100 Stories 100 Days

Quick Review: Kneading You by C.S. Poe

Kneading You by C.S. Poe

Christopher is thrilled to be Lancaster’s new Librarian, but the job comes with the herculean task of cleaning and fixing up the historic structure, as well as update the antiquated filing. The town selectmen will be voting on the future of the building next month. The fate of the library is in Christopher’s hands, good thing he has local handyman Miles to help him with repairs.

One afternoon, Miles shares his lunch with Christopher, which includes some bread that Miles has baked himself. Christopher is blown away by the flavor and is soon receiving a hands-on baking lesson from the handsome tattooed hunk.

As they work to meet the deadline, Christopher suggests Miles enter his bread in an upcoming competition. On the day of the festival, Miles wins first prize. He uses his winnings to buy modern check-out software for the library, bringing Christopher’s vision one step closer to reality.

The decision is finally announced. Christopher and Miles have saved the library and fallen for one another in the process. Love and books and bread… what could be better?

Kneading You by C.S. Poe has it all – a sweet small-town setting, a hero with a passion for literature and preserving history, a nice blue-collar guy for him love, and a deep understanding of how tasty carbs make life worth living.

This delightful short serves as an introduction the authors ‘Lancaster Story’ contemporary romance series.

Quick Review: Rendezvous in Paris by Merry Farmer

Rendezvous in Paris by Merry Farmer

It was a rocky road to romance for Dorothy and Marshall in The Duke from Paris (Tales from the Grand Tour book 1), but they survived scandal and blackmail to find their happily ever after. Now, in Rendezvous in Paris, it’s their brothers turn to find love. Lord Sebastian Stone and Damian McGovern are friends who’ve had their eyes on one other for quite some time. They definitely enjoy engaging in flirty banter.

But flirtations must be set aside, they have reason to suspect that the Dorothy and Marshall’s blackmailer may be at the masquerade ball, being held that evening in the palace in which they’re staying.

Damian dresses in an elaborate geisha costume that is so convincing that he and Sebastian are able to take a turn around the ballroom without the other guests being any the wiser. When their repartee turns suggestive, the two of them hastily exit the dancefloor to find a dark corner, but instead come face to face with Solange, Dorothy’s former lady’s maid and prime blackmailer suspect. They give chase through the palace but lose her in the dark passageways. Their investigation at an impasse, they head upstairs to Damian’s room to further explore their passions.

Sebastian is not at breakfast the next morning. While looking for him, Solange pulls Damian into a storeroom to explain her suspicious behavior. She is not the blackmailer and is on a mission to restore her family’s honor. As for Sebastian? She mentions that she saw him leave earlier on the road into Paris.

When Sebastian returns, he joins Damian and the other McGovern cousins on a leisurely trip down the Seine. Once everyone is aboard their well-appointed barge, Sebastian dodges the question of his whereabouts. Damian suggests that he can imagine a romantic future where they return to England to be together.

Distracted, the boat runs aground, sending the cousins tumbling into the water. After saving several soaked ladies, our heroes make their way back to the palace, find an empty parlor, begin to remove their wet clothes, and continue their amorous activities from the previous evening… when they hear a loud crash. They discover a peephole, a broken camera, and a secret passageway.

Sebastian fears it may be Fordyce, the villainous blackmailer who forced him to flee his home country. Its then that he receives a note and leaves once again. This time Damian follows him into Paris and finds Sebastian working as a waiter in a second-rate café. Sebastian may still has his title, but exile from England means he has no other income and is too proud to ask his brother for support. The two of them retire to Sebastian’s small room above the shop where Damian uses his powers of persuasion to convince him to join him (and their understanding family members) back in England.

Later, a note from Fordyce sends them racing out into the night. It’s on the crowded Parisian streets that they run into Solange who suggest that the blackmailer may be headed to the nearby offices of a tabloid newspaper. It’s on the steps of the office that our heroes, the blackmailer, and the powerful owner of the scandal sheet – finally meet. It’s Fordyce’s own greed that brings him to a bloody end.

Bedraggled but victorious from the evening’s events, Damian and Sebastian return to the palace and tumble into bed together. The couple are welcomed with open arms into the extended McGovern family, a happy ending to their story.

But what of Solange? She returns to service for the McGovern cousins. The quest to avenge her family’s name will have to wait for the next book in the series.

This Victorian novella is filled with passion and romance and adventure. Damian and Sebastian’s story was so much fun. I really enjoyed how they were able to fall in love, solve a mystery, and still find a way to steal a few private moments for some very spicy romantic encounters.

While this novella is the second in a series, it perfectly stands on its own. The previous plot points carried over from Dorothy and Marshall’s book are expertly explained by the author in a way that is organic and natural for the telling of Damian and Sebastian’s story.

To be honest, I was feeling a bit down on the day I started reading this story. By the end, Rendezvous in Paris had definitely lifted my spirits. Wonderful characters, great setting, a fast paced plot – Merry Farmer combines it all for an engaging and romantic read.


Quick Review: Take Me Home by Hudson Lin

Take Me Home by Hudson Lin

Melvin isn’t grumpy (necessarily) he just likes things a certain way, like having his morning coffee at his favorite café, sitting at his favorite table.

When Lee pulls up a chair, he’s not exactly thrilled, but Lee’s enthusiasm about his new knitting hobby is kind of endearing. When Lee scoots his chair closer to demonstrate a few stitches, Melvin finds himself with feelings he hasn’t felt in a long time.

For an old-timer who’s set in his ways, Melvin is suddenly open to new possibilities. He invites Lee back to his place to rummage through some old knitting supplies his wife left behind and maybe later, they can share a meal together.

Finding gay fiction featuring older main characters is next to impossible, so this story by Hudson Lin is real treat. Take Me Home proves there’s no expiration date on love. It also demonstrates that if you occasionally step outside your comfort zone, the risk can definitely be worth the reward.

Quick Review: One More Night by Charlie Novak

One More Night by Charlie Novak

Jack isn’t thrilled when Harry walks back into his pub. The fact is, Jack is crazy about the guy, but they have a long history on again/off again hookups that they justify as just “one more night”.

Against his better judgement, Jack agrees to go to dinner with Harry where he explains he’s in a bit of a bind. His family expect him to bring a boyfriend to his sister’s wedding, and he’s given them the impression that Jack is that boyfriend.

Harry’s relatives are snobby insufferable trash. But Harry’s a great guy, so Jack agrees to attend. They drive to the charming country B&B that most of the wedding party is staying at.

Harry’s mom is apoplectic when he shows up with Jack – how can he spend time with someone so low-class?

Actually, it’s the time he’s spent with Jack in the lead up to the wedding that makes him realize what he really wants out of life. Harry tells his family that he wants Jack, and if they have a problem with that, then they can fuck off.

Harry and Jack are finally able to admit how deeply they’ve fallen for one another and, after a passion filled night, they know that it won’t just be one more night… but every night, forever.

I loved the chemistry between Jack and Harry. There’s lots of great banter and humor between them, you can really sense the history they have together.

One More Night wonderfully combines several contemporary romance topes (friends to lovers, fake boyfriend, only one bed) into a sweet short story about  two likeable heroes finding their HEA.

Quick Review: Rear Admiral by Nathan Burgoine

Rear Admiral by Nathan Burgoine

Russ is intrigued when his friends tell him they know a former porn star and that he’ll be attending their next wine tasting get together. Curious, Russ looks up Dom Masters online and is blown away by the size of the man, so much so that he impulsively orders the Rear Admiral, a dildo molded from the star himself.

Frustrated, Russ is unable to achieve the full Dom Masters experience before the big night (though it’s not for a lack of trying).

Needless to say, the ruggedly handsome star (call me Matt) is a big hit at the party. He strikes up a conversation with Russ, the only other single guy there, and they chat about life and how Matt is in town to help his invalid mother. Russ happens to work in an assisted living facility and gives Matt a referral for a caregiver who might help.

Later at home, Russ is finally able to successfully take the full rubber replica of the man he hit it off with earlier in the evening.

Matt wants to thank Russ for the help with his mom, so he brings over some pizza and they curl up on the couch to watch a scary movie. There is definitely a spark between them, and the night is finished off with a kiss.

They make plans for another evening together, but maybe one not so chaste. Their chemistry is electric, and Russ finds himself in Matt’s bed where he rises to the challenge of Matt’s prodigious talent. It’s far better than any fantasy because the two of them together are the real deal. A happy ending indeed.

For an erotic tale about huge dildos and well-hung porn stars, I found this short story surprisingly sweet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s crazy sexy, but the way Russ and Matt meet, and converse, and hang out, is completely charming and totally down-to-earth. I liked watching these characters fall for each another, and if one of them just so happens to have an enormous dick, well… all the better.

Rear Admiral is a terrific short featuring two nice guys, a little bit of humor, and a lot of romantic heat.

Quick Review: Always You by KM Neuhold

Always You by KM Neuhold

A group of young friends, fresh out of college, decide to take part in one last tradition before going their separate ways and beginning their adult lives. Nico is nervous because he’s using the weekend trip to the lake house to finally come out to his friends. He’s especially worried how his best friend Dante will react.

A few beers and a round of poker later, Nico makes his big announcement, which his friends are all fine with. It takes a moment for Dante to wrap his head around the news, but a good talk and a near-miss kiss later, they’re able to straighten things out.

A summer storm and a leaky roof forces Dante into Nico’s bed for the night, where they admit their feelings for each other, share their first kiss, and sleep together (though there’s very little rest.)

The next morning, their friends applaud that they’ve finally done the deed and taken the leap from besties to boyfriends. Nico and Dante’s one special night has shown them what’s possible and they happily make plans for their future together.

I definitely have a soft spot for ‘nice guy’ characters and I really enjoyed the low-angst way these guys were able to be open with each other and explore new possibilities in their relationship.

This sweet/sexy new adult gay romance short is filled with feels, first times, and long held desires made real. If nice guys are your kink (like mine), you should check out Always You.