Reviews by Ulysses Dietz

B+
David, Renewed

In David, Renewed, Diana Copland has delivered a classic, well-crafted romance in which not only the main characters are appealing, but the supporting crew are wonderful as well. David Snyder is a rising star in a corporate decorating firm. Having walked out of a five-year relationship with good rea ...

A
Looking for Group

OMG. How many ways could this latest book from Alexis Hall have put me off—and yet somehow didn’t? Why did I give this an A in spite of the many hot buttons it pushed for me? Let me explain. This will have to be personal, since my shifting reactions to the book were intensely personal. The ke ...

A-
Big Love

Thus far, Big Love is my favorite Rick R. Reed book. Why? Because Reed makes no false steps in this one. What he does is take a much-loved YA cliché and transform it into a thoughtful, moving three-story novel. He does it by adding two MORE romance clichés: the long-married, suppressed gay man and ...

A-
His Royal Secret

His Royal Secret could have been so cheesy; maudlin, sentimental and coarsely gossipy, like the gutter press depicted so unflatteringly within its pages. Yet, somehow, Lilah Pace—a new author to me—manages to give us a romantic story that looks hard at two young men who fall in love under remark ...

A-
Playing With Fire

Liam Carroll and Robert McKenzie grew up together in the worst part of Glasgow. When Liam came out to his best friend Robert, Robert stuck by him. And when Liam joined Glasgow’s all-LGBT football team, the Warriors, he insisted his bestie be welcomed onto the team, even though he was straight. Sin ...

B+
Strong Signal

Kai and Garrett. The soldier and the You Tube star. Two different voices written by two different authors. The setup could, if handled tritely, be eye-rolling—Kai is a semi-professional online gamer, and Garrett runs into him while playing Fallen World Online from his bunk in Afghanistan. Garrett ...

B
Home is a Fire

Jordan Nasser’s sweet debut novel is really a romantic fantasy akin to Dorothy’s adventure in the Wizard of Oz film. It’s about seeking happiness out in the world because you can’t see it in your own back yard. Derek Walter is running away again, leaving his unbelieving ...

B+
Rising Frenzy

Brandon Witt creates a world in his Men of Myth series that appeals to readers like me greatly. Like the Beings series by F. Cooper and the End Street Detective Agency books by Amber Kell and RJ Scott, Witt’s world posits the unseen presence of paranormal beings, interacting with humans at varying ...

B+
Clashing Tempest

Clashing Tempest, the last book of the Men of Myth trilogy continues with the parallel adventures of Finn and Brett, but now Brett has Lelas as his best friend and confidante, while Finn has Schwint as his sidekick and lover. Both young men are seeking the truth, unaware that their lives are on conv ...

B+
Stygian

For Jeremy Black, finding solace in the pounding beat of punk rock is his escape from a grim childhood and harrowing memories of his brother’s suicide. But Stygian, the Houston-based indie band he joined, is in trouble. They’re still reeling from the loss of their previous drummer, Caroline, in ...