M/M Monday – Wallflower by Heidi Belleau

Wallflower (Rear Entrance Video, #2)

Grade: B
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Mild Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/m
Series: Rear Entrance Video #2
Published: 10/21/13
Reviewed by Anne
206 pages
Rob is a college art student.  He’s a very shy nerd and enjoys gaming online.  He’s gay (but still in the closet) and he has a crush on one of his roomates (who happens to be straight.)  Rob just started working at Rear Entrance Video, a store that rents porn movies and sells sex toys.  He also fantasizes about dressing up like a woman and he’s really not sure what to do with those thoughts.
Dylan is a confident, tall, and big man.  He’s in one of Rob’s classes, he frequents the video store and he’s also gay.
This story is about how Rob and Dylan meet and what happens between the two of them, but it is much more about Rob coming to terms with himself.  It was a story that grabbed me and I didn’t want to put it down.  It was very interesting to think through how Rob felt as he considered spending time as “Bobby” and what that would and wouldn’t mean to him.  It’s not an easy path for Rob to walk; some of that is due to other people in his life, and some of it is due to his own hang ups.
I enjoyed Rob/Bobby’s growth throughout the story.  His choices on how to deal with things led to a precarious situation which was scariest because I could see how easily it could be true, and not without the happy ending this story had.  That was a sad reality to consider.  It was really a high to see Rob come to terms with himself, though – totally worth the angst that came before it!
I do imagine that this story was a little sweeter than real life would be for someone in Rob’s situation.  Only one asshole picked on Bobby.  Of all his friends and relatives, only one had a hard time with him coming out.  Dylan and his parents were all very understanding of what Rob/Bobby was going though.  I think real life is probably a bit more painful.  That’s not a criticism of the story, but a nod to the fact that this is the kind of HEA/HFN the book has.
The biggest criticism I have of the story is that the romance between Rob and Dylan felt very much like insta-love once they had sex.  They went from hating each other to loving each other pretty darn quickly.  I also found Dylan’s nickname for Rob (Puny) to be annoying, but I know I’m being overly sensitive on that front.
I do have to give bonus points to any story with references to Twilight AND Flowers in the Attic.  It’s also got a well adjusted and happy adopted character with adoptive parents who are lovely – all this while acknowledging the challenges of being adopted.
Overall this was a good read.  It made me think about gender in ways I hadn’t before, and I enjoyed it.  The romance was a bit rushed, but it still worked for me.  I recommend this book and I think I’ve found a new author and new series on the m/m side of things.

Exotica by Eden Bradley

Hotness Level-Inferno
Kink Level-None
Reviewed by Kay

Seven Days of Kama Sutra

Lilli DeForrest’s former marriage was a disaster and she is still trying to heal from that. She was given a week pass at her friend, Caroline’s resort called Exotica. Exotica has themed fantasy rooms, something for everyone. Lilli is a nervous wreck and very apprehensive due to self image issues caused by the ex-husband. When she arrives Caroline tries to soothe her nerves with a tour. After that, she goes to her room and meets Rajan, her lover for the week. Rajan is a companion saving up money to open his own luxury spa. When he and Lilli meet there are instant sparks and they fast become lovers. But there are real issues here that they will have to face in the end if they decide to stay together.

I enjoyed this first story in this novel. It was very sweet, tender, raw and sexy. Boy, was it sexy! great chemistry and smoking hot love scenes. The story was well written and flowed nicely.

Caroline Winter is the manager for Exotica. She helps fulfill other people’s fantasies but not her own.
She was hurt in the past and hasn’t let her self sexually relax in a long time. After a talk with her friend, Lilli she decides to do just that with the help of a newly hired employee. Kian, no last name, is the newest hire of Exotica and he has a secret. I won’t tell you the secret but it’s a big one. He agrees to Caroline’s proposition and their fling starts.

I liked this story also but I liked the first one better. I had issue with Kian’s not being honest with Caroline when he knew she had trust issues. Trust and fidelity are tied for the most important things in a relationship in my opinion, so with the abuse of her trust I couldn’t totally warm to his character. Otherwise, this is a good book with blistering love scenes. I’m glad I got the chance to read it.

Fever by Maya Banks

Fever (Breathless, #2)
Hotness Level-Inferno
Kink Level-High
Series-Breathless #2
Reviewed by Kay

This installment of Maya Banks’ Breathless trilogy is my favorite so far. I really enjoyed it. Great heroine, pretty good hero. Good supporting cast also. I’ll let you know what I liked and disliked in just a moment. Let me summarize first.

Jace Crestwell  sees Bethany Willis across the room at his sister’s engagement party and something happens. The world shifts on it’s axis and he is almost overcome with a sense of possessiveness. He’s never had that kind of reaction to a woman before. And he’s had plenty of women. Plenty. He knows he wants her but he usually has his best friend, Ash along for the ride(pun intended). Bethany is different. She’s special and he can’t understand how she can be since he has just seen her. Ash sees his interest and against Jace’s wishes approaches her and propositions her.

Bethany is taken aback at first but due to the attraction she feels for both of them but Jace especially, she agrees. She does negotiate dinner in the deal though. The reason I bring that up is that Bethany is homeless and works odd jobs when she can find them. She’s part of the wait staff at this engagement party. She feels a little at odds with her decision to go home with them but takes the chance. They spend the night together and she ditches them in the morning.

This encounter has changed everything for Jace, Bethany and Ash. Jace has met the woman for him, Bethany has possibly met someone who will have her back and Ash realizes that his best friend’s priorities have changed. There is a lot of emotions in this book. Relationship evaluation too. What place you play in different people’s lives.

What I did like: Jace’s immediate realization that Bethany was his. His acceptance of this and of her and her past. Bethany as a character. I love the tortured heroine trope. Life was never kind to her but she always came out swinging. Ash’s acceptance of how things should be.

What I didn’t like: Jace’s extreme BDSM stuff but that’s more of a personal preference. His numerous doubts of trust with the people he was supposed to love. Jack pretty much was annoying and useless.

You got a small glimmer of life on the streets and a bad example of the foster care system. I know that not all examples of the foster care system are bad and that needs to be pointed out. This was a solid addition to the series and I eagerly wait Ash’s book. I want it NOW!