Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold, narrated by Grover Gardner

EthanofAthosWhy I read it:  I’m continuing my Vorkosigan series listen and this one was next.  Or I’d skipped it.  The reading order is somewhat fraught I must say.  In any event, it’s kind of a tangent from the rest of the series so it fit where I was up to well enough.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Dr. Ethan Urquhart, an obstetrician on a planet forbidden to women, is Chief of Biology at the Severin District Reproduction Center and one of the busiest men on the planet Athos. Then a mysterious genetic crisis threatens Athos with extinction. Drafted to brave the wider universe for his cloistered fellows in quest of new ovarian tissue cultures, Ethan braces himself for his first encounter with those most alien of aliens–females of his own species.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  As is usually the case with books from the Vorkosiverse, I didn’t bother to read the blurb before diving in.  So I had no expectations at all except that very likely Miles would not appear in this one given the title. (I was correct.)

Ethan is a doctor at the Reproduction Centre in the Severin District on Athos.  It quickly becomes apparent that Athos is a very unusual place – there are no females on it. At all.  The babies are all created from sperm donations from the male inhabitants who have earned sufficient “social credits” to be a father and ovarian tissue which is cultured to create egg cells.  Once fertilised via an IVF-like procedure, the fetuses are gestated in uterine-replicators (just like the one in which Miles spent the latter part of his gestation).

One Night of Sin by Elle Kennedy

ONeNightOfSinWhy I read it:  I bought this one because: Elle Kennedy and also: 99c.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Sometimes it’s good to be bad…

When it comes to sex, good girl Skyler Thompson always plays it safe, choosing stable and sedate over wild and thrilling. She doesn’t do one-night-stands, but one look at sinfully sexy Gage Holt and she’s willing to reconsider. He makes her want to be bad for once in her life, and she’s prepared to take what she wants.

Danger follows former MMA fighter Gage Holt like a shadow. Despite his successes as part owner of Sin, an exclusive nightclub in Boston, Gage can’t risk getting involved with a woman, especially one as sweet as Skyler. Still, he can’t resist a taste—and it’s so damn good he has to see her again.

As addicted as he is to her, Gage knows there’s no future for him and Skyler—not with his past lurking in the dark corners of an MMA cage. But Skylar’s tougher than she looks, and she’s ready to fight for her man.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I liked the hell out of Elle Kennedy’s Out of Uniform series (especially Feeling Hot) so when I saw this one was available for pre-order for 99c I snapped it up.  I really enjoy her contemporary voice. I think she writes great sex and authentic guys.

The Lonely Drop by Vanessa North

thelonelydropWhy I read it:  It was recommended to me all over the place.  It’s also free as a free thing which is free.  Extra bonus points for the clean formatting and good copy editing.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Dear Author,

Ten years ago, I turned him down.

One night stands were his norm, and not because he couldn’t have had a relationship if he’d wanted one. He could pretty much have any man he wanted. I walked away because I deserved better.

Now our paths have crossed again. He has the world at his feet. It’s a tempting thought to throw away my lifetime of ideals for a single night with him.

Do I still have the strength to walk away?

Do I even want to?

Photo Description:
Two men lie naked in bed. One is on his stomach, with his head out of the frame, the other strokes a hesitant hand down his lover’s back.

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’sLove’s Landscapes” event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Nick Hana and Kevin Dorsey have been best friends all through college. They’re both on the college soccer team and they’re both gay. They also have a lot of other things in common and have been very close.  Nick is in love with Kevin but Kev gets around and is notorious for one-night stands.  Nick is a firm believer in sex having to mean something.  He doesn’t want to have sex for the sake of sex.  He wants the relationship too.  Believing he cannot get that from Kevin, they part the eve before graduation on unfriendly terms.

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