Category Archives: LGBT

All For the Game Series by Nora Sakavic

Book 1: 

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Blurb: 

Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.

Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.

But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil’s new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can’t walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he’s finally found someone and something worth fighting for.

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Book 2: 

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Blurb: 

Book 2 of All for the Game; The Raven King follows The Foxhole Court

The Foxes are a fractured mess, but their latest disaster might be the miracle they’ve always needed to come together as a team. The one person standing in their way is Andrew, and the only one who can break through his personal barriers is Neil.

Except Andrew doesn’t give up anything for free and Neil is terrible at trusting anyone but himself. The two don’t have much time to come to terms with their situation before outside forces start tearing them apart. Riko is intent on destroying Neil’s fragile new life, and the Foxes have just become collateral damage.

Neil’s days are numbered, but he’s learning the hard way to go down fighting for what he believes in, and Neil believes in Andrew even if Andrew won’t believe in himself.

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Book 3: 

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Blurb: 

Neil Josten is out of time. He knew when he came to PSU he wouldn’t survive the year, but with his death right around the corner he’s got more reasons than ever to live.

Befriending the Foxes was inadvisable. Kissing one is unthinkable. Neil should know better than to get involved with anyone this close to the end, but Andrew’s never been the easiest person to walk away from. If they both say it doesn’t mean anything, maybe Neil won’t regret losing it, but the one person Neil can’t lie to is himself.

He’s got promises to keep and a team to get to championships if he can just outrun Riko a little longer, but Riko’s not the only monster in Neil’s life. The truth might get them all killed—or be Neil’s one shot at getting out of this alive.

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Purchase Link:

Book 1: FREE

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Book 2:  99 Cents

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Book 3:  99 Cents 

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Mare's Review

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How do you write a review for something so epic that words can’t describe the ride?
How do you write a review to reflect every single thing you felt while reading 1 of the most amazing series ever put out?
How do you write a review so that you can convey to the author and the world that you are absolutely speechless and blindsided for the love that you have for this series.

You just cant. I wouldn’t do this series justice. But I sure as fuck am gonna try.

Its YA/NA which sometimes can be a hard limit for me. But from the 1st sentence of book 1 I was hooked, line, and sinker.

That feeling that as soon as book 3 is done you’re jumping back into book 1. Yah. That feeling.

I love books for the words. It doesn’t matter what the story is about, rarely for me, what matters is the words. And Nora Sakavic had them in spades. She slayed me in short sentences and she slayed me in the long ones.
She pretty much just slayed me open. If she could have asked me “yes or no” my answer would have always been “Yes”.

I love books for words, but I also loved this series for the story. It had all my crutches in 1. All the crutches! And Jesus did that ever make me happy!!!!
Boys
Gangs
Mafia
Dysfunction
Boys on Boys
And a good good seriously amazing mind fuck.

There are so many main MCs in this book, its hard to just love 1 or 2 or hate them all.
You felt their pain and you felt their joy. The ride, Jesus the ride!!! I loved it!!!!!!!

But my heart was claimed and owned by Andrew.

JFC. Andrew.

description
I don’t want to dissect everything today
I don’t mean to pick you apart you see
But I can’t help it
There I go jumping before the gunshot has gone off
Slap me with a splintered ruler
And it would knock me to the floor if I wasn’t there already
If only I could hunt the hunter
description

” Is your spine the spine of the righteous?” Andrew wondered. “Are you trying your best to step on my toes because you are feeling the tragic weight of the holier than thou?”

description
And all I really want is some patience
A way to calm the angry voice
And all I really want is deliverance
Do I wear you out
You must wonder why I’m so relentless and all strung out
I’m consumed by the chill of solitary
I’m like Estella
I like to reel it in and then spit it out
I’m frustrated by your apathy
And I am frightened by the corrupted ways of this land
If only I could meet the Maker
description


“I hate you.” Andrew said casually. He took a last long drag from his cigarette and flicked it off the roof. “You were supposed to be a side effect of the drugs.”

description
What I wouldn’t give to find a soulmate
Someone else to catch this drift
And what I wouldn’t give to meet a kindred
Enough about me, let’s talk about you for a minute
Enough about you, let’s talk about life for a while
The conflicts, the craziness and the sound of pretenses
Falling all around…all around
Why are you so petrified of silence
Here can you handle this?
description

Stay,” Andrew said, and leaned down to kiss him. Time was nothing. Seconds were days, were years, were the breaths that caught between their mouths and the bite of Neil’s fingernails against his palms, the scrape of teeth against his lower lip and the warm slide of a tongue against his.”

This ride will stay with me for a long time. I love feeling that epicness.
I hate losing it

I cant wait for Nora Sakavic to write more WORDS! I cannot freaking WAIT.

I’m so glad these were made into Paperbacks. I hug them… regularly.

I have also re-read this series a billion times and I wont stop rereading them because they are everything.

Mare

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Filed under LGBT, Mare's Review, NA romance, Uncategorized, YA

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

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Blurb:

Flynn’s girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

Add to TBR:

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Buy: 

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Mare's Review

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Sigh.

You know those books that you want to end but you never want to end?
Yah.
That’s…
Last Seen Leaving.

The mystery was good. So good. And I love that I knew knew knew who who who.
And that I knew knew knew that tricky part at the end. I knew.
Happy dance you guys. I love when I figure out a good mystery well in advance. I feel super smart 🙂

Anyways I tweeted yesterday that all my Adrien with E lovers should read this book because Flynn was hands down Adrien @ 15 except without the heart issues.

I loved Flynn. I wanted to wrap him in my arms and just rock him. He reminded me of my kid in lots of ways. And it was rather endearing to this mama Bear.

January…. I swear I liked her less the more the book went on.
Ohhhhh those tangled webs we weave when 1st we practice to deceive……..
But in the end, I was happy for her….. maybe happy is too strong a word…. but I was resolved with the end. Except you know I’d like a follow up story ok.
Like say 10 years down the road.. that would be really really nice.

And I love any character with the name Kaz. Its like I have to love them just for that name alone 🙂

Also, the writing was lush.
The author really can weave a story. I love books for the way words flow together and these flowed so lovely you guys. It was like lyrical music for my soul.

Mare

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Filed under A Must Read, LGBT, Mare's Review, Uncategorized

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Blurb: 

Caleb Stone was raised on the Upper East Side, where wealth and lineage reigns, and “alternative lifestyles” are hidden. It took him years to come out to his family, but he’s still stuck in the stranglehold of their expectations. Caleb knows he has to build his confidence and shake things up, but he doesn’t know how… until Oliver Buckley enters the picture.

Oli is everything Caleb isn’t—risk-taking, provocative, and fiercely independent. Disowned by his family, Oli has made his own way in the world and is beholden to no one. After a chance encounter on New Year’s Eve, Caleb is smitten.

As Caleb sheds the insecurities that have held him back for years, he makes bold steps toward changing his career and escaping years of sexual repression. But for Caleb to take full control of his life, he has to be brave enough to confront his feelings and trust Oli with his heart.

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Expected Release Date: 

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April 18th, 2016

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Mare's Review

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Thank you Mr Hassell for a copy of this ARC. 

One day as I was scrolling my Twitter feed I came across a tweet by Hassell that claimed “The Hills” by Weeknd fit with First and First. Now being Canadian this song was played over and over and over and over again cause we rep our own.

But considering the lyrics I was looking forward to this story. And honestly it fits. It fits so much. It fits Oli. Like a Glove…

4

You said keep our business on the low-low
I’m just tryna get you out the friend zone
‘Cause you look even better than the photos

4

And as I was reading this song played a loop in my head. Constantly. I love when a song can fit and make you feel like the words are so intertwined.

4

I’ma let you know and keep it simple
Tryna keep it up, don’t seem so simple
I just fucked two bitches ‘fore I saw you
You gon’ have to do it at my tempo
Always tryna send me off to rehab
Drugs start to feeling like it’s decaf
I’m just tryna live life for the moment
And all these motherfuckers want a real love

4

Book 3 in the Borough’s series is very much different to the 1st two in terms of angst/drama factor. First and First was very much low key. We still had issues that needed to be worked out, we had 2 characters that had flaws, we had degrees of separation btwn all the characters. I liked the way it weaved.

4

I only call you when it’s half past five
The only time that I’ll be by your side
I only love it when you touch me, not feel me
When I’m fucked up, that’s the real me
When I’m fucked up, that’s the real me, yeah

4

It is no mystery that I love the way Hassell writes. I love how he realistically portrays his characters. I love how in sync he is with the times. I love that his characters are older, experienced, flawed, judgmental and  cool.

I really doubt that any of the rest of the characters in this series will get as close to Raymond in my view of best characters ever in a book ha! Except maybe Aiden. As a side character I really really really liked him! I hope Hassell writes his story… A novella? A something!!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!

I’m looking forward to book 4 in this series that comes out…. I dont know when…. But I’m pretty confident I know who its about. Well 1 of the characters at least 🙂

And with that I’m gonna leave you with the Hills…..

And when you read F&F and then listen to this song you can agree with the author. He knows what he’s talking about 🙂

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Mare~

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by | March 17, 2016 · 5:40 pm

Pre-Release review: Stygian by Santino Hassell

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Blurb: 

Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

Expected Pub Date: 

October 26th 2015

Preorder: 

download

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Mare's Review

Thank you Santino for a copy of an ARC.

I dont even know how to review this book.

Maybe its because I dont think I have ever read a gothic book? Or gothic horror? Yah I’m pretty sure I haven’t read anything like Stygian.

I think the whole time I read this book I was in the state of “I don’t even know”

If it was any other author I think this book would have been a DNF. I love the way Santino writes and I also love the way he world builds. He world builds like nothing before or since. He has this way of drawing you in, and keeping you until there is nothing left and you really just want more. Whether it be assassins or drug dealers, teachers, rockers or….. vampires.

I think when you read a book, no matter the genre, it makes you reflect on your own life experiences. This band with all its flaws reminded me of the boyz I hung out with it high school. Sigh. So many reminders. So many…. same.things.

The characters were all soooooooooo flawed. Like serious head issues, filled with piss and vinegar and anger and insecurities. I felt for all of them while also just really wanting to junk punch them at the same time.

If I have to pick a favourite character it’s most def Watts. Oh he broke my heart. His relentless pursuit to forget. His relentless pursuit to just FORGET.  I wanted to hug him and also maybe, just maybe bitch slap him. You’ll see.

I wish I felt more of a connection btwn Jeremy and Kennedy. I didn’t see love, I thought more maybe some hero worship? Some idolization.

I won’t discuss the end, cause one could ask “What end?”……….

Mare~

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Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, Dreamspinner Press, LGBT, Mare's Review, MM Romance, November Release, Uncategorized

Pre Release: Jefferson Blythe, Esquire by Josh Lanyon

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Blurb: 

Fresh out of college and recently dumped by his long-time girlfriend, shy and bookish Jefferson Blythe is touring Europe using an inherited vintage copy of Esquire Magazine’s Europe in Style.

Jefferson Blythe, Esquire is about old maps, new adventures, getting lost, getting found, getting drunk, and being mistaken for an international criminal. In other words, normal summer vacation when you’re in your twenties.

Preorder: 

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Expected Publication Date: November 16th 2015

Mare's Review

3.5 This is so Josh stars

So Jefferson Blythe, such an easy read really. And truly it is very much a JL Book.

Did I view it as a NA contemporary? No I didn’t really.

It was definitely not heavy on the romance.

It reminded me a bit of Jake & Adrien…..

Or Adrien as a young man.

I find JL’s writing to be so poetic. It flows so well, and makes you feel so many things all at once. To me it is heart wrenching, her words, which is why I find I love to read her. I can re read her books and fall in love over and over again and each re read I learn more or I see things differently because I read it in a different mood.

“I kissed him with all the skill and experience I had, and though the shape of his mouth was different and the line of his jaw was harder and the taste of his tongue was most definitely male, it simply made it easier, sweeter, more right.” 

I will have to re read Jefferson at some point and see if I view it differently than I did the 1st time around.

The mystery wasn’t JL’s best and it was funny how silly the villain’s were.

And then there was George. He was tough nut to crack, I couldn’t get a read on him and I wanted him to wake the hell up and see what was in front of him.

I hope that we can get a short or something for Jefferson and George so we see a glimpse into the future, I would like a glimpse. Something? Anything?

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Mare~

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Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, LGBT, Mare's Review, NetGalley, November Release, Uncategorized

Pre-Release: Sutphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs #1) by Santino Hassell

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About the book: 

Michael Rodriguez and Nunzio Medici have been friends for two decades. From escaping their dysfunctional families in the working-class neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens to teaching in one of the city’s most queer friendly schools in Brooklyn, the two men have shared everything. Or so they thought until a sweltering night of dancing leads to an unexpected encounter that forever changes their friendship.

Now, casual touches and lingering looks are packed with sexual tension, and Michael can’t forget the feel of his best friend’s hands on him. Once problems rear up at work and home, Michael finds himself seeking constant escape in the effortless intimacy and mind-blowing sex he has with Nunzio. But things don’t stay easy for long.

When Michael’s world begins to crumble in a sea of tragedy and complications, he knows he has to make a choice: find solace in a path of self-destruction or accept the love of the man who has been by his side for twenty years.

Pre-order: 

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Add to GR: 

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Mare's Review

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*** Thank you Mr. Hassell for a copy of the e-book ***

musical note

He could be a stranger you gave a second glance
He could be a trophy of a one night stand
He could have your humour, but I don’t understand
‘Cause he’ll never love you like I can, can, can

musical note

From the moment I got this book I was hard pressed to put it down. I’ve had a book hangover for dayzzzz after devouring this. Dayzzzzz.

I don’t even think it was 1 moment or 1 phrase, a word or a paragraph that stuck out to me. It was just overall badassery that Mr. Hassell knows how to bring alive on the pages.

It was the realness and the rawness and the chemistry that “contemporary romance” has been lacking something serious of late. The sexual attraction, the chemistry, the UST, the raw depths of emotion. The hey I’m not fuckin perfect. The no one is angle. All of this has been missing from the up and coming contemporary romances that have passed my e-reader by, So it was refreshing. And gritty. And so perfectly imperfect.

The characterization, the flaws, the struggles. It made it hard to read and not reflect on personal entities. The European parentals, the upbringing, nationalities, the meshing, and the people who helped you make it through.

I mentioned Badassery right. Well if Mr Hassell writes good badassery he also wrote some seriouzzzzzzzly amazing dirty talk & delicious sex scenes, So delicious that, I kid you not, broke my e-reader.

I can’t pimp this book more. I would give you quotes and teasers of the delicious sex but I figure that would just be really mean.  So if all I can give you is my word, well you have it.

Refreshing, gritty, real and raw. Also delicious.

Add it, read it, love it. Cause you will.

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Why are you looking down all the wrong roads?
When mine is the heart and the salt of the soul
There may be lovers who hold out their hands
But they’ll never love you like I can, can, can
They’ll never love you like I can, can

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AND. There’s 5 books in this series. And book 2 is going to be so so so good..,, Because Raymond.

PS. Mr Hassell if you any way feel bad about breaking my e-reader you can just make it up to me by giving me book 2 ok. We’ll call that even right?!?! Right?!?!?

Mare

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Filed under A Must Read, Advance Reader's Copy, Dreamspinner Press, LGBT, Mare's Review, MM Romance

Pre- Release Review: Craving’s Creek by Mel Bossa

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Blurb: 

For the man he loves, he will fight—body, mind, and soul.

Fourteen years ago, on a sun-drenched summer day on the banks of Craving’s Creek, Ryde swore to his best friend, Alistair, he’d never be alone in the world. Though Alistair was destined for the priesthood, there was something beyond holy about the first kiss they shared.

But a fun camping trip went horribly wrong when Alistair was involved in a horrific incident.

Now, at age thirty-one, Ryde’s life is a mess of alcohol and the painful imprint of his last look into Alistair’s desperate eyes. Since the evil they encountered on that shore, his first love has been lost to him—until he learns a friend’s wedding is to be officiated by a priest named Father Alistair Genet.

Amid the rush of emotions, one thought crystallizes: Ryde’s love for Alistair not only has never died, it’s stronger than ever. Stronger than God. But it may be no match for the church…and the repressed memories that are slowly tearing Alistair’s mind apart.

Warning: Contains a drunken confessional, a self-destructive clergyman, and a fight to the spiritual death for love.

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Release Date: August 18th, 2015

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Mare's Review

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Thank you Samhain Publishing via Netgalley for a copy of this ebook

4

My lover’s got humour
She’s the giggle at a funeral
Knows everybody’s disapproval
I should’ve worshipped her sooner
If the heavens ever did speak
She’s the last true mouthpiece
Every Sunday’s getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week

4

Sometimes it isn’t about the cover or even the story. Sometimes it’s what the written word can do to you. Your soul. Your heart.

Words written over 2000 years ago still have the essence to sooth you or burn you. Wars, love, hate, right, wrong. They all come from sources. No matter who your God is, no matter what your religion, we still to this day go back to this book and pray, cry, scream, yell, laugh. baptize, marry and bury.

A book that has been passed down from generation to generation. That has stayed the same no matter how much the world has changed, evolved, grown.

4

“We were born sick,” you heard them say it
My church offers no absolutes
She tells me, “Worship in the bedroom.”
The only heaven I’ll be sent to
Is when I’m alone with you
I was born sick
But I love it
Command me to be well
Aaay. Amen. Amen. Amen

4

Cravings Creek gripped me from page 1. I finished this book in 3 hours. This book. This book is Mel Bossa. This book is what I’ve been craving. 

She has a way of intercepting the past and the present. She has a way of exploring family dynamics, right and wrong, feelings that bleed on the pages. You can feel it. She has these 1 liners that speak to my soul.

“Beauty is like a scent. It clings to you even when its gone.”

4

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

 4

The story starts with the boys at 17. In lust and a perpetual state of hornyness. Written in 1st person, we enter the mind of Ryde and his obsession with Alistair.

My Lord but did Ryde wear his heart on his sleeve. You wanted to yell at him slow down, relax, breathe. He was so intense. And you felt the intensity on the pages.

“Her love is so big, it’s like standing in front of the ocean with a straw. No matter how much I try, I’ll never be able to take all of my mother’s love in.”

4

If I’m a pagan of the good times
My lover’s the sunlight
To keep the Goddess on my side
She demands a sacrifice

4

“I don’t really know how to…I mean, how can I compete with God?”

The story takes us through a 14-15 year span with a horrific tragedy and how ultimately these boys have dealt with it. Or rather haven’t.

The fight for love, and obstacles, the essence of your very being, how your past can shape your future.

Mental illness and suppressed memories.

4

Drain the whole sea
Get something shiny
Something meaty for the main course
That’s a fine-looking high horse
What you got in the stable?
We’ve a lot of starving faithful 

4

Obstacles, the fact that someone’s belief can stand in the way of your happiness. The rigid mind frames, the open minds, the zealous,  the people helping you fight the good fight. The HFN.

This book. Ugh. This book was so bloody good IMO. It had to of been for me to read it in 1 sitting.

Right, wrong, belief, hope.

In the end, the truth will always set us free.

4

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me my deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life
No Masters or Kings
When the Ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin
In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am human
Only then I am clean
Ooh oh. Amen. Amen. Amen.

4

Mare

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Filed under A Must Read, Advance Reader's Copy, LGBT, Mare's Review, MM Romance, NetGalley, Samhain Publishing