Tag Archives: m/m

Book Review: Samhain’s Embrace by Jesse Fox


Title: Samhain’s Embrace

Author: Jesse Fox

Author Site

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Publisher: Dark Roast Press

Genre: Erotic Fiction, Gay

Length – # OF PAGES: 69

Other: * M/M * Voyeurism

Pagan Author & Pagan Elements: Yes/Yes

Card Rating: – 5


The Reviewers choice & Top pick

PP Top Pick 2

Reviewed by: Jes L’Heureux

About The Book: What is loss to the human heart?

A spirit of nature, misunderstood and forgotten by modern man, when drawn out on the one night he roams the darkness freely, seeks to understand the meaning of loss and ease a young man’s pain.

Bran Conleth is a man broken by the ultimate loss – death. Desperate to summon his deceased lover he chooses the one night when the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead is at its thinnest. Instead of his lover, he calls forth the embodiment of the night – Samhain.

Together they share one incredible journey that will teach Samhain about human loss and Bran that there is life after death.

The Review:

Dealing with the grief of his lost lover Bran takes to doing an ancient ritual, which will bring back Dmitri. The story unfolds with the unveiling of the past for Bran and his loss, as well as going though the ritual as it takes place. Alongside we get the impressions and thoughts of the almost forgotten deity of Samhain, and his place in the cycle. Jesse Fox creates this beautiful tapestry that weaves the past and present with magic and tradition. The story is like a dance going though the stages of grief that we experience when we lose a loved one. Bran learns to live with the joy, instead of holding close the pain of the one event that pulled them apart.

“This … is just one chapter. Now you must turn the page and see what awaits you in the next chapter” p.34,

The above quote perfectly expresses how this story unfolds.

I found the flow of the story was natural, and didn’t feel as though I were being thrashed by scene changes, or “oh yeah” moments. The descriptions of each character, the scenery, and atmosphere were rendered so vividly I could feel and see what was occurring. I felt that dealing with, and acceptance of the loss, was an important theme to this book. To have it pulled together with the idea and celebration of Samhain, the end of summer, the end of the cycle was a wonderful way to mesh the story. As we have all felt loss in our lives, the reminder that they live on and that we can find solace in another’s embrace, or in our faiths, is a great relief.

Big on the recommend scale, especially for those who are looking for something with a bit more pagan in its pages.

Pagan Elements:

There are definitely some Pagan elements; the first half of the story is about the preparation and the ritual itself. This entire story is about the nature deity Samhain and each of the embodiments of the different pagan celebrations.

Cover (Rated 1-10):

8 – I found the cover to be interesting in that I had to take a double take to make out what the image is, as I read the story I found the cover to be very suiting to the book as well.


Disclaimer: Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author to The Pagan & the Pen. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.

Book Review: Shell Shocked by Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks

shellshocked Title: Shell Shocked

Author: Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks

Author Site

Buy Link

Publisher: Juniper Gardens Press

Genre: GLBT, Romance, PTSD discussion, Paganism

Length – # OF PAGES: 130

Other: M/M * Light Spanking


Author Pagan & Pagan Elements: Yes/Yes

Card Rating: – 4 Tarots &  **Reviewer Top Pick**

Reviewed by: Jes L’Heureux



About The Book:

Sean Dempsey came home from Iraq with artificial knees, scorched retinas and a lot of baggage. He supplements his disability checks with money made writing romance novels under a female pseudonym, ironic as he has grown very nervous around women since a certain suicide bomber. When he meets Gabriel Herne, legless phone psychic, the sparks startle him. It’s everything he’s written about and never believed.

Swept into a whirlwind romance, Sean has to learn about his newfound bisexuality and his lover’s pagan faith at the same time. And when he has a religious experience of his own, he discovers everything changes in its time, just like the Wheel of the Year.

The Review:

This is an excellent tale woven by Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks that focuses on war vet Sean Dempsey who has returned home from Iraq with destroyed knees, eyes and PTSD. Throughout the story, Sean is faced with the challenges of living with PTSD and a severe addiction to Valium, which is lessoned when he adds Gabriel Herne to his life. Gabriel “Gabe” Herne is a paraplegic phone psychic who meets Sean through the same clinic and introduces him back into the world.

The story unfolds as Sean deals with his PTSD and new relationship, learning about his bisexuality and about his lover’s faith. Ms. Sparrow and Brooks creates a very believable world and characters where the reader is learning alongside, as well as feeling Sean’s pain and Gabe’s frustrations as they work through each event in their lives.

What I found interesting about this book is that the story is one that could be happening right now, talking about the mundane day to day that we all go through; the struggles of being poor in this current economy and doing what is needed to survive. The characters are not wealthy, or able to do whatever they wish. They have to save, they struggle, they fight, and they love. This is a very real and touching story I enjoyed, and would recommend to anyone interested in reading what I would call a pagan love story.

Pagan Elements:

This novella has a definite undercurrent of paganism in it as Gabe Herne is a practitioner and as the story unfolds it talks about the coming celebrations, with some spell work and worship throughout. As Sean learns about the practices and worship Gabe goes over a few of the mythos involved. The authors deal with the Wheel and each of the celebrations through the year, showing how someone might practice as both solitary and some in a coven for the larger events.

Cover (Rated 1-10):


I really liked this cover it was intriguing and spoke to the book itself, if it were on the bookshelf I know that the symbol for the horned god would draw my attention over anything else.


Disclaimer: Due to FTC regulations, any book reviewed on this site was sent for free by the author to The Pagan & the Pen. We are not paid to give reviews by Author or Publisher. Once review has been made, said books are deleted.

Women Portrayed in Fiction—Readers, What Are Your Opinions?


How Women Are Portrayed In Fiction

What are our reader opinions?

Recently, in one of my Publisher Groups, the discussion of Bodice Rippers, Women, and how they are portrayed in Fiction came up. The series of subjects struck me with such interest that I was dying to find out what real readers…THATS YOU…feel about it. So please, comment so my enquiring mind can lay itself to rest and finally know….


First …

How do you feel about the once published Bodice Ripper books? For those who do not know the term, Bodice Rippers were Romance Fiction portraying women who were not always the strongest type. Usually some dashing and daring man would come along forcing himself on her. And even though at first she is strongly appalled, her body ends up saying…yes…yes…OH MY GOD YES! 



We don’t see many Bodice Rippers anymore…hardly any at all. No more cheesy covers we would secretly swoon over with dreamy eyes…you remember the ones with yummy, yum, yum Fabio Looking Man-Gods sweeping away  damsels in sexual duress….lol.

Characters are less flawed, less shocking and the story lacks those endless chapters of drama, drama, and more foreseen but undefined drama!

Oh we knew there would be trouble but we just didn’t know it would be THAT much trouble or that kind of double trouble, ya know?




These characters of yesterday have been replaced by strong, warrior women  who may have little to no dysfunctional hang ups but are more than capable of forcing themselves on men….even if they are so bodacious they don’t have to. lol

Not unless you steer towards some written works that still portray a girl who can’t think or breath on her own.

But…..which is better?


What do readers really prefer? Do you prefer the women who can kick ass all by themselves or do you prefer the clueless beauty raised cut off from the world until some handsome hunky hottie drags her away and forces sinful pleasures she succumbs all addictions to even though momma said never, never, let yourself do that. Or are the sales and statistics correct….have women given up on women and have instead ran to buy up male on male romances…also known as M/M?

What say you? How are women portrayed in Fiction—to your liking or disappointment?  What do you like to read? Are Publishing Houses seeing to YOUR needs and desires? Please, let us know!

Book Review: Crimson Dawn: Hallowed Echoes Volume One of the Dimenlien Chronicles by Myristica



Title: Crimson Dawn: Hallowed Echoes

Volume One of The Dimenlien Chronicles

Author: Myrstica

Author Site: http://www.left-of-heaven.net/myristica/

Buy Link: http://www.darkroastpress.com/echoes.php

Publisher: Dark Roast Press

Genre: Contemporary, Vampire, Paranormal, erotica

Length – # OF PAGES: 449

Other: M/F * M/F/M * M/M Multiple Partners

Card Rating: – 3

Review by: Kim

Continue reading Book Review: Crimson Dawn: Hallowed Echoes Volume One of the Dimenlien Chronicles by Myristica

Book Review: Best Unspoken by Bryl R. Tyne

Title: Best Unspoken

Author: Bryl R. Tyne

Author Site: http://bryltyne.com

Buy Link: http://www.nobleromance.com/BrowseListing.aspx?author=59

Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing

Genre: Contemporary/GLBT

Length – # OF PAGES: 18

Other: M/M

Card Rating: – 4 Tarots

Review by: Strega

About The Book: Twenty-five year old social butterfly, Levi Finley couldn’t be more mismatched for his middle-aged, introverted counterpart, biomedical tech, Rob Langston. What happens when two so utterly opposite men come together? Besides the hottest sex in Levi’s young life? Throw in one opinionated mother, misunderstanding friends, and one hell of a birthday party at the wildest, gentleman’s gentlemen club in town, and friction, a notch above wild, is bound to ensue. Will Levi allow doubts to destroy their relationship? Not if Rob has any say in the matter. But that might not be as easy as it sounds, considering Rob’s preferred communication is always best unspoken.


The Review:

First off, I have to say that I am a fan of Bryl Tyne’s writing. This author has never disappointed me but when I read Best Unspoken, I wasn’t quite sure I liked what I was reading. Levi is young, has lots of friends, is out going and friendly. His lover, Rob, is middle aged, quiet, almost to the point of being a “well, he was a nice, quiet neighbor, we never would’ve thought he had bodies in the basement” type of character. I truly began to fear for Levi’s well being and had a few flashbacks of my own! The reader can misconstrue the tension between Levi and Rob, just as it is by Levi’s friends, but when the two men are alone, the tension between them is something altogether different.

Best Unspoken is a quick read, only 18 pages, but Bryl R. Tyne has packed this story with enough raw emotion, sex, and heartfelt meaning to keep the reader thinking about Levi and Rob long after the story ends.




Continue reading Book Review: Best Unspoken by Bryl R. Tyne

Book Review: Cupid’s Folly by Erin SInclair


Title: Cupid’s Folly

Author: Erin Sinclair

Author Site

Buy Link

Publisher: Devine Destinies

Genre: Myth, Lore, Legend, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy,


Length 82 pages

Other: some M/M

Card Rating: 4 Tarots

Reviewed by: Valora Morgan

Continue reading Book Review: Cupid’s Folly by Erin SInclair

Blood Noir Book Review

Book reviwer banner

Blood Noir

By Jesse Fox


Dark Roast Press


Genre: m/m, mystery, contemporary

1TarotRating: 4.5 cards


Alex Klein, professional photographer, leads a blessed life with a supportive family and longtime lover Harley Scott, a successful PI. However, everything is about to unravel. He found peace in the arms of Harley after suffering from night terrors most of his life. Now the night terrors are back and his new assignment in Seattle may be the cause.

While he struggles to control his fears, back in St. Louis, Harley unravels a secret that could destroy the life they’ve created together. Maggie Reynolds is a convicted murderer, former member of a violent gang that terrorized the West Coast in the 1980’s. She may also be Alex’s birth mother, finally free after 25 years in prison. Positive his lover is in danger Harley heads to Seattle to save him from a mysterious stalker not beyond using murder to get what she wants. Are Maggie and the stalker one and the same?

Sometimes no matter how many lies you weave the past will come back to bite you in the ass. An intricate web of blood and deception, over two decades in the making, has Alex beginning to question his entire identity. Can he free himself from his past before it claims everyone he loves?

The Review:

This is by far one of the best books I have ever read. Written with great insight, I literally could not put it down. Blood Noir is a solidly written story with depth, intensity and strength much akin to that of James Patterson and Dan Brown. The writing is gripping, mesmerizing, exciting and compelling. The story line is so realistic you’ll feel as if you have been grabbed by the collar and jerked into the middle of a mystery so terrifying you’ll hope you’re dreaming. The characters are written as if they are live, breathing human beings that might live next door, with an the ending will leave you breathless! Do not miss this book!