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review 2018-11-07 19:01
Cardboard SF: "The Devil's Game" by Poul Anderson
The Devil's Game - Poul Anderson


(Original Review, 1980-11-09)


THE DEVIL'S GAME of course, is "follow the leader" played by seven people in a South American paradise for a prize of 1 million, tax free dollars. The prize will be split among everyone who lasts through the game. The challenge for each player is to devise tasks which will force the other players out of the game, either through failure to perform the task, refusal to perform the task, or death resulting from the task.

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-10-31 02:03
Lights, Cameras...Action!
Action - Quinn Anderson,Nick J. Russo

'Action' is the second book in Quinn Anderson's series 'Murmur Inc.' and while 'Hotline' dealt with the phone sex side of Murmur Inc. there's more to this company than a few ringing phones...there're lights, cameras and more than a little action that takes place on film.

 

Pete Griflow is quiet and gawky. At times he's more than a little awkward when it comes to talking to men...so not happening at least not until he steps in front of a camera and becomes power-bottom...Jaden Prime.

 

Pete got into porn as a way to help pay for his education and help his mom. He's a college student, a porn star and a coffee barista...Pete's a busy guy so when he's offered the chance at a regular role in a new project...a chance for some extra money...he's tempted but when he gets a look at his possible co-star, Pete finds that he's tempted by more than a chance to earn some extra money...he's tempted by a man that's sex on legs and not only pushes all his buttons...but sets off all his bells and whistle like a 5 alarm fire. 

 

Kyle's the very opposite of everything that Pete is. He's confident, daring, sexy and the sex industry is where he want's to make his home...professionally speaking. Kyle has no problem with being a porn star and when he makes his move to acting in 'gay porn' turns out he's one hot commodity that's making Pete weak in the knees.

 

I liked Pete and Kyle together their personalities played well off of each other and while Pete was by far the less confident of the pair he had fleeting moments of confidence and adversely we got to see Kyle struggle with moments of insecurity.

 

While I'd have to say there was probably a bit more sex in this story than was maybe necessary, I'd also have to say that given what the MCs did for a living I would have found it to be rather unusual if there'd been little to no sex in this story as well.

 

Regardless of the 'too much sex' this story was really saved for me by Pete and Kyle I liked them and as a couple I found them to be really sweet as a couple in spite of what they both did for a living I loved that for each of them sex wasn't just sex when they were the parties engaged it meant something because it was more than the physical there were feelings and their hearts were involved.

 

'Hotline' was a good start to this story but for me 'Action' was just a tiny bit better and gave me the push I needed to keep this one on my radar...of course I'll be waiting for the next book when it's released on audio and without a doubt I'll have my fingers crossed that the narrator's the same because really...Nick J. Russo...need I say more? maybe not but I'm going to...

 

Once again Nick J. Russo was the narrator for this story and once again 3.5 stars became a little more...a little better so at the end of it all 3.5 stars becomes 4.

 

*************************

An audio book of 'Action' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-10-31 01:17
ARC Review: The Academy by Quinn Anderson
The Academy - Quinn Anderson

This was a not so stereotypical college romance, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It had some issues, on which I'll elaborate further down.

Nick arrives at The Academy for his senior year after having taken a year off due to the death of his father. Starting over a tiny Catholic college wasn't the plan, but here we are. Nick plans to focus on his studies, maybe making some friends, and then getting his diploma and go home. Still struggling with grief, and on a tight budget, Nick knows that he's dependent on the scholarship he got, and has no plans whatsoever for a college romance or any such nonsense. 

Sebastian is the college campus player. When he spots Nick, he makes a bet with his two oldest friends, Dante and Theo, on who can kiss the new guy first - with the provision that the new guy has to initiate the kiss. Sebastian is the proverbial spoiled rich kid. Or so it seems. 

Nick doesn't want to give Sebastian the time of day at first, but slowly the ice melts a bit. 

With the premise as it is, Nick and Sebastian don't spend a whole lot of time together on page to begin with, though that time becomes more and more as the plot progresses. As Sebastian develops real feelings for Nick, he's terrified of the bet coming out. The author attempted to show us that despite all the material things he has, Sebastian is still yearning for something money can't buy, something that he lost and cannot get back; his insecurities are hindering him, and causing him to covertly lash out and hurt others before they can hurt him.

There are some clever plot twists here as well, which I didn't see coming, so I was pleasantly surprised toward the end. 

What didn't work so much for me is that Sebastian and his friends often sounded and acted a lot younger than their actual presumed ages - they read a lot more like moody highschoolers (especially Sebastian seemed very much a jerk) than college juniors. The poor little rich boy trope is a little overused here also, and while Sebastian's background makes for a good explanation of his behavior, I didn't buy the rapidity with which he falls for Nick, especially considering the fact that Nick and Sebastian have no more than maybe 10 or 15 actual conversations with each other over the course of the book. I wasn't sold on there being an actual romantic relationship between them - it felt more like lust than love.

Dante and Theo, Sebastian's friends - those two had their own issue to work out, and they did, and while they're supposed to be side characters, they actually felt more real to me than the MCs, probably because we see them spent more time together on page than Sebastian and Nick.

The author does a fine job writing the steam, and while there are but two steamy scenes in this book, they were pretty damn hot, but also continued to lead me down the path of believing in their lust, not their love.

Probably not my favorite by this author, but a good effort, and an enjoyable read. 


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2018-10-31 01:14
Welcome to...the sex trade...
Hotline - Quinn Anderson,Nick J. Russo

Zack is a PSO (Phone Sex Operator) for Murmur Inc. It's not a permanent thing just a temporary stop to pay some bills until he gets himself back on track. But somehow he's been around longer than he'd planed he's fallen into a bit of a rut or at least he was until the day that 'John' calls. 

 

What starts out as a simple phone sex call...just another day on the job for Zack begins to evolve into something more as the calls continues and with each call...each new role play that the men begin, each one of them begins to slip bits of the real them into the story.

 

For Zack life is getting better...at least on the work front it is. Zack's landed a whale and he's finally good earning money and he's doing it talking to a man who seems to push all the right buttons for him. Needless to say for the first time since who knows when Zack doesn't find work to be a hardship.

 

John's educated, cultured, lead a life of privilege. In Zack's eyes he's everything that Zack's not or at least that's how he sounds and that's ok because it's just phone sex and they're never going to meet...or at least they're not suppose to but Destiny...she'd be Karma's sister and sometimes she's also a biotch...anyways, Destiny has other plans for Zack and John and when Zack finds himself face to face with John he does what any sane young PSO would do...he runs.

 

It's going to take more than a few phone calls for these two men to work things out. I have to say these two have a rather unusual path to follow if they're going to get things sorted out. Zack may make a living talking dirty and John may plan on becoming a lawyer but these two mean are going to need to learn how to have some pretty open and honest conversations if they're going to take things from the phone to the same room.

 

Surprisingly while the sex was good when it happened for me the phone sex was the smoking hot stuff and maybe that was because of the fact that these men didn't know each other and it was obvious from that start that they were going to so there was definitely a layer of anticipation involved that wasn't there when they finally met.

 

'Hotline' was definitely unique in the overall premise of the story. It's the first story that I've ever read where one of the MCs is a PSO.  'Hotline' was a light fun read, laced ironically a bit of miscommunication and a touch of humor...all of which combines to make an enjoyable little romance story.

 

Nick J. Russo was the narrator for this story and as always his narration made what would have probably only been a 3 star read for me into something just a little bit better. I could go on about this narrator and expand on all the reasons that I enjoy listening to audio books that Mr. Russo has narrated but I think the simplest thing I can say is in the world of audio book narrators Nick Russo is on my auto buy list. 

 

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text 2018-10-20 17:34
Breathe for Me (Be for Me, #1) by Natalie Anderson Free!
Breathe for Me - Natalie Anderson

The last thing Chelsea Greene wants is to be rescued, but that's exactly what happens when she's caught wearing nothing but her swimsuit during a midnight emergency evacuation drill. Turns out her 'hero' is a former lifeguard who has no hesitation in offering the kiss of life. So not happening, right? 


But for emotionally chastened Chelsea, one touch changes everything. She discovers a desire to satisfy this arrogant, demanding tease. Unable to express her own fantasies, she finds unspeakable pleasure in serving his.

Xander Lawson exudes easy charm. He likes a woman unafraid to match his appetite for unfettered fun. He doesn't do complicated or emotional. But the raw need emanating from fragile Chelsea compels him closer. He can't resist spinning a sensual fantasy world around them. 
As passion spills outside their carefully selected boundaries, Xander learns Chelsea's stronger than he first thought. But is she strong enough to handle the intensity he's always kept hidden?

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