Gambling Men by Amy Lane

Quent Jackson has followed Jason Spade’s every move in business and in poker since their first day as college freshmen. Eight years later, when Jace finally decides Quent is the one man he can’t live without, he sees no reason for that to change.

But as much as Jace believes that poker is life, no one gave Quent the same playbook. After their first passionate night, the real game of love and trust begins, and Jace has been playing alone too long to make teaching the rules easy. Jace only speaks two languages: one of them is sex, and the other one is poker. Between the two, he needs to find a way to convince himself to take a chance on love—and Quent to take a chance on him. It’s a lucky thing they’re good at reading the odds, because they’re playing for keeps, and this is one high-stakes relationship that’s definitely worth the gamble.

Review: 

Any time I pick up an Amy Lane book, I plan on reading it twice – the first time to devour and the second time to savor.  The exception being Chase in Shadow in which I savored the first time around – which means I must be one sick masochistic fuck since Chase’s story is so emotionally brutal and heartbreaking.  But that is all beside the point.

The point is that Gambling Men has a distinction from my other Amy Lane favorites (which if I am to be honest is all of them).  That distinction is that I have lost track of how many times I have re-read it.  No small feat considering it was released less than three months ago.

Gambling Men has become a comfort read for me.  Those days when I want to get away in a book but don’t want to exercise the commitment and dedication necessary when starting a new story I just pick up Gambling Men and lose myself in Jace and Quent.

This is one of Amy’s sexier books.  Which shouldn’t be a surprise when you have a character that only knows how to communicate via poker and sex. The hot magic time between these two men will make you audibly gasp, sigh and moan.

Jace’s desire to completely own Quent is nothing short of intense.  And it’s not just sexually.  It’s small moments like this one:

 “Except he didn’t want Quent to wear his own clothes.  Jace wanted Quent to wear his clothes.  Jace didn’t want anyone else looking at Quentin and thinking, That could be mine!”

Moments like these give you a peek into the possessiveness Jace feels for Quent.  Although not a trait I normally admire in my heroes, it works so well because of Quent’s patience and willing submissiveness.

And don’t think Quent doesn’t enjoy it:

“Now?” he squeaked, but Jace’s hands were undoing his belt, and before he knew it, his (Jace’s) slacks were around his knees with his (Jace’s) boxers, and don’t think knowing that he’d been wearing Jace’s clothes like an owned man hadn’t been turning Quent on all day.

But Quent isn’t always the submissive in this relationship.  He takes charge when it’s important and when it counts.  There are a number of scenes where he takes control in order to show Jace how important he is and how much he loves him.  Something that Jace, even being the confident and dominant shark that he is, constantly doubts.

I loved both of these boys but Quent holds a very special place in my heart.  I am not sure how it would be possible to not fall in love with Quentin.   But I might just feel that way because in many ways I married a Quentin.  How lucky am I, right?

In the end, there is no big plot to solve.  This is a story of two people navigating a new relationship and learning to turn it into a long-term commitment; which is something I think so many of us can understand.  And can I just say that the way these boys show their commitment blows any traditional marriage ceremony and vows out of the water.

If you couldn’t tell, I love this book and can’t recommend it enough.  If you are a fan of m/m romances, read this one.  It’s absolutely lovely.

Although not the Jace and Quent in my head, these boys are pretty darn close.

Scandalous by Karen Erickson (Guest Review by Simone)

She always got anything she wanted . . .

Playing with Fire 3

A teenage crush on her big brother’s boyfriend. It was one of the few times in her spoiled-little-sister life that Alexa had to swallow the word “no”. She got over it, or she thought she had-until her brother’s wedding brings Eric back into her life, as flirty and fun as ever. It never mattered to her that he’s gay. Attraction is attraction.

One illicit kiss, and their reconnection blows her mind and rekindles girlish hopes. Then he sets her away from him and runs like hell.

Eric can’t believe that a woman’s touch arouses him. Not just any woman, but sweet Alexa, and he can’t help but want more. Desperate to come clean, he confesses all to his steady boyfriend, Brandon, expecting anger. But Brandon’s intrigued. He wants to meet the woman who’s tied Eric up in knots. With luck, maybe she’ll relight the spark between them.

Alexa may have lost her chance with Eric, but the consolation prize-a fling with him and Brandon, is too tempting to resist. She never expected to love both men, or to secretly yearn to belong to the one who commands her body like no other . . .

Warning: Contains m/m sex, m/f/m sex, three people confused and in love, a little bit of punishment, a lot of dirty talk and a lot of naughty sex.

Review:

Having a crush on your brother’s friend. Bad. Having a crush on your brother’s boyfriend? Bad, bad, bad. That’s the idea behind Scandalous, a juicy story about Alexa who finally meets up with her brother’s ex-boyfriend at her brother’s wedding. Things heat up quickly (thankfully) as Alexa and Eric realize there is mutual interest. Though it’s kind of confusing for Eric because he’s still gay and in a relationship. But what the hell? Let’s go with it.

He introduces Alexa to his boyfriend, Brandon and the three quickly become involved with each other. People, it’s HOT! Watching these two men put on a show for Alexa is simply beautiful. And Brandon’s no-nonsense take charge attitude had me rather excitable. It was the kind of turn on in a book I was looking for.  That lucky Alexa right smack in the middle of it with Eric, the careful, sensitive one and Brandon the domineering, macho one. I was seriously jealous of that bitch!

The hot sex aside, Scandalous does have a story which I really liked. Being together as a threesome begins to change the dynamics between each of them.  Eric and Brandon were having issues before Alexa arrived on the scene but now there’s more distance. Brandon, knowing Eric had never been with a woman before, had suggested the whole arrangement out of curiosity hoping it would reignite their passion. But the joke is on Brandon. Having been with men only for the last few years, he’s questioning his growing feelings for Alexa. As for the object of their affection? Alexa gets the best of both worlds but also double the confusion. What’s a horny girl to do?

I didn’t expect to get emotionally tied in to the story. I just loved the premise of a threesome especially when it involves someone who has always been “unattainable”. And honestly nothing is more attractive than two very hot men into each other. I happen to like my smut balanced with a dose of reality on occasion. It does a body good. I say give Scandalous a read and enjoy.

 – Simone x