Posted in reviews, TV

Fascinating forensics

Did anyone else catch Forensics: The Real CSI (pic, above, credited on BBC2 last night about the ram raid on a jewellery store? I watched it because Birmingham *grins* but it was absolutely fascinating how the police pieced it all together – and how the criminals clearly thought they’d been clever enough to get away with it, and weren’t.

It showed how long-winded forensic examination, and police-work in general, can be – too often we only see the shortened version on films and TV shows, where fingerprint analysis appears in seconds and DNA results aren’t far behind.

And the criminals this particular episode featured reminded me of some of the characters in my own Birmingham-set noir books – street-savvy yet arrogant, and ultimately unsuccessful!

You can find all three of these books at my other website. I don’t include much about forensics because they’re written from the point of view of the criminals, but you can certainly see how the characters inevitably fall from grace.

Posted in Books, reviews

Recent Reads: K J Charles’ A Thief in the Night

This little book featuring a thief, an earl, a decaying house, highwaymen and tallow candles is an absolute gem that kept me reading night after night with a grin fixed firmly on my face. I particularly loved the first scene/chapter where the thief steals the earl’s pocket watch, only to accidentally rock up at his home shortly afterwards…

I guessed the mystery bit of the plot (involving a fabulously valuable necklace) well ahead of the characters which made me feel particularly clever and superior (aka smug).

I see it’s the first in a new series so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for sequels and hope there’s much, much more about Toby and Miles to come.

Posted in Books, reviews

Not one but two new reviews!

I’m delighted to say the review that seemed to have vanished into a black hole earlier has reappeared. Presumably the owners of Love Bytes Reviews fed the hamster that powers the wheel that runs the site… or something. Anyway, you can now see their reviewer Sadonna’s lovely and very detailed write-up about Run Wild, Run Free here. I’m very grateful to them for taking so much time and care over their review.

And I’d no sooner re-discovered that one than another new review for the same book suddenly popped up on Goodreads – and this one is, if possible, even better.

I’ve never read anything by Fiona Glass before, she’s a new-to-me author, and I’m definitely going to be looking at more of her books after reading this!

As you can imagine, I’m glowing/overcome/knocked into a cocked hat. It’s so nice to find readers who enjoy my books.

Do pop along and read the reviews, and if they entice you into giving my book a go then you can find it at JMS Books here, or Amazon UK here. And thank you!

Posted in reviews

Best laid plans…

Uh. I was all set to post about a lovely new review I’ve had for Run Wild, Run Free over at Love Bytes Reviews. And I can’t, because their whole site has been eaten by a black hole overnight so there’s nothing to link to. Don’t you just love technology?

I’ll keep checking back, and as soon as the site (and hopefully, my review with it) reappears I’ll post a link on here. Let’s hope that one, it’s nothing too serious for the good folk at Love Bytes, and two, I don’t have to wait very long…

Posted in Books, reviews

Recent Reads: Hiding Place by Jackie Keswick

I loved this book about two men, both dealing with different types of grief, coming together over their shared love of a very remote but very special house in Northumberland.

The setting, the mystery of the house and its secrets, and the romance all reminded me quite strongly of a couple of my favourite Mary Stewart romance books, which is no mean feat. However, Hiding Place is never a slave to Stewart as the main character is a rock musician and the central romance involves two gay men. And (dare I say it) the dialogue is a whole lot less stilted and more believable than Mary Stewart, too!

The two main characters felt utterly real, and the attraction they felt to one another in spite of their problems, a disinclination to share their emotional upheavals, and their general tetchiness was beautifully handled.

I gave the book 4 stars on Goodreads and BookBub, but if either of them did half stars I’d have easily rounded it up to 4.5.

Posted in Books, reviews

A new review that made me glow!

There’s a spiffing new review of my latest m/m romance Run Wild, Run Free on Bookbub today. As a writer, one of the nicest things is when a reader lets you know they enjoyed your book, so having read this one I’m absolutely glowing.

“…a delightful quick-read novella set in 1950s rural England… with a sure love and a nice HEA.”

You can find the rest of the review here, and if you fancy giving the book a go then you can buy it from the publisher JMS Books here, or on Amazon here.

And I hope you enjoy it too!

Posted in reviews

Recent reads: Fang’d by Vin George

I wrote this review a few weeks ago now to feature in my newsletter, but wanted to share it more widely because I enjoyed the book so much…

Fang’d is an immersive and thoroughly entertaining m/m paranormal romance involving vampires, wolf shifters and even fae. The story starts when shifter Luc almost runs over Charley, a young man running away from some bad people, and helps him to escape. Fired by mutual attraction the two go on the run together, finally taking refuge at master vampire Dalziel’s estate in Scotland. Here they make several discoveries about Charley’s background, and shifters and vampires have to put aside their natural antipathy to work together when Charley is kidnapped.

The characters are engaging and thoroughly realistic in spite of the whole paranormal thing whilst the descriptions, insights and revelations kept me turning the pages for more. The book really came to life for me once Luc and Charley had arrived at Dalziel’s castle; some of the sex before that was a little graphic for my own personal taste but I still loved the book.

Definitely one to go for if you like paranormal romance, lots of action, and a high heat rating with a touch of kink. I gave it four stars on Goodreads and if they did half stars would probably have gone half a star more.

As a little extra, I love the cover. Not least because Riptide Publishing used a different pose by the same very toothsome young model on my own book Necessity’s Door. He was ideal for my characters and he’s ideal for young Charley too.

Posted in reviews, TV

TV Review – Smiley

Today over on RoM/Mantic Reads magazine I’ve posted a review of Spanish lgbt rom-com Smiley, which I’ve been watching – and thoroughly enjoying – on Netflix.

You can read the article here – and I’ll be fascinated to hear if anyone else has tried this particular series, and if so, what you thought of it…

Posted in reviews

Review of The God’s Eye by Anna Butler

I read this book a few weeks ago and posted the review in my newsletter. However, I enjoyed it so much I wanted to share it with more people, so I’m posting it here too:

This is the third and (I assume) last in the Lancaster’s Luck series of steampunk novels set in an alternate late Victorian/early Edwardian Britain, featuring ex-pilot, now coffee-shop owner Rafe Lancaster and his lover, archaeologist Ned Winter. I’ve enjoyed pretty much every word of all three books, which are original, densely-plotted and staggeringly detailed, with descriptions of almost everything from making the perfect cup of coffee to the intricate political system dominated by a series of imperial ‛Houses’.

The books probably wouldn’t suit readers out for a quick-fix read with lots of sex, but I loved being able to lose myself in Rafe and Ned’s world and – of course – the archaeology was an added bonus. In this particular book the plot centres around the famous Antikythera device, which really exists, has been studied extensively, but is just as much of an enigma as it ever was. Ms Butler’s explanation of what it was for was just divine (in more ways than one, cough) and Rafe and Ned’s ‛boy’s own’ adventures, at least partly inside an incredible unknown pyramid, kept me turning the pages long into the night.

The few steampunk books I’ve tried in the past have been disappointing; an airship here, a pair of electric bellows there and the authors seem to think that’s enough. But here the whole world revolves around aether and phlogiston, and it’s written into the narrative so skillfully that it becomes far more than just another backdrop to the story.

I thoroughly recommend all three books. Although the plots are standalone, it’s worth starting with the first book, The Gilded Scarab, and following Rafe’s adventures, because that way the other two books will make a lot more sense!

Posted in reviews

New Ghosts Galore Review

There wasn’t time to mention it yesterday, but QueeRomanceInk posted a super new review of Ghosts Galore at their site which totally made my day.

The reviewer described the book as “a well-written short paranormal story with a smattering of spooky moments, humor and a budding romance”, and said she wished she’d read it sooner, having had it on her to-be-read pile for ages.

If you want to read the whole review, you can find it here. And of course, if you fancy reading the book and discovering those spooky moments, or that budding romance, for yourself, you can find that here.

My heartfelt thanks to Maryann, who reviewed the book, and to J Scott Coatsworth for organising it. Between you, you brightened up a cold, foggy November day!