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BevS (East Anglia, U.K.)

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What It Takes
What It Takes
Price: £4.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb...just superb!!, 20 Dec. 2016
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This review is from: What It Takes (Kindle Edition)
Wow!! All the stars for this one. A joy and a pleasure to read for someone who loves YA fiction. Lush, richly descriptive prose, complete with fully rounded characters makes me a very happy bunny indeed BUT it’s so full of angst that you may feel tempted to hit someone or something [and don’t forget to have tissues handy]. In fact, it’s a rather wonderful slow-burn love story with 2 likeable but intense young MC’s who grab your heart right from the start and won’t let go. Hopefully, it’s a forever kind of love but um….there are lots of unspoken secrets on both sides.

Milo and Drew…where do we begin?? Childhood friends from the age of 8 when Milo moves with his parents to Santuit on Cape Cod, he and Drew meet almost immediately on the beach and a special bond is formed; however, Milo’s family is definitely NOT picture perfect. Milo’s father James is a domineering control freak and bully – physically, mentally and verbally abusive to his only child AND of course, as these pathetic, cowardly people seem to be able to do, hid everything that should have been perfectly obvious to any concerned adult. His image was everything…he disgusted me, I loathed him and didn’t feel any more inclined to like Milo’s mother Shelby either...she was weak, downtrodden and just did as she was told. There is no on-page violence in the story, but there is absolutely no question that you, as the reader, will empathise and rage over Milo’s perceived pain…and Drew’s absolute anguish at only being able to be there for Milo in a small way; as a trusted friend, the keeper of some secrets and a shoulder to cry on when things get to be too much.

Drew knows that he is gay and totally in love with Milo from around the age of 13/14, but in view of the continuing misery in Milo’s life, he is terrified of scaring Milo any further by telling him the truth and stays silent. Milo struggles even more as he goes through his teens, his father putting the fear of God into him practically every day …to have your own father interrogate you over every little thing you do, every friend you make, every piece of homework you get back from your teacher, trashing your bedroom looking for God knows what, and of course punishing you when you do something he dislikes or doesn’t agree with; I would’ve thought it made life pretty unbearable. All Milo can think about and look forward to is leaving home at 18 to go away to college and finally start living his life…the further away from Santuit and his appalling father the better, BUT he has been so damaged during his formative teenage years that college doesn’t really help, in fact in some ways it makes things a whole lot worse and the guilt he feels for the way he’s been treating Drew multiplies. And Drew?? Well, Drew has guilt too, and after a life changing event for both of them, feels the only way he can save himself and his sanity is to cut all ties with Milo, thus shattering their special bond.

Is grown-up Milo strong enough to listen to his heart AND his counsellor after all these years, and finally leave his own personal ‘bag of rocks’ behind?? Will Drew ever forgive himself [and Milo for that matter] for everything that they have left unsaid to one another?? Is there a HEA?? Oh yes, and it’s rather a beautiful one, ADORED that epilogue!! I’ll leave this one here. Do yourselves a huge favour YA fans, and enjoy this lush prose and superb story. Oh, and the wrecked hideout on the cover is very relevant to the story….


Saving Jason
Saving Jason
Price: £2.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet little Xmas Cracker from KC......., 9 Dec. 2016
This review is from: Saving Jason (Kindle Edition)
4.5 stars from me for this lovely, sweet little slow-burn Christmas cracker, which I also had the pleasure of beta reading along the way.

Jason's story is fairly typical I assume for those guys at high school who were more or less certain that they were gay, but who were totally petrified of coming out of the closet. He ended up with a wife full of recrimination and extremely bitter about the waste of a marriage and their lives, BUT gained a son named Travis, who knew about his parents problems and the reason for their divorce, and was cool with his father although he didn't see that much of him. Jason threw himself into making his coffee shop a success, and in turn lead a very lonely life but tried to give back a little of his good fortune with a free coffee and pastry to the many homeless veterans sleeping rough on the streets of the Big Apple. He also helped out at a homeless shelter, the Helping Hand. Jason is a good, kind and decent man, who deserves more from life than his current emotional wasteland.

One of his regular customers, David, has been tasked with making his employers look good as far as public relations is concerned, and when he suggests that all the staff helping out at the local homeless shelter would do that [and as an added bonus also bring him into frequent contact with Jason], David is very keen indeed to see the project through. I'll leave this one here.....enjoy!!

***please make sure you have the full version of this story from Amazon***


Pictures of You ('90s Coming of Age Book 1)
Pictures of You ('90s Coming of Age Book 1)
Price: £4.06

5.0 out of 5 stars An OUTSTANDING start to a new series from Leta....., 19 Nov. 2016
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***Goodreads review dated 26/9/16***

Another historical series [yep, set in the 1990's...God does that make me feel old!!], and Leta, this has gone into my top 5 reads of 2016!! There are lots of feels [yes, the emotional wringer made very few appearances this year] and excellent writing, there is innocence, but so many lies and numerous instances when cheating rears it's ugly head [ugh!!...although to be honest, I'm making allowances cos they're only 18 and not yet adult enough in my eyes]. There is no HEA in this story [but then again, you should already know that, it's a series of 4 stories and Leta has promised that there'll be a HEA for Peter by the end, and he deserves it]. 5 big, shiny stars from me.

Will this be a 'first love' story for Peter that lasts throughout the series?? Who knows, but I really felt for him, cos he seemed to be the only one who felt guilty about keeping secrets. Adam seemed to be a very experienced and incredibly selfish 18 year old, who was quite happy 'getting his bread buttered on both sides' so to speak, but that left many of the 'gang' that hung around the Algedi brother and sister keeping secrets themselves [and let's face it, Adam was sort of guilt-tripped into seeing a girl and behaving 'normally' by his mother]. Peter was gay-bashed at his last school, and moving to this free-thinking private school was considered a good move by his parents, but of course there are bullies and bigots everywhere unfortunately.

Adam's rationale of protecting Peter and himself from the bullies by going out with a girl [and no, she wasn't a beard] was obviously flawed, and Peter's loneliness and sense of despair when Adam was with Leslie were almost palpable things. Adam keeps stringing Peter along by telling him that he loves him, and I think in his own way he probably does cos he gets jealous when other guys check Peter out, but Peter needs to decide how much more he can take before he falls apart. I was quite encouraged at the end by Adam going off to college AND the appearance of Daniel's photograph [go Peter!!]. A great cast of secondary characters in this one, and as far as Peter's mother is concerned, I suspect there is still more to discover about the death of her gay brother [and that was quite graphic].

All in all, a really awesome and engrossing read Leta, and can't wait for book 2!!


The Ghost in the Mirror (Samuel Dexter Book 1)
The Ghost in the Mirror (Samuel Dexter Book 1)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Promising start to a new series, but the typos....., 19 Nov. 2016
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4.5 Amazon stars from me.

Follows on immediately from The Ghost in the Desert, and this one tells the story of Sam, the 'ghost hunter', who has been sent back to the U.S. after the explosion which took out most of his company. He is now able to see ghosts [including Danny] unable to move on from this earthly plane for whatever reason. If you read the previous little novella, then you'll know that Danny and Sam were lovers in Afghanistan and this story picks up on that theme, although Sam is unable to remember a lot of stuff from his past, and his memories are fairly sketchy.

When a little girl ghost attaches herself to him, he begins to investigate her background and discovers that she wasn't the only little girl to go missing from the county fairground back in the late 80's. He retires on medical grounds from the Army, and joins forces with a former cop turned PI Jill, and her lover Selina, which of course brings him into close contact with his teenage sweetheart and first lover, Detective Orlando Shaw.

I did like this one, and will run with it, but would've preferred a few less typos I must admit. 4 Goodreads stars from me.


A Very English Christmas: A Gay Amish Romance Short Story
A Very English Christmas: A Gay Amish Romance Short Story
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, Isaac and David......, 19 Nov. 2016
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4 Goodreads stars so I assume that's around a 4.5 on Amazon. Lovely little catch up with MY Isaac and MY David, which originally featured in the Wish Come True anthology, and was my favourite story of course.


Chasing the High
Chasing the High
Price: £2.36

5.0 out of 5 stars Totally adorbs...., 31 Oct. 2016
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This review is from: Chasing the High (Kindle Edition)
This is an absolutely delish romance. No, I haven't read anything else by this author, but I damn well will be doing in the future, assuming she writes more M/M. Adored the hell out of it. 5 stars all the way.
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Must Like Spinach
Must Like Spinach
Price: £4.09

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely, gentle read from Con...., 30 Oct. 2016
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This review is from: Must Like Spinach (Kindle Edition)
Loved it. So, so good. 4.5 stars from me. A well-written [well duh!! It’s Con], heart-warming and gentle tale, a slow-burn romance and I had a smile on my face for most of the read. I <3 Jon and Tyler, Peggy [their elderly matchmaker], and even Stan towards the end, when I discovered the real reason he wanted Jon to get Carl ‘fired’.

As for the little *coughs* misunderstanding at the end, well….I don’t suppose you could blame Tyler for jumping to his own 'way off base' conclusions when Eric innocently showed him the diagram on the whiteboard at Hallquist; after all, that’s exactly what Jon did when he first met Tyler and assumed HE was after Peggy’s money.


Drawn In
Drawn In
Price: £3.21

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant Barbara Elsborg story....woot!!, 29 Oct. 2016
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This review is from: Drawn In (Kindle Edition)
Dark, gritty and thoroughly believable [who knows what goes on in these undercover police ops but the protagonists themselves], and yes of course, it has angst [let's face it, not many stories nowadays can be declared an angst-free zone], BUT it's so well-written it's no surprise she's one of my fave authors. I haven't read a bad Barbara Elsborg story yet, and I include her M/F/M and M/F in there too. This story had so much going on. 5 stars all the way from me....

Tremendously hot sex scenes are the norm in Barbara's stories, and she didn't disappoint [thank goodness, hehe]. I loved the interaction between Kell and Gethin, and they didn't seem to have a cat's chance in hell of ever being together cos everything was conspiring against them, but would they give up?? Would they hell... I absolutely adored them as a twosome; in spite of the frightening situations in which they regularly found themselves, they always had time for a laugh, and the heat between them?? Scorching!! Angel and his hubby Henry were great favourites, and they always tried to have Gethin's back. [***spoiler alert*** The euthanasia thread with Jonnie and Gethin was a complete surprise, and not something you read about every day in a story. It was handled tastefully, and very sympathetically. No-one deserves to be forced to live as the doctors expected Jonnie to live - it's not living, it's existing].

There were a selection of nasty nutters...or should I say psychopaths to choose from, including Kell's own brother, who also happened to be an MP [and definitely needed putting down. I really think that particular thread needed some sort of final resolution...a much better one than simply being disinherited by their father]. Oh, and the Birthday Party where Kell and Gethin's mutual attraction starts?? Watch and learn how the other half live...it's certainly an eye-opener, but nothing we plebs hadn't imagined about how the 'Hooray Henry and Henriettas' conduct themselves. ;) Brilliant Barbara, thanks.


Bitter Legacy
Bitter Legacy
Price: £5.40

5.0 out of 5 stars A superb whodunit....more please!!, 24 Oct. 2016
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This review is from: Bitter Legacy (Kindle Edition)
*** Goodreads review dated 18/10/16***

An excellent whodunit mystery, skilfully woven together by the author, and threaded through which is a completely one-sided affair. A tentative 'first time falling in love with a man' story for James, but only a 'friends with bennies' arrangement on the part of Ben, who was a complete slut, and I do mean SLUT with capitals [I wanted to smack him so hard!!]. However, when James' discovers that his current high-profile murder investigation and his personal life seem to be meeting in the middle, he doesn't pull his punches, he goes for it....and nearly loses his own life in the process.

As for the ending, well I wouldn't guarantee that the HEA that James wants is a stone cold certainty, but for his sake, we can only hope. 5 stars from me, and I'll definitely be looking out for further stories from this author.


Unearthed: The Dungeon Black Duology, Book 1 (An Upending Tad Spinoff: Max and Sean)
Unearthed: The Dungeon Black Duology, Book 1 (An Upending Tad Spinoff: Max and Sean)
Price: £5.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant....can't wait for book 2!!, 24 Oct. 2016
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*** Goodreads review dated 11/10/16***

We first meet Max in another of Kora's series Upending Tad, A Journey of Erotic Discovery, Max being Scott's best friend and saviour of sorts. Yes, this particular story can be read as a standalone, but it helps to get any background information you can on our mysterious Max and I highly recommend the Upending Tad series anyway. This story gets 5 stars, no questions asked [Gah!! That cover, yum...] and I've already pre-ordered Revived: The Dungeon Black Duology, Book 2, cos this one is that good [minor typo niggles excepted].

We only got glimpses of Max in Tad and Scott's series, but it has to be said, those glimpses were not pretty [or particularly kind to Max]. He was hella moody with a frosty personality, a real bundle of fun [not]...and the way he seemed to treat Sean, his sub...well, he was a D**k to be perfectly blunt.

This story explains the whys of Max's somewhat cold, aloof and hard-hearted persona. It's mainly told from Max's POV, although Sean with his sunny smile does have a minor starring role, and while I can't say that I agreed with everything Max thought or did in his late teens, he was young, in love and was utterly devastated when the huge life-changing event that occurred happened.

This is as far as I'm going, no spoilers from me BUT I can only hope that Max sees the good in Sean, and discovers that a life without love is a very lonely one indeed. Great story Kora, can't wait for part 2 [November].


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