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Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: Kasia Bacon’s THE POISON WITHIN

The Poison Within Kasia Bacon

Happy Post-St. Patrick’s Day! You’ve survived the work week and (hopefully) some partying. If you’re anything like us, you might be in desperate need of a chaser. Thankfully, we’ve got another gift from the lovely Kasia Bacon. Don’t miss this exclusive excerpt of The Poison Within, out today!


I checked my reflection in passing. A typical peasant—blue-eyed, fair-haired, rugged and brawny—looked back. I never understood what Elly saw in me. I rubbed the stubble on my jaw and did my best to slick down my spiky crop.

I was fully clothed by the time he’d managed to put on his breeches and boots. Granted, his elaborate attire involved more complexity than my stark Inspector’s garb.

I came up to him as he struggled to fasten about two dozen buttons adorning the opening of his shirt. At first glance, they looked like pearls—and probably were. The damned garment must’ve cost more than my horse.

I took the front folds of his shirt out of his hands and started doing up the buttons myself. He rolled his eyes, but patiently stood there, watching me in silence with his chin raised, one side of his lip curled. However clumsy my thick fingers might’ve looked, a childhood spent in the forge repairing intricate chains and hinges had left them surprisingly nimble.

I enjoyed dressing him almost as much as I loved peeling the clothes off him. My fixation appeared to amuse and exasperate him in equal measures. But for whatever reason, he indulged me.

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Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: THE MUTT by Kasia Bacon

The Mutt Kasia Bacon

Rough week? Probably an understatement. Thankfully, we’ve brought you an amazing little gift from the ever-wonderful Kasia Bacon! Let us take you world away with this sneak peek from The Mutt, out right now!


 

I WANTED him from the start. From the very first time I laid eyes on him. Everyone kept talking about him in the days prior to his arrival to the camp, curious about this half-breed born to an influential Elven clan, but brought up by humans. A hybrid. A mutt.

Lochan Féyes.

I was curious as well. Maternal half-breeds such as him were a rarity. They retained all physical qualities of a pureblood and enjoyed, at least in theory, equal social status. Not that discrimination didn’t occur. The real losers in the biracial game were the paternal ones. Considered downright human and non-citizen, they constituted the lowest caste in society.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he exceeded my expectations. Later I discovered he had a knack for doing just that.

If I hadn’t known human blood flowed in his veins, I wouldn’t have been able to spot it. The tips of his ears were perhaps less pointy, and his eyes—not as distinctly angular as those of an average Elf.

Even back then, at seventeen, he proved every bit a killer. He made that obvious during the first training session. He was deadly. Calm. Steady. Cold. Disinterested. So self-assured that he seemed arrogant. I wanted to bring him down a peg. Teach him a lesson. Break him. Taste him. Make him beg me to kiss him.

I wanted his attention, but he refused to give it to me.

So I had to find a way to claim it.

His eyes were blue—so intensely the colour almost appeared offensive. Fuck, it offended me. I was just an unworldly Dark Elf at the time, unaccustomed to irises that weren’t obsidian. The azure hue of his gaze reminded me of the glass crystals that grew in caves in the highlands of the Black Mountain. I used to collect them as a child.

I wanted those eyes on me.

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Portland ME Freya Barker sale July
Guest Post

Guest Post: Kasia Bacon’s Dirty Dozen of 2015

Kasia Bacon's DD

I believe there is nothing wrong with occasionally making yourself the centre of the universe (#narcissist). So because I can, I decided to disregard publication dates on this occasion and make my literary Dirty Dozen – or my top twelve M/M books, about the most memorable novels I have read in 2015. Therefore, my finalists are not necessarily recent releases, or even ones published within the last 12 months. For reasons known precisely to no one, I missed some gems released in previous years, and clearly have been playing the catch-up game. So there you have it, in no particular order, a peculiar mix of new, and slightly older – twelve separate and varied categories, twelve superb books. All captivating reads, very much on point and highly recommended, even if I say so myself (#narcissist).


Scrap Metal by Harper FoxHARPER FOX, Scrap Metal

This book goes under my BEST BRITISH CONTEMPORARY NOVEL category. The most striking thing about it is the exquisite style of writing– elegant and refined, but intense all the same. Few authors in the M/M genre share this unique ability to dress their thoughts in the language so lyrical and poetic, yet crisp and clear.

Vividly emotional and angsty, this story is touchingly romantic. It features one of my most beloved secondary characters – the curmudgeonly, tough as nails, Gaelic speaking old devil, hiding a huge heart underneath his surly exterior. A subtle pinch of the supernatural adds flavour into the mix. A crime to miss it.

Harper Fox quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


In The Absense of Light Adrienne WilderADRIENNE WILDER, In the Absence of Light

Here goes my BEST AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY NOVEL award. This book is unusual, kooky and completely delightful. I loved every page of this fluidly written emotional journey. I found the setting of a small sleepy town utterly charming. The characters are bold, quirky and powerful; the relationship building tugged at my heart. The plot is intriguing, a little on the thriller side at times, and the humour – dry. Overall, it’s an uplifting, charming story with a lot of beauty and some shadows along the way, a tad of angst, finally concluded with a satisfying HEA.

Adrienne Wilder quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sutphin Boulevard Santino HassellSANTINO HASSELL, Sutphin Boulevard

This is, unquestionably, my HOTTEST BOOK OF THE YEAR. Steamy, passionate and damn sexy, it features some top-notch erotica. For me, its attractiveness also originates from the fact, that this novel peruses edgier, darker avenues, marred with difficult, real topics with some raw authenticity about them. The characters, despite messing up badly and being greatly flawed and damaged, exude seriously irresistible charm and possess ridiculously high likeability factor – and the dynamics between them, Lord Almighty! In addition, it’s a bromance. And the sex is scorching. Just making sure I’ve made my point about the fiery sex crystal clear.

Santino Hassell quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Nightingale Aleksandr VoinovALEKSANDR VOINOV, Nightingale 

This book wins my BEST HISTORICAL QUEER NOVEL award easily. I’m a massive fan of the World War II time period in fiction. The historical detail is executed just right – there’s enough of it to create the ambiance, but not enough to overwhelm. What I most loved about this book, is its atmospheric feel – the fear, the anxiety, and anticipation of something dreadful about to happen any time soon, the suspenseful vibe keeping me on the edge. The emotions are flying high – it’s not really a romance, although there’s a love story there. The writing is brilliant – articulate and well-turned. To my mind, Aleksandr is pretty much a unique phenomenon within the M/M fiction; I’m convinced there isn’t a subgenre he couldn’t proficiently do.

Aleksandr Voinov quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


In the Middle of Somewhere Roan ParrishROAN PARRISH, In the Middle of Somewhere

This novel takes podium as the BEST DEBUT of the year. Although it contains a relatively angst free, sweet, and heart-warming story, it doesn’t come across as corny or overly saccharine. There are many interesting cinematic and culinary references within. The style is innovative and the language – imaginative with a fair portion of humour woven in between. And what an engaging pair of main characters! It is a book about a character’s growth and it’s just as endearing, as it is amusing.

Every household should come equipped with Rex.

Roan Parrish quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Restless SpiritsJORDAN L. HAWK, Restless Spirits

This marvellous combination of a sexy historical romance and spooky supernatural tale tops my BEST URBAN FANTASY category. One could call it the Ghostbusters of the 1800s. I enjoyed the original concept and well developed plot. The world building thrills with its creativeness, the cast of characters is diverse, the writing witty and the editing – thorough.  This is an excellent introduction to the new paranormal series – eerie and creepy just enough, with a touch of heat.

Restless Spirits Quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


Charmed and Dangerous ASTRID AMARA, K.J. CHARLES, CHARLIE COCHET, RHYS FORD, GINN HALE, LOU HARPER, JORDAN L HAWK, NICOLE KIMBERLING, JORDAN CASTILLO PRICE, ANDREA SPEEDASTRID AMARA, K.J. CHARLES, CHARLIE COCHET, RHYS FORD, GINN HALE, LOU HARPER, JORDAN L HAWK, NICOLE KIMBERLING, JORDAN CASTILLO PRICE, ANDREA SPEED, Charmed & Dangerous

I’ve read tonnes of anthologies this year. This collection claims the BEST ANTHOLOGY title with no qualms whatsoever. Those ten highly entertaining stories about miscellaneous sympathetic monsters and magical abilities, written by a solid crew of my favourite M/M paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors, are an obligatory read for the fanciers of this subgenre. This anthology is as varied content and style wise, as it is homogeneous regarding the quality of writing, which is, frankly, outstanding. I guarantee that fun times will be had by all.

 


 All She Wrote Josh LanyonJOSH LANYON, All She Wrote (Holmes & Moriarity #2)

My Dirty Dozen would feel all wrong without a Lanyon in it. This novel gets the BEST MYSTERY title hands down. I loved the vintage whodunit feel about it, complete with the classic secluded manor setting and amateur sleuthing. My favourite trope – the lovers reunited theme – makes an appearance, giving this novel a surprisingly romantic vibe. The writing is precise and eloquent, as ever. Josh generously displays her trademark humour – the dry, ironic, and witty type, characterised by its deadpan and sarcastic delivery. A superb and refined read.

Josh Lanyon Quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ginn Hale quoteGINN HALE, Swift and the Black Dog

I’ve read a staggering amount of short stories this year, possibly more than over the previous three years combined. Many of them were simply fabulous, so the competition within this category was fierce, indeed. Ginn’s is, undoubtedly, the BEST SHORT STORY I’ve read not only this year, but in a long time. It features somewhat darker, dystopian undertones and an endearing romantic element. Fascinating characters, exquisite world building, smooth composition, compelling story telling – it bears the Ginn quality stamp all over it. This story practically screams for a follow-up or a prequel (seriously, I’ll take either or both, I’m not fussy in this case).


Shattered Glass Dani AlexanderDANI ALEXANDER, Shattered Glass
This book contains the BEST HUMOUR I’ve encountered in the M/M romances in 2015. Its hysterically funny lines had me in stiches, roaring with laughter like a loon several times, what resulted in receiving funny looks from alarmed co-commuters, while travelling on public transport. The story is fast-paced and presented in the most brilliantly executed first person narrative I’ve come across in ages. The whole thing is just one effortless, smooth and hilarious ride.  I’m virtually getting RSI in my finger, hovering over the one-click button, in a nervous anticipation of book two.

Dani Alexander quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Damages Incurred J. R. GrayJ.R. GRAY, Damages Incurred (Bound #4)

I’ve read a heap of BDSM books this year, as it is my favourite subgenre. Sadly, I remained unimpressed by it to a large extend, due to its repetitiveness and playing to the stereotypes. This book decisively stands out for me, so awarding it the BEST BDSM ROMANCE title, truly is a no brainer. There’s nothing trite about it; it’s written with verve, the plot is gripping and the action quick moving. Having a range of well-developed characters – imperfect and broken, just as I like them – to follow increased the book’s attractiveness.  Not to mention that the sex is, fittingly, ass-whippingly good.

J.R. Gray quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


Channeling Morpheus Jordan Castillo PriceJORDAN CASTILLO PRICE, Channeling Morpheus for Bloody Mary

This choice, for once, was a piece of cake to make. I award this book the BEST AUDIOBOOK prize without even breaking a sweat. It is a complete masterpiece and has class coming out of its ears. The highly sensual combo of JCP’s writing & the velvety, sexy ooze of Gomez Pugh’s low voice should be made illegal. Whenever they come together, the magic happens and my insides quiver perilously. There’s nothing better than having your favourite, madly talented narrator reading one of your most beloved books, which features a character you have a ginormous crush on (#TeamWildBill4Eva).

Jodan Castillo Price quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


Stygian Santino HassellSANTINO HASSELL, Stygian

Cheekily rounding my collection up to a baker’s dozen, I’ve added the thirteenth book, which is my BEST PARANORMAL NOVEL of the year. This dark, suspenseful, eerie Southern Gothic fiction, featuring vampires, musicians, and complicated romance, hits just the right balance between creepy and hot. The storytelling carries inarguable cinematic quality and aesthetics about it and the character creation kicks major ass.

Santino Hassell quote 2

 

 

 

 

 

 


The M/M genre has experienced its fair share of difficulties this year, scandals and dramas included. Regardless of its assorted struggles and hiccups, I feel the genre has grown, in terms of both popularity and diversity, which is a promising factor for its future. As for literary value, 2015 was a very fruitful year, indeed. I’ve accumulated a sizable (or, well, unrealistic) to-be-read pile for the next year and discovered many exciting new authors. I need to mention at least one – J.C. Lillis, whose poignant and masterfully written short story entitled Memory Hills stunned me with its originality and left me teary-eyed. Choosing a dozen novels out of almost three hundred I’ve read in 2015 was an agonising and exhausting exercise. Frankly, I’m relieved I don’t need to repeat it for another twelve months.


Kasia BaconA bilingual Londoner Kasia Bacon is a literary/medical translator and a proofreader. An avid reader, reviewer and book blogger, she’s currently working on her debut M/M fantasy novel, filled with the shenanigans of assassins and sexy elves. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction, coupled with a slight obsession of all things paranormal. She is a lover of MMA, nature and the great outdoors. She can be found on her website, Twitter, or on Goodreads.

Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
Reviews, Books

Review: A Look at Santino Hassell’s SUNSET PARK by Kasia BB

Sunset Park Santino Hassell

Unquestionably brilliantly written, Sunset Park is the second installment in the Five Boroughs story.  It has been the most anticipated autumn release for me.  The first book, Sutphin Boulevard, was deliciously angsty and featured darker themes.  In comparison, this novel constitutes a much lighter read, filled with sweeter, romantic undertones, repartee, and humor.  It also has more of a New Adult feel. Still, there’s an edge to it, and plenty of heat – of the Kindle melting variety.

Recently I wrote a post on the classic tropes I enjoy within the M/M genre.  Coincidentally, Sunset Park is cleverly woven around not one, not two, but three of my favorite themes, turning this book into something of my kryptonite.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Guest Post

Top Five Tropes in the M/M Romance Genre

I’m a fussy reader. I choose my M/M romances, both to review and read, carefully. If I venture outside my comfort zone (where comfort stands, trendily, for D&G – Dark and Gritty), it’s usually because I allow myself to be seduced by a specific author, subgenre or trope.

Some tropes I don’t particularly care for.  For example, the Insta Love theme, with no romantic build up or a decent back-story, rubs me the wrong way.  Similarly, the Rescue Me (because I’m a highly incompetent fu**wit) motif doesn’t float my boat, either.  Interestingly, I don’t mind the Help Me Heal (because I’m broken and damaged) kind of trope.  The Age Gap and Forbidden Love themes can be a bit hit-and-miss with me. I perceive the Fake Boyfriends trope as a guilty pleasure, but when written right, it can be a riot.

The tropes I enjoy most play on strong emotions and utilise angst. I crave anguish, pure and undiluted, in my books.  Nesting in me there is this, somewhat masochistic, desire to have my heart mercilessly torn out and ground into pathetic little pieces.  Shred me, dammit, and make it hurt.  Only then, put me back together by the time I hit the last page, and leave me sighing contentedly with slightly dampened lashes.

Here goes. My five favourite classic tropes, often found in M/M romances.


5. Friends to Lovers… or I’m Coming at Ya, Bro!

Who doesn’t like a bromance?  The best relationships are the ones build on friendship. The foundations are already laid – trust, fondness, effortless camaraderie.  This trope offers a great deal of potential for humour through friendly banter and familiarity.

Typically, one character is a bit slow on the uptake.  Clueless and oblivious, he doesn’t realise the other has developed feelings beyond friendship, although the torch his friend has been carrying is three times the size of the Olympic’s.  Initially, he doesn’t, or thinks he doesn’t (duh!), reciprocate.  The unrequited love related suffering, coupled often with miscommunication, is great enough to make both the character and the reader gravely miserable and anxious, before the air starts sizzling and the attraction demands mutual acknowledgment.  The hesitation to act on it and take the plunge stems from the fears of wrecking the friendship to the point of no return.  Eventually, the resistance is futile – the coffee is smelt, the risks are taken and the pants are dropped.

Once the relationship becomes sexually charged and the intimacy is involved, the characters enter the uncharted territory.  The comfortable ease becomes strained awkwardness, and things are no longer simple. Sh** gets complicated and that’s the interesting part for me.

It’s not easy to write a compelling, heart-wrenching and endearing bromance with some depth to it. What grabs my attention, is the shift in the dynamics between the characters – I want to see how their relationship changes, when it ceases being merely platonic, how that affects their interactions and where it leads.  Ultimately, this trope is about realising that sometimes happiness might be right in front of us, but we’re too engrossed in the very process of searching for it, to notice.

Nunzio & Michael (Sutphin Boulevard by S. Hassell)

Griff & Dante (Hot Head by D. Suede)

Nick & Kelly (The Sidewinder Series by A. Roux)

Taylor & Will (Dangerous Ground by J. Lanyon)

Hobbs & Calvin (The THIRDS Series by C. Cochet)


4. Clash of Backgrounds… or Mix-and-Match.

I strongly subscribe to the Strength lies in differences philosophy.  My own relationship could be classed as a bi-national, bi-cultural and bi-lingual hybrid, and I can say with a vague air of authority that it definitely keeps things from becoming dull.   One of the reasons why this trope appeals to me is because – please excuse the lingo resembling Equality Is Us leaflet – it promotes and embraces diversity.

I refer to the word background here in the broadest possible sense, meaning differences of status, ethnicity, race and culture.  While I’m not a massive fan of the wealthy man vs. poor man dichotomy, because it’s rather trite, clichéd and one-dimensional, I’m quite fond of the city boy vs. country boy theme.  I especially enjoy the Love over the Class Divide (doesn’t it sound like a rather hazardous sex position?) theme, as it carries an equally huge capacity for humour, as it does for drama.  The tropes playing on those differences frequently incorporate the topics of discrimination, prejudice, and intolerance.  They may also explore the strain of facing animosity or disdain from the partner’s friends or family and struggling with a feeling of inadequacy and inferiority.

The way the characters deal with their differences is the most compelling part for me. Does it tear them apart or make them stronger as a couple?  Is it enriching or detrimental to their relationship?  Essentially, this trope is about discovering if people can be different, yet compatible at the same time.  It poses an interesting question:  Are love and acceptance strong enough to overcome dissimilarities and bias?

Seb & Dex (Heart by G. Leigh)

Ray & David (Sunset Park by S. Hassell)

James & Cal; Spencer & Nick (The Market Garden Series by L.A. Witt & A. Voinov)

Josiah, Mateo & Tristan (The Broken Pieces Series by R. Hart)

Nichol & Cam (Scrap Metal by H. Fox)


3. Out For You… or Leaving Narnia.

This is an interesting one, which works a treat especially within the law enforcement environment, with their added pressures and prejudices.  Typically, we’ve got this tough, cool dude, straight acting and straight looking.  His outlook on life is of a traditional variety and due to family or work related issues, he’s deeply closeted.  Initially, he’s not fully embracing his same-sex inclinations, although he is fully aware of those desires and usually has acted on them in the past.

Next thing he knows, he meets someone challenging and after his failed attempts to downplay the significance of this casual, (at first), arrangement, he falls in love.  The sexy times are always incredibly hot, and the passion – undeniable.  After a while, his partner gets sick and tired of the constant sneaking about and being kept a dirty secret on the side.  This situation generates multiple conflicts and trust issues, as well as a lot of hurt and resentment.  Often the tension is so great, that it breaks the couple up. At this stage, the angst and drama are practically dripping from the pages at an alarming rate, just like raspberry coulis from a decent panna cotta, both phenomena equally delicious.

What I find most intriguing about this trope are the reasons behind the character’s eventual decision to come out, the circumstances leading directly to the big ta-dah and how it affects his partner and their relationship.  Moreover, this theme is sometimes accompanied by a fascinating insight on how the characters discover their sexuality, how they perceive it and come to terms with it.

Jake & Adrien (The Adrien English Series by J. Lanyon)

Ash & Cael (The THIRDS Series by C. Cochet)

Jory & Sam (The Matter of Time Series by M. Calmes)

Mac & Tony (The Life Lessons Series by K. Harper)

Evan & Matt (The Faith, Love & Devotion Series by T. Michaels)


2. Enemies to Lovers… or I Hate Your Guts. Now Drop Your Pants.

Fierce emotions, like instantaneous mutual animosity or strong dislike, are fuel for romance.  As far as this trope goes, I don’t require the guys to be arch-enemies per se.  It’s more about them being on the opposite sides of a conflict or experiencing a major personality clash.  All is laced – needless to say – with an intense physical attraction. The sparkling chemistry is too powerful to be denied or resisted.  However, it doesn’t mean the poor bastards won’t attempt holding back – gah!  The initial antipathy, hostility or rivalry between the characters makes them, and consequently the reader, stiff (in more ways than one) with unresolved sexual tension and antici…pation.

Eventually, the friction is defused through a bout or ten of hot, angry and raw hate-sex, bringing about all kinds of fireworks.  This arrangement usually continues for a while, kept on the down low and perceived by both characters, rather naively, as a casual thing of no emotional importance.  A lot of fronting accompanies some downright stinking dismissive attitudes.  This trope holds a special appeal to me, in particular, in the military or the law enforcement setting.  Due to the nature of the circumstances, secrecy and skulking around is necessary, creating additional suspense.  Inevitably, the characters are forced to man up, often by external circumstances, and face reality, by admitting that the sex has led to more and the dreaded feelings are now involved. Hallelujah. Phew.

What I find particularly touching, is the development of the emotional bond and trust over time.  I love the transformation from just indulging in meaningless sex, however great, to being in a tender, committed, loving and supportive relationship.

Zane & Ty (The Cut and Run Series by A. Roux & M. Urban)

Dan & Vadim (The Special Forces Series by A. Voinov)

Jack & D (Zero at the Bone by J. Seville)

Prophet & Tommy (The Hell or High Water Series by S.E. Jakes)

Sloane & Dex (The THIRDS Series by C. Cochet)


1. Second Chance at Love… or Putting Humpty Dumpty together again.

Love is often complicated and difficult.  However, it’s even more of a complex minefield the second time round, when after a relationship riddled with obstacles and a (preferably dramatic) breakup, the ex-lovers meet again.

Seemingly, the past is all water over the dam.  The wounds have closed and the scars have formed; both men have moved on.  But in truth the affection, attraction and longing still remain dormant.  Even though the trust had been pulverised and under the surface, a powerful concoction of hurt, anger, regret and doubts is bubbling away, the romance prevails. The lovers are finally reunited (aaand cue the applause.)

The way I see it, it’s a romance reader’s paradise.  The strong connection, combined with the emotional build up – the anxieties, blame, guilt, past mistakes, and misunderstandings, become a top-notch catalyst for angst.

Moreover, there’s something undeniably moving and incredibly romantic about seizing the chance one thought long gone and irretrievable. The decision of making yourself vulnerable again to the very person who was supposed to catch you, but ultimately failed and broke your heart in the process, is a courageous one and not taken lightly.  If it’s still in your mind, it is worth taking the risk, as Paul Coelho said.  People only tend to invest their efforts into restoring something they perceive as valuable and extraordinary (unless, naturally, they are emotional idiots, saints, masochists or all of the above.)  An HEA delivered after such a heart-wrenching bittersweet journey leaves me drained, yet satisfied.  Puffy eyelids, smudged mascara, and a glass of wine are obligatory.  An easy winner.

Elliot & Tucker (The All’s Fair Series by J. Lanyon)

Hsin & Boyd (ICoS by S. Hassell & A. Lin)

Christopher & J. X. (Somebody Killed His Editor by J. Lanyon)  

Chris & Justin (Ex Equals by L.A. Witt)

Tim & Vincent (The Trouble with Hexes by A. Amara)


The tropes are significant in romances, methinks, possibly to a greater degree than in other genres.  In the grand scheme of things, a good trope or a combination of tropes is not guaranteed to make a book a success.  It’s not a magic bullet but a tool, only one amongst an array of ingredients.  If the other components of this recipe are not up to par – the plot weak, the characters flat, the dialogue fake and the writing mediocre, even the most elaborate trope won’t save the cake.  The truth, just like the emperor’s naked butt, will shine through.  And this, for once, won’t be a good thing – however I like my sweet buns.

Sweet Buns


A bilingual Londoner Kasia BB is a literary/medical translator and a proofreader. An avid reader, reviewer and book blogger, she’s currently working on her debut M/M fantasy novel, filled with the shenanigans of assassins and sexy elves. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction, coupled with a slight obsession of all things paranormal. She is a lover of MMA, nature and the great outdoors. She can be found on her website, Twitter, or on Goodreads.

Reviews, Books, Reviews

A Few Thoughts on Santino Hassell’s STYGIAN

Stygian Santino Hassell

I intended to write this piece as a straightforward, concise and informative review.  Like normal people do. Honest.  Alas, it morphed somewhat into a collection of distracted and disjointed musings on the book itself and my personal scattered reactions to it.  Regardless of the end result, I’d like everyone to acknowledge that I started off with a plan, and the best of intentions.  Sadly, the plan quickly went to hell, which coincidentally – as my gran would say – is paved with good intentions.  Then usually a swift clip around the ear would follow.

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Guest Post

Top Five M/M Character Types

EverAfter Romance

…or There’s No Accounting for Taste

I’m an avid reader of the M/M romance novels.  There are many paranormal, urban fantasy, dystopian and military-themed books amongst my favorites.  The biggest allure of the genre stems from the fact that it delivers a vast array of fascinating and lavishly written fictional male characters.   Not only are they often incredibly physically attractive but also – and more importantly – lusciously psychologically complex and multi-dimensional.  Naturally, there are certain characters types that I, as a reader with a psychology training, feel more drawn to than others.  As I tend to cruise within the darker, edgier and grittier spectrum of the genre, my personal preference often leans towards the heroes with flaws, emotional scars and issues or even downright antiheros.

I’ve compiled a list of my Top Five M/M Character Types, solely based on the men I enjoy reading about, taking into consideration the qualities and personality traits I find most appealing.  These are the characters, who capture my attention and make me burn the midnight oil while draining my Kindle’s battery.  I set about this task with alacrity, mindful, however, of the fact that creating any synopsis requires categorizing and it may therefore stink of generalization and resemble a pathetic attempt of fitting square pegs into round holes.  It is not my intention to fetishize in any way, either. Nevertheless, here it is.

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