The Devil’s Lover by Alexa Piper


The Devil’s Lover by Alexa Piper
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, LGBTQ, Erotic Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Lionel and Lucifer are drawn deeper into a murder case, but they are set on solving it together.

Just when Lionel’s love life has gone back to normal — normal meaning the kinky Devil making his ownership known — Lionel’s murder case gets stranger. Lionel’s birth father seems to have his hands in the mystery, and Lionel finds himself in the sights of Eris, goddess of discord.

Lucifer used to be a prime example of a powerful underworld deity with all the knowledge and skill to take care of a lover in the bedroom. But that was before Lucifer fell properly in love and won over his necromantic boyfriend, who also happens to be a demigod. Lionel’s innate magic, magical skill, and stubborn nature make it exceedingly difficult for Lucifer to be the alpha god he wants to be for Lionel.

Lucifer is set on finding a way to provide for the man he loves and to fulfill Lionel’s every desire. But before he can focus entirely on his necromancer, the two of them must solve the case, prevent primordial deities from being raised and destroying the world, and learn to communicate better. It’s what relationships and crime solving are all about.

The devil and a necromancer meet…they fall in love and solve mysteries. What a series.

I did like the show Lucifer, but I rather wondered what it would’ve been like had the lead character been gay. Now, through this series, I get to find out how it would play out. I do like it a lot.

Lucifer and Lionel make a good pair. They’re kind to each other, considerate and complement each other well. Their love story is cute, too. It’s also pretty hot. Can’t knock that.

This is a mystery and I liked that I wasn’t able to figure out the mystery right away. That kept me in my seat needing to know what would happen next. It felt like there were a few loose ends in this book, but it’s also part of a series and I haven’t read all of the others yet. I wasn’t lost, but there did seem to be a bit that wasn’t rectified at the end.

Still, it’s a hot book and great for an afternoon that’s chilly. If you’re looking for a book featuring the devil and a necromancer, filled with love and sweetness, plus a mystery, then this might be the one for you.

River Hag by Pelaam


River Hag by Pelaam
Book five in The Devil’s in the Details series
Publisher: Pride Publishing, Totally Entwined
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Erotic Romance, Paranormal, LGBTQ
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Sometimes, a friend in need can be deadly in deed.

Keegan has an abusive stepfather, Frank, and is bullied at college. He dodges bullies, led by Owen, by hiding close to the river. He tells his friend about the attacks and his narrow escape. The next day in college, pondweed is found in Owen’s locker, and he blames Keegan. The pondweed is sent to John Bull, and on examination is found to have a paranormal resonance, so he sends Emery, Alex and Kadin to investigate.

When Owen is found drowned in a bathtub, secured with pondweed, the team believe they’re dealing with a grindylow—a river hag. They need to establish whether the creature is acting for its own ends or at someone’s direction. Circumstances point to Keegan, but the team can’t find the connection and feel time is running out.

The next victim is Keegan’s stepfather, and with Keegan missing, Kadin decides to try to communicate with his spirit. He learns that the grindylow is protecting Keegan, but the team know that its nature means that Bo, now Keegan’s lover, will be the next victim.

But first, they need to find Keegan.

A protector that might not be so protecting after all.

I love the books of Pelaam and this was no exception. The story clips along well and got me right into the action. I didn’t feel confused because it’s book 5 and I wasn’t caught up. Instead, it reads as a nice little standalone. It’s creepy in spots, tender and romantic in others and gripping.

Keegan hasn’t had the best time in life. He’s been abused and bullied. His character is someone many can relate to. I liked how the grindylow came into the picture and how it interacted with Keegan. He needed a protector. Enter his friend.

Then there’s Bo, Keegan’s boyfriend. He’s sweet and everything Keegan needs in a lover. I liked him right away. I wanted to see them have a happy ending, too.

I liked the twists and turns in this story and can’t wait to read the others. It’s a complicated story and takes a bit of unraveling to keep it straight, but I had to know what would happen next.

If you’re looking for something that’s off the beaten path, sweet and original, then this is the book for you. Check it out.

Miss Memory Lane: A Memoir by Colton Haynes


Miss Memory Lane: A Memoir by Colton Haynes
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Recent Historical, Contemporary, Non-Fiction, LGBTQ
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

A brutally honest and moving memoir of lust, abuse, addiction, stardom, and redemption from Arrow and Teen Wolf actor Colton Haynes.

Four years ago, Colton Haynes woke up in a hospital. He’d had two seizures, lost the sight in one eye, almost ruptured a kidney, and been put on an involuntary psychiatry hold. Not yet thirty, he knew he had to take stock of his life and make some serious changes if he wanted to see his next birthday.

As he worked towards sobriety, Haynes allowed himself to become vulnerable for the first time in years and with that, discovered profound self-awareness. He had millions of social media followers who constantly told him they loved him. But what would they think if they knew his true story? If they knew where he came from and the things he had done?

Now, Colton bravely pulls back the curtain on his life and career, revealing the incredible highs and devastating lows. From his unorthodox childhood in a small Kansas town, to coming to terms with his sexuality, he keeps nothing back.

By sixteen, he had been signed by the world’s top modeling agency and his face appeared on billboards. But he was still a broke, lonely, confused teenager, surrounded by people telling him he could be a star as long as he never let anyone see his true self. As his career in television took off, the stress of wearing so many masks and trying to please so many different people turned his use of drugs and alcohol into full-blown addiction.

A lyrical and intimate confession, apology, and cautionary tale, Miss Memory Lane is an unforgettable story of dreams deferred and dreams fulfilled; of a family torn apart and rebuilt; and of a man stepping into the light as no one but himself.

At times, this is a run-of-the-mill autobiography, but at others, it’s heart-rendering and poetic.

I’ve never seen Colton Haynes on television. I guess I don’t watch the shows he’s been on and that’s okay. I didn’t pick this book up because of the star quality. I wanted an autobiography that would make me think and feel. This is one of those books. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t agree with everything that happened and there were times I cringed, but that’s life. It’s not always perfect or sweet. People can be mean to each other, can use each other and it’s up to those people to pick themselves up afterward.

Colton Haynes is a mess, it’s true. He grew up in a bad situation, was treated awfully and went into a profession that tends to chew people up and spit them out. Yet, he’s still here. There are moments of gut-wrenching seriousness and some of humor. I hated the way the author was treated, but I can see how it made him the man who wrote the book today. It made him stronger and appreciate what he has. At least that’s how it seemed in the book.

If you’re looking for something lurid, then this might be it. There’s underage sex, abuse and the like. It’s not an easy read. But if you’re looking for something to make you think and realize your life isn’t so bad, then this might be the one to read. Check it out.

Bloodstone by Rebecca Henry


Bloodstone by Rebecca Henry
Publisher: Finch Books
Genre: Young Adult (14 – 18 y.o.), Paranormal, LGBTQ, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

There’s something wicked in the wind on Ambrosia Hill and strength is held within a stone.

Zinnia knows nothing is as it seems in the witching world, and she realizes the aunts calling her back to the Fern House was not without consequences. Zinnia must embrace her witch abilities and undergo her biggest test yet. Can she learn to rely on her personal magic, the strength in others, and trust that what she sees isn’ t always reality? There’ s something wicked in the wind this Halloween on Ambrosia Hill and Zinnia must fight for those she loves most.

What might you find if you peeled back the stereotypes and looked at who someone really was?

The romantic subplot made me smile. I’ve enjoyed seeing it gradually develop from a friendship into a heartwarming romance since first meeting these characters in Amethyst. Not only was the slow burn approach perfect for them, it also gave me plenty of time to notice all sorts of similarities between them that make me think they’d be a great match. I can only hope that any sequels in the works will include more of this storyline as it’s such a nice contrast to the sometimes-scary work a witch must do.

Once again, I would have liked to see more character development. Yes, it is happening slowly, but I found myself wishing that Zinnia especially would be given more opportunities to show the audience how she’s changed as a result of coming out of the closet as a member of the LGBTQ community as well as accepting her identity as a witch. This was the only thing holding me back from choosing a five-star rating.

I know I’ve mentioned the beautiful world building in both of my previous reviews of the first two books in this series, but it continued to impress me this time around. Ms. Henry has been doing a wonderful job so far of feeding the audience exactly enough information about witchcraft and witch culture in this universe to keep my interest levels high. Just when I think I have it all more or less figured out, she adds yet another layer to it that deepens my previous understanding of how it all worked and makes me eager to see what might happen next. As far as this reader is concerned, there’s still a ton of ground to cover for these characters, and I hope for many more updates to come in the future.

While the plot itself could technically function as a standalone work, this is the third instalment of a series that should be read in order to best understand the complex and memorable world the author is building here.

Bloodstone made me yearn for more.

Winter Blogfest: Megan Slayer

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a necklace and earrings made by the author!

Holiday Movies by Megan Slayer

 

I’m a sucker for those cornball holiday movies most people probably don’t like. I love the old guard ones, sure, but there’s something fun about the cornball ones you can find all over cable TV. I thought this year, I’d highlight some of my favorite ones. Why not? I tend to binge them in July and get a tad sick of them by November, but hey, everyone’s got to do what they’ve got to do. These aren’t in any particular order, and I know I’ll miss a few. That’s how this works. So here’s my list in no particular order.

A Christmas Kiss – I don’t know what it is about this one, but it’s corny and sweet, but I love it. Plus, I love seeing the woman who played the kick-butt lawyer on Law and Order having a turn as a baddie. It’s fun.

Christmas in Evergreen – there’s a spirit of anything is possible in this one. I love it.

A Very Merry Mix-Up – traveling doesn’t have to be bad, even if it starts out that way.

The Nine Lives of Christmas – how can you not love a movie with firefighters and cats? I mean, orange cats even! I love it.

A Castle for Christmas – How can you go wrong with Brooke Shields and Carey Elwes? And kilts!

A Christmas Kiss II – because the baddie has to have a happy Christmas, too and there needs to be more kisses!

Naughty or Nice – I love a good struggle between the good guy, the bad boy and everyone learning a lesson. This one hits the spot.

Hats Off to Christmas – she’s got to convince the owner of the Christmas store not to sell and to give her a try with running it. It’s a great can-do story.

Christmas Belle – sort of a twist on Beauty and the Beast but Napa Wine country style. She’s got to get a mansion ready for sale and he’s not sure he wants to let her go. Plus, Christmas.

A Royal Christmas – first, I can’t get enough of his accent and second, her dress is beautiful. Plus, it’s pure cornball romance and wonderful.

A Wish for Christmas – she’s got to stand up for herself and stop letting everyone else take credit. Don’t we all understand that?

I know I called many of these are cornball, but it’s in the most loving fashion. I write romance and I love romance. I love reading about it or watching it. So this list is all out of love. But I know I forgot some. What’ve you got? What are your favorite cheesy Christmas or holiday movies? I want to know!

 

Two men, one kid and the frayed nerves that come with the holidays…can they make it through to Christmas without a blow-up?

Colt Harrison knew when he met Ashley Willis that he’d found the one man for him. He loves Ashley’s son, Wyatt, as if he were his own son. But the stress of living together, compounded with buying a home and adopting pets has worn him down…not to mention the aggravation that comes with the diner he owns. He wants to make Christmas special for his family, but how can they have a great holiday when Colt’s never home?

Ashley’s got a two-week vacation from his job at the elementary school teaching art. All he wants is time with Colt and Wyatt. He loves Colt, but not the long hours spent at the diner, especially around the holidays. Can he be honest about what he wants from Colt and keep the man he loves?
A

nything is possible if they embrace the magic of Christmas.

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the Love Romance Cafe for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Buy the book at First For Romance, Amazon, Books 2 Read, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo

Storm Warning by Alex Winters


Storm Warning by Alex Winters
Publisher: Luminosity Publishing
Genre: LGBTQ, Erotic Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

The only force stronger than the approaching hurricane was their hidden desire for one another…

Beck Carlson is prepping for the approaching storm when a random voice offers to help. Beck is more than surprised. After all, he thought he was alone in the Purple Pelican condos, everyone else having evacuated in the advance of Hurricane Ellen. Instead, a handsome ginger waif, Ford Wilson, pokes his head out of his front door, limping along in a big plastic boot after a recent skateboard accident. Bruised and battered, he’s been unable to prep for the hurricane.

A native Floridian who’s seen his share of storms, Beck takes pity on the sexy skater boy, sharing his own hurricane supplies and showing him the ropes as Ford hunkers down for his first Category 3 storm. After the two part ways for the duration, Beck feels bad, returning with fresh supplies and offering to weather the storm in Ford’s condo. A nervous Ford gratefully accepts, locking them both inside for a whirlwind romance as intense as the approaching storm, and just as dangerous…

A storm? Nothing outruns a storm, except maybe love.

I’ve never read anything by Alex Winters and I’m glad I rectified that. This was a cute story with plenty of sizzle. I got right into the story and couldn’t put it down. I felt like I was right there with the characters while they dealt with the storm and the oncoming desire.

This is told from the first-person perspective, via Ford and Beck. It was nice to be in their POVs and know what they were thinking as they got to know each other. I’m not wild about first person, but in this story, it worked. They’re relatable characters–Ford being a bit of a klutz on his skateboard and green at riding out storms and Beck being the epitome of don’t-judge-a-book-by-it’s-cover. They’re book likable and fun. Plus, the steam between them is great.

I did have a few quibbles beyond this being in first person. With a little more editing, this could be a great story. There were a couple editing issues that took me out of the story but might not bother other readers.

All in all, this is a hot short story about two unlikely characters finding each other in the midst of a crazy situation and realizing they have a lot more in common than every believed. If you’re in the mood for something hot and short, then this is the book you’re looking for.

Just an Ordinary Love Story by Jane Colt


Just an Ordinary Love Story by Jane Colt
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, LGBTQ
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

How likely is it that studious coed Melissa will fall for Richard — former campus jerk and serial womanizer — who’s trying to mend his ways and win her heart? Not very, since, having made it to the “friend zone,” he’s afraid to tell her how he feels. It’s even less likely because Richard doesn’t know Melissa’s already married to her childhood sweetheart, Sam — who’s really Samantha.

However… it’s not impossible. Melissa is bisexual, she’s developing feelings for Richard, and her wife is supportive of her quest to discover what her bisexuality means. What does HEA look like for a loving, blended trio?

Redemption and heat.

I’ve not read a Jane Colt book in a while, but I’m glad I got back to this author. The story is both simple and complex. The writing is done well, and I was captivated throughout.

Melissa thought life went one way, then she found out it’s more complicated than she realizes. That’s okay. That’s life. That’s what makes her relatable. She’s married to Sam, aka Samantha. I liked that they’re devoted to each other and support each other. Richard is a bit of a quirk because he’s had to readjust his life. He thought he wanted one thing and now he’s realizing he wants something else. It’s a relatable story because these people are finding out that life is more complicated than originally considered. Plus, there is a lot of heat. I loved it.

If you’re looking for a short story that’s complicated and fun, then this might be the one you’re looking for. Give it a shot.

Daddy’s Secret by M.C. Roth


Daddy’s Secret by M.C. Roth
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Moonflower

If only you were mine… If only you needed a Daddy to look after you.

This Christmas promises to be the loneliest of Sullivan’ s life and he’ s set to brave the season alone until he receives an amazing, yet heartbreaking, Secret Santa gift that was inspired by his best friend’ s pen pal, Lincoln.

What starts as a thank-you letter to Lincoln soon becomes more as Sullivan finds himself drawn to a man he’ s never met— a man who somehow seems to know him. The problem is, Sullivan needs a friend more than he needs a hookup, so he pretends to be married, taking an intimate relationship out of the equation.

Soon pen and paper aren’ t enough, and he writes his phone number in his next letter, hoping that Lincoln will call him. When Lincoln finally does, Sullivan’ s breath catches at the sound of his voice. When Sullivan pretends that his fake husband is away on a business trip, Lincoln invites himself over for a Christmas movie marathon.

Beside each other on the small couch, the lines begin to blur and Sullivan curses himself for pretending to be married. But maybe he’ s not the only one with a secret.

The best intentions can lead to secrets!

Sullivan is a big-hearted teddy bear who has recently lost his parents. During the ‘Secret Santa’ at work, his best friend presents him with a gift he never expected from her. Samantha admits that her pen-pal actually came up with the idea. Sullivan writes to Lincoln to thank him, and there we go…

This was a sweet and charming story that has some steamy scenes but low angst. I loved how the relationship between Sullivan and Lincoln grew. It made a nice change to read about a boy who isn’t a twink too! Sullivan tries to tell Lincoln on more than one occasion about his ‘husband’ but is unable to finish his confession because of one thing or another (usually Lincoln talking too much!) The list of Christmas movies made me chuckle!

All in all, a great, cozy story to warm the cockles of your heart! Absolutely recommended by me.

Falling for Two by Melanie Hoffer


Falling for Two by Melanie Hoffer
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

The party was supposed to be easy. Wear a mask, dress sexy, and get laid. When a stranger walked in, everything changed. I didn’t expect him to look at me that way or touch me so perfectly. I also didn’t expect to meet him again months later, working at the same company and leading the biggest project of my career. Luckily, he doesn’t remember me until one slip of the tongue throws me back in. Nathan Richards isn’t exactly single, and his roommate and boyfriend, Clark Peterson, has other…interesting ideas.

Hot, steamy and unexpected.

I like a good throuple romance. There’s something fun about two guys and a girl all enjoying themselves…and each other. This book had all the right things. Three people drawn to each other. Two guys devoted to each other, too. A woman who knew what she wanted. Romance. It was hot.

I liked the aspect of the party, the faceless interaction and heat, too. It really brought me into the story. The work romance aspect was good, too. Where some books have a struggle with throuples, this one balanced the various people rather well. I got a good idea of who each character was and how they felt about each other. It didn’t feel like one couple was more important than the other partners.

I wasn’t a fan of how Nathan and Bri got together. It felt like Clark had been left out and that bugged me. I’m also not a fan of first person stories. While this wasn’t my cuppa told in this POV, it might be perfectly fine for other readers, so don’t be deterred.

If you’re looking for something hot, spicy and exciting, this might be exactly what you’re looking for. Try it!

Horribly Harry by Sarah Honey and Lisa Henry


Horribly Harry by Sarah Honey and Lisa Henry
Bad Boyfriends, Inc., book 2
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Bad Boyfriend, Inc—when you can’t find a good boyfriend, why not hire a bad one instead?

To supplement his income while he’s completing his Early Education degree, Harry Townsend hires himself out as a terrible date—for a set fee, he’ll horrify parents and family members in all sorts of interesting ways. But when it comes to actual relationships—and sex—Harry doesn’t get the appeal. He doesn’t get the same tingly feelings everyone else seems to when they meet someone attractive, and he’s fine with that. He’d rather spend his evenings watching TV anyway.

Jack Windsor abandoned his uni degree to do an apprenticeship as a mechanic, much to his parents’ dismay. He’s happy with his choices, but leaving uni meant losing his accommodation, and now he’s crashing on his sister Mia’s couch. It isn’t ideal, but it’s only until he finds something else—which is proving difficult in Sydney’s brutal rental market.

When Jack almost kills Harry with a strawberry smoothie, he discovers that not only was Harry’s disastrous date with Mia a set up, but that Harry is looking for a roommate. Moving in with Harry is great, if only he wasn’t so distractingly cute—and totally uninterested in Jack. Except as they grow closer as friends, for the first time in his life, Harry tells Jack he’s developing feelings for him—tingly ones.

But how can Harry and Jack be together when Jack’s family thinks that Harry is the worst human being in the universe? And how can Jack convince them that his Bad Boyfriend is the best boyfriend he’s ever had, without admitting that Mia hired him to be terrible to them? When an approaching family event brings everything to a head, Jack’s going to have to step up to prove to Harry that he wants him in his life. And it might just take some bad timing, some good luck and the ugliest suit known to mankind.

Quirky and sweet.

I came to this book with no expectations other than to be entertained and I was. This was a fun read, sweet and quiet, too. The writing flowed well, and I was drawn right into the story. I’m looking forward to more in this series.

I love stories with a miscommunication and fumbling and this book had both. Harry’s there to be the bad guy, but he’s not all what he seems. Jack can’t help but be drawn to him. I loved their bond and the attraction that leapt off the page. This book is packed with chemistry. Jack and Harry are perfect for each other, even if Harry is trying his best to be horrible.

If you’re looking for something for an afternoon read that’s got chemistry and is a quiet, cute ride, then this is the book for you.