Category Archives: Mainstream

REVIEW: What Might Have Been (Daniels Brothers #4) by Sherri Hayes

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Trent Daniels only has one regret in life. Nearly fifteen years ago, he let his high school crush, Abby Hoffman, go off to college in New York City without telling her how he felt. Ever since, he’s wondered what would have happened if he’d been bold enough to tell her his feelings.

Abigail Hoffman left Ohio behind long ago and with it the family that had taken her in and embraced her as one of their own. She’s missed the Daniels family, but she couldn’t bring herself to face them again—not after what happened. Now her job has brought her back to the place she’s done her best to avoid and right smack into Trent Daniels.

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Release Date: June 23, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance

PURCHASE A COPYAMAZON / BARNES & NOBLE / iBOOKS / KOBO 

EXCERPT:

CLICK HERE TO READ CHAPTER ONE

OUR THOUGHTS:

This might be the most complex, emotional Daniels Brothers book yet, and that’s saying a lot. The other brothers have been through their fair share of angst and heartache but all of that pales in comparison to what Chris and Trent experience with Abby. Make no mistake – there will be tears. Sherri Hayes tells a heartbreaking story of young love and life, and the decisions that can change it all in a second.

One important question emerged for me while reading this story: do they have a love that can overcome the past? There’s a lot of water under the bridge for Abby and Trent, and if they’re lucky, they won’t drown. Hayes digs deep and forces readers to examine the many facets of love, loss and moving on. It’s clear from the start that Trent and Abby have a strong connection, one that makes it even easier to root for them to make it through.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!

OTHER BOOKS IN THE DANIELS BROTHERS SERIES:

Behind Closed Doors (Daniels Brothers #1)

Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo

Red Zone (Daniels Brothers #2)

Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo

>Crossing The Line (Daniels Brothers #3)

Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo

 

OTHER BOOKS BY SHERRI HAYES:

CLICK HERE TO READ CHECK OUT OTHER BOOKS BY SHERRI HAYES

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You Are the One by Scott D. Pomfret

You Are the One

You Are the One by Scott D. Pomfret

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: April 4, 2016

Genre: Literary

Pairing: MM

Length: Novel, 155 pages

Cover Artist: Aria Tan

Purchase Link: NineStar Press

Blurb:

Gay lovers find temporary respite from adversity in this collection of stories by Scott D. Pomfret. Ranging from a cocaine-fueled rampage to the blind eye of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to the submission of a dick-dock orgy, these stories depict the bonds gay men forge when political unrest, drugs, HIV/AIDS, the Church or a demanding T-ball schedule put their commitments to the test.

Excerpt:

Your head was full of sacred places like land mines, IEDs on the roadside of our conversation. Every once in a blue moon, you lapsed into a moment of particular silence (as opposed to your garden variety clamped-mouthedness) while some procession in your head passed that only you saw or heard. You woke me up at midnight with a knife at my throat and demanded in Arabic to see my pass.
You talked about the first tour exactly once. Your tone was so reverential that we were instantly in a chapel full of incense and sweat and raw knees and desperation. You said that Iraqi hospitals were filthy and overrun by the limbless. You said how strange it was to hear the ka-chunk of chambered rounds in this place where civilization began. You mentioned the twenty-year-old soldier under your command who took some shrapnel and begged you to just not let him die. You held his hand and pretended that a grown man had not pissed himself. You helped him die.
I knew it was wrong, but some puny, twisted, black part of my soul was jealous of the dying soldier. Jealous of every man and woman you met on that first tour, because they are in some inviolate place in your head I must not go—a mausoleum.
Though I knew I shouldn’t, and I knew it drove you crazy, I could not help myself. I asked over and over, “Do you really want to go back to that?”
You kept saying, “This is what soldiers do.”
I seized you. I shook you. At first, you let me have my way. Then you grew bored, pried me loose, threw me to the bed, and took a position by the window. You scanned the perimeter. You seemed to need an imaginary sniper out there on West Twelfth Street that you could take out. Nothing else would calm your nerves.
“Do you really want to go back to that?” I asked again.
“Shut up.”
“Do you really want—”
You jumped across the room, pushed me to the wall, and drew back your fist. Now, you grew up in a home where your daddy hit you and your mother. You fought back from time to time, and you lost and got bloodied, and yet made your daddy proud that he had a son who was full of spunk and going to grow up into a real man one day. You swore you would never be such a man yourself. But we often swear to go in one direction and the next moment chart a course toward another end entirely. So you bulked up on protein, lifted your weights, joined the service, and learned martial arts. You filled yourself with flint and fire, piss and vinegar, stoking a hair-trigger temper with too many days of mortar fire and too many nights on patrol.
“Ever consider taking yoga?” I asked. “That might make it simpler to avoid becoming your dad.”
Good and evil warred in your face. I was on the front lines. You struck the wall next to my head. You released me on the brink of being the kind of man you did not want to be.
“I love you,” I said.
“More dangerous than Ali Baba set loose in the souk with a bomb strapped to his chest.”
“I love you.”
“You’re saying that to make me stay.”
“No. I really love you.”
“Yes. Just to make me stay.”
“OK. Yes,” I snapped. “Will you stay?”
You looked away. You muttered, “My country needs me.”
When you and I first met those fifteen months ago outside the chow hall, I prepared myself for a short life on the down low. I figured secrecy was another one of these inevitable humiliations of homosexuality, the price one pays for finding a good man. Someday no doubt, I’d stalk away in disgust, crushed and proud, full of dignity, and lonely as hell.
But the down low was not your MO. From that very first day when you dared to speak to me in front of your men, you never shied away from me. You introduced me only by name. You did not explain me. You did not label me. You did not encourage questions. Your quiet was ominous. Your medals were a dare. Ditto your stars and bars, your aviator glasses. They all mutely challenged each soldier in the platoon to utter a goddamn word of objection.
Conversations dried up. Tongues went still. Words failed. You were as ramrod straight as you ever were. You nodded, saluted, and asked, “Isn’t this a fine day, gentlemen?”
Their faces became blank and unreadable. Their eyes searched beyond me. They were looking at a tomorrow without me, a day when your betrayal could be forgotten and your sins forgiven. They were like a squad of soldiers who agreed to pretend a pitched battle in the fog of war, that leaves blood on your hands and men you loved splitting open a child’s head with a gun stock or shooting a mother point-blank, never happened. They were looking toward a simpler and more moral time, when men could be expected to act according to the laws that God had made.
Not that the men ever looked down on you. They still jumped when you barked, which gave me a thrill, a delight in your power and a laugh at their expense. But you took it deadly serious. You expected nothing less. Your men owed you this obedience, just as you owed them the obligation of leadership.
Maybe I should have been proud of your stubborn refusal to pretend I did not exist. But this middle ground, somewhere between coming and going, between sunshine and shade, between closet and freedom, ultimately proved intolerable. My delight was always short-lived. Every road leads to war.

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Meet the Author:

Scott D. Pomfret is the author of Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir, The Second Half: A Gay American Football Novel, and dozens of short stories in literary and not-so-literary journals. With his longtime partner Scott Whittier, he is coauthor of the Romentics series of gay romance novels and the Q Guide to Wine and Cocktails. Scott and Scott reside in Boston and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Email: scott.pomfret@gmail.com
Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Our thoughts:

You Are The One is a collection of short stories that span decades and deal with different facets of life. Some of the stories involve men in the Armed Forces, some are family men, couples, or those fighting against disease but the commonality is their orientation.

What I enjoyed about these stories, was the protagonists voice. Literally like a snapshot of their life at that moment. We rarely have protagonist names or make meaningful connections with the narrator. It’s like sneaking a glimpse of their diary or journal as they walk us through an important moment in their life. For instance, the man who is struggling with the knowledge he is likely HIV positive. Instead of taking the test to confirm, he goes back to the nefarious, dark spot under the pier where the infection likely happened. Propelling the cycle again.

Or the partner that’s emotional over his soldier leaving to fight in the damn war once again. Hoping beyond hope that his lover will stand up and say he’s gay so he can just get out and stay safe. The complex rollercoaster of emotions the partner feels. Betrayal. Selfishness. Fear. Helplessness. The greatest of them all is anger at being abandoned for duty and honor.

Scott Pomfret really captures the essence of life and the daily struggles with this collection. The shorts are compelling and leave one feeling a bit raw, slightly bitter and a lot sad. Win! At least we feel something!

A unique collection that is perfect in one large dose or broke up into small doses over time. A truly captivating collection.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

The Rascal by Eric Arvin

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The Rascal by Eric Arvin
Release Date: October 7, 2015
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Genre: Gay Mainstream / Paranormal / Horror / Thriller
Length: Full-length Novel (61,500 words)

Blurb:

Lana is a faded movie star who lives alone in a big house on a hill that overlooks the sea. She has lived this way since the death of her daughter and the disappearance of her husband.

Jeff and Chloe are a couple who live in a cabin below the big house. It was Chloe’s idea to strengthen their marriage; but she see’s now that it isn’t working. Jeff has become obsessed with the cabin and the old water well. Chloe only sees strangeness around her.

One night while talking on the computer with Ethan, Jeff’s brother, a feeling of dread comes to the fore. When Ethan sees a figure behind Chloe, he leaves his boyfriend and baby and sets out to save Jeff.

Chloe, Ethan and Lana come together to fight an evil that would destroy Jeff. Will they succeed or will all of them fall to the taste of a young cannibalistic ghost?

Buy the book: Wilde City Press

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TheRascal

Our thoughts:

I would call The Rascal a perfect novel to read in the month of October. We’re starting to see Halloween decorations, movies and costumes in stores, online and on television. We’re preparing for all things spooky and paranormal.

The Rascal falls into the categories spooky and paranormal perfectly. Arvin weaves a tale that is just as much rooted in the past as it is the present. When Chloe and Jeff move into a cabin on Bad Luck Hill, they are thrust into an evil feud that has been a long time brewing in that cabin. The town of Wicker is just as thirsty for a morsel of the goings-on on Bad Luck Hill and not at all willing to help Chloe or Jeff figure out what they are experiencing or how to fight it.

Chloe is a bit of a clairvoyant and she realizes from the moment they arrive that something is desperately wrong on Bad Luck Hill. The cabin, barn and well on the property are not immune to the reaches of those still lingering around.

Arvin masterfully writes evil, greed, love,  and hatred into a haunting tale of all that can go wrong within a family. The far-reaching effects of love gone wrong and those that exploit family for their own means. A true ghost story, The Rascal will keep you in suspense and leave you stunned on the final page.

Enjoy!

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

Meet the author:

Some of [Arvin’s] work is as direct as Hemingway with the sensitivity of O’Connor or Shields, and yet others nuanced as if Maupin wrote a letter to Penthouse.” – Thom Fitzgerald, director THE HANGING GARDEN

Eric Arvin resides in the same sleepy Indiana river town where he grew up. He graduated from Hanover College with a Bachelors in History. He has lived, for brief periods, in Italy and Australia. He has survived brain surgery and his own loud-mouthed personal demons. Eric is the author of WOKE UP IN A STRANGE PLACE, THE MINGLED DESTINIES OF CROCODILES & MEN, SUBSURDITY, SIMPLE MEN, and various other sundry and not-so-sundry writings. He intends to live the rest of his days with tongue in cheek and eyes set to roam.

You can find Eric Arvin’s books at Amazon, Wilde City Press and All Romance eBooks.

RELEASE DAY SPOTLIGHT: The Rascal by Eric Arvin

The_Rascal_Banner

The Rascal by Eric Arvin
Release Date: October 7, 2015
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Genre: Gay Mainstream / Paranormal / Horror / Thriller
Length: Full-length Novel (61,500 words)

Today we are shining the spotlight on author Eric Arvin’s newest release with Wilde CIty Press, The Rascal. This is a prefect pre-Halloween read. Just enough thrills, horror and ghost action to start the festivities off this time of year.

Blurb:

Lana is a faded movie star who lives alone in a big house on a hill that overlooks the sea. She has lived this way since the death of her daughter and the disappearance of her husband.

Jeff and Chloe are a couple who live in a cabin below the big house. It was Chloe’s idea to strengthen their marriage; but she see’s now that it isn’t working. Jeff has become obsessed with the cabin and the old water well. Chloe only sees strangeness around her.

One night while talking on the computer with Ethan, Jeff’s brother, a feeling of dread comes to the fore. When Ethan sees a figure behind Chloe, he leaves his boyfriend and baby and sets out to save Jeff.

Chloe, Ethan and Lana come together to fight an evil that would destroy Jeff. Will they succeed or will all of them fall to the taste of a young cannibalistic ghost?

Buy the book: Wilde City Press

TheRascal

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Meet the author:

Some of [Arvin’s] work is as direct as Hemingway with the sensitivity of O’Connor or Shields, and yet others nuanced as if Maupin wrote a letter to Penthouse.” – Thom Fitzgerald, director THE HANGING GARDEN

Eric Arvin resides in the same sleepy Indiana river town where he grew up. He graduated from Hanover College with a Bachelors in History. He has lived, for brief periods, in Italy and Australia. He has survived brain surgery and his own loud-mouthed personal demons. Eric is the author of WOKE UP IN A STRANGE PLACE, THE MINGLED DESTINIES OF CROCODILES & MEN, SUBSURDITY, SIMPLE MEN, and various other sundry and not-so-sundry writings. He intends to live the rest of his days with tongue in cheek and eyes set to roam.

You can find Eric Arvin’s books at Amazon, Wilde City Press and All Romance eBooks.