Title: Just Call Me Angel
Author: Jack Greene
Length: 15,400 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Scientist, Science (Geology), Technology Sector, Businessmen, On Vacation, Bahamas, Hurricane, Nerds/Geeks, Playboys, Bisexual, Famous, Super Rich, Second Chances
Rating: Pretty Good
Seeking funding to complete his breakthrough research, Ben meets Chase Mitchell, billionaire CEO of Mitchell Industries.
Chase agrees to fund Ben’s research, but what Ben didn’t count on was how handsome Chase is, or how much Ben wants him.
I’ve really grown to love Jack Greene’s writing over the last couple of years. But while I first naturally assumed that he was solely an erotica writer, I’ve had to change my expectations every time he sends me a new story. And I’m really glad that I’ve been able to. Ever since he wrote and published his first novel, Indiscretion (reviewed here), I’ve seen a real upswing in his writing. I mean, I always enjoyed his stories, don’t get me wrong. But this year has seen some of Jack’s best writing, as well as some branching out into romance. The novel did that really well while exploring extra-marital affairs, and this story, Just Call Me Angel, does it as well.
Ben knows that as far as he is concerned, intelligence comes before beauty. He’s too skinny and he’s a giant nerd. He’d prefer to be alone in his lab over pretty much anything else. Except to have a boyfriend again, maybe. And of course, Ben has had to learn that it doesn’t matter how much intelligence someone has if no one is willing to invest in them. He’s been trying to get funding for his discovery for ages. After going through all of his preferred sources of investment while those he pitched to nodded off in boredom the moment he started to explain metals and geology, Ben has been forced swallow his pride and enter the private sector.
This decision brings him to Mitchell Industries, but instead of the lackey he’s expecting them to send to talk to him the man himself comes to the meeting, eccentric billionaire Chase Mitchell. The venture capitalist soon surprises Ben into silence, not only by his utter sexiness in that powerful mature way, but the man’s humor, intelligence and down to earth personality. Soon Ben is swept up into a world of success…nouveau. Chase lives life among splendor of the likes Ben (who lives in a studio apartment and eats ramen) has never known, but isn’t completely taken away by his own wealth and success and is more socially cognizant than a stereotypical multi-billionaire. The two are smitten right away, but Ben knows all about the rumors of Chase’s personal life. He’s a player, and more than most, Ben has a lot to lose by a souring relationship between the two — his professional success, his pet project, and his fragile, self-depreciating ego.
Not only was I in for a surprise finding out that the romance in this story was way more front and center than the sex, but I was even more surprised to find that this story had very little sex in it. If I were used to Jack Greene being primarily a romance author then I might say that this had an average amount of sex for a short story (meaning, one scene near the end), but I’m not. I’m used to quite a bit of sizzling sex from this author! I wasn’t disappointed, because I liked the story a lot and Jack has show that he’s just as good or better of a romance author than as an erotica author, but it was a bit of an adjustment waiting for the sex to start, lol. The sex we do get though, is really hot, so there are no complaints from me.
I think it’s important to talk about the fact that Jack and now writing more romance-heavy stories because I think many readers probably have pre-conceived notions of his writing, like I did. The target audience of this story is going to be somewhat different than some of his others. I recommend this one for a quick and cute read!
Please leave a comment below to win an ebook copy of Just Call Me Angel. The giveaway will last until Midnight CDT on Friday, May 18. I will choose the winner using Random.org and email the winner who will then have 48 hours from the time of the drawing to reply to my email. I will then forward the winner’s information to Jack so the winner can receive their ebook.
Please enter the email you’d wish me to contact you at in the comment form, or if you prefer, leave it in the message.
Thank you and good luck!
Posted by Cole in 4 Pretty Good, Authors G-I, Contemporary, Giveaways, Heat 3 - Sexy & Mild, Romance, Sex Freq 2 - Few and Far Between, up to 15k Tags: Bahamas, Bisexual, Businessmen, Famous, Hurricane, Jack Greene, Nerds/Geeks, On Vacation, Phaze, Playboys, Science, Scientist, Second Chances, Short Story, Super Rich
Title: The Art of the Deal
Author: B.A. Stretke
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 63k+ words, 200 pages
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Artists, Co-Workers, Characters That Should Grovel, HEA, Job Troubles, Lawyers, Light & Sweet, Man Slut, Super Rich
Rating: Really Liked It
Reviewed by Nikyta
Sean Robbins’s life rarely goes according to plan, which leaves him suspicious and determined to make it on his own. But when he learns why he failed to win a coveted internship with Chicago’s leading lawyer, Coleman West, he soldiers on and takes a lesser position in West’s firm instead. It won’t stop him from snubbing Mr. West whenever he runs into him. Never mind that Mr. West is not only brilliant but gorgeous. Sean has his pride.
People assume Coleman West was handed everything he has on a silver platter. Not so—he fought and scraped his way to the top of Chicago’s elite. That hard work taught him to set high standards for those he chooses to work with… or date. So when he gets on an elevator and runs into the very man he dismissed as being beneath him, the instant chemistry surprises him.
Sean and Coleman could be happy together, but first they must overcome everything that stands in their way: backstabbing, jealousy, and their own pride and prejudices.
When Sean Ribbons finds out why Coleman West rejected him for the leading internship position he was promised, he’s furious and hurt but that doesn’t stop him from proving he’s fit for the job. So, he accepts a lower position instead. He does everything he can to avoid Coleman while proving he has the knowledge and professional manner to be a legal assistant. But when Coleman finally meets the man that’s been running the other way whenever they’re in the same vicinity he’s curious and shocked to find out it’s the same intern he rejected. That doesn’t stop him from trying to make amends when he realizes he cruelly judged Sean without reading all the facts first. From there starts the chase Coleman goes on to finally get Sean not to hate him. Unfortunately, Coleman has a reputation for not being in relationships and everyone keeps telling Sean he’ll be leaving sooner rather than later. Coleman, though, wants an actual relationship but Sean’s wary and distrustful around Coleman, which makes getting Sean to let down his walls almost impossible.
I really liked this book. It was fun and very easy to read. I found it amusing and entertaining how Sean rebuffs Coleman at first which causes Coleman to chase him. I really liked Sean because of that. He’s a stubborn, independent guy who doesn’t like charity and deals with what he’s given. He might be bitter about not getting a placement but he actually likes where he ends up. He’s also very naive and oblivious because he never seemed to know that Coleman was wooing him and wanted more from him than just easing his guilty conscious. However, Coleman is also naive in how to begin a relationship so I could understand why Sean was confused on Coleman’s actions but I loved Coleman in the end. I didn’t necessarily like him in the beginning but he grew on me. He’s aggressive, possessive, and extremely dominate to the point of controlling. He takes over situations and expects to be followed blindly. Although, Sean gives Coleman a run for his money a time or two when he challenges Coleman, which I think is part of the appeal of Sean.
This book started off great. I really enjoyed the fact that Sean was able to bring Coleman down a peg or two but also how Coleman seemed to change just by thinking of Sean. He goes from cold and cruel to warm and smiling. It was sweet in a way. I loved that Sean tried so hard to be distant from Coleman even though Coleman managed to make Sean melt. It was also great to see Sean keep his independence (even if he did let Coleman win more often than not). This story deals heavily around Coleman trying to build a relationship with Sean, even if Sean doesn’t exactly know it. Coleman never actually clearly states his feelings to Sean so it caused some confusion for Sean because Coleman was often hot and cold. I actually really liked that, though, because I’m sure we’ve all known someone who’s been like that so it added some realism to the story. The characters aren’t given as much depth as I would have liked but what there is of them was fun to get to know.
While I really enjoyed this story, I can’t deny that it has it’s faults. For one, there’s major head-hoping so that every paragraph has a POV shift. You’ll be reading from Sean’s POV then be reading about what Coleman thinks or what Ed, Weir, or Jason think even if they aren’t even in the same room as who originally starts the scene. It was disorienting at times because I kept mixing up who was speaking. More than that, sometimes the dialogue between Sean and Coleman was stilted and very formal. It didn’t ‘fit’ with who Sean was and that made the scenes sometimes awkward. I also couldn’t understand how Brittany, for all her trouble making, did not get in trouble for the problems she kept causing Sean. Part of the reason Coleman initially rejected Sean was because Coleman thought Sean would have made the firm look bad, yet here was this girl who was getting someone beat up just because she’s not the favorite? How does that not warrant repercussions for her actions? It boggled my mind especially when countered with how Weir used all that and more to manipulate Sean. Lastly, I felt like the ending was too rushed. There’s a lot of telling instead of showing and we read throughout the story that Coleman never did relationships and when Sean is finally gone, I was expecting some groveling, some pleading and begging to get him back, yet none of that really happens. Sean accepts Coleman after three little words are said and that’s that. No explanation on what happens next, what Sean will do with his career now, or even what will happen to Weir now (this man caused a lot of trouble, I was expecting more resolution with that).
All in all, this was a nice story. It’s sweet, sexy and fun. The premise of the story is great and led to some entertaining moments. I loved both characters even if they didn’t have much depth and I especially loved Ed Murray, Sean’s supervisor. My biggest issues were the POV shifts and the ending. I would have liked the shifts to be tighter and the ending to be longer, instead of over within a few paragraphs. Groveling would definitely have been ideal in this situation! But regardless of all of that, I really enjoyed the story to the point that I didn’t realize I was reading so fast until I had finished. That right there means the book was a good one because with the funk I’ve been in, I haven’t been able to find a book I could read in one go recently but this was one I was able to do that with.
Posted by Nikyta in 41-75k, 5 Really Like It, Authors S-U, Contemporary, Heat 3 - Sexy & Mild, Romance, Sex Freq 2 - Few and Far Between Tags: Artists, BA Stretke, Characters That Should Grovel!, co-workers, Dreamspinner Press, HEA, Job Troubles, Lawyers, Light & Sweet, Man Slut!, Super Rich
Title: John Henry’s Beautiful Charlie
Author: Stormy Glenn
Length: 46,752 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Military, HEA, Cops, Kids, Lots of Enemies!, Super Rich, Fluff ‘n Stuff
Rating: So So
Sheriff John Henry Harrison didn’t even know the old McAdams place had been sold, so when he receives a disturbance call, he rushes right out there, positive it’s just a bunch of kids causing a ruckus. What he discovers there changes his life in ways he never could have imagined.
After losing his wife to cancer, Charlie Pennington was just trying to find a peaceful place to settle down with his young kids. He never imagined that buying the old McAdams homestead would bring the sexiest lawman he had ever seen into his life.
When trouble arrives at Charlie’s door in the form of a custody battle for his kids and a drug lord bent on revenge, Charlie is shocked when John Henry steps right in to help. But even with his former marine buddies at his side, Charlie isn’t sure he can keep everyone he loves alive. Sending them to safety seems like the best choice, until John Henry refuses to go.
So, whenever I get stressed out, or tired, or just don’t want to think… I head over to the Siren website 🙂 Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve read several books published by them that I really liked, but I think we can all agree that in general, they publish fluff and candy. And that’s just what I want sometimes. Some of it is good, and some is very uninspired. I’ve had more misses than hits with this author in the past, even though I haven’t really read that many of her books, but for some reason this one called out to me, and man I needed a break.
I was a bit surprised that I liked this one okay, not expecting much. As usual, there are a lot of problems if you want to get down to brass tacks, but I didn’t expect to get a diamond among the rough here, I just wanted something to take my mind off of all the other heavy books I’m reading for review.
The story is about John Henry and Charlie. The former is a county Sheriff and former marine who gets called out to handle a disturbance out in the woods at a sprawling mansion home that has sat in probate for years and generally rotted almost to the ground. It turns out there is a new owner, Charlie, and JH expects that some more kids have broken into the property to party and didn’t expect someone to be living there. As it turns out, it isn’t kids — it is Charlie’s parents and lawyer trying to take his kids away, because, surprise! Charlie’s gay and before a Howdy can be said, JH and Charlie are to the afterglow of the eye-fucking. But there’s more trouble on the doorstep than a family court dispute — Charlie isn’t just another marine, but some kind of superspy with all kinds of superspy shit in his basement and a group of guys trolling in and out saying Oorah! Add in a druglord, a grandpa worth ten third world countries, and the desire to try out every position of the Kama Sutra, and you have a solid 3 star Siren story.
I did actually like this story, despite how it may sound coming from my punchy brain. The guys have chemistry and are pretty hot together (though is it just me that gets tired of military guys in stories always being so butch? that’s probably me ;D). There are kids, though they aren’t around much. Things do tend to be overstated or understated a little too much (like perfect parents against horrible parents). The big problem I had was that so much was crammed into the story. I shouldn’t have been surprised because for the most part, I always feel like these stories have lost their middle somewhere. There were quite a few surprise connections between people, a little too coincidental to me.
Still, it did what I wanted it to do. I rolled my eyes a little, yeah. I can’t complain, I know what I signed up for and I generally got it. It was sexy and had some funny moments and a lot of action. I do wish that authors would take note of one thing though, something that isn’t hard to do even when you’re offering readers fluff and candy. Set the story up before hand, because when the shit hits the fan, I don’t want to stop in the middle of a scene, with 20 bullets paused in the air to hear who everyone is, you know?
I recommend this one to all of you wanting to take a break. I’ll probably watch out to see if there are any followups because I liked a lot of the secondary characters and would read some of their stories in a heartbeat. I know, I know — but there will be another time when I want to turn my brain off. Apparently they aren’t planned — this isn’t supposed to be a series — but I’ll bet that at some point there’s another.
What is wrong with me? That wasn’t “mini” at all!
Posted by Cole in 3 So So, 41-75k, Authors G-I, Contemporary, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Romance, Sex Freq 4 - Very Often Tags: Cops/Crime, Fluff 'n Stuff, HEA, Kids, Lots of Enemies!, Military, Mini Review, Siren, Stormy Glenn, Super Rich