Tag Archives: featured guest

27Jul/16

Glen & Tyler’s Honeymoon Adventure by JB Sanders

glenIt was great to have JB Sanders on our show recently. Listen to our interview with him and get links to his work on Episode 053: Glen & Tyler’s Unexpectedly Quiet Life!

REVIEW

Lots of things going on in this funtabulous fantasy. Glen and Tyler are bisexual loved-up newly-weds, the twist being that Tyler asked Glen to marry him as a business arrangement (he is only able to access his trust fund if he’s married) and it is only on their wedding day that they realise their friendship has been cunningly disguised as love all along. They even buy each other hockey teams as wedding gifts!

So far, so sweet, apart from Tyler’s ghastly family, his corporate mogul father, a beautiful but evil stepmother, a cunning bastard of a grandfather, able to screw things up from beyond the grave, and a brother that tries to seduce all of Tyler’s love interests purely for his little brother’s own well-being. Society eyebrows are raised as Tyler’s marriage to another man was not was expected or hoped for. They constantly come up against homophobia and scepticism that they are in love and their relationship is not just a marriage of convenience. And the serious point is made that they are constantly having to “come out” to people they meet for the first time. There isn’t just one “coming out” if you’re gay, it’s a process that goes on throughout life.

Meanwhile, cunning plans are put in place to separate the two cute lovebirds, and Tyler from his vast quantities of cash. There are moustache-twirling villains, (Tyler’s father and his evil, glamorous trophy wife, who doesn’t have a moustache…,) several nefarious plots to kill and kidnap, corporate intrigue, and some grumpy but very capable security guys, as well as lashings of gorgeous settings and gadgets to satisfy your inner James Bond. The hockey theme runs through out the book, but it is mainly the corporate intrigue, ruthless businessmen, nice suits and eye-watering amounts of cash being spent that I enjoyed so much.

Like I said, it’s a fantasy, a fairytale (excuse the pun), where the main heroes are gay men, married, in love and actually stay that way throughout the book without one of them dying tragically! Their affection for each other is the steel core that runs through the story, however fantastical the plot twists become. Glen is the voice of reason and calm, Tyler is the overly-generous, overly-trusting (at first) stupidly rich man who just wants to spread love around the world. Inevitably, there are people who want to stop him. There were times when I wanted to shake him and say “stop telling people how wealthy you are! They’re going to use you!” And some do, but Glen’s sensible presence strikes a note of reality.

Finally, no sex scenes but quite frankly, the book didn’t need it. There was more than enough going on without breaking off the action for a bit of rumpy pumpy (although they do have sex A LOT off camera, as it were.) And I believe that on Mr. Sander’s website, there are short stories with Glen and Tyler going at it, if you’re interested.

This book is the first in a series, and a very fun series it looks, with the newly-weds getting in all kinds of scrapes. I like Glen and Tyler. This isn’t a book for the cynical, but huge fun for anyone with a sense of fantasy, with oodles of intrigue thrown in.

04Jul/16

Anywhere You Go by Keelan Ellis

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It was our pleasure to have Keelan on the show on a couple of occasions. Listen to her latest interview and find links to her work here.

REVIEW

The first book was a lot of fun, with the story of the two friendly, mischievous ghosts who haunt the B&B now belonging to Jess and Eli. It was an unusual concept, combining tragedy and serious issues around being gay in different periods of time, with a contemporary love story. If you enjoyed it, then this book will be a huge delight. Ellis is comfortable with her characters and knows them intimately.

Jess and Eli are adjusting to married life, having to deal with jealousy when Eli’s friend Travis turns up, having split with his boyfriend, and Jess’s proprietorial behaviour towards his former fiancee, Cassie.

Ellis also has fun with the naughty ghosts causing sexy mayhem in the room they reside in, as well as giving them a plot thread of their own which is touching, sexy and woven cleverly into the main story, as they take Travis under their wing in order to save his relationship.

She writes her characters with affection and a light touch. Jess and Eli’s early marital troubles are convincing, and she deftly deals with the open questions left by the first book. As for randy ghosts Clay and Silas, their time in Paris (whilst they were alive) is colourfully drawn and you can feel the love between them, even after a threesome that throws a shadow over their loving relationship.

This is less a ghost story than a story about love, loyalty and family, with ghosts added to lighten things up. I love Ellis’s writing because it is easy to get lost in the story. This is a book for those times when only a day under the duvet will do. It’s warm cuddle of a book, with just a hint of edge to keep the reader on their toes, by an assured story-teller. Can’t wait for the next one!

04Jul/16

Then The Stars Fall by Brandon Witt

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Brandon Witt was one of our guests in the early days of the podcast. Hear his interview and find links to his work here.

REVIEW

Beautiful cover. Beautiful book. I could just leave it there, but I want all my friends to read this stunning love story, based around one man’s family, his grief for his wife, and the unexpected love he finds, which causes rippled throughout the small American town where he lives.

Travis is still in mourning for his wife. Four years after her death, he looks after his three children with the help of his strong-willed sister and the unconditional love of his two adorable corgis.

Wesley hasn’t been home to El Dorado for many years, but now he is the town vet, trying to put a painful break-up behind him. When Travis brings in one of his dogs to his surgery, there is an instant attraction, but both men have too much emotional baggage to know what is truly happening. Besides, Travis is straight. Isn’t he?

This is an incredibly well-written, delicately balanced M/M book. There is romance, but the main focus is about family, and the dynamics within. We are allowed into the lives of the children, their thoughts and fears, and Travis’s sister is the sort of wonderfully warm, forthright woman that everyone should have in their life.

All the characters are brilliantly drawn. Travis is the loving father, aware of his short-comings yet seemingly unwilling to move on from his grief. Wesley is the flamboyant gay man who struggles between being happy in his own skin and being nervous about how others perceive him.

The children are adorable, but not in a “I want to puke” kind of way. Oldest son Caleb is the serious man-child, trying to hold the family together, and the twins are like chalk and cheese, tricksy and defiant, solemn and withdrawn. And the dogs are cute and a bit stupid, just like dogs are in real life. I didn’t want the story to end because I was so entranced by the people and the place. Witt has the ability to enmesh the reader into the world he has created.

It’s a pity I’m not still running a book group. If I was, then this elegant, literary book would be top of my list.

03Jul/16

Return To Cooter Crossing by Stephen del Mar

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Stephen has visited us a couple of times on the show. To hear his latest interview and get links to his work, Click here!

REVIEW

Another lush Floridian saga from Stephen del Mar. I love this writer’s stories because they are so varied. In Dark Love, there was paranormal activity aplenty, and in this book, the main theme is family.

Aiden Quinn returns home to the arms of his loving American-Irish family after ten years away. Nursing a broken heart, he feels at odds with everyone there but gradually, the town of Bennett Bay and his loving relatives wrap their arms around him and he becomes enmeshed in love, complicated friendships, drama and murder, as well as suddenly becoming the protector of two orphaned boys.

Del Mar writes his characters incredibly well. The book is mostly about family dynamics, rather than the gruesome murders and accidents that occur at points throughout the book. They are dealt with as an aside, yet everyone is inextricably linked. He explores what it is like to be gay in a tight-knit community. There is a dash of intrigue, like pepper sauce, and a lot of affection between the two main characters, Aiden and JJ as they fumble their way though a minefield of expectation and ghosts from the past, whilst dealing with Aiden’s close and disfunctional family.

All the Bennett Bay books are woven together by the characters, and some are longer than others. This is a lot of book, with a lot of characters with their own stories to tell. Their stories are told in other books, tantalisingly giving clues to lure one into another of del Mar’s cunningly woven tales.

I’ve always said these are great stories to read on the beach, but this one is like a warm duvet on a cold day. Wrap yourself up in it and enjoy!