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

Tag Archives: Torquere

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Congrats to these winners for:

Shadows in the Night by MA Church: Gigi

Blood Bathory: Like the Night by Ari McKay: PaParanormalFan (Renee)

Thick as Thieves by Tali Spencer: Ann

I’ve already emailed Gigi, Renee & Ann, so they should already have gotten the news 😉 but if not, please email 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 these wonderful authors’ guest posts and my review of Blood Bathory:

MA Church introduces Shadows in the Night + Excerpt + Giveaway!
My Review: Blood Bathory: Like the Night by Ari McKay + Giveaway!
“My Blurb Has Balls”, a guest post by Tali Spencer + Giveaway!

Buy Links:

Shadows in the Night by MA Church: http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-in-the-Night-ebook/dp/B00DW0GTGE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374340374&sr=1-1&keywords=shadows+in+the+night+church

Blood Bathory by Ari McKay: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Bathory-Like-Night-ebook/dp/B00DRL9640/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374340443&sr=1-1&keywords=blood+bathory+mckay

Thick as Thieves by Tali Spencer: http://www.amazon.com/Thick-as-Thieves-ebook/dp/B00DTNALTK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374340478&sr=1-1&keywords=thick+as+thieves+spencer+tali


bloodbathory185Title: Blood Bathory: Like the Night
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Torquere
Length: 123,500 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Series, Co-Authored, Vampires, Shifters, On the Lam, Past Trauma/Abuse, Cops (FBI), Friends to Lovers, Best Friends, NYC, Paris, Artists (Photographer), Grief, Second Chances, Sexy to the 999s, Machiavellian Bad Guy, Villain, Mythology
Rating: Really Liked It

BLURB

Evan St. John, a young fashion photographer running from the pain caused by the death of his younger sister, is thrilled when he is offered a job with House of Nadasdy, a leading fashion house in Paris. What he doesn’t know is that Elizabeth Nadasdy, the elegant and powerful owner, is a centuries-old vampire with a penchant for collecting beautiful people. To Evan’s horror, he is turned into one of her “children”.

Unable to bear what he has become, Evan flees to New York and to his best friend, police officer Will Trask. For years, Evan has nursed an unrequited love for Will, but he also knows Will is the one person who might be able to help him. As Evan and Will try to deal with Evan’s condition, they are drawn into the world of the theriomorphs: shape-shifters who are guardians of life and the sworn enemies of vampires. Caught in an ancient war between two powerful supernatural forces, Evan and Will find they must choose sides — because if they are to have any chance of a future together, they must destroy Elizabeth Nadasdy before she destroys them.

REVIEW

These two authors have been one of my favorite writing teams for a while now, and I knew that I wanted to review this book before I’d even heard of it or read the blurb. So when I finally did read the blurb I was even more exited, especially for such a long book. And finishing it took me a couple of days, mostly just because I wanted to enjoy it, so I spent my time reading it totally for pleasure and enjoying every twist and turn.

Evan St. John and Will Trask have a tumultuous past. Roommates their Freshman year of college at Columbia, they soon grow to be friends. Evan is openly gay and an art photography student, always carrying around his camera, while Will is a manly jock through and through. For reasons that Evan never understands, Will sticks by him and the bullying he was experiencing dwindles when people start to realize that Will will aways have his back. As they grow closer Evan starts to understand Will better, including Will’s White Knight Complex, his need to protect and care for those he loves, to an almost fanatical, save-the-day to-the-rescue level.

Their dynamic changes when Evan’s sister is dying of cancer and their relationship grows during the emotional period — Evan is distraught and barely keeping himself afloat while trying to understand and come to terms with her turn for the worse. And Will picks up the slack, in more ways than expected. But the grief sends Evan running to Paris and three years go by, where Evan becomes a famous fashion photographer taken on by The House of Nadasdy, run by famous and infamous Elizabeth Nadasdy, and Will becomes an agent with the FBI.

We’re first introduced to Evan in Like the Night as he escapes Paris during the day to fly to New York City and seek help from Will. He’s a newly made vampire under the gruesome and tyrannical rule of Elizabeth Nadasdy, a modern day remnant of her famous human days as Elizabeth of Bathory. Above all (except herself), she loves beauty and hoards a collection of “children” all turned by her for their extraordinary beauty, which she believes deserves to be preserved for eternity. Evan was a prize for her, and his rejection of her extraordinary “gift” is tantamount to the ultimate betrayal, something she relishes punishing him for. But Elizabeth doesn’t expect the trouble it will take to find and deal with Evan. With him, someone whose beauty hides his intelligence and cunning, are a group of allies who seek one common goal: the eradication of Elizabeth Nadasdy. And of course Evan has Will, his White Knight, ready to stand in front of any threat to his best friend.

I really just loved this book. I took a while to read it because it is long, but it is also totally packed with plot and, just about everything under the sun, making the book seem even longer than it is. There’s an economy to the writing which gives you SO much story for just the first book of a series that it gave me the time and the opportunity to really sink into the story. What came through in this story most strongly for me was the pervasive mood of fear and impending doom. This is all because of the fact that Elizabeth is built up to such supervillain status that she’s made to be almost omniscient, with unlimited power. Add to this a connection between vampires and their sire, or maker, and the fact that Elizabeth could peek in on Evan at any moment and even make him do things or spy on his relationship with Will, or their planned resistance of her make the story suffused with tension.

I found the villainous characters in this novel to be quite interesting. We have Elizabeth who is the typical diabolical character. She relishes in the pain of others and not only causes death and despair because it gets her something (money, fame, power, etc.) but also because she enjoys the suffering of others. She firmly believes that she’s more worthy than anyone else to have the status that she does because of her beauty and the vision she has for the future. But, sometimes diabolical is boring. No matter how outrageously cruel Elizabeth can be, she’s still a character that doesn’t take too much effort to understand. My favorite villainous character is her daughter Anna, who I suspect will become a crucial and central character to the future books. Anna is raised in the shadow of her diabolical mother. She’s always second best, but raised to revel in the same cruelties as her mother. She’s made a vampire both because of her beauty which is similar to her mother’s, but also as a gift from her. But hundreds of years of oppression make Anna rather different from her mother. Though I suspect that they both have similar depth of cruel possibility inherently in them, Anna’s choices are governed by her hate of her mother and her acceptance that her only meaning to her mother is what she can do for her. That makes her cruel, but much more interesting than her mother. And of course, it’s going to be great when the two really turn on one another 😉

Anyway, I’m super excited for the second book. I hope it isn’t too far away. But honestly, I can’t really be sad because this is the first book in a while (that is the first book of a series) that actually gives us enough story to satisfy us for the first installment. 123k words is pretty long, yes, but it allows the book to give full and adequate world-building while also giving us a real story that will be carried on in the second part. We have a full and self-standing plot with only a few loose ends to pick up in the next book. If this is the case for the next books as well, then I can only imagine where this story will go before it ends!

Definitely Recommended!

GIVEAWAY RULES

Please leave a comment below to win an ebook copy of Blood Bathory: Like the Night by Ari McKay. The giveaway will last until Midnight CDT on Tuesday, July 16. 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 the author so the winner can receive their book.

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!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED


outcast185Title: Outcast
Author: Alex Douglas
Publisher: Torquere Press
Length: 63k words
Genre: m/m Scifi Romance (sorta)
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Alcoholics, Aliens, Bisexual, Co-Workers, Emotionally Damaged, Interspecies, Mate Bonding, Mercs, Otherworld, Past Abuse, Physical Injury/Trauma, Psychic/Empaths, Secrets & Lies, Space Travel, Tentacle Sex, Yearning
Rating: Pretty Good

Reviewed by Nikyta

BLURB

Prez has been in the arms – or tentacles – of one too many brothel workers in his time. The memory of long-lost love is all he has, and it’s not enough. But no one in the Belaar-Andra system wants an alien half-breed for a partner, so life is as good as it can be. He’s making money, he’s going places, he’s got friends and a spaceship he loves – a decrepit cargo ship named Outcast. And now he’s got a new co-pilot, from the remote world of Aldor. Lan’s mysterious and doesn’t say a lot, but as they get to know each other, Prez starts to feel something he hasn’t felt in a long time – hope.

But the past hasn’t quite released him, and the Outcast isn’t done yet. On its final mission to deliver a mysterious cargo for the Belaari government, long-buried secrets start to stir. When his old co-pilot – and best friend – is finally himself again, Prez has a difficult decision to make, but Lan has other ideas about his own destiny. A rich man at last, can Prez finally get the things he really wants?

REVIEW

Prez is the captain of the cargo ship Outcast and in desperate need of a new co-pilot since his old one becomes temporarily unavailable. Lan from Aldor answers his prayers but while Prez is considered a freak even among all the aliens, Lan is the one with the mysterious heritage. When Prez gets a contract to deliver some secret cargo, Prez thinks he’s finally made it big. What none of them expected was for the cargo to cause a lot of problems for not just Prez but for Lan, as well.

The world this author painted was a fascinating thing. I loved the variety species, planets and how they were all different and unique. I gobbled that up because it was such an integral part to the story in relation to who and what Prez was but also because it was interesting to see how Prez was treated just because of what he was. I loved Prez most of the time because of his quirky sense of humor but Lan was probably my favorite. He’s like a robot almost that doesn’t understand Prez and the others but eventually finds not only friends in them but a home with them. I loved how different Lan was but I really wished there had been more focus on him and his world! More than that, Lan’s situation broke my heart. He was so confused at times and had to handle things on his own but the eventual outcome of his situation had me so sad, I almost cried! And, no, I won’t spoiler you on that!

While I loved the story and the world, I can’t deny that I got annoyed over the sex with other characters outside the MCs. Generally, I don’t like this but sometimes I can see the merit of it. In this case, there were more sex scenes between Prez and others from brothels than there was between Prez and Lan. Not only that but I didn’t feel the connection between Prez and Lan. There weren’t many feelings of love, admiration or even lust between them until the very, very end. Granted, Lan is asexual BUT I took offense to the fact that Prez was his mate yet some unknown princess took Lan’s virginity after Lan realizes his connection to Prez. It annoyed me more than anything else in the book did. With that said, there still wasn’t any middle ground between their friendship during the whole book to all of a sudden this love they have for each other by the end. It was confusing and didn’t feel like it fit with the story. Beyond that, some aspects of the world were confusing because the words were either not explained or some scenes that I felt like were vital were glossed over.

All in all, I felt like there was too much focus on others and their sex together but not enough on the actual couple, which really hindered the story. However, the journey Prez, Lan and their friends go on was a great adventure. I loved the universe and the unique species the author created because it made for not only a fun and enjoyable ride but for some funny moments as well. For those sci-fi fans out there, give this one a try because it does have a great setting.


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.


dragontouched185Title: Dragon Touched (Dragon #7)
Author: JB McDonald
Publisher: Torquere
Length: 17,500 words
Genre: m/m Fantasy Romance
Heat: 3 – Mild & Sexy
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Dragons, Elves, Demons, Magic, Royalty, Series
Rating: Really Liked It!

Spoiler alert! This is the seventh book in a series and may contain spoilers for previous installments.

Reviewed by Sadonna

BLURB

Being called a demon and given suspicious looks has become old hat for Ashe, depressing as it is. But a mob attack leaves him shaken, aware of the danger he’s in every time he walks out of the palace. With no purpose, no friends, and a culture that hates him, Ashe is barely putting one foot in front of the other. He wants to go home.



Katsu wants to go home, too, but first he has to fulfill his duties. The problem is that every time he finishes one thing, something else needs his attention. If Ashe will just be patient, Katsu will figure it out. But Ashe is running out of patience, and the boys are learning that sometimes, love isn’t enough. Katsu knows the solution is there, if he can just find it… before everything falls apart.

REVIEW

This seventh installment of the Dragon series is definitely fraught with tension. I was glad to learn that the final installment will be published shortly and hopefully we will have some resolution for Ashe and Katsu!

Ashe and Katsu remain in Katsu’s homeland even though their initial reason for being there has been resolved and Katsu’s sister is healed and out of danger. For weeks the Queen and Chieko, Katsu’s recovering sister, have kept Katsu busy with other tasks. Ashe is lonely and bored and he decides that he needs to get out of the palace where he feels like a prisoner and go into the city. He convinces Daisuke that with the dragon accompanying him he’ll be fine. Well, he couldn’t be more wrong and thankfully Katsu arrives to rescue him before things get really out of hand. This does not stop Ashe from being angry that he is stuck in a country where he is feared as a demon and has no freedom.

Of course the Queen continues to find things that ONLY Katsu can do – like train their healers who were never trained properly in the advanced techniques that he knows. Of course he feels guilty about that and agrees to stay on. But Ashe has had enough and tells Katsu that regardless of what task the Queen has set before him, he must leave and Katsu can find him when he’s finished with whatever duties he has to fulfill. Daisuke tries to find Ashe and escort to get him through the country and to a boat so he can return to his own country, but no one wants to leave. Daisuke is an indentured servant, so he cannot, but Ashe figures out a way to pay off his debt and then he can accompany Ashe.

Ashe feels like he must leave before he sees Katsu again because he doesn’t want his resolve to waiver and he is just too miserable. They buy some horse and start off on their journey, hunting and camping along the way, which Daisuke definitely does not enjoy. Meanwhile the Queen expresses her wish that Katsu fulfill his obligations with Chieko and the healers and then Katsu is approached by one of the men who tries to guilt him into joining their cause as well. Luckily his sister makes him see reason and that he will be miserable if he sacrifices his happiness when there is really no need for him to do so. Unfortunately, the Queen has other plans.

I am so looking forward to the resolution of this story. Katsu and especially Ashe realize the extent of their love for each other in this episode, but there is interference from outsiders and it’s going to be very difficult for them to triumph and be together in the end.


ricochet185Title: Ricochet
Author: B.A. Tortuga
Publisher: Torquere
Length: 19,500 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Western Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Cowboys, Going Home, Injury, Friends to Lovers, Second Chances, Nasty Exes, HEA, Texas
Rating: Pretty Good

Reviewed by Sadonna

BLURB

Holt is leaving his life in the city, ready to shed himself of the drama of his ex and get back to the simple life in Texas. His ex, Dave, disagrees with the idea. Violently. When Holt ends up injured and stranded, it’s his old friend, Teague, who comes to the rescue.



Teague has always regretted letting Holt slip away, and he’ll do whatever he needs to keep the man in his life now, even if that means enduring the agony of “just friends”. Will Holt ever realize how much Teague loves him, or will it be too late for both of them?

REVIEW

Holt has been living in the city with his pretty boyfriend Dave, but it’s time to move on. Dave is very unhappy about this decision and after his crocodile tears, assaults Holt. Luckily his old friend Teague arrives to get him safely back to Texas. Teague is a cowboy who trains horses and is Holt’s oldest and dearest friend. They enjoy getting reacquainted on their drive home, except that Teague has as secret he hasn’t shared with Holt that makes their close proximity a bit uncomfortable.

They arrive in Texas and Holt decides to stay with Teague since he has a three-bedroom house and Holt’s parents drive him crazy. They are having a good time living together and then Holt accidentally discovers what Teague has been keeping from him in a very graphic way! Seems Holt’s assumptions about Teague may have been all wrong 😉 They try to keep their relationship under wraps, but it seems that a few people have it figured out anyway. Some folks are happy and others are murderous. There are a few tense moments, but they overcome the obstacles in their way.

All in all, this was a pretty entertaining story. The dialect of the characters was something I had to get used to, but it felt right for them and the location. The secondary characters are few, but that’s reasonable in a story this length. They added enough to the story without dragging it out. Teague and Holt were fun to read as they were trying to work their way from friends to lovers (with a lot of smexing) and figure out how their lives were going to work.