Category Archives: Reviews: LGBTQ+

Heph and Ant are both cinnamon buns deserving of love

Fireforged coverFireforged by Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I’m so glad these two are back in their modern mythology universe and this series in particular.

I loved book one, in which the ultimate douchebag Hermes went a long way to restoring his reputation as something other than a flakey flyboy.

Here we get the goods on Hephaestus, God of the Forge, the ultimate blacksmith and generally put-upon guy who’s been deliberately used and abused by all his Olympian relatives since day one.

With a wee bit of poetic license, the authors have taken one of the lesser-known Erotes (a collective of winged gods associated with love and sexual intercourse), Eros’ brother Anteros, God of Requited Love, and given him the spotlight and I’m so here for it.

The poor lad gets mistaken for his brother often so I was super excited when it became clear he was going to be the one at the heart of this story.

Essentially it continues on from the events of the first book, with the Titans still roaming free and Chronos determined to overthrow his disobedient children.

The romance is a gentle one, Anteros doesn’t expect to find a gentle giant, who he believes is the most handsome man he’s ever seen, scars and all, when he’s sent to find out which side Hephaestus will take.

And Heph, he’s so used to being screwed over by anyone from Olympus that it takes time for his barriers to fall.

I wasn’t expecting the way the story takes a turn here, the Titan who gets his just desserts isn’t who I thought it would be, but it’s all the more satisfying for it.

Anteros and Hephaestus are a sweet pair, both looking to find someone with who they can be both the caregiver and also the receiver of love and devotion.

As they spend more time together, each one brings a comfort to the other that draws them closer and when danger threatens, Heph’s support of Anteros’ desire to stay and fight is the catalyst which spills them over into love.

With surprising twists, Sam and W.M. take this middle book and move the plot on with ease, building up to the big confrontation that’s going to come next in Ares’ book.

I can’t wait to see who he’s going be falling for!

#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Saxon opens her new series with a fabulous “fake marriage” romance

The Husband Hoax FINAL-2The Husband Hoax by Saxon James

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh this book is utterly brilliant, ridiculous in all the best ways, and has a plot which could come straight out of a Hallmark movie script – but it just works beautifully.

I had the biggest smile on my face from start to finish as this story unfolded. It has a wonderful found family at the heart of it.

Christian and his friends live in a shared house they call Big-Boned Bertha, all misfits and rejects with an artistic streak, they’ve come together to create a wonderfully solid group of people who support and love each other without expectation.

When Christian gets an invite to his cousin’s wedding, he’s anxious about seeing his parents, a decade after they threw him out for being gay, and so he hires someone to pretend to be his partner, a successful man with an active social media presence.

Unfortunately, the guy doesn’t show because of illness and Christian’s floundering until a Prince Charming steps in.

Émile has escaped from a memorial event for his late grandfather, his family giving new meaning to the definition of toxic, and he’s overheard Christian’s anguished cries and thinks that helping him out would not only be a bit of a lark, but it would also be a great way to annoy his family.

What follows next is a delightfully madcap scheme in which Christian agrees to play the part of Émile’s fiancé – so he can inherit an astronomical amount of money from his late grandfather and use it to do good deeds – in return for his debts being paid off.

Of course, what actually happens is these two goobers fall madly in love without even realising it as they go through the motions of setting up their fake marriage.

What I loved the most about this was the relationship at the heart of all the crazy. Christian and Émile just click from the off, they take the time to listen to each other, they’re supportive and caring, they want to spend time together.

There’s tension caused by external events, these two never get in each other’s way or have stupid petty arguments, the pacing is excellent and Saxon drives up the need to reach the end through carefully moving on the narrative with little stepping stones of plot that all join together to make a pathway to a really satisfying conclusion.

Along the way we find out more about the guys who share the house with Christian and we meet the only decent member of his family, his sister Elle.

I couldn’t put this book down, it was just such a fun read from start to finish and now I’m dying to find out who the next book will be about!

#ARC kindly received from the author via ForewordPR, I am voluntarily leaving a review

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My favourite so far in this kinky ranch series

Hot Blood coverHot Blood by A.E. Lister

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think this one is probably my favourite in the series so far and, bizarrely, it’s really only tangible to the whole setting as it involves a photographer visiting the ranch.

However, there is still some ponyplay, he’s attracted to a wilful and contrary ponyboy he meets on his first day and it’s clear there’s a spark of interest from the younger Puck too.

There’s some of the usual great depth of detail given to the whole kink side of the Braided Crop Ranch which is something I’ve always appreciated about this series, but – as with the others – a lot of stuff is also only referenced as throwaway lines, which makes me lose my connection to the characters.

Still, all in all I did very much buy into the relationship development and I liked the mutual to-ing and fro-ing that went on between Puck and Oliver as they found their feet in how they wanted things to progress.

It has some lovely moments of sweetness too, as Puck is struggling with dealing with the after effects of something which has happened to his best friend and Oliver helps provide him with a strong comfort to finally take action.

Interestingly, this one has no mention of any of the other relationships already established at the Ranch, something I felt overtook the narrative in Dark Horse, but I would still have expected both Adam and Kamal to have at least mentioned they had boyfriends!

(NOTE: The author’s note mentions that this takes place before the events in Stable Hand, so no boyfriends for either of them, I somehow seem to have missed this when I requested the ARC originally!)

Overall though this was a very quick and easy read with lots of good parts and I will always enjoy seeing how well A.E. Lister writes the kink element of this series.

#ARC kindly received from the author and publisher via Indigo PR in return for an honest and unbiased review

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