Advanced Book Review: One More Ride, by J. Hepburn

PrintOne More Ride, by J. Hepburn
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: January 20, 2015

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Buy Link: Publisher

I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Amanda runs the only hotel in a young town on the edge of white settlement in Australia. It’s a far cry from the life she used to lead, a life only her business partner knows anything about, and she prefers it. But when bush-rangers hold the hotel at gunpoint, threaten everyone in it, and ride off with the contents of the safe, it’s an insult she can’t let slide.

Set on vengeance, Amanda swallows her pride and seeks help from the two men she parted ways with long ago. But the past stirred by their company is harder to ignore than anticipated, and Amanda struggles both with the deadly fight in front of them and the old desires she thought she left behind.

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Book Review: Mercurial Shifts, by Elena Alexandrescu

I am currently in the middle of an international move, so this post has been pre-scheduled.

alexandrescu-mercurial-shiftsMercurial Shifts, by Elena Alexandrescu
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: December 23, 2015

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Buy Links: Publisher / Smashwords

I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Kazimir is used to getting his way and has the resources to ensure it. Even getting cleared of arson and murder charges is just another day at the office for a man who has always lived at the top of organized crime. Until he’s betrayed by one of the few he counted a friend, and handed over to a supplier gang out for revenge.

But he also wakes up to his old tattoo artist, a man he hasn’t seen in eighteen years but who hasn’t aged a day… a man Kazimir is starting to fear doesn’t actually exist…

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“This story was the ‘bee’s knees’!” — Book Review: Such a Dance, by Kate McMurray

mcmurray-such-a-danceSuch a Dance, by Kate McMurray
Publisher: Lyrical Press (October 27, 2015)
Page Count: 234 pages
Genre: Historical; Gay (M/M) Romance

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Buy Links: Amazon / Publisher
* I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. *

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Speakeasies, the Mafia, and Broadway… it’s New York City in the 1920s, and Eddie and Lane are two men with very different lives who have one thing in common: they’re both gay men, in a time where such things were illegal.

When Eddie Cotton gives in to temptation and heads to a new queer bar in Times Square, he meets Lane Carillo, a made man who runs an illegal speakeasy that struggles to stay one bribe ahead of a police raid. Eddie doesn’t believe that two men are capable of loving each other, and convinces himself that his attraction towards Lane is purely sexual. But Lane sees Eddie as a chance to fill a void in his life, after his last lover committed suicide five years prior, and slowly teaches Eddie what it means to be loved.

As had happened in the Marigold, Lane felt a jolt when their eyes met. Lust uncoiled in his gut. He wanted this to happen, but Eddie didn’t seem quite ready yet. (Kindle Loc. 355)

There was a lot going on here. Eddie is a rising Broadway star, one half of a singing-dancing duo. Lane is a Mafia man, breaking the law for a profit. But Eddie teaches Lane to dance, and Lane teaches Eddie to open up and enjoy life, so together they become two halves of a whole.

“Here’s the crazy part,” Lane said. “I’m falling in love with you.” (Kindle Loc. 1641)

I do wish the author had lingered over crucial plot points, given them more emphasis and emotion, but instead she just skimmed over them. A climatic scene would take place, and then be brushed aside a page later. I wanted to get emotionally invested in the characters and the story, but I was never given a chance to do so.

(On a personal note, I also wish more had been explored with Eddie’s Jewish heritage. It seemed weird to put such an emphasis on his being Jewish, but then not have that show through in his character.)

This story was definitely the “bee’s knees”, and I really enjoyed it! Kate McMurray clearly did a lot of research on the time period, so it was a fascinating look into the decadence and sin of the roaring 20’s! And bonus points for having 20’s song titles as the chapter headings 😀

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