Review: Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen



Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh & Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counterThis book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone. For more about its previous publication, you can read this blog post.


Joshua and Caleb have a lot of preconceived notions and insecurities to battle, considering where they’ve grown up. They’re very different men. While Josh is more of a homebody and gentle spirit, Caleb is willing to sink his teeth into the real world. But even he is afraid to communicate what he wants from Josh.

After all, when the one person you want could very well reject you, isn’t it better to hide your feelings? Communication doesn’t always work to your advantage.

The supporting cast in this story is super. I’m looking forward to reading more books in this series. Sarina Bowen never disappoints. 4.5 stars

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Review: Unforgiven by Ruth Clampett


Unforgiven, an all-new sexy and emotional M/M love story from Ruth Clampett available now!!


Unforgiven by Ruth Clampett
Publication Date: March 9th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Would you live a lie to hold onto the one you love?

Dean and Jason are best friends, like brothers since boyhood, now architecture students and college roommates. They’ve always had each other’s back, but when one walks in on the other with another man, everything changes. How do you explain to your best friend that he’s the one you’ve always wanted, that until now your life has been a lie?

Desperation and shame are two dirty words that run through Jason’s veins. He carries the scars from a wayward priest who stole his innocence and left him shattered. Meanwhile for years he’s watched Dean pursuing woman after woman, as his own heart slowly breaks.

When their world blows apart, they learn the powerful bond between them has more fire than either understood. Can two broken souls find the light in their darkness and come together to make a whole, or will sins of the past be forever unforgiven?

My Review

Jason and Dean have been best friends forever, and unbeknownst to Dean, Jason’s been carrying a torch for him for years. But Dean is straight, right? It’s absolutely hopeless. Until Jason gets the shock of his life and everything he though he knew isn’t so concrete anymore. But is it worth risking their friendship to expand their boundaries?

This is an intense read–somewhat grittier than Ruth’s other stories but just as satisfying in the romance department. Five stars.



He stands frozen, every part of him perfectly still, and then he gasps for air. “Please, Dean, please tell me you aren’t toying with me.”

I press my face into his neck. “I’m not toying with you, man. I don’t know what’s happening to me, but I have all these confusing feelings and my curiosity is through the roof. I’ve been so damn restless lately, and suddenly I have a feeling that if I turn a corner, I might find myself right where I need to be.”

Jason slides his arm along my lower back and curves his fingers around my side, then pulls me closer. “Don’t make me hope for something, and then crush me. I wouldn’t be able to take it. Our friendship means everything to me. It’s why I’m still standing and fighting for a future, when for a long time I wasn’t sure if I deserved one.”

I pull my head back so we can be face to face. It guts me to see so much pain in his eyes. Why the hell didn’t I see all of this before? He’s my best friend, dammit. I should have known he was hurting.

He shakes his head. “I can’t lose you, Dean. I can’t. Tread carefully, man.” His eyes are glazed like he’s fighting back tears.

I take his hand and guide him into my room. “You aren’t going to lose me. Maybe this whole thing of me learning your secrets happened to bring us closer.”

“I want that,” he whispers, and then more softly he murmurs, “I want you.”


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About the Author:

Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director Bob Clampett, grew up surrounded by artists and animators. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, she has been VP of Design for Warner Brothers Studio Stores and taught photography at UCLA. Today she runs her own studio and as the Fine Art publisher for Warner Brothers Studios has come to know and work with some of the world’s greatest artists in the fields of animation and comics.

Ruth lives and works in Los Angeles, strictly supervised by her teenage daughter, who helps plan their summer around their yearly pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic Con.


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Twitter: @RuthyWrites

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Review: In His Command by Rie Warren

in his command cover final final






















Attraction isn’t just dangerous, it’s deadly.

It is the year 2070. Generations ago, the world was annihilated by catastrophic environmental events. The survivors were driven to live in big city centers ruled by the Company. To rebuild the world’s population, the oppressive Company had one rule: all homosexuals must be exterminated.

Commander Caspar Cannon has a stellar military reputation—and a life-threatening secret. When a revolution rips through the territories, Cannon is ordered to escort Company executive Nathaniel Rice to a secure location. For months, the commander has harbored illicit desire for Rice, knowing he cannot act on his attraction. Privileged, polished, and groomed to one day take over the Company, Rice is drawn to the rugged, military man. Yet Rice has his own mysterious agenda, and he knows their love can be as dangerous as the wasteland they must traverse.

Now leaving the besieged city behind, the two men embark on a journey that becomes a minefield of sabotage, betrayal—and forbidden passion. But when danger catches up to them, can Cannon trust the secretive man who holds his heart—and his fate?

My Review:

This book was recommended to me by a friend and I picked it up feeling a bit wary. I don’t read many books with gay characters for one reason: discouragement. Three quarters of the erotic stories I’ve attempted to read are just smut. Where are the love stories?

Of course, I could say that of erotic fiction in general. I’m often asked to review books with flat characters and no plot. No, thanks.

In His Command was entirely different. Yes, it’s an erotica. Prepare for graphic (and educational) love scenes. But that’s just the thing: these are emotionally charged love scenes, written with honesty, grit and moments of softness. There happen to be a lot of these scenes in the book, but I’d have read this series without them.

Caspar and Nathaniel inhabit a dysfunctional world where prejudice reigns. It all started with the culling of people in the 2020s that didn’t fit the mould of a so-called utopia. After that, a plague wiped out almost everyone else. Now, there are four nations that rule humanity with an iron hand, wiping out anyone who lives contrary to their harsh, restrictive beliefs. The implied rules are:

Judge, for ye will be judged.

Do not love one another.

Love not thy spouse as ye love thyself.

To thine own self be false.

Fear thy neighbour.

In the name of preserving life, the leaders have made the world a dystopia. Young people have the survival mandate drummed into them and when they reach maturity, they must prove they can reproduce by copulating with a genetically viable partner. Objectification of the opposite sex is an obvious side effect. Many of these arranged couples –decent people- are terrified to perform, especially in front of officials. This is institutionalized rape.

Anyone who resists risks his or her life.

Anyone who deviates from the norm is scapegoated, castigated and eliminated. It doesn’t stop them from being themselves; the best way to make something (or someone) more attractive is to ban it.

What happens when people are oppressed? Rebellion.

Caspar and Nathaniel are fascinating alpha males. Neither is effeminate. Both make credible warriors. Caspar is a secretly-gay man employed by the anti-gay Company to kill rebels. He lives in a constant state of turmoil. Nathaniel infiltrates the Company in order to destroy it. Of course, when they first meet, neither has any idea that the other is his enemy, and they fall fast and hard.

Allegiances to country, family and friends are all challenged. This is a war that takes no prisoners. The series arc is addictive. This is the first book and it would not work to read the other books out of order. A couple of short stories add to the canon. The second full length novel, On Her Watch, is now available.

I highly recommend this book, not as a piece of gay fiction, but as a work of fiction. Period. Five stars.



Rie Warren Rie is the badass, sassafras author of Sugar Daddy and the Don’t Tell series–a breakthrough trilogy that crosses traditional publishing boundaries beginning with In His Command.

A Yankee transplant who has traveled the world, Rie started out a writer—causing her college professor to blush over her erotic poetry without one ounce of shame. Not much has changed. She swapped pen for paintbrushes and followed her other love during her twenties. From art school to marriage to children and many a wild and wonderful journey in between, Rie has come home to her calling. Her work has been called edgy, daring, and some of the sexiest smut around.

You can connect with Rie via the social media hangouts listed on her website She is represented by Saritza Hernandez, Corvisiero Literary Agency.