25 July 2013

Review: The Guestbook by Andrea Hurst

The Guestbook (Madrona Island #1)

3.75 to 4 stars

After finding out that her husband was cheating on her, Lily Parkins left her comfortable life in Los Angeles for Madrona Island. The island was a significant part of Lily's childhood. It is also where her grandmother lived as a proprietor of B&B, which she left to Lily when she died.

I enjoyed this little gem of a story. This wasn't really your typical romance book, although it certainly has a lot of that. The Guestbook is also about friendship, family, letting go and moving on.

Lily was such a sympathetic character. After spending 10 years of her life with a man who neither loved or appreciated her, she was ready to start anew. You can feel her uncertainty, her insecurities being that her husband has traded her for a much younger woman. Not only that, in the beginning of the book, it seems like Lily herself doesn't quite know who she is.

It took time, with the help of some of her grandmother's guestbook, for Lily to find herself again, to feel comfortable and to accept her new life. Of course, a big part of Lily moving on was Ian McPherson, her artist neighbor.

The romance took awhile to materialize, which was understandable given that Lily just got out of a 10 year marriage and isn't officially divorced yet. And Ian also wasn't quite over the death of his wife. He's a successful painter who comes to Madrona Island to visit his grandfather. Both of them were hesitant to start something but when they did, their love story was sweet and immensely satisfying to read.

There's also a bit of a mystery element to the book, which I feel wasn't really fully developed, which was okay for me since I was really more interested in the people that surrounded Lily and Ian. I was intrigued by Jude and Ryan. I know there's a story there and I'm looking forward to that. I was also intrigued by Kyla and Lucas and even John McPherson's love affair with Lily's grandmother. I thought that was really sweet.

Overall, The Guestbook was a well-written and enjoying read. I especially enjoyed Ms. Hurst vivid description of Madrona Island and the island life in general. I would definitely recommend this for readers who like their romance sweet and without the angst.

Purchase on  Amazon

*A copy of this book was provided to Ever After Romance Book Blog in exchange for an honest review.*

Virtual Book Tour: Guest Post by Cameron James

Something exciting is going to be happening today, here at Ever After Romance Book Blog. As part of  Autumn Fire Book Tour,  we're going to have James Cameron himself post his Top Ten Favorite books. We're also going to be highlighting an excerpt from the book as well as where you can get your own copy. 

M/M - Erotica - New Adult
Date Published: 7/2/2013

Dustin likes the closet. It’s warm, comfy, and dark. Who needs to be out when you can get all the anonymous sex you want via the internet? And, besides, coming out is messy and gets you nowhere—certainly not a relationship. Real gay love is fiction.

When Dustin meets CollegeJock22 for a quick blow-and-go in the university library men’s room, everything he thought he knew crumbles. He can’t get that man out of his head and will do almost anything to have him. The only problem? CollegeJock22 is even more in the closet than Dustin. He’s in so deep he can’t even see the crack of light under the door.

Purchase Links:  Amazon  Kobo


Hot blowjobs! Call Dave!
Dustin glanced over the phone number scrawled in faded ink, marring the grey paint. A half a dozen more “offers” decorated the wall. Hookups were inherently sleazy when delivered in bathroom graffiti.
Not that he should judge, since he occupied the stall in the men’s room at the back of the library for an anonymous blowjob with some guy he met on the internet.
Dustin barely knew anything more about CollegeJock22 than he did about “Dave,” but it was still different...somehow. He’d at least seen CollegeJock22’s picture, if only a grainy crotch shot.
His thoughts crashed to a halt when the bathroom door next to him opened. Blood immediately pounded in his ears, so loud he struggled to hear the hesitant footsteps make their way to the urinal. Cold sweat spread across his forehead. He’d done his share of hookups, but never in a public place before today. The danger of being caught both terrified and excited him.
Dustin stared at the sneakered foot, visible just below the stall wall, as the other man stopped at the urinal on the other side of the metal divider. He waited for the signal. Until he heard it, he didn’t know who had come in, CollegeJock22 or some random dude needing to take a piss.
He heard a zipper open, but not the telltale sound of urination. The foot shifted. The pant leg lifted, briefly flashing a white sock. The signal. Dustin flashed his own sock.
Nothing happened. Embarrassment swelled as he realized the awkward coincidence. This was not CollegeJock22.
Then the other man’s feet moved. Another wave of cold sweat peppered his skin. He’d been right. CollegeJock22. Now he just prayed the man wasn’t fat and ugly, his profile one big lie. Dustin’s breathing grew shallow and his heart thudded as the man stood on the other side of the stall door. Dustin left it unlocked, as planned. It squeaked softly as CollegeJock22 nudged it open.
All doubts vanished. Quite simply, CollegeJock22 would be the hottest guy Dustin ever hooked up with, the rare man who actually lived up to his profile. He easily stood five foot eleven with tight golden curls peeking out from below his ball cap. His muscled chest pulled his shirt taut beneath his open jacket and his cock...a gorgeous piece of meat dangled from his open fly. The thick and semi-hard dick sprouted from a dusting of fine hair, probably at least seven inches when erect.
Dustin’s gaze wandered up to meet the nervous eyes of CollegeJock22. Normally, he might go slow, ease the guy into the act, but this setting made a laconic pace awkward. Also, Dustin had gone without sex for three months now—his last hookup being before he moved to Toronto. Masturbation didn’t cut it. He was fucking horny. He needed a cock in his mouth, he needed cum sliding down his throat, he needed to be nose-deep in the sweaty crotch of another man...
He refrained from yanking his hookup forward and eating his dick—it would only terrify the poor hunk. According to their online chat, CollegeJock22 rarely did this stuff, so Dustin needed to be gentle. Dustin reached out and wrapped his hand around CollegeJock22’s shaft, feeling its warmth and growing hardness.
Dustin read nerves in the gray-blue eyes of the other man. The cock in Dustin’s hand, though, stiffened to rock-hard in a matter of seconds. CollegeJock22 enjoyed it, even past the somewhat awkward situation.
Dustin placed his other hand on the man’s hip and pulled him closer. Shuffling shoes were the only sound in the washroom, bringing CollegeJock22’s tantalizing dick nearer to his face. The hunk reached back and quickly locked the door.


Everybody has a list of favorite books, and I’m no exception!  I find a lot of what I read affects what I write.  And as I write stuff that is heavily character-based, my favorite books tend to be those that are deep into characters.

10.  Best Lesbian Erotica 2013, edited by Kathleen Warnock.  Honestly, I read this on a bit of a whim, but it was frigging awesome.  The writing is superb and extremely hot, even to a gay guy like me.

9.  The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.  This is a delightful read, if a bit predictable at times.  There are also very long dull passages describing architecture, but Hugo’s love of Paris and all it encompasses shines beautifully through every word.

8.  Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan.  This is an m/m erotic romance about a college kid who hooks up with a trucker.  While the ending is a bit too sweet for my tastes, the sex scenes were smoking hot.

7.  Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn by David R. George III.  Yes, I’m a Trekkie.  This two-volume story was absolutely perfect in every way.  I’m a fan of DS9 and George captured the true essence of the series.

6.  Any Pearls Before Swine comic strip treasury by Stephan Pastis.  I adore this comic strip and always get giddy when a new treasury is out!

5.  Gone by Michael Grant.  This is a YA series about a mysterious dome over a city, and all the adults disappear, and people start getting super powers, and tons of freaky stuff happens.  It’s addictive.

4.  An Imperfect Offering by James Orbinski.  This is a memoir about Orbinski’s time with Doctors Without Borders.  It’s a truly moving piece that puts human faces on disasters on the other side of the planet.

3.  Warchild by Karin Lowachee.  This is the first of three books Lowachee wrote in her Warchild universe.  It follows a boy who is orphaned and kidnapped by space pirates, then later captured by aliens and brought up by them, then sent back to humanity to infiltrate them.  This book still leaves me haunted.

2.  Cagebird by Karin Lowachee.  This is the third book of Lowachee’s Warchild books.  This one follows a character that used to be friends with the character in Warchild – but when they were orphaned and kidnapped by pirates, they went separate ways, and were later reunited as adults.  The journeys Lowachee’s characters undergo are incredibly moving.

1.  Orphan’s Legacy by Robert Buettner.  This is the fifth and final volume in Buettner’s Jason Wander series, about a war between humanity and alien invaders.  Really, my description does it no favors.  Each book in the series is great, but this fifth one builds on everything and brings it to an amazing climax.  I was literally slack-jawed for the last fifty pages and walked around in a daze for about a week.

About the Author
When Cameron D James isn’t writing gay erotic romance, he can be found studying for his Masters, working in his dull office job, or reading five books at once. But, really, you’re most likely to find him writing. He loves crafting hot, sexy, sweaty, throbbing scenes, interwoven with lust and deep emotions for an orgasmic whole. He writes out of a love of characters, wherever those characters may lead. 

website: www.camerondjames.com
email: camerondjames@hotmail.com
main blog: www.camerondjames.wordpress.com
smutty NSFW Tumblr: www.camerondjames.tumblr.com
Twitter: @Cameron_D_James (www.twitter.com/Cameron_D_James)