Category Archives: books I love

Authors I’m Thankful For: Megan Derr

Happy December, y’all! 😀

Today I’m celebrating Megan Derr! If you’re into m/m fantasy, you’ve doubtless heard of this author. And if you haven’t, well, you definitely need to check her out!

I regularly reread Megan’s stories because they make me happy, and I always love her characters. I have a special place in my heart for her Jewel Bonds series, which begins with An Admirer. I’ve reread them all more than once. Of Last Resort is also amazing, as are her The Lost Gods and Dance with the Devil series, and then there’s Tournament of Losers, which I was fortunate enough to read early. (And it was written for me, which makes my heart get all squishy!)

I’ve also worked with Megan as part of Less Than Three Press, one of my publishers, and she (and the others) have always been so awesome and helpful. They agreed to take on the Project Fierce Chicago anthology when I approached them about doing something to support the charity. Not only were they willing to organize it, but they’ve also donated all proceeds, including what they would have earned as the publisher (minus fees charged to them by vendors), to Project Fierce, for which I will always be grateful.

Much love to Megan, who’s not only an extremely talented author but an awesome and generous person as well. ♥

Authors I’m Thankful For: Kim Fielding

Hey, all! Happy Thanksgiving to my readers who are in the U.S. 😀 Today I’m making the entire meal at home for the first time. It’ll just be me, my husband, our son, and my father-in-law for dinner, and then later in the day, I’ll be stopping by to see my parents who are mid-move and couldn’t host at their place like they normally would have. Since they’re going to a friend’s place for the day, I decided to do something small here. Hopefully all the food comes out okay. 😛 Wherever you are, and whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I hope your day is filled with good food and great company. ♥

Earlier this week I started up “Authors I’m Thankful For.” I was only going to do one a week between now and the end of the month, but I decided I wanted to showcase as many authors as possible, so I’m going with Tuesdays and Thursdays instead.

Up today is Kim Fielding. If you follow me on any social media, you’ve probably seen me gushing about Kim. I don’t keep the fact that I’m a fangirl a secret. Kim writes beautifully, and I never have any complaints about her craft, but I think what strikes me most about Kim’s writing is her characters. They just come alive for me–I cry with and for them, I cheer for them, I hope, suffer, and rejoice with them. To me, they feel real.

Kim has written three of my favorite books in the m/m genre: Brute, Speechless, and Rattlesnake.

These are all incredibly different books, but they share the common thread of overcoming odds, whether external or internal, and forming relationships that better both partners. Her heroes aren’t perfect. They might not be the best looking guys. But if you’re like me, they’ll tug your heartstrings, and you’ll want to reread their stories again and again.

If you haven’t tried Kim yet, you really should. I couldn’t recommend her more highly.

Authors I’m Thankful For: Avril Ashton

So, on a more positive note than my last blog post, every Tuesday and Thursday between now and the end of the month, I plan to post about an author I’m grateful for. This is just me spreading the love, since I’m as much a reader as I am a writer. And of course, after December 1st, I’ll also be posting the books I loved most in November, and as I did last year, I’ll be listing my favorite new (or new-to-me) holiday reads in another post as I dive into the seasonal offerings this year, so be on the lookout for those!

First up is Avril Ashton. Avril writes both het and gay romance. She has a gritty style, she writes smoking hot sex scenes, and her bad boys are unlike any others. These aren’t guys who are just tragically misunderstood. No. They will shoot you, kill you, pistol-whip you, and all around f*ck your shit up if push comes to shove. And I love them!

I particularly recommend her Run This Town series, but I’m also a huge fan of the Brooklyn Sinners series (Syren, anyone?). Characters intermingle between these two series, and you’ll have a richer appreciation if you read them all, but the Run This Town Series can certainly be read on its own also.

Start with (Watch Me) Break You and join the rest of us who are hooked on Avril’s boys! (Though I have to confess, (Watch Me) Unmask You is probably my fave of the series so far. ;D)

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Piper’s Reading Roundup: September #books #recommendations #reading

Howdy, y’all! It’s that time again! These are the books I read and loved in September. It was a good reading month! 😀

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Bent Arrow by Posy Roberts – This was a thoroughly enjoyable novella. It was sweet and sexy and when I finished reading it, I was smiling. Recommended when you’re in the mood for a quick, engaging read in an interesting setting.

Sloe Ride by Rhys Ford – Well, what can I say about the magnificent Rhys Ford? She has a way with the written word that truly astounds me and fills me with admiration. I love her Sinners series, and I’d been looking forward to this story since I first read about Quinn and the other Morgans. Fabulous, as always.

The King’s Command (Bred For Love #2) by Revella Hawthorne – I loved the first book in this series. I loved this one even more and can’t wait for book three and the conclusion of Edward and Percy’s story. Love these characters! (And, well, I’m a fan of mpreg, so it gets extra points for that too.)

Home and Away by Samantha Wayland – I have so much love for this book, and it’s another one that got added to my favorites list this month. We have a closeted hockey player, a former figure skater, and my beloved jock-meets-nerd type of scenario. Add some UST, a pair of awesomely written kids, and secondary characters I loved, and I had not a single complaint!

Crashing the Net by Samantha Wayland – Alexei and Mike were secondary characters I met in Home and Away, and when I realized they had their own book, I had to jump right on it. This was a lot different than Home and Away, but damn it was hot, and I thoroughly enjoyed these two characters and their chemistry and seeing how their relationship came together.

Betrothed: A Faery Tale by Therese Woodson –  This was different than I expected going in, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It was a cute, sweet romance. I loved the world building and the characters and I’m hoping there’ll be more to come in this world. Bonus points for the cover too, which is fab!

Rattlesnake by Kim Fielding – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am an unabashed Kim Fielding fangirl. I have a favorite books list, as every reader does, and several of hers are on it. Rattlesnake was added to that list when I was only halfway through, and when I finished, I recommended this book far and wide. It was a slow-moving, quiet story, a character study, gorgeously written, and one that will stick with me for a long time to come.

What was your favorite read last month? You know I’m always looking for recs!

Happy October, peeps!

Piper’s Reading Roundup: June – August

Hi, everyone! It’s that time again. With traveling and being ill, I missed posting my reading roundup the last few months. I’m now going to rectify that, just in case anyone actually follows these posts. 😛

These are the books I read and enjoyed throughout June, July, and August. 🙂

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Dragon Slayer by Isabella Carter – This book had everything I love. Great characters, UST (unresolved sexual tension), dragons, solid, engaging writing, and a believable arranged/forced marriage romance. Good stuff. (And don’t just take my word for it! It was a 2014 Lambda Literary Award finalist, so that should tell you something too.) I can’t wait for book 2, which I know the author is working on now.

Seducing Stephen by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon – As I’ve said before, Dee and Devon are one of my favorite author match-ups. I’m never disappointed in their stories. I always love the characters and root for them and this was certainly no exception. Recommended for the historical fans out there, if you haven’t read it yet.

Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell – I loved this book, and well, I’ve already said it all in my Goodreads review, so check that out if you want to know my reasons. Suffice it to say, if you like your contemporary romance with some grit and lots of sexual intensity, you will enjoy this book.

Tail Slide by PD Singer – This was a fun little read about an otter shifter who likes to snowboard and the guy he meets while shredding powder on his favorite mountain. Very cute.

Yours, Johnny by Hollis Shiloh – I’m a big fan of Hollis Shiloh. Generally, her stories don’t have a high heat content, so if that’s what you seek, Shiloh might not be the author for you. However, if you don’t mind non-explicit or low-sex stories, Shiloh might be right up your alley. She has a great style, and this one was touching and bittersweet. I enjoyed it immensely.

Where There’s Smoke by Nico Jaye – Sweet, cute, smufftastic! There’s a firefighter and a kitty. What more could you ask for?

Claiming His Mate by Lissa Ford – This is book #1 in Ford’s Rogue Alpha series, and fair warning, it’s not a complete story. You have to read all 3 books to get their entire arc. If you don’t mind that and you like shifters, enemies to lovers, military/special ops elements, and locked-in-a-cabin-together scenarios, you’ll probably enjoy this.

FREEBIES

All of the stories below are part of the M/M Romance Groups’s “Love is an Open Road” event, which means you can download them all for free

The Frat Brat by Nico Jaye – More smuff (smutty fluff)! This was short and sexy with very light D/s elements. Frat boys, car washes, wet T-shirts, and a multicultural couple… is it getting hot in here?

Salvaging Toby’s Heart by Lexi Ander – Tentacles, people. TENTACLES. And a great hero in the form of Sol. Lexi rocks, and I love the world she created here (and I say we need more stories in this world!).

The Downs by Kim Fielding – Well, it’s Kim, and make no bones about it, she’s one of my favorite authors in this genre. This story lives up to everything I’ve come to expect from Kim — vivid characters, excellent world-building, and the sort of writing I can’t find any fault with. Highly recommended!

Bare-Knuckle Love by KA Merikan – This story. I’ve read a couple of Merikan shorties before this, so I’m familiar with their darker style, and frankly, I loved that they didn’t pull any punches with this story (pun intended). I mean, we’re talking about a motorcycle gang member — leader, actually — and an MMA style fighter. No one should be expecting tenderness or whirlwind romance. This story is gritty, dirty, violent, and intense. It’s also hot as hell. I loved it.

Above All Else by Dayton Idoni – More dragons! Enemies to lovers in a fantasy setting. This was sweet, very unique, and it’s non-explicit for those who prefer that. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think the cover reflects the story well.

Wolf’s Honor by Laylah Hunter – This was very short and I was left wanting more — in a good way. I could have easily read a full length novel about these characters. We had a character with a traumatic past, some hurt/comfort, an alpha worthy of running a pack, and well, the rutting and knotting certainly didn’t hurt. 😉 I think I need to go reread it…

Moondrop by Katey Hawthorne – I loved this story! It was sweet and sexy. I loved the world, the tone, the characters, and the writing. It’s urban fantasy/paranormal and definitely not a hot and smutty fast-paced affair, but I was swept away by it and I’d love to read another story in this universe.

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Reawakening (Forever Dead) by Charlotte Stein – Now, I realize most readers who follow this blog might strictly read M/M but I couldn’t leave this book out of this post because it was just that awesome. In the wake of a zombie apocalypse, June finds herself saved by two very different men and falls in love with them both. This had horror, humor, and everything I’d expect from a zombie romance, along with a couple of damaged heroes and some seriously steamy sex. I mean… I was blown away and I desperately wish we could see more of their story, though the author has no plans to write another story for these three characters. This went on my “to reread” pile the moment I finished it.

And that’s all, she wrote! What have you read and loved recently? I’m always looking for recs!

Piper’s Reading Roundup: May

Hey, all! I had another relatively slow reading month in May. First because I was finishing up my DRitC story for the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads, which I turned in on the 11th and then because I got majorly sick. I’m recovering from bronchitis and a double ear infection right now, and I was sick for days before I got diagnosed. It’s put me out of commission for the last week and a half, but I’m hoping to bounce back because deadlines are looming!

Anyway, here are the books I enjoyed most this month. I was on a bit of a shifter kick, and I read several more than this, but these were my faves of the bunch. 🙂

Moon Compound by Jackie Nacht – I’m really enjoying these books! They’re all set at the Moon Compound, one of the facilities where shifters in this universe go to learn how to shift and control their wolves. This one is for males, and of course, we have them finding their mates along the way, as well as a larger, more sinister backstory at work. Definitely recommend reading these in order. Looking forward to the next book in the series!

Eye of the Storm (Key West Shifters) by Arielle Pierce – I enjoyed the world-building in this and I like unique shifters, so a dolphin and a killer whale were right up my alley. But there are also cat and deer and puffer fish shifters in this world. I hope there’ll be a lot more to come.

Bred for Love: The Prince’s Consort by Revella Hawthorne – If you’re a fan of fantasy, sci-fi, and MPREG, then you’ll probably enjoy this book! I liked it very much. It’s the first of three featuring this same couple, Percy and Edward.

Fae For All (Cloverleah Pack #6) by Lisa Oliver – This is a book about a wolf shifter who is half fae and his two fae mates. I really liked this triad, even if I did want to slap Aelfric around at one point. 😛 I’m excited for the next book!

Piper’s Reading Roundup: April

Hey, hey! April was a rather slow reading month for me, given the tight deadline we were working under, but I still managed to squeeze in some good reads. Here are my faves. ♥

The Bohemian and the Banker by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon – I do so love this author matchup, as I said last month, and this one was fun. We had an opposites attract story featuring a serious banker named Nigel and a bohemian drag cabaret performer named Jay (as you can tell by the title). It’s set in the early 1900s in Paris during a World Fair, which really appealed to me, as I’ve often wished those were still happening on the scale they used to be. Definitely recommended.

Axel’s Pup (Werewolves & Dragons, #1) by Kim Dare – It’s no secret I’m a Kim Dare fan. I’ve read the vast majority of her work and count some of her books as my favorites in the genre. I really enjoyed this one. Loved the world-building and the unique take on shifters and it included all of the things I love from Kim Dare — solid writing, lighter BDSM, and a strong dom who’s besotted with his sub. Bonus was the whole motorcycle club element. Really looking forward to more in this universe.

Healing Hunter’s Heart by Charlie Cochet – Woot! I’d been waiting for this story for years, people. I loved the first book in the series, which is a freebie Charlie wrote for one of the Don’t Read in the Closet events a couple of years back. This one didn’t disappoint. I really liked Hunter and Ari and seeing all the guys again. It had humor and heat and great world-building. Bring on Mischa and Kristoff, I say! 😀

The Harvest: Taken & Journey’s End by MA Church – These books need to be read together for the full story of Keyno and Dale. They were a lot of fun. Aliens that are like warrior kitties, people! Plus, it had an arranged/forced mating, which I’d been craving (note: these aren’t non-con when it comes to the sex, though, even if Dale was forced into a relationship he didn’t initially want). If you’re a fan of alien/human stories and tails playing a kinky role during sex scenes, check these out! I’ve read some of the side stories Church has on her website, but I really hope there’ll be more to come in this universe!

Piper’s Reading Roundup: March

Hi, folks! It’s that time again. I’m a little behind schedule, but here are the books I read and loved in March! 😀 

The Gentleman and the Rogue by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon – This book is a few years old, and I don’t know know why it took me so long to read it, being that I’m a huge historical fan, but I’m so glad I finally decided to dive in. Bonnie and Summer are one of my favorite author collaborations. Not only do I love their combined style, I always love their plotlines and characters. This book was no exception. The whole rich guy falls in love with a prostitute trope is one of my faves (Hello, Pretty Woman!), and this book didn’t disappoint. Recommended for any Regency fans out there.

Grown-Up by Kim Fielding – I am an unabashed Kim Fielding fangirl, and I buy her books blurb unseen. This was a cute, opposites attract contemporary romance. Short and sweet and perfect for when you need something light to pick you up. I highly enjoyed it!

He’s Just Knot That Into You by Nico Jaye – Werewolves, knots, and Nico’s trademark smuff? How can you go wrong? Cute and funny with an interesting take on shifter lore. And I do so love that title.

The Slave by Kate Aaron – I’m not typically a fan of slave fic and most times I tend to avoid it, but a friend asked me to read this to tell them what I thought, and I ended up getting sucked into the story of Tam, Kai, and their master. I really enjoyed this book. But fair warning: it ends on a cliffhanger, so it’s a good thing all the books are available! I’m looking forward to completing the trilogy.

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I also ended up reading a good amount of fanfic last month. All of it was Sterek (natch). These were my faves, for anyone looking for recs.

For those who don’t know, Lisa Henry writes Sterek fanfic under the name of DiscontentedWinter. I loved all of these fics by her.

I know Where Babies Come From, Derek (Awesome)

Balloon Animals Are Awesome

Stiles Stilinski is a lying liar who lies

Bite Marks and Bendy Straws

Eyebrows and the Scientific Method (Hilarious!)

I also read A (Sort of) Fairytale by briecheesie. Stiles gets turned into a fox by a witch and there are tons of gratuitous Princess Bride references, which we all know I can appreciate. 😉

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What was the best thing you’ve read lately? Inquiring minds want to know! 

Piper’s Reading Roundup: February

Hey, all! My reading picked up a bit in February. Right now I’m sitting at 26 books for the year (and 18 of those were last month). These were my favorite reads from February. Sharing the love.

In no particular order…

How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton – This was a sweet, funny, adorable read and absolutely perfect for my down mood lately. I really enjoyed it and recommend it, if you’re a fan of cute and fluff, which I most assuredly am. And I’m very happy to know there’ll be a story for Roman later this year!

Bayou des Enfants (Rougaroux Social Club, #4) by Lynn Lorenz – I’m a big fan of this series but hadn’t gotten around to reading this offering until last month. Scott and Ted are probably my favorite couple in this series, so I was really glad to revisit them and to see their family completed — even if it wasn’t exactly when or how they planned. Recommended for fans of the series. I don’t think it would stand well on its own, though, so if you haven’t read any of the previous books, I’d recommend starting at the beginning.

Here Without You by Mia Kerick – This was the followup to Kerick’s YA novel, Us Three. The boys are older and two of them are trying to navigate their first year of college while the other stays behind in their hometown to protect his sister from their guardian, their abusive uncle. Things get pretty angsty toward the end there, but I was thrilled to see these guys a bit older and to see how their relationship had progressed. If you enjoyed the first book, I definitely recommend reading this one too.

Infected: Paris by Andrea Speed – I reviewed this book last week, so it probably surprises no one to see it on this list. If you want my in-depth thoughts, you can find them here.

Checking Out Love by R. Cooper – This was probably my favorite read of the month. Everything about it just worked so well for me. It was short, funny, charming, and features a nerdy librarian and an equally nerdy college student with no brain-to-mouth filter. For me, it was perfect. I gushed about it all over my social media accounts the day I read it. Awesome stuff.

Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala – This was a lot of fun. Ondry, the alien in this story, is just fantastic in the way he wants to protect and tries to understand Liam, despite the differences in their cultures. I really enjoyed the story.

Taxes and TARDIS by N.R. Walker – I’m not sure why it took me so long to read this story. It matches up a blue-collar guy with a geeky accountant, and really, anyone who knows me is aware that this type of story is right up my alley. This was really cute, and I know I’ll likely read it again.

And for a non-M/M story that still fits under the GLBTQ umbrella…

Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff –  You would think that this book wouldn’t work for me. It’s a love story, but it’s told in 2nd person POV and you never know the gender of either the protagonist or the love interest. And yet… it was really beautiful.

I think the issue of Kid’s homelessness was glossed over a bit in terms of how difficult that reality would be, but I still appreciated that the author was trying to bring attention to the disproportionate amount of LGBTQ homeless youth out there. It’s said by Kid’s father that Kid “can’t decide to be straight or gay or a boy or a girl,” so I definitely do count Kid as falling under the LGBTQ acronym, even if we never know if Kid’s relationship with Scout is same-sex or otherwise. Some readers complained that not knowing removed their ability to connect with the characters, but that didn’t bother me at all. Maybe because I can relate to gender identity issues and not knowing or not wanting to claim any specific label.

A gorgeous book, and a love song to Brooklyn too.

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So, what did you read last month? Any standouts? I’m always looking for recs, so feel free to comment!

Piper’s Reading Roundup

My reading has gotten off to a slow start this year. I’ve only read 8 books in the entire month of January. To be fair, for the first half of the month, I was writing at full-tilt to meet our January 15th deadline. Fortunately, we got our manuscript turned in a whole day early. Now… we wait. But I have another deadline coming on March 15th to keep me occupied.  😉

Before I dig into Gavin’s story this month, these were my favorite reads from January. They weren’t necessarily published this month, just books I happened to read.

Rarely Pure and Never Simple – Angel Martinez

This is dystopian sci-fi at its finest. I loved the characters, the writing, the world-building and suspense, and of course, I always love a man with a lingerie fetish. 😉 Can’t wait for more in this world.

A Wealth of Unsaid Words – R. Cooper

I’ve been on a bit of an R. Cooper binge over the last month or so. I realized one day I owned all her books but hadn’t read any. I remedied that with her Christmas story, Casper Gets His Wish, in December, and since then, I’ve read 3 more. This one affected me the most strongly.

It was poignant and masterfully written. As someone who’s struggled with depression all my life, I especially related to Alex, the main character, who suffers from bipolar disorder. I cried throughout most of this novella, and I highly recommend it. It’s so much more than just a holiday story, even if it revolves around the Christmas holiday.

Elements of Retrofit – N.R. Walker

I loved the start of this May/Dec series. And what can be said, really? N.R. Walker is a gifted writer and an M/M fan favorite. You can’t really go wrong. I’ve never been disappointed with a book of hers, and this was no exception. I loved Tom and Cooper and I’m looking forward to finishing the series.

Wolf’s Sacrifice – Draven St. James

I’d been looking forward to this story ever since I read Scent of a Wolf, the first book in Draven’s “Pack of Light” series. This is the story of Liam, a wolf who was blinded by experiments done to him while being held in captivity, and his mate, Sean. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend reading this if you haven’t read the first book, as a lot of what happens ties into events in Scent of a Wolf, but if you’re looking for a unique shifter series to try, I’d say give this one a shot! I very much enjoyed this book.

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What have you been reading since the New Year? Any favorites? I’m always looking for recs, so feel free to comment. 😀 

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