Beg by Aaron Michaels
Jeremy have been lovers for a couple of months, and Daniel is
very happy with the older man. Neither of them have said the
“l” word, though. Will Mortimer, the stray cat Daniel has
been feeding, help to change that?
Beg is a sweet, hot story. Younger, slightly insecure
Daniel and older, hesitant but caring Jeremy are very likeable
characters. Their feelings for each other really shine
through in this story.
and Pitbulls by BA Tortuga
Dean’s up on
the barn roof, fixing it, when his lover Will finds yet
another stray puppy. Despite the fact that they’ve already
adopted quite a few homeless animals over the years, they keep
the little dog. Working together to bathe the puppy is messy
and Pitbulls is a typical BA Tortuga tale, with sexy
cowboys, realistic dialogue, and hot sex. Dean and Will’s
relationship is clearly solid and loving, and the story was
quick and fun.
A Bay Horse, and a Turtledove by Elazarus Wills
has come to New Mexico to finish his book about Henry David
Thoreau, but once there he finds himself distracted by many
things, including feeding starving elk, a strange old black
bear, and sexy game warden December Mercado. Will being among
the animals help Osmer understand Thoreau and himself better?
A Bay Horse, and a Turtledove is a strange,
slow-paced, yet oddly enjoyable story. Events just sort of
flow into each other, and the relationship between Osmer and
December progresses quickly, with a lot of things seeming to
occur offstage. Still, I liked philosophical Osmer and
determined yet sensitive December. While this story is
definitely off the beaten path, it held my interest.
Mountain by Sarah Black
Bobby has returned to the White Mountain Apache Reservation to
take pictures of a wild jaguar that supposedly lives there.
To his shock, his old love Clayton is the one who is supposed
to lead him to the jaguar’s den. Will Bobby and Clayton be
able to heal the wounds of a decade ago?
Mountain is a great story. Bobby and Clayton never
got over each other, and both have regretted their ten-year
separation. The tale of why they separated slowly unfolds as
they come nearer to the jaguar’s den. There’s a lot of
emotion as the two men think about the past and consider the
possibility of a future, and there is even some suspense
involving the jaguar. Sarah Black’s tale is fast-paced,
emotional, and enthralling!
Iron by KC Warwick
desperately from the People of the Hills, Talin’s horse loses
a shoe and becomes lame. He’s forced to stop at the
blacksmith’s, where smith Bran fixes the shoe. Talin asks the
smith to shelter his horse while he continues to flee, but
Bran refuses to let him go, knowing he’ll never escape on
foot. Will Bran be able to save Talin from a terrible fate?
Iron is a very cool fantasy story. It’s tense and
action-packed from the very first word! Though Talin and
Bran have little time to get to know each other, their instant
connection feels real. Bran’s willingness to do whatever it
takes to protect Talin made him a truly swoon-worthy hero in
my mind. With romance, action, and even a bit of humor, KC
Warwick’s story doesn’t disappoint.
Falls in Love by Dianne Fox
wants to get a new hamster to keep his current hamster,
Gerbil, company, so he takes his pet to the vet’s office for a
checkup first. There he meets veterinarian Truman Decker, who
gives Finn his card and tells Finn to call him if there are
any problems with the new hamster. Finn is still hurting over
the loss of his last lover to cancer, though. Will two
hamsters help bring these two men together?
loved Gerbil Falls in Love. Finn’s lingering
sadness over the death of his lover and his obvious caring for
his pet made him a very sympathetic character. I really liked
the way Finn and Decker’s relationship developed slowly and
naturally, unlike in many short stories I’ve read. The sexual
tension built along with Finn and Decker’s friendship, and
when the love scene finally came it was explosive! Dianne Fox
did a wonderful job of creating multilayered characters within
an emotional, hot story that adds a great deal to this
Samson by Kiernan Kelly
Keene Gray is
tired of all the attention he gets from women due to his good
looks. On top of that, his seventy-two-year-old employee,
Ruby, keeps bugging him about being alone too much. When Ruby
invites Keene over to dinner, he ends up having to look for
her missing cat. He meets a very attractive police officer,
Richard. Just as he and Richard are trying to make a date,
however, something terrible happens. Will Keene and Richard
ever get together?
Samson is yet another example of Kiernan Kelly’s skill
with characterization. Keene’s appearance is nearly perfect,
but inside he’s awkward and unsure. When he first meets
Richard, his nervousness leads to some very funny moments.
Richard, on the other hand, is more self-assured. Richard’s a
police officer (uniform, yum!) and is also willing to be there
for Keene when Keene really needs someone. With humor,
emotion, and a very hot love scene, Chasing Samson
is an excellent read.
Bungalow Bill by Ansley Vaughan
prefers men, circumstances have led Theo to be the “assistant”
(aka gigolo) of rich widow Norma Widgeon. Norma loves
elephants, so she drags Theo and her daughter Loretta to an
elephant camp where they will get to meet elephants and Theo
and Loretta will learn how to ride and direct trained
elephants. Theo and the director of the camp, Bill Brabazon,
have an instant dislike for each other, and Theo doesn’t want
to be there. Will Theo have a change of heart after he works
with the elephants?
Bungalow Bill was a very different story. I loved the
exotic setting and the elephants. Ansley Vaughan really
seemed knowledgeable about trained elephants, their handlers,
and the Thai language. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the
characters as appealing as the setting and the animals. Theo
came across and petulant, spoiled, and whiny for much of the
story. Bill started out needlessly antagonistic. Their
relationship went from hate to love a bit too quickly to be
believable. Even so, the unusual aspects of this story made
it an interesting read.
Connection by Neil Plakcy
his golden retriever, Jackson, but he is lonely for some human
company. When he meets an attractive new guy in town, Scott,
he decides to ask him for a date. Scott’s bratty little dog
Max seems to hate Richie and Jackson, though. Can Richie and
Scott form a relationship despite Scott’s dog?
Connection is an amusing little tale. Romantic,
quick-to-fall Richie and picky Scott were neat characters, and
I loved the dogs. For a while it seemed like the story
wouldn’t have a happy ending, but Neil Plakcy pulled off an
ending that was both sweet and realistic.
Indigenous by J.L. Jensen
is walking across the campus where he’s just begun veterinary
school when a bald eagle smashes into him and knocks him
down. Kai Maakotka, a Finnish student who is working on his
Ph.D., comes to untangle Jacob and the eagle. After Kai
leaves, Jacob has dreams of an eagle and Kai, but he can’t
find Kai anywhere. Has Jacob lost his chance with the man who
seems to be his destiny?
Indigenous is not only a cute romance tale, but also
full of fascinating information about indigenous cultures.
Dreams and eagles play a large role in the story, as do
drums. Jacob and Kai are great characters, both because they
honor their cultures and because they are kind and caring
toward each other. I enjoyed watching them come together, and
learning more about their cultures was just the icing on the
of a Feather by CB Potts
ophthalmologist Doctor Bayner is awakened in the middle of the
night by his beeper, he’s expecting a human patient. The
patient awaiting him in the ER, however, is an owl who’s been
shot in the eye. He agrees to do surgery because Ranger
Daniel Shad asks him to. Will an owl lead the doctor to the
love he’s been missing?
of a Feather is one of the two first-person stories in
this anthology. Due to the point of view, the doctor’s name
is never revealed. Dan and the nurses call him “Doc” or
“Doctor.” His thoughts about Dan are almost poetic in nature,
and Even the love scenes were poetically described. Ranger
Dan is a very kind person, willing to watch over an injured
owl for as long as necessary and sweetly caring toward the
doctor. CB Potts’s lovely writing and slow pace suited the
subject matter very well, making this story very enjoyable to
Horseplay by Sean Michael
has been trying to get the attention of Dr. Byron Hamilton, a
psychiatrist who brings some of his young patients to Micah’s
horse farm to ride, for a year. Today he’s determined to ask
Dr. Hamilton out at last.
Sean Michael has penned a hot, enjoyable story with
Horseplay. Micah is determined and self-assured.
Once he gets over his initial reticence, Byron is uninhibited
and amusing. Watching these two men get together was a lot of
Tax by J. Rocci
owns a doggie day care and grooming facility, but he also
volunteers at the local hospital, bringing one of his dogs to
visit the patients. There he meets Dr. Tony Morasutti and is
instantly attracted. Dr. Morasutti asks him for coffee. Will
their coffee date lead to much more?
Tax is a cute story with adorable dogs, a sexy doctor,
and lots of fun. I liked the slow development of Sky and
Tony’s relationship. They seemed perfect for each other, and
I was happy to see them come together at last.
Leave Behind by Shanna Germain
When he was
dying of cancer, the narrator’s partner, Thom, signed them up
for a hospice program for dogs. Their job was to take care of
a dying dog and try to make its last days as pleasant as
possible. Months after Thom’s death, Pawspice volunteer Seth
brings Annie to his home. Although he tries to send the dog
back, Seth insists. Can Annie and Seth bring the narrator
back into life again?
Leave Behind is a story that is both sweet and sad.
The first-person narration really drew me into the never-named
narrator’s sadness over the loss of his partner, and his
reluctance to care again. Although he was surprised that he
found Seth attractive, he allowed himself to feel without
beating himself up too much. I really wanted him to find love
again. Seth is a caring man, and a revelation he makes at the
end of the story makes What We Leave Behind even
more poignant. Be warned: there is sadness in this story,
since the narrator lost his partner and is caring for a dying
dog. Still, it’s a very sweet story and the narrator’s
journey back into love and life is lovely to read.
Attraction is a great anthology! I especially liked
Gerbil Falls in Love and Chasing Samson,
but there isn’t a bad story in the book. Some of Torquere
Press’s best authors are here, and I got to try some authors I
hadn’t read before as well. There’s a lot of variety in the
stories, which I really enjoyed. If you like animals and men
falling in love, pick up Animal Attraction