Tag Archives: HFN

“Layover”, by Katrina Jackson

30 Mar
Cover for LAYOVER, showing a muscular bearded Black man, with long hair in a top knot, in a grey t-shirt, with a tattoo covering most of his left forearm, leaning against a wall.

I would very much recommend this novella is an introduction to the writing of Katrina Jackson, with a couple of caveats: it’s very much HFN rather than HEA, and one of the characters is dealing with grief over the loss of a parent.

Also, graphic sex on the page and a bit of cursing.

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Saffron Alley, by A. J. Demas

25 Feb
Cover for Saffron Alley, showing a man with short hair, wearing a Roman-ish short tunic, sword belt and holding a round shield aloft with his left arm, his right hand on the waist of a long-haired man wearing a long sleeveless tunic, who's holding a sword on his left hand, his right forearm over the first man's left shoulder as they face each other. The sun is behind the shield.

It has been a long time since I’ve been able to glom an author and enjoy it, and I must say, I’ve missed it.

And yet, I read the second and third books in the Sword Dance trilogy in one day, and now I’m torn between being grateful the author only has five books under this pseudonym/in this world, and bemoaning that there are only five books in this world. 1

In part it’s just because my reading has been shit for almost seven years, but I’ve also grown a lot more grumpy and a lot less forgiving of writing tics. Spacing out books by the same author benefits everyone here.

Readers, people. We suck.

Reader notes: there’s some graphic sex and just a bit of violence, mostly near the end. One of the leads is bisexual, the other is a eunuch (not by choice) and non-binary (entirely by choice); also an undercurrent of xenophobia.

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Sword Dance, by A. J. Demas

11 Feb
Cover for Sword Dance; drawing of two men, back to back. Man in the front wears a short-sleeve, mid-thigh Roman-like tunic, wields a sword on his right hand. Behind him, a man wearing a flaring, long-sleeved tunic and long black hair, whirls, holding a sword in each hand. Their heads are turning, looking at each other from the corners of their eyes. It's early morning.

This novel was my introduction to the writing of A. J. Demas, after a recommendation by K. J. Charles. It is the first book in the Sword Dance trilogy, and I now own all three titles.

Reader, beware: There is graphic sex and some violence on page, as well as some PTSD and references to past sexual abuse and torture. One of the protagonists is a eunuch (not by choice) and non-binary (very much by choice); the other is unapologetically bisexual.

Oh, and while it’s very much a romance, and a very sweet one at that, it is just the beginning; this book ends in hope, with a promise to meet again.

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“Cooley’s Panther” and “Stalking Evan”, by Jody Wallace

31 Jan
Cover for Stalking Evan. The same white men and woman from the previous cover, faces touching, her eyes looking out to the reader. There's a black panther walking on the top of the title.

I want to highlight these two short-short stories as an example of how to establish intriguing worldbuilding in a very tight word count.

Genre romance readers, please note that while there’s a strong romance thread in both of these, there’s no HEA per se.

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