M/M, Romance - Novella
TBR reviewer: Amanda
The Hun & the General takes the characters of Attila the Hun and a retired Roman general as a pair of thwarted, star-crossed lovers. They spent time together before the story begins as the general tried to form a diplomatic solution to the problem of the Huns attacking Rome. As the current story opens, the treaty has been broken and the two men find themselves once again thrown together as diplomatic relations are re-opened.
Although I found the premise fascinating because I would never have considered Attila the Hun as a romantic lead of any sort. The story itself felt very rushed and left me feeling dissatisfied. The romance was already developed apparently, but I did not really feel their love for one another beyond what they both seemed to think was good sex. I was also disappointed with the ending, which was too sudden for my taste.
However, I found the historical setting fascinating and could see how with more development the story could have rated higher for me. I would have loved to see more of the back story actually told and more of what happened next. If there is a sequel at some point, I am invested enough in their story to want to read it.
“I’m waiting for the but. Come on, man, show me your guts. Tell me why we shouldn’t seize what’s left of the Roman Empire once and for all.” Attila turned to the table and saw the fallen goblet, the milk dripping off to soak into the mat on the floor. He bellowed to the far side of the room. “Girl, fetch ale.” He perched on the edge of the table and smiled. “Let us drink, my friend. See if the barley loosens your tongue more than your king’s wishes seem to.”
A slave girl scurried in, carrying a jug and two goblets, which she set on the table.
“Hurry up, woman, or I’ll tear your womb from you with my bare hands.” He grabbed the girl from behind as she bent over the table to pour the beer. He pulled her by the hips until his cock pressed against her buttocks. “Or maybe you’d like us both to give you a good fucking?” He let her go and laughed. “Away with you. We can pour our own ale.”
Attila filled one silver goblet and gave it to Barbax, then shook the dregs of milk from his wooden cup and served himself. He took a long swig and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Well, get on with it then.”
Barbax swallowed hard. “Theodosius has made Constantinople impregnable.”
“Nothing is impregnable, except that Visigoth wife of yours.”
“The walls he’s built around the city are like nothing else on earth.”
“And nothing on earth has ever stopped us.”
“But this is different. Constantinople is weeks away.”
“We’ve marched farther.”
“But not with the machines we’ll need if we are to even break one brick. We’ll need battering rams and towers and—”
“And we’ll take them. We’ll take all we’ve got, ironworkers and carpenters too, and then we’ll take Constantinople. I’ll personally impale that snake Theodosius before I piss on his throne.” He drained his cup and slammed it onto the table. “Start the preparations. I want to leave before the rainy season.”
“But nothing! Now get out of my sight before I put you over the table and do what I should have done to that serving wench.”
Attila stroked his fine beard with his fingers and watched Barbax leave. Pillaging had served their people well, but they had need of greater wealth now. Yet despite his bravado, the warrior king hoped for an alternative to the march on Constantinople. Barbax spoke the truth. With so much to transport, they would move slowly. Word of their approach would reach Constantinople long before they did, and Emperor Theodosius would have time to prepare. What Attila needed was a miracle.
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M/M, Contemporary - Novel
TBR reviewer: Luta Wolf
A spin of the wheel can change everything...
Mike had it all. A business in the south of France, money, and a handsome boyfriend. But when the world’s economies nose-dived, he lost the lot—including Kurt. With nothing left, he finds himself back home in the north of England, living in a broken-down rented flat, alone.
When the boiler breaks down, the repairman turns out to be an old acquaintance—one who was never Mike’s social equal. Now Pete’s the one with money and security, his own
thriving company and a collection of classic cars. Pete’s joie de vivre is impossible to resist, but how can Mike face being a kept man?
There is no place like home. When life gives Mike a one-two punch, the compass in his soul points him home. Though he doesn’t really know what he is doing there he soon finds that it was the right direction when he runs into childhood acquaintance Pete and he helps Mike to find his footing again.
This isn’t my first book by Tristram La Roche. The last one swept me into a world I never imagined and I loved it. This time, not so much. The plot was mostly about the romance which is normally a plot I love. I like a good chocolate read now and again, however to pull this plot off the character connection has to be truly believable, you’ve got to make the reader feel the emotion between the characters. Which I felt got left behind. I loved the
characters by themselves. Pete is this down on his luck, stiff gent that whines a lot but he is such a lovable underdog that you find yourself cheering for him. You have to love Mike this cheery, wear his emotions on his sleeve man that looks at life with rose color glasses. I felt the lust between them but not the love. I just couldn’t believe it. They lacked emotion.
Then there was this truly awful sex scene involving a truck rest stop with too much details about urination on the floor. I think I threw up a little in my mouth just writing that. I wanted to like this book because I truly enjoy the way the author pulls you into a story with details (in the case of the truck stop, a bit too much). I’ve never been to England but the author took me there.
While I’m glad I read this book, it just didn’t live up to the standards that I feel Mr. La Roche could write and what I have seen this author achieve.
M/M - Novella
TBR reviewer: Luta Wolf
When Luke visits Florence he hopes it will be the start of a new chapter in his life. A chance meeting with a tall, handsome waiter and that chapter starts far sooner than he could ever have imagined.
Lorenzo is everything Luke has been looking for. Hot, sexy and uninhibited, he pushes buttons Luke never knew existed. But Luke lives in England, Lorenzo in Florence, and the time soon comes for them to part... Can this holiday fling become more than just sex? Can it, in fact, turn into a magnificent romance?
Be Warned: m/m sex, multiple partners, public exhibition.
Luke is in need of a vacation and there is just no place like Italy. While there he runs into Lorenzo and passion ignites. Can a relationship meant only to last a week be worth risking more for? Can a week tell you if your meant to spend the rest of your life with someone. Luke and Lorenzo must decided if they are willing to find out.
The plot was cute and I loved the amount of details put into the book. I found myself literally sucked into Italy. I could see it, feel it, and taste it. I was completely and utterly there. It was a steady, easy read, that for the most part was an enjoyable read.
However what I didn’t enjoy were the characters. They were well written, that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that they just aren’t likable characters. Luke comes off as very whiney. At the start of the book he is complaining non-stop about his job, however that same job affords him a nice house and vacations to Italy. Lorenzo was a little more likable though he is very much the quintessential play boy.
Despite my personal feelings of the characters I have to recommend this simply because the details are that good. When you fall into a book and feel as though your watching it rather than reading it, well that’s top notch writing and deserves the credit.
Bar Uccello identified itself among the cheap snack bars, computer stores and Chinese herbalists by a simple rainbow flag that hung over the dusty, iron grille as limp and useless as a used condom. Even without the flag it would have been hard to miss; the music paid no attention to locked doors and the overflowing dumpsters in the street vibrated to the
Lorenzo pressed the button on the entry phone, looked into the camera, and the grille sprang open with a raw clack. Luke followed him through the security doors and into a dimly lit passage decorated with adverts for hard core videos. He recognized most of the cocks on them. The noise was deafening and Luke could only watch as Lorenzo leaned over the counter
and shouted into the ear of the receptionist. They gesticulated at each other, then at Luke, then at the ceiling. Finally, the receptionist shrugged his shoulders and Lorenzo pulled Luke along the passageway and into the bar. It heaved with bodies. Many of the guys had discarded their shirts and Luke narrowed his eyes against the flashing lights trying to get a good look. Lorenzo pulled him close and shouted in his ear,“It’s full because of the strip show
later on.” He jerked his head towards the bar. “Shall we?”
Luke nodded and followed closely as Lorenzo ploughed through the throng, stopping regularly to receive a hug or a kiss from fellow revelers. His popularity was obvious and Luke knew that if anything passed between them it could only be a one night stand or, at most, a seven
night, vacation fling.
As the bar came into sight, Luke surged forward and grabbed Lorenzo by the arm. “I’ll get
Lorenzo shook his head. He already had the attention of one of the barmen. Luke knew Italians well enough to realize any protest was futile, so he accepted his Diet Coke with grace. Lorenzo began to dance to the music, grinding his hips. He grinned at Luke. That wink again.
Luke was drawn to him like a mosquito to a lamp. He finished his coke, rid himself of the glass and raised his arms over his head. He rotated his hips, thrusting forward the growing mound at his crotch. Lorenzo’s eyes glowed; his shirt, already damp from the heat and the
exertion, taut across hard nipples. When their eyes met, Luke opened his mouth and ran his tongue over his lips. Lorenzo took the bait. His tongue darted between Luke’s lips and filled his mouth. Luke lowered his arms, put one around Lorenzo’s neck to pull him tighter, and let the other work its way down to his ass. At last, he felt those firm buttocks that he’d watched so many times during the evening. In his mind he parted them to reveal Lorenzo’s rosebud. He pushed his hard cock against Lorenzo, wishing it were free. Lorenzo responded, and Luke
felt the other’s solid length press into his own.
A sudden flash of light, a ripple of applause and the music died. Luke glanced around, nonplussed, but Lorenzo shouted in his ear, “It’s the show. The strippers. Come with me.”
Mr. La Roche is giving away an ecopy to one lucky winner. To enter comment below. Contest ends November 2nd.
Genre: M/M - Erotica
Ebook - novel
TBR reviewer: Shyla
Surviving on alcohol and antidepressants, Mark staggers through his unhappy
marriage and watches his London architectural business head for the rocks. When
another nasty argument with his wife sends him to the gym to blow off steam, a
tall, dark stranger enflames a part of him he’s denied all these years, trying
to convince himself he’s not “weird.” But Mark’s not weird, he’s gay. And after
a taste of Attila’s lips, nothing can put that genie back in the bottle…
This was my first M/M and I admit proudly Mr. La Roche has converted me!
His first person point of view was vivid, exciting and completely captivating. From the moment Mark came home from drinks with his mates after work and was accosted by his knife wielding wife my mind was blown.
There was truly no telling where this story was going to take me. It’s clear
our hero is unhappy, he’s spent a lifetime living to please others, and ended up
in a slump with no end in sight. It made me rather sad because it’s clear he’s
not a bad person and his wife is a complete nutter. Then enters Attila,
with his big brown eyes,interesting past, and impeccable taste. He’s just too
perfect to resist. Their relationship is unconventional from the start. Meeting
at the gym, they leave for drinks where Mark proceeds to get drunk. Attila
insists he comes home with him to sober up, and gives him food for thought that
leads him to admit he is indeed gay.
Despite the attraction and Mark’s willingness to explore his new found
identity, Attila’s not about to mess with a married man. This made me squeal in
delight! It showed what Attila was made of, and what they had was
going to be so much deeper than a fling. This was a hero I could love easily.
Mark and Attila’s road to happily ever after is rocky. Between Mark’s divorce,
and Attila’s recent relationship baggage they stumble along their way, argue, and
question what they’re doing. But in the end they always come back together,
and really that’s what love is. Accepting the person you want to be with in all their flawed glory.
Tristram captures a moment in time where a man connects with his true self for
the first time. It was a beautiful journey I felt privileged to witness.
Learning to be who we really are despite what others may think is a learning process for all of us. Mark just happened to learn much later in life. The sex scenes were steamy without being graphic, and I was satisfied with the mixture of emotions and physical contact, but wouldn’t have minded seeing more.
This was a great read; the romance was real spicy and intriguing. If you’re curious about M/M romance, this is the perfect place to start.
Neither of us spoke. Alex leaned against the wall huffing and puffing, and I
wondered if this would break our friendship. Of course, I knew what he was
saying was all true when looked at logically, but I had to ask myself, when was
love ever logical? When Attila had cast me aside and said that he couldn’t get
involved with a married man, I knew what he really meant to say. He meant that
he would want me if only I weren’t married.
Alex turned back towards me. He glanced at his watch. “Look, it’s just about
opening time. Shall we—”
“Absolutely.” I switched on the answering machine and flicked the sign on the
door to ‘closed’.
“Wine bar it is.” I locked the door behind me and fell into step.
I didn’t so much walk from the office as float. I passed along the Embankment
without even noticing the river. Reality hit me only when Alex pressed a glass
into my hand and led me to a seat by the window.
There is something about wine before noon that loosens the tongue and
dissolves inhibitions. My head was light before the first bottle was done.
Alex’s cheeks were flushed, but then again, that was usual for the time of day
as the effects of the evening had still to wear off. He ran his fingers through
his rumpled hair and turned his glass.
“It makes no difference to me, you do understand that, don’t you?” he
“What makes no difference?”
“Well, you know if you are gay. It doesn’t change anything. Not between
“Thanks, Alex. I do appreciate that. For a moment I thought…but I would have
been a bit surprised if it did.”
“I’m still in shock. How can you change overnight? I mean, have you ever
I knew this would be the big issue, not just for Alex, but for everyone I
knew. Including me.
“No. Never. I’ve wondered, but I always convinced myself that I was just
weird. I’ve lived with the feeling that I don’t really belong in the world
around me for so long. But now, I know. I really do know, and I feel like a huge
weight has been lifted off me.”
Alex peered into his wine as if he’d found a goldfish. “Don’t you think you
should…erm…” He looked up at me. “Don’t you think you ought to try it out before
you throw your lot in with this chap? And that’s if he even wants you, which
sounds far from settled to me.” He drained his glass and went to the bar,
leaving me to contemplate his wisdom.
Deep down, I knew he was right, but I hadn’t a clue how to go about it. In
any case, wouldn’t it all just kind of happen now with Attila? Maybe I should
leave Diana and set up a bachelor pad, let things take their course rather than
rushing. But that didn’t seem right. I hadn’t rushed out to find Attila; I
hadn’t actually gone in search of anyone. Attila had just jogged into my life.
That was how the best things in life happened, wasn’t it?
Mr. La Roche is also giving away a free ecopy to one luck winner! To enter comment below. Contest ends September 6th.