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Man OnTitle: Man On (Black Jack Gentlemen #1)
Author: Liz Crowe
Publisher: Tri Destiny Publishing
Length: 131 pages
Genre: m/m Contemporary Erotica
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: As the tags are very spoilerish, I don’t want to put them here but if you really want to see them, check them out at the bottom of this post but beware! They contain spoilers!
Rating: Not Feelin’ It

Reviewed by Nikyta

*****This review contains major spoilers to the contents of this book*****

BLURB

Bad boy of European football, Nicolas Garza is about to hit American shores with a vengeance. Signed by the Detroit Black Jack Gentlemen as lynch pin for their expansion club, Nicco only half believes he’s making the right move. But with a past full of ghosts and rotten behavior chasing him from his homeland, he has no real choice.

Parker Rollings is a college soccer superstar, but his parents’ plans for their only son do not include professional athletics. When the Black Jacks approach him to finalize their roster, Parker leaps at the chance to keep playing, leaving behind medical school, stability and his first and only college sweetheart.

Nicco and Parker face off as bitter rivals for a coveted starting spot at midfield and are forced to channel their negative energy into something positive for the sake of the group—and themselves.

All eyes are on the fledgling team in its debut season. It’s crucial that the Black Jacks prove all the doubters wrong. They must make a good showing in the league and with new fans. But player drama, club dynamics, and misplaced priorities may tear it apart before it even begins.

REVIEW

The first thing I want to say is if you’re coming into this book thinking it would be a real sports story, you won’t get what you expect in this one because it follows Nicco through his journey to finding love in Parker but doesn’t contain many scenes regarding the actual sport.

I liked Parker because he was so innocent, naive and vulnerable. He comes from money but he’s not an obnoxious spoiled brat. He’s very sweet, dedicated to soccer and just wants a simple life where he can be himself. I adored the fact that he blushed so much at the littlest provocative comment. I found it so cute. Nicco is a different story. I won’t lie, I didn’t like him at all. He’s arrogant, stubborn and doesn’t give a crap about anyone else but himself. He does what he wants to and won’t care if someone objects to it. His reaction to Parker is instantaneous and intense. The lust he feels for Parker consumes him to the point he can’t stop thinking about Parker. However, Nicco is a sex addict and he’ll take that lust out on anyone.

The biggest issue I had with this story is that the blurb is very misleading. Coming into this book, I was expecting some intense sexual tension of enemies with a lot of sports related scenes, showing the rivalry between Nicco and Parker, the aggression and face offs for the same spot and ultimately the soccer season that they play together in. Unfortunately, that is not what this book is about and you don’t actually see any of those scenes but are told about them in just a few short paragraphs throughout the story.

To be honest, I didn’t like a majority of it because it is so focused on showing Nicco’s sex addiction (which is not mentioned in the blurb and considering it is SUCH a huge part of the book, I have to wonder why). I struggled to get through at least the first half of the story because Nicco would do anything that had two legs, even indulging in threesomes and orgies with women and men. I will say that while Nicco does have a lot of sex, thankfully most of it (especially with the women) were either glossed over or fade to black. Even with that, however, the constant talking about his conquests and how many he did last night, the orgies he partook in, the soft flesh of so and so grew extremely aggravating and annoying. I kept asking myself, “Why is this in here? Shouldn’t we be focusing on more of Parker and Nicco?”

A lot of the book revolves around that aspect of Nicco and I can’t say that it endeared me to him. It made my opinion that he was selfish and couldn’t understand the concept of monogamy nor be able to uphold it even more intense. It also made me think that even if he did get into a relationship with Parker, that he wouldn’t be able to keep it in his pants long enough to not break Parker’s heart. Regardless, the physical showing of Nicco’s clubbing and conquests took away from the actual Parker/Nicco story, IMO. By the end of the story, we are told and somewhat see the love and supposed devotion (as I said, it’s hard for me to believe Nicco won’t cheat eventually) but we didn’t see the lead up to this love and devotion. Out of the whole story, Parker and Nicco only spend maybe a third of it actually together that we see. The rest is either told to us (such as the time they spend on the field, their teamwork together and this long vacation they took) or of Nicco and Parker getting some action from other individuals.

Personally, that is not something I’m fond of. I like to SEE the development between characters but this book didn’t have any of that until the very end and I found that disappointing. I wanted to like this book but it started off really bad for me because I don’t appreciate seeing to this extent how much of a whore a character is. I want to see the connection between the main characters not between ONE main character and other people. We aren’t shown the connection between Nicco and Parker until very far into the book and at that point, many months have already past between them, none of them where we see them together and this happens more than once where weeks or months pass without us seeing any of what I believe were crucial moments to these characters relationship. More than anything, I really wished we had seen them play together on the field, during practice, at a game, anything to show that not all these boys have is lust because the emotions of love they share, I didn’t see and couldn’t FEEL.

In the end, I will freely admit this isn’t the type of story I like. I prefer to have stories that focus on the emotions that characters share and seeing them NOT on the physical releases of the flesh. Readers that enjoy books that have layers of sex and decadence will enjoy this but if you’re looking for a story about sports and love, this won’t exactly fit the bill. I will say that while I didn’t enjoy the story as a whole, there were pieces that I adored but those happened at the very end and by then, not enough was focused on that to lift my overall opinion. Still, I encourage readers to make up your own mind about this one because I know others will enjoy it much more than I did.

One last thing I want to say is that this book seems to be somewhat of a spin-off of another m/f series by this author. I say this because a few times it was hinted that we should already know a side character’s background and having looked up the author after reading this book, I can say that some of the secondary characters have books of their own in other works by this author.


A Shot At ForgivenessTitle: A Shot at Forgiveness
Author: Cardeno C
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 16,641 words, 68 pages
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: 2013 Daily Dose – Make a Play series, Closeted, Enemies to Lovers (Sorta), Ex-Bullies, Forgiveness, OFY, Interracial, Light & Sweet, Sports, Yearning
Rating: Pretty Good

Reviewed by Nikyta

BLURB

A dozen years, two thousand miles, and a law degree after high school, Rafi Steiner continues to harbor resentment toward Isaac Jones, his childhood bully turned NBA star. When Isaac appears at Rafi’s favorite restaurant acting like a long-lost friend, Rafi bluntly dismisses him.

But Isaac is tenacious and has his heart set on the grown-up version of the boy he always wanted and never forgot. The way Isaac sees it, he and Rafi are perfect for each other, if only he could sink the most important shot of his life: his one shot at forgiveness.

REVIEW

Still harboring bitterness toward his high school bully, Isaac Jones, Rafi is flabbergasted when Isaac stumbles across him and acts like they’re long lost friends. While Rafi just wants to get as far away from Isaac as possible, Isaac has something else in mind, a secret he’s been keeping since they went to school together. Determination doesn’t even begin to describe Isaac when he’ll do whatever it takes to win Rafi over once and for all.

At first, Rafi is standoffish and borderline rude to Isaac. It was interesting to see how angry Rafi was towards Isaac even twelve years after the fact. As the story progresses, Rafi melts to Isaac’s charms, which was definitely entertaining! Isaac, on the other hand, is persistent and will do anything (even breaking and entering) to worm his way into Rafi’s life and heart. It was funny to see Isaac think what he was doing was okay when it was obvious Rafi hated Isaac being there. I found Isaac just so adorable. He’s a bit of a stalker and slightly obsessed but this big, tall guy that wasn’t afraid of anything was afraid of Rafi’s rejection BUT even when Rafi did reject him, he kept coming back and breaking down Rafi’s walls until Rafi admitted defeat.

If you haven’t already guessed, this story revolves around forgiveness. Rafi is very hurt by how Isaac used to treat him. However, as the story evolves, you realize that Rafi’s view on everything isn’t exactly the whole picture. What you come to realize is that Isaac might have said some mean things to Rafi but his actions were quite different. Rafi remembers Isaac as this mean, cruel bully but as it’s remembers (sans flashbacks thankfully!), he’s portrayed as this hero. Constantly saving Rafi from getting injured or hurting himself more than his klutziness already has. It’s sweet in a way but it’s obvious that Rafi was a little oblivious to this because of his focus on Isaac’s words instead of his actions.

The story had a lot of potential but I think, considering the length of the book, it didn’t exactly live up to that potential. While entertaining and enjoyable, I felt like some things were rushed or even were easy platitudes considering the situation. For instance, the resolution to Isaac coming out was nice but we don’t actually see it put into action so that felt too ‘easy,’ IMO. I felt like Rafi also caved too early to Isaac’s pursuits. Rafi was basing his forgiveness off Isaac’s sexual prowess instead of actually making Isaac grovel in a nonsexual way, which had me a bit sad because it would have been funny seeing Isaac doing whatever Rafi wanted without hesitation. I’m not usually one to get hung up on endearments but I didn’t like Isaac calling Rafi ‘boo’ it kept making me feel like Rafi was just a one-night stand that Isaac would forget in the morning. While that is obviously NOT the case, I couldn’t help feel like it wasn’t appropriate to who Rafi was to Isaac. Aside from that, Rafi had a tendency to think of Isaac as ‘Isaac Jones’ as if he was still in awe over Isaac, which got slightly annoying towards the end of the book and even though he was in love and comfortable around Isaac, he still considered him as ‘Isaac Jones.’ Lastly, I wished there had been some scenes of Isaac meeting Rafi’s friends or vice versa just to show that these two are serious because, unfortunately, most of the scenes of them together consist of them in Rafi’s apartment (more specifically his bedroom).

Overall, this was a very cute short story. It’s light-hearted and liable to give you a silly little smile. The characters were amusing and their journey to forgiveness was entertaining. I really wish this book had been much longer, though, because I feel like a little more groveling on Isaac’s part was needed but other than that, it’s a good story for someone who’s looking for something light and sweet.


RidingtheSilverado185Title: Riding the Silverado (Los Rancheros #1)
Author: Kate Roman
Publisher: Torquere Press
Length: 25,500 words, 94 pages
Genre: m/m Contemporary Erotica
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Age 40+, Closeted, Cowboys, Fuck Buddies, HFN, Interracial, May/December, Series
Rating: So So

Reviewed by Nikyta

BLURB

When Clay Garcia’s truck breaks down by the side of a deserted road, the last thing the young cowboy expects is an erotic encounter with a tall, dark stranger — especially when he turns out to be the county’s new sheep shearer, Lee Warshaw. Despite the difference in their ages, and the Garcia family’s suspicions, what’s between the two men only gets hotter. Clay’s afraid that he wants more than Warshaw’s prepared to give, but after a terrifying encounter with a mountain lion, Clay realizes that Warshaw’s feelings run deeper than he’d ever dared to hope. Can these two cowboys make it past their fears and find a way to be together?

REVIEW

This was an interesting story. It had a lot of potential but ultimately I don’t think it lived up to it.

This story deals with a lot of issues. On one hand you have two men who just want to keep it casual but can’t help but develop feelings for each other during their many nights together. On the other hand, these boys have to deal with not just their age difference but also the racial and gender issues. They live in a place that whites should stick with whites and latinos stick with latinas. So they both know that their relationship can’t go very far but their passion for each other is too intense for them to stop seeing one another even with the heartache associated with sneaking around and the stubbornness they both have.

Given that this story was so short, I really liked both characters. Clay is a hothead from the beginning. Getting offended and puffed up whenever he felt like he’s being slighted or about to hear bad news. It’s cute the way he blows up over the littlest thing and then realizes the conclusions he came to weren’t exactly the right ones. Warshaw is twice Clay’s age, rough around the edges and doesn’t like to put up with any hysterics. He’s gruff but he can’t help but like Clay’s spitfire. Neither of them can stop thinking about each other no matter how much time passes. I loved the chemistry they had for each other. It was definitely intense.

However, while I liked the connection these two formed, their relationship is all sex. They never talked about themselves, their wants, dreams, feelings or any of that until the very end and by that point, you are expected to believe what they have is genuine when in fact, none of it is shown. I couldn’t believe that their feelings went farther than what was in their pants. There was so much sex between them, it was too much to take and sadly I ended up skimming them :-/ More than that, there’s Spanish in this story that was not translated, which confused me because it was whole sentences and statements. So, I thought I’d ask someone I knew who’s fluent in Spanish (because Google Translator was doing a crappy job of it). What she told me was that it was terrible Spanish. The sad thing is, the author sometimes made it a point of saying so and so spoke to me in Spanish and then related what they were saying in English but then other times went with Spanish words instead with no translation. It confused me why we weren’t getting translations during these times when we were getting English other times while the characters were speaking Spanish.

Overall, this isn’t a bad read and some readers will like that it offers more smut than story but for me, it lacked the depth it needed to be a good one. A lot of their relationship is still left in the air because the story focused so much on their sex life so I’m hoping as the series progresses I’ll get the answers I seek.


PurrfectMatchLGTitle: A Purrfect Match
Author: Chris T. Kat
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 65,024 words
Genre: m/m Paranormal Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Adorable, Co-Workers, Heartwarming, Interracial, Kids, Kink, Spanking, Light & Sweet, Secrets & Lies, House Cat Shifters
Rating: Really Like It

Reviewed by Nikyta

BLURB

When a bad day at work culminates in losing out on a promotion, Jim Sanders shifts into his animal form to let off steam. Then his bad day turns into a bad night—while prowling his Atlantic City neighborhood as a large gray house cat, he’s caught in a torrential downpour. What little luck he has washes down the gutter when his new boss, Andrew Wright, catches him taking shelter on his porch, brings him inside, and starts calling him Mr. Frosty.

As a feline, Jim becomes the inadvertent confessor for his boss’s lonely son, Tony, a victim of schoolyard bullying. As a human, he feels drawn to Andrew, a man he wanted to resent. Finding love was never part of Jim’s plan for the future—not with his bizarre secret—yet suddenly he finds himself navigating that minefield anyway. But not everything is easy, especially for an interracial gay couple dealing with prejudice in the workplace, at Tony’s school, and even within their own families.

REVIEW

After a rough day in which Jim gets passed over for a promotion, he decides to blow off some steam by running in his shifter form. Unfortunately, it starts storming and he’s a long way from home. Taking a break on someone’s porch, he’s found by a boy named Tony, the son of the man he lost his promotion to, Andrew. Jim is still furious but he’s also exhausted. Before he knows it, Tony and Andrew are taking care of him and naming him. But not only is Tony growing attached to Mr. Frosty but Jim is starting to really like Andrew and Tony. It’s not long before he starts spending time with Andrew at work and then spending time with both of them as a cat. Jim doesn’t want a relationship with Andrew but he can’t help how much he’s coming to care for them. There’s a lot of things standing in their way of a relationship, though, like bigotry, slight racism, bullying, and a needy kid.

I really liked this story for a lot of reasons. The characters are very likeable to the point you want to hug them until everything turns out okay. Jim is actually a bit of a jerk in the beginning. He’s this huge hulking black man and his anger is one of the scariest things some people have seen. However, he’s got a big heart in that gruff manner and that heart is set on Andrew, whether Jim likes it or not. Andrew, on the other hand, seems almost fragile compared to Jim. He’s just uprooted his whole life to live somewhere that Tony could get a good education. He’s stressed beyond belief because his job demands so much but Tony demands even more. He’s sweet and kind but won’t take shit from anyone when he’s pushed too far. One of the cutest things about this book, aside from Tony, is how Jim acts in his cat form. I found him both hilarious with his inner monologue and adorable in his actions.

Their relationship is a bit rocky because Jim is very resentful of Andrew and Andrew is uncomfortable around Jim. Jim is very firm in his desire to just be friends at first but when they finally get together, I found them to be smoking hot and readers should know that they dabble in a bit of spanking, that while out of nowhere, I found fitting to their situation and their personalities. I loved that while Jim didn’t want to necessarily have a relationship with Andrew at first, he was surprisingly accepting of Tony, even to the point of being protective of him and Andrew, and handled Tony being sick very well. I adored Tony, even when he was being a little brat. His struggles with moving, not being able to be with his dad so much and getting bullied felt like very real problems. Another thing I liked is how there were moments of bigotry and racism thrown in that were dealt with in their own time and while I thought how they were handled was slightly too fast, I still enjoyed the conflict it gave the story.

Even with enjoying this story so much, I still had some problems with it. Mostly, while I liked that Jim was forced into a parent role, I felt like it was too fast considering he was still relatively a stranger to Andrew. I adored that he handled the kid so well but I didn’t appreciate his comments regarding how Andrew should raise Tony while Jim was in his cat form. I felt like it was unfair to judge Andrew when he didn’t really know either Andrew, Tony or their situation at that time. Beyond that, I wished there had been more explanation of Jim’s shifter ability and how he was able to do it. There’s a vague reference to why he’s a shifter but it wasn’t enough to satisfy my curiosity especially since when Andrew found out, it was remarkably easy for him to accept that Jim was also Mr. Frosty. One other thing is I wished we got to see more of Jim’s family, more time with his parents and even meeting more of his family.

Overall, this was a very well done story. It’s well written and I adored the characters and what they had to go through. More than that, I loved how Jim and Tony got along and the fact that Tony understood what Jim meant to Andrew and how easily Jim incorporated himself into their family. If you’re looking for a cute, sweet and heartwarming book with some moments that are touching and hot, you’ll want to read this story.