Welcome to Alvarado 2:Unwelcome Home by C.E. Kilgore

Title : Unwelcome Home             Word Count : 192 pgs
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Sometimes the best way to get back on your feet again is to help someone get back on theirs.

Five years ago, Clint Shepfield broke the town of Alvarado apart when he used his fists to break Samuel Garrett’s body. In prison, Clint’s had plenty of time to deal with the guilt and accept the real reasons behind his actions. He’s now accepted his homosexuality, Sam has forgiven him, and he’s being encouraged to return to the town he thought would never welcome him home.

In the blink of an eye, and the stomping boots of drunk bullies, Rick Santos lost everything. Once a track star in the making, Ricky’s been left confined to a wheelchair, his hopes for the future gone. His happy zeal for life is taken over by a pessimistic, bitter attitude, leaving Sam and Cody at their wits’ end. The first time Ricky snaps at Clint, everyone is surprised when Clint bites back.

Clint makes it his mission to get Ricky out of his funk and out of that chair. Maybe if he can help Ricky stand up straight again, Clint will be able to do the same. But, not everyone in Alvarado is ready to welcome them into the community, leaving Clint and Ricky dealing with the possibility of being unwelcome home.

My Review : Self-hatred is a very profound emotion that eats away at our very souls. Nobody knows this better than Clint Shepfield who made a horrible mistake in his teen years that he will forever regret. He hurt the sweetest young man Sam Garrett who he had a crush on, a crush he could not own up to out of fear of being acknowledged as gay. His horrific actions sent him to prison for five years, a penance he would willingly pay over and over again if it could erase his past. Instead of being the soccer star that he was meant to be he is now the town’s pariah.
Clint has a long hard road ahead of him especially since he will be staying with the same young man who he almost destroyed. It so happens that Sam is in love with Clint’s best friend Cody and they are living together. Sam has since forgiven Clint for his actions when he finally understood that his rage was not motivated by homophobia but rather it was self -hatred. It comes from the inner most part of Clint’s ‘self’ that was not able to understand his feelings. He lashed out at Sam who had the courage and owned his sexuality even though it meant that he was bullied and treated harshly especially by his father.
Initially, Clint is bombarded by all the emotions and all the updates of the old town. He realises there is so much that he missed out on. He also feels a bit unwelcome when he meets the other house guest Ricky Santos, Sam’s best friend. Ricky is staying with them after enduring a homophobic attack which left him in a wheelchair. Ricky is very bitter and he also hates what Clint had done to Sam. There definitely is no love lost between Clint and Ricky, but they soon realize that they feel somewhat adrift and lost in the house with their two best friends who are madly in love. These two shattered men accept that they both have to acknowledge the part they played in the path that their lives have taken. They have to discover how to forgive themselves for their actions. They both have a lot of healing to do and it soothes them to tag team their issues together.
For the most part, Clint is not able to trust his instincts due to his inexperience and his past violent acts. He has to learn to forgive himself so that he can trust in what feels right. It is undeniable that there is a spark between Ricky and Clint and they can’t help but to explore this option.Ricky is there to guide him into the foray of intimacy between two men. Although they are able to relate on both being lost in their new realities, they are constantly reminded that their roles are vastly different. There is a juxtaposition of Clint being a felon while in contrast Ricky is a victim. It is hard to see how they will reconcile their two personas without Clint’s past intruding. As soon as they get beyond this, there is yet another hurdle for them to jump.
Clint has to relearn how to live again and how to be a normal man. On the other hand, Ricky is battling his disability and trying to revise how to live in a wheelchair and how to be content with that corporeality. Clint does all he can to help Ricky and gives him the push he thinks his brain needs. He has a feeling that Ricky’s disability is more of a mind thing and he wants to see if he can get the physical body to work in conjunction with Ricky’s battered pysche. Clint comes up with the juiciest incentives in the form of foreplay to try to get Ricky using hand crutches instead of his wheelchair to get him mobile. They decide to trust in each other and stand strong together in love. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Something Shattered by Bailey Bradford

Title : Something Shattered                Word Count : 64,448
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : When something inside him is shattered by an act of violence, Caleb Tomas doesn’t think he can ever be whole again.

Police Officer Jesse Martin has lived in the small town of El Jardin, New Mexico, for a decade, but he’s never seen anything like the mysterious man who moves in in the middle of the night. The house across the street from Jesse’s trailer is no longer empty. There’s a puzzle waiting to be solved there in the form of one sexy, but decidedly different, man.

Bruised and battered inside and out, Caleb Tomas flees to the town of El Jardin in the hopes of escaping the terror that haunts him. Instead, he becomes more of a recluse, scared of everything, unable to get more than a dozen feet past his porch before he panics. His head’s a mess, and he knows he needs help, but that’s a step he doesn’t want to take. It’s easier, safer to stay hidden away with only his adorable puppy, Loopy, and the bird-murdering cat, Mix, for companionship.

But Caleb can’t help but notice the sexy man across the street, and when Loopy escapes from the back yard, it’s Jesse Martin who comes to the rescue.

And he might save more than one bouncy little poodle, if Caleb and Jesse are willing to take the risk.

My Review : All the tongues are wagging in the small town of El Jardin, everyone is wondering about the new resident Caleb who moved there in the dead of night. Caleb is in a very fragile state of mind when he meets Jesse Martin. Jesse Martin is a police officer and also Caleb’s neighbour. He has heard the rumours and he has some speculations of his own. He has caught glimpses of Caleb and he knows right away that the young man has been through something very traumatic. Caleb is bruised and battered and seems to be afraid to come outside. Jesse is the only one that Caleb allows to get close to him. To Caleb, Jesse represents strength and safety, two things that he desperately needs.
Jesse slowly inserts himself into Caleb’s life by coaxing him out to the mailbox. Everyday, he walks him the few feet to the mailbox, just to help him get over his fear. As much as Jesse would like to know what happened to this beautiful young man, he tries not to pry and doesn’t prod beyond what Caleb is comfortable with. This somehow strengthens Caleb’s resolve to get back to the person he once was. Although he has that residual fear of the outside world which is a memento from the violent assault he recently experienced , Caleb does not fear Jesse. He eagerly awaits the minutes until he sees Jesse. The relationship doesn’t take long to be forged between these two lovers. Caleb is a bit sweet and shy but underneath that lies a sexy vixen which allows Jesse’s dominant side to come out and play. The chemistry between them is explosive and leads to some really hot scenes. Whether it is a quick romp on Jesse’s lunch break or a lengthy session in Caleb’s bedroom, they attack each other passionately and voraciously.
With the encouragement of his sister, Caleb decides to open up and tell Jesse what he’s been running and hiding from. Jesse wraps Caleb up in his strong arms and knows that he will protect him from any harm. Their wills are soon tested and they face adversity in the form of smallminded police officers. They all come together as a family and stand strong against the actions of a few. Caleb also appeals to his audience, since he’s a writer. He discloses all his hidden truths and exposes his life and all the problems and hurt that he has been through . This sheds light on the homophobic jackasses in their lives and they soon realize that they can’t win in the face of such strength. Jesse and Caleb work seemlessly as a couple and even though small town life will not be perfect, their love for each other will see them through . I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Men in the Shadows 4: The Porn Star by Rain Carrington

Title : The Porn Star              Word Count : 382 pgs
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Sammy is looking for the man who could make him feel the way Neil had, and finding it impossible. A secret admirer starts to leave him roses and notes, stalking him. Sammy is intrigued, but with college, his job at his father’s garage and his new tutoring gig, he doesn’t have a lot of time to guess who it could be. Secretly, though, he hopes that it is Neil, who he couldn’t stop wanting.
He finds out and soon begins to explore his kink, to be watched. A video is uploaded to a website and attracts the attention of a porn producer. IS this Sammy’s big break, or will it end in heartbreak?
The student Sammy starts to tutor is a rich and difficult man named Andrew. Andrew disregards and berates anyone who crosses him, including the new personal assistant his father hired to “babysit” him.
Tom is a former Marine with a secret agenda, keeping him in the job with the privileged man he doesn’t know if he’d rather slap or kiss. Once Andrew’s parents announce their impending divorce, Andrew goes off the rails, only to find Tom there to catch him.
Through the last two years, Malcolm and Kirk have lived and loved, but when Sammy asks Malcolm to keep a secret from his big lover and his biker brothers, including Road Dog, Sammy’s father, Malcolm agrees, only to be found out and losing everyone who mattered the most to him. Can he and Kirk find their way back to one another, possibly with the help of the big Marine they met through Sammy?
Secrets, intrigue, murder and unspeakable acts abound in this final installment of the series. Three couples unite and are put to the test by family, friends and new jobs. Can three men come out stronger or end up another casually of their Men in the Shadows?

My Review : This book really showed how to bring the two halves of our ‘selves’ together and how to reconcile the disparity between the two. First of all, we meet Sammy who is a sweet young man who seems to be lost. Sammy has been hurt by a former lover and has decided to cure his pain by sleeping around. This helps him for a time, but lately he has realized that these encounters are leaving him unfulfilled. When Sammy starts getting notes from a secret admirer, he has to admit that he is somewhat intrigued. He tells his best friend Malcolm who seems to be worried for Sammy. He suggests that it could be the work of Sammy’s former lover Neil. Sammy agrees with Mal, but even though he still feels hurt over Neil’s betrayal, deep down he hopes the notes are from him. Sammy goes through his everday life as usual, going to college, working at his father’s garage and doing some tutoring to a spoiled brat named Andrew.
Things come to a head when Neil reveals himself as Sammy’s secret admirer. Sammy’s immediate reaction is to walk away from Neil as he knows no good can come from it. Neil persuades him and begs him for a chance to apologize. Neil is sorry for the way he betrayed Sammy. He knows that he messed up before and got Sammy’s friend Malcolm hurt, but he was also the one who helped find Malcolm when he was kidnapped. Sammy wants to forgive Neil and he realizes that he is still very much in love with him. He is in a quandary, because he knows that his family would definitely not appreciate him getting back together with Neil. Sammy’s father Road Dog, belongs to a biker gang, and he has forbidden his son to ever speak to Neil again after all the problems he caused the family .
Against his better judgement, Sammy decides to give Neil another chance and take things slowly . Neil is ecstatic that he gets to be with his sweet Sammy again. They agree to keep their relationship a secret for the time being. Things are going great with them and within no time they have totally reconnected. Neil is the only man that has been able to bring out Sammy’s kinky side, he is a bit of an exhibitionist. Neil caters to Sammy’s exhibitionism by filming their passionate lovemaking and uploading it to a porn site with Sammy’s approval. Sammy is beyond excited to see the thousands of views that their video has gotten. This sparks a flame within Sammy which can no longer be tamed.
In the meantime, another relationship is being formed between Sammy’s spoiled brat student Andrew and his live in bodyguard Tom. Andrew comes from a family of wealth and he is rude and disrespectful to everyone. He is over priveledged and his father has paid his way through life. He is failing his classes and Sammy realises that the true problem lays in the fact that he can’t read. Andrew goes through life ,covering his failings by being rude and not letting anyone get close to him. He pushes everyone to their breaking point, so that they will eventually leave him. This did not work with Tom, who he thoroughly pissed off with his attitude. Tom is a former marine and a Dom and he is absolutely fed up with Andrew’s disrespect. He is outraged and resorts to his natural inclination to discipline. It isn’t until he starts spanking Andrew and hears him screaming and sees the tears roll down his face , that he realize he does not have the right to discipline him. He starts to apologize, but he sees something in Andrew’s eyes and demeanor that appeals to him. Andrew thrives on punishment and their is a sparkle in his eyes that was never there before. Tom decides to hone Andrew’s submissive nature and turn him into the perfect slave . Tom wants to be his master so bad and soon sees the reality coming through.

It was truly an awakening for both of them to see the rich snobbish attitude taken over by the true mindset of what it means to be a perfect slave to his master. Andrew knows that his true purpose in life is to service Tom in all aspects of his life. Tom initiates Andrew to the life of a slave surrounded by like minded friends. Andrew endures a lot of pain with all the devices used by master Tom and his mentor, but he relishes it and receives pleasure as well. Andrew’s lessons in submission is definitely not for the feint of heart. Tom is a hardcore Dom and there is a lot of pain play , hot wax play amongst other things that I couldn’t fathom. However , the one thing that resonates with me is the open love that these two men experienced once both of their dreams are fulfilled.
Sammy’s feelings for Neil are becoming overpowering and he feels he can no longer hide his relationship from his family. To say his father was upset is a true understatement. Road Dog walks away without speaking to his son. His confession also opens a can of worms when it is revealed that Malcolm kept his secrets. Malcolm’s husband Kirk who is a member of the same biker gang as Road Dog believes that keeping secrets from his biker brothers is a true breach of trust. This causes a rift in their marriage and Malcolm walks out on Kirk. I was really sad to see this as they are my favorite characters.
They have been through a lot and they are really a solid couple.
They all have to pull together when trouble comes in the form of Andrew’s rich daddy. He is the head of a pharmaceutical company that developed a drug that can ‘cure the gay away’. Finding out that his son is gay would definitely cast a shadow on his wonder drug causing him to lose money, so he decides to have his son killed. This is where Malcolm comes up with the brilliant idea that the members of the biker gang could protect Andrew for a fee. It was very interesting to see the different kinds of friendships that were formed amongst these three couples. They all faced the dangerous ordeals with the support of their friends. They endured and came out victorious as three devoted couples. Tom was able to find his perfect slave in Andrew. Neil was able to cater to Sammy’s kinky side and this allowed Sammy to appreciate the man he knows and loves. Kirk was able to reaffirm the strength of the bond that he has with Malcolm.I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Rent Me 2: Own Me by Brina Brady

Title : Own Me                Word Count : 344 pgs
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Russian mobster Dmitri Dubrovsky married ex-rent boy Bren. Jealousy is still a big issue for both of them. They fear that the other will find someone better and leave. Dmitri’s ex-boyfriend Viktor is still in love with him and hates Bren. Viktor sets out to cause problems and make Dmitri and Bren question their love and commitment to each other. Bren tries to be the best sub, but feels Dmitri doesn’t take him seriously. Some BDSM elements.

Dmitri gets even more possessive when Bren works with his favorite ex-client from Forbidden Desires Escort Agency. To complicate matters, Russian mobsters threaten the Dubrovsky family.
New Cover on this book.

My Review : It would seem that Brennen and Dmitri still have a lot of kinks to iron out , even though they are newly married. Their kink level is extremely high and Brennen spends most of his time enduring some form of corporal punishment or another. Dmitri is even more controlling and possessive than ever. When he finds out that Bren will be associating with his former favorite client from his rentboy days, Dmitri is uncontrollably jealous. He places Bren in a cock cage and a locked anal plug.
Bren becomes infuriated when he thinks that Dmitri might me cheating on him with his ex boyfriend Viktor. They have a long standing rivalry over the sexy Dmitri. Brennen goes after Viktor with guns blazing, literally. Bren goes all crazy on Viktor, and it takes the two brothers Mischa and Dmitri to calm Bren down. Mischa is as confused as ever about Dmitri and Bren’s relationship, he doesn’t understand the BDSM element to their love and he doesn’t condone it especially when Bren is being punished.
Bren’s past comes raring it’s ugly head in the form of his former abuser who happens to be Dmitri’s older brother Adrik. All their lives seem to be entangled and Dmitri is forced to have a relationship with Adrik as danger threatens to strike close to home. Bren is also forced to reconnect with Adrik in order to help out a newfound friend.
The master / slave dynamic becomes more pronounced in Dmitri and Bren’s relationship . It produced some very intense, very hot sexual situations. Also, it brought them closer in a way that nothing else did. It is clear that Bren not only needs discipline, he thrives on it and it solidifies their union causing bonds that are unbreakable. However, Bren’s quicksilver temper and Dmitri’s overbearing possessiveness soon leads them into another fight.

There is absolutely no doubt about it that Dmitri and Bren are oh so hot together, but it gets a bit exhausting watching them fight and make up so many times. Their makeup is almost instantaneous when Bren gets in trouble and has to ask Dmitri to bail him out. Dmitri does that without even blinking an eye , because at the end of the day he loves Bren like no other. Things really start heating up and after a kidnapping attempt on Bren, Dmitri makes the decision to move all of his family members to Germany for awhile. Bren and Dmitri have a lot of issues, but they stand strong in the face of adversity and their love seems truly invincible. I give this my ratings of 3 – it was ok, give it a try.

Favorite Quotes : 1. “That’s it, boy,” Dmitri said. “Stick that cute little ass in the air. I’m going to smack my big balls against those tight round cheeks. I could fuck you till you pass out and I’d still be shoving my big dick into your wet hole.” ( Nothing like a bit of dirty talk to get Bren’s engine revving.)

2.“Good boy. Now come on, open up more for me. I want to get in deeper. Swallow my cock with your wet boy lips. I’m going to come deeper inside your ass.” Dmitri wrapped his arm around Brennen, stroking his cock faster. Dmitri twisted Brennen’s nip rings with his other hand, bringing moans of pleasure from him. He shifted hands, holding his hairless balls while pulling his foreskin back as far as possible. The pain and pleasure caused Brennen to moan in delight. He spread his legs wider, allowing Dmitri fuller access. “Ahh—I’m coming,” Dmitri shouted. Dmitri flooded him with his cum, igniting Brennen to spill his load in five quick spurts. Brennen made animal grunting sounds as his cum landed in Dmitri’s hand. He milked Dmitri until he pulled out. Both rolled into each other’s arms. ( These two were meant for each other, they are soooo hot together.)

Rent Me 1: Rent Me by Brina Brady

Title : Rent Me           Word Count : 436 pgs
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Russian mobster spanks his rent boy. Ouch!

Rent Boy Brennen wants to belong to his lover Dmitri Dubrovsky. The Russian mobster controls every inch of his life in and out of bed. Brennen works for Dmitri’s escort service. His only desire is to please his lover. When Dmitri marries Nika, his lover moves him out of their home to an apartment in Beverly Hills and tells him nothing has changed.

What is Brennen going to do now?

Brennen does not understand his lover’s Russian culture not allowing homosexuality. Two different cultures and age difference clash.
My Review : Brennen and Dmitri engage in a very combative relationship. Brennen is an escort at the agency owned by the Russian mobster Dmitri. This is just the tip of the iceberg of their connection. Dmitri has saved Brennen from a horrible past, he has been taking care of him since he was twelve and their relationship moved into the sexual realm once Bren became of age. Even though it is obvious that Dmitri loves and cares for Bren deeply, there are certain strictures in the way he lives his life. Within his very strict Russian upbringing, he is expected to marry a Russian beauty and have children. That is exactly what Dmitri has done to please his father; he has recently married the beautiful Nika. This has put a strain on his relationship with Brennen and the hurt and pain has caused Bren to lash out by creating havoc. Mischa, Dmitri’s brother and Bren’s protector try to keep him in line as best as possible.
Another bone of contention between these two volatile lovers is Brennen’s job, Dmitri hates the fact that his lover is an rentboy. Dmitri sets Bren up financially so that he doesn’t need to work but Bren keeps his job out of defiance. He uses it to hurt Dmitri as much as he is hurt by Dmitri taking a wife. It is no secret that Bren is jealous of Nika and wants her out of his lover’s life. It is also no secret that Dmitri wants all of Bren’s clients gone . He finally gets his wish after Bren starts to see the ugly side of being a rentboy. He is humiliated and abused when he caters to a party of rowdy Russians who don’t take no for an answer. Mischa is furious when he picks up Bren and sees the dismal state he is in. He calls in reinforcements in the form of Dmitri. Dmitri is devastated and sick to see his beautiful Bren in pain. He forbids him to work as an escort again.
Their problems intensify even more when Brennen decides to try dating a girl in his class. Mischa encourages him as he is tired of seeing the hurt his brother is causing this sweet young man. Dmitri goes ballistic when he interrupts Brennen’s compromising position with the young lady. Underlying Dmitri’s rage is a sense of acute hurt and betrayal. A lot is said between the two lovers out of anger and hurt. Brennen decides to cut all ties with the two brothers and ends up staying in a motel room to lick his wounds.
For the first time , he is independent of the two Russians or so he believes. Brennen decides to pick up guys for money when he starts running low on cash. However, his luck runs out when he is picked up for solicitation by the police.
When the two brothers post his bail ,he realizes that they have been keeping tabs on him all along and that he was never really alone. They form a truce since Bren has to live with Dmitri and his wife while on house arrest. It is uncomfortable for both of them , but Dmitri is so happy to have his Malysh, his little one back in his life. Dmitri has begun to reassess his life choices and he knows that he made a terrible mistake by getting married, especially when he had all he ever needed in Bren. Bren has also matured and he acknowledges that he didn’t make Dmitri’s life any easier by becoming an escort and acting up.
Things come to a head between Brennen and Nika and they end up in a shoving match. Dmitri is displeased by both of their actions , but it solidified everything in his mind about the changes he knew he had to make for their future. It doesn’t take him long and before he knows it Dmitri is a free man and ready to make the ultimate commitment to his boy. He proposes to Brennen who gladly accepts. I enjoyed this book, but there were times when it had a disjointed feel to it. The right premise was there for a background story , but I feel like it didn’t flow very well. I will definitely give the second book in the series a chance and see if I feel any better. I give this my ratings of 3 – it was ok, give it a try.