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review 2015-11-21 20:01
Bollocks! Anthology
Bollocks! - Tabitha McGowan,H. Lewis-Foster,Taylin Clavelli,L.J. Harris,Lily Velden,Anyta Sunday,Elin Gregory,Greg Skipper

Reviewer: Sandra

Genre:M/M anthology

 

Review:
Anthologies can be hit or miss with what you get, generally I consider it a good one if most stories are in the 3 star range, with a few ones or twos, and a few fours and fives. I really only loved one of these stories, so I wouldn't consider it the best anthology I've read, but the majority were enjoyable. Certainly if you see that a handful of the stories on here catch your eye, I think it's worth getting the grouping instead of buying them individually. I read this quicker than usual since I was reviewing it, but this would be great to keep on your Nook or Kindle for when you want an easy and quick read, and pick and chose which stories you want to read over time.

 

Healing by Tabitha McGowan 2.75 stars (fantasy, no sex) - This was a really interesting story about a young healer in a world where witches are dissected by the government when caught. Bartholomew forms a bond with a man he heals, although unfortunately, it ends when it should begin! There were a lot of components here that I think could have been fleshed out really well into a full length story with some real meat to it.

 

Sheep's Clothing by Elin Gregory 3.5 stars (paranormal romance, shifters) - This was a sweet and funny little story that gives us something different from the usual werewolf shifter stuff. I believed Darren and Gareth's connection. It felt a tad fast but they brushed over a few weeks between the initial get-together and the climax, so that put a longer time frame on it, which I appreciate.

 

No Worries Mate by E.S. Skipper DNF (contemporary) - Very odd story behind this author and some suspicious behavior, not sure if it affected how I felt about this story, but I just couldn't get into it. Jake was an ass, about pretty much everything. Then Rangi was an ass, about Jake accidentally almost bringing two grains of wheat onto the island. It was just weird and I really didn't care at all. Maybe I'll try again later.

 

It Could Be You by Anyta Sunday 3 stars (contemporary, friends-to-lovers, GFY, no sex) - This was a short and sweet story from the POV of a young gay man who is on love with his straight BFF/roommate. Certainly a plot I've read before, but still enjoyable. Ted's explanation for all his lucky numbers (and that most of them have to do with Jensen) was really sweet.

 

Just like pulling teeth by L.J. Harris 3 stars (contemporary) - This is a sweet little story. It was a little slow to get going, with a few too many boring details about Aiden's life. But I liked seeing him and Sebastian interact once things got going. And the sex was certainly hot with a little unexpected role reversal. I didn't love everything, I'm not a fan of when a character is constantly "gasping" and dropping things and weak kneed simply from looking at an attractive person, and no one should be pressured into getting a tattoo. But overall a good short story.

 

DIY Delights by Taylin Clavelli 4 stars (contemporary, pre-exisiting couple, humorous) - This a short, fun, and silly little snippet. I'm not usually a fan of pre-existing couples, but since this spanned Duncan's entire history with the word 'Bollocks!' we still got a lot of variety. "Mike and I were like a pair of bollocks. One on it's own would be functional, but lost without the other."

 

In the Blue Moonlight by H. Lewis-Foster 2.5 stars (contemporary) - This wasn't bad, it was just a bit dull. Off to a fun and flirty start, things fizzle a bit once Simon and Mark actually start dating. I appreciate the authors attempt to put in a genuine relationship obstacle in order to make it feel more real. But I didn't find Simon's ultimatum playful, and I found Mark's final reveal awkward and anti-climactic. Unfortunately by then I had lost steam, so the sex scene didn't do anything for me (and I actually skimmed it!)

It’s Written in the Stars by Lily Velden 5 stars (contemporary, no sex) - Ohmygod with the motherfucking cuteness! I thought this was going to be a sneak-attack friends-to-lovers with Sebastian's friend Declan, but nope!, he really does go on the game show! Sweet and funny and sympathy sweaty palms, I thoroughly enjoyed this and had a smile on my face pretty much the entire time!

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review 2015-08-30 00:00
Written in the Stars
Written in the Stars - Lily Velden

*** 3,5 stars ***

Game show alert! Find your next date through a TV date show. This story was short, funny and sweet. I would have loved for it to have included more story after the game show ended, but sadly not. I enjoyed it all the same.

Part of the Bollocks! anthology. Read my whole review here.

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review 2015-06-03 16:01
Lily Velden – Heart Knot Mine
Heart Knot Mine - Lily Velden

Reviewer: Rich

Genre: M/M Contemporary

 

Review:
This is exceeding well-written novel. What at first glance may appear to be simply a pedestrian story of man meets man, man gets man, man loses man and then both live happily ever after rises above the pedestrian plain to a very special, well plotted novel.

 

Each man learns something major about himself. Noah learns that he is not only gay but monogamous. Robert learns that sex without love and tenderness becomes empty and not fulfilling. It is well into the novel before both characters actually meet. They are both art professors switching professorships, Noah from Chicago and Robert from London. They switch homes as well and communicate by Skype, text and emails.

 

The strength of this novel is it’s densely plotted frame work focusing on the two backgrounds, similarity/differences, and family life.

 

This is a believable, well thought-out story offering characters without stereotypes. The resulting happy ending is not the least bit contrived; with Noah standing forthright for love over just sex and Robert deciding a man can change and is willing to prove the point.

 

Far from a love conquers all story, the author displays a flair for creating believable situations that do not strain belief. Highly recommended.

Source: heartsonfirereviews.com/review-lily-velden-heart-knot-mine
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review 2015-05-16 00:00
Hunter or Hunted?
Hunter or Hunted? - Lily Velden This is a short, erotic story about two guys who meet in a bar. William, who owns the bar, watches David for several weeks. He wants him and he’s determined to get him. But David isn’t willing to give in that easily. He wants William to really fight for him so he holds out. He leaves with other guys, leaving William wanting him more every time.

Hunter or Hunted BannerThe chemistry between these two was my favorite thing about this. These guys definitely had chemistry. I have to admit, I wasn’t the most invested in the characters. I liked them together. They were hot together. I just didn’t feel as invested in them as I would have liked before that.

The ending was definitely fitting for this story. It wasn’t a HEA, but there was hope and a definite HFN. Plus it left me wanting a sequel for these guys.

Hunter or Hunted? is a really quick short story. I’m sort of torn on how to rate this, but I think 3 stars is the rating that works for me right now. And I’d definitely like to read another book from this author at some point.

3.5 stars!


Life According to Buddy had me cracking up while I was reading it. It’s a quirky little story and like nothing else I’ve ever read before. Why, you might ask? Well, Life According to Buddy is told in a very interesting POV.

Buddy is a penis.

Yep. That’s right. A penis. This story is told from a penis’ POV. It was a little surprising, I have to admit. I laughed when I realized it. And I was laughing as I read it.

I really enjoyed this short. The writing was nice and it kept me entertained. So I’m really, really glad I read it and I would definitely recommend it if you want a laugh.

A copy of these stories was provided by Wayward Ink in exchange for a fair and honest review.


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review 2015-03-07 23:21
Lily Velden – Hunter or Hunted
Hunter or Hunted? - Lily Velden

Reviewer: Wendy

Genre: MM Contemporary

 

Review: Who’s the cat and who’s the mouse in this game of seduction? It’s clear that each of the main characters, Will and David, believe they are the cat, the hunter, and that the other man is their prey. However, I believe the actual answer landed somewhere squarely between black and white. It was amusing to get inside each of their heads as they plotted their strategies for pursuit and the rules of the game. If I were refereeing this match, I’d have to call it a draw and well worth the wait. When they finally gave up the chase and came together to play, the reward was hot and sexy and lived up to the building anticipation!

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