Books and Reviews – August 29, 2016

Good morning!
I hope everyone had a great week last week and a relaxing weekend.  Read or listen to any great books?  Let me know in the comments.

I managed to listen to two books this week,  Under the Rushes by Amy Lane, narrated by Nick J Russo and Breakaway (Scoring Chances Book 1) by Avon Gale, narrated by Scott R. Smith.

Under the Rushes by Amy Lane audiobook coverAuthor: Amy Lane
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press, LLC
Publication date:  August 26, 2015
Format: audiobook
Length: 11 hrs 52 minutes
Genre: MM, steampunk, fantasy
Summary: Ten years after Dorjan trusted a boy’s word over his superior officer’s, he and his best friend, Areau, are still living the aftermath—and trying to stop the man responsible. Locked in a careful dance to bring down a corrupt government, Dorjan struggles to balance his grief with Areau’s anger. Just when Dorjan reaches the end of his rope, he sees a familiar face in the shadows, and the boy he trusted a decade before offers him unexpected kindness.

Taern remembers the soldier who found him under the rushes and listened to his pleas to save his family. When Dorjan reappears in his life, Taern is both captured by his commitment to justice and terrified by the risks he takes. All Taern wants to do is fix him, but the oncoming destruction has been ten years in the making, and Dorjan doesn’t want his help. Not if it puts Taern at risk.

Powers clash and a world’s fate dangles between Areau’s madness and Dorjan’s nobility. While Dorjan fights to save the world, Taern joins the battle simply to save Dorjan, knowing everything hinges on the heart of a man in armor and the strength of the man who loves him.

LYLBTB 50 starDreamspinnerPress      amazonBuyButton

Thoughts:   I have read and now listened to this book.  It is  MM, fantasy, with steam punk elements.  It is dark and intense and lovely.  I loved it when I read it, and  I enjoyed the narration by Nick J Russo very much. 

Here is a wonderful review for Under the Rushes by Kaje Harper on Goodreads.

Up next:

Breakaway Scoring Chances book 1 by Avon Gale narrated by Scott R SmithAuthor: Avon Gale
Narrator: Scott R. Smith
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Publication date:  August 09, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Length:  7 hrs 33 minutes
Genre: MM, Contemporary, Sports – hockey
Summary:  Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-year-old Lane Courtnall’s future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He’s put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It’s a strange way to begin a relationship.

Jared’s been playing minor league hockey for most of his career. He’s bisexual and doesn’t care if anyone knows. But he’s determined to avoid another love affair after the last one left him devastated. Out of nowhere a one-nighter with rookie Lane Courtnall gives him second thoughts. Lane reminds Jared why he loves the game and why love might be worth the risk. In turn, Jared hopes to show Lane how to be comfortable with himself on and off the ice. But they’re at different points in their careers, and both men will have to decide what they value most.

4,5 stars amazonBuyButton DreamspinnerPress


This is another book recommended by my good friend and enabler extraordinaire, Janice. I know pretty much nothing about hockey. She said it doesn’t matter. It is a fun book. Again, she was right. I listened to the audiobook and there is a primer on hockey at the beginning. It took me a while to get into the sports part but the characters and story made it easy. I loved Lane. Such a sweet, honest and somewhat clueless guy. Especially when feelings are involved. Jared and Lane are a great couple and I enjoyed learning about hockey from their points of view, as well as watching their relationship develop. The secondary characters are fun and I am excited that the next book is Riley’s. (I am sad that the audiobook isn’t out yet – soon I hope)
I finished the book having found a new author and a new series to enjoy and a new appreciation of hockey and Canadians. 🙂

Here is a great review for Breakaway by Jules from The Novel Approach Reviews

I hope you have a fantastic week and read (or listen to) some amazing books. 

Grab a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy.

FBS, coffee and reading


Finn and library




Books and Reviews – August 22, 2016

Good morning!

I hope you all had a great weekend and had time to read or listen to some wonderful books.   We are gearing up for school around here.  We start on Tuesday so we are trying to savor what is left of summer.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to listen to my audiobook this week! 😦 I am in the midst of listening to Under the Rushes by Amy Lane, Narrated by Nick J Russo.  It is a MM, fantasy, with steam punk elements.  It is dark and intense and lovely.  I have read this book and loved it, and  I am enjoying the narration by Nick J Russo very much. 

I managed to finish reading Relief Valve, the second book in The Plumber’s Mate series by J.L. Merrow

Relief Valve The Plumber's Mate 2 J.L. MerrowBlurb: If you dig up the past, be prepared to get dirty.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing since plumber Tom Paretski and P.I. Phil Morrison became connected at the heart, if not always at Tom’s dodgy hip. Neither of their families has been shy about voicing their disapproval, which hasn’t helped Tom’s uneasy relationship with his prickly older sister, Cherry.

But when Cherry is poisoned at her own engagement party, the horror of her near death has Tom’s head spinning with possible culprits. Is it her fiance Gregory, a cathedral canon with an unfortunate manner and an alarming taste for taxidermy? Someone from her old writers’ circle, which she left after a row? Or could the attack be connected to her work as a barrister?

Phil is just as desperate to solve the case before someone ends up dead-and he fears it could be Tom. At least one of their suspects has a dark secret to hide, which makes Tom’s sixth sense for finding things like a target painted on his back…

Warning: Contains a strong, silent, macho PI; a cheeky, chirpy, cat-owning plumber; and a gag gift from beyond the grave that’ll put the cat firmly among the pigeons.

amazonBuyButtonLYLBTB 50 star

Thoughts:  I enjoyed this book very much.  It is full of one-liners and I was laughing out loud many times. The relationship between Tom and Phil is not the main focus of this story although it is still developing. It focuses more on the mystery surrounding his sister and separately, the will of Tom’s late Aunt Lol.  It was interesting getting to know more about Tom’s family and of course the appearances of Tom’s friend Gary and Gary’s boyfriend Darren are always entertaining.
I am looking forward to the third book in the series. There is a bit of a mystery to follow up on from this book and I am curious where it will go.

I found this wonderful review of Relief Valve by author, Kaje Harper on Goodreads. 

I hope you have a fantastic week and read (or listen to) some amazing books. 

Grab a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy.

FBS, coffee and reading


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m/m romance reviews and more.

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Love Bytes Reviews came into existence as on 4th of April, 2014, being formerly known as The Blog of Sid Love.

The Blog of Sid Love was started on 12th March, 2013 with a sole aim of promoting those M/M fictions that have quality and uniqueness in them. Like TBSL, LoveBytes struggles to give such books and their works the much deserved recognition by posting reviews, running giveaway contests for the authors, featuring their newly published works for promotion, hosting blog tours, conducting author interviews and lots more!

The blog has received great amount of popularity since its inception. As on date, the blog has caught attention of awesome followers in such a short period of time and brings on approximately 1000+ unique visitors each day (2000+ unique visitors on a peak day!). On an average, three book reviews per day are posted on the blog and there are contests on a daily basis to keep the readers and authors entertained!

Founder: Sid Love

Owner & Manager: Danielle Maas

Reviewers Team:  Danielle , Taylor, Carissa, Cindy, Donna, Roberta, Irene, Vicki, Dan, Paul, Marieke, Kimberley, Tara, Dennis & Rhonda

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It’s All About Books (and maybe some other stuff) We’re experienced reviewers trying out our own blog! Basically anything book related can be found here!

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Welcome to Queer Sci Fi. We’re a blog and website that’s all about LGBT characters in science fiction, fantasy and supernatural fiction – whether it’s MM or FF romance with a sci fi bent or sci fi with LGBT characters. We’re dedicated to promoting the inclusion of LGBT characters in these genres.

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In addition to hosting the above queer sci fi site, J. Scott Coatsworth has his own site with several weekly features: Author Spotlight, The Weekly Fix and Point of View

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Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style


Blue Notes #1 Shira Anthony

Dianne’s review of Blue Notes on Goodreads

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where I’m featuring another favorite series this week. – the fantastic Blue Notes series by Shira Anthony. In the spring of 2012 when I noticed a book about musicians in Paris, I was all over it. What music lover wouldn’t be?! I was charmed by the romance of Jason and Jules as well as the author’s captivating writing style. Her flowing descriptions of settings gave cities a distinct pulse, and her characters oozed personality, vulnerability and determination – she had me enthralled.

Shira is a well- traveled former opera singer, so she knows of what she writes here, in regard to the classical music details as well as the depictions of many cities around the world in which she sets the stories. The series features a different main couple in each book, however they are interrelated, with all of the main characters impacting each other’s life either on or off page throughout the series.  Suffice to say, the fact that this series went on to be seven books long – with each one being as good as or better than the one before it – made this reader ecstatic.

Blue Notes # 4 Prelude Shira Anthony Venona Keyes

Dianne’s review of Prelude on Goodreads

The relationships in the Blue Notes series are very raw and real. No easy path for any of these men! Shira takes them all on some gritty reality checks, but never fear, love prevails to the point of standing ovations!  It’s worth noting that this series of interrelated, classical music themed standalone novels can be read in any order. Chronologically they take place over several decades. I read them in the order they were released, but then I re-read them in chronological order, and would recommend approaching them that way if you are new to the series.

Enjoy!  ~ Di

(You can see Dianne’s reviews of Blue Notes, Prelude and Encore by clicking the links below the book cover)

Chronological order:
1) Encore
2) Prelude
Free prequel to Blue Notes: Knowing  (Blue Notes 0.5)
3) Blue Notes
4) Aria
5) The Melody Thief
6) Symphony in Blue
7) Dissonance

Blue Notes Encore Coer by Shira Anthony

Dianne’s review of Encore on Live Your Life Buy The Book

Order of publication:
Free prequel to Blue Notes: Knowing  (Blue Notes 0.5)
1) Blue Notes
2) The Melody Thief
3) Aria
4) Prelude
5) Encore
6) Symphony in Blue
7) Dissonance





You can buy these individually or they are available as a boxed set for $9.99

Blue Notes Shira Anthony Blue Notes series graphicDreamspinnerPress     amazonBuyButton

Books and Reviews – August 15, 2016

Good morning!

I hope you all had a great weekend and had time to read or listen to some wonderful books.  It has been very busy again this week with school starting soon, band camp under way, and projects around the house.  I have been reading and listening as often as I can find the time.  I did not finish any audiobooks this week, but I did read two wonderful books.  The first is a suspense filled political thriller romance, and the other is a historical paranormal mystery romance novel set in the Victorian era of America.

Here is a quick look at what caught my eye on the review blogs for this week:  Cover reveals (So excited – Rhys Ford on Monday at The Novel Approach Reviews) Well, everyday there is an author featured that I will not want to miss.  Jordan L Hawk is on Joyfully Jay’s Monday for a guest post and Giveaway for her new book Fallow which is one of my featured books this week.  Joyfully Jay also has details for the September Reading ChallengeThey also posted their List of favorite international books I will also be looking forward to seeing Lex Chase, CS Poe, Angel Martinez, Lisa Henry and many more appearing on the blogs throughout the week. Plus there are giveaways and reviews galore! Be sure to check every day.

Enemies of the State by Tal Bauer The Executive OfficeTitle: Enemies of The State
Series: The Executive Office Book 1
Author: Tal Bauer
Publisher:  Nine Star Press
Publication Date:  February 14, 2016


Blurb:  A rogue Black Ops unit with the president in their crosshairs.
A Secret Service agent who will break every rule.
A president falling for the one person he shouldn’t—a man.

Newly elected President Jack Spiers’s presidency is rocked from the very beginning, and he’s working furiously to keep the world from falling apart. Between terrorism attacks ripping apart Europe, Russia’s constant posturing and aggression, and the quagmire of the Middle East, Jack is struggling to keep his campaign promise—to work toward a better, safer world.

For Special Agent Ethan Reichenbach, Jack is just another president, the third in twelve years. With Jack’s election, he’s been promoted, and now he’s running the presidential detail, which puts him side by side with Jack daily. He’s expecting another stuffed suit and an arrogant DC politician, but Jack shocks him with his humor and humanity.

There are rules against a Secret Service agent and one of their protectees developing a friendship—big rules. Besides, Jack is straight as a ruler, and a widower, and Ethan has always avoided falling for straight men. Ethan keeps his distance, but Jack draws him in, like gas to a naked flame, and it’s a lure he isn’t strong enough to turn away from.

As the two men collide, rules are shattered and the world teeters on the verge of war, and a rogue Black Ops unit bent on destruction sets Jack in their deadly crosshairs. Ethan must put everything on the line in order to save the man he’s come to love, Jack’s presidency, and the world.

Thoughts:  4,5 stars
I did not expect to be swept away by this book. I am not usually looking for political thrillers. It came highly recommended and now I can see why. It is a political thriller, with lots of action and a wonderful romance too. It definitely had some edge of your seat moments and a few where I had to set the book down only to rush back because I had to see what happened next.
The book does leave us set up for the next in the series, so not a cliffhanger really but definitely open.
Michelle at Joyfully Jay Reviews gives an excellent in depth review here:  Joyfully Jay michelle-signature

I can’t wait for the next book!



Next up is a novel in one of my favorite series by one of my favorite authors.  Jordan L Hawk is a master story teller and has become an auto-buy for me.  This is the latest novel in her Whyborne and Griffin Series.

Fallow Whyborne & Griffin book 8 Jordan L HawkTitle: Fallow
Series: Whyborne & Griffin Book 8
Author: Jordan L Hawk
Publisher: Self
Publication Date: August 5, 2016

Buy your copy here:

Amazon | Amazon UK | ARe | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks | Nook

Blurb:  When Griffin’s past collides with his present, will it cost the lives of everyone he loves?

Between the threat of a world-ending invasion from the Outside and unwelcome revelations about his own nature, Percival Endicott Whyborne is under a great deal of strain. His husband, Griffin Flaherty, wants to help—but how can he, when Whyborne won’t tell him what’s wrong?

When a man from Griffin’s past murders a sorcerer, the situation grows even more dire. Once a simple farmer from Griffin’s hometown of Fallow, the assassin now bears a terrifying magical corruption, one whose nature even Whyborne can’t explain.

To keep Griffin’s estranged mother safe, they must travel to a dying town in Kansas. But as drought withers the crops of Fallow, a sinister cult sinks its roots deep into the arid soil. And if the cult’s foul harvest isn’t stopped in time, Fallow will be only the first city to fall.

Fallow is the eighth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America.


I have already said that this is one of my favorite series.  At one time I would have told you that I did not like historical fiction.  I was proven wrong.  I have found many wonderful historical novels in the MM genre over the years and this series is one of my very favorite.

I experienced a full range of emotions while reading this novel and even managed to snort/laugh my iced coffee at one point.  I adore this series. If you love historical (even if you don’t – you will. Trust me on this), paranormal romance and mystery. You will love the Whyborne & Griffin series. Go buy Widdershins – Whyborne & Griffin Book 1, and get started.

If you are already a fan , here is a lovely Review of Fallow by Dianne for It’s About The Book

If you have not read the series and are ready to settle in and enjoy or just find out more, click here:  Whyborne & Griffin series new covers Amazon



I hope you have a fantastic week and read (or listen to) some amazing books. 

Grab a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy.

FBS, coffee and reading



Finn and library




Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

Hello fellow readers! I’ve been reflecting on the fact that so many of my favorite books are actually series. I love long stories, so complex story arcs which develop over a lengthy period of time are my cup of tea. Lou Sylvre’s captivating Vasquez & James series fits that bill perfectly.

Dreamspinner Vasquez and James seriesSonny James is an artist. He’s laid back, and prefers the solitude of his Pacific Northwest weaving studio to any other location. When ex-ATF/security agent Luki Vasquez shows up with his bad ass attitude and emotional baggage, Sonny’s world changes forever. The spark of attraction between them is supernova bright.

The author writes with a unique style, beautifully combining the depths and nuances of each man’s personality with the evocative story settings, heart pumping action scenes, and gut wrenching situations. Sonny’s home and the surrounding region are as much a character as the men are – I love how it’s an intrinsic part of Sonny’s being, and how it comes to mean the same to Luki. Both men have rich cultural heritage – Sonny’s Native American one in particular – and this plays a big part as well. There is action and suspense galore in this series. As Luki’s world of crime fighting leaches its way into the men’s tentative relationship, we get to see how they work together when the chips are down.

With all the action and mystery in this series it is still a profoundly character driven one. Sonny and Luki both have demons in their pasts – and their present – that are confronted individually and as a couple. The love they develop and harbor for each other is one of my favorite romances in MM. This series does get gritty, be ready for some heartbreaking moments, some frustrating moments, and some screaming at the characters moments. It’s all oh so worth it.

Loving Luki Vasquez Book 1 Vasquez and james series by Lou SylvreI identify so much with this review by Mary, written about the first book in the series  – Loving Luki Vasquez.  She really captures the overall flavor and vibe of the story, and indeed the series.

Mary’s Goodreads review

My review for Saving Sonny James, book four in the series, is here: goodreads books logo

  Saving Sonny James Book 4 Vasquez and James novel Lou Sylvre



All seven stories are avalable as a bundle for $9.99 at DreamspinnerPress  and Amazon US

Enjoy! ~ Dianne

Books and Reviews – August 08, 2016

Good morning!

I hope you all had a great weekend and had time to read or listen to some wonderful books.  It has been very busy and I have been reading and listening as often as I can find the time.  I managed to start a new series that was recommended to me a while back by my friend Janice – enabler extraordinaire. 😉  The series is The Plumber’s Mate by J.L. Merrow.  The first book in the series is titled Pressure Head.

Pressure Head The Plumbers Mate 1 JL MerrrowPublisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, mystery, paranormal



LYLBTB 50 star



Some secrets are better left hidden.

To most of the world, Tom Paretski is just a plumber with a cheeky attitude and a dodgy hip, souvenir of a schoolboy accident. The local police keep his number on file for a different reason—his sixth sense for finding hidden things.

When he’s called in to help locate the body of a missing woman up on Nomansland Common, he unexpectedly encounters someone who resurrects a host of complicated emotions. Phil Morrison, Tom’s old school crush, now a private investigator working the same case. And the former bully partly responsible for Tom’s injury.

The shocks keep coming. Phil is now openly gay, and shows unmistakable signs of interest. Tom’s attraction to the big, blond investigator hasn’t changed—in fact, he’s even more desirable all grown up. But is Phil’s interest genuine, or does he only want to use Tom’s talent?

As the pile of complicated evidence surrounding the woman’s murder grows higher, so does the heat between Tom and Phil. But opening himself to this degree exposes Tom’s heart in a way he’s not sure he’s ready for…while the murderer’s trigger finger is getting increasingly twitchy.

Warning: Contains a flirtatious plumber with hidden talents, a cashmere-clad private investigator with hidden depths, and an English village chock full of colourful characters with plenty to hide.

Thoughts:  This was a most enjoyable book.   Tom is a delightful character and Tom and Phil are great as enemies to lovers.  The mystery is intriguing and there are moments that broke my heart .  I found this lovely review by Christy on Goodreads that captures the feelings I had when I read the book.  Take a look.  Great review, wonderful start to a series.

I also listened to the second book in the Five Boroughs series

Sunset Park Santino Hassell coverTitle:  Sunset Park (Five Boroughs book 2)
Author: Santino Hassell
Narrator: Michael Ferraiulo
Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 8 hours and 7 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC Release Date: May 24, 2016



LYLBTB 50 star



Raymond Rodriguez’s days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash.

David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret.

Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.

Thoughts:  I loved Raymonds character from book one, so when I saw that book two was his story, I was happy.  I enjoyed watching Raymond mature.  I admit that I was a bit frustrated with David throughout the book but it worked. 🙂   I listened to the audiobook.  I did this with the first book too.  The two books have different narrators.  The change in narrators was only an issue for me when it came to the voice for Nunzio.  His character had a very different voice and it took me a while to get beyond that.  Over all it was a great book and wonderful narration.  I am sharing a review for this book by a reviewer that also listened to the audiobook and has a wonderful review.

Review by Mike at The Novel Approach Review


I hope you have a fantastic week and read (or listen to) some amazing books. 

Grab a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy.

FBS, coffee and reading


Finn and library




Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

TBTBS Week 11 Well Traveled counterpoint

I have a special place in my heart for historical stories – this week I’m featuring two favorites.  The first takes place in the nineteenth century American West – not a setting we see much in MM. The second is set at the turn of the twentieth century, alternating between England and France. Both stories delve into the issues of prejudice and social disparity without becoming soapbox moments.


Well Traveled Margaret MillsTitle:  Well Traveled
Authors: Margaret Mills, Tedy Ward
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: October 18, 2010



Blurb:  Gideon Makepeace, a young man of twenty, knows who he is and what he likes: decency, men and women too, horse training, and fun… and in Livingston, Montana, in the lush autumn of 1895, he finds he likes a Lakota Sioux Indian better than he might ought to.

Jedediah Buffalo Bird is seriously wounded and seeking medical care, and Gideon helps Jed when some bigoted townsfolk might have done otherwise. Jed, who knows the wild far better than Gideon and feels indebted to him, agrees to repay him by being his guide to San Francisco.

Their trip takes them across thousands of wild miles, through the mountains men mine and the Indian reservations dotting the plains. Facing a majestic West, they learn from each other about white folks and Indians alike. Gideon’s interest in Jed is clear from the start, but will Jed give up the life he knows for a young, brash white man he has perhaps come to love? Or will he push Gideon away in favor of the peace of nature and the personal freedom of having nothing to lose?

Well Traveled is sort of a road trip story through the last of the old west. Instead of traveling by train from Montana to San Francisco as planned, young Gideon finds himself making the trek on horseback with a Lakota Sioux named Jedediah as his guide. They experience not only a journey of miles, but a journey of the heart. This is a wonderful story of comfort blossoming to love. It showcases the best of the human spirit despite the two men being confronted with the worst of it along the way.  Unfortunately, other than the lovely short holiday companion piece to this story, we’ve not seen any other work produced by this author.

This excellent review is by our very own blog hostess!


Counterpoint Dylan's Story Ruth SimsTitle: Counterpoint: Dylan’s Story
Author: Ruth Sims
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Publication date:  July 11, 2010



Blurb:  At eighteen Dylan Rutledge has one obsession: music. He believes his destiny is to be the greatest composer of the rapidly approaching twentieth century. Only Laurence Northcliff, a young history master at The Venerable Bede School for Young Gentlemen, believes in Dylan’s talent and encourages his dream, not realizing Dylan is in love with him. But Dylan’s passion and belief in his future come at a high price. They will alienate him from his family and lead him on a rocky path fraught with disappointment, rejection, and devastating loss that kills his dream. A forbidden love could bring the dream back to life and rescue Dylan from despair and bitterness, but does he have the courage to reach out and take it? Will he deny the music that rules his soul?

Counterpoint: Dylan’s Story also features another love of mine: music. This story spans many years, is actually composed of two parts, and indeed allows for the full scope of Dylan’s story.  Dylan is a young Englishman whose focus in life is to become a famous composer. He knows what he wants – regarding all of his wants – and he goes for it. His life is filled with hard work, disappointments, love, heartbreaks and successes. This is a hugely sweeping, romantic book, and there is a HEA, yet not in the typical sense. Please read the blurb carefully and have tissues handy when you read the book!

Lou Sylvre – another awesome author – really nailed this one in her review:

goodreads books logo


~ Dianne

Books and Reviews – August 01, 2016

Good morning!

I hope you all had a great weekend and had time to read or listen to some wonderful books.  This week I read one book – The Pillar by Kim Fielding, and listened to two audiobooks – Sutphin Boulevard (Five Bouroughs book 1) by Santino Hassell and The Starving Years by Jordan Castillo Price.  They were all very good.


Sutphin Boulevard Santino Hassell audiobook coverTitle:  Sutphin Boulevard (Book 1)
Series: Five Boroughs
Author: Santino Hassell
Narrator: Rusty Topsfield
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press, LLC release date:  December 04, 2015


Blurb:  Michael Rodriguez and Nunzio Medici have been friends for two decades. From escaping their dysfunctional families in the working-class neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens, to teaching in one of the city’s most queer-friendly schools in Brooklyn, the two men have shared everything. Or so they thought until a sweltering night of dancing leads to an unexpected encounter that forever changes their friendship.

Now, casual touches and lingering looks are packed with sexual tension, and Michael can’t forget the feel of his best friend’s hands on him. Once problems rear up at work and home, Michael finds himself seeking constant escape in the effortless intimacy and mind-blowing sex he has with Nunzio. But things don’t stay easy for long.

When Michael’s world begins to crumble in a sea of tragedy and complications, he knows he has to make a choice: find solace in a path of self-destruction or accept the love of the man who has been by his side for 20 years.

Thoughts:  4,5 stars
I enjoyed this book very much.  I thought it had a rawness to it – the setting, the characters, what they were going through. I had a hard time relating to Michael, certain aspects of his character,  but I loved Raymond and Nunzio. The narration is excellent.  I already have the second book in the series queued up in Audible.

I would like to share this review by  Michelle of Joyfully Jay Reviews.  She  expresses my thoughts on this story perfectly.

Joyfully Jay michelle-signature




The Pillar by Kim FieldingTitle: The Pillar
Author: Kim Fielding
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Publication date:  August 12, 2014

During his youth, orphaned thief Faris was flogged at the pillar in the town square and left to die. But a kind old man saved him, gave him a home, and taught him a profession. Now Faris is the herbalist for the town of Zidar, taking care of the injured and ill. He remains lonely, haunted by his past, and insecure about how his community views him. One night, despite his reluctance, he saves a dying slave from the pillar.

A former soldier, Boro has spent the last decade as a brutalized slave. Herbs and ointment can heal his physical wounds, but both men carry scars that run deep. Bound by the constraints of law and social class in 15th century Bosnia, Faris and Boro must overcome powerful enemies to protect the fragile happiness they’ve found.

Thoughts:  LYLBTB 50 star
I tend to love the writing of Kim Fielding and this book was no exception.  It is beautiful, lyrical, heartbreaking at times yet hopeful.  The author mentions in the preface of the book and on her blog some background for the story.

This review by  ~~Dαni(ela) ♂♂ love & semi-colons~~
expresses my thoughts and feelings about this story beautifully.  (Be sure to check out two other Kim Fielding books mentioned in the review ❤ )


The starving years by JCP Amazon audibleTitle:  The Starving Years: MMM Dystopian Romance
Author:  Jordan Castillo Price
Narrated by: Gomez Pugh
Publisher:  JCP Books LLC release date:   July 7, 2016



Blurb:   The chemistry between these three men is undeniable, but is it enough to save Manhattan?

Imagine a world without hunger.

In 1960, a superfood was invented that made starvation a thing of the past. Manna, the cheaply manufactured staple food, is now as ubiquitous as salt in the world’s cupboards, pantries and larders.

Nelson Oliver knows plenty about manna. He’s a food scientist-according to his diploma, that is. Lately, he’s been running the register at the local video rental dive to scrape together the cash for his outrageously priced migraine medication.

In a job fair gone bad, Nelson hooks up with copywriter Javier and his computer-geek pal Tim, who whisks them away from the worst of the fiasco in his repurposed moving truck. At least, Nelson thinks those two are acquainted, but they’re acting so evasive about it, he’s not sure how they know each other, exactly. Javier is impervious to Nelson’s flirting, and Tim’s name could appear in the dictionary under the entry for “awkward.” And with a riot raging through Manhattan and yet another headache coming on, it doesn’t seem like Nelson will get an answer anytime soon.

One thing’s for sure, the tension between the three of them is thick enough to cut with a knife…even one of those dull plastic dealies that come in the package with Mannariffic EZ-Mealz.

The Starving Years is a must-read for fans of dystopian romance looking for scorching M/M/M chemistry in a fast-paced, page-turning adventure.


Thoughts:   LYLBTB 50 star
I have been on a Jordan Castillo Price binge lately.  I just finished listening to  her PysCop series and when I saw that The Starving Years was out on audio and that Gomez Pugh was narrating it, it was a must have.

It is fast paced, slightly dystopian and has mystery and intrigue.  The cast of main and secondary characters captured my attention and pulled me into the story.  Even when some of them were annoying me 😉 I liked the way the author wrote the three main characters together, but I would have loved to had more background on them.  I listened to the book and once again Gomez Pugh does an outstanding job with the narration.

I found this wonderful review for The Starving Years that I would like to share with you by Jay from Joyfully Jay Reviews. 



To see the latest pics of the three main characters for their audiobook debut click below:





I hope you have a fantastic week and read (or listen to) some amazing books.  

Grab a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy.

FBS, coffee and reading


Finn and library