemeral art out of natural objects and Gabe is fascinated by the beauty and the transience of his work. I love his work, too, although I like things that last a little longer than a season.

RauschenbergJordan: I think David prefers high-concept work that’s disturbing. Robert Rauschenberg would be one of his favorites. His tastes and mine are probably closely aligned since he’s one of the more autobiographical characters I’ve written.

Is it easier to make a living as a writer than an artist? (I imagine we’d all say yes since we’re all making money writing.)

Clare: I imagine so. All my art characters struggle with making a living at some stage or another. It’s either an external struggle, in that their art isn’t fashionable, or internal, in that they’ve lost their Muse.

Dev: Hmm. I know only a few artists OR writers who are making an actual living with their work. I have some close artist friends who threw themselves on the universe after their youngest got out of school and have been scraping by ever since. Along with Jordan, they’re my follow-your-bliss heros. In general, there’s simply not enough support for the arts so most of us need to keep our day job.

Jordan: My guess is that the nature of the end product determines how many potential customers you can have. If it takes me a year to write and publish a book, potentially thousands of people could buy it and I’d receive a few dollars from each of them. But if an artist creates twenty paintings as a year’s worth of work, they can only sell to twenty people, likely for a few hundred dollars apiece, if that…so it’s a matter of scale, I guess. Technically a visual artist could sell their images on stock photography sites to have a business model that’s closer to the way it works with authorship (larger audience/smaller cost) but the artists I suggested it to pooh poohed the idea.

I can’t think of anyone I know who supports themselves solely by making visual art. That’s a shame. Worse yet, most of the people I went to school with don’t make art at all anymore. The natural selection process can be brutal.

What’s your favorite color and what does it remind you of?

Clare: Purple. It feels richer than red, bolder than blue. It means sensuality to me.

Dev: Red, like fresh blood, vibrant and alive. Perhaps I’m more of a vampire than I’d like to believe.

Jordan: Black. It makes everything else pop. It reminds me of decisiveness.


paintingintherainPAINTING IN THE RAIN by Dev Bentham
Helping teenagers is tough. They face so many dangers – peer pressure, drugs, pregnancy, STDs. As a trained social worker, Mike knows all about it. He’s taken a temporary job on the Oregon coast working with at-risk kids. But when he meets Gabe, the father of one of his charges, he finds himself in another type of danger – that of falling in love and getting stuck in a small, conservative town, not to mention living with an angry teenager. And yet, he’s drawn to Gabe in a way he never imagined possible.

Gabe, whose own father left before he was born, stays in a town where he no longer feels welcome. He’s living the life of a lonely artist so that he can be a father to his son, a bond that’s been threatened by divorce and Gabe’s public coming out. When he meets Mike, Gabe is bowled over with a longing so deep that he finds himself willing to risk everything.

There are plenty of dangers in a small town. When a gay kid gets hurt and they refuse to leave him to his fate, Mike and Gabe may be risking more than their hearts.

blindedbyoureyesBLINDED BY OUR EYES by Clare London
London art dealer Charles Garrett has devoted his life to appreciating beauty, both in art & in his companions. His fashionable life is rocked to the core when he discovers the body of a young artist, Paolo Valero, in a pool of blood in his gallery.

As Paolo’s mentor, Charles is haunted by the horror of his violent death. He investigates Paolo’s past & discovers a tangled web of motives & potential suspects, some closer to home than he ever imagined. He’s drawn to Antony Walker, an aggressive, handsome sculptor with unsavory ties to Paolo. Charles is unsettled by Antony’s forceful nature but irresistibly attracted to his passion. When the evidence points toward Antony’s guilt, Charles is thrown into emotional turmoil. Has he lost his heart to a killer?

sympathySYMPATHY by Jordan Castillo Price
Fear takes many forms. As a child, Anthony Potosi was afraid of the Hook House, not because of the cheesy stories his older brothers attempted to terrorize him with, but the startling presence of gravestones he stumbled across in the abandoned Victorian’s overgrown yard.

It’s been ages since Tony has thought about the old place. As an adult, he’s had to deal with more immediate fears. The fear that he’d never recover from the accident that killed his father and shattered his pelvis was at the top of the list. Now that he can walk again, though, the fear that his brothers are edging him out of the family landscaping business seems more pressing…until he’s called to make a drop-off at the Hook House.

While delivering the order, Tony finds ceramicist David Dean living there, along with several dozen eerily expressive clay figures he’s sculpted. David has converted the weedy lot to native prairie, and the dilapidated stone outbuilding to a pottery studio. While he hasn’t worked his alchemy on the family plot, it’s no longer quite as daunting as Tony remembers. It’s nowhere near as frightening as getting physical with someone for the first time since his accident, especially with a body he’d presumed was broken beyond repair, and especially with someone as captivating as David. Tony finds that learning to open up again to trust, desire—and maybe even love—is far scarier than The Hook.



Congrats to


for winning the copy of the Bread, Salt and Wine by Dev Bentham. I’ve already emailed Urb, but if for some reason you didn’t get my email, please write me at armchairreader[dot]coleriann[at]gmail[dot]com so you can get your book. Thanks for playing everyone and thank you all for stopping by and commenting on Dev Bentham’s guest post!

Buy Link: http://www.loose-id.com/authors/a-f/dev-bentham/tarnished-souls-4-bread-salt-wine.html

I’m a romance writer and I love happy endings. Sometimes it takes a while to get there. In my new story, Bread, Salt and Wine, George Zajac grew up on a farm with an abusive father who used religion as a bludgeoning tool. In his late thirties, George still carries the emotional wounds. He tried pretending heterosexuality by marrying a woman, but that ended as badly as you might expect. Now he’s moved to Los Angeles to start a new life and has carried all his issues with him. He can’t stay in the closet and he can’t come out. Mostly he won’t let himself fall in love.

DB_BreadSaltandWineGeorge’s new job as a catering chef, takes him on a tour of other people’s happy occasions. There’s not one, but ten weddings in this book. And because the story starts in 2005, George’s struggle plays out with California’s marriage equity teeter totter in the background.

This is the fourth, and last, of the Tarnished Souls series. The books are independent, stand-alone stories, linked by shared characters but written to be read in any order. Readers of the series know Kenny Marks, the man George pretends he’s not in love with. Kenny is as flamboyantly proud as George is ashamed. While Kenny sees George, really sees him, there’s only so much a person can put up with and George could easily miss his chance at a happy ending.

I’m proud that this story is part of the Big Gay Wedding blog tour because everyone deserves a happy ending and denying anyone the opportunity to have the husband or wife of their heart cheapens the institution for everyone. There’s some more information about the tour at the end of this post, along with an opportunity to win a copy of Bread, Salt and Wine.


Some wounds never heal. George Zajac grew up in a religious family with a father who beat “the swish” out of him. Now he’s a troubled man. At thirty-eight he moves across the country to start a new life in Los Angeles, working as the catering chef for a prestigious French Restaurant.

Kenny Marks, a writer who’s currently waiting tables, is everything George cannot be–flamboyant, proud and sexually confident. Enthralled by Kenny, and against his own better judgment, George agrees to a date. Sparks fly. The sex is better than good. But even after the two get close, George remains crippled by humiliating sexual hang-ups. Still haunted by his childhood, he lingers in the closet and can’t commit to a relationship with Kenny.

Love is the great healer, but is it enough? George’s emotional scars could drive Kenny away, and with him, George’s last chance at happiness.

Buy Link: http://www.loose-id.com/authors/a-f/dev-bentham/tarnished-souls-4-bread-salt-wine.html

Meanwhile, here’s an EXCERPT:

We got the food loaded into the van with an hour to spare. I sent the cooks home and told Kenny to be back in an hour.
“What are you going to do in the meantime?” he asked.
I looked around the clean kitchen. I was caught up on paperwork, and the phone calls I needed to make could wait until the next day. “I don’t know. Maybe fix something to eat. There won’t be time for dinner once we start work.”
He leaned against a counter. “Want some company?”
I blinked. Why not? “Sure. The regular restaurant crew will be here in a few minutes, so why don’t we retreat to my office.”
Heleaped forward. “Sounds like a plan. What can I do?”
Whenwe were settled in my office with reheated portions of the previous day’s special in our laps, I raised my water glass to him. “It would be better with Cabernet, but this will have to do.”
Weate for a few minutes in silence. The tiny room felt even smaller with him in it. Outside we could hear the sounds of people arriving at work, chatting, opening and closing lockers. And then the sounds grew more distant as the crew migrated toward the kitchen. Chef Stephan’s voice barked orders, and I was glad we’d closed the door.
Wewere almost through when Kenny cleared his throat. He stared down at his plate and said, “Some friends of mine opened a play last weekend. It’s experimental theater. They comped me two tickets for Wednesday night.” He looked up. “There’s nothing on the calendar that night. Do you want to go? With me?”
Mypulse raced. “Are you asking me out on a date?”
“That would be my first choice. But I’m flexible.” He grinned. “Very flexible, actually.”
I looked into his warm brown eyes and felt the world shifting beneath me. Objections rose like corks in my mind. I was his boss. We worked together. He was too gay, and I was too fucked up. The office felt even smaller. A fluttery feeling in my stomach made it hard to breathe. I looked at Kenny, at his spiked blond hair and the way it contrasted with his dark eyebrows and deep brown eyes. At the five o’clock shadow he’d need to shave before we went to our next event. At his broad shoulders, the way his torso tapered, and the strong thighs filling his jeans.
Kenny puffed his cheeks and blew out a big gust of air. “Right. No big deal. I thought you might want to—”
“Sure.” The word came out without me consciously thinking it.
Kenny’s whole face brightened. “Really, you’ll come? That’s great. Really great.”
I nodded. “Right. In the meantime we should—”
“Yeah, it’s about time to get ready.” He jumped up. “I’ll take your plate.”
Ashis hand brushed mine I felt a jolt of excitement. I blinked up at him. Kenny bit his lower lip, held my gaze for a moment longer, and then he was gone.
I sat staring after him, fear and arousal churning lunch around my stomach. Was I making a mistake? Probably. And yet the promise in that touch… I shook my head. We had a dinner to serve.

So what do you think? Do happy endings happen in real life? Leave a comment by Midnight CDT, on Saturday, June 15th for a chance to win a copy of Bread, Salt and Wine.

Giveaway Closed


Ah weddings – they bring out the best and worst in all of us. This month you’re invited to Loose Id’s wedding extravaganza where marriage equity means equal opportunity wedding disasters. Kate McMurray writes about the thorny problem of finding a hot date to one’s ex’s wedding while when Cassandra Gold’s hero agrees to be best man at his brother’s wedding, he discovers that his new in-laws include someone he’s, um, met before. Meanwhile, in J.A. Rock’s sequel, on the way to the altar the brat and his dom have to deal with everything from another bickering couple to an intimidating dildo. Dominique Frost explores whether a depraved hedonist can find love with the innocent and proper man he married for money. And Dev Bentham’s story has an emotionally damaged catering chef who needs to tame his demons or lose the love of his life. Something borrowed, blue, old and new for everyone this month at Loose Id.

Look for more chances to win on the Big Gay Wedding Blog Tour. We’ll be back here on the 18th, at the Purple Rose Tearoom on 6/12, Tara Lain’s blog on 6/14 and 15, Romance Lives Forever also on the 18th and Kay Berrisford’s 6/19-21.

Bread, Salt and Wine is out from Loose Id today!

You can find me at http://www.devbentham.com, by email at devbentham@yahoo.com and on twitter—@DevBentham. I’d love to hear from you.

Note! If you’d like to be included in Dev Bentham’s email list to receive announcements, either make a note in your comment or include your email in the body of your comment (where everyone can see it). Thank you!