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review 2018-05-22 22:49
Harrowing, cathartic, satisfying
A Second Harvest - Eli Easton

Only two instances of the loathsome w-verb. Both gratuitous and unnecessary, of course.


An enormously resonant story for my elderly self. I knew and tricked with these men most of my life. Had one terrible relationship with one of them, a horrible, painful experience of being the agony and the release from it at the same time. He died of liver cancer after over two decades of alcohol abuse, and a few months later I moved to New York City.


So David's story, his wretchedness, moved me deeply. Christie's part I lived in reverse...after getting to Paradise I was a busy, busy boy for a few years. Over a decade, in fact, and I adored all but the last 18 months. When my life unravels, it does the job with verve and gusto. Anyway, Christie deciding to move to Auntie's place made perfect sense to me...I ran back to Austin...and his ultimate fate there mirrored my own, if mine was less painful.


I left Austin because, after one night of gay-barring, I was followed home by two tradies (google it) who'd been somewhat unsettlingly focused on me. The truck they drove had a gun rack.


It wasn't empty.


Nothing happened.


I don't care. I am never, ever again in all my life going to live in a place where guns are anything other than tightly regulated. I'm also deeply averse to going west of the Hudson or north of the Bronx. When home doesn't want you, it's not home, so here I stay.


This book made all the same feelings as I felt then come roaring back, strong as ever, nauseating as ever. The highest function of storytelling is catharsis, it's why myths are evergreen and stage/screen drama has such a tenacious hold on human psyches. Author Easton has, in each of her stories I've read, given me a safe catharsis, a world built to experience and survive the strong negative emotions parts of her tale evokes. It takes skill to do this well. It requires convincing your readers that this *is* a world, this space is in fact telling truths to your emotional core. That takes talent and courage, which Author Easton has and uses for our benefit.


And here I was looking for a light, fun read. Haw. Instead I got a deep and thorough dose of spiritual salts. And, mirabile dictu, was made to enjoy it.


Congratulations, Eli Easton, and to you readers not squicked out by gay men making love to each other, this is a fine and satisfying read.

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review 2018-05-09 19:57
Five Dares by Eli Easton
Five Dares - Bret Easton Ellis

I needed a little change of pace from all of the darkness and smart-stuff I’ve been reading lately and this book was just the thing. It was also about 6 months late over @ Netgalley. Oops. I don't know why they give me stuff. 

So, the setup is completely ridiculous but you know what? I don’t even care! 

Here it is:

Andy and Jake have been best friends for years. The pair are known for doing stupid stunts but the latest is the stupidest of all. While drunk, Andy decides that holding lit firecrackers will impress their college buds so Jake goes along with it. Andy says he’s tested this out, so why not? The stunt predictably leaves them both with badly burned hands that will take months to heal. They decide to heal together at Andy’s family cottage (his family is wealthy) where two kind souls come in daily to help them shower, provide nursing care and prepare their meals. Soon they tire of Netflix and the inability to, ahem, pleasure themselves (kind of tough without hands) and they start experimenting with each other. Andy, previously straight, starts getting feelings for his bisexual friend who has loved him forever and you just know this is going to get messy.

I told you the setup was ridiculous but hey, I still don’t care. It’s sexy and fun and sometimes you just need a little frivolity in your reading life.

These two were best friends and that came across in their thoughts and actions. Neither wanted to step over a line and lose the other and neither could come right out and express their true feelings fearing they’d lose their best friend. It’s a sticky situation, to be sure. The relationship started out as simply a means to ease their sexual pain but it soon morphed into something that had been simmering below the surface for years.

I really enjoyed this story for all of its sweet sexiness. The only thing I wasn’t too thrilled about were all of the flashbacks to their silly stunts in the past. Those kept throwing me out of the current story. One or two would’ve done the trick, if anyone were asking me. Other than that this story was exactly what I hoped it would be. There was plenty of time spent developing both characters which would’ve been a complete disaster done wrong as they were pretty much the only two in story! There’s a little angst but it was never unbearable. I actually enjoyed Andy’s struggles to figure basically everything out; his future, his sexual preferences, his career path. Argh, so stressful! But when the light finally turns on it feels genuine. That isn’t something I can say about a lot of romances. I really loved these two and almost finished this book in one sitting because I just didn’t want to put it down. They were both sweet and slightly goofy and acted their age without being obnoxious. If you’re ever looking for a fun romance this is a pretty good one. 

Now back to the horror . . .

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-07 02:49
I enjoyed it but it did not knock my socks off
Robbie Riverton: Mail Order Bride - Eli Easton

Being a fugitive in the old west shouldn’t be this much fun.

The year is 1860. Robby Riverton is a rising star on the New York stage. But he witnesses a murder by a famous crime boss and is forced to go on the run--all the way to Santa Fe. When he still hasn't ditched his pursuers, he disguises himself as a mail order bride he meets on the wagon train. Caught between gangsters that want to kill him, and the crazy, uncouth family of his "intended", Robby's only ally is a lazy sheriff who sees exactly who Robby is -- and can't resist him.

Trace Crabtree took the job as sheriff of Flat Bottom because there was never a thing going on. And then Robby Riverton showed up. Disguised as a woman. And betrothed to Trace’s brother. If that wasn’t complication enough, Trace had to find the man as appealing as blueberry pie. He urges Robby to stay undercover until the danger has passed. But a few weeks of having Robby-Rowena at the ranch, and the Crabtree family will never be the same again.

Damn, what a kerfuffle. If only Trace can get rid of the fugitive while hanging on to his own stupid heart.




Dear Eli Easton,


I was looking for a historical romance to read and somebody at my GR group recommended your book .  I have read a lot of your stories before and liked them more often than not and the blurb sounded like a hoot so I dived in.


First and foremost readers please beware - despite some suspense moments which made sense based on the blurb, the book was first and foremost a romantic comedy to me.  Which was perfectly fine and I was pleased that the humor worked for me, I just don't want anyone to form incorrect expectations if they decide to try this one.


The blurb describes the set up very well. Robby Riverton who worked his ass off to get where he was at his career accidentally witnesses a murder.  He also has a bad luck to be seen by the two gangsters who commit said murder.


Pretty soon Robby realizes that the gangsters are looking for him and he has a good sense to run and RUN.  He runs very far from New York as blurb tells you , unfortunately he was being followed almost as far as he runs . Weird events allow Robbie to transform himself in the mail order bride and Trace Crabtree who is the sheriff of the town Robbie comes to saves him from his pursuers while Robby was already presenting himself as Rowena.


Lucky for Robby he gets to stay alive and meet a handsome sheriff.  Unlucky for Robby sheriff saw a Wanted poster for Robby and pretty quickly (very early in the book) figures out that Robby is Rowena and confronts him with that revelation.


Trace manages to convince Robby to stay on his family's ranch as fake mail order bride for one of his brothers till the danger to Robby could be dealt with and Robby reluctantly agrees.



Note all that I just described covers the very beginning of the book, most of the book is the hilarity that ensues when Robby has to interact with the Crabtree family (Trace's father and his three brothers and the two wives - one brother is still not married) and some additional suspense at the end when mobsters come for Robby again.  Oh and of course there was some romance.



I thought that Robby was a *great* character. The guy who did all the menial jobs at the very beginning of his acting career and who had enough talent to actually advance on New York stage and who no doubt would have become a big star had the fate not intervened.


But what impressed me the most was how Robby manipulated the Crabtree guys in the best way possible and helped them to become better human beings.  I was so impressed because I usually really don't care for the manipulative characters, but Robby was just so charming and had the best intentions and he won me over.  Robby at the ranch is the major part of the book so I really don't want to discuss the details of his stay, since I consider this part to be spoilers, I will just say that I found the events that occurred before the last part of the book to be quite funny.  Of course humor is subjective and I cannot guarantee it will work for you, but for me it will.


Sadly I was underwhelmed by the romance between Robby and Trace.  As I said before, I really liked Robby and Trace was a sweet guy too even if he was not as impressive as Robby to me  ( As my friend said Robby dominated the book anyway), however for the longest part of the book I just did not see them being in love. Maybe it was the point that they were falling in love and at the end we could see that they both liked each other as people and not just were in lust. I don't know.



Oh and another thing I found underwhelming was Robby's "let's be stupid" final moment. Yes I get that the author tried to justify it, no it did not quite work for me.


Grade: B-

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text 2018-05-03 20:01
Reading progress update: I've read 0%.
Five Dares - Bret Easton Ellis

My brain hurts from all of the classic and horrific reading I've been doing lately and needs something to lighten the mood. I think this one will work nicely :) Plus it's about 6 months late over @ Netgalley, oops.

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review 2018-04-28 23:59
Before I Wake by Eli Easton Review
Before I Wake (Torqued Tales) - Eli Easton

Nurse's aide Jonesy is drawn to Michael, the comatose victim of a hate crime whose homophobic parents have rejected him. Jonesey sits with Michael, reads to him, and encourages Michael to wake up. Jonesy may not be the smartest guy in the world, but he knows Michael needs him. And if he also thinks Michael is the most beautiful thing he's ever seen, well, Jonesy knows better than to hope for things that can never happen.

Michael is lost in a dungeon, a dark and terrifying place. His only comfort is the sound of a man's voice. Can Michael come back? Does he want to? Maybe Jonesy can convince him that some things are worth living for.




This is a short intense read. It is lovely and full of hope and healing. I do wish for a little more to really trust in the happily ever after but adore the heroes and the writing.

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